Justice Prabha Sridevan, Chairperson of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (“IPAB”), was interviewed by ‘Managing Intellectual Property’ [available here]. She made quite a few pertinent remarks on the functioning of IPAB, role of litigants in the system, her post-retirement plans etc. She rightly observed in the interview that the tribunal has started drawing greater international attention.
She exhorted the lawyers to approach IPAB in a different manner viz., by putting the cap of an IP practitioner and not by wearing the civil litigation cap. While a normal civil suit entails examination and cross-examination, an appeal to IPAB is decided mostly on affidavits rather than on witness testimony.
She remarked that the appeals settled by IPAB have set the ground for the future of intellectual property law. She drew attention to the absence of adequate infrastructure for the proper functioning of IPAB. As the IPAB is based in Chennai, the team along with the staff is required to travel extensively. In this regard, she suggested certain alternatives such as setting up video courts and permanent benches in circuit cities. She, however, remarked that she is not empowered to take decisions on the aforesaid proposed changes. [We had earlier blogged on her report on infrastructure and resources made available to IPAB [available here.]]
She emphasised on the need to sensitise the craftsmen and artisans about the significance of GIs. The overall goal of IPAB is to balance the interests of rights holders and the larger society. On a lighter note, she also talked about her post-retirement plans. She expressed her desire to continue writing on social issues. [She wrote on death penalty in 'The Hindu' [available here]. In her article (which is well written and articulated), she inter alia drew attention to the legal errors committed in awarding death sentences.]