Parliamentary Panel asks for IPD in High Courts.

Friday May 20, 2022 at 4:41 pm

The Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce has recommended to the union government of India to take the measures to set up Intellectual Property Division (IPD) in High Courts of various states, in line with the establishment of the Intellectual Property Division (IPD) in the Delhi High Court, following the dissolution of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB).

The Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce, headed by Member of Parliament V Vijayasai Reddy, observed that the dissolution of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) would lead to transferring of all IP (intellectually property)-related appeals, including the pending legal cases to High Courts and Commercial Courts in various copyright matters and that may create an additional burden on such high courts which are already reeling under a massive backlog of cases with inadequate expertise in hand to deal with IPR (intellectually property-related) matters.

“It, therefore, opines that establishing an Intellectual Property Division with dedicated IP (Intellectual property) benches as done by Delhi High Court in the wake of the abolition of Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) would ensure effective resolution of IPR (Intellectual Property Right) cases on a timely basis. Therefore, the Committee recommends that the Government take appropriate measures to encourage setting up of IPD in High Courts for providing alternative solutions to resolve IPR cases,” the Committee said.

In February, the High Court of Delhi had notified the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Division Rules, 2022, which that will replace the erstwhile Intellectual Property Appellate Board, among others, to deal with Intellectual Property Right matters except cases handled by the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court.

The Division is to be presided over by Single Judges to deal with disputes and cases concerning various Intellectual Property Rights subject matters. Every IPR (Intellectual Property Right) subject matter, lawsuit, proceeding, or legal argument is filed before or transferred to the Intellectual Property Division (IPD). It shall be heard and adjudicated by a Single Judge of the Division except those to be decided by a Division Bench as per Section 13 of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015.

The cases shall include all original proceedings, appellate, and other proceedings related to IPR, including revocation applications, cancellation applications, further actual proceedings, appeals, and petitions from the various Intellectual Property Offices (IPOs), and all other proceedings which were so far maintainable before the IPAB, says the Rule. Before the IPAB relating to Delhi jurisdiction transfers to the Delhi High Court, all pending proceedings will also be done under its authority.

“All cases under various categories received in the Delhi High Court from the IPAB shall be registered and listed before the IPD and given the terminology, as provided for in these Rules. The IPD shall broadly follow these Rules for the adjudication and disposal of the said cases, to such extent as possible,” claimed the Rule.

The Parliamentary panel had earlier recommended that the abolition of a prominent appellate body of Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB), under the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalization and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021 should be reconsidered in the wake of its pivotal role in the adjudication of Intellectual Property Rights appeals and cases.

The overall scrapping of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB), which efficiently had been dealing with proceedings involving complex IPR (Intellectual Property Right) issues, may result in a void in the appellate resolution of various legal cases, which lead to the shift in Commercial or High Courts thereby increasing the pendency of legal issues, it said in an earlier report. The Committee had also opined that inordinate delay in appointment of officials at the higher levels and the resultant pause in the functioning of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) affected the optimal performance of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB).