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Ensuring Transparency and Compliance in Trademark Adjudication: A Call for Reasoned Orders

The present legal analysis addresses the imperative need for reasoned orders in the acceptance or rejection of trademarks for advertisement. The petitioner, a longstanding player in the business since 1953, asserts its consistent use of the 'LAXMI' mark derived from its founder-proprietor's name. The crux of the petitioner's grievance lies in the non-disclosure of reasons behind Trade Mark Office decisions, a matter that underscores broader concerns of transparency and compliance.

Legal Mandates and Non-Compliance:
The petitioner invokes the legal precedent set by 'Jai Bhagwan Gupta vs. Registrar of Trade Marks' (2020: DHC:1532), emphasizing the directive that the Registrar of Trademarks must issue a specific brief order under Section 20(1) upon acceptance for advertisement or, under exceptional circumstances, prior to acceptance. This direction was reiterated in 'Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Ltd and Another v. Registrar of Trademarks and Others' (2023 SCC OnLine Del 1730).

Judicial Observation:
The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi has aptly recognized the necessity of a brief order at the juncture of acceptance or rejection of a trademark. The court raises doubts regarding such orders being classified as internal note sheets, highlighting the need for these brief orders to be accessible on the online portal of the Trade Mark Registry for litigants' reference.

Ensuring Access to Reasoned Orders:
The crux of the matter lies in the availability of these brief orders to stakeholders. While the court acknowledges that ordinarily, these orders should be accessible online, it is acutely aware that if such accessibility is not universal, litigants should have the right to request and receive a copy via email. This stance emphasizes the court's commitment to transparency in the adjudication process.

The Concluding Note:
In conclusion, the petitioner's plea for transparency in trademark adjudication finds solid ground in existing legal mandates and judicial observations. The court's insistence on reasoned orders, whether uploaded on the online portal or provided upon request, underscores the importance of accessibility and openness in the trademark registration process.

The Case Law Discussed:
Case Title: Laxmi Kohlu Ghar Vs. Controller General Of Patents
Date of Judgement/Order:22.11.2023
Case No. W.P.(C)-IPD 18/2022
Neutral Citation No:2023:DHC:8400
Name of Hon'ble Court: Delhi High Court
Name of Hon'ble Judge: Prathiba M Singh, HJ

Ideas, thoughts, views, information, discussions and interpretation expressed herein are being shared in the public Interest. Readers' discretion is advised as these are 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 Trademark Attorney
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9990389539

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