Breaking News: Justice Sridevan Appointed as IPAB Chairman

A writ petition was recently filed by the Asian Patent Attorneys Association (APAA) asking that the court direct the government to immediately appoint judicial and other members to the IPAB…a problematic tribunal that has been non functional for the most part in the recent past.

When the matter came up before Justice Muralidhar yesterday, Addnl Solicitor General (ASG), AS Chandiok stated in open court that the government had just appointed Justice Prabha Sridevan to the post of Chairman, IPAB. Justice Sridevan was one of the judges who had decided the Novartis Gleevec dispute, where Novartis had mooted a challenge to the constitutional validity and TRIPS compatibility of section 3(d). The court held that the section was perfectly constitutional. However, it ducked the TRIPS issue, holding that it had no jurisdiction to hear it.

We are also given to believe that DPS Parmar of the Delhi Patent Office has been appointed as the technical member (patents) to the IPAB. And that V Ravi has been appointed as technical member (trademarks).

Counsel for APPA and leading IP attorney, Pratibha Singh informs SpicyIP that, in an earlier writ petition involving the IPAB that she was involved in, the government had represented to the court that that they would constitute more IPAB benches, if the situation so warranted. Through the present writ petition, she wishes to hold them to this representation and activate more benches, in view of the alarming pendency rates at the IPAB.

And for those who may have forgotten, our writ challenging the constitutionality of the IPAB is still pending in the Madras High Court. And the government is yet to file its response.

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9 thoughts on “Breaking News: Justice Sridevan Appointed as IPAB Chairman”

  1. In your post you have disclosed the names of the Chairman and technical member patent but you have not mentioned the selected name of trade mark technical member, are you not interested in telling the name of that trade mark technical member.

  2. Thanks of your this post which i was waiting since yesterday to see more then what ASJ informed the court, I think he said the judge name has been selected and formal notification yet to be issued on judge appointment, if i m not wrong I think Mr RAVI JR TM registry has been selected as technical member trademark

  3. V Ravi is highly incompetent person…majorily responsible for ruining the mumbai trademark registry…IPAB is going down and down in pathetic situation. Like most government agencies IPAB too involves incompetent and undeserving officers.

  4. I have gone through your post, As you have rightly pointed out in your writ that joint Registrar, by virtue of his experience as joint Registrar in TM office, qualifies for the post of technical member for adjudicating appeal matters, even after not having degree in law, stars pronouncing the judicial orders,without having law degree.

    As far your post reminds me that Mr. V Ravi has never dictated any judicial orders in his life time while working as Assistant/deputy/joint registrar in Tm office, now will hear appeal/rectification petitions having law point and will apply his mind as member technical in Appellate board while sitting as equivalent to high Court Judge.

    GOD SAVE US, as we have to bear non performing person for another two years, as he has never written order in his life time n will now adjudicate the legal matters.

    You have raised this very pertinent question in your writ and now is going to be fully implemented by the ministry, as they need persons who does work in tandem with them.

    At least now you have point with you to raise argument deterioration of induction quality of the members to counter the reply of the ministry.

  5. In practice there are a number of tribunals functioning in the country. Very few of them, however, have been able to inspire confidence in the public. The tribunals have shown a singular lack of competence and objectivity in determining disputes. Another reason for their failure is the constitution of the IPAB tribunal and the method of appointment of the personnel for the job as for Trademark tribunal minimum eligibility is having 5 year experience in post of Joint Registrar but the eligibility criteria of joining as member technical in the patents is Deputy Controller i.e. equivalent to Deputy Registrar of Trademarks, though being technical member of trademark you have to be having post of joint Controller in patents.

    As of now Mr. Parmar at present being Deputy Controller will decide the cases or order passed by or of the joint controller what is pathetic condition. This is how the induction of member is being done for IPAB tribunal, where the cases irrespective of patents or trademark were transferred from respective High Courts to IPAB, where High Court judges use to deliver judicial orders or matters.

    As you have mentioned in your above post in recommendation of the name of Mr. V. Ravi Joint Registrar, who has not delivered single order in his service career, will now be sitting as member technical in IPAB and will be deciding and pronouncing the judicial orders. The persons with expertise and the right qualifications (litigation advocates) do not want to sit on these tribunals as these tribunals are post retirement heavens for retiree officials, who get plum jobs as reward for licking shoes of their masters.

    IPAB has tenure of 5 years too short period for any lawyer to join as what he will do after 5 years as he has to practice leaving majority of registration work, which is bread and butter for lawyer, as IPAB does not provide any pension to the retiring technical member and further their salary and or other perks are not equal to other tribunals, hence this leads to the unsatisfactory functioning of these IPAB tribunal. The uncertainty of tenure, unsatisfactory service conditions, interference by the executive and political interference have further impeded the proper development of tribunals in India.

    The Tribunal like IPAB is supposed to provide specialised adjudicatory services but the type of people appointed as mentioned above due to lack the requisite expertise and are on the tribunals merely because of political pressure and executive interference.

    The IPAB Tribunal is supposed to serve as alternative institutional mechanism to high courts; it must therefore be able to inspire public confidence by proving to be a competent and expert mechanism with a judicial and objective approach.

    In order to achieve this it is essential that members of the tribunal are equipped with adequate judicial acumen and expertise.

    These judicial officers need to be balanced with experts in the particular field. Only a judicious blend of the two will be able to provide an effective and result oriented tribunal system.

    Thus the overall picture regarding tribunalisation of justice in the country with reference to IPAB is far from satisfactory. A fresh look at the dispense of justice system in IPAB is required so as to ensure speedy justice and quick disposal of disputes arising out of commercial disputes, which is essential for the development of the IPR laws in India.

  6. Like all of you, I am thoroughly thoroughly disgusted and disheartened that we’ve picked the wrong people for the IPAB. Helping with IP adjudication is not kids play and requires a sharp analytical mind and subject matter expertise. Unfortunately, from what I’ve heard from practitioner friends and others who’ve interacted with these two gentleman, they fall way below the mark. I’m also looking for any patent/trademark oppositions that these gentleman have decided–so that we can see what kind of quality they have. anyone who can give me some pointers in this regard…any decns of theirs that you are aware of?

  7. just make ravi sit in front of public and ask some common sections of trademark law, he cant even answer that. Ask some landmark judgments in trademark, he cant even name the landmark cases. And he is technical member. height of absurdity and corruption. Long live corruption!!!

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