In view of the recent COVID-19 outbreak, various Constitutional Courts as well as statutory bodies related to Intellectual Property Laws in India have announced several relief measures for the stakeholders. The said measures have been detailed hereinbelow, along with their implications.
1. Hearings at Trademark Registry:
The Office of Controller General of Patent, Design and Trade Marks (CGPDTM), vide its Public Notice1 dated March 16, 2020, has notified that:
- All hearings related to trademarks matters at Trademark Registry scheduled between March 17, 2020 and April 15, 2020 stand adjourned.
- The aforesaid hearings will be rescheduled in due course of time.
- Hearings scheduled after April 15, 2020 remain unchanged.
2. Filing of documents at Trademark Registry:
The Office of CGPDTM, vide its Public Notice dated March 23, 2020, has notified that:
- The Applicant can, now or after situation becomes normal, file a request for extension of time for submission of documents. [as per Section 131 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and Rules 109 & 110 of Trade Marks Rules, 2017]
- Such request will be considered by the Registrar in accordance to law.
3. Hearings at Patent Office:
The Office of CGPDTM, vide its Public Notice dated March 19, 2020, has notified that:
- All in-person hearings in Patents and Designs matters at Patent Offices at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai and Design Wing at Kolkata, scheduled on or before April 15, 2020 by the Controller should be changed to Video Conferencing (VC) hearings.
- Wherever the Applicant is unable to agree for the VC hearing, the Controller shall adjourn such hearing to a date later than April 15, 2020.
- The hearings scheduled after April 15, 2020 will remain unchanged.
However, post the nation-wide lockdown from Tuesday midnight i.e. March 24, 2020, the Office of CGPDTM, vide its Public Notice dated March 25, 2020, has notified that:
- All the VC hearings in the Patent Office scheduled between March 23, 2020 and April 14, 2020 are also cancelled.
- Further dates of rescheduled hearings will be communicated shortly.