The patent battle between Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) and Italy's well-known pet-container maker Cobarr SPA Km, over the invention of a polymeric material suitable for preparing biaxially-oriented films and containers, has taken a new twist. The Italian firm has now filed four new miscellaneous petitions against the revocation petition by Reliance Industries.
The two companies first locked horns when Reliance filed a revocation of patent application before the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) arguing that the patent granted to Cobarr (formerly known as Sinco Ricerche SPA) was a prior art, not an invention, and needed to be removed from the Patent Registry. Subsequently, hearing on the matter was held with both parties submitting their affidavits.
Biaxially oriented films are used for flexible packaging, electrical insulation and other industrial applications. These are polyester films made from stretched polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and are used for their high tensile strength, chemical and dimensional stability, transparency, reflectivity, gas and aroma barrier properties. A slew of companies manufacture these films and other polyester films under different brand names.
When the case came up for further hearing before the IPAB on Thursday, the counsel for Cobarr, Archana Shanker, pleaded that the company would want the miscellaneous petitions (MPs) heard first before the patent tribunal bench, before going into the merits of the original revocation case. According to her, the points raised in MPs would be enough to nullify the revocation petition. However, the counsel for Reliance, Prashanth Patankar, submitted that they had been provided the copy of MPs on the eleventh hour only and, hence, needed time to file counter.
Agreeing to the submission by the counsel of Reliance, the IPAB bench of Justice KN Basha, chairman and DPS Parmar, technical member-patents, adjourned the further hiring to December, asking the counsel to file the counter-affidavit in another eight weeks' time.