The Court refuses to remove names of Trademark Officers from the order

In this matter, the Petitioner, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Limited intended to oppose the trademark ‘RAZOMAX’, advertised on 19/07/2021. Since the statutory period to file the opposition under Section 21 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 lapsed, Dr. Reddy’s was not permitted to file the opposition. Along with Dr. Reddy’s, three other Petitioners also filed writ petitions, contesting the arbitrary and discriminatory manner in which the CGPDTM disallowed the Petitioners from filing oppositions to the trademark applications.

As per the Supreme Court’s order in Suo Moto Writ (Civil) No. 3 of 2020 titled In Re: Cognizance for Extension of Limitation, the period between 15/03/2020 to 28/02/2022 was excluded from limitation calculations across all enactments and statutes, which was also acknowledged by the CGPDTM.

During the hearing of the Writ Petition (W.P.(C)-IPD 4/2022) filed by Dr. Reddy’s, the Court had directed CGPDTM senior officials to ascertain the position relating to the extension of limitation. Mr. Sachin Sharma, Deputy Registrar of Trademarks & GI and Mr. Juneja, Assistant Registrar of Trademarks appeared before the Court in the mentioned hearing and submitted that various applications filed within the limitation period were entertained by the Trademark Registry during the pandemic. However, they failed to disclose on the first day of the writ petition proceeding that, about 6000 to 7000 oppositions were entertained, beyond the four-month limitation period.

In view of the non-disclosure and wastage of judicial time, the two senior officials were reprimanded for such conduct and fined as per the order dated 21/03/2022. The delay in filing the oppositions by all four Petitioners was condoned and prospective opponents were allowed time to file opposition by 30/05/2022. The Court also issued various directions concerning compliance with the order and the hearings being conducted by the Opposition Section of the CGPDTM.

In the Review Petition, it was prayed that the references to the two senior officials in the order dated 21/03/2022, be deleted. However, the Court held that the non-disclosure by the officials was unacceptable, which appeared deliberate. Hence, the review was rejected.

Additionally, it was reported to the Court that opposition hearings were not being conducted. The Counsel on behalf of the CGPDTM informed that, since the technical issues relating to the IT infrastructure are resolved, the opposition hearings will also be listed.

 

Citation: Dr.Reddys Laboratories Limited vs Controller General Of Patents Designs, High Court of Delhi, 01st April, 2024, REVIEW PET. 102/2022 in W.P.(C)-IPD 4/2022.

Authored by Ms. Benita Alphonsa Basil, Trademark Team, BananaIP Counsels.

Reviewed and Confirmed by Ms. Swathi Muthukumar, Trademark Team, BananaIP Counsels.

 

Disclaimer

The case note/s in this blog post have been written by IP Attorneys at BananaIP Counsels based on their review and understanding of the Judgments. It may be noted that other IP attorneys and experts in the field may have different opinions about the cases or arrive at different conclusions therefrom. It is advisable to read the Judgments before making any decisions based on the case notes.

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