IPO notifies Supreme Court’s latest decision on ‘Extension of Limitation’; Monsanto and Nuziveedu settle long standing patent dispute and more

IPO notifies Supreme Court’s latest decision on ‘Extension of Limitation’; Monsanto and Nuziveedu settle long standing patent dispute; EPO to continue conducting mandatory oral proceedings by video conference; Over 250 European MP’s urge EU to support temporary patent waiver demanded by India and South Africa

Indian Patent News

IPO notifies Supreme Court’s latest decision on ‘Extension of Limitation’

Last year, the Supreme court of India had taken Suo Motu cognizance of the situation arising out of the challenges faced by the country on account of Covid-19 Virus and the resultant difficulties faced by litigants across the country in filing their petitions/applications/suits/ appeals/all other proceedings within the period of limitation prescribed under the general law of limitation or under Special Laws (both Central and/or State). To obviate this, the Court exercised its power under Article 142 read with Article 141 of the Constitution of India and ordered that irrespective of the limitations prescribed under the general law or Special Laws whether condonable or not would stand extended w.e.f. 15th March 2020 till further order/s from the Supreme Court. The Supreme court had then clarified that this was a binding order within the meaning of Article 141 on all Courts/Tribunals and authorities.

Now, the Supreme Court through its order dated 8th March 2021 has issued the following directions:

  1. In computing the period of limitation for any suit, appeal, application or proceeding, the period from 15.03.2020 till 14.03.2021 shall stand excluded. Consequently, the balance period of limitation remaining as on 15.03.2020, if any, shall become available with effect from 15.03.2021.
  2. In cases where the limitation would have expired during the period between 15.03.2020 till 14.03.2021, notwithstanding the actual balance period of limitation remaining, all persons shall have a limitation period of 90 days from 15.03.2021. In the event the actual balance period of limitation remaining, with effect from 15.03.2021, is greater than 90 days, that longer period shall apply.
  3. The period from 15.03.2020 till 14.03.2021 shall also stand excluded in computing the periods prescribed under Sections 23 (4) and 29A of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, Section 12A of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015 and provisos (b) and (c) of Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 and any other laws, which prescribe period(s) of limitation for instituting proceedings, outer limits (within which the court or tribunal can condone delay) and termination of proceedings.

Patent applicants will therefore now have 90 more days, i.e., until the 13th of June 2021 to submit their petitions under rule 6(6).

Patent Disputes, Settlements and Licensing news

Monsanto and Nuziveedu settle long standing patent dispute

Bayer’s Monsanto and Indian seed maker Nuziveedu seeds have reportedly reached an “amicable settlement” in their long-standing dispute over genetically modified cotton seeds. Nuziveedu and Monsanto found themselves in the midst of a bitter patent battle in 2015 when Nuziveedu, stopped paying royalties to Monsanto on the grounds that Monsanto was not entitled to patent protection on the seeds. While the terms of the settlement have not been made public, the settlement puts to rest, the six-year long dispute.

International Patent News

EPO to continue conducting mandatory oral proceedings by video conference

The European Patent Office (EPO) has issued a notice on the 24th of March informing that the oral proceedings before examining and opposition divisions will continue to be held by videoconference in accordance with the applicable decision of the President of the EPO without requiring the agreement of the parties. The notice will apply with immediate effect until the Enlarged Board of Appeal has announced its decision regarding the legality of the mandatory oral proceedings by videoconference.

The EPO had last year initiated a pilot project which allowed oral proceedings in opposition cases to be carried out exclusively by videoconference so as to avoid a backlog of cases during the pandemic. Video hearings were earlier granted only under “exceptional circumstances” were made mandatory by the EPO in November 2020. The November 2020 notice clarified that videoconferenced oral proceedings before opposition divisions would become mandatory, and consent of the affected parties would not be required.

To read the official notice, click here.

Over 250 European MP’s urge EU to support temporary patent waiver demanded by India and South Africa

Over 250 members of European Parliament (MEPs) and national parliamentarians have urged the European Union (EU) to support a temporary patent waiver demanded by India and South Africa in the World Trade Organization (WTO) to ensure increased availability of coronavirus vaccines across the world especially in poor countries. The opposition against the proposal from countries such as the US, the European Union, Canada, Japan, UK, Australia, and Switzerland has become one of the biggest impediments in ensuring accessibility and affordability of the vaccine to a number of countries around the world.

Authored & Compiled by Gaurav Mishra

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