On the occasion of World Intellectual Property Day, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) published its Annual Report for the year 2011. The Report delineated IPAB’s activities throughout the preceding year including details of announcements, instructions, and guidelines issued by it.
Some of the significant points as covered in the Annual Report are presented below:
- There has been a steady increase in the number of cases filed before IPAB. In 2011 also 353 new cases, both Trademark and Patent included, were filed.
- The Patent Procedure Rules were notified in 2011, which ushered in a new schedule of fee structure
- IPAB was required to create a logo as per the advice of the Parliamentary Standing Committee. After careful and diligent process of selection, the logo of the Board was released on 15/09/2011, coinciding with the eighth year commemoration of the Board.
- The slogan “balancing ip-protection” that features below the logo expresses the aim and endeavor of the Board to make IPAB a model tribunal.
- IPAB website was revamped so as to bring the dissemination of information instant. The steps were initiated to bring the website more dynamic and user-friendly. The report claims that totally revamped website will be in place in due course.The number of disposed cases increased from 166 for the year 2010 to 274 during the year 2011. The results are significant in view of the fact that the Trademark and Patent Benches could not be constituted for four months and five months respectively due to absence of incumbents. The disposal figure of 274 is thus the output of just about 7 to 8 months.
- In 2011, Circuit Bench Sittings became more frequent, resulting in the increase in disposal of cases.
- The first G.I. case was listed for hearing at the IPAB in 2011.
- The process of strengthening the Board in all areas was included in the 12th Five Year Plan by the Ministry. The process of preparing a Detailed Project Report commenced in the year 2011.
- Important orders such as, Yahoo Case, Infosys case, Anandabhavan case, Brooke Bond Tea case, etc. were among the orders pronounced during 2011 and other orders pertaining to procedural aspects regarding leave of court under Section 124, granting of time under IPAB Rules, were also passed.
- The problems that afflict the Board were highlighted before the Hon’ble First Bench of the High Court of Madras in a PIL filed by an IPR professor(W.P.N o.1256 of 2011). The Hon’ble High Court, by way of interim order, directed the Central Government to make available good infrastructure to the Board to ensure proper functioning. The Central Government had indicated its willingness to allow IPAB to hire a bigger accommodation till a regular infrastructure is available. The Board is in the process of finalizing a suitable accommodation. The PIL is still pending.