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In a decision dated the 9th of March, 2012, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB), dismissed a revocation petition under Section 64 of the Patents Act, 1970. The petition had been filed by The Travancore Mats & Matting Co. against patent no: 206494 which had been granted by the Patent Office for an invention titled “A method of making coir tufted rubber mats”.
The reason for dismissing the revocation petition was the failure of the petitioner to file cogent evidence supporting the pleadings of his revocation petition. In pertinent part, the IPAB stated the following:
15. During the hearing, the Counsel for the applicant argued the case without substantiating it with any supporting documents to prove the prior public knowledge and public use. No documentary evidence in support of anticipation and obviousness was provided.
16. The counsel for respondent 2 argued that in case, the Petitioner possessed any evidence to demonstrate his allegations; he would have included the same in the Petition. The fact that there are no substantial allegations proves that the Petitioner does not have any worthwhile submission to elaborate its allegations. The allegations are unsupported by legal and/or technical merits and also not substantiated by any documentary evidence. Though the petitioner alleges that there are mats similar to the Product already existing in the market, the Petitioner has failed to produce any documentary evidence in support of the same. Since no material evidence was submitted and hence no cause of action for revocation arises and the said petition may be dismissed with costs.
17. It is trite law that person who seeks revocation must prove it. The onus of proving invalidation of a patent is on the applicant. The applicant in this case failed miserably to prove his case. Mere allegation is not sufficient to dislodge a validly granted patent. We find no reasonable ground to interfere with the grant of the patent. The revocation application ORA/44/2009/PT/CH along with the Miscellaneous Petition No.37/2009 in ORA/44/2009/PT/CH is therefore dismissed with costs.
Such orders are a welcome development and a departure from the earlier judgments of IPAB where patents have been revoked without any evidence being provided by petitioners. We had blogged about once such case over here. Hopefully, with more such decisions such the present case, the IPAB will force IP lawyers to start filing strong evidence in both patent and trademark matters.