After addressing the concerns of the IP fraternity over a webinar last week, the Chairman of IPAB, Mr. (Justice) Manmohan Singh has issued an Office Order on May 11, 2020 providing the modalities for taking up cases for consideration over video conferencing facility of IPAB.
As per this Office Order
(https://ipab.gov.in/ipab_causelist/officeorder_video_conference.pdf) all new cases are now required to be filed electronically using online filing system of IPAB and hearings in the pending cases will be conducted only through video conferencing.
The litigants/lawyers representing the cases pending for disposal by IPAB can now send the entire paper book of the appeals and applications to IPAB over official email and can request for early hearings in the matters. IPAB has also started issuing hearing notices in cases which has been settled by the parties in litigation or in any other proceedings, so that, those cases are easily taken of from the records of IPAB.
In case of contested trademark cases, IPAB is also facilitating early hearings on seeking consent of the counsels of both the parties. Contested patent cases, however are unlikely to be heard at this stage due to vacancy in the post of Member (Technical) which is likely to be filled very soon.
However, there are many IP cases which are pending before IPAB at admission stage or for disposal of applications seeking condonation of delay in filing appeals or for issuance of notices to other parties and these matters can now be taken up by the Board using the electronic filing and video conferencing facility.
No doubt this initiative of the Chairman of IPAB will immensely help in reducing the back log of trademark and patent appeals, revocation and rectification applications and several other matters related to copyright laws, which are waiting to see the light of the day since past many years.