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TVS Motor Company limited v. Controller of Patents and Designs

TVS Motor Company limited v. Controller of Patents and Designs

IMPORTANT ISSUE

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

SUMMARY

Subject matter of patent: The invention relates to trailing arm with anti-roll bar suspension system for anti-roll bar suspension system for three wheeler motor vehicle.

FACTUAL MATRIX

  1. The instant Indian application 555/CHE/2008 was filed by the appellant on March 2008.
  2. The First Examination Report (FER) was issued by the Controller with the objections of lack of novelty on Claim 1, the dependent claims do not provide any new feature with respect to the prior art. Hence these present claims are not allowed under section 2(1)(ja). Further, an objection was raised on Claim 6 to be not sufficiently definitive and does not meet the requirement of section 10(4)(c) of the Patents Act, 1970. The appellant submitted the response to the FER.
  3. The respondents through the impugned order on 20.03.2014 accepted the contention of appellants regarding inventive step but rejected the contention of Novelty and refused the application for lack of novelty under Section 15 of the of the Patents Act 1970.

SUBMISSION BY APPELLANT

  1. The impugned order issued by the controller does not provide any reasoning for the basis on which it was concluded the application lacks novelty. It is also submitted that none of the features of the independent Claim 1 of the present application would have been anticipated in view of existing knowledge in the cited prior art document.
  2. In comparison with prior art document D1, the impugned claim 1 of the present application has at least three elements which are not disclosed by the document D1.
  3. In the present invention, an anti-roll bar consists of tubes and reinforcement tubes which helps in improving bending stiffness of antiroll bar and enhance the safety and stability of vehicle without transferring shock forces to the chassis whereas in D1, the end portions are not supplied with reinforcement tubes.

SUBMISSIONS BY RESPONDENTS

  1. D1 relates to an antiroll bar suitable for a heavy duty trailing arm suspension system. It comprises a trailing arm having a forward portion secured to brackets at first pivotal connections by threaded fasteners. It also discloses an antiroll bar consisting of tubes and reinforcement tubes welded to the trailing arm. Hence the alleged invention claimed lacks novelty in view of the document D1-EP1380449 A2
  2. Having considered all the facts, submissions made by the agent during the hearing and as well as all the documents on record and also in view of my above findings, as the alleged invention claimed lacks novelty and the application is refused under section 15 of the Patents Act 1970.

HELD

  1. The court held that the prior art will be considered as anticipating novelty only if all the features of the invention under examination are present in the cited prior art document. The cited document and the claim 1 of the application, though relating to anti-roll bar, have distinguishing features. Hence, cited prior art in consideration with the present application is similar but not an identical document.
  2. The court directed the appellant to amend the principal claim so as to ‘Characterize’ the inventive feature(s) of the invention over the cited prior art and the feature(s) be supplemented with the reference numerals in parenthesis based on the relevant figures of the drawings.
  3. Further, the court directed deletion of Claim 6 and explained that the omnibus claim does not have any legal basis under the Patents Act. Such claims cannot be allowed as per Section 10(4)(c) of the Act, being non-definitive with respect to scope of invention for which the protection is claimed.
  4. The impugned order of the Respondent was set aside and the respondent was directed to grant the patent on the amended set of claims 1-5.

Citation: MANU/IC/0018/2021
IPAB order No: OA/40/2014/PT/CHN
Copy of judgement

1 thought on “TVS Motor Company limited v. Controller of Patents and Designs”

  1. Why omnibus claim has no legal basis under Patent Act and why such a claim cannot be allowed as per Section 10(4)(c) of the Indian Patent Act, 1970?

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