By Safir Anand
Post a stakeholders meeting held with the new Controller General (CGPDTM) where the legal community had raised concerns on the backlog at the Trade Marks Office (TMO) as also through strong directions given by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in petitions filed by Dr. Reddy’s and others, the CGPDTM has been directed to submit a plan for clearance of backlog in opposition matters and for speedy disposal of such matters.
The CGPDTM filed an affidavit declaring details of the pendency post which the TMO has now appointed around 30 Hearing Officers on a contract basis. The sole purpose of the newly appointed Hearing Officers is to clear the longstanding backlog of opposition matters at the TMO. The appointment of more Officers is currently in the works and is expected to be completed soon.
These Officers are strictly instructed by CGPDTM to hear the matters on merits without giving adjournments and to pass orders instantly to clear the pendency of oppositions.
The possibility of initiating a Mediation and Settlement drive on the basis of a further report to be submitted before the Delhi High Court (within the next 8 weeks) is also being considered.
Basis this plan, the CGPDTM is planning to address around 2,00,000 applications by 2025 that have become pending.
The next hearing in the matter has been fixed for August 03, 2022.