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Relevance of Foreign Patent Application in Patent Infringement Suit

The recent appellate decision in the case of CS (COMM) 884/2023 sheds light on the significance of foreign patent applications in patent infringement suits. The appellant, seeking an interim injunction, faced dismissal due to the suppression of material facts regarding the status of their foreign patent applications. This article provides an in-depth analysis of the court's reasoning and the implications for patent litigation.

The appellant filed a patent infringement suit seeking an interim injunction based on their patent application pending in Japan and granted patents in the United States. However, it was discovered that crucial information regarding the status of these foreign patent applications was omitted from the plaintiff's pleadings. The appellant's failure to disclose the refusal of their Japanese patent application and the invalidation and abandonment of their US patent applications led to the dismissal of their interim injunction application.

Legal Analysis:
The court's decision underscores the importance of full and accurate disclosure of material facts in patent infringement suits. Parties have a duty to provide complete and truthful information to the court to ensure a fair and transparent legal process. Suppression or concealment of material facts can undermine the integrity of the judicial proceedings and prejudice the opposing party's defense.

In patent litigation, the status of foreign patent applications is relevant for several reasons. Firstly, the outcome of foreign patent applications may impact the validity and enforceability of the patent asserted in the infringement suit. A refusal or invalidation of a foreign patent application can weaken the plaintiff's claim of patent infringement and undermine their entitlement to injunctive relief.

Secondly, foreign patent applications reflect the patentee's efforts to secure intellectual property rights internationally. The status of these applications provides insights into the patentee's global patent strategy and the scope of their patent portfolio. Omitting material information about the status of foreign patent applications deprives the court and the opposing party of crucial information necessary for informed decision-making.

Furthermore, the court's scrutiny of the appellant's foreign patent applications highlights the need for diligence and transparency in patent prosecution. Patent applicants must diligently prosecute their patent applications and promptly disclose any adverse developments, such as refusals or invalidations, to maintain the integrity of their patent portfolio.

The appellate decision serves as a cautionary tale for patent litigants regarding the importance of full and candid disclosure in patent infringement suits. Parties should diligently investigate and disclose the status of their foreign patent applications to ensure compliance with the principles of transparency and fairness in litigation. Failure to do so may result in adverse legal consequences, including the dismissal of injunction applications and potential sanctions for misconduct.

The case underscores the relevance of foreign patent applications in patent infringement suits and the importance of full and accurate disclosure of material facts. Parties must uphold the highest standards of integrity and transparency in patent litigation to safeguard the integrity of the legal process and ensure equitable outcomes.

Case Title: Freebit As Vs Exotic Mile Private Limited
Order Date: 31.01.2024
Case No. FAO(OS) (COMM) 15/2024
Name of Court: Delhi High Court
Neutral Citation:2024:DHC:838:DB
Name of Hon'ble Judge: Vibhu Bakhru and Tara Vitasta GanjuH.J.

Ideas, thoughts, views, information, discussions and interpretation expressed herein are being shared in the public Interest. Readers' discretion is advised as these are subject to my subjectivity and may contain human errors in perception, interpretation and presentation of the fact and issue involved herein.

Written By: Advocate Ajay Amitabh Suman, IP Adjutor - Patent and Trademark Attorney
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9990389539

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