Initiative by IPAB to expedite administrative proceedings
The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (“IPAB”) was constituted by the Indian Government on September 15, 2003 to hear and adjudicate appeals against the decisions of the Registrar under the Indian Trade Marks Act, 1999 and the Indian Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999. However, since 2007, it has also been authorized to hear and adjudicate upon appeals from decisions, orders or directions made by the Patent Controller along with pending appeals from various High Courts of India under the Patents Act.
Each of the IPAB Benches comprise of a Judicial Member and a Technical Member. In general, an impugned order may be appealed against before the IPAB within a period of three months from the date of such order. Furthermore, the IPAB has been conferred exclusive jurisdiction to hear appeals. As per section 92(1), the Code of Civil Procedure is not applicable to the proceedings before the IPAB thereby making the disposal of matters much faster. The IPAB has been vested with substantial powers to make its own rules for its conduct and proceedings. Such independence paved way for the Board to aid in speedy disposal of cases and made it convenient for the litigants as well. Section 83 & 84 of the Trade Marks Act provides for the establishment and composition of the IPAB respectively. Furthermore, ex-parte injunctions are not allowed before the IPAB proceedings. However, it has the power to review its owns orders.
On September 21, 2016, the IPAB issued a notification whereby the Acting Chairman directed for the constitution of a Deputy Registrar Court. By virtue of the powers conferred under Section 83 and 84 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and Section 117 B of the Patents Act, 1970 read in connection with Section 92(1) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999, the Deputy Registrar Court shall take up cases filed before the IPAB Registry with reference to the administrative process of maintainability of the abandonment of applications and appeals on account of defects pending under S.R. stage including receipt of filing counterstatements, replies, issuance of notices and extending extension up to 30 days to the parties in miscellaneous proceedings related appeals and applications shall be heard.
Accordingly, it has been determined that the Deputy Registrar will hold Court regularly in the Chennai Registry and thereby take up all matters under the Trade Marks Act, Patents Act and the Geographical Indications Act with a view to fasten the completion of such administrative processes as enlisted above. Furthermore, the IPAB Registry shall enlist and place all the pending matters before the Deputy Registrar for completion of miscellaneous proceedings in Chennai as well as and when required in other places such as Ahmedabad, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai.
The establishment of the IPAB marked the beginning of a new era in the administration of the Intellectual Property Rights in India. With the motive to provide an appellate forum to expeditiously adjudicate upon appeals from the orders or decisions passed by the Registrar of Trade Marks and Geographical Indications as well as the Controller of Patents, the IPAB has taken countless effort in enhancing the administrative procedures over the years. We believe that the outcome of this notification shall yet again allow the IPAB to aid in the faster disposal of cases.