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Transfer of Delhi HC IP cases to lower courts challenged

The Delhi high court on Friday asked its registry to file reply on a plea which sought to quash an order directing transfer of all pending cases up to the value of Rs 1 crore to subordinate courts.

The plea filed by Asian Patent Association sought stay of transfer of cases which fall under the category of intellectual property rights (IPR).

The high court had ordered that all suits or proceedings originally filed and pending in the high court up to a value of Rs 1 crore be transferred to lower courts, with the exception of those where judgment has been reserved.

It was also directed that all pending non-commercial disputes whose pecuniary jurisdiction lies between Rs 1 crore and Rs 2 crore, originally filed in the high court, be transferred to subordinate courts.

A division bench of Justice GS Sistani and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal sought the registry’s response on the plea challenging the 24 November office order by which the cases were to be transferred.

Suits under the Patents Act, Designs Act, Copyright Act and Trademarks Act never mentioned the specific value of the intangible assets (patents, trademarks) and only an amount sought as relief was mentioned, the plea said.

Terming the order as “illegal and arbitrary”, it said that the “relief was different from the specified value” and the registry cannot compute the specified value.

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