FAST-TRACK – IPR Cases in India to be Dealt With Within 4 Months

Kegler Brown Global Business News

India, like several other emerging economies, has been famous for its perceived lack of adequate Indian laws and apathy of enforcement agencies in ensuring that intellectual property rights get the protection they deserve.

However, there is good news for those U.S. companies who continue to struggle with the slow and tedious Indian legal system. A recent Supreme Court of India (SC) judgment passed in the case of Bajaj Auto Limited v. TVS Motor Company Limited on September 16, 2009, relating to a patent dispute; the SC dictated that courts and tribunals in India must decide all matters relating to infringement of intellectual property rights (IPR) within four (4) months.

The judges of the SC ruled that "matters relating to trademarks, copyrights and patents should be finally decided very expeditiously by the Trial Court instead of merely granting or refusing to grant injunctions. Experience shows that in the matters of trademarks, copyrights and patents, litigation is mainly fought between parties about temporary injunction and that goes on for years and years and the result is that the suit is hardly decided finally. This is not proper. This is a very unsatisfactory state of affairs, and hence we had passed an order requiring expeditious resolution of IPR cases to serve the ends of justice. We direct that the direction in the order be carried out by courts and tribunals in this country punctually and faithfully" (SIC).

Protecting IPR in India about 10 years ago was a major hindrance. With liberalization, IPR protection is a key concern for the Indian judicial system and now adequate attention is being given by the judiciary to IPR issues in India. This SC order is definitely a stepping stone and a positive step by the Indian judicial system towards IPR protection that could lead to instilling a sense of confidence in U.S. companies seriously considering the Indian market for business.