Libertatem Magazine

Delhi High Court Dismisses Patent Litigation by Centrient Pharma

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Centrient Pharmaceuticals India Private Limited filed a second lawsuit against Dalas Biotech Limited in the High Court of Delhi in New Delhi, India for patent infringement of Indian Patent Number 318914. This patent, which is owned by Centrient, claims an innovative enzyme for use in a process for manufacturing the amoxicillin trihydrate active pharmaceutical ingredient.

Case facts:

It is the case filed by the CENTRIENT PHARMACEUTICALS NETHERLANDS B.V. ANR. (Plaintiff) seeking permanent injunctions against the DALAS BIOTECH LIMITED (Defendant) restraining it from violating and infringing the rights of the plaintiff in its patent.

Plaintiff’s side:

According to the plaintiff, they discharged the onus to prove infringement of the suit patent in its plaint by way of test reports. However, the defendant has completely failed to discharge the burden of proof as stipulated in Section 104A (1) (b) of the Patents Act. In substance, the submission in support of this application is that the defendant, who has filed a written statement disclosed its alleged process for the manufacture of Amoxicillin Trihydrate, which according to him, is ambiguous and not suitable for filing with the regulatory authorities.

The submission was qualified by stating that the defendant purposefully and deceitfully adds optionality to key sections of the process that are covered by the suit patent of the plaintiffs.

It was stated that the defendant has been using immobilized enzyme and deliberately not mentioned it to fall outside the scope of the claims The submission was qualified by stating that the defendant depicting in their written statement that after the crude Amoxicillin Trihydrate is separated, “Penicillin G Acylase enzyme is washed with water”.

According to the petitioner, this is an indication that the defendant is using an enzyme that has been immobilized and is hiding the fact from the Court.

The petitioner stated that the defendant has not disclosed the correct process being used by it for manufacturing of Amoxicillin Trihydrate and has been evasive in its written statement regarding infringement of the suit patent.

Defendant’s side:

Defendant opposed the application filed by the plaintiffs by stating that the documents sought by the plaintiffs are not relevant for the effective adjudication of the dispute.

They stated that the allegation of the plaintiffs in the plaint is qua infringement of its patent wherein it has been asserted that the claimed process is being used by the defendant to produce Amoxicillin Trihydrate, is baseless and a written statement has been filed by the defendant to the plaint explaining the position.

The defendant stated that the burden to prove the patent infringement lies on the plaintiffs by first proving that the product obtained by the defendant is identical to the product obtained by the patented process. According to him, the plaintiffs have filed a manipulated test report to discharge its burden, which is challenged by the defendant.

The defendant side also relied upon the judgement of the supreme court in the case of Raj Narain vs Smt. Indira Gandhi and anr. to contend that the questions were not relevant as interrogatives. 

Court’s decision:

Having heard both the parties, the issue which arises for the decision was whether the defendant should be directed to answer the interrogatories or not. 

The Court came to the view that the application filed by the plaintiffs calling upon the defendant to file a response to the interrogatories cannot be allowed. And they didn’t see any merit in it and hence dismissed the case.

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