Answer ... A 30 March 2016 judgment passed by Justice Vibhu Bhakru in a writ filed by Ericsson against CCI, order dated 16 January 2014 (WP (C) 1006 of 2014), dealt with issues of patent rights and competition law.
The judgment confirms that there is no inconsistency between the Patents Act and the Competition Act. Both statutes operate in different domains. While the Patents Act deals with the grant of rights to inventors in areas of technology, the Competition Law prohibits anti-competitive agreements and arrangements that result in the concentration of market power with one entity (para 144 at p111). Therefore, the ambit of competition law cannot whittle down the scope of any other law, including the Patents Act (para 147 at p113).
Issues relating to a patent owner’s unwillingness to grant a licence to a prospective willing licensee on reasonable terms are dealt with by the controller general of patents, designs and trademarks within his powers under the Patents Act on the grant of compulsory licences (para 159 at p119). However, the nature of an agreement, which is challenged as anti-competitive will be assessed under competition law (para 172 at p128).