Monday, October 28, 2013

Locus standi for patent invalidation clarified by Thai Supreme Court

The Thai Supreme Court has set rules on how to show a clear interest for the purposes of bringing patent invalidation proceedings.

The court overruled the Central IP / IT court in the case of Novartis (Thailand) Co., Ltd. vs. Mr. Christian Noel LeGrand. It held that an interested person who has the right to file a petition for cancellation of a patent must be a person whose rights are directly impacted by the grant of the patent. In this case there was insufficent evidence that the plaintiff (Novartis) needed to use the invention set out in the petty patent for its products. Therefore it was not an interested person so had no right to seek cancellation.
The petty patent related to a children’s book made from foam and which Novartis was giving away as a promotion. Although it is not clear from the reports of the decision, presumably the patent owner objected and Novartis’ response was to seek to invalidate the patent. They may well have had evidence that it was not valid, but the Thai court clearly required that they needed to show a proper interest. In this case they could not as free promotional giveaways were not sufficient.     



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