An Analysis Of The Intellectual Property Rights Division Rules, 2021

The Tribunals Reforms Bill, 2021 had initially proposed the ideal that a select few appellate bodies be dissolved and the powers they hold were to be transferred to pre-existing judicial bodies. The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) was one amongst the few to go through the process of being dissolved. In the landmark case of Madras Bar Association v. Union of India, the Tribunals Reforms Ordinance, 2021 was challenged on the basis of it not being in compliance with judgements based on Tribunals. Subsequently in July 2021, two crucial provisions related to the tenure and minimum age requirement for members of the tribunal were struck down. This meant that all appeals which were pending before the IPAD were transferred to their respective High Courts along with commercial courts which had the jurisdiction to try the cases. This led to the submission made by the Delhi High Court on the 6th of July with regard to the establishment of the IPR Division for the purpose of dealing with multiplicity of proceedings and to additionally avoid the possibilities of confusions with regard to intellectual properties of the same character.

Analysis

The Division Rules consist of a framework of thirty-one rules which deal with various procedures and definitions that are to be applied while cases of the IPD are under trial. An important aspect of this is the General Clause which makes an appearance under Rule 24; it essentially provides that any procedure which isn’t specifically provided for within the ambit of these Rules, shall alternatively be governed by the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 subsequently amended by the Commercial Courts Act, 2015 along with the Delhi High Court Rules, 2018.

The Rules additionally lay down provisions for summary adjudication under Rule 21 and 22 based on principles similar to those contained under Order XIIIA, of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 as applicable to commercial suits under the Commercial Courts Act, 2015.

Interestingly enough, Rule 2(a) read with Rule 2(i) explains what comes under the ambit of ‘Intellectual Property Rights’ along with the statutes that are applicable to the Rules;

  1. The Designs Act, 2000;
  2. The Patents Act, 1970;
  3. The Copyright Act, 1957;
  4. The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999;
  5. The protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act, 2001;
  6. The Trade Marks Act, 1999;
  7. The Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout Design Act, 2000.

Within Rule 2(i), the proviso along rights pertaining to differently expressed Intellectual property statutes, recognizes the rights pertaining to data protection, exclusivity and matters which are related. Pertaining to Rule 2(I), IPR matters or proceedings must include all original appellate and other proceedings as mentioned in Rule 2(i). Subsequently, under Rule 4 which pertains to jurisdiction, all IPR matters filed before the Intellectual Property Office must be heard by a single judge of the IPO.

A section of significance can be found among Rules 10 to 14 which speaks of the procedures to be followed while directing a suit towards the IPD –

  1. Procedure for Regular First Appeal [Rule 10]
  2. Procedure for First Appeal from Order [Rule 11]
  3. Procedure for Civil Revision Petition [Rule 12]
  4. Procedure for CM (Mains), FAOs, RFAs, CRPs [Rule 13]
  5. Procedure for Suits [Rule 14].

Along with this, to avoid unnecessary delays in the disposal of suits, the Delhi High Court has ensured that strict guidelines of written submissions and timelines for oral submissions must be followed in accordance with Rule 28 of the Division Rules.

While the establishment of the IPD is a significant development in relation to Intellectual Property disputes in India, it has also come with a boon that the transferred cases from IPAD are combined with the pre-existing backlog of IP matters. This looks like more than 3500 outstanding cases, NOT including writ petitions, which would now have to be moved across different relevant courts. Additionally, due to the  Pandemic, a widespread scenario has occurred wherein case deprioritization has taken place along with which the IPAB was disbanded without advice on case management.

Conclusion

A few areas under which significant deliberation can take place with respect to the Rules, includes the following:

  • Additional clarity with regard to the Locus Standi of agents, experts etc. to the case for extending applications to the confidentiality club needs to be determined.
  • Rule 31, deals with the constitution of a Panel of experts that provides advisory assistance to the court relating to the subject matter of the case. The provision is in resonance with maintaining the adjudicatory function, however, it fails to elaborate the criteria of appointment. To ensure that this process isn’t arbitrary, significant clarity is required to deal with the same.

Author:  Meghana Srinivas – student of Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad, in case of any queries please contact/write back to us via email chhavi@khuranaandkhurana.com or at IIPRD.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

19 + 15 =

Archives

  • August 2022
  • July 2022
  • June 2022
  • May 2022
  • April 2022
  • March 2022
  • February 2022
  • January 2022
  • December 2021
  • November 2021
  • October 2021
  • September 2021
  • August 2021
  • July 2021
  • June 2021
  • May 2021
  • April 2021
  • March 2021
  • February 2021
  • January 2021
  • December 2020
  • November 2020
  • October 2020
  • September 2020
  • August 2020
  • July 2020
  • June 2020
  • May 2020
  • April 2020
  • March 2020
  • February 2020
  • January 2020
  • December 2019
  • November 2019
  • October 2019
  • September 2019
  • August 2019
  • July 2019
  • June 2019
  • May 2019
  • April 2019
  • March 2019
  • February 2019
  • January 2019
  • December 2018
  • November 2018
  • October 2018
  • September 2018
  • August 2018
  • July 2018
  • June 2018
  • May 2018
  • April 2018
  • March 2018
  • February 2018
  • January 2018
  • December 2017
  • November 2017
  • October 2017
  • September 2017
  • August 2017
  • July 2017
  • June 2017
  • May 2017
  • April 2017
  • March 2017
  • February 2017
  • January 2017
  • December 2016
  • November 2016
  • October 2016
  • September 2016
  • August 2016
  • July 2016
  • June 2016
  • May 2016
  • April 2016
  • March 2016
  • February 2016
  • January 2016
  • December 2015
  • November 2015
  • October 2015
  • September 2015
  • August 2015
  • July 2015
  • June 2015
  • May 2015
  • April 2015
  • March 2015
  • February 2015
  • January 2015
  • December 2014
  • November 2014
  • October 2014
  • September 2014
  • August 2014
  • July 2014
  • June 2014
  • May 2014
  • April 2014
  • March 2014
  • February 2014
  • January 2014
  • December 2013
  • November 2013
  • October 2013
  • September 2013
  • August 2013
  • July 2013
  • June 2013
  • May 2013
  • April 2013
  • March 2013
  • February 2013
  • January 2013
  • December 2012
  • November 2012
  • September 2012
  • August 2012
  • July 2012
  • June 2012
  • May 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • December 2011
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • August 2011
  • July 2011
  • June 2011
  • May 2011
  • April 2011
  • March 2011
  • February 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • September 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010