Following a Writ petition filed in the High Court, the Controller of Patents has undertaken to withdraw the mass abandonment of Trade Mark applications. The subject of challenge in this Writ Petition was the notices published by the CGPDTM on 06-02-2023 and 27-03-2023.

Two notices were published in Trademark Journal No. 2090 dated 06-03-2023.  In one of the notices, the CGPDTM treated more than 9000 Trademark applications as ‘abandoned’ under Section 132 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 read with Rule 33 (4) of the Trade Marks Rules, 2017 for non-filing of reply to the Examination Report within the prescribed period of 30 days. In the other notice, more than 8000 Trademark applications were treated as ‘deemed to have been abandoned’ under Section 21(2) of the Trade Marks Act for non-filing of counter-statement in opposition proceedings within the prescribed period of two months. However, both notices did not outright ‘abandon’ or treat the applications as ‘deemed to have been abandoned’. A grace period of 30 days was given to the applicants to respond to the TM Registry with the proof of filing of the response, in case they have filed the reply/counter-statement as the case may be. The notice stated that in case there is no such proof, the applications shall be abandoned/ deemed to have been abandoned.

 After the expiry of 30 days as mentioned in the notices, the CGPDTM published two more public notices in the TM Journal No. 2097 dated 27-03-2023 in continuance to the above-mentioned public notices. Under the said notices, numerous Trademark applications were declared as abandoned Section132 and ‘deemed to be abandoned’ under Section 21 (2)of the TM Act. All these public notices were the subject of challenge in the writ petition W.P.(C)-IPD 21/2023 filed before the Delhi High Court.

Now, in consequence of the Delhi High Court order, the CGPDTM has issued a public notice on 21-04-2023 withdrawing the public notices dated 06-02-2023 and 27-03-2023 and, simultaneously restoring all the applications listed in these notices to their original status. As per the notice, the National Informatics Centre is in the process of restoring these applications to their original status within the time stipulated by the Delhi High Court. As seen from the order, the time earmarked for this process is 10 days from the date of the order, i.e, 13-04-2023.

A similar situation arose in 2016 also, when a writ petition was filed before the Delhi High Court following the mass abandonment of numerous trademark applications by the CGPDTM.  The High Court stayed the impugned notice, consequent to which the TMO issued a public notice providing further time to submit the representations.

By Reshma A – Puthran & Associates

This article is only for the purpose of information.