HC stops ZTT marketing Sterlite Tech’s optical fibre patent

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New Delhi, June 4 (IANS) The Delhi High Court, in an interim order, has restrained ZTT India Pvt Ltd from marketing optical fibres manufactured using technology which has been patented by Sterlite Technologies Ltd, saying that “this experimentation with interim orders in patent infringement suits is the need of the hour.”

Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw’s order came on a plea filed Sterlite Technologies against ZTT India for infringement of its patented technology related to manufacturing optical fibres.

The court has restrained ZTT from infringing Sterlite’s patented technology till its further orders.

Sterlite told the court that the patents are method patents and the optical fibre being marketed by the ZTT has the same technical parameters as Sterlite’s optical fibres produced with the patented technology.

Sterlite argued that the technical parameters in question cannot be achieved without the use of patented technology.

According to the court, it is not possible to form even a prima facie opinion at this stage.

Justice Endlaw said: “Considering, that the life of a patent is limited and further considering the time taken in determination, whether there is infringement of patent, non-grant of interim injunction often results in, the defendant, even if ultimately found to have infringed the patent, till the said determination, continuing to reap fruits of infringement.”

The court also observed that “the price at which the infringer is able to market is often considerably lower than the price at which innovator is able to market, because of the cost of innovation built into it. The innovator, being so driven out of the market, is thus, till the determination, deprived of the fruits of the innovation.”

“If the defence is of invalidity of the patent, then also the interim order can be made subject to the condition that on the defendant establishing invalidity, no consequences of violation of the interim order restraining infringement shall follow, again ensuring no harm to the defendant,” it said.

According to the order, “a patentee, even after succeeding in the suit, in the absence of any interim order, is entitled only to profits earned by the defendant and which do not reflect the profits which the plaintiff would have earned if there had been no infringement.”

“The infringer is able to market at a much lower price, resulting in earning far less profits that which the patentee would have earned if there had been no infringement,” the court said.

The patentee would then also be entitled to punitive action against defendant for violation of the interim order, Justice Endlaw said.

“Each defendant, in its heart, knows the truth and if in spite of knowing that it is in infringement, violates the interim order, will, besides taking the risk of financial liability, also run the risk of penal consequences,” he said.

–IANS

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