In this week’s Patent News – IPO to re-open acceptance of requests under Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Pilot Project; Office of CGPDTM invites applications for Patent Agent Examination 2020; Last date for submission of applications for National IP Awards – 2020 extended; RGNIIPM to open IP Innovation Gallery; India and U.S to reach an agreement on IPR matters; Varta AG files three separate patent infringement suits against Amazon, Costo Wholesale and Best Buy Co.; Australia to phase-out Innovation Patent from 2021 and other news updates.
INDIA PATENT NEWS
IPO to re-open acceptance of requests under Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Pilot Project
According to a public notice issued on 25th February 2020, the Indian Patent Office (IPO) will re-open the line of accepting requests under the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Pilot Program from 9th March 2020 onwards. The IPO notice explains that on scrutinizing the 100 requests that the office had previously received, only 56 requests were accepted whereby the applicants were allowed to file request for expedited examination through Form 18A. As 44 requests were not found to be eligible as per the PPH Guidelines, the office will re-open accepting Form 5-1 under Chapter 5 of the PPH Guidelines from 9thMarch 2020. Further, the notice also states that the number of requests will be limited to 44.
You may click here to access the official public notice and here to access the PPH Guidelines.
Office of CGPDTM invites applications for Patent Agent Examination 2020
On 24th February 2020, the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM) published a notice on their official website inviting applications from eligible candidates for the Patent Agent Examination of 2020. According to the notice, the examination is likely to be conducted on 28th June 2020. Online registrations for candidates will be begin from 25th February 2020 and will remain open until 25th March 2020. The notice also states that the examination will be conducted in two sessions. Paper-I will primarily consist of Objective type questions and will be held for a period of 2 hours. Paper-II, bearing Descriptive type questions, will be held for a period of 3 hours. You may click here to access the official notice.
Last date for submission of applications for National IP Awards – 2020 extended
According to a public notice issued by the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDTM) on 6th February 2020, the last date to submit applications for the National IP Awards – 2020 has been extended to the 17th of February 2020. You may click here to access the official notice.
RGNIIPM to open IP Innovation Gallery
With the objective to create IP awareness, the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Intellectual Property Management (RGNIIPM), a Central Government Institute functioning under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has launched an IP Innovation Gallery in Nagpur. According to the official notice, the establishment of the IP Innovation Gallery aims to motivate its visitors by displaying patent models and prototypes. While the notice does not mention the last date for submitting the models, it does state that applications will be accepted solely on a first come first serve basis and as per the availability of space. Further, the participants are not required to pay any fee in order to have their inventions exhibited, however, they must meet the eligibility criteria as laid out in the official notice. A certificate will be awarded by RGNIIPM to all the participants. You may click here to access the official notice as issued on the IP India website.
India and U.S to reach an agreement on IPR matters
In a statement given by U.S President Donald Trump during his recent visit to India, the President has said that India and U.S will soon reach a comprehensive agreement on matters related to Intellectual Property Rights. As reported by Business Standard, the agreement is expected to be a major development as India slipped to the 40th position in the International IP Index 2020 published by the U.S Chamber of Commerce this year. Prior to President Trump’s visit, the countries also signed a “knowledge sharing agreement” with the objective to strengthen Intellectual Property ties between the two countries.
PATENT DISPUTES / INFRINGEMENTS / SETTLEMENTS/ LICENSING
Varta AG files three separate patent infringement suits against Amazon, Costo Wholesale and Best Buy Co.
Varta AG, a German company engaged in the manufacture of batteries, has filed three separate lawsuits alleging Amazon, Costo Wholesale and Best Buy Co. for infringing three of its patents. The patents at issue, namely – U.S 9,153,835, U.S 9,496,581 and U.S 9,799,913 are primarily concerned with manufacturing of micro-batteries. These batteries, sold under the trademark – CoinPower, are most commonly used as a source of rechargeable power in wireless earphones as well as other electronic devices. The German company filed the lawsuits on 24th February 2020 in the U.S District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Varta has claimed that the defendants have been selling and importing the goods from China. The company is seeking a full jury trial. Additionally, Varta is also seeking compensatory damages and Attorneys’ fees.
INTERNATIONAL PATENT NEWS
Australia to phase-out Innovation Patent from 2021
On 27th February 2020, the Australian Government published a notification on the IP Australia website indicating that the government will be initiating the process of phasing out the Innovation Patent provision currently available under the law. This change comes after the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Productivity Commission Response Part 2 and Other Measures) Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 26th February 2020. As a part of the Australian Government’s commitment to ensure that the country’s IP system is easily accessible to SME’s, IP Australia will phase-out the Innovation Patent provision. From 26th August 2021, applicants will no longer be able to apply for an Innovation Patent. The official announcement on the website also explains that certain other changes have been brought to Australia’s Intellectual Property system. A number of improvements have been made to the Patents Act as well as the Trademarks Act in order to simplify procedures and increase productivity.
Australia typically offers two types of Patent protection, namely – Standard Patent and Innovation Patent. A Standard Patent allows an invention to be protected for a period on 20 years. These patents must be new, involve an inventive step and be able to be made or used in an industry. On the other hand, an Innovation Patent lasts up to eight years and is designed to protect inventions that do not meet the requirements of a Standard Patent. An Innovation Patent requires an innovative step whereas a Standard Patent requires an inventive step.
You may click here to access the official notice and here to read more about the two types of patents.
Authored and compiled by Vibha Amarnath
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