The case in question revolves around a crucial legal matter: whether service
can be effectively conducted via email in a trademark opposition proceeding.
Trademark opposition proceedings are integral for protecting intellectual
property rights, and determining the validity of service through email has
significant implications for the trademark litigation process. In this case, the
Appellant did not provide an email address when specifying the address for
service. Despite this, service was carried out via email, leading to an appeal
before the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi.
The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi's Verdict:
The crux of this case lay in whether email service was legally recognized and
permissible in trademark opposition proceedings when a party did not supply
their email address for service. The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi provided a
nuanced response to this question.
The court opined that email service does not constitute valid service in
trademark opposition proceedings, but only in cases where parties have not
provided their email addresses, as was the situation in the present case. This
verdict upholds the principle that service methods must align with the
information provided by the parties involved. In the absence of an email
address, traditional modes of service should be employed. "While observing so ,
the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi stated that In view of the express wordings of
Section 143 of the Trade Marks Act, the Registry would be duty-bound to effect
service only at such address, and effecting service or any other address would
not be service at all. "
However, the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi went a step further by clarifying that
when parties do provide their email addresses for service, email service cannot
be employed in trademark opposition proceedings. This clarification stems from
the fundamental notion that when parties provide their email addresses, they
expect service through the means they have specified, rather than alternative
methods. This affirms the importance of respecting the parties' choices in
The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi's ruling can be dissected into several crucial
- Alignment with Parties' Information: The verdict underscores the
importance of aligning service methods with the information provided by the
parties. In cases where email addresses are not disclosed, the court permits
email service as an alternative. This ensures that parties are served
according to the details they have provided, upholding fairness and
- Respect for Parties' Choices: The court's clarification that
email service is impermissible when parties do provide email addresses is
pivotal. It respects the autonomy of the parties in deciding how they wish
to be served, and this principle is consistent with the broader notion of
due process in legal proceedings.
- Technological Advancements and Legal Frameworks: This case
highlights the ongoing adaptation of legal procedures to the advancements in
technology. Email has become a prevalent means of communication, and the
court's decision acknowledges this while ensuring that established legal
norms are not compromised.
The Concluding Note:
The case surrounding service through email in trademark opposition proceedings
raises essential questions about the integration of technology into the legal
system. The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi's verdict strikes a balance between
leveraging technological tools for efficiency and safeguarding the parties'
rights and choices. It underscores the need to adapt legal procedures to the
digital age while maintaining due process and adherence to established norms.
The Case Law Discussed:
Case Title: Mex Switchgears Pvt. Ltd. Vs Vikram Suri
Date of Judgement/Order:13/10/2023
Case No. C.A.(COMM.IPD-TM) 69/2022
Neutral Citation No: 2023:DHC:7588
Name of Hon'ble Court: High Court of Delhi
Name of Hon'ble Judge:C Hari Shankar, H.J.
Information and discussion contained herein is being shared in the public
Interest. The same should not be treated as substitute for expert advice as it
is subject to my subjectivity and may contain human errors in perception,
interpretation and presentation of the fact and issue involved herein.
Written By: Advocate Ajay Amitabh Suman
, IP Adjutor - Patent and
Email: [email protected]
, Ph no: 9990389539