In light of current global events, and in line with many other jurisdictions, the Indian Supreme Court has extended the limitation period for the filing of suits, appeals, and applications in all proceedings before any court, tribunal, or authority in India. The extended period runs from 15 March 2020 until any further order of the Supreme Court. In other words, if a due date for filing of any document or taking any action in any proceeding previously fell from 15 March onward, the said date now stands extended to the date when the Supreme Court of India passes another order lifting this extension.

On 24 March 2020, the Ministry of Home Affairs also issued an order for the lockdown of all establishments across India except for those providing health and essential services. The lockdown will remain in force 21 days from its commencement. Consequently, all IP Offices in India are now closed and will reopen on 15 April provided the lockdown order of the government is lifted. According to the Head of IP Offices in India, all due dates for filing documents/replies, payment of fees, and the completion of any action in respect of any Intellectual Property application filed in India shall now be the date of the re-opening of IP Offices.

The Supreme Court of India is likely to review the situation once the lockdown orders are lifted and may pass further orders bringing the extension of the limitation period to a close. In order to avoid any rush of filing of documents on the date of re-opening of the Courts and IP Offices, the Supreme Court may provide a reasonable period to file documents or take actions that were required to be taken during the period of closure of the Offices.

With thanks to Manisha Singh of LexOrbis

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