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Intellectual Property News and Analysis – Intellepedia

Assignment & Royalty – Part II: Notes on Copyright Amendment, 2012

The image has a huge copyright sign at the center of it. The post is about copyright assignment. Click on image to view post.

One of the primary purposes of the Copyright Amendment in 2012 was to ensure that authors get their well deserved consideration. The focus was primarily on authors, who create works for feature films. Other authors, unfortunately, received little or no attention. After making sure that producers do not take away ownership rights by signing ‘work for hire’ engagements, the amendment made changes to provisions with respect to assignment in Section 18.

The first provision in Section 18, the subject of this post, reads as follows:

“18. Assignment of copyright. (1) The owner of the copyright in an existing work or the prospective owner of the copyright in a future work may assign to any person the copyright either wholly or partially and either generally or subject to limitations and either for the whole term of the copyright or any part thereof: Provided that in the case of the assignment of copyright in any future work, the assignment shall take effect only when the work comes into existence.

Provided further that no such assignment shall be applied to any medium or mode of exploitation of the work which did not exist or was not in commercial use at the time when the assignment was made, unless the assignment specifically referred to such medium or mode of exploitation of the work:

Ideas, Concepts, Scripts & Stories – Protecting Ideas in the Entertainment Industry Part II

This Image depicts the clip art of 'This is the best idea i've heard all decade. This Image is relevant as the article deals with the Protecting Ideas in Entertainment Industry. Click on this Image for more Information.

This post was first published on June 25th, 2014.

 

We reviewed the existing scenario in the entertainment industry with respect to the protection of ideas, in my previous post – how to protect ideas. Before we move on to discuss the tool that can be used to protect original ideas/concepts that are not expressed in a tangible form, let us take a look at the practices followed in the entertainment industry by both the generator and the receiver of ideas. Writers submitting concepts and scripts to producers, or setting up meetings with them, with hope of monetary benefits and production of their ideas/concepts, is a general practice in the entertainment industry. The burden is on the supplier of an idea (writer/author) to take necessary measures in order to claim legal rights over his original idea. A man who reveals his idea without having first made a bargain has no one to blame but himself for the loss of his bargaining power.

The law expects an express agreement to be formed before there could be any liability. Hence, the first thing the idea giver should do is to enter into a contract, binding himself and the receiving party. Having a contract protects both the writer and the party to which the idea/concept is disclosed. The contract which we are referring to here is the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).

Selden’s Patent – A Historical Patent for the Automobile Industry

This post was first published on June 20th, 2014.

The name that is most often associated with Automobile patents is Henry Ford, in addition to Alexander Winton, Karl Benz, and others. Supposedly, Ford’s first experience with the patent system was not as an “Inventor” but as an “Infringer”, who allegedly infringed a US patent titled “Road Engine” granted to Selden (Patent No. 549,160) in 1895. Selden’s patent, with a three-page description, five drawings, and 6 claims, controlled the entire US automobile industry for a considerable period of time.

George B Selden, a Patent Attorney from Rochester, was interested in constructing a horseless carriage that is a lightweight, self-propelled and a one-man operable locomotive. There were massive engines that existed during the time, which were ill-adapted to the purpose. During his visit to Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876, he came across an Internal Combustion Engine invented by Brayton. However, Brayton’s engine had low power and weighed over half a tonne. Selden planned a number of improvements to the Brayton engine and filed a patent application on May 8, 1879. From the specification and claims of Selden’s patent application (No. 549,160), which provides alternatives to some features and aims to obtain broader protection scope, it may be inferred that he was more a clever patent attorney than an inventor.

Invention that Added Flexibility to Our Lives, Literally!

Products made from rubber have come to be a part of our day to day life in the form of automobile tires. It is used for several other applications as well. However, natural rubber becomes solid, cracks in winter and melts in summer. This unstable nature of rubber made lives of rubber product manufacturers difficult. Strong minds, however, don’t go down without a fight! It was at this stage that “vulcanization of rubber” was invented by Charles Goodyear. He was awarded a US patent for vulcanized rubber (Patent# 3,633) on June 15th, 1844.

Vulcanization is the process of chemically treating rubber and converting it to a more malleable form which can withstand heat and cold. In this process, sulfur or equivalent curatives or accelerators, which when added to natural rubber, forms cross-links between individual polymer chains, thus giving the rubber superior mechanical properties. Some sources indicate that Goodyear accidentally invented the vulcanization process. The story goes like this.

Special 301 Report: Chapter V. Inventive Step & 3(d) – Comprehending Apprehension or Apprehending Comprehension?

Is Section 3(d) an extension of the Inventive Step analysis?

The answer to this question can make a difference to the compliance of non-discrimination obligations under the TRIPs Agreement, and so it plays a significant part. Article 27.1 of the TRIPs Agreement reads as follows:

Subject to the provisions of paragraphs 2 and 3, patents shall be available for any inventions, whether products or processes, in all fields of technology, provided that they are new, involve an inventive step and are capable of industrial application. Subject to paragraph 4 of Article 65, paragraph 8 of Article 70 and paragraph 3 of this Article, patents shall be available and patent rights enjoyable without discrimination as to the place of invention, the field of technology and whether products are imported or locally produced.

Are Applicants Allowed to Later Refute Their Own Submissions at TM Prosecution?

The image depicts a lock with the letters TM by its side. The post talks about protecting trademarks. Click on the image to read the full post.

A recent decision from the Delhi High Court (HC) pertaining to the publisher of a weekly magazine, India Today, filing an application for an interim injunction at the Delhi HC so as to restrain Alpha Dealcom from launching a news channel with the name ‘Nation Today’, stresses the importance of submissions in response to an Examination Report made before the Trademarks Registry.

The publisher of India Today argued that the use of the word ‘Today’ infringed its Trademark. The Delhi HC held that, prima facie, there was no infringement because the use of the word ‘Today’ by the two parties was not likely to cause confusion in the minds of consumers. Plaintiff argued that since it owns the Trademark ‘India Today’ for several publications and news channels, the term has acquired the status of a well-known trademark.

You Do Not Have to Move Heaven and Earth to Increase IP Filings

This image depicts a bird catcher capturing the ides of another person. This image is relevant because this post talks about IP Mining and IP Audit. Click on the image to read the full post.

It may not be widely accepted but it is common knowledge that most knowledge-driven companies, sit on their intellectual assets/intellectual property until it’s too late. Some may fail to recognize their valuable IP, others may show apathy, and others may not know what to do with the IP that they stumble upon. Even most IP-savvy companies sometimes fall into one of these three types. That being said, when a company does decide to increase its IP revenue, IP filing seldom proves to be a difficult task. All that the company will have to do is look inside through a powerful microscope, into its heaps of knowledge or just hire experts to do it for them.

Organizing an IP mining/audit exercise is one way of kick-starting or increasing IP filings. Several business-driven organizations, research/educational institutions have taken up IP mining/audit exercises in an effort to uncover their intellectual assets to take them forward for filing. Though these results may vary based on the nature of the organization, the field of technology and the business objectives among other factors, one important result is usually common: the exercise helps in identifying Unprotected, Valuable IP.

StartUps and IP: Silver lining for Inventors and Small & Medium Enterprises

The image depicts a man using his laptop and a 'startup' text in front.

Beginning with the inception of an idea through to the development, protection and commercialization of the idea, investments are needed at every step. The huge costs involved in the conversion of an invention to a final product/process, that can be commercialized to yield benefits, appears to be an insurmountable hurdle for several inventors and small to medium scale organizations. The cost for protection of an invention is nearly equal to the cost for developing and solidifying the concept.

The recent fee changes in filing, prosecution and maintenance in several jurisdictions such as India, US, Europe etc., has had a discouraging effect on several inventors and small organizations. At BananaIP, we understand how small scale organizations and inventors struggle to arrange funds for the development and protection of their Intellectual Property (IP) and we would like to bring to their notice, several options that can help them raise the required funds.

Happy Birthday, Houdini!

This image depicts Harry Houdini in handcuffs.

Magic is an art in which a magician performs seemingly impossible tricks for entertainment. When it began, people used to associate magic with evil and so the industry faced several hiccups. However, as a result of constant effort of many magicians of that era, people slowly became interested in magic, and came to accept it as a legitimate art in the 18th century. In this post, I will introduce a legend, who was not just a prominent magician, but also an inventor. It is none other than Harry Houdini – the “Great Escape Artist”. Harry began his magic career in 1891 with traditional card tricks...

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Patent Opposition and Revocation: A Presentation

A patent right is a monopolistic right that is granted only after stringent scrutiny of the patent application. The right is not enjoyed by a patent applicant/patentee unless it is proved beyond reasonable doubt that this proprietorship is well deserved of the invention. Since this grant of patent right affects third parties monumentally, they are given an opportunity to participate and intervene in the grant process by filing oppositions and request for revocations. An application can be opposed before grant as well as until one year after grant. Any person can oppose the grant of patent 6 months after publication of...

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