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  • Writer's pictureChetan Chadha

INDIA: Covid-19 update: High Court stays IPO’s notice setting June 1 deadline, new deadline awaited

On May 21, 2020, the Delhi High Court stayed (until further orders) the operation of the two public notices dated May 18, 2020 and May 20, 2020 issued by the IPO, which fixed the new deadline of June 1, 2020 and notified about submission of documents in proceedings under the Patents Act, respectively.

Thus effectively, all due dates from March 15, 2020 currently stand suspended.

It may be noted that after suspension of its earlier order (dated May 4, 2020) by the High Court, the IPO had issued a public notice on May 18, 2020 extending the deadline for all matters originally falling due between March 15-May 17, 2020 to June 1, 2020 and the same did not provide any further advisory in relation to matters falling due on May 18, 2020 or thereafter. Further, vide it’s latest public notice dated May 20, 2020, the IPO notified that filing of Petitions (without fee) under Rule 6 (6) of the Patents Rules (which states that delay in filing documents can be condoned on a petition for such condonation of delay/ extension of time made no later than 1 month from the date when such situation ceased to exist) has been provisioned through E-Filing mode (under form 30) and through physical filing at the Patent office counters (other than Patent agents).

The High Court has now stayed the operation of the IPO’s two public notices dated May 18, 2020 and May 20, 2020 until further notice, making it absolutely clear that order of the Supreme Court is binding and it is not open to any Court, Tribunal or Authority to impose timelines on the Limitation period, even if it is prescribed under a Special Statute.

Further, since the intention of the IPO for issuing the said public notice (in backdrop of the order passed by the Supreme Court and the one passed by the High Court suspending the operation of the IPO’s earlier notice dated May 4, 2020, issued on similar lines) were not clear, the Court also ordered the IPO to file a response. The matter has been scheduled for June 17, 2020 for further consideration.

We are closely monitoring the latest developments in this regard and shall keep you posted regarding any further developments. Meanwhile, we advise you to provide us with instructions and documents for any filings with the IPO as per your earliest convenience.

We continue to serve clients in the usual manner as our teams are working remotely with 100% capacity and robust IT systems in place.

Please feel free to contact us for any clarifications.

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