Author: Former Intern - Naman Keswani
In the matter of Dr. Reddy Laboratories Limited v. Fast Cure Pharma & Anr. [C.O.(COMM.IPD-TM) 8/2023], Single Judge [C. Hari Shankar, J.] of the High Court of Delhi, by judgment dated September 4, 2023, held that the High Court, within whose territorial jurisdiction the dynamic effect of a registered trademark is experienced by the person aggrieved, is competent to decide the Rectification Petition against the registered mark.
Section 47(1) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 ( the “Act”) states that “A registered trade mark may be taken off the register in respect of the goods or services in respect of which it is registered on application made…to the Registrar or the High Court by any person aggrieved …” Section 57(1) of the Act states that “On application…to the High Court or to the Registrar, the tribunal may make may make such order as it may think fit for cancelling or varying the registration of a trade mark by any person aggrieved…”. The question that arises is whether an application for removal of trademark from the Register of Trade Marks and consequent rectification of the register could be filed only before the High Court having territorial jurisdiction over the office of the Trade Marks Registry where the impugned mark was registered.
The Petitioners contended that every High Court is competent to decide a Rectification Petition under Sections 47, 57, and 124. The Defendants contented that only the High Court having the territorial jurisdiction over the concerned Trade Marks Registry office shall have the jurisdiction to decide the Rectification Petition, since the legislature has used a definite article “the” before the expression “High Court”, in both the provisions.
While the Court observed that the expression “High Court” is not defined in the Act, it held that “The power of removal (under Section 47), or of cancellation, variation or modification (under Section 57), of the impugned mark, is undoubtedly conferred, by the statute, both on the Registrar and on the High Court. That does not mean, however, that the geographical location of the Registrar and the High Court must be the same…Thus, though the Registrar, who could exercise jurisdiction under Section 47 or Section 57 would undoubtedly be the Registrar who granted registration to the impugned mark, the High Court which could exercise such jurisdiction would not only be the High Court having territorial dominion over such Registrar, but also any High Court within whose jurisdiction the petitioner experiences the dynamic effect of the registration.”
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