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Intellectual Property News and Analysis – Intellepedia

‘Trade Secret’ Law is Turning Out to be a Well-Kept ‘Secret’

This image depicts a rusted lock on a gate. This image is relevant because this post talks about the ongoing debate about the Trade Secret law in India. Click on the image to view full post

This post was published on August 26, 2014.

 

A recent discussion with a friend made me contemplate the methods companies use to protect a business process. Most companies have processes that help in their smooth daily functioning yielding them their revenue. Since business methods are not patentable in India, there must be a way that these processes can be protected from competitors. Of course there is – Trade Secrets.

A business process forms part of a company’s Confidential Information and can be protected as a Trade Secret. A Trade Secret is any kind of ‘information’ or ‘know-how’ which is not ‘publicly known‘, has ‘commercial advantage’ and which the owner has taken ‘reasonable measures to keep secret’. Largely, many countries recognize these as the normal components for protection of a Trade Secret. In India, unlike in the USA or other countries, there is no specific legislation to protect Trade Secrets.

Patent Trolls – Threat to Innovation and its Users!

This image depicts a Monkey standing with a stick and trying to describe what Patent Troll is with the basic definitions written in the Background. This image is relevant as USPTO has granted a Patent for a method of Patent Trolling. Click on the image for more information

This post was first published on February 11th, 2014.   We are familiar with Patent Trolling strategies adopted by companies as a means to financial gain and to gain market advantage over competitors. Normally, in such cases, one company would use its portfolio of active patents to sue other companies which seem to infringe on their patent rights. This may trigger a litigation procedure in courts or get settled outside the court, at the expense of a huge amount of money. In an interesting case, things went from bad to worse when a company decided to sue the end users of certain...

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Is it Legal to Reverse Engineer the Engineered?

This image depicts the word Engineer written in the reverse way. This image is relevant as the issue here is whether is it legal to reverse engineer the engineered. Click on the image for more information

This post was first published on September 24, 2014.

 

Shoppers would agree with me when I say that while purchasing something, I need to feel a connect with it. Once I have found that connection, a feeling of possession sets in and I know that the article, which until recently was only lying in a shop somewhere, is now mine. This feeling of possession of an inanimate article may lead us to believe that anything can be done to it, which would legally be termed as personal property rights. These include the right to take the product apart, measure it, subject it to testing and so on. A question now arises – Can we Reverse Engineer and use something that has been engineered by someone else?

The controversy between Atari and Nintendo lays down most of the pre-Digital Millennium Copyright Act framework for the legal analysis of Reverse Engineering. In the late 1980s, the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was a major player in the video games market. The security mechanism on the NES, called 10-NES, prevented games from running on the system unless they contained a special chip and software. This security mechanism was used by Nintendo to push game developers into licensing contracts.

Patent News Bulletin: Indian Patent Statistics, Interesting Inventions, 3-day training program on IP strategy and more IP news

The featured image reads Weekly News Updates: Patent News. The logo of intellepedia also forms part of the featured image. To read more click here.

“Patent News Bulletin: Indian Patent Statistics, Indian Design Statistics, Interesting Inventions, NI-SME to organize a 3-day training program on IP strategy, NRDC facilitates the commercialization of two technologies developed by NIOT, New MoU enables patents registered in South Korea to be recognized in Cambodia and more and more” presented to you by the Patent attorneys and experts of BananaIP Counsels, India’s leading Patent Firm. Indian Patent Statistics A total of 422 patent applications have been published in the 33rd issue of the Patent Journal, 2019. Out of the 422 applications published in the journal, 169 applications account for early publications while 253 applications...

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Court Gives ‘Mission Mangal’ the Green Signal, Copyright Infringement Suits against P&G and Lady Gaga, Amazon to Acquire Stake in Future Retail, and more

Copyright and Entertainment Laws News

‘Mission Mangal’ Gets Green Signal from Bombay High Court, Modi Government Plans to Ask YouTube to Pull Down Trailer of ‘Lynch Nation’, Upcoming Bollywood Release Batla House Faces Legal Trouble, RIAA Finds Widespread Infringement Through Online Retailers, Composer Sues P&G for Use of Whistle Tune in Old Spice Ads, Singer Accuses Lady Gaga of Copying Award-Winning Hit 'Shallow', Columbia University Sues for Ownership of Encyclopedia Iranica, Bundesliga and Athletia Partner Up to Tackle Piracy, Amazon to Acquire Stake in Future Retail, Alibaba Aims to Acquire NetEase’s E-Commerce Arm Kaola, Amazon Launches Marketplace Appstore for Sellers, and more. NATIONAL NEWS ‘Mission Mangal’ Gets...

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Trademarking the name of God? Huh! – Part 2

This image depicts a statue of Lord Shiva. It is relevant to the post, as the post talks about the possibility of trademarking the name of God! Click on the image to read the full post.

This post was published on September 04, 2014.

 

In this continuation post on legal aspects of trademarking god’s name, we shall look into a few cases where Courts have discussed whether or not one can trademark God’s name and therefore have monopoly in using God’s name as an Intellectual Property.

Usually, for a trademark used for a particular brand of goods or services, to be granted, it has to acquire secondary distinctiveness in its respective consumer market, and thus, one can start using the trademark on a date before he applies for its trademark. The trademark may get registered, depending on other legal factors as well as on the fact that it has acquired distinctiveness due to the long use in its respective consumer market.

Intellectual Property Protection for Computer Programs – Part III

This post was published on September 01, 2014.

 

In continuation to the previous post in this series, we will today be looking into copyright protection of computer software. As discussed in the previous post, Copyright Law came as an answer to the protection of computer programs at a time when the importance of Trade Secret Law for the same was dwindling.

A computer program, being composed of source codes can be brought under the ambit of literary works in Copyright Law. The basic principle governing Copyright Law is the idea / expression dichotomy. As per this principle, Copyright Law only protects the expression of ideas and not the ideas per se. While talking about the principle of the idea / expression dichotomy, it should be admitted that there has always been a lack of clarity regarding what constitutes an idea and what constitutes an expression. This inherent lack of clarity in Copyright Law combined with the complexity of a computer program prevents Copyright Law from being an effective system of protection.

Sound CAPTCHA – Patents for the Blind 3

This image depicts Sound Captcha written over it with a red color background. This image is relevant as A patent granted to Towson University was granted this patent to validate captcha for blind person using their voice. Click on this image for more information

This post was published on September 01, 2014.

 

At one point, access to technology, especially the Internet, was only a dream for the visually disabled. For a long time, online tools were not accessible owing to either the lack of availability or high cost. But today, popular screen reading software applications like Job Access With Speech (JAWS) and open source screen reading software applications like NVDA are available for free. These applications allow a blind person to access a computer and perform several of its functions without the need of a screen!

Accessing the Internet was initially not very easy, but as days passed several modules were added to screen readers, and now, almost 50% of the Internet, especially the text based part, is accessible to the blind. Among the accessible websites, one common roadblock encountered by the visually disabled is the CAPTCHA.

CAPTCHA, Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart, is a method used to prevent automated programs from accessing secure websites. CAPTCHA normally displays an image, the data in which must be manually entered into another text box to authenticate a human user. Though Google’s RE-CAPTCHA provides an audio alternative, its success rate is less than 50%. I used this several times, and succeeded only once.

Part I: Descriptive Marks – Can They be Protected?

This image depicts the 'Trademark' and 'Registered' symbols. This post is a part of a series on what marks are permissible as trademarks. Click on the image to read the full post.

This post was published on September 01, 2014.

 

In India, a Trade Mark means a mark capable of being represented graphically and capable of distinguishing goods or services of one person from those of others. These are the basic requirements for a mark to be eligible for Trade Mark protection laid down under Section 2(1)(zb) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999. Apart from these qualifications, a mark should also not fall under the category of the marks mentioned under Section 9 and 11 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999.

In this category, are Descriptive Marks. One can ask a lot of questions about Descriptive Marks, some of which have easy answers.

What are Descriptive Marks? As per the provision, descriptive marks are those which consist exclusively of marks or indications which may serve in trade to designate the kind, quality, quantity, intended purpose, values, geographical origin or the time of production of the goods or rendering of the service or other characteristics of the goods or services. Such marks can include words like ‘best’ describing quality of a product, ‘mega’ describing the size etc.

Palani Panchamirtham Gets GI Tag, Chupa Chups Travels to Japan, Durian Trademark Infringement and Other News

Weekly Trademark News

  Indian Trademark Statistics for August (Second Week), Selena Gomes Files New Trademark, Tupperware to Open 30 Franchise-Run Stores, Ginsu Carves Licensing Program with JRL, Palani Panchamirtham Gets GI Tag and more, brought to you by the Trademark Attorneys at BananaIP (BIP) Counsel. TRADEMARK QUOTE OF THE WEEK “Define what your brand stands for, its core values and tone of voice, and then communicate consistently in those terms”- Simon Mainwaring INDIAN TRADEMARK STATISTICS Last week, the Indian Trademark Office has had a mixed week. The total number of applications published in the trademark journal have increased by twenty three percent (23%). Similarly, the total renewals...

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