An introduction to the Indian Intellectual Property Appellate Board and a briefer on its jurisdiction and procedures.

The Indian Government constituted the Intellectual Property Appellate Board ("IPAB") on September 15, 2003 to hear and adjudicate appeals against the decisions of the Registrar under the Indian Trade Marks Act, 1999 and the Indian Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.

The IPAB has since April 2, 2007 been extended to Patent law and is now authorized to hear and adjudicate upon appeals from most of the decisions, orders or directions made by the Patent Controller. Also vide a notification, all pending appeals from the Indian High Courts under the Patents Act were transferred to the IPAB from April 2, 2007.

The IPAB has its headquarters at Chennai and has sittings at Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Ahmedabad.


Every appeal from the decision of the Controller to the IPAB must be made within three months from the date of the decision, order or direction, as the case may be, or within such further time as the IPAB may permit, along with the prescribed fees.

The IPAB has appellate jurisdiction against the decision of the Controller or Central Government of India in matters pertaining to:

  1. Refusal of application for failure to comply with provisions of the Act
  2. Orders relating to divisional application
  3. Orders relating to dating of application
  4. Decisions relating to anticipation
  5. Decisions and cases of potential infringement
  6. Decisions relating to substitution of applicants
  7. Decisions to amend/revoke patent
  8. Decisions related to inventor names
  9. Directions given to co-owners of the patent
  10. Decisions related to patents of addition
  11. Decisions related to amendment of application and specification
  12. Decisions related to restoration of lapsed patents
  13. Decisions related to surrender of patents
  14. Revocation of patents in public interest
  15. Registration of patent assignments
  16. Correction of clerical errors
  17. Decisions related to compulsory license of a patent
  18. Decisions related to revocation of patent for non-working


The IPAB (Procedure) Rules, 2003 exempt orders passed by the Central Government of India with respect to inventions pertaining to defense purposes, including directions of secrecy in respect of such inventions, revocation if the patent is contrary or prejudicial to public interest, or pertains to atomic energy, from the purview of appeal to the IPAB.

An order of the Controller granting an extension of time under any provision of the Patent Act 1970 is also not appealable.

Transfer of pending proceedings to IPAB

The IPAB is the sole authority to exercise the powers and adjudicate proceedings arising from an appeal against an order or decision of the Controller. All the cases pertaining to revocation of patent, other than a counter-claim in a suit for infringement, and rectification of register pending before the Indian High Court shall be transferred to the IPAB.

In case of a counter-claim in a suit for infringement, the Indian High Court continues to be the competent authority to adjudicate on the matter.

The IPAB also has exclusive jurisdiction on matters related to revocation of patent and rectification of register.

The IPAB in its sole discretion may either proceed with the appeals afresh or from the stage where the proceedings were transferred to it.


The Controller has the right to appear and be heard in any legal proceedings before the IPAB seeking alteration/rectification of register on the grounds of practice of the Patent Office or any legal proceedings concerning the Controller's decision to grant/amend any un-opposed patent application or any legal proceeding concerning the patent application which is opposed and the Controller thinks his appearance is necessary in the interest of the public. In any legal proceedings before the IPAB, the Controller is not liable to pay costs.

Procedural Aspects

The IPAB also has powers to make rules consistent with the Patents Act 1970 pertaining to the conduct of proceedings. Every appeal shall be made in the prescribed format and with appropriate fees as per the provisions of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (Procedure) Rules, 2003, within three months of the decision of the Controller/Central Government of India.


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