Court extends injunction order on dual SIM card phones

April 29th, 2009 - 9:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, April 29 (IANS) The Madras High Court Wednesday extended its interim order of March 23 restraining mobile phone manufacturers Samsung, Mirc Electronics and Spice Mobile as well as several retailers from manufacturing and selling multiple SIM holding mobile phones.
Electronics engineer Somasundaram Ramkumar filed a case against 13 mobile phone manufacturers like Samsung Electronics, importers, retailers and web portals for allegedly infringing on his patent on mobile phones with multiple SIM cards allocated to different communication networks (Indian patent certificate No.214388).

“The case came up for hearing and Justice M. Jeyapaul extended the interim order till June 9 when the case will be taken up again,” P.V. Balasubramaniam, Ramkumar’s lawyer and partner in law firm BFS Legal told IANS.

He said the defendants contended that there is no novelty involved and also claimed that the dual SIM technology was known earlier too.

The defending parties want the patent to be revoked.

According to Ramkumar, the patent is for plurality of SIM cards in a single mobile handset as well as plurality of bluetooth devices in headphone and earphone jacks.

Imported consignments of dual SIM card mobile phones have been impounded by customs upon Ramkumar’s complaint.

According to industry estimates, the Indian market size for dual SIM card phones is around 80,000 units per month, both branded and unbranded put together.

G.K. Muthukumaar, counsel for Samsung, told IANS: “Our client has applied to the Intellectual Property Affiliate Board to revoke the patent granted to Ramkumar. In the Madras High Court also, we have sought a cancellation of the patent by way of a counter claim in Ramkumar’s suit.”

Muthukumaar said a patent can be granted only if it is a new invention.

“The dual SIM card mobile technology is in the public domain for several years. Technically, it is a prior art. And what Ramkumar claims is not an invention nor does it have an inventive step.”

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