Delhi HC Slaps Rs 1 Lakh Fine on Google for Patent Misrepresentation


The Delhi High Court imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on Google for misrepresenting facts and for its failure to disclose information regarding the rejection of the patent by the European Patent Office (EPO).

Justice Prathiba M Singh dismissed Google’s appeal against the order of the Assistant Controller of Patent and Design rejecting its application. Google had applied for a patent titled “Managing Instant Messaging Sessions on multiple devices.”

The High Court observed that Google’s application was dismissed due to a lack of inventive steps. However, Google claimed that the application was abandoned before the EPO. “Considering the submission that the EPO application was abandoned and coupled with the fact that the corresponding EU application for the subject patent comprised not one but two applications, including a divisional application, and that they both were rejected for lack of inventive step, costs are also liable to be imposed in the present appeal,” Justice Singh stated.

The court further noted, “The Appellant in the present appeal not only presented wrong facts to the Court but also failed to disclose information regarding the rejection of the EU parent application as well as the divisional application which was filed subsequently.”

Google’s application was rejected by the Assistant Controller of Patent and Design for lack of inventive steps. It had challenged the order before the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB), and the appeal was transferred to the High Court after the abolition of IPAB.

The High Court dismissed the appeal, stating, “The Controller is correct when he holds that the step contemplated in the subject patent application lacks inventive step and is obvious to a person skilled in the art.” “The essence of the above discussion is that despite the submissions made on behalf of the Appellant, the subject invention is not entitled to a patent given the lack of inventive step. Thus, the present appeal is not tenable and is liable to be dismissed,” the bench concluded.

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