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The Delhi High Court has stayed an order issued by the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks, which gave time till May 18 to litigants and advocates to file reply/document, pay fees etc in matters of intellectual property.
The order was passed by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdhar in a challenge to the order preferred by Intellectual Property Attorneys Association.
The Petitioner argued that the order/public notice was contrary to the order dated passed by the Supreme Court on March 23, suspending the limitation period running under all general and special laws, with effect from March 15, 2020.
It was further argued that fixing a cut-off date of May 18 for completion of various acts/proceedings, filings, payment of fees, etc. in the matters of any IP applications flied in face of the Supreme Court order.
The Petitioner stated that such a deadline imposed an onerous burden both on the litigants as well as their advocates as it would be difficult for the litigants and the advocates to access their files and ensure that the filings as per prescribed procedure are made within a day of lifting the lockdown.
It was stated that the protection against triggering of the period of limitation, whether condonable or not, was to kick in from March 15 and not from March 25, as was the stand taken by the Controller in the impugned order.
The Controller General, on the other hand, submitted that a clarification qua the order of the Supreme Court could be obtained by the Petitioners only by moving the Supreme Court.
After hearing the parties, the Court opined,
It accepted the Petitioner's assertion that protection against limitation should commence from March 15 and not March 25.
The Court further stated that there was merit in the submission that a very narrow window, in terms of timeframe, had been given for filings.
In view of the above, the Court thus ordered,
The Court directed that the Controller General shall act in accordance with the order of the Supreme Court on the suspension of limitation.
The Petitioner was represented by Senior Advocate Chander M Lall with Advocates Nancy Roy, Archana Sahadeva, Gurvnder Singh, Rahul Vidhani, Gaurav Miglani.
The Controller General was represented by Advocates Harish Vaidyanathan Shankar and Akanksha Kaul.
Read the order: