The Supreme Court bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha, on Tuesday, October 24, gave the Delhi High Court, eight weeks to finalise amendments to its Original Side Rules and Practice Directions, in order to ensure speedy disposal of original Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) suits.
Earlier, the bench took note of the report submitted by the Registrar General of the High Court of Delhi dated 13 October 2017 pursuant to the previous order of the Supreme Court dated 16th August, 2017. The report provided details of amendments being contemplated. The High Court sought 12 more weeks , as it is currently in the process of preparing the first draft of the amendments.
The Supreme Court had directed registration of a suo motu civil writ petition titled as “Re-Case Management of Original Suits” on August 16, and requested the Registrar General of Delhi High Court top submit periodical reports of the work done in this regard.
The case arose out of a civil SLP [M/s Az Tech (India) v M/s Intex Technologies (India) Ltd], in which the bench expressed its surprise that the DelhI High Court had on March 10 passed an exhaustive judgment on merits of the suit in an interim order. The Supreme Court bench, therefore, wondered whether the High Court had thought it proper to do so only because of the fact that interim orders in IPR matters would govern the parties for a long duration of time, and disposal of the main suit is a far cry.
“This is a disturbing trend which we need to address in the first instance before delving into the respective rights of the parties raised in the present case”, the Gogoi-Sinha bench observed.
The Supreme Court bench then directed the Registrar General of the Delhi High Court to report to the Court about the total number of pending IPR suits, divided into different categories, in the Delhi High Court; stage of each suit; and also the period for which injunction/interim orders held/ holding the field in each of the such suits. The Registrar General of the Delhi High Court was also asked to indicate a reasonable way of ensuring the speedy disposal of the suits involving IPR, which are presently pending.