In this week’s Patent News – Indian Patent Agent Examination 2020 likely to be held in June this year; Federal Jury finds VMware guilty of patent infringement, awards $236 Million as damages to Densify; Caltech awarded $1.1 Billion in patent infringement case against Apple and Broadcom; UK Government says Brexit will have no implications on IP system during the transition period; EPO publishes grounds for rejecting two patent applications that designated a machine as an inventor.
Indian Patent News
Indian Patent Agent Examination 2020 likely to be held in June this year
The Indian Patent Office issued a public notice on 31st January 2020 indicating the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDTM) is likely to conduct the Patent Agent Examination in June 2020.The notice also reads that further information will be made available on finalizing the schedule and certain other requirements. You may click here to access the official public notice.
Patent Disputes / Infringements / Settlements / Licensing
Federal Jury finds VMware guilty of patent infringement, awards $236 Million as damages to Densify
A Federal jury in Delaware has ruled in favor of Densify, a software company based in Canada, and has awarded $236 Million by way of damages in a patent infringement lawsuit involving VMware. Densify had instituted a case in April, last year, alleging that VMware’s products – vRealize Operations Manager (vROps 7.0/7.5) Predictive DRS had infringed two of its patents, namely, US8209687 and US9654367. In addition to this, Densify had also stated that the latter had used the name “Densify” while referencing its own products. On Friday, last week, the jury announced its verdict before the Judge at the U.S District Court for the District of Delaware and held that VMware was guilty of patent infringement. VMware, in its statement said, “While we appreciate and respect the judicial process, we continue to strongly believe that we do not infringe the patents asserted against us in this case, and intend to vigorously pursue all legal remedies that are available to us to prove that we are not liable here.”
Caltech awarded $1.1 Billion in patent infringement case against Apple and Broadcom
California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has been awarded $1.1 Billion in a patent infringement case against Apple and Broadcom. The University, in 2016 had instituted a suit for patent infringement against the two tech giants in the Federal Court in Los Angeles, U.S.A. In its lawsuit, Caltech had alleged that the tech giants had infringed four of the University’s patents relating to Wi-Fi data transmission. Four years later, a jury has found the companies guilty of patent infringement.
The jury has awarded Caltech a sum of $1.1 Billion where Apple is bound to pay $837.8 Million and Broadcom is liable to pay $270.2 Million, as damages. According to reports, Apple has confirmed that the company will file an Appeal.
International Patent News
UK Government says Brexit will have no implications on IP system during the transition period
Following the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement by the EU and U.K, EU law will continue to operate in the UK until 31st of December 2020. The Intellectual Property (IP) system will continue as it is during the transition period, i.e., 1st February 2020 to 31st December 2020. The official website of the U.K Government also confirms that no disruptions will be caused to IPO services. At the end of the transition period, the IPO will convert almost 1.4 million EU trademarks and 700,000 EU designs to comparable UK rights, and these will come into effect from 1stof January 2021.
Brief implications of Brexit on Patents & Designs have been provided below for our readers’ quick reference:
- Registered Community Designs (RCD)
The UK will remain part of the EU registered community design system throughout the transition period. Comparable UK designs will be created at the end of the transition period under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement.
Businesses, organizations or individuals that have applications for an RCD which are ongoing at the end of the transition period will have a period of nine months from the end of the transition period to apply in the UK for the same protections.
- Unregistered designs
Unregistered community designs arising before the end of the transition period will continue to be protected in the UK for the remainder of their three-year term.Designs disclosed in the UK after the end of the transition period may be protected in the UK through the supplementary unregistered design
- International registrations designating the European Union
International registrations for trademarks and designs protected via the Madrid and Hague systems and those which designate the European Union before the end of the transition period will continue to extend to the UK after 31 December 2020.
- Rights of Representation
UK legal representatives will continue to have the right to represent clients before the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), in cases that are ongoing at the end of the transition period.
An applicant may apply for European patent through the U.K Patent office or direct to the European Patent Office (EPO) to protect the patent in more than 30 countries in Europe, using the (non-EU) European Patent Convention (EPC). As the EPO is not an EU agency, leaving the EU does not affect the current European patent system. Existing European patents covering the UK also remain unaffected.
You may click here to access the official post on the Govt. U.K website.
EPO publishes grounds for rejecting two patent applications that designated a machine as an inventor
In the month of December, last year, the EPO refused two European Patent Applications numbered EP 18275162 and EP 18275174 which designated a machine as an Inventor. The applications named a machine called “DABUS” as the Inventor and described it as – “a type of connectionist artificial intelligence.” The applicant stated that they acquired patent rights from the inventor by being its “successor in title.” After considering the interpretation of the legal framework of the European patent system, the EPO refused the application on the grounds that the inventor was not a natural person. The Office has emphasized on the fact that the internationally accepted standard appears to accept the term ‘inventor’ as a natural person. The Office also states that it is essential for the inventor to have a legal personality to benefit from the rights derived from the patent.
You may click here to access the Grounds for EPO decision – EP 18 275 163 and EP 18 275 174.
Authored and compiled by Vibha Amarnath
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