Apple’s pizza box, Interesting patents, iPhone 8 patent, IIT-B bottle design, Anti-rape shoes, Nike dispute, Kodak Patent Portfolio license, Qualcomm v. Apple, Trade secrets and Misappropriation, WIPO – North Korea Chemical Weapons controversy, Huawei Technologies, Patent Tip of the week and more, presented by the Patent attorneys and experts of BananaIP Counsels, India’s Premier New Age IP Firm.
Patent Quote of the Week:
“When we began Qualcomm, it had become quite clear that it was very important to patent new ideas.” – Irwin M. Jacobs, Co-founder and former chairman of Qualcomm.
Patent Stats from the Indian Patent Office:
While there has been a notable increase of 28.57% in the number of early publications, overall publication activity at the Patent office has decreased by 26.88%. 141 applications have been granted this week, marking a marginal increase of 7.63% from last week’s numbers.
The patent office committed a few errors in the details of the granted applications, published in the journal dated 5-May-2017, the errors have been rectified by the Patent office and the entire list of granted applications have been republished in this week’s journal. In addition to the rectifications, two applications that were granted but not included have been published this week. Further, 3 applications have been published by the Delhi Patent Office, inviting objections within a period of 2 months against the restoration of lapsed patents listed in the Journal.
|City||Previous Week||This Week||Percentage of change|
|City||Previous Week||This Week||Percentage of change|
TOTAL PUBLICATIONS (Previous Week): 904
TOTAL PUBLICATIONS (This Week): 661
Percentage difference: 26.88% decrease
PUBLICATIONS UNDER GRANT
|City||Previous Week||This Week||Percentage of change|
Number of Applications published based on applicant city
This week Delhi takes the first spot in the number of applications published by a city from 13th May to 19th May 2017. Mumbai reigns on the number one position in the cumulative total of applications published from the beginning of the year to till date. Bangalore comes in third this week, contributing 7 applications taking its cumulative total to 405 applications. Following Bangalore are Chennai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata at the 4th, 5th and 6th positions respectively.
|List of Cities||1st January 2017 – till date||13th May 2017- 19th May 2017|
Total designs registered this Week: 148
Total designs registered in the previous Week: 163
Percentage Difference: 9.20% decrease
Apple files a patent for pizza box
A recent patent application published by the USPTO shows that the tech giant Apple Inc. is working on a fascinating technology. The patent application titled “Container” with application no. 12/847,800 describes a pizza box that is designed to keep pizzas “fresh, crisp and hot for an extended period of time”. According to the patent, the container has a hinge made from recycled materials like molded fiber and has a ‘moisture channeling feature’ which provides a path to remove moisture from the pizza to keep the crust crisp.
Qualcomm patents ‘Internet of Shoes’
The USPTO recently published a patent with application no. 14/942,550 titled “Internet of Shoes” assigned to Qualcomm which discloses a connected shoe apparatus having motors to provide tactile navigation and also includes an on-board battery recharged by piezoelectric motors while walking. The invention also discloses vibration motors that track the blood pressure and heart rate of a user.
The abstract of the invention reads as follows:
“Aspects of the disclosure are related to a connected shoe apparatus, comprising: a processor; a memory coupled to the processor; a radio; an antenna; and a magnetometer, wherein the connected shoe apparatus is wearable as a shoe by a user, and wherein the processor is to: determine a direction the connected shoe apparatus is facing with the magnetometer, and transmit information associated with the direction to a second device via the radio and the antenna”.
The USPTO has recently granted two patents to the multinational technology corporation Apple Inc. The patents have been granted for a bezel-less edge to edge display and a biometric fingerprint sensor.
The bezel-less edge to edge application with patent no. 9,652,096 discloses a method and system to reduce the border areas of an electronic device by including a flexible substrate that can be used to fabricate the display panel of an electronic device so that the edges of the display panel can be bent. The invention discloses how a flat screen can cover a mobile device to offer maximum screen size.
The patent application related to biometric fingerprint sensor is titled “Electronic device including finger biometric sensor including transparent conductive blocking areas carried by a touch display and related methods”. The patent no. 9,652,066 discloses a biometric fingerprint reading technology mounted behind the main screen display. The invention allows the biometric to be read during the normal interaction with the touch screen by layering it into the screen itself.
Both of these patents granted to Apple have increased speculations that the new features could be incorporated in the upcoming iPhone 8.
Innovative lightweight water purifier cum bottle developed by IIT-B student
Devanshi Saxena, a pass out from the National Institute of Design, who is currently pursuing her masters in design from IIT Bombay has made a portable water purifier cum bottle to be used by the jawans in the Army. According to the student, the Central Reserve Police Force visited the IIT campus last year and spoke about how potable water was a problem for the jawans. Keeping in mind the needs of the jawan, Devanshi then designed a bottle with an inbuilt purifier, which can hold upto 1.5 litres of water, and is sound proof as well. In addition to this novel design, Devanshi has many innovative designs in her portfolio such as menstrual education kit and medicine dispenser for dogs.
Innovations, Startups, and Patents
Hyderabad teenager files a patent application for anti-rape shoe
Siddharth Mandala, a Hyderabad-based teenager has invented an anti-rape shoe called ElectroShoe. The young inventor has claimed that the ElectroShoe can electrocute a perpetrator by inflicting 0.1 amperes of electricity while sending an alert to cops and family. While the application has not yet been published by the patent office, the inventor has a working prototype with him that he intends to test further and design to make the shoe look more appealing.
Health and Patents
Two Pune-based scientist-entrepreneurs have developed two new bone graft substitutes, which they claim will better augment and regenerate bones lost due to any disease or injury. These will also come handy in the case of those with congenital defects.
The products named PoroSyn and SynOst have found backing with the Biotechnology Industrial Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and doctors alike, who say the products will sell like hot cakes due to their inexpensive pricing and near-to-natural composition, porous structure, and resorbable features. A provisional patent application has been filed by the scientists for PoroSyn. The concept was also presented to the audience at the recent Start-Up Bio 2017 event, which was held in Bangalore.
Patent Suits, Infringement, and Settlements
Nike sued for 850,000 dollars
A New Zealand company called Puku Ltd. has reportedly filed a lawsuit against the American multinational – Nike, Inc. alleging that the footwear and apparel major broke a patent licensing deal with it, thereby jeopardizing its intellectual property. The suit has been reportedly filed with a federal court in New Zealand and the plaintiff has demanded 850,000 dollars in damages.
A complete understanding of this issue is not yet available as Nike has declined to comment on the issue. Puku’s patent numbers NZ 561380, EP 2229221, US 12/677,238 and WO/2009/035345 relating to a multi-axis connector were transferred to Nike Inc. in August 2011.
Puku Ltd is a Patent Portfolio Company based out of New Zealand. The company licenses its ideas to licensee partners, who are already market leaders, and experts at manufacture, branding, marketing, and distribution.
Qualcomm fires fresh salvo against Apple
The battle between Apple and Qualcomm over patent rights and licensing agreements appears to be taking an ugly turn with each passing day. In a recent move, Qualcomm has targeted the Taiwanese contractors who assemble Apple’s iPhones stating that it has separate licensing agreements with the contractors and therefore Apple cannot instruct the contractors to withhold payments to Qualcomm.
According to the fresh federal lawsuit filed by Qualcomm last week, the chip-making giant has alleged that Apple has instructed its contractors to withhold payments to Qualcomm and has agreed to indemnify them for damages from any lawsuits. Qualcomm has been saying that Apple is making unreasonable demands for licenses at below-market prices while Apple has alleged that Qualcomm has been abusing its power in the mobile chip market and is charging royalties that are in strict violation of FRAND terms.
Adding to Qualcomm’s kitty of problems, Samsung and Intel recently supported Apple, in an Anti-trust case filed by the US FTC against Qualcomm.
Kodak Patent Portfolio Now Available for Licensing in Europe
Parallel North IP, an IP consulting and patent monetization firm in Europe will serve as the European licensing agent for Kodak’s vast patent portfolio. Newswire has reported that Kodak portfolio covers a massive range of imaging technologies with over 1,000 patent and application families with global coverage across crucial jurisdictions including USA, Germany, UK, France, China, and Japan. The portfolio has previously been licensed to global leaders in digital imaging, including smartphone makers and image storage providers. Kodak’s patent portfolio has earned more than 2.65 Billion US Dollars in licensing fees and is expected to rake in further revenues.
Trade secrets and Misappropriation
4.8 million dollars awarded to T-Mobile in a suit involving Huawei Technologies
A federal court in Seattle has awarded 4.8 million dollars in damages to T-Mobile, a major wireless network operator in the United States in a case of Trade Secret misappropriation by the Chinese Smartphone manufacturer, Huawei Technologies.
T-Mobile filed a lawsuit in 2014 against Huawei alleging that the Chinese Smartphone maker misappropriated trade secrets belonging to T-Mobile in 2012 and 2013, involving a robot it created named Tappy. The robot was apparently developed to test Smartphone functions with fast-moving, humanlike fingers.
Indian Plant Varieties News
Central Government alleges that GM plants and seeds cannot be patented
Monsanto, a plant seed company has sub-licensed its BG-II Bt technology to 49 Indian companies. In a case before the Delhi High Court between Monsanto and its former licensee Nuziveedu seeds, the Central Government has intervened, stating that Monsanto’s BT cotton seeds are not patentable as per the Indian Patent Law and that the company is lying that they have secured a patent. Further, the Central government has also alleged that the BT cotton seeds do not increase productivity as claimed by the company. Monsanto in its defense stated that the patent granted is for the BT Gene technology, and not over the seeds, which is allowed under the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act. On 16th May 2017, the Delhi High Court asked the government to submit a 5-page note instead of the prior voluminous submission and granted Monsanto the right to object the “last minute intervention” after the entire case had been heard.
Improved varieties of strawberry and Salvadora plants to be developed by Haryana
The Centre of Plant Biotechnology, Hisar is seeking to develop improved varieties of strawberry and Salvadora plants to facilitate the farmers. Haryana Science and Technology minister, Anil Vij stated that there is a huge demand for these improved fruit plants amongst the farmers and the developed varieties would be made available to the farmers at low costs.
International Design News
Cambridge Industrial Design recipient to two European Product Design Awards
‘ioLight’, a portable high-resolution microscope and ‘Tangent Wave’, a ripple broadcast technology created by the Cambridge Industrial Design (CID) have been awarded the prestigious European Design Awards, 2017. The CID has developed the two designs working alongside two UK companies. The ioLight portable microscope produces pictures of plant and animal cells and wirelessly transmits them to a tablet or a mobile phone. The Tangent Wave ripple broadcast enables the adjustment of color mixing in a film, post production.
International Government Updates
WIPO in controversy for enabling North Korea to secure patent in relation to sodium cyanide
The World Intellectual Property Organization has come under severe criticism for not notifying the other UN bodies regarding a patent application filed by North Korea involving a chemical invention capable of being used for mass destruction. The said patent application having references to Pyongyang and Sodium Cyanide was filed in November 2015 and was published at the end of last year. Recently, Fox News investigated the said application and revealed it in one of their news segments. The patent file apparently consists of a declaration dated 14th May 2017, which states that North Korea was fit to apply for a patent on sodium cyanide production.
BananaIP’s Patent & Design Tip of the Week
What are Design Patents and why you should consider them?
An Industrial design refers to the features of shape, configuration, pattern, ornament or composition of lines or colors applied to any article whether in two dimensional or three dimensional or in both forms, by any industrial process or means, whether manual, mechanical or chemical, separate or combined, which in the finished article appeal to and are judged solely by the eye. In simpler words Designs protect the external appearance of an article instead of the functions which falls under the ambit of patent protection.
Design patents are frequently overlooked because inventors and companies do not often see much value in them. But when acquired in bulk they can provide a quick, cost-effective means for building exclusivity. Design patents have been known to issue as quickly as 6 months after filing, and routinely issue within 12 months after filing. Anyone with a tangible product should not overlook design protection. Design protection is cheaper, easier and quicker to obtain than a patent. However, it should be clearly noted that designs offer protection on the way something looks and not the way it operates.