Court issues notices on SLT Group over infringement of layout design of integrated circuit

Monday, 16 July 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

In one of the first cases to be filed in Sri Lanka in respect of an infringement of the layout design of an integrated circuit, on or around 6 July, A.M.T. Nirmala, a young inventor from an engineering background, instituted action against Sri Lanka Telecom PLC and Sri Lanka Telecom (Services) Ltd. under the Intellectual Property Act No. 36 of 2003 seeking to restrain the Defendants from disclosing and/or making use of the undisclosed/confidential/ confidential/commercially sensitive information which has allegedly been illegally obtained from A.M.T. Nirmala, the Plaintiff.

The Plaintiff through his Plaint set out that the Plaintiff expending his skill and labour developed a power strip with lightning surge and over voltage protection device and introduced his device to the Defendants in order to form a Joint Venture with the Defendants. The Defendants being impressed with the Plaintiff’s invention had held a series of meetings and requested the Plaintiff to submit a prototype of his design in order for the Defendants to test the device. The Plaintiff through his Plaint had alleged that the Plaintiff had submitted his device to the Defendants, duly informing the Defendants that the Plaintiff’s device is part of a patent application and submitted confidentially for the purposes of testing.

The Plaintiff through his Plaint alleged that the Defendants thereafter, pursuant to having the device for a period of over six weeks informed the Plaintiff to collect the Plaintiff’s device where the Plaintiff noticed to his shock and surprise that the prototype of the Plaintiff’s device had been forced open, all the internal components within the device forced open and the technology inspected. The Plaintiff had set out very clearly through the Plaint that the Defendants had no reason to open up the Plaintiff’s device for such to be tested unless for unlawful purposes of acquiring the information in respect of the functionality of the prototype.

The Plaintiff had set out through the Plaint that the Plaintiff further proceeded to register the layout design of the integrated circuit found within the Plaintiff’s invention and submitted to Court the complete patent applications and layout design applications lodged at the National Intellectual Property Office of Sri Lanka under confidential cover where the learned Judge directed the Court Registrar to keep such confidential documents under the custody of the Registrar.

Furthermore, the Plaintiff alleged through his Plaint that the Defendants have acted in a pre-orchestrated manner attempting to inspect the technology and the circuits in the Plaintiff’s device. The Plaintiff through his Plaint alleged further that since the Plaintiff’s technology had been illegally obtained by the Defendants, there is an imminent threat that the Defendants will either make use or disclose the Plaintiff’s undisclosed/confidential/ commercially sensitive business information in respect of the functionality of the Plaintiff’s device.

The Learned High Court Judge M. Ahsan R. Marikar being satisfied with the Plaintiff’s case issued notices of Interim Injunctions and Summons on the Defendants, preventing the Defendants from making use and/or disclosing such undisclosed/confidential/commercially sensitive business information illegally obtained by the Plaintiff in respect of the functionality of the Plaintiff’s device. 

The Learned Judge also permitted the Plaintiff’s application to support for the Enjoining Orders in respect of the undisclosed/confidential/commercially sensitive business information in respect of the device subject to the patent application and the layout design of the integrated circuit therein in the event an undertaking for non-use and disclosure was not given by the Defendants.

The Plaintiff was represented by Nishan Premathiratne, Janith Fernando and Migara Cabral, Attorneys-at-Law on the instructions of Julius & Creasy, Attorneys-at-Law.

This matter is to be called in Court on 16 July.