With Madras High Court’s new IP Division, other High Courts in India should follow suit
28 April 2023
With the inauguration of the Madras High Court’s Intellectual Property Division (IPD) on April 12, 2023, Manisha Singh, co-founder and partner at LexOrbis in New Delhi said their firm expects other original side High Courts such as Bombay, Calcutta and others, to follow suit.
“With the success of the IPD at the Delhi High Court and now with the introduction of the IPD at the Madras High Court, it is now important that courts in other jurisdictions also follow these steps,” said Singh, “for timely disposal and resolution of pending IP cases.”
The Madras Hight Court is the second court in India to have an IP Division, the first being the Delhi High Court whose IP Division has been in operation since February 24, 2022.
“With the increasing number of IP disputes in India, the need for an expedited process for the resolution of IP rights cases is needed now more than ever,” said Manisha Singh, co-founder and partner at LexOrbis in New Delhi. “One of the major reasons for abolishment of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) was the delay on their part to dispose off cases, and the chair of chairman and other technical members remained vacant for years. With this abolishment, all the pending matters before the IPAB were transferred to the respective High Courts which were already facing critical issues related to existing backlog.”
A committee headed by the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court then recommended setting up the Intellectual Property Division to exercise its jurisdiction in the original proceedings, Civil Writ Petitions, Civil Miscellaneous Petitions, Regular First Appeal and First Appeal from Order for timely disposal of IP cases.
“With the Delhi High Court being one of the leading and sought-after courts for resolution of IP disputes, the introduction of IPD has definitely helped in reducing inordinate delays in resolution of disputes which adversely affect national and international applicants and their business interests,” said Singh.
With already over 2,500 pending commercial cases, the Delhi High Court’s workload received an additional 3,000 IP cases from the IPAB after it was abolished.
“The benches of IPD comprises of Hon’ble Judges who possess in-depth knowledge of this niche field of law which has led to streamlining of the disposal of IP-related cases. Further, the power of ‘supervisory jurisdiction’ granted to IPD benches has contributed to improving over-all functioning of the Indian IP Offices as appeals arising out of the decisions of the IP Offices are heard by the IPD,” Singh explained.
She added that the response to the IPD has been positive and encouraging for other courts to follow these footsteps.
“With the rising number of IP filings in India, contentious cases arising out of IPR-related issues will come hand in hand,” Singh said.
- Espie Angelica A. de Leon