IPD for Madras High Court! The Court Directs the State Government to Notify the Rules Within 1 Week

Last month, Lokesh wrote about the Madras High Court order in Galatea Limited v. Registrar General, High Court of Judicature of Madras, where the court directed the government to notify the inauguration of the Intellectual Property Division (IPD). In a huge development, the court in the case has directed (pdf) the government to notify the IPD Rules except with the rule related to court fees, within 1 week from the receipt of the order, to much relief of IP practitioners and litigants. 

The Additional Advocate General of Tamil Nadu had argued before the court that as per Section 129 of the CPC, the High Court is empowered to draft the concerned rules and no prior approval from the government is necessary. Furthermore, he informed that the government is taking steps to incorporate the provisions concerning court fees and need two months to either promulgate an ordinance or amend the Tamil Nadu Court Fees and Suits Valuation Act, 1955. However, the court observed that when the Registry had forwarded the draft to the government on 27th October 2022, for issuing the relevant notification, and when the government has no objection to doing the same, then the government has to take immediate steps and notify the rules except the one pertaining to the court fees. 

The court observed that 1094 out of 2090 cases transferred after the abolition of the IPAB are awaiting notification of the IPD Rules and in many cases, the patent will expire. Therefore, the court reiterated that the litigants will not be made to suffer because of the delay on the part of the Respondents. 

With regard to the court fees, the court directed the Registry to collect the court fees as per the draft rule, pending amendment in the Tamil Nadu Court Fees and Suits Valuation Act, 1955, along with an undertaking from the litigants filing the appeal, to make good any difference in the amount in the event of any change in the collection of the court fees. Furthermore, for the matters transferred from the IPAB, the court directed the Registry to not collect any court fees as the court fees for these matters have already been paid. 

This effectively means that the Madras High Court should ideally have a dedicated IPD inaugurated within 1 week from this order, making it the second high court in India with this arrangement. I have previously highlighted that the Calcutta High Court is also considering coming up with its own set of IPD Rules and hope that this news can fasten the momentum on that development and help to build the unique IP adjudication ecosystem in the country.

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