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Introduction

Section 3(h) of the Patents Act, 1970, states that a method related to agriculture and horticulture falls under inventions not patentable. The purpose of Section 3(h) of the Act is to protect “conventional” practices followed by farmers, and to safeguard traditional farming, cultivation and breeding practices within the public domain, preventing exclusive rights and monopolies through granting of patents. Section 3(h) has survived through amendments and has remained an essential part of the Patents Act, highlighting the importance of the Section.

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Synergism to be displayed across the breadth of patent claim

Willowood Chemicals Private Limited’s (hereinafter “the Patentee”) patent was revoked by the Controller of Patents (hereinafter “Controller”) due to post-grant opposition as the Controller held that the Patentee had failed to display any technical advancement and synergism between the components of the claimed composition across the breath of the claims.

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Court settles patentability of man-made and novel non-living substance

An appeal was filed by Genmab A/S (hereinafter “Applicant” or “Appellant”) against an order dated May 30, 2016, which had rejected its’s Indian Patent Application No.4718/CHENP/2007. The application claimed priority from US Application No.60/667,579 dated April 1, 2005. A first examination report was received on February 27, 2013, and various objections were raised in view of certain prior arts and the patent application was considered not patentable under Section 3(j), 3(e), 3(i) and 3(c). The appellant revised its claims while responding to the examination report, leading to a hearing. However, the application was rejected as the application was thought to lack any inventive step, and patent ineligible under Section 3(c)[1].

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The 22nd Law Commission Report on Trade Secrets: Call for a balancing Act?

The 22nd Law Commission of India issued a report titled “Trade Secrets and Economic Espionage” (“LCR”), on March 5, 2024, to recommend a new legal framework to adjudicate claims related to disclosure of trade secrets, and the key provisions that it should encompass. Through this article, we intend to briefly summarise the legal framework applicable to trade secrets in India, highlight significant perspectives considered by the Law Commission and the recommendations thereof.

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Google LLC (hereinafter, “appellant”) submitted its application for a patent titled “Managing Instant Messaging Sessions on Multiple Devices”[i] to the controller of patents and designs on July 13, 2007, claiming priority from a US patent application.[ii] The application discloses the feature for transferring instant messaging sessions concurrently between devices and gives users the choice to mirror / refresh sessions interrupted by idle or away states. It provides flexibility in managing instant messaging sessions and a seamless continuation of conversations.

Continue Reading Delhi HC dismisses instant messaging patent appeal
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Navigating Change: Unravelling the Biological Diversity (Amendment) Act, 2023

Introduction

The Biological Diversity (Amendment) Act, 2023 stands as a pivotal milestone in India’s commitment to preserving its rich natural heritage. The present article comprehensively explores the revisions made to this legislative framework and their implications on biodiversity management in the country.  The Biological Diversity (Amendment) Act, 2023, (“Amendment Act”) began its legislative journey in December 2021, when the Bill was first tabled in Lok Sabha and solicited public feedback before being referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee. The committee’s recommendations, which were submitted by December 2022, were incorporated into the Bill. It was subsequently reintroduced in Parliament and received presidential assent on August 3, 2023.

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Decoding Patent Searches: A brief on the types and strategies

Introduction

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) have undergone significant evolution in the recent past, and the increasing number of filings for different types of IP rights across the world show the increasing commitment of countries to foster innovation, creativity, and their desire to sustain it. In today’s rapidly evolving landscape of innovation and technology, securing intellectual property rights through patents has become paramount for businesses and inventors. However, navigating the complex realm of patent law demands a thorough understanding of existing inventions and their legal implications.

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Patents Act, 1970 or Competition Act, 2002: SC to decide applicability on actions of patentee

Background

The Supreme Court (“SC”) issued a notice[i] on a special leave petition filed by the Competition Commission of India (“CCI”) on March 1, 2024, against a Division Bench order of the Delhi High Court (“Delhi HC”) passed on July 13, 2023. The impugned order dealt with four appeals and a writ petition filed by Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (“Ericsson”), CCI, and Monsanto Holdings (P.) Ltd. (“Monsanto”) against previous Delhi HC judgements in Ericsson AB v. CCI (March 30, 2016)[ii], Ericsson AB v. CCI (December 14, 2015)[iii], Monsanto Holdings (P) Ltd. v. CCI (May 20, 2020)[iv], and letters issued by the CCI against Ericsson on July 16, 2015, and August 8, 2015.

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MHC recommends whittling down of claims to overcome refusal of patent application due to lack of inventive step

Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC’s (hereinafter “Microsoft”) appeal against an order dated September 29, 2020, by which its Indian Patent Application No. 1783/CHENP/2012, was refused by the Controller of Patents as being obvious and lacking inventive step has been allowed by the Madras High Court (hereinafter “MHC”). The MHC directed narrowing of claims to clearly define the inventive feature and overcome refusal of Patent application due to lack of inventive step.

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Scope of business method inventions under Section 3(k)

In Priya Randolph Vs Deputy Controller of Patent and Design,[order dated December 20, 2023],the Madras High Court set aside a refusal order passed by the Deputy Controller of Patents and Designs in appeal proceedings. The Court held that mere involvement of a business method in an invention doesn’t render it unpatentable under Section 3(k) of the Indian Patents Act, 1970. The Court observed that the invention involved hardware, software and firmware and that all these components put together, improve data privacy and protection mechanisms.

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