SC: Summary adjudication impermissible if a patent is to be revoked on the basis of counter claim

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, today, i.e. on 8thJanuary 2019, in the matter of Monsanto Technology LLC thru The Authorised Representative Ms. Natalia Voruz & Others v. Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd. Thru The Director & Others, held that when under Section 64 of the Patents Act a patent is revoked on the basis of a counter claim, summary adjudication sans evidence by abstract consideration based on text books only is impermissible in law as Section 64 of the Patents Act necessarily presupposes a valid consideration of the claims in the suit and the counter claim in accordance with law.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

Summary adjudication of a technically complex suit requiring expert evidence, at the stage of injunction is not permissible in the law. (This inference has been drawn on the basis of Para 22)

Section 64 of the Patents Act provides for revocation of patent based on a counter claim in a suit. It necessarily presupposes a valid consideration of the claims in the suit and the counter claim in accordance with law and not summary adjudication sans evidence by abstract consideration based on text books only.  (Para 23)

The Civil Procedure Code provides a detailed procedure with regard to the manner in which a suit instituted under Section 9, including a counter claim has to be considered and adjudicated. The Code mandates a procedure by settlement of issues, examination and cross examination of witnesses by the parties, including discovery/inspection of documents, culminating in the hearing of the suit and decree. A suit can be disposed of at the initial stage only on an admission inter alia under Order 12 Rule 6 or when the parties are not in issue under Order 16 Rule 1 and the other grounds mentioned therein. (Para 23)

Copy of judgement:Judgement_08-Jan-2019

-Tushar Kaushik

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