SpicyIP Tidbit: IPD Updates in Delhi, Calcutta and Madras High Courts

Recently it was announced that a new roster of judges will take charge of the Delhi High Court’s Intellectual Property Division (IPD), with effect from November 28, 2022 (pdf). The new roster shall comprise Justice C. Hari Shankar, Justice Sanjeev Nirula and Justice Amit Bansal and will take over the division from Justice Prathiba M. Singh, Justice Navin Chawla and Justice Jyoti Singh. The earlier roster was effective from July 4, 2022. 

IPD, Delhi High Court was formed on the basis of recommendations submitted by a committee comprising Justice Pratibha Singh and Justice Sanjeev Nirula.  This committee was formed by the then Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Justice D.N Patel to have a streamlined and comprehensive review of the manner in which some 5000+ IP cases comprising both cases from IPAB and cases from Delhi High Court’s original side, can be dealt with. As suggested by Eva Bishwal in a previous guest post here, this may be approximately 5000+ cases. With regard to the functioning of the IPD, the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court can notify IPD from time to time and the IPD is governed by the  IPD Delhi High Court Rules, High Court of Delhi Rules Governing Patent Suits, 2022, Delhi High Court (Original Side) Rules, 2018, CPC and Commercial Courts Act, 2015.

Considering the huge backlog that the IPD was supposed to streamline, we tried finding the number of cases heard/ disposed of by different rosters since the IPD’s inception but weren’t able to find any. In case any one of our readers would have an idea where we can find this information, please feel free to write to us.  

Calcutta High Court, Madras to start their IPDs soon?

Speaking of special treatment to IP matters across High Courts, Calcutta High Court recently notified the nomenclature for IP matters with regard to Appeals and Original Applications/ Petitions for listing in the cause lists. It is worth mentioning that after the dissolution of the IPAB, more than 600 matters were transferred to the Calcutta High Court, as disclosed by Justice Soumen Sen of the Calcutta High Court at the National Seminar on Adjudication of IPR Disputes in India. Justice Sen also underscored the need to adapt and discuss the ways to adjudicate IP disputes in tune with established practices all over the world and further appreciated the IPD Rules framed by the Delhi High Court. We’re told by one of our readers, who prefers to remain anonymous, that discussions around dedicated IP rules are also underway in Calcutta High Court. If so, this notification seems like the first step towards establishing an IPD-like arrangement in the Calcutta High Court.  

Apart from this update at Calcutta High Court, in February 2022,  Sukanya Sarkar, from Managing IP, reported that Madras High Court too is working on its unique arrangement. She highlights that the high court has asked a committee comprising Justice M Sundar, Justice Abdul Quddhose and Justice Senthil Kumar Ramamoorthy, assisted by IP lawyers Shuba Shiny, Sathish Kumar and M S Bharath, to frame rules concerning cancellation actions and appeals transferred from IPAB to Madras High Court. Presently, I am unable to find any further development on these rules since this news break and will appreciate it in case any of our readers would have any further ideas about this development.

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