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  • SC IP

P&G v. Controller

Updated: Jan 4

The Hon’ble Delhi High Court, in an appeal filed by Procter and Gamble Co. (“Appellant”), against the refusal of their patent application by the Controller of Patents and Designs (“Controller”), emphasized on timely communication of objections, swift decision-making after pre-grant proceedings, and expeditious patent grants.

A patent application filed by the Appellant was refused on the ground that the subject matter of the application lacked inventive step, four years after the oral hearing for the application was concluded. It was the Appellant’s case that the order was procedurally flawed as the order in October 2018, four years after the oral hearing for the application was concluded.

The Appellant also emphasized that on 5th October 2018, certain clarifications were sought from the Applicant through an e-mail communication. The said email was sent on a Friday and before the Applicant could even respond to the said objection, the decision came on the next working day i.e., on Monday, 8th October 2018. Furthermore, the Appellant stated that under Section 8(2) of the Patents Act, 1970 which was the subject matter of the e-mail notice dated 5th October 2018, the Appellant had six months to furnish the requisite details and to respond to the e-mail of the patent office.

The Court scrutinized the patent prosecution process, underscoring the absence of specific timeframes post-oral hearings’ conclusion and urged the Controller to comply with the timelines provided by in the guidelines. Furthermore, the Court proposed maintaining a reasonable period (not beyond three to six months) to prevent arbitrary delays, such as the case in hand. Furthermore, the court set aside the order and instructed the Patent Office to update the application status and outlined a timeline for the Appellant to respond and a fresh hearing.

The judgement can be accessed here :

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