Patent Injunction Heuristics in India
Pai, Yogesh, Patent Injunction Heuristics in India in Rafal Sikorski (Ed.) Patent Law Injunctions, Kluwer Law International B.V (2019)
27 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2019
Date Written: December 21, 2018
This chapter makes an attempt not only to provide a general commentary on the law of patent injunctions in India but also a deeper analysis of issues that are routinely argued and debated in Indian courts.Section I of this chapter follows debate on patent injunctions in India by contextualizing it within the global scholarly debate on controversies surrounding patent injunctions. It aims to provide a bird’s eye view of some similarities and contrasts between the global and Indian debate. Section II discusses the statutory foundations for patent injunctions in India. It locates the statutory basis in the Patents Act, 1970 and the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC), which is the general remedies law in order to assess the evolution of the equitable factors. Section III examines the application of equitable principles by Indian courts for granting patent injunctions. Although the focus is on how Indian courts have evaluated the equitable factors in granting ad-interim injunctions, the specific standard applied by the courts in granting ex parte, quia-timet and permanent injunctions are critically evaluated in the context of the specific fact situations involved in those cases. An attempt is also made to provide insights into how courts have fashioned remedies due to sector specific needs since it is often argued that patent law is technology specific.
When optimal solutions are not in the horizon, it is not difficult to imagine why courts would often fall back on a ‘trial and error’ method, or in short, ‘injunction heuristics’. This perhaps explains the grand narrative of patent injunctions in India. But the deficiency of analysis in the most ‘celebrated’ judgments remind us of how often courts skip through or pick and choose which factors to lay emphasis on. The chapter finally concludes by stating that very limited observations can be made in the context of a general narrative on the law of patent injunctions in India. While the Indian courts have not followed a cautious approach in granting ex parte and interim injunctions, courts must develop injunction heuristics to delineate the cases where they may be rightly due.
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