President Obama Meets With Prime Minister Narendra Modi Of India At The White House

Copyright Laws catch up with PM Modi for use of photo on FB page

Bimal Nepal, a photographer, has recently claimed that Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, used what seems to be a photograph belonging to Bimal, on his Facebook page, for Deepavali. This photograph, he claims, was taken by him on a festive occasion at home. As news gets around, Bimal is already getting to be the talk of the town during this holiday season. Though he is not threatening to sue Mr. Modi for infringement, Bimal wants to be attributed as the photographer, which only seems fair.

For Bimal to succeed, however, he has to provide satisfactory answers to several questions under the Copyright Law. They are as follows:

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Evolution of 4G-LTE technology

4G-Lte: Smartphones have not only made our lives easier but faster too. Simple browsing and texting on a smartphone does not seem sufficient to satisfy the current generation, and this has led network carriers to capitalize on the surging demand. Yet, new technologies are arriving with many advancements to enable great experience on a simple 4-inch device.

Yes we are talking about the evolution of 4G in the midst of the data thirsty wireless market. With its high networking capabilities, 4G promises to take user experience to an entirely new level. With its high-end video streaming and downloading, high performance imaging, gaming and what not, it enables everything you need on the web with one touch.

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Isaac Asimov’s essay on how people get new ideas

Isaac Asimov is a person who requires no introduction to most people. He is noted for his novels and short stories related to science fiction and science. He is responsible for authoring more than 500 books/stories and about 90,000 postcards and letters. His popular works include the Foundation series, Robot series and so on.

Arthur Obermayer, a friend of Asimov came across an essay written by Asimov on how people generate ideas recently. This essay was Asimov’s input into a study conducted by Allied Research Associates (an MIT spinoff that originally focused on the effects of nuclear weapons on aircraft structures) in Boston. The company received a contract with the acronym GLIPAR (Guide Line Identification Program for Antimissile Research) from the Advanced Research Projects Agency to elicit the most creative approaches possible for a ballistic missile defence system. Asimov was briefly involved in the project.

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Taylor Swift (Screengrab)

Sony/ATV considers dumping big Licensing firms

Sony/ATV, market leader in music publishing has indicated that it may steer clear of licensing firms like ASCAP and BMI and negotiate directly with services such as Pandora, Spotify and Youtube for licenses to stream music. The move is expected to boost the earnings of top recording artists like Taylor Swift and leading songwriters who get paid for their work from digital royalties. Sony/ ATV is hinting at a plan to split from these licensing firms by the end of this year. CEO, Martin Bandier, had discussed the plan to dump Ascap and BMI with the songwriters in as early as July, 2014.

The second largest music publishing company, Universal Group Music Publishing, is also keen on entering into direct negotiations over digital rights. However, sources close to the company say that it is planning to wait out Sony/ATV’s appeals.

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Weekly Warm up with Sinapse!

This time last week on Sinapse, here is all that happened, in a nutshell.

On October 13, 2014, we saw:

Invention that revolutionized the industrial revolution!

…The story of the invention of steam engine, this invention that proved to be a huge development in the industrial revolution, enlightened us that James Watt may not have been the first one to invent it but definitely was the first one to patent it!

Finally, the ice melts between Microsoft and Samsung!

…Samsung and Microsoft signed a cross license agreement for the benefit of both. When Samsung learnt about Microsoft taking over Nokia, a rift was triggered between Samsung and Microsoft.

Patenting – the Google way

…Google has always amused consumers with its mind blowing inventions. It now has numerous patents under its name and that doesn’t stop them there. Google is dipping its hand into the automotive industry! Google is now the 4th in line for holding the most number of patents.

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Converse sues biggies for infringing Chuck Taylor Sneaker TM

Here is an update on a recent Trademark Infringement case. Shoemaker, Converse, is suing big names including Wal-Mart and Ralph Lauren for allegedly selling imitations of its 100-year-old famous Chuck Taylor Sneakers. Converse is claiming, under its registered trademark rights, the distinctive shoe design, a design that has been called an “American Icon”. Key elements protected by Converse’s trademark include the toe cap of the shoe, and the pattern of black stripes that appear on the mid sole of the shoe. Converse claims that these elements have been ripped off by the companies they are now suing.

Apart from suing these companies for infringement, Converse, a subsidiary of Nike, also wants the International Trade Commission (ITC) to ban sales of the imported replicas. Therefore, Converse has filed a separate complaint with ITC, with the aim of preventing shoes that infringe their trademark from being imported into USA.

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Bi-lateral IP Considerations between India & the US

After Narendra Modi met with US President, Barack Obama last month, during Modi’s visit to the US, the leaders released a joint statement enumerating areas for bilateral collaboration including Intellectual Property.

A look at the current state of IP laws in India will show that -

India’s current IP laws are very real disincentives unduly limiting its capacity to commercialize new inventions and enjoy access to innovations from other parts of the world.

What kind of change in the IP laws could help both countries?

Both Governments have committed to establishing an annual IP Working Group as a core element of the bilateral trade policy forum. The US industry widely welcomed this statement, since a bilateral dialogue on IP will be an important part of optimizing the US-India trade relationship.

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UMich TTO records exceptional year; Receives US$ 18.5M from Licensing Agreements

The Technology Transfer Office (TTO) of the University of Michigan (UMich) has witnessed a record-breaking year in terms of innovations, research discoveries, licensing agreements and start-ups. The UMich TTO was established in order to effectively transfer research discoveries to the market so as to generate benefits for the university, encourage licensing and support deployment with existing businesses and newly-formed UMich start-ups.

With a recorded US$ 1.3 billion annual research expenditure in 2013, UMich tops the list of leading research universities in the US. Licensing revenue for the university soared 29%, up to US$ 18.5 million this year from US$ 14.4 million last year. This will provide the university with additional funds for reinvestment into research and innovation. The university registered 439 inventions during fiscal year 2014, up from the 421 recorded last year. The TTO recorded 148 agreements to in-house technology and 132 patents, up from 108 agreements and 128 patents last year.

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Patent trends related to Software / IT inventions in India

With every invention, comes the responsibility to patent it. This also applies to inventions made in the software industry. When software is invented, the first step is to file for a patent, then comes the associated fee to be paid according to the invention made. It is then checked by a search authority and classified under computer related patent applications.

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