The Supreme Court Tuesday set aside an order of the division bench of the Delhi High Court invalidating US-based Monsanto Technology’s parent rights over technology used in BT Cotton seeds. A bench of Justices R F Nariman and Navin Sinha also remitted the matter regarding patent claims back to a Single Judge saying it involved complicated questions of law and required detailed examination.
“We have considered the respective submissions made on behalf of the parties. Though very elaborate submissions have been made with regard to facts and the technical processes involved in the patent in question, the provisions of the Act, the PPVFR (Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights) Act and a large volume of case laws for construction of patents, the obligations under the World Trade Organisation (WTO), General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), TradeRelated Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement, leading to the Patents Amendment Act, 2002 on 25.06.2002, in view of nature of the order proposed to be passed, we do not consider it necessary to deal with the same at this stage, and leave open all questions of facts and law to be urged for consideration in appropriate proceedings”, the court said.
The court said “the suit involved complicated mixed questions of law and facts with regard to patentability and exclusion of patent which could be examined in the suit on basis of evidence”.
Monsanto has speeches the Supreme Court against the order of the HC Division Bench invalidating it’s parent claim, The matter relates to a dispute between Monsanto Technology LLC and Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd. Nuziveedu Seeds under a 2004 sublicence agreement with Monsanto u see which the former could develop “Genetically Modified Hybrid Cotton Planting Seeds” with help of the technology provided by Monsanto and to commercially exploit the same subject to the limitations prescribed in the agreement. It also provided for payment of licence fee by Nuziveedu for use of the plaintiffs’ patented technology. The agreement after extension was ultimately terminated by the plaintiffs on 14.11.2015 due to disputes regarding payment of licence fee.
Monsanto then filed an application for injunction seeking to restrain the defendants from using their registered trade mark in violation of the registered patent during the pendency of the suit.