• Nanki Arneja

Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) scrapped – Courts to take charge

On April 04, 2021, an Ordinance titled “The Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021” was published effectively scrapping several tribunals including the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB).

This impacts and transfers the powers of the IPAB to the respective High Courts and in some cases to the respective Commercial Courts.

The Ordinance also provides that matters currently pending before the IPAB shall stand transferred to the respective Court and said Court may proceed to deal with such cases from the stage at which it stood before such transfer, or from any earlier stage, or from the beginning as the Court may deem fit.

The following are noteworthy takeaways as an impact of said Ordinance:

Patents

1. All powers that earlier resided with the Appellate Board have now been transferred to the respective High Courts.

2. Essentially, appeal proceedings under Section 117A, revocation petitions under Section 64 and rectification proceedings under Section 71 of the Indian Patents Act will now lie before the respective High Courts.

3. In all cases before the High Court, the respective High Court Rules will apply instead of the former IPAB Rules.

4. Limitation period for filing the above remains unaffected.

Trademarks

1. All powers that earlier resided with the Appellate Board have now been transferred to the respective High Courts.

2. Essentially, appeal proceedings under Section 91 of the Indian Trademarks Act will now lie before the respective High Courts.

3. All provisions wherein the power was given to the Registrar and the Appellate Board or the “Tribunal” (including but not limited to removal from the register under Section 47, rectification and correction of register under Section 57), will now lie before the Registrar and the High Court.

4. In all cases before the High Court, the respective High Court Rules will apply instead of the former IPAB Rules.

5. Limitation period for filing the above remains unaffected.

Copyrights

1. All powers that earlier resided with the Appellate Board have now been transferred to the respective Commercial Courts and in some cases (listed below) to the respective High Courts.

2. Appeal proceedings under Section 72 and rectification proceedings under Section 50 of the Indian Copyrights Act will now lie before the respective High Courts. All other proceedings that were earlier before the IPAB will now lie with the respective Commercial Courts.

3. In all cases before the High Court, the respective High Court Rules will apply instead of the former IPAB Rules.

4. Limitation period for filing the above remains unaffected.

Geographical Indications

1. All powers that earlier resided with the Appellate Board have now been transferred to the respective High Courts.

2. Essentially, appeal proceedings under Section 31 of the Indian Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act will now lie before the respective High Courts.

3. All provisions wherein the power was given to the Registrar and the Appellate Board or the “Tribunal” (including but not limited to removal from the register under Section 19, rectification and correction of register under Section 27), will now lie before the Registrar and the High Court.

4. In all cases before the High Court, the respective High Court Rules will apply instead of the former IPAB Rules.

5. Limitation period for filing the above remains unaffected.

Plant varieties

1. All powers that earlier resided with the Appellate Board have now been transferred to the respective High Courts.

2. Essentially, appeal proceedings under Section 56 of the Indian Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Act will now lie before the respective High Courts.

3. In all cases before the High Court, the respective High Court Rules will apply instead of the former Indian Plant Varieties Protection Appellate Tribunal (Applications and Appeals) Rules.

4. Limitation period for filing the above may need to be clarified since the earlier rules which prescribed the time period of 3 months have been scrapped.

In view of the above Ordinance, we will write to clients in respect of any specific cases presently before the IPAB and wherein the above Ordinance is applicable.





For any questions on the above, please contact Ms. Nanki Arneja at nanki.arneja@iprattorneys.com.

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