Issues of Limitation
traditionally find a place in litigation. However, as
quasi-judicial authorities are increasingly being established
having the authority to hear and dispose off issues and
differences, it is but natural that concerns such as being
time-barred or not shall crop up before such bodies.
The Trademarks Act 1999, post
publication provides a period of three months to oppose the
published mark. An extension of one month may be granted at the
request of the opponent. Although these facets of trademarks
registration may seem to work like a strait-jacket formula, yet
occasions arise when the Registry finds itself in a dilemma.
Anjali Creations v. Zyro Ltd. [2008 (36) PTC
645 (Reg.)] was witness to one such instance of oblivion.
A opposition hearing at the
Mumbai Trademarks Registry, Zyro Ltd. a company incorporated
under the laws of England and Wales with respect to the word
"ALTURA". In this regard an application for extension
of time by one month was filed along with the notice of
opposition. The question that came forth the Registrar dealt
with the request being within the statutory period of time or
Zyro in their contention stated
S. 21(1) of the Trademarks Act, 1999 as the clause governing
filling of extensions. The registrar opined that a plain
reading of the section revealed that there was no legislative
intent to restrict filling of opposition to a period of three
months and that no time period to file the application for
extension of time had been specified. The counsel for Zyro also
drew the attention of the court to the Trade Mark Rules, 2002 (
pertinently Rule 47(1)), by virtue of which a notice of
opposition filed after three months was to be made along with
the prescribed fee and an application under Rule 47(6). A
plethora of cases were also taken aid of by the Opponents, in
strengthening their stand.
On examining the statutory
provisions, the Registrar reiterated that the Rules stated the
procedural requirements were to enable oppositions to bona fide
opponents, which came to the notice of the party after three
months but before the lapse of four months. He stated that the
legal fiction is not absolute, but limited by the word
"shall" and the time limit prescribed in the
statute-book. Applying the principle of "harmonious
construction" to the Acts and Rules, and with due regard
to a decision by the Delhi High Court, the registrar ruled that
the word "shall" as in Rule 47(6) be construed to be
directory in nature and not mandatory. Pronouncing this, the
Registrar granted the extension of time, stating it to be
within his discretionary powers to order such a ruling.
This article enunciates the recent, much awaited, and landmark judgment delivered on September 16, 2016 by Hon'ble Delhi High Court throwing light on the important provisions of the Copyright Act, 1962.
The Patents Act 1970, along with the Patents Rules 1972, came into force on 20th April 1972, replacing the Indian Patents and Designs Act 1911. The Patents Act was largely based on the recommendations of the Ayyangar Committee Report headed by Justice N. Rajagopala Ayyangar. One of the recommendations was the allowance of only process patents with regard to inventions relating to drugs, medicines, food and chemicals.
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