Monsanto filed a lawsuit in India seeking both injunctive relief and an account for the infringement of its patents. The trial court decreed and the case was subsequently dismissed by the appellate court. The appellate court, however, certified the case to the Indian Supreme Court on the basis that substantial and complex questions of law were involved. On review, the Supreme Court disagreed that the questions were substantial, but nonetheless accepted the case to identify and to clarify the real issues presented by the underlying facts.
The questions presented are essentially twofold with some subsidiary issues. The first question is whether Monsanto held a patent. The Supreme Court held that there was no patent. A second issue was whether, under the Patents Act 1970, the defendant had a basis to revoke a patent. This issue was comprised of two further issues. First, under section 64(e) of the Patents Act of 1970, was this process generally known and therefore subject to revocation The Supreme Court found that this process was generally known. Second, under section 64(1)(f) of the Patents act of 1970, did Monsanto extend and improve this known process by some "inventive step" The Supreme Court found no evidence of an inventive step and held that revocation was justified in any event.
The Indian Supreme Court, in addressing the legal merits of the case, see