No Patent for ‘Aquasure’

The post is co-authored by Ms. Zoya Nafis, LexOrbis Associate and Mr. Abhigyan Ashok, final year student of BBA.LL.B from Faculty of Law, the ICFAI University, Dehradun.

water04Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) study finds that 70% of water in Delhi is unfit for consumption[1]. As anticipated that the 3rd world war will probably be for water, these big guns have already started claiming their right over purified water.

Recently the Chennai Patent Office rejected a patent application filed by Eureka Forbes (hereinafter as patentee) for patenting its iron removal water purifier ‘Aquasure’ on the ground for lacking substantive amount of innovation, inventive step and inadequate discloser concerning the invention applied for.

The patent office refused to entertain the application of the patentee after considering the pre-grant opposition filled by one of the biggest competitor of the patentee, Hindustan Unilever (HUL) hearing their submissions as endeavoured.

Opposing the patent, Hindustan Unilever contended that ‘the usage of ion exchange resin for the removal of iron as well its usage in gravity water filters is well known in prior arts’, and it even argued that the patentee also failed to provide comparative test with respect to the closest prior art as well as the data in relation to its distinguishing feature along with details of the novel result accomplished from the alleged claimed invention. The impugned patent application failed to satisfy the basic patentability criteria of obviousness and inventive step as requisite by any invention to be patented.

The Assistant Controller of Patent and Designs while deciding the matter observed that the teaching disclosed in the cited document (prior art) is such that it becomes obvious for a person skilled to arrive at the invention claimed in the present application, and the opponent had rightly succeeded in establishing this ground of lack of inventive step in patentee’s application and hence the application was refused.

In furtherance to this it was acquiesced that the scope of the apparent invention cannot be extended to claim a water purifier device, especially when the inventive merit of the claimed invention lies within the water purification device installed therein per se.

[1] at 15:55 Hrs on 25.06.2015