The Delhi High Court has again put on hold operation of two fresh public notices issued by the intellectual property rights authority, giving lawyers and litigants time till June 1 to complete documentation in cases before it.
On May 11, the high court stayed a May 4 public notice of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDTM), giving lawyers and litigants time till May 18 to complete the documentation process. It said the Supreme Court on March 23 had directed that limitation period in all cases would stand extended until further orders with effect from March 15.
Justice Jyoti Singh, in her order on May 21, while staying the CGPDTM's May 18 and May 20 notifications, has questioned the authority "what prompted it" to issue the two public notices in the backdrop of the apex court's March 23 direction and the high court's May 11 decision.
The high court also said once the apex court extended limitation period from March 15 till further orders, it was "not open to any court, tribunal or authority to impose timelines on limitation period, even if it is prescribed under a special law.
The high court issued notice to CGPDTM and asked it to file its response by June 17.
"In the meantime, the operation of the public notices dated May 18 and May 20 is stayed, until further orders of this court," Justice Singh said.
The order came on the plea of Intellectual Property Attorneys Association (IPAA), represented by senior advocate Chander Lal and advocate Archana Sahadeva, challenging the two notices.
The two notices had extended to June 1 the deadlines falling between March 15 to May 17, but had not extended the timelines from May 18 onwards.
IPAA contended that this implies that failure to meet the timelines would result in valuable rights of the stakeholders being adversely affected.
It also contended that by not extending the timelines expiring on May 18 and thereafter, CGPDTM has put the litigants and lawyers in jeopardy by forcing them to move out of their homes to file counter statements, evidences and other documents.
IPAA also claimed that even extension of deadlines, falling between March 15 to May 17, to June 1 placed an "enormous burden on the stakeholders as the window is too narrow".
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