In March 2020, the Supreme Court of India had extended the period of limitation prescribed under the general law or special laws with effect from March 15, 2020, till further orders. Taking note of the relative normalcy attained by the Courts and Tribunals in their functioning, on March 08, 2021, the Supreme Court of India has passed further orders in the matter that shall have the following effect on the calculation of the limitation period:
1. In computing the period of limitation for any suit, appeal, application, or proceeding, the period from March 15, 2020 till March 14, 2021, shall stand excluded. Consequently, the balance period of limitation remaining as on March 15, 2020, if any, shall become available with effect from March 15, 2021.
2. In cases where the limitation would have expired during the period between March 15, 2020, till March 14, 2021, notwithstanding the actual balance period of limitation remaining, all persons shall have a limitation period of 90 days from March 15, 2021. In the event the actual balance period of limitation remaining, with effect from March 15, 2021, is greater than 90 days, that longer period shall apply.
In view of the above order, we will write to clients in respect of any specific cases with lapsed deadline(s) and wherein the above final extension is applicable.
Meanwhile, if you have any cases with deadlines that had lapsed in the duration of March 15, 2020, till date, such as PCT National phase deadline, convention application deadline, request for examination deadline, annuity deadline, OA response deadline, opposition/ counter-statement deadline, etc.),please contact us immediately and we will advise you with respect to the same.
With respect to the matters with upcoming (original) deadlines, we request you to kindly provide us with your instructions in a timely manner as per the original deadlines as the SC order is subject to interpretation by the Indian Patent Office (IPO) and the best practice would be to follow the original deadline. Meanwhile, as and when the IPO issues any orders to clarify the SC order, we will intimate you immediately.
We shall keep you posted on any further developments.