The Delhi High Court has imposed a cost of Rs. 1 lakh each on Deputy Registrar and Assistant Registrar of the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks (CGPDTM) for failing to disclose facts and wasting judicial time in the case of Dr. Reddys Laboratories Limited v Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks.
The Court was dealing with a batch of petitions challenging the decision of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM) disallowing the petitioners from filing oppositions to certain trademark applications, which each of them wished to oppose. The oppositions were disallowed on the ground that the same were filed beyond the time period of four months, as prescribed under Section 21 of the Trademarks Act, 1999. However, the petitioners said that in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court had extended the limitation period.
A Single Bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh said, “This Court is dismayed to record that this fact was not brought to the notice of the Court on the previous two occasions when the officials of CGPDTM were present before the Court. Mr. Sachin Sharma, Deputy Registrar, who is dealing with oppositions, did not inform this fact to the Court and neither did Mr. Juneja, Assistant Registrar, who has filed the affidavit dated 15th March, 2022. The fact that 6,000-7,000 oppositions have been entertained beyond the period of limitation ought to have been disclosed on the first day when the writ petitions were filed so that judicial time could have been saved. The non-disclosure of this fact by the officials of the CGPDTM is clearly unacceptable and appears to be deliberate.”
They were directed to deposit costs of Rs. 1 lakh each with the Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) Pandemic Relief Fund by April 10.
The Court also stated that if trademark registration certificates have been issued, the affidavit must also state the process for cancelling or recalling the certificates.