The court held that the Patents Act of 1970 is a special law, and any issue related to a party’s exercise of its patent rights should be addressed exclusively under the patent law, rather than the Competition Act of 2002.
The Delhi High Court has ruled that the competition regulator does not have jurisdiction to inquire into the business of licensing patents, as this is a matter solely governed by the Patents Act.
The court said that the Patents Act,1970, takes precedence over the Competition Act, 2002, when it comes to the exercise of rights by a patent holder under the Patents Act.
By delivering this judgment, the court has resolved the dispute regarding whether the CCI can investigate allegations of abuse of a dominant position based on a company’s patent holdings.
A single judge of Delhi HC refused to stay the investigation and held that CCI was not wrong in ordering this investigation as it has only taken a prima facie view. Thus permitting the anti-trust watchdog to continue investigating them. The companies then approached the division bench against this order.
The two-judge bench after a detailed consideration concluded that any issue pertaining to the exercise of patent law must necessarily be investigated under Patents Act and not from the purview of the competition act.