In July, 2021, the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Delhi High Court announced creation of Intellectual Property Division (IPD) to deal with IP matters including those which were to be transferred to the Delhi High Court from erstwhile Appellate Board (IPAB). On October 8, 2021, the Delhi High Court has circulated IPD Rules, 2021 for inputs from the members of the Bar. The Rules will regulate the matters listed before IPD and prescribes the practice and procedure for the exercise of the original and appellate jurisdiction of IPAD and for other miscellaneous petitions arising out of specific IP statutes. Some of the salient features of the proposed Rules are:
(i) Registered Patent agents or Trademark agents and also any professional having knowledge of the said subject matter of the dispute shall have a right of audience before the IPD, to assist the Court along with the counsels/legal practitioners representing the parties.
(ii) For cases other than patent cases, the IPD pass summary judgment, without the requirement of filing a specific application seeking summary judgment on principles akin to those contained in Order XIIIA, Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 as applicable to commercial suits under the Commercial Courts Act, 2015 22.
(iii) For patent cases, summary adjudication maybe considered by the Court if the case is falling in any of the following categories.
- Where the remaining term of the patent is 5 years or less;
- A certificate of validity of the said patent has already been issued by any High Court or the Supreme Court;
- If the Defendant is a repeated infringer of the same or related Patent
- If the validity of the Patent is admitted and only infringement is denied.
(iv) In case of multiple proceedings relating to the same or related IPR, irrespective of whether the said proceedings are between the same parties or not, the IPD shall have the power and the discretion to direct consolidation of proceedings, hearings, and also to direct consolidated recording of evidence/ common trial and consolidated adjudication.
(v) In all matters filed before the IPD advance copy shall be served at the address for service as also through email at least 48 hours in advance, upon the Respondents including the counsels/agents, who may have represented the Respondents before the IPO, or trial court, or authority as the case may be. Upon advance copy being served, parties/counsels/agents/authority shall be represented on the first date of hearing before the Court and no further notice would be issued and the matter may be heard and disposed of on the first day of listing.
The proposed Rules, which you can access here(http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/writereaddata/Upload/PublicNotices/PublicNotice_5J4GUGI051K.PDF), aim to streamline the practice and procedure at the IPD to expedite the disposal of IP cases at the IPD and is a welcome move. We look forward to inputs for efficient working of IPD and early disposal of original cancellation actions, appeals, infringement suits and other matters related to Intellectual Property Rights.
Author: Abhai Pandey, Partner