HIGH COURT REPRIMANDS TRADEMARKS REGISTRY FOR DELAY

While observing the facts of the Writ Petition filed in the Delhi High Court named Asianet Star Communications Pvt. Ltd. v/s. The Registrar of Trademarks WP no. (C)11284/2019, on 31st October, 2019, Justice Pratibha Singh noted that due to lack of coordination amongst departments of the Trademarks Office that deal with different kinds of forms, there is huge inefficiency in the processing of the trademark applications. The Judge further observed that the processing of a trademark application should be efficient and timely. In the matter in question the Trademarks Registry had failed to consider the application despite the passage of ten years.

After identifying the necessity to streamline the procedure of registering of trade marks applications, the Court ordered the Head of Trademark Registry, to file an  Affidavit mentioning that in order to obviate the recurrence of such situations in the future, which have clearly become endemic in the Trade Mark Registry, a proper procedure is required to be established for the processing of trade mark applications and registrations. Accordingly, the Registrar of Trademark shall place on record an affidavit of Mr. Hoshiar Singh, the Head of the Trade Marks Registry, Delhi, detailing the following aspects:

i) the current procedure for processing of trade mark applications,including the various steps starting from filing, acceptance of fee, allocation of application number, examination and generation of examination report, acceptance of responses, hearings held, if any, orders passed on the said files, grant of trade mark registration certificates, change of address, change of name, processing of licences and assignments, renewal notices, etc. and whether they are dealt with by one officer or by different departments, even if they relate to same application. The same may be explained by means of a flow chart;

ii) the manner and procedure for uploading of documents which is currently being followed at each and every stage by the Trade Marks Registry;

iii) whether it is considered efficient to allocate a particular trademark application to a specific officer who would then process the various forms filed in respect of that application so that the familiarity of the officer with the file would enable efficient processing of the same;

iv) insofar as post-registration formalities, such as renewals, assignments, etc. are concerned, whether the same should be dealt with by a separate department and if so whether post registration formalities of specific registered trade marks ought to be handled by a single officer.”

The Court also directed technical person from the National Informatics Centre and a senior officer from the Trade Marks Registry, Delhi who is familiar with Affidavit to the Court, to remain present in Court on the next date of hearing i.e. 5th December, 2019.

It is high time that the Trade Marks Registry should be called upon to be efficient. As India is now looking at being a global economy, registration of trade marks is a very important aspect of being recognized as a developed economy. All developed countries worldwide take great pains to protect their intellectual property rights and India must do the same to get a global recognition as a developed economy. The Courts intervention for improving the efficiency for Trademarks Registry is much required.

Govind Gupta

Associate

The Indian Lawyer

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