The Measures Of The Indian IP Office In Wake Of COVID-19 Outbreak.
Legal News & Analysis - Asia Pacific - India - Intellectual Property
1 April, 2020
The outbreak of COVID -19 has created uncertainties around the world and no sphere of our lives seems to be unscathed. The governments, international organizations and private establishments are taking measures to curb COVID-19.
In India, the government of India has directed everyone to adhere social distancing and has imposed a nationwide lock-down for 21 days till 14 April 2020. In view of the same, the Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM) in India has made the following announcements to protect the interests of the stakeholders:
On 16 March 2020, a public notice was issued stating that all hearings relating to trademarks matters scheduled between 17 March 2020 to 15 April 2020 have been adjourned and these cases will be rescheduled in due course of time. It may further be noted that hearings scheduled after 15 April 2020 will remain as it is.
On 17 March 2020, in an urgent public notice & urgent public notice it was announced that the hearings in respect of design applications, which were previously listed / scheduled from 18 March 2020 to 3 April 2020, have been rescheduled from 16 April 2020.
On 19 March 2020, a public notice was issued stating that all personal hearings and submission of documents related to the Patents and Designs scheduled on or before 15 April 2020 should be changed to Video Conferencing (VC) hearings. If the applicant is unable to agree to a video conferencing hearing, the Controller is instructed to adjourn the hearing until after 15 April 2020. Hearings scheduled for after 15 April 2020 will remain unaffected by this public notice.
On 24 March 2020, a public notice was issued in view of the concern raised by stakeholders over the submission of documents in time in prevailing conditions, drawn attention to Section 131 of the Trademarks Act 1999, and Rules 109 & 110 of the Trademarks Rules 2017, with regards to extension of time. Accordingly, the applicant can file request for extension of time (now or after situation becomes normal) and such request will be considered by the Registrar in accordance to law. 2 Additionally, all Patent hearings in the Patent Office scheduled between 23 March 2020 and 14 April 2020 stands cancelled and will be rescheduled for the later period.
On 25 March 2020, the CGPDTM issued a public notice that it will remain close for a period of 21 days with effect from 25 March 2020. Therefore, in view of the above, the due dates of timelines/periods prescribed under different the Intellectual Property Acts and Rules with respect to completion of various acts/activities, filing of any reply/document, payment of fees, etc. regarding any IP applications filed with the offices under the administrative control of the CGPDTM shall be the date on which the offices will re-open.