hammer1.215142121_std

Patentability of Laws of Nature

Today we will discuss a case where a patent was rejected based on the patent ineligible subject matter.

Mayo Collaborative Services (Appellants) and Prometheus Laboratories (Respondents)

Patents in Dispute: US 6,355,623 and US 6,680,302

Case: Prometheus had an exclusive license over these patents and Mayo was using diagnostic kits based on these patents from Prometheus until 2004 after which Mayo developed its own diagnostic tests for the same purpose. Prometheus sued Mayo for infringement at the District Court in 2004.

The claims of the patents were directed to a method of treating a patient with auto-immune gastrointestinal disorder by determining the level of metabolite produced subsequent to drug administration thus optimizing the dose of the drug to be administered.

Continue reading

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Desi-Pharma

Indian Pharma Sector: Poised for Advantage?

The Indian Pharma Sector has been experiencing exponential growth and stability internationally over the past few years. The credit rating agency ICRA has said, “…with many drugs going off patent in the US, Indian pharma companies would continue to experience strong growth in American market.”

We will see now why India will majorly reap most benefits from this patent phenomenon and how?

What is the Global view on India?

So much light from international interest shines on India, that it might have blinded some to the fact that it continues to grow in importance as a Pharmaceutical Sales Market. To gain perspective, PWC recently surveyed executives from leading global and domestic Medtech companies with Indian operations representing US$ 1.3 billion in revenues in India, or roughly 40% of the US$ 3 billion Indian market. Their responses, combined with in-depth interviews and PWC’s research and experience in the industry, provide insight on this.

Continue reading

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
45_b6f3ec3d1d249635e324622add939ea2

From Dress Pin to Safety Pin: A ‘Pin’teresting story!

Inventive step / Non-Obviousness is one of the most important patentability criteria in almost all patent jurisdictions. Non-obviousness is the term used by the USPTO and is codified in 35 USC § 103. The requirement is that the claimed invention being patented should not be obvious, meaning that a “person having ordinary skill in the art” should not be able to easily guess or put two or more things together to arrive at the invention seeking a patent  grant.

Now, let’s discuss the Inventive step / Non-Obviousness criteria with an interesting example relating to the Dress Pin invention wherein an improved patent relating to the Safety Pin is confirmed as having inventive step in comparison with prior art inventions.

Continue reading

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
41

Father of the Electronic Idiot Box

Sinapse’s Blog-a-thon is in full swing, and today, it is my turn to write something interesting for you dear Readers. While searching, I realized that last week, the World celebrated the Anniversary of an interesting patent. A patent of Philo Fransworth! And those who are wondering who Philo Fransworth is, please read on. Those who aren’t, also read on!

Mr. Fransworth is regarded as the Father of Television. I would rename him as Father of Electronic Television, as most of us, including me, have learned in our school days that Mr. John Logie Baird is the Father of Television. The truth is Mr. Baird’s television was based on electro-mechanical systems, whereas Mr. Fransworth’s television was electronic. Mr. Fransworth showed glimpses of his brilliance since childhood by describing and diagramming a television in 1921, when he was just 14 years old. After dropping out of college due to adverse financial conditions, at the age of 20, Mr. Fransworth resumed his scientific work.

Continue reading

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
TKDL-672x372

Traditional Knowledge Digital Library: Boon or Bane? – Part 3

Taking forward the series, after our previous parts, 1 and 2, we would now look at TKDL in some more detail.

A major issue with TKDL is that important data like medicinal knowledge will only be documented, but never be considered prior art. In the cases of Neem and Turmeric, infringement on the ground of Lack of Novelty led to a granted patent being revoked, due to the existence of ancient or other documents, in the form of prior art, that prove that knowledge already existed.

Presently, in TKDL, a search of the word “Turmeric” would show results with details of “useful in the treatment of following disease”, “IPC Code”, “time since when knowledge was known”, “bibliography” and “keyword(s) / Ingredient(s)”. The search, whether simple or advanced (as explained in Part 2), would not explain the cause for such a property exhibited by turmeric. The search also shows those medicines which have turmeric as one of their ingredients. The texts that support or prove the use of such a combination may be ancient Ayurvedic texts.

Continue reading

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
hammer1.215142121_std

Section 8 in Deep & Troubled Waters

Section 8 of the Patents Act, 1970 has been in the news for a while now. The Intellectual Property Appellate Board’s (IPAB’s) interpretations have created terrifying circumstances for both patent prosecution and patent enforcement. Section 8 entitled Information and Undertaking regarding Foreign Applications is a mandatory requirement and cannot be done away with. Failure to comply with Section 8 is grounds for revocation of Patent under Section 64 (1)(m).

The Ayyangar Committee Report, which forms the basis of the present Patents Act, 1970, made it clear that Section 8 serves the purpose of disclosure. The report made it clear that the object of Section 8 was to let the Patent Office know of objections, if any, made by Patent Offices outside India regarding the patentability of the invention  and amendments, if any, to be made to it. If there are any objections raised by Patent Offices outside India during patent prosecution, then such information must be disclosed to the Indian Patent Office, even though such information could be easily accessed over the Internet or any search engine.

Continue reading

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
transition

Fleeting life of Exclusive Marketing Rights and the Birth of a Stronger Patent Regime

Trade Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement under the World Trade Organization (WTO) came into effect in 1995 mandating all the developing member countries to bring in TRIPS-compliant national laws within ten years i.e., 2005.

India became a party to the TRIPS Agreement in April, 1994. At that time, India’s then-current enactment of the Patent Act, 1970 directly contravened Article 27 of the TRIPS Agreement. Upon coming into effect on January 1, 1995, TRIPS set out transitional periods for WTO members to introduce legislation complying with the obligations under TRIPS.

For developing countries, like India, the deadline for complying with TRIPS was the year 2000. Article 65.4 of TRIPS provided a special transitional provision for those countries that did not grant product patents. The provision provided an additional five years (until 2005), from the initial TRIPS transitional period, to introduce product patent protection.

Continue reading

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
ME_284_Portfolio_Trend3

Mind your L’s and M’s: Licensing & Merchandising – Part 1

Merchandising is an extension of a brand into new categories. Any merchandise is created by securing license of different Intellectual Properties such as themes, images, songs or dialogues of a film, characters etc. It is in the past decade that Movie Merchandise and Character Merchandise has gained popularity in India.

According to the industry reports, global licensing & merchandising is a huge business with its top 125 licensors accounting for sales amounting to more than US$ 184 billion. Disney is the largest global player and has generated sales of US$ 28.6 billion in 2010. The Major Baseball League was the biggest sports league in the sport-licensed merchandise segment with sales of around US$ 5 billion in 2010. Popular film franchises such as Star Wars, Harry Potter and Cars have generated licensed merchandise sales worth more than US$ 10 billion since their respective launches.

Continue reading

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
IP-Protection-of-Computer-Programs-Sinapse-672x372

Intellectual Property Protection for Computer Programs – Part III

In continuation to the previous post in this series, we will today be looking into copyright protection of computer software. As discussed in the previous post, Copyright Law came as an answer to the protection of computer programs at a time when the importance of Trade Secret Law for the same was dwindling.

A computer program, being composed of source codes can be brought under the ambit of literary works in Copyright Law. The basic principle governing Copyright Law is the idea / expression dichotomy. As per this principle, Copyright Law only protects the expression of ideas and not the ideas per se. While talking about the principle of the idea / expression dichotomy, it should be admitted that there has always been a lack of clarity regarding what constitutes an idea and what constitutes an expression. This inherent lack of clarity in Copyright Law combined with the complexity of a computer program prevents Copyright Law from being an effective system of protection.

Continue reading

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
White thumb up next to the like from social networks on blue bac

“Admin, you don’t own your FB Likes” says Florida Court

In 2008, Stacey Mattaocks created a Facebook fan page for the television show, “The Game”. However, after the cancellation of the show in 2009, Stacey initiated a campaign through her Facebook page to revive the series. The campaign went viral among the public with Stacey’s Facebook page receiving more than 2 million Likes. Based on this wide spread request from the public, through the said campaign, Black Entertainment Television LLC (BET) (Defendant in this case) has re-launched the show which again increased the number of followers of Stacey’s fan page.

Due to continued success of Stacey’s fan page, in 2010, BET hired Stacey for US$ 30 per hour for managing the same FB page. As part of this arrangement, BET allowed Stacey to even display BET’s trademarks and logos in the cover page of the fan page as well as encourage BET’s viewers to Like said Page. Further, BET even provided Stacey with certain exclusive content of the show including unseen clippings, photographs etc., to be posted on fans’ pages. The arrangement between Stacey and BET proved to be extremely successful as evidenced by the steady increase of Page Likes from 2 million to 6 million.

Continue reading

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather