Tony Mon George v. Assistant Controller of Patents & Designs

Tony Mon George v. Assistant Controller of Patents & Designs


  1. Whether the Controller erred in rejecting the patent under Section 15 of the Indian Patents Act, on the grounds of lack of inventive step.


Subject matter of patent: The present invention concerns a centrifugal separator for cleaning of gas (light phase) with special configuration of interspaces between the separation discs.


  1. The instant application 472/KOLNP/201 was filed at Indian Patent Office as PCT National phase application, rising out of PCT International Application No. PCT/SE2009/050907.
  2. The First Examination Report (FER) was issued with the objection of lack of inventive step relying on documents US5637217 (D1), WO0136103 (D2) and US6925993 (D3).
  3. The appellants filed the response of the FER and the respondent issued hearing notice, maintaining the objection of lack of inventive step. In addition to the document WO0136103 (D1), two other documents US2003178014 (D2) and US5735789 (D3) were added which were not part of FER.
  4. The respondents, considering the facts and finding, refused the grant of patent under Section 15 of the Patents Act, 1970 on the ground of lack of inventive step by the order dated 19.06.2020.


  1. Appellant submitted that the present invention, as recited in claim 1 and the dependent claims, is novel and non-obvious to a person skilled in the art over D1 as it would in fact lead a person skilled in the art away from the present invention, since the way of improving separation in D1 is in conflict with the presently claimed invention in claim 1.
  2. According to the appellant D2 fails to disclose at least the crucial feature of the present invention as D2 is silent on how the spacing members are arranged. Similarly, it is evident that D3 fails to disclose or teach at least the feature of claim 1 of the impugned application. Thus, claim 1 is non-obvious over D2 and D3.
  3. Thus, according to the appellant, it is not obvious for a person skilled in the art to arrive at the subject matter of at least one feature (interspace or disc configuration) of present claim 1 of the impugned application by combining the teachings of D2, or D1 and D3, either alone or collectively.
  4. The present invention shows technical advancement as it eliminates inactive regions having no contribution towards separation process, improves separation efficiency of separation disc, improves overall efficiency of separation process, over existing art or cited documents D1-D3.


  1. The claims 1-13 lack inventive step under section 2(1) (j) of The Patents Act 1970 as being obvious in view of the documents D1-D3. .


  1. The court relied on IPEA’s written opinion and opined that even in the view of document D1 as most relevant prior art, the complete specification of the present application mentions about the special configuration of interspaces between the separation discs and the preferred distance between the separation discs. Thus the claims are novel and non obvious.
  2. The court accepted the Auxiliary claim III which are restrictive than the claims present on record and directed the appellant to file the amended set of claims 1-9 as shown in Auxiliary claim III to the respondent and set aside the impugned order.

Citation: MANU/IC/0017/2021
IPAB order No: OA/15/2020/PT/KOL
Copy of judgement

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