Introduction of ‘eTMR System’, still under emergence?

July 20, 2022
Hon'ble Delhi High Court

By Ananyaa Banerjee and Bhanu Dhingra

The Hon’ble Delhi High Court had previously directed the Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks (CGPDTM) vide order dated April 27, 2022, to file a detailed affidavit with a proper mechanism for holding a Show cause hearing along with suggestions from IPAA, AIPPI and INTA on the development of new eTMR System. To comply with the same, the Deputy Registrar of Trademarks & Geographical Indication has elucidated the following steps which are stated to be taken.

Proposed Steps and Mechanism for holding a Show Cause hearing

  • IT team has been directed to remove decision base findings from the templates such as ‘hearing took place before me’ and provide space for the hearing officers to pen-down their decision and reasoning regarding the particular hearing. The IT team has also been directed to develop a mechanism where daily cause list will be uploaded automatically after the allotment of hearing officers. It is also submitted that these modifications has been incorporated in the Trademarks system at present.
  • It is further targeted that the virtual hearings shall take place with an open link till September 30, 2022, which will permit more individuals to join the hearings.
  • With the implementation of the open link platform upto September 30, 2022, the virtual hearings will contain the details of the hearing officer along with the cause list.
  • The suggestions received from various organizations like IPAA, AIPPI and INTA were to be evaluated and implemented to their maximum possible extent in processing of the Trademark applications under the revised work flow designed for eTMR system.
  • The old ‘TMR System’ will be replaced with a new ‘eTMR System’, which was a work-in-progress since 2018, whose progress is monitored through NIC. The new ‘eTMR System’ will be much more advanced and automated in terms of allotting hearing officers to the respective trademark applications, maintaining smooth flow of application from one stage to another, complete automation of compilation to Trademarks Journal and will further promote paperless hearings in both examination as well as in opposition hearings. Additionally, it shall also include the image searching system, thereby aiding in examination of trademarks.
  • The initially approved committees i.e. Project Steering Committee and the Project Working Group, who were responsible for monitoring of the development of the work related to ‘eTMR System’ were reconstituted in March 2022 and are now directed to assess the work progress and its feasibility through NICSI (National Informatics Centre Services Inc.)

The Court has perused the affidavit and will let Mr. Harish V. Shankar, ld. CGSC, ascertain as to which is the platform the Registrar of Trademarks is planning to use for the purpose of holding hearings in examination and opposition matters. Further, the Hon’ble Justice Prathiba M. Singh has also directed the Project Steering Committee and the Project Working Group to assess the feasibility of development through NICSI and have also directed to let the said report for implementing of the eTMR System be placed on record at the next date of hearing i.e. August 17, 2022.

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Kush Bisht, Trademark Intern at S.S. Rana & Co. has assisted in the research of this article.

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