Settling a key question of law, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has held that it has power to review its own order as per a rule of the Trade Marks Act.

A larger bench headed by its chairperson Justice Prabha Sridevan said, “When there is no right of appeal, the power of review must be held to be implied. In fact, while we read Rule 23 of the Trade Marks Act, we must remember that the Act did not specifically exclude the power of review nor was there any express bar.”

In the case of Aachi Masala Foods (P) Ltd versus S.D. Murali, the former filed a petition to review an order passed earlier.

There were review petitions pending in other circuit benches too.  Under these circumstances, the matter was referred to the larger bench to decide the power of review.

In its verdict, the IPAB pointed out that the Supreme Court had held that in case of judicial tribunals, the power to correct procedural defects had been recognised as inherent or implicit.

In fact, the IPAB had itself corrected such errors in the past, even though it was of the opinion that it had no power of substantive review.