Institute of Cost Accountants of India v. The Registrar of Trade Marks, Mumbai & Anr.
W.P. No. 2088 of 2012 (High Court of Bombay)
FACTS: The Petitioner had filed a Trade Mark application, which was objected by the Registrar of Trade Marks vide letter dated 19th September, 2011. However, said letter was merely uploaded on the website of the Trade marks office but was not dispatched by way of hard copy to petitioner or it’s counsels. The Counsel for the Petitioner had logged on the website of the Trade Marks office on 13th March, 2012 and saw the said letter uploaded. The counsel for the petitioner filed his reply to the examination report on 30th March, 2012. However, the Trade Marks office refused to entertain it on the grounds of being time barred and held the application to be abandoned. Against thee said order of the Registrar of Trade Marks the petitioner filed the present writ petition. HELD: Bombay High Court after reading Rule 38 of the Trade Mark Rules, 2002 held as follows: The letter dated 19th September, 2011, at the highest, can be said to be communicated to the petitioner only on 13th march, 2012 and in light of the fact that the petitioner’s counsel applied for hearing on 30th March, 2013 the petitioner’s application for registration cannot therefore, be deemed to have been abandoned. In holding the above, the Court relied on the following points:
- The Respondent was bound to communicate any objection or proposal in writing to the applicant.
- Placing the notice on the website does not constitute compliance with Rule 38(4).
- The Respondent had not indicated anything that obliged the petitioner to inspect the website on a daily basis.
- There was no indication to any rule or practice by which the petitioner was bound legally to take notice of anything that is posted on the respondents’ website.
- Rule 38(4) does not require an applicant for registration to inspect the respondents’ website.
- Petitioner cannot be imputed with the knowledge of the letter dated 19th September, 2011.
- The mere posting of the letter on the website does not constitute communication of the objection or proposal in writing as required by rule 38(4)
Author: Ankit Rastogi