(Image taken from here)
However, in an optimistic turn of events, the office of the Controller of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks has issued a notice on July 28, 2011 wherein it has been revealed that at present, the total number of missing files from all the 5 offices is a mere 0.99% of the total number of registered files. This takes into account the files that have been traced since April (more than 12000), the ones that have been reconstituted through input from registered proprietors (more than 6000), as well as the files of those marks that have been removed since owing to non-renewal (more than 9000).
The total number of registered files is at present 829109 (Mumbai: 285704, Delhi: 274592, Chennai: 120766, Kolkata: 87968 and Ahmedabad: 60079), while the total number of missing physical files as on July 28, 2011 was 8183 (Mumbai: 1251, Delhi: 1875, Chennai: 4688, Kolkata: 287 and Ahmedabad: 82), which brings the missing percentage approximately to the abovementioned 0.99% (Mumbai: 0.44, Delhi: 0.69, Chennai: 3.89, Kolkata: 0.32 and Ahmedabad: 0.13). Even in respect of the missing files, the critical information affecting the rights of the registered proprietors have been able to be reconstructed according to the Delhi High Court’s directions, as per the claims voiced by the said notice. The last date for submission of documents available with the proprietor/agent has also been extended up to October 31, 2011.
The misplacement of files, as per the DIPP affidavit, had taken place during the decentralization of the Registry offices from Mumbai. While that was indeed a considerable embarrassment for the Trade Mark Registry, one must commend the authority figures and the personnel responsible to have achieved such a turnaround within such a short time period, especially the reconstitution of records, which one feels must have been quite a mammoth task. It only goes on to show that the personnel involved are indeed capable of attaining high degree of efficiency if they put their mind to it and raises our expectations accordingly. The DIPP and the Controller had also promised the Delhi High Court of implementation of a scientific record keeping scheme, quarterly audits of all the files stored in the different trademark registries, reduction of scope of such recurrence by introducing the mandatory e-filing of trademark applications.