The Madras High Court has refused to restrain Mishra Dhatu Nigam (MIDHANI) Limited, a Hyderabad-based enterprise, from manufacturing and selling titanium knee prosthesis on a cost-to-cost basis for cancer patients.
Justice V Ramasubramanian of Madurai bench, who dismissed a suit filed by proprietor of a Chennai-based private enterprise yesterday, held that the plaintiff had not made out a case as MIDHANI selling the prosthesis at Rs 39,200, whereas the private enterprise sold it for Rs 1.36 lakh each.
MIDHANI submitted it was involved in manufacture of special metals and super alloys to meet the requirements of defence, aerospace, atomic energy, electronics and other strategic industries.
It began making prosthesis as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility initiative undertaken at the instance of former President A P J Abdul Kalam.
"If we see the history of prostheses since their emergence in 1951, the noted implants had undergone slender advancements from time to time to make them sync with human anatomy and turn them into perfect replacements for the natural bone and knee joints."
"The plaintiff had made contribution in making it useful in a novel way. He was certainly entitled to a valid patent," the judge held. But the defendants were also entitled to the benefit of dissimilarities that existed between their prosthesis and the plaintiff’s prosthesis," the judge said.
"The distinguishing features of the MIDHANI product may not qualify their product for a valid patent registration. But they will certainly provide a shield for a defendant against an action in infringement of the patent", the judge said.