The High Court of Delhi confirms the applicability of the order dated March 23, 2020 of the Supreme Court of India on extension of timelines under all Indian IP laws.
Intellectual Property Attorneys Association (IIPA) filed a writ petition before the High Court of Delhi challenging the number of public notices issued by the Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs, Trademarks (CGPDTM). By the latest notice of May 04, 2020, the office of CGPDTM had extended all timelines for doing any act including filing of replies/documents, payment of fees, etc. under all IP laws up to May 18, 2020, the date coinciding with the end of lockdown 3.0.
IIPA contended in the above writ petition that the public notices issued by CGPDTM was contrary to the Order dated March 23, 2020 of the Supreme Court of India by which the Supreme Court, in view of the lockdown, extended limitation period under all general and specific laws from March 15, 2020 till the further orders of the Court. IIPA contended that notice of the CGPDTM starts the extension period from March 23, 2020 and ends it on May 18, 2020 which dates are not in accordance with the aforesaid Order of the Supreme Court.
The High Court of Delhi agreed to the contentions of IIPA and held that the order dated March 23, 2020 of the Supreme Court of India is binding on the CGPDTM. The High Court held that extension of all timelines under Indian IP laws shall start from March 15, 2020 as directed by the Supreme Court and that the said extensions shall remain valid till the date to be decided by the Supreme Court after reviewing the COVID-19 situation and consequent lockdown.
The High Court agreed that cessation of extension on the day of lifting of lockdown provides very narrow window to the applicants and lawyers to prepare and file documents. The High Court therefore, while disposing of the Writ Petition of IIPA, left the time for cessation of extension of timelines under IP laws to be decided by the Supreme Court of India.
We are monitoring all proceedings in India in respect of extension of timelines under Indian IP laws in view of the current lockdown and will keep you posted on further developments.