Apprentice could determine from its sources that the Trade Mark and Copyright offices have introduced video conferencing as an alternate mode of appearing before the respective offices. Until now, each show cause matter in trademark and copyright disputes would require an applicant or his representative to be present physically at the Offices on given hearing date. This initiative will significantly save time and money of attorneys.
In a public notice released on October 15, 2018, the Copyright Office announced that for hearings under Rule 70(12) of the Copyright Rules can be attended by the applicants or their representatives without being present at the Copyright Office in New Delhi. Once the applicant receives a hearing notice, he can submit the request, within 14 days, for the hearing to be held through video conferencing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Trade Mark Registry, in a similarly worded email to various industry participants, has announced that it is proposing the usage of video conferencing method for hearing in show cause matters. Similar to the Copyright Office’s notice, the time period within which the applicant/agent can choose to adopt the video conferencing method has been fixed at 14 days. The Trade Mark Registry has provided a separate portal to submit the application for the same.
It needs to be highlighted that hearings related to patent matters have been through video conferencing since the past few months. It can be done by connecting to the Patent Office through your own offices.
- Video conferencing is a part of the ‘ease of doing business’ aspect aimed through the National IPR Policy, 2016, which was approved by the Government of India in May 2016.
- Video conferencing is a great step for attorneys who have offices outside the cities where IP offices are located.
- This will help reduce delays in hearings and expedite trademark and copyright prosecution and even encourage foreign companies to protect their marks in India as envisioned by the IPR Policy, 2016.