I-HIPP (In-House Intellectual Property Professionals Forum), an IP Think Tank and advocacy group, had conducted a conference and moot court in memory of Hitesh Barot, a leading in-house IP counsel, on March 6, 2015 at ABB campus, Bangalore.
Hitesh Barot, Senior IP counsel and Former Vice President of Technology Policy at General Electric (GE), was in a tragic accident that claimed his life on May 21, 2015. In a very unusual occurrence, Hitesh Barot was dragged by a crocodile into the River Narmada near Bhalod, his native village in Gujarat.
Mr. Barot’s illustrious career began at McCutchen Doyle Brown & Enersen in California and worked there for roughly 7 years. Before moving to GE in 2011, he worked at Intel as its Director of Global Public Policy in India and California. He moved from GE to work at the Centre for Ethical Life & Leadership to simplify voter registration through advocating change in the Online Registration System.
The theme of the event was Innovation in and for India and Role of Intellectual Property. The event consisted of 3 sessions. The first session was on A road map for Companies in India to move up the Innovation and IP value chain, the second session, the Hitesh Barot Memorial Moot Court Competition and the third on Indian Patent Office Practice – Opportunities and Challenges. Some of the high profile dignitaries that attended the event were G N V Subba Rao, MD, ABB Global industries Services Ltd., Sreenivas Prasad, VP and CEO, Philips India, Dr. Raj Hirwani, Head of URDIP and President of LES, India.
The Moot Court competition was presented by BananaIP Counsels, presided over by Dr. Modak and Ms. Vinita Radhakrishnan. The panel consisted of Mr. Somashekar Ramakrishna, Ms. Vinita Radhakrishnan and Dr. Modak. The participants representing the Applicants and the Patent Office were Sandeep M Hegde & N S Kanmani, and Rajni Mishra & Naveen K M, respectively. The case was Ashustosh v. Controller of Patents, regarding mechanical equipment used in gymnasiums.
The issues given were:
Whether claim 1 is anticipated based on US 5997447 and US 5135456?
Whether claim 1 lacks inventive step based on US 5997447 and US 5135456?
Whether just informing patent office on the filing of US application fulfills section 8 (1) requirement?
The participants representing the Applicants were given the first opportunity to put forth their case and reasons for why the machine should be patent-able. The participants representing the Patent Office stated their arguments as to why the machine cannot be considered patent-able. Both the parties put forth their best efforts. The case was finally won by the participants representing the Applicant, with the help of audience votes.
The conference was an enriching experience as the goings-on of the IP world was talked about and the development in the field was discussed. The Moot Court competition was an enlightening experience, providing new perspectives on how a case is looked into.