Patents Act overrides the Competition Act
Context: The Delhi High Court ruled that the Patents Act, will take precedence over the Competition Act concerning the exercise of rights by a patent holder. About the Case:
News Source: The Livemint
- The case involved appeals by agrochemical company Monsanto and telecom company Ericsson, along with the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
- CCI initiated “antitrust investigations” against Monsanto and Ericsson for alleged anti-competitive practices related to patent licensing.
- The key issue was whether CCI had jurisdiction to investigate actions of a patentee or if it was solely under the Patents Act.
|What are antitrust laws? Antitrust laws are rules that promote competition by restricting a firm’s ability to dominate the market. This frequently entails dismantling monopolistic firms as well as making sure mergers and acquisitions don’t excessively concentrate market power.
- The Court ruled that the Patents Act must prevail over the Competition Act on the issue of the exercise of rights by a patentee under the Patents Act.
- Complete Code in Patents Act: The court stated that Chapter XVI of the Patents Act comprehensively deals with unreasonable conditions in patent licensing, abuse of patentee status, inquiries, and relief.
- Definition: A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention under the Patents Act 1970.
- The patent provides the holder with the sole authority to use, sell, or license the invention, preventing others from doing so without permission.
- Patentee under the Patents Act: According to the Act, a patentee is the person whose name appears on the register of patents as the “grantee or proprietor of the patent.”
- Register of Patents: The register of patents is maintained by a government patent office, which is present in four cities across the country.
About Competition Commission of India (CCI):