Patent Infringement –Strix Ltd. vs. Maharaja Appliances Limited
Recently Delhi High Court have passed verdict in a patent infringement suit- being Strix Ltd. vs. Maharaja Appliances Limited [CS(COMM) 403 / 2018 AND CC 54 / 2009]. Here the Plaintiff- Strix. Ltd is engaged in the manufacture and sale of temperature control systems and cordless interfaces for kettles, jugs and a wide range of water boiling appliances, and is having presence across globe and supplying materials to renowned companies as well.
The Plaintiff was granted a patent being Patent No. 192511/95 here in India in respect of ‘Liquid heating Vessels’ on 2005 and claimed to have used the patented technology since 2002; and the Defendant – Maharaja Appliances Limited have been purchasing this patented controlled product from plaintiff in the years 2005-2006.
The crux of the patent is that it relates to an invention in respect of a sensor which is mounted along with the heating elements. Upon the element getting heated, the sensor automatically switches off the kettle. The product has an electrical sensor which is linked to the element and senses the increase in the temperature of the said element. It is however not a sensor vis-à-vis the liquid in the vessel.
Defendant was caught selling products with this patent technology followed by cease and desist notice, which upon non-compliance resulted in this suit. Defendant suffered injunction, and contested the suit filing written statement and also filed counter claim CC No. 54/2009 seeking revocation of the patent .
Defendant has not denied that it is infringing the Patent but has only raised an objection as to the validity of it through 3 prior arts; out of which 2 are found to be later dated and remaining is based on different technology altogether.
Defendant alleged purchase of products from China based company claiming that latter is holding patent for the allegedly infringing products. However, throughout the suit proceeding Defendant failed to disclose the patent details of the seller Chinese company. Further, it was pointed out by the plaintiff that in China only, plaintiff have successfully enforced their patent against third party. Hence, there is no scope for other Chinese company to have patent identical to plaintiff company.
Upon comparison of the original and the infringed products, it was found that in Defendant’s kettle contains two sensors are mounted in a similar manner as that of the original on a common carrier which is a molded member. The electrical energy is provided through a cordless electrical connector which is mounted and integrated with the carrier. The two sensors bear proper contact with the base of the container. Both the sensors are individually operable and do not depend on each other for functioning purposes. Thus, it was clear that the Defendant’s infringing product contains all the features claimed in the Plaintiff’s patented controls. Plaintiff are granted compensation.