After a long break of 8 months Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) is on move now. Early this year the Acting Chairman and Deputy Registrar of IPAB came up with some administrative measures in the process to stream line the pendency of IPAB which included the notification of abandoned matters due to incomplete procedures. In addition to those initiatives the Deputy Registrar has also provided the statistical data of the status of pending matters before various benches of the IPAB. These statistical data will provide a clear picture of the overall pendency of appeals before IPAB from 2007 till June, 2016. Fig 1 According to the statistical data of IPAB, the pendency of patents related appeal has reached to the total number of 396 cases accumulating all the benches of IPAB. Maximum number of pendency lies before Delhi Bench i.e. 36% of the total pendency. It is an important fact to know that, out of total pending patent appeals, around 40% of cases are mature for hearing that means no formalities are required on the part of the Appellant, whereas around 59% appeals are those in which counters are not filed by the parties and yet to fulfil the mandatory requirements and only in 3 cases party are not traceable. The jurisdiction wise pendency of IPAB is shown hereunder in Fig 2. 158 235 3 Total Patent Pendency at IPAB Mature for hearing Counter not filed Not traceable Fig 2 Total Trade Mark Pendency The pendency of Trademark appeals before IPAB is much more as compared to patent cases. The total number of pending Trademark appeals before IPAB is 2127 and similarly as Patents the maximum pendency lies before IPAB Delhi bench but the ratio of mature for hearing case and counters not filed cases are far different from the patent related appeals. Around 64 % of Trademark appeals are mature for hearing before IPAB whereas 35% of cases are those in which the counters are yet to be filed by the parties and only 9 cases are identified as not traceable. Fig 3 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 Delhi Mumbai Kolkata Chennai 38 45 33 42 104 41 39 51 0 1 0 2 142 87 72 95 Mature for hearing Counter not filed Not traceable Total 1368 750 9 Mature for hearing Counter not filed Not traceable The graphical representation of the Delhi bench, Mumbai, Chennai bench, Kolkata bench, as well as Ahmedabad bench is provided here under in Figure 4 showcasing the number of appeals which are mature for hearing as well as the cases in which the Counter is not filed by the appellant and the total pendency that also jurisdiction wise. Fig 4 Though the efforts which are aimed to ensure speedy disposal of the pending matter soon after the appointment of new Chairman and Member at IPAB had given a new hope to the IP stake holders but the Government’s proposal of merger of IPAB with a Non- functional copyright board raised the concerned at the same time. The Government of India has recently proposed the merger of Copyright Board with IPAB along with seven other tribunals. The Copyright Board is non-functional from last 5 years. The proposal was passed under the Finance Bill, 2017 from the Loksabha along with the amendment in the rules pertaining to appointment, qualification and terms of service for the member of the IPAB. The Bill was passed on 21st of March, 2017 and now waiting for President’s assent. 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 496 77 275 143 377 253 48 149 58 242 0 1 3 2 3 749 126 427 203 622 Mature for hearing Counter not filed Not traceable Total Although the non-functionality of IPAB had led to the increase in pending matter and became a drawback for IP appellate process but let’s hope that the mergers which are being proposed by Government accompanied with the initiatives from the side of Deputy Registrar of IPAB aids in to bring positive outcome to the Intellectual Property appellate process and provide efficient results to IP stakeholders. It can be observed from the present scenario that the key challenge before the Government is to make the IPAB fully functional as soon as possible to reduce the pendency before the appellate board.