In this post, we bring to you two cases relating to patents and plant varieties. While the plant variety case relates to the potato plant variety of PepsiCo (FL 2027), whose revocation has been set aside, the patent case relates to change of address of patent agents. The second case particularly discusses the address to which notice has to be issued to patent agents, and if there is a change in address, which would be the mechanism to change address: Form 13 or Form 30?
Revocation of PEPSICO’s potato Plant Variety Registration is not valid, says the Delhi High Court.
In an appeal, the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court set aside the decision of the Single Judge affirming the revocation of the plant variety registration of PEPSICO with respect to a potato variety suitable for making chips (FL 2027). The Court stated that revocation of the plant variety on grounds that are not fundamentally related to validity and protectability is not valid. It pointed out that disclosures relating to the date of first sale, authorization to file, and wrongful entry in the application are not fatal to the plant variety’s registration as those errors were not intentional and deliberate and did not have any bearing on the validity of the plant variety based on distinctiveness, uniformity, and stability requirements applicable for extant varieties. The Court also pointed out that mere filing of suits to enforce the plant variety against farmers is not conclusive that Pepsico is intimidating or vexing the farmers.
Citation: PepsiCO India Holdings Pvt Ltd vs Kavitha Kuruganti, High Court of Delhi, 9 January, 2024, LPA 590/2023 & CM APPL. 42282/2023
Patent Agents and Opponents may change their addresses and email ids through Form 30, observes Delhi High Court.
In a writ petition challenging the exparte decision regarding a pre-grant representation, the petitioner argued that communication of notice to an old email id cannot be considered as a valid notice. Disagreeing, the Court stated that the patent agent on record had not communicated the change of email id appropriately, and therefore, the service of notice was valid, and there was no violation of principles of natural justice. While deciding the matter, the Court observed that change in address and email id of the patent agent and opponent may be done through Form 30 under Rule 8(2), and that Form 13, which relates to patentees and applicants may not be the appropriate form.
Citation: HARYANA PESTICIDES MANUFACTURES ASSOCIATION vs ASSISTANT CONTROLLER OF PATENTS AND DESIGNS & ANR., High Court of Delhi, W.P.(C)-IPD 45/2023 & CM 150/2023
Validity of Revocation and Address Change
In the plant variety case, the Court has stated that a registered plant variety can only be revoked based on a ground relating to validity or registrability, and not based on procedural grounds such as errors in entries in the application. The Court also pointed out that merely filing cases against farmers will not give rise to a presumption of intimidation or vexation.
The second case relating to patents clarifies that change in patent agent’s details may be carried out through Form 30. It points out that Form 13 is primarily related to patentees and patent applicants and may not be directly applicable to patent agents.
The case notes in this blog post have been written by IP attorneys at BananaIP Counsels based on their review and understanding of the Judgments. It may be noted that other IP attorneys and experts in the field may have different opinions about the cases, or arrive at different conclusions therefrom. It is advisable to read the Judgments before making any decisions based on the case notes.