he Delhi High Court has clarified that the Intellectual Property Rights Division Rules, 2022, do not prohibit the inclusion of additional documents after a reply or counter-statement is submitted in response to a rectification petition. Justice C Hari Shankar emphasized that unlike the Original Side Rules, the IPD Rules lack any provision restricting the acceptance of supplementary documents, as found in Rule 147 of Chapter VII. The court asserted that the amendments to the Code of Civil Procedure under the Commercial Courts Act, 2015, are automatically applicable to original petitions, specifically rectification petitions under Section 57 of the Trade Marks Act.
Justice C Hari Shankar stated that the IPD Rules do not mandate filing documents with the respective pleadings for Civil Original Petitions, including those under Section 57 of the Trade Marks Act. Instead, the court deemed Order XI Rule 1(10) of the CPC, as amended by the Commercial Courts Act, to be applicable mutatis mutandis to rectification petitions based on Rule 7(xiii) of the IPD Rules.
The court observed that Rule 7(ix)9 of the IPD Rules requires the filing of a reply to the Civil Original Petition, but it does not specify the stage at which supporting documents can be submitted by the respondent. According to the court, denying the respondent the right to file documents supporting its reply would contradict neither Rule 7 of the IPD Rules nor Order XI Rule 1(10) of the CPC.
The court's remarks came during the consideration of two Intellectual Property Rights suits filed by Bennet Coleman and Company Limited against E1 Entertainment Television LLC, seeking rectification of the trademark register by removing a registered mark. The court addressed applications by E1 Entertainment Television LLC seeking permission to introduce additional documents after already filing a counter-statement to the rectification petitions.
E1 Entertainment Television LLC argued that it had been using the disputed mark in its trading style since the early 1990s, citing a YouTube video titled "E Entertainment TV 1993 year in Review" as evidence. The respondent sought to include this video clip as part of its supporting documents.
Justice Shankar granted permission for the respondent to add the YouTube video to the record via a pen drive, with an advance copy provided to Bennet Coleman's counsel. The court emphasized that the petitioner could admit or deny the document and file an additional affidavit contesting the validity and relevance of the YouTube video link within four weeks.
In conclusion, the court's ruling clarified the flexibility of the IPD Rules regarding the inclusion of additional documents after the filing of a reply or counter-statement in rectification petitions. The decision emphasized the applicability of certain provisions of the Commercial Courts Act to rectification petitions and underscored the absence of strict limitations in the IPD Rules regarding the submission of supporting documents during various stages of the proceedings.
TAGS: Delhi High Court Intellectual Property Rights Division Rules 2022 rectification petition additional documents Commercial Courts Act