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On April 04, 2021, the Government of India through the Ministry of Law and Justice published the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalization and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021 (“Ordinance”), which came into force immediately. The ordinance route was taken since the Tribunal Reforms (Rationalization and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2021, introduced in Parliament on February 13, 2021, could not be taken up for passing in the House of People. The key effects of the amendments will bring about a major change in intellectual property appellate and invalidation practice, some of which are high-lighted hereunder:

  • The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (“IPAB”) ceases to have any jurisdictions under the Copyrights Act, 1957, the Patents Act, 1970, the Trademarks Act, 1999 and the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.
  • All proceedings pending before the IPAB shall be transferred to the Commercial Court (in certain instances under the Copyrights Act, 1957) or the High Court, as the case may be.
  • The Copyrights Act, 1957
    • All rectification proceedings under Section 50 and appeal proceedings under Section 72 of the Act shall lie at the High Court.
  • The Patents Act, 1970
    • Revocation powers under Section 64 of the Act lie with the High Court and persons interested can only revoke a patent on a petition at the High Court or on a counterclaim in a suit for infringement of said patent.
    • All appeals under Section 117A of the Act shall lie at the High Court.
  • The Trademarks Act, 1999
    • Any non-use cancellations under Section 47 of the Act shall lie at the Registrar or the High Court only.
    • Any rectification proceedings under Section 57 of the Act shall lie at the Registrar or the High Court only.
    • All appeals under Section 91 of the Act shall lie at the High Court.
  • The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999
    • Any rectification proceedings under Section 27 of the Act shall lie before the Registrar or the High Court only.
    • All appeals under Section 31 of the Act shall lie at the High Court instead of at the IPAB.
  • The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights’ Act, 2001
    • The Plant Varieties Protection Appellate Tribunal ceases to have any jurisdiction, power or authority under the Act.
    • All appeals under Section 56 of the Act shall lie at the High Court.
    • All proceedings pending before the PVPAT shall stand transferred to the High Court.

 

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