The board was set up in 2003 to hear appeals against decisions of the registrar under the Trade Marks Act, 1999, and the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.
The President of India has promulgated the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation And Conditions Of Service) Ordinance, 2021, by which the appellate authorities under nine Acts have been done away with and the right to hear appeals under the statute has been conferred to High Courts.
A gazette notification concerning the promulgation of the ordinance was issued on April 4, Sunday, by the Union Ministry of Law and Justice. The notification also informs that the ordinance has come into effect at once.
Patents Act, 1970
The ordinance has abolished the Appellate Board under the Act. Earlier, as per Section 117A of the Patents Act, the Appellate Board had been empowered to hear appeals against decisions, orders or directions of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks or the Central government. This power of the Appellate Board is now conferred on the High Court.
Copyright Act, 1957
The ordinance has abolished the Appellate Board under the Copyright Act. The Appellate Board was earlier empowered to hear appeals against orders of the Registrar of Copyrights, besides having various other powers.
The ordinance also substitutes the Appellate Board with Commercial Courts (a division of the High Courts), which will exercise the Appellate Board’s powers. A new provision has been inserted into the Copyright Act defining “Commercial Court” as follows:
“Commercial Court, for the purposes of any State, means a Commercial Court constituted under section 3, or the Commercial Division of a High Court constituted under section 4 of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015.”
The power of the Appellate Board to hear appeals against the orders of the Registrar of Copyrights will now be vested with a Single Judge of the High Court.
Trade Marks Act, 1999
The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) for hearing trade mark case-appeals has been abolished by deleting Section 83 of the Trade Marks Act and a host of other provisions. The power of IPAB, as in the case of other appellate tribunals, has been transferred to the High Court.
As per the ordinance, appeals from the decision of the Registrar of Trade Marks would now lie to the High Court instead of IPAB.
Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999
The Appellate Board contemplated under this Act has been replaced by the High Court.
Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001
The ordinance has abolished the Plant Varieties Protection Appellate Tribunal established under Section 54 of the Protection of Plant Varieties And Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001.
Under the erstwhile Section 56 of the said Act, the Appellate Tribunal under the Act was empowered to hear appeals against decisions of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority and the Registrar of Plant Varieties Registry.
This power is now vested with the concerned High Court.
The link for the Ordinance: http://egazette.nic.in/WriteReadData/2021/226364.pdf .