On 8th July 2013, a larger bench of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) issued orders that the IPAB has the power to review its own orders on merit. The review can be taken up in certain conditions and it also has the power to grant interim orders pending final application.
The orders passed by the IPAB are final and there was no appeal and considering various rules and regulations, the remedy of review must exist, it said.
The subject matter of the debate here is the difference between an appeal and a review. The question of law being, when a right to appeal does not exist against a judicial body’s order, does it mean that there is no power vested within that body to review its own order? The IPAB thought otherwise.
The IPAB held that “if the IPAB were to hold that it has no power to review its own order, then rule 23 of the IPAB Rules will become meaningless. It was submitted that not only did the statute not prohibit Review, but the rules specifically provided for it.” Hence it must be understood that the IPAB has the power to review.
From this it can be understood that when there is no right to appeal, the power of review must be implied. There is no statutory recognition of a review, but when section 92 of the Trade Marks Act is read together with Rule 23, it is implied that the IPAB has an inherent power to review.
The order of the tribunal stated, "In fact, an error apparent may be rectified earlier in a review petition while it may take longer if the matter goes to the High Court. Therefore even if we consider the object for which the IPAB was established, the power of review must be recognized."
Referring to some earlier decisions the Court reiterated the importance of review petition and added that the power of review cannot be limited to errors of procedure alone and needs to be extended to substantive review.