As all of you may be aware, we have been covering all latest developments about the hasty mass abandonment of trademark applications by the Trade Mark Registry on a regular basis. As per the Registry, such action was taken due to the non-receipt of trademark responses to Examination Reports, within the statutory limit of 30 days.
Earlier this week we reported about the public notice issued by the Controller General of Patents Trademarks and Designs stating the following-
“It is notified to all concerned that in case any applicant or his authorised agent considers that his/her application has been erroneously treated as abandoned, he/she should send a representation with all details along with sufficient documentary evidence substantiating his/her case.
The latest development in the story as of yesterday 5th April, 2016 is the Delhi High Court’s order staying 193,908 orders issued by the Controller General of Patents, Design and Trademarks, between 28th March to 31st March, 2016. Justice Manmohan Singh heard various writ petitions challenging the arbitrary actions of the Controller. One such writ was filed by the Delhi-based Intellectual Property Attorneys Association presided by Mr. C.M. Lall stating that a large number of application were abandoned by the registry without any intimation to the applicants or their respective agents. Another writ petition was filed by Anand and Anand for the Tata Steel Ltd, representing their interests.
According to Livemint, the order states that on 31st March, itself the registry had abandoned 52,000 trade mark application, without proper judgement. As per law, the Registry cannot abandon any application without sufficiently intimating the applicants or their agent. However, in this case all applicants claim that no such letter /examination report or any other intimation was received by them.
Some legal experts have also stated that in order to comply with the Madrid Protocol’s requirement of disposing of application on a timely basis, the Registry took the easy route. Many lawyers have also commented on the juxtaposition of this abandonment issue and other initiatives being taken by the government to strengthen India’s IP environment.
The matter is now scheduled to be heard on the 12th of May, 2016.
The said order is available below