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  • Writer's pictureDavesh Vashishtha

Delhi High Court creates an Intellectual Property Division

On July 06, 2021, the High Court of Delhi issued a press release stating that an exclusive Intellectual Property Division (IPD) will be created in the High Court of Delhi to deal with all matters related to Intellectual Property Rights.

The said direction has come in view of the Tribunals Reform (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021, which led to the abolition of the various Boards/Appellate Tribunals, including the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (“IPAB”). The move aims to streamline the review of the intellectual property cases that need to be dealt with following the dissolution of the IPAB. As per the press release issued by the Delhi High Court, approximately 3000 cases would be transferred to the IPD from the IPAB.

Subsequently, vide its order dated July 07, 2021 (Order No. 667) r/w orders dated July 08, 2021 (Order No. 253) & July 13, 2021 (Order No. 685), the Delhi High Court has, whilst setting up the nomenclature of the cases to be filed with the IPD (along with the applicable court-fee on the same), issued the following directions: -

a) the following matters would be dealt with by the IPD: -

(i) all original and appellate proceedings including Writ Petitions (Civil), Civil Misc. (Mains), Regular First Appeals (RFA), First Appeal Orders (FAO), etc. relating to IPR disputes (except those matters which are to be dealt with by a Division Bench);

(ii) all fresh filings in various IPR categories; and

(iii) IPR suits, revocation applications, cancellation applications, other original proceedings, appeals from the office of the Registrar of Trade Marks, Controller of Patents, Copyright Registrar, and all other proceedings which are hitherto maintainable before the IPAB, under the provisions of the Trade Marks Act, 1999; Copyright Act, 1957; Patents Act, 1970; Designs Act, 2000; Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999; Protection of Plant Varieties & Farmer’s Rights Act, 2001 and Semi-Conductor Act 2000.

b) although the Delhi High Court is in the process of framing a separate set of rules i.e., the IPD Delhi High Court Rules for the governance of the IPD, the original proceedings before the IPD would additionally also be governed by the Delhi High Court (Original Side) Rules, 2018 and the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 (as applicable to the commercial disputes) and the provisions of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015;

c) IPD benches will be periodically notified by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court; and

d) In case any appeal is filed under Section 5C of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 (i.e., Appeals), then such appeals shall be registered as Regular First Appeals (RFA) until the framing of the IPD Rules.

It is believed that such an exclusive division within the High Court for handling all Intellectual Property matters, will help avoid multiplicity of proceedings and the possibility of conflicting decisions with respect to matters relating to the same intellectual property matters. The main challenge, however, that lies with the Delhi High Court is to ensure the swift establishment of the IPD’s structure in order to avoid any undue delay in the transfer of all pending cases from IPAB to the IPD for their speedy disposal.

Thus, the creation of the IPD in the High Court of Delhi exclusively dedicated to Intellectual Property matters is a welcome step in line with the global practices and will help in the efficient disposal of Intellectual Property matters. Other High Courts across the country may also follow a similar approach which may help them to deal with complex matters related to intellectual property rights in a more efficient manner. The international business community should also benefit from this and can rely on the frameworks and infrastructure of the Courts. It would provide a time-bound, efficient and expedited resolution of disputes.

For any questions, please write to Mr. Davesh Vashishtha at


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