In a surprising development, the Copyright Board is set to be merged with the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) under the Finance Bill, 2017 that was passed in the Lok Sabha. This merger comes along with merger of seven other tribunals (including the Competition Law Appellate Tribunal and the Cyber Appellate Tribunal) with other existing tribunals, all of which were proposed by the amendments to the bill moved by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
The Bill seeks to amend the Copyright Act so as to transfer the functions of the Copyright Board to IPAB, which as of now deals only with matters relating to trademarks, patents and geographical indications. As our readers may recall, the Copyright Board has not been functional for about 5 years now. The Bill also makes an amendment to the rules pertaining to qualifications, appointment and other terms of service of the members of IPAB as provided under the Trade Marks Act. It introduces Section 89A to the Act which leaves these matters to be solely governed by Section179 of the Finance Act, 2017 in respect of members appointed after the commencement of this Act. This provision in turn leaves it up to the Central Government to make rules in this regard.
The Bill now awaits only President’s assent to become a law, since being a Money Bill, it is not required to be passed by Rajya Sabha. Rajya Sabha can only provide its recommendations but not disapprove the Bill.
News Source- Spicy IP
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