• Mohan Dewan

The Principles of Natural Justice should be followed by the authorities while holding the dais of justice. Speaking Order is considered to be the third pillar of natural justice as it enumerates the relevant reasonings which paved the way for arriving at a certain decision. The paucity of necessary reasonings in any decision raises a doubt of arbitrariness, which is a nightmare for any justice delivery system. This article focuses on a similar issue which was brought to the kind notice of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court in the matter of Rosemount Inc. v. Deputy Controller of Patents and Designs (C.A. (COMM.IPD-PAT) 97/2022)

The matter involves the rejection of a patent claim application which was filed by Rosemount Inc., a US-based company, before the Patent Office, New Delhi for patenting one of their processes and devices. The Deputy Controller of Patents and Designs objected to the patentability of the application in terms of section 2 (1)(j) and section 2 (1) (ja) of the Patents Act, 1970 by stating that the invention lacks inventive step and is obvious to a person skilled in the art in view of cited prior arts in the examination report. In consequence, after hearing the matter, the Controller through an order dated 28th April 2023 denied patent u/s 15 of The Patents Act 1970 in the impugned application.

The Order lacked reasoning for refusing to grant the patent in the subject application. Though, the impugned order takes note of the prior art documents but wants of reasoning how the subject patent is covered by the said prior art documents. An appeal was preferred by the applicant before the Hon’ble Delhi High Court in consonance with these issues which can be summarised in a nutshell that the order by the Controller was not a speaking order.

The arguing counsel on behalf of the appellant vehemently opposed the cryptic impugned order which was passed by the controller without going into the explanations and justifications offered on behalf of the appellant with regard to cited prior arts. The impugned order simply arrived at the conclusion that the subject invention lacks inventive steps. The Hon’ble Court while arriving at the judgment in the present matter relied on the cited judgments in Agriboard International LLC v. Deputy Controller of Patents and Designs (2022 SCC Online Del 940) & Blackberry Ltd. v. Assistant Controller of Patents and Designs (C.A. (COMM.IPD-PAT) 301/2022).

The Hon’ble Court while placing reliance on the aforementioned arguments and precedents opined that “the lack of reasons not only prejudices the right of the appellant to identify grounds of appeal, but also prevents the Court from discerning how the concerned officers have applied their minds and reached the impugned conclusion”. Henceforth, the Hon’ble Court set aside the impugned order dated 28th April 2023 which rejected the patent application of the appellant and remanded back the matter to the Patent Office for fresh Consideration.

The Order in the present matter again established the foremost principle of the justice delivery system i.e., the speaking order is the essence and soul of any judgement.



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