EXTENSION OF TIME FOR FILING DOCUMENTS UNDER ALL IPR ACTS AND RULES – Eshwars
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EXTENSION OF TIME FOR FILING DOCUMENTS UNDER ALL IPR ACTS AND RULES

The Controller General of Patent, Design and Trademarks has on the 25th March 2020 issued a Public Notice that all the IP Offices in India shall remain closed from the 25th March 2020. It has further extended all deadlines and due dates in respect of filing of documents in any matter that falls due during this period of closure until the date of next day on which the offices re-open.

While this notice issued by the Controller General of Patent, Design and Trademarks definitely benefits the concerned stakeholders and grants a time extension during this period of crisis but there may be several practical issues that may arise as and when the offices re-open given the voluminous filings that can potentially be made by various stakeholders to comply with the deadlines for multiple matters falling on the same day viz., the date on which the offices re-open.

In this regard it is to be noted that as mentioned earlier the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has vide its order dated 23rd March 2020 ordered that a period of limitation in all such proceedings, irrespective of the limitation prescribed under the general law or Special Laws whether condonable or not shall stand extended w.e.f. 15th March 2020. While it may be inferred from the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court that the extensions of limitations as granted thereunder also applies to deadlines even under the special enactments such as the IPR enactments and the Rules framed thereunder, it would have really benefitted the stakeholders of the IPR fraternity if the Controller General of Patent, Design and Trademarks had aligned the time extensions granted under its aforesaid notice, to the directions issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, by stating that all limitation periods shall stand extended until further directions in order to avoid confusion at a later point in time. The public notice of the Controller General of Patent, Design and Trademarks can be accessed at http://ipindia.nic.in/writereaddata/Portal/News/673_1_Corrigendum_Public_Notice_25032020.pdf.

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