Pursuant to Novartis' litigation, challenging the
appointment of S. Chandrasekaran as the expert Technical Member to
hear the matter, the Supreme Court has thrown light on the
scenario. The Intellectual Property Appellant Board (IPAB)
constituted under the provisions of Section 116 of the Patents Act,
1970 provides for the establishment of an Appellate Board and also
provides for a Technical Member and the qualifications for such an
On 2nd April, 2007, Central Government had appointed S.
Chandrasekaran as a Technical Member (Patent) of IPAB vide
notification of even date. On 3rd April, 2007, a notification was
issued whereby 2nd April, 2007 was notified as the date for the
transfer of appeals pending before any High Court to IPAB. The
appeals were transferred to the IPAB by the High Court vide its
order dated 4th April, 2007. Further, Misc. Petition Nos.1 and 2 of
2007 were filed on 16th June, 2007, before the IPAB praying for the
appointment of another Technical Member in place of S.
Chandrasekaran on the ground that the said Member had earlier sworn
on an affidavit in the matter taking a particular position in the
dispute which has a direct bearing on the case in hand.
The Supreme Court examining the nature of the dispute as being
regarding patentability of the process as well as the product
opined that in such complicated disputes there needed to be present
vide a Technical Member being present in the IPAB bench. In
furtherance of such an appointment, the Supreme Court called for a
list of Controllers duly qualified as required under Section 116 of
the Patents Act (and as amended by the Patents (Amendment) Act,
2006). There from, the Supreme Court opted to appoint Dr. P.C.
Chakraborti, Deputy Controller of Patents & Designs, who holds
a doctorate in Chemistry to be appointed as the Technical Member,
laying down the relevant terms of appointment.
The Supreme Court also directed that all preliminaries be
completed by the parties in the month of October, 2008 and the IPAB
duly reconstituted under our orders to include Dr. P.C.
Chakraborti, would hear and decide the pending appeals beginning
3rd November, 2008 on a day- to-day basis.
The Supreme Court also expressed that it hoped that the Board
would be able to dispose off the Appeals within a period of one
month from the date of the commencement of hearing. The Court noted
that neither of the two parties objected to the appointment of Dr.
P.C. Chakraborti to act as a Technical Member in the pending
Appeals. This decision came about vide Natco Pharma Ltd. v. Union
of India and Ors. [Civil Appeal No.s 6004-6018 of 2008]
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