In March this year, the Trade Marks Registry in India, in an effort to clear its backlog of pending applications for registration, took the unprecedented step of deeming all applications to be abandoned if they had not been prosecuted in a timely manner by the proprietors. However, as the Registry didn’t take account of whether their own records were accurate and whether the Registry had itself moved the applications forwards, India’s Intellectual Property Attorneys Association together with some proprietors filed a Writ at the High Court in Delhi challenging this action on the grounds that, in the absence of notifying the proprietors beforehand, this violates constitutional rights and the principles of natural justice.
As a result all the relevant abandonment orders have been suspended and no further orders will be issued without following statutory procedures, until a Decision has been issued following the Hearing for the Writ which is set for 12 May 2016.
The Registry in India is experiencing considerable disruption as a result of this, and their recent introduction of dealing with applications on-line and by email. Historically there have been long delays in the prosecution of applications in India, but this is likely to exacerbate the situation further.
We will be contacting any of our clients who are affected by this, but in the meantime if you have any concerns please contact your usual attorney here, or Janice Trebble, for assistance.
For more information, please contact: