India Resumes Show-Cause Hearings After INTA Meeting

Published: October 21, 2020

Abhimanyu Kumar ALG India Law Offices LLP New Delhi, India Trademark Office Practices—India Subcommittee

The Indian government made a change to hearings for pending trademark applications after meeting with a delegation of INTA members from the region.

The Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM) issued a public notice on August 26, 2020, stating that under provisions contained in Trademark Rules, 2017, the show-cause hearings for pending applications delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in India would be conducted through videoconferencing. The move was an effort to speed up processing of the trademark applications, which have been in abeyance since March 2020 as a result of the health crisis.

Controller General O.P. Gupta conveyed the decision to provide applicants and their agents the option of conducting hearings through videoconferences to a four-member INTA delegation from the Trademark Office Practice Committee—India Subcommittee and the India Global Advisory Council. INTA members had requested the meeting, held on August 14, to discuss certain suggestions and recommendations, including a request to resume trademark show-cause hearings, now via videoconferencing.

The public notice provided an option to applicants and their authorized agents to give their consent to attend a show-cause hearing by sending an email with the subject line “Consent for Show-cause Hearing through Video Conference.” The deadline to submit consent via email was September 5, 2020.

The scheduled hearings will be kept in abeyance until in-person, physical hearings are commenced for those whose consent was not received by the cut-off date on the designated email, according to the notice. Furthermore, if on the date of the scheduled hearing the applicant or the authorized agent fails to appear, the application will be decided as per law. Under the public notice, the CGPDTM will try to schedule all pending applications of applicants or agents on the same day in sequential order depending on available time.

The public notice indicates that a single mail by the applicant or the authorized agent consenting to hold the show-cause hearings through videoconferencing in the prescribed manner would suffice. “Single mail” means consent for show-cause hearings via videoconferencing will not be required for each individual application.

During the 2020 Annual Meeting & Leadership Meeting, as part of a regional update, Mr. Gupta will speak about the business process re-engineering at the Indian Patent Office, including changes to tackle the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in the administration of intellectual property rights in India. The session, Regional Update: India–Updates on Key Developments in Trademark Law and Legal, Administrative, and Policy Landscape, is available on demand on the virtual platform beginning November 16.

Register here for the INTA’s 2020 Annual Meeting & Leadership Meeting.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of this article, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

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