The High Court has original jurisdiction to revoke a patent in infringement proceedings

01 Feb 2019

In the recent decision of Sunseap Group Pte Ltd & 2 Ors v Sun Electric Pte Ltd [2019] SGCA 4, the Singapore Court of Appeal of 5 Judges held that in cases where an application for revocation of a patent is brought by way of a defence and counterclaim in infringement proceedings, the Singapore High Court has original jurisdiction to determine the validity of a patent and order that the patent be revoked if it is found to be invalid.
 
This decision was a welcome clarification from the full bench of the apex Court as it reversed a much-discussed decision in Sun Electric Pte Ltd v Sunseap Group Pte Ltd and others [2017] SGHC 232 (“HC Judgment”). The HC Judgment had the effect of limiting the High Court’s original jurisdiction to hearing issues relating to the validity of a patent without the power to revoke the patent. Applications for the revocation of a patent at first instance could therefore only be heard by the Registrar of Patents, representing a major departure from existing practice.
 
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