A division bench of the Delhi High Court on Friday held that the ordinary parameters for grant of interim injunctions should be followed in patent infringement suits as well.
"Although, there are special features in litigation involving infringement of patents, that still would not obviate the Court dealing with the question of grant of interim injunction to record the three important elements as have been stressed in a large number of decisions of the Supreme Court", observed the bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Talwant Singh, setting aside the injunction order granted against Natco Pharma Ltd in a suit filed by Bayer Corporation.
The three guidelines for interim injunction, as laid down by several SC precedents are:
The single bench had granted the interim order in favour of Bayer despite observing that the defendant's objections could be a "ground for invalidating the patent" and "defeating the suit".
Senior Advocate C S Vaidyanathan, appearing for the appellant before the division bench, submitted that the interim order was granted even though the single judge had not formed satisfaction about 'prima facie case'. The impugned order overlooked the fact that the defendant's product is already in the market.
Dr. A.M. Singhvi and Mr. P.V. Kapur, learned Senior counsel appearing for Bayer submitted that the elements of prima facie case, balance of convenience and irreparable hardship to the Plaintiff in support of the grant of interim injunction in its favour, even if not so stated in express terms, were discernable from the impugned order.
As regards the order, the division bench observed :
"the learned Single Judge in the impugned order does not set out any prima facie view. On the contrary, it records in para 9 that „at this stage, it is not possible to form an opinion, even prima facie‟. As regards the other two elements viz., balance of convenience and irreparable hardship, there is no mention of these, even impliedly in the impugned order."
"'A reading of the impugned order does not reflect that the Court has formed such an opinion on the three elements", it added.
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