The Supreme Court on Wednesday extended the tenure of Justice (Retd.) Manmohan Singh as the Chairman of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB), for three months.
The order was passed today by a Bench comprised of Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and S Ravindra Bhat, while hearing a batch of petitions concerning appointments to Tribunals as well as a challenge to the Tribunal Rules, 2020.
"This Court directed that Mr. Justice Manmohan Singh shall be allowed to continue as Chairperson of the IPAB for a period of one year from the date of his attaining the age of superannuation. As the term of his appointment in accordance with the order of this Court is expiring on 21st September, 2020, extension is sought for his continuance on the ground that he is entitled to continue till 01.01.2022 as per the Rules of 2020.
As the matters pertaining to the validity of the Rules 2020 are being heard finally, we extend the term of Justice Manmohan Singh as Chairperson of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board ('IPAB') for a period of three months from today," the Order states.
The IPAB handles appeals against orders and decisions of India's Controller General of Patents Designs and Trade Marks. Justice Singh is well known in IP circles, having heard numerous major patent cases before the Delhi High Court.
He served as high court judge from 11 April 2008, to 21 September 2016. He started his career as a lawyer with Anoop Singh, who was practicing mostly on the original side in trade mark, copyright and patent matters for about nine years. He also practiced on the original side dealing with civil, trade mark and copyright cases independently in the Delhi High Court and Supreme Court of India.
He was first appointed as the IPAB Chairman in July 2017, for a period of three years. However, it was intimated later that his term shall expire in September, 2019.
Since no Chairman was appointed in his place, the Court has extended Justice Singh's tenure for a period of three months.