As our readers probably know, the Delhi High Court probably sees 30-35 IP cases or more each day, and is known to be extremely IP savvy. At the programme, apart from Justice Ravindra Bhat's speech (which from all accounts was extremely engrossing), the acting Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, Justice Madan Lokur while appreciating the informed community of lawyers, indicated the need for judges who specialized in this "relatively new domain" of law.
This need is apparently one that the IP Bar at the Delhi High Court has been pushing for, and may reach fruition soon.
According to this report in the Mint, the Government plans to set up new Courts special IP Courts and even train judges for this purpose. While the information available at the moment is all hearsay, and unconfirmed, the Mint reports that these measures will be a part of "ongoing IPR reforms, on which the government is spending nearly Rs500 crore, according to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), which allocates the budget for IPR-related projects."
'IPR related projects' in the past have included digitization of databases, creation of modern infrastructure etc., with the focus now shifting to the expeditious disposal of Intellectual Property law cases (in this relation, do have a look at Justice Katju's decision in the TVS Bajaj matter. This case has been followed as a precedent in several matters thereafter).
In light of our previous posts that highlight the need for aspects such as 'claim construction' in patent matters and other such nuances of aspects of Intellectual Property Law, especially patents, this news will be welcomed by all concerned.
However, the setting up of these Courts will have to be well thought out. At the moment, several questions remain unanswered/ inadequately answered with only sketchy details available.
For instance, will the judges be- as they are currently- persons not specializing in Intellectual Property but only trained for this specific purpose, or will they be technical members?
Also, will the Special IP Courts be at the level of a Court of original jurisdiction, or will they be placed a notch below-with judgments being appealable to the High Court?
Will it be a Special Bench in the Courts of Original Jurisdiction or will there be new Court set up? And if the answer lies in the latter, will these be in 4 different locations- like the Patent Office or Trademark Registry?
In all of these situations, the pros and cons can be weighed.
This blogger (for one) cannot wait to keep track of the developments on this story, and will bring our readers more as information is made available. Here's to the growing interest and awareness in Intellectual Property Law!