India: Dhanpat Seth And Others Versus M/S Nilkamal Plastic Ltd.

Last Updated: 1 July 2019
Article by Maahi Mayuri

Recently in 2018, the Himachal Pradesh High Court passed a judgement revoking a patent granted for a device used for manually hauling of agricultural produce. The judgement has been a landmark for subjects involving both infringements as well as revocation of patents.

Facts of the Case

The plaintiffs filed a suit against the defendants for infringing their patent no .195917, on, 11.07.2005. The patent was a device which allowed the manual hauling of agricultural produce. It was granted a patent for its specifications as well as design. The inventor of the device was Mr.Dhanpat Seth. The defendants, Nilkamal Plastic Ltd. are manufacturers of various plastic products and supplied its products in various states across India. The defendant started manufacturing and selling a device which was similar to the plaintiffs patent and hence this suit.

Contentions of The Plaintiffs

The plaintiff alleged and contended that the defendant was aware of the plaintiff conceptualization and development since 1999 and despite the same, the defendants obtained information about the plaintiff's patent, manufactured it and sold it without any consent from the plaintiffs.  The plaintiff also contended that the device was one with a unique design and was invented in consultation with various farmers as well as doctors. The device was an innovation of the traditionally used Kilta (bamboo baskets) which were used to carry agriculture produce wood and other items. Kilta was really painful to carry because of its specifications and hence the inventor came up with this device and design after a survey of various designs in Himachal Pradesh. The inventor filed a patent application for the said device on 24th May 2002 and began the commercial production of the said invented device. Various costs were incurred by the plaintiffs until the commencement of commercial production began on 15th June 2002. The patent was granted on 19th September 2002.

The plaintiffs supplied various corporations through its distributors. Further, the plaintiffs alleged that they were under the mistaken impression that the suppliers of the invented device were required that they empanel with the National Horticulture Board, Govt. of India, Gurgaon before they could start taking orders. An application was submitted by them before the NHB board for the inclusion of their suppliers in the panel of parties. It was alleged by the plaintiffs that the board did not take any action on the said application deliberately and filed a suit in the Himachal Pradesh High Court which was disposed. The plaintiff's alleged that they later came to know that the fact was deliberately concealed by the department before this court that the board had already placed supply orders with the defendant.

The plaintiff thus alleged that the orders violated the norms and procedures which were required to be adopted and that they supplied goods worth 72 lakhs INR was a massive fraud. Further, it was also admitted by the defendants that the supplied goods worth 40 Lakhs INR to various other parties. The plaintiffs thus allege that the defendants have infringed their patent after copying it and making cosmetic changes to the same. The plaintiffs urged that they faced huge loss and damage due to the acts of the defendants and claimed for damages worth Rs. 1 Lakh INR for every 1000 long baskets copied and sold by the defendants.

Contentions of The Defendant

A counterclaim for revocation of the patent granted to the plaintiffs was filed by the defendants. The defendants contended that the patent granted to the plaintiffs was wrongfully granted and is liable to be revoked under Sec. 64 of the Patents Act as it lacked novelty or inventiveness. The defendants argued that the device manufactured by the plaintiffs were neither new manufacture nor art and that the pith and substance of the traditionally used device Kilta were very identical and similar to the invented device in each respect. No new result is obtained by the invented device as compared to the traditional Kilta. It was further argued that the plaintiffs cannot claim a monopoly over a simple basket and that the plaintiff can only claim rights over a product if it is inventive, novel and industrious.

Main Issues Before The Court

1. Whether there exists a legal and a valid Patent of a 'Kitla' with the plaintiffs?

2. Whether the plaintiff is entitled to the grant of a decree for a permanent prohibitory injunction restraining the defendant from infringing Patent No.195917 in any manner whatsoever?

3. Whether the plaintiff is entitled to damages on account of profits and mesne profits as prayed for?

4. Whether the goods supplied by the defendant by infringement of the Patent are
liable to seizure, and destruction?

Decision of The Court

The court pointed out:

1. The court observed that the patented product was bearing resemblance and similarity to the traditionally used device Kilta and that it is a mere discovery of a new form of a known substance. Further, the plaintiffs could not establish that the invented device results in the enhancement of efficacies of the traditionally used device Kilta.

2. Any orthopaedic superiority could not be proved by the plaintiffs as no orthopaedic surgeon supported the same on evidence. It was further observed that Kilta has been used in agriculture since times immemorial and that the said invention could not be said to be novel.

3. The invention falls within the open coinage of Sec 3(p) of the Patents Act and is not an invention.

4. Being traditional knowledge, the factum that the invention is an inventive step is negated.

5. Even though the raw material used is plastic and the invention is merely a duplication of Kilta and reiterates its known properties.

Thus the court revoked the patent granted to the plaintiffs "A Device for Manually Hauling of Agricultural Produce"' under Sec 64 r/w Sec. 13 of the Act.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions