Case Review: Garaware v. Techfeb

First Publication Date: 19th November 2009
In my previous post I had analyzed the claim of the patent that is alleged to have been infringed. In this post, I will follow it up by analyzing the complete specification, and commenting on the manner in which the patent specification is drafted and positioned for examination.

I have uploaded the patent specification for those of you who want to give it a read:
IN195352 – Garware – Garaware vs Techfab
The invention (I am calling the subject matter claimed in the specification an “invention” as a patent is granted to it. However, we will scrutinize the inventiveness of this invention in subsequent posts; that will be fun!) appears to be used for protecting shores of water bodies such as rivers and seas against erosion. Further, from what is disclosed in the specification (background), the present invention attempts to address the drawbacks of the following prior art techniques:
1. Tetrapod –
Source- Flicker, uploaded by – d ha rm e sh
2. Concrete walls –
Source – BBC
3. Large stones/boulders
What amuses me the most about the background of this invention is the fact that nowhere in the specification do they mention about the existing gabion systems, which in my opinion is more relevant to the invention when compared to the 3 techniques listed above. More so because, a search for gabion on Wikipedia indicates that gabions have been in existence since the 16th century. Additionally, a general Google search for gabions reveals that apparently a company called Maccaferri has been making gabions since 1893. While, I believe that not including prior art gabion systems in the background of the invention was misleading, whether or not, they are bound to include it in the background in a different question all together, and I will refrain from that topic for the time being.
While the background section of the specification raised a few doubts, the rest of the description (including the claim) doesn’t fall short in adding to the doubts. The description discloses a gabion that is collapsible as it is made using ropes of any synthetic material. The ropes made of synthetic material are woven to form the gabion. The gabion that is fabricated by weaving will have chords of rope in longitudinal and transverse directions. Further, the description mentions that the gabion can be of any shape such as rectangular, triangular, etc. I believe they meant to say that a cross section of the gabion could be of rectangular, triangular and similar shapes.
Even though understanding of the invention was not difficult, it left me with a few doubts in mind. I still fail to understand what exactly in this invention is new (“new” doesn’t necessarily mean “inventive”). Broadly, in my opinion, it could be any one of the following:
  1. Fabricating a gabion using ropes
  2. Fabricating a gabion using synthetic ropes. In this case I am assuming that gabions made using fibre ropes existed before this invention
  3. Fabricating a gabion by weaving ropes. In this case I am assuming that gabions made using ropes existed, however, they were not woven together to form a gabion (if this is the novel element, then the description should have provided more details on how the ropes are woven to form a gabion)
  4. Providing apertures in the gabion that is made using ropes
  5. Providing flip open lid in a gabion made using rope, thereby allowing filling of the gabion with stones. In this case I am assuming that gabions made using ropes existed, however, they did not have flip open lids (If this is true, then I wonder how they used to fill the gabion)
And since, the probability of me asking the inventor to address my doubt and he addressing the same is very low, finding prior art on my own appears to be the only feasible option to clear the air.
below listed are a few documents that I feel are relevant to the patent granted to Garware:
moz screenshotmoz screenshot moz screenshot image

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