Intellectual Property Appellate Board

The Intellectual Property Appellate Board was established on 15th September 2003, under the Trade Marks Act 1999 and became functional in December 2003. The IPAB rules have been notified in the official gazette.

The primary purpose of establishment of the IPAB is to provide an appellate forum to expeditiously adjudicate upon appeals from the orders or decisions passed by the Registrar of Trade marks & Geographical Indications as well as the Controller of Patents. The IPAB has also been conferred the original jurisdiction in regard to rectification applications in its original jurisdiction. As of now the IPAB has been hearing appeals from the orders passed by the Registrar of Trade Marks only.

The orders subject to appeal before the IPAB are those passed by the Registrar of Trade Marks during rectification or opposition proceedings. Earlier such appeals were made to the High Courts. However, it is to be noted that appeals from infringement proceedings solely under the High Court”s Jurisdiction and that the IPAB has no statutory powers to try infringement proceedings.

Composition of IPAB: Every bench comprises of a Judicial member & a Technical member.

Appeals to IPAB: An order may be appealed before the IPAB within a period of three months from the date of such order. The law also allows condonation of delay.

Jurisdiction: The IPAB has been conferred the exclusive jurisdiction to hear appeals from the orders the Registrar of Trade marks, the Controller of Patents & Designs as well as the Registrar of Geographical Indications in respect of matter specified in the respective legislations.

Rules & Procedures: The Code of Civil Procedure is not applicable to the proceedings before IPAB. The IPAB has been vested with the powers to make its own rules for conduct of proceedings. A notification was passed on December 5th 2003, which laid out the Rules governing the proceedings before the IPAB i.e IPAB (Procedure) Rules 2003.

The Chairman has the power to transfer cases from one Bench to another, either on an application by a party to the hearing or its own. This discretionary power will ensure the fixing of the place of hearing, taking consideration the convenience of the parties.

No ex-parte injunction is possible in the proceedings before the IPAB. The emphasis is on merits.

The Board has been given the power to review its own decision. The Chairman has been given the authority to post the review proceeding before a Bench, determined by him.

The orders, passed by the IPAB, are subject to appeal before the High Court.

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