Inventive Step – Technical Advance

This post was published on 18th September, 2013.
In a recent case decided by the IPAB at a circuit sitting bench in Delhi on 5th July 2013, the Appellant (Electronic Navigation Research Institute, Tokyo) claimed that it had invented “A Chaos Theoretical Exponent Value Calculation system” and applied for patent under 3624/DELNP/2005. The Deputy Controller held that the functions of the this system was based on mathematical method for solving mathematical equations, and declined to accept the technical effect theory followed under European Patent law, as he was of the opinion that the Indian patent law does not allow patents for mathematical methods which have a technical effect, and therefore the invention was rejected as not patentable under S.3 (k) of the Patents Act 1970.
Brief Description of the Invention:
The Invention relates to a system for analysing a time series signal by a method based on Chaos Theory and calculating a chaos theoretical exponent value (CTEV) thereof.   The Background states that correlative dimension, KS entropy and Lyapunov exponent are among the known chaos theoretical exponent values.   The systems used to calculate the exponents include systems in accordance with various procedures which are different algorithms ( Wolf’s, Kantz’ Sano/Sawada and so on) Examples of prior arts have been mentioned. In particular, the Complete specifications states “in any of the systems, the Lyapunov exponents constitute the neighbourhood points set generated from the neighbourhood condition to be set as the ratio with respect to its size on the strange attractor constructed in the embedding space, and are calculated as the mean value when points constituting the neighbourhood points set separate from each other.  The conventional chaos theoretical exponent value calculation system uses one of such systems as mentioned above, and those systems have a presumption that it analyses a system of stable dynamic (the dynamics is the behaviour limited by its physical form and the like or the property that provides the behaviour) ( a system of stable dynamics means a system with physically invariable disposition or length, and the shape of strange attractor generated from the time series signal provided by the system becomes a similar for if such a system behaves chaotically).   Thus the temporarily changing dynamics, or the Lyapunov spectrum in Sano/Sawada’s algorithm, cannot be calculated as a significant value ( a system with its temporarily changing dynamics refers to a system such as the human vocal organs, for example in which the physical disposition or length changes.  For instance, when phonemes/a/and /or/ are pronounced, the shapes of throat and oral cavity are different, and the strange attractor of the phoneme /a/ is enlarged or noises are added thereto).
The Summary of the Invention shows that what the inventors have invented is a system which makes it possible to calculate a CTEV that could not have been so far processed in a dynamics-changing system and to perform the process thereof at a high speed and on a real time basis, and to calculate a CTEV even from a time series signal which includes noises.
The brain is actively functioning, the speech voice includes many crosstalk noises, namely many disturbances of signals derived from other part, and the relationship between the SiCECA neighborhood distance and the chaos theoretical exponent value calculated is on the curve of Fig.7, indicating “the relationship between the chaos theoretical exponent value and the SiCECA neighbourhood distance parameter p is 10% is given by the vertical line giving CEM10.
It can be seen from Fig. 7 of the specification that the sensitivity increases when the SICECA neighbourhood distance parameter is set to 10%, while the cerebral evaluation sensitive decreases when 30%. At 100% the sensitivity for detecting any street and the like affecting the speech contents cannot be obtained.
Since the dynamics that generated actual speech voice does not have deal noise characteristics as shown in Fig. 7, the SiCECA neighbourhood distance parameter for obtaining a stable processing result must be set in correspondence with the degree of clarity of signals to be processed, and it is better to set to 20% for the purpose of analyzing voices in an ordinary office environment.”
“For an ordinary speech voice, since the duration of one single phoneme is from tens milliseconds to one hundred and tens milliseconds, one macroscopic chaos theoretical exponent value is one value calculated from hundreds to thousands microscopic chaos theoretical exponent values calculated during that time, or a plurality of values in the order of several values depending on the processing parameter settings for the calculation of a macroscopic chaos theoretical exponent value.
1.      A system for analyzing speech voice signal comprising:
a reading means (xi) for reading a speech voice signal to be subjected to a  chaotic analysis;
a cutting means (xi) for cutting out said read speech voice signal for each processing unit for calculating a chaos theoretical exponent value of said read        speech voice signal,  wherein said calculating means x(i) for calculating a chaos theoretical exponent value comprises:
a first calculation means for calculating a chaos theoretical exponent value with respect to said sampling time as a microscopic chaos theoretical exponent value, in said cut-out speech voice signal at a processing unit; and a second calculation means for calculating the chaos theoretical exponent value of said speech voice signal with respect to a predetermined        time as a macroscopic chaos theoretical exponent value, based on said microscopic chaos theoretical exponent value.
2.The system for analysing a speech voice signal as claimed in claim 1, comprising:  A means for receiving, as parameters, an embedding dimension D, an embedding delay time td, an expansion delay time te, a size of neighbourhood points set N, and the shortest period Tm and the longest period TM of said      speech voice signal;
Wherein said means for cutting out said speech voice signal for each processing unit cuts out a speech voice signal for each processing unit x=x(i)         from said speech voice signal based on Equation 2 as herein described, where, when said read speech voice signal is s=s(t), to and t1 in Equation 2 are given as t0 and t1 satisfying a periodicity condition predetermined by Equation 3 as herein described.
When the patentee explains that there is an inventive step which is a technical advance compared to the existing knowledge (state-of the-art) or that it has economic significance that would not give him the right to a patent as such. ‘’The inventive step’ must be a feature which is not an excluded subject itself. Otherwise, the patentee by citing economic significance or technical advance in relation to any of the excluded subjects can insist upon grant of patent thereto.   Therefore, this technical advance comparison, should be done with the subject matter of invention and it should be found it is not related to any of the excluded subjects …..   In Symbian vs. Comptroller of Patents (supra), the application in question was “Mapping dynamic link libraries in a computing device”.   It was a method of accessing data in a dynamic link library in a computing device. The Act in question was the UK Act, 1977 and in S. 1(2) the Act excludes “a scheme, rule or method… for doing business, or a program for a computer.” In Symbian the Court asked the question. Whether the claimed technical contribution can be said to be the excluded subject matter itself or whether the claim is actually technical.   That is why the UK and European Acts uses the phrase “as such” to limit the area of non-patentability. Perhaps Symbian acknowledges the lack of clarity in the words “as such”, and also that “The danger is all the greater because the concept of a “technical” contribution is imprecise”.   Symbian approved of Merril Lynch’s application which held that if there is “some technical advance on the prior art in the form of a new result (eg. A substantial increase in processing speed as in Vicom)” it might be possible to obtain a patent. Symbian also recognised the difficulty in being too precise about deciding the feature. “Each case must be determined by reference to its particular facts and features” In Symbian, the Court dismissed the Controller General’s appeal against the order setting aside his refusal to grant patent on the ground of non-patentability.
The Controller here was of the opinion that the invention which is the technical advance was itself nothing more than “a mathematical method for solving mathematical claims which are further based on various algorithms.” So the identifiable contribution was itself the excluded subject matter according to the impugned order. So the Controller held that the Indian Patent law does not allow patent for a mathematical method just because it provides a technical advance.  His reasoning that merely because a mathematical method is a technical advance it cannot cross the 3(k) bar is right.      
The IPAB saw no reason to interfere with the impugned order.  The appeal is dismissed.
Contributed by: Karthik Raju

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