Copy of application made by M/s Johnson & Johnson Ltd. for grant of license alongwith enclosures - CIC: other than the intellectual property which is exempt u/s 8(1)(d), rest of information to be provided
1. Vide RTI application dated 17.8.2012, the appellant had sought the following information:- “Please provide copy of application alongwith enclosure for grant of above said licence. Please provide copy of latest application with enclosures for renewal of above licence. Please provide copy of inspection response relevant file notings on same relevant notices / letters if any issue and received to and from licensee alongwith enclosures from 0110412008 till up to date.”
2. However, vide letter dated 3.9.2012, Director, Medical & Health Services, had informed the appellant that the information contained in accompanying enclosures of the application filed by M/s Johnson & Johnson Ltd. for the grant of cosmetics license was ‘confidential’ in nature and was the property of the Company and, therefore, it could not be disclosed. The Director, Medical & Health Services had also passed an appellate order dated 3.1.2013 taking the same position as above. Surprisingly, both the orders were passed by the same officer.
3. During the hearing, Dr. Agarwal submits that M/s Johnson & Johnson Ltd. has been given license by the Daman & Diu Administration for manufacture of cosmetics. The enclosures accompanying the application for the grant of licence contain formulae and test methods which are the intellectual property of the Company and is not disclosable under the RTI Act. He also submits that the views of the said Company were solicited and it has not agreed to the disclosure of requested documents.
4. In my opinion, the intellectual property of the Company is mandated to be protected in terms of section 8(1)(d) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information; of the RTI Act. But for the intellectual property, the rest of the information is liable to be disclosed. Any material which constitutes ‘intellectual property’ of the company may be held back and the rest of the information may be disclosed to the appellant in 03 weeks time as per rules. Ordered accordingly.
Central Information Commissioner
Citation: Prasad Ramchandra Joshi v. Administration of Daman & Diu in File No. CIC/LS/A/2013/000786