In a reprieve to German engineering and electronics giant Siemens, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has set aside the patent office order rejecting the company's application for an invention relating to a method for retrieving and delivering multimedia messages (MMS).
IPAB has ordered the Controller of Patents & Design, Delhi, to hear the application afresh, giving ample opportunity to Siemens to put forth its claims within the next six months. The invention, for which Siemens holds a US patent, relates to a method for retrieving and delivering of MMS using the session initiation protocol.
The IPAB bench of Justice KN Basha, chairman and DPS Parmar, technical member-patents, observed that there was merit in the argument of the global company that they were deprived of detailed hearing, by way of not including the amended two sets of claims relating to the proposed invention by Patent & Design office, Delhi.
“It is seen that the patent office has passed the impugned order, rejecting the patent application of the company in a mechanical fashion and arbitrary manner. It was stated before us that the controller of patents has given a total go-by to the establishment norms by not giving enough opportunity. We see much force in the submission of the patent agent of the company and in view of that we hold that there occured flagrance violation of principles of natural justice,” the bench said.
While setting aside the patent office order and directing them to fix a new date for fresh hearing in the case, the IPAB bench made it clear that they were not discussing the merits of the claims made by the company to support its patent application for the invention.
MD Bhatnagar, patent agent's counsel appearing for Siemens, had submitted before IPAB that the patent office's first examination report on the application
had raised objections on the claims in 2008 and the
response was filed
However, the patent office fixed a hearing in August 28, 2009 and the company argued their case with two sets of amended claims. “Subsequent to that, the patent office on the very next day passed order rejecting the application pointing out the invention cannot be patented as it falls under
Section 3 (k) of Indian Patent Act”, he said.
He also said that the assistant commissioner of patent office had not taken into account his two amended claims and the points raised in the two-hour long argument. The impugned