New Delhi: The transfer of cases from the Delhi high court to district courts was on Thursday brought to a halt under a stay on the transfer of pending commercial intellectual property rights (IPR) cases up to the value of 1 crore to district courts.

“Suits relating to IPR, even below 1 crore, should stay in high court. The suits which are filed in high court even when the pecuniary jurisdiction was 20 lakh should not be transferred to district courts." said Sudhir Chandra, lawyer for Asian Patents Association (APA), a non-governmental organization for intellectual property protection in the Asian region.

The interim order was passed by a bench comprising justices G.S.Sistani and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal on a plea filed by the association seeking a stay on transfer of cases falling under the category of IPR.

The plea challenged an earlier order passed on 24 November, which called for setting up of commercial appellate courts to hear and dispose of commercial matters including IPR cases.

The question of law before the court was that pending matters relating to IPR should not be transferred to lower courts in view of a provision in the Commercial Courts Ordinance, 2015.

The import of the order extends to all cases filed in the high court under the Patents Act, 1970, Trademark Act, 1999, Copyrights Act, 1957, Geographical Indications Act, 2010 and Designs Act, 2000.

In effect, lawsuits pending in the Delhi high court under the five laws will be heard and disposed by the commercial court set up in the high court.

Sanjay Ghosh, representing the high court, submitted that the order is likely to be replaced by a law in the winter session of Parliament.

The next date of hearing is on 19 December.

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