COVID-19 Others

[Updated] COVID-19 Related Adjournments at Indian Patent Office, IPAB


Japanese light signs for proceed, caution, stop

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[Further related adjournments have been updated on this page. If readers know of other adjournments that are not listed here, we request you to mention them in the comments below. The edits that have been included since the first posting of this include:

Final Edit: 26/03/20: 

Cancellation of hearings in Patent Office amid COVID19: See here

All IP Offices to remain closed for 21 days:See here

Last date to Register for Patent Agent Exam-2020 Extended to 15.04.2020 : See here

Corrigendum issued: Due date changed from date of reopening to date of next day of reopening : See here

 

Edit: 23/03/20: Cancellation of hearings in Patent Office, rehearing dates TBA
Edit: 23/03/20: Extension of time for filing document relating to trademarks
Edit: 19/03/20: TMR Notification dated 10th March has been modified on the basis of CGPDTM notification dated 16/03/20 – the hearings specified are now cancelled.
Edit: 19/03/20: New Notification by CGPDTM regarding hearing and submission of documents relating to proceedings under the Patents Act.
Edit: 18/03/20: IPAB Notification dated 16/03/20 has been partially modified by an updated notification
Edit: 17/03/20: Adjournments related to Design Applications, and Copyright matters have been added]


In light of the COVID-19 related advisories (see all, here) from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, various IP departments have issued notifications:

On 23rd March, 2020, the following notification has come up on the CGPDTM website, with the title “Cancellation of hearings in Patent Office amid COVID19 outbreak”

In the wake of wide spread pandemic of Novel Coronavirus (COVID19) and lockdown situation, all the hearings in Patent Office through video Conferences scheduled between 23rd March 2020 and 31st March 2020 stands cancelled. Further dates of rescheduled hearings shall be communicated shortly.


On 23rd March, 2020, the CGPDTM has issued the following notification relating to extensions for filings related to trademarks:

In view of the concern raised by the stakeholders relating to submission of document in time in prevailing conditions, attention has been drawn towards Sec. 131 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and Rules 109 & 110 of Trade Marks Rules, 2017 in regard to extension of time. Accordingly the applicant can file request for extension of time (now or after situation becomes normal) and such request will be consider by the Registrar in accordance to law.


On 19th March, 2020, the CGPDTM has issued a notification with the subject “Hearings and Submission of documents relating to proceedings under the Patents Act, 1970. reg.“. It states:

1. In view of the advisory issued by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India
and concerns raised by Stakeholders regarding COVID-19 outbreak, Head of Offices of Patent Office at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai and Design Wing at Kolkata have been directed that all in person hearings in Patents and Designs matters scheduled on or before 15th April, 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 for a date later than 15thApril, 2020. The hearings scheduled after 15’hApril, 2020 will remain as it is. The Head of Offices have also been directed to pass on above said directions to the notice of all the Controllers of Patents & Designs for implementation.

In view of the Stakeholders’ requests, the same is now issued by way of this Public Notice.

2. Further, in view of number of representations received regarding condonation of delay / extension of timelines to file responses and Ior documents relating to various proceedings under the Patents Act and corresponding rules made thereunder, attention of all the Stakeholders is drawn to the fact that as per sub-rule (6) of Rule 6 of the Patents Rules, the delay in transmitting or resubmitting documents to the Patent Office will be condoned/timeline be extended by the Controller on a petition for such condonation of delayIextension of time made not later than one month from the date when such COVID.19 outbreak ceased to exist.

3. Necessary directions in this regards have already been issued to all offices.


On 17th March, 2020, with regard to hearings related to Design Applications, the Asst Controller of Patents and Designs has issued the following two notifications:

  1. Notification 1: Certain matters before Dr S.K.Barik scheduled for 27/03/20 adjourned to 22/04/20
  2. Notification 2: Certain matters before Sh. Arup Garu scheduled from 18/03/20 – 3/04/20 adjourned to varying dates between 16/04/20 – 28/04/20

The Controller General of Patents, Design and Trade Marks, has issued the following notification on March 16th:

Public Notice- Adjournment of hearings related to trademark scheduled between 17/03/2020 to 15/04/2020

“In view of advisory issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India and the
concerned raised by stakeholders in this regard, all hearings relating to trademarks matters scheduled between 17/03/2020 to 15/04/2020 have been adjourned and these cases will be rescheduled in due course of time.
It may further be noted that hearing scheduled after 15 April, 2020 will remain as it is.”


On March 10th, the Registrar of Trade Marks and GI had also put out a notification that Opposition cases fixed for 12/03/2020 have been adjourned to 30/03/2020 due to administrative reasons.
As per a new notification dated 19/03/20, the above (scratched out) information is now outdated. The new notification states:

In view of public notice CG Office/Public Notice/2020 dated 16/03/2020 issued by Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, the opposition cases hearing fixed on 12/03/2020 and adjourned to 30/03/2020 due to administrative reasons in Trade Marks Registry Branch, Chennai, also stands cancelled


On 13th March, the IPAB has posted a notice for hearings in Chennai

“In view of the travel advisory issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare,
Govt. of India, Hon’ble Chairman directed to reschedule the hearing fixed on 16.03.2020
& 17.03.2020 at Chennai. Accordingly the cases listed on 16.03.2020 are reposted to
07.04.2020 & cases listed on 17.03.2020 are reposted to 08.04.2020. For further details
please visit our Website https://www.ipab.gov.in ”


On 16th March, the IPAB posted a notice for matters listed for Delhi: (Notice dated 18/03/20 has partially modified this information, and is updated below) 

“In view of the outbreak of Corona virus (2019-NCOV), Hon’ble Chairman is pleased
to direct that the functioning of Intellectual Property Appellate Board from 16/03/2020 shall
be restricted to urgent matters only. The lawyers are requested to contact the Deputy
for listing of urgent matters, if any.
The matters listed at Delhi from 17/03/2020 TO 31/03/2020 have been rescheduled as detailed below:

Matters listed on 18/03/2020 are now rescheduled to 01/04/2020
Matters listed on 19/03/2020 are now rescheduled to 01/04/2020
Matters listed on 20/03/2020 are now rescheduled to 01/04/2020
Matters listed on 24/03/2020 are now rescheduled to 21/04/2020 (added by 18th March notification)
Matters listed on 24/03/2020 are now rescheduled to 02/04/2020 22/04/2020 (updated by 18th March notification)
Matters listed on 25/03/2020 are now rescheduled to 03/04/2020
Matters listed on 30/03/2020 are now rescheduled to 13/04/2020
Matters listed on 31/03/2020 are now rescheduled to 15/04/2020

For further details please visit our website www.ipab.gov.in

Considering the importance of the safety measures for health, all concerned are requested to co-operate with the Officials in the interest of all.”


On March 16th, the Registrar of Copyright has put out the following notice:

In view of advisory issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India and the concerns raised by stakeholders, all hearings relating to copyright matters scheduled from 17.03.2020 to 31.03.2020 have been adjourned. These cases will be rescheduled in due course of time.


How Courts are handling it: 

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has limited its functioning, and also taken other precautions such as thermal screening and hand sanitiser stations (see here for the Supreme Court’s circular, and here for LiveLaw’s report). The SC also is taking measures to reduce the ‘people to people’ contact, by introducing video conferencing for court proceedings, e-filings, etc. See more in LiveLaw’s report here.

Several High Courts including the Delhi High Court, the Bombay High Court , the High Court of Karnataka, have also put out notices regarding the restricted functioning they will proceed with for now.

Please click here to view other COVID-19 related posts on SpicyIP and leave a comment.

6 comments.

  1. AvatarAnonymous

    thanks to Trade Marks Registry officials who have kind enough in taking timely action to adjourn the hearings but what about the officials / staff who are working in the Trade Marks Registry, someone think about them also

    Reply
  2. AvatarAnonymous

    CG Office/Public Notice/2020 dated: 23/03/2020
    Public Notice
    In view of the concern raised by the stakeholders relating to submission of document in time in
    prevailing conditions, attention has been drawn towards Sec. 131 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and
    Rules 109 & 110 of Trade Marks Rules, 2017 in regard to extension of time. Accordingly the applicant
    can file request for extension of time (now or after situation becomes normal) and such request will be
    consider by the Registrar in accordance to law.
    Sd/-
    Controller General of Patent, Design and Trade Marks

    Reply

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