Innovation Under Scrutiny:  Canva’s Present and Record vs. RxPrism’s My Show & Tell

This piece provides a comprehensive analysis of the recent patent infringement case[1] between Indian tech startup RxPrism Health Systems Private Limited and the Australian graphic designing platform Canva before the Delhi High Court. The court’s grant of an interim injunction in favor of RxPrism, restraining Canva from using its interactive content feature in India, has significant implications for IP protection trends in the Indian startup ecosystem. This piece examines the court’s decision, and the arguments presented by both parties and offers a detailed analysis to explore the far-reaching effects on IP rights for startups and the fostering of a culture of innovation in the country.

Background of the Case

The protection of intellectual property rights is paramount for fostering innovation and encouraging startups to invest in novel technologies and products. The recent patent infringement lawsuit between RxPrism Health Systems and Canva before the Delhi High Court highlights the importance of IP protection for startups in India. RxPrism Health Systems, an Indian tech startup, developed a unique product named “My Show & Tell,” which offered a system and method for creating and sharing interactive content. This innovative technology was distinct from conventional video advertisements and was duly registered as a patent in 2020. The startup alleged that Canva’s product, “Present and Record,” infringed upon its patented technology, leading to a lawsuit before the Delhi High Court.

Court’s Decision and Analysis

The Delhi High Court, under the purview of Justice Prathiba Singh, conducted a meticulous analysis of both products and rejected Canva’s claim that its “Present and Record” feature differed significantly from RxPrism’s patented technology. The court compared the steps used in both products and concluded that Canva’s attempts to highlight differences were merely a distraction, as the infringing nature of its feature was evident. As a result, the court granted an interim injunction in favor of RxPrism, restraining Canva from using its infringing feature in India.

Interestingly, Canva also tried to argue that Rxprism had previously attempted to coerce them into obtaining a license for the technology. However, the court did not find this argument convincing and ruled against Canva’s claims of coercion and arm-twisting. The court highlighted the importance of protecting intellectual property rights and stated that the public interest served by the patent system is of great importance in such matters. It emphasized that if Canva’s product were allowed to be available in the market during the case’s pendency, it could potentially reduce the value of the patent license, which weighed in favor of granting interim relief to Rxprism.

Significance of the Interim Injunction

The court’s decision to grant an interim injunction is a significant victory for RxPrism and emphasizes the importance of protecting IP rights for startups. By restraining Canva from using its infringing feature during the pendency of the case, the court safeguards RxPrism’s exclusivity and potential business interests. This ruling establishes a precedent for other startups, showcasing the judiciary’s commitment to safeguarding IP rights and encouraging innovative endeavors. The court’s detailed analysis and acknowledgment of substantial similarity between Canva’s product and RxPrism’s patented technology in the case of patent infringement strengthen the importance of securing comprehensive patent protection for startups. This recognition provides a crucial legal foundation for startups seeking protection against global entities infringing upon their innovative technologies. The court’s focus on RxPrism’s valid patent registration further underscores the significance of timely and comprehensive patent registration for startups, establishing ownership and providing a competitive edge in the market. The ruling serves as a reminder for startups to prioritize patent registration to fully leverage their innovative technologies and protect their intellectual property rights.

Implications for IP Trends in Indian Startups

The judgment in this case has far-reaching implications for IP protection trends in the Indian startup ecosystem.

a. Boosting Investor Confidence

The court’s decision to uphold RxPrism’s patent rights sends a positive signal to investors, showcasing India’s commitment to safeguarding IP rights. This boost in investor confidence can attract more funding and support for innovative startups in the country, leading to increased research and development activities.

b. Fostering a Culture of Innovation

By protecting RxPrism’s innovative technology, the court has fostered a culture of innovation in the Indian startup ecosystem. Startups are encouraged to invest in research and development without fear of immediate competition from larger companies. This encouragement can lead to the development of groundbreaking technologies in various sectors.

c. Legal Precedent for Startups

The ruling sets a legal precedent that strengthens the position of startups in defending their IP rights against multinational corporations. It establishes that startups can seek legal recourse and protection for their patented technologies. This precedent empowers startups to protect their innovations from potential infringements, promoting a fair and competitive market. Firstly, the court’s grant of an interim injunction in favor of RxPrism demonstrates India’s commitment to safeguarding IP rights and fostering a culture of innovation. This ruling sends a strong message to both domestic and international startups that the Indian judiciary is vigilant in protecting novel and inventive technologies from potential infringement by larger entities. The recognition of patent infringement by Canva’s “Present and Record” feature bolsters startups’ confidence in seeking legal recourse to defend their IP rights against multinational corporations. Such legal precedents are crucial for promoting a fair and competitive market environment, empowering startups to flourish and attract more investments.

Internationally, this case highlights India’s role as an emerging hub for innovation and technology. With the Indian startup ecosystem growing rapidly, the protection of IP rights becomes a focal point for investors and entrepreneurs seeking a supportive environment for research and development. The ruling may enhance India’s attractiveness as a destination for foreign investors interested in collaborating with or funding innovative startups. Moreover, it signifies India’s commitment to upholding global IP standards, strengthening its position in international trade and investment discussions.

Additionally, the court’s focus on the importance of patent registration underscores the significance of early and comprehensive protection for startups’ innovations. This emphasis on patent registration serves as a valuable lesson for startups worldwide, encouraging them to prioritize securing intellectual property rights to protect their market position and competitiveness.

Lessons to Learn

Indian startups should take several important precautions to protect their intellectual property (IP) and foster a culture of collaborative innovation. These precautions are essential to ensure that startups can thrive in a competitive market and make the most of their innovative ideas.

First and foremost, startups should prioritize early and comprehensive patent filing for their innovative products or technologies. By promptly seeking patent protection, startups can establish their ownership and prevent others from claiming similar inventions. This proactive step not only safeguards their ideas but also gives them a competitive advantage in the market. Before proceeding with the patent application process, conducting thorough prior art searches is crucial. These searches help identify existing technologies or inventions that may impact the novelty of the startup’s innovation. By identifying potential obstacles early on, startups can save valuable time and resources and, if necessary, adjust their approach to enhance the chances of patent approval.

Regularly conducting IP audits is another vital precaution that startups should undertake. These audits help assess the startup’s IP assets and identify any potential risks of infringement. By proactively addressing any IP-related issues, startups can prevent legal disputes and ensure that their valuable IP remains protected. To stay ahead in the market, startups should keep a close eye on their competitors. Monitoring competitors’ product releases and patent filings allows startups to identify potential infringements or misappropriation of their technologies. Timely detection enables them to take appropriate legal action if required, safeguarding their IP rights effectively.

In addition to protecting their own IP, startups can explore collaborative innovation opportunities with established companies. Collaborations, licensing agreements, or technology transfers can be beneficial for both parties, leading to mutual growth and innovation while respecting each other’s IP rights. Such partnerships can open new avenues for startups, enabling them to scale and expand their market presence. However, during negotiations for licensing agreements or collaborations, startups must be cautious not to appear coercive or intimidating. It is essential to conduct negotiations in good faith and in a manner that promotes a win-win situation for both parties. Coercive practices can lead to counterclaims and legal challenges, potentially damaging the startup’s reputation and hindering future collaborations.

India is taking startup innovation seriously – Make use of available Schemes

Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) play a crucial role in the development of innovative startups, which is why the Startup Action Plan 2016 emphasized legal support and fast-tracking patent examinations at lower costs. In line with this, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) introduced the flagship ‘Scheme for Facilitating Startups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP)’ to create a supportive ecosystem for startups to protect and manage their IP assets. SIPP aims to raise awareness about the importance of IPR protection and provides financial support for filing IPR applications, making the process more accessible and efficient. The scheme has evolved over the years, extending its scope to include Indian innovators using the services of World Intellectual Property Organizations (WIPO) Technology and Innovation Support Centres (TISCs) and promoting and protecting Indian innovations globally. Eligible applicants under SIPP include startups, Indian innovators, educational institutes, and those filing international patent applications. Facilitators registered with the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks (CGPDTM) provide pro bono assistance to eligible applicants for various IP-related tasks. While facilitators are not allowed to charge any fees, applicants are responsible for statutory fees. The scheme’s expansion, along with other structural reforms, is expected to strengthen India’s IPR ecosystem and enhance its global standing as an innovative nation. As a result of these efforts, India has made significant progress on the Global Innovation Index (GII) and holds the 40th position. Such schemes coupled with such precedent setting judgements have the potential to lead India’s innovative startup industry to great heights.

Reforms Needed

The report titled “Why India needs to urgently invest in its patent ecosystem?” by the Economic Advisory Council to the PM highlights the crucial role played by the patent ecosystem in driving innovation and economic growth in the country. It points out a significant turning point where domestic patent filings have exceeded those filed by non-Indians after 11 years. The Indian Patent Office has implemented major reforms in the past five years to expedite patent processing, benefitting startups and academic institutions by providing easy access to funds and enabling technology transfer.

However, the report identifies some key areas that require attention. It emphasizes that patents are not only meant to incentivize inventors but also to facilitate information disclosure related to technology. The Indian Patent Office needs to improve the dissemination of patent information and create programs to raise awareness among startups, MSMEs, and academic institutions. Patent documents contain valuable information for understanding different aspects of innovation, and easy access to this data can aid policy-making and promote inclusivity. Additionally, the strategic use of patents to block innovation by some companies is a concern that needs to be addressed to ensure the patent ecosystem effectively supports industrial growth and innovation. There are increasing non-working patents in India, which, despite of increasing patent grants and fillings, hinder innovation by blocking innovation. While the DHC[2] has been a little active with not granting interim injunctions when a patent is not being used, these concerns still require stringent judicial action. These concern needs to be addressed in order to incentivise startups like RxPrism to lead the innovation regime in India.


The Delhi High Court’s ruling in favor of RxPrism Health Systems in its patent infringement lawsuit against Canva marks a significant milestone for IP protection in the Indian startup ecosystem. The court’s decision to grant an interim injunction and recognize patent infringement reinforces the importance of protecting IP rights for startups and fosters a culture of innovation. Moving forward, it is imperative for startups in India to prioritize patent registration and actively safeguard their intellectual property to continue driving technological advancements and contributing to the country’s economic growth. The legal precedent set by this ruling will play a crucial role in empowering startups to protect their innovations and compete on a global stage. By promoting a culture of innovation and respecting IP rights, Indian startups can thrive in a competitive global market.

[1] Rxprism Health Systems Private … vs Canva Pty Ltd & Ors. on 18 July, 2023, Delhi High Court.

[2] Fmc Corporation & Ors. vs Gsp Crop Science Private Limited, 2022/DHC/004849 and Sandeep Jaidka vs Mukesh Mittal & Anr. on 9 May, 2014.

About Amisha Mittal 13 Articles
Amisha Mittal is a final-year law student pursuing a BA. LLB. (Hons) at Jindal Global Law School, Haryana. Her interest areas align with Intellectual Property Law, Competition law and other technology related laws. She shares a passion for research and writing and with a strong interest in academia, she aspires to contribute to the legal scholarship in these areas.

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