Rethink plan to abolish Intellectual Property Appellate Board: Industry groups

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A gaggle of business associations on mental property has requested the federal government to rethink a proposal to abolish the Intellectual Property Appellate Board, saying such a transfer can be prejudicial to India’s credibility as an IP jurisdiction and decrease IP requirements in India.

The board was arrange in 2003 to hear appeals in opposition to selections of the registrar below the Trade Marks Act, 1999, and the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.

The associations have written to finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, legislation and justice minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and commerce and business minister Piyush Goyal, asking them to rethink the inclusion of IPAB within the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2021, which seeks to scrap varied tribunals.

“Had there been any consultations with the stakeholders—IP owners, the industry, IP practitioners—this bill would not have included within it the abolition of IPAB,” the 4 associations stated.

Citing the IPAB’s “marvellous record” of reversing unreasonable selections by the Patents Office, they stated the board was not a drain on the nationwide exchequer and no cost-benefit evaluation was offered to again the rationale of “considerable expense”. The expenditure on sustaining IPAB from 2018 to 2020 was solely Rs 13.65 crore, they stated.

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