“Disturbing Trend” Of Long Interim Orders In IPR Suits

The issue of long and delayed interim orders attracted the Supreme Court’s (SC) attention in a Petition challenging an order passed by the Delhi High Court in march this year (In M/S. INTEX TECHNOLOGIES (INDIA) LTD. & ANR.  VERSUS M/S. AZ TECH (INDIA) & ANR).

The Apex Court noticed that the order, despite being an interim order was a decision based on the merits of the case. The respondents had filed the suit seeking a permanent injunction against the appellants restraining them from using the mark “AQUA‟ in respect of mobile phones / cellular phones.

It was held by the court that improper and unexplained delay, particularly in IPR cases is fatal to an application for an interlocutory injunction.

The court notes that the interim order is virtually a decision on merits of the suit. According to the Court this is a disturbing trend which the Registrar General of the Delhi High Court should take note of. The SC has ordered the Registrar General of the Delhi High Court to report  total number of pending IPR suits, in the following manner:

  1. Divided into different categories;
  2. stage of each suit; and
  3. the period for which injunction/interim orders held/holding the field in each of the suits.

The Registrar General of the Delhi High Court will also indicate to the Court a reasonable way of ensuring  speedy disposal of the suits involving intellectual property rights which are presently pending.

 

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SC allows Cipla to withdraw its petition

The Supreme Court (SC) of India has allowed domestic drug manufacturer Cipla, which to withdraw its petition in respect of the patent dispute with Roche over the drug erlotinib hydrochloride.

The petition was filed by Cipla challenging the High Court’s order holding that it had infringed Roche’s patent. The two companies, Roche and Cipla, on May 30 however arrived at a settlement to close the patent dispute between them over the drug erlotinib hydrochloride. After the May 30 settlement, Cipla withdrew the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed against the said High Court’s order.

The battle continues…

For those of us who thought that Roche vs CIPLA dispute concerning Erlotinib Hydrochloride was over following from the findings by the Division Bench, here is an update –  CIPLA has now filed a SLP before the Supreme Court of India.

Stay tuned for more updates on this segment.

A PERMANENT INJUNCTION GRANTED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN INDIA

In a first of its kind, in the history of IP in India, a permanent Injunction has been granted ,in an after-trial order in MERCK vs. GLENMARK in relation to IN 209816.

Merck, represented by Anand and Anand,Merck vs Glenmark had sued Glenmark in 2013 for infringing a patent on Sitagliptin,a chemical compound in Januvia and Janumet. The Delhi High Court denied interim relief to Merck . Aggrieved by the denial of interim relief ,Merck filed an appeal seeking an injunction at the Division Bench of the High Court. The bench reversed the order of the single Judge and granted interim injunction.

A Special Leave Petition was filed at the Supreme Court of India by Glenmark soon after the order along with an interim application seeking a direction to permit commencing of processing of unfinished formulation of Sitagliptin Phosphate Monohydrate to meet certain institutional commitments and also to effect supplies pursuant to tenders settled with the Petitioner.

The Apex Court essentially held that since the hearing of the main suit is at its final stage it would not be appropriate to pass any order allowing the reliefs sought in the said application as the same would not only be inappropriate but may also have the effect of creating certain new rights. The Apex Court however,allowed Glenmark to sell its inventory held by distributors and retailers.

With regard to the main petition the Supreme Court maintained the temporary halt to Glenmark ‘s production of generics of Sitagliptin. The Apex Court however asked the Delhi High Court to expedite the recordal of evidence and arguments and directed the proceedings in the matter to progress on a day-to-day basis.

The main matter has been disposed of and the order pronounced today grants permanent injunction to Merck against Glenmark.