BLUE PENCIL — RULE

Doctrine of Blue Pencil:—

The “doctrine of blue pencil” was evolved by the English and American courts. (See Halsbury’s Laws of England, (4th Edn., Vol. 9), p. 297, para 430) (Para 10). This doctrine holds that if courts can render an unreasonable restraint reasonable by scratching out the offensive portions of the covenant, they should do so and then enforce the remainder. Traditionally, the doctrine is applicable only if the covenant in question is applicable, so that the unreasonable portions may be separated, EPI of Cleveland Inc. v. Basler [12 Ohio App 2d 16: 230 NE 2d 552, 556].

Blue Pencil Rule/Test — Legal theory that permits a judge to limit unreasonable aspects of a covenant not to compete. Severance of Contract; ‘Severance can be effected when the part severed can be removed by running a blue pencil through it without affording the remaining part’, Attwood v. Lamont [(1920) 3 KB 571: 1920 All ER Rep 55 (CA)]. (Banking) A rule in contracts a court may strike parts of a covenant not to compete in order to make the covenant reasonable. (Merriam Webster) Phrase referring to severance (q.v.) of contract. ‘Severance can be effected when the part severed can be removed by running a blue pencil through it’ without affording the remaining part. (Para 11), Attwood v. Lamont [(1920) 3 KB 571: 1920 All ER Rep 55 (CA)]. (Banking)”, Beed Distt. Central Cooperative Bank Ltd. v. State of Maharashtra(2006) 8 SCC 514, 518: 2006 SCC (L&S) 2042: (2006) 3 CLR 667.

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