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Thomson Prathiba M Singh on Patent Law ( Set of 2 Vols ) Edition 2024

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Thomson Prathiba M Singh on Patent Law ( Set of 2 Vols ) Edition 2024

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Thomson Prathiba M Singh on Patent Law ( Set of 2 Vols ) Edition 2024

Thomson Prathiba M Singh on Patent Law ( Set of 2 Vols ) Edition 2024

Having started back in 2015, Delhi High Court judge Justice Prathiba M. Singh’s book on Patent Law is finally out. It has been published by Thomson Reuters in two volumes and was launched on 9th March 2024 by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at Pragati Maidan. Also present were foreign dignitaries, including Annabelle Bennett (Former Judge of the Federal Court of Australia, Sydney), Colin Birss (Lord Justice, Court of Appeal, England and Wales), and Klaus Grabinski (President of the Unified Patent Court (EU), Luxembourg).

Justice Singh needs no introduction to the Indian IP community.  She has been recognized by MIP among the 50 Most Influential People in Intellectual Property for the years 2021 and 2022 and her orders have been frequently discussed here on the blog (see here).  This development is particularly noteworthy, as it may be the first time that a sitting judge has written an academic text, particularly on IP matters. This is a more common practice in countries like the US, UK, and Australia, where it is not uncommon for sitting judges to release academic texts apart from fictional pieces and autobiographical material.

The purpose of the book, in J. Singh’s own words (1 hour 42 minutes), is to trace the history of patent law in India and to capture the rich jurisprudence that has been developed by the Indian courts, which is yet to be fully exposed to the global ecosystem. As per the news commentaries, the book runs 2,600 pages long and its two volumes are a commentary on Patent Law, drawing from 500 legal decisions to delve into key aspects such as patentability, infringement, and remedies, and a special emphasis on Section 3(d), which J. Singh herself has commented on (here: (1 hour 33 minutes) as being her favorite. As noted by other sources, the publication includes 70-page snapshots for a condensed view and acknowledges contributions from judges like Justice DY Chandrachud, and others. Also, the book discusses the challenges of AI in patent law, debating the protection of AI-created innovations amid their rapid growth (chapter 20).

Interesting moments from the ceremony that give us better insight into the book’s contents include Judge Benette’s appraisal (42 minutes 37 seconds) of the book for its international relevance. In the chapter titled “Patentable Invention,” J Singh offers insights into India’s “nuanced approach, balancing innovation with legal, moral, social, and ethical considerations”, contrasting with practices elsewhere. She also discusses international judgments within the scope of her analysis (48 minutes 48 seconds). Fortunately, Justice Singh has also included a clear disclaimer in the book’s foreword, stating that any lawyer quoting this book during a hearing does so “at one’s own risk and peril” (1 hour 42 minutes 48 seconds).Justice Singh, in an interview about her new book, commented on the “importance of patent law for the common man.” But on that note, the books, having been priced at INR 6,500, become rather out of reach for the “common man” to refer to. It is not just the common man for that matter; the price makes it rather unlikely for even young lawyers or law students to buy and refer unless they have access to a library that purchases it. Regardless, J Singh’s emphasis on fostering academic publications and discussions on patents related to pharma, climate change, and other human-centric aspects according to her speech at the launch is a commendable step forward.

 

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