Patent Office responds to stakeholders, Justice Manmohan Singh appointed IPAB Chairman, Robotic Bandicoots to clean sewers, Amazon’s Mirror Patent, Traditional Design Registration, IBM v. Expedia, 3M’s patents infringed, Xtera v. Nokia and Alcatel Lucent, Integrated IP, Design Registration, Patent Tip of the Week and other Weekly Patent News.
“Patent Office responds to stakeholders, A robot that intends to put a stop to sewer cleaning deaths, Amazon’s Mirror Patent for trying on virtual clothes, Justice Manmohan Singh appointed as Chairman of IPAB, Assam’s HRDC plans to register traditional designs, IBM alleges patent infringement by Expedia, 3M Files Lawsuit against Elo Touch, Xtera alleges patent infringement by Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent and others, Do not overlook Design Registrations on Products, Patent Tip of the Week and other Weekly Patent News,” presented by the Patent attorneys and experts of BananaIP Counsels, India’s leading Patent Firm.
Patent Quote of the Week
“Making money from enforcing patents is no more wrong than investing in preferred stock.” – Nathan Myhrvold, former Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft
Indian Patent Statistics
A total of 898 patent applications have been published between the 1st of January 2018 and 5th January 2018. Out of the 898 patent applications, 117 applications account for early publications while 781 applications are ordinary publications or publications occurring after the 18 month period. A total of 241 applications have been granted between this period, thereby marking a decrease of about 8.71% in grants.
|City||Previous Week||This Week||Percentage of change|
|City||Previous Week||This Week||Percentage of change|
TOTAL PUBLICATIONS (Previous Week): 863
TOTAL PUBLICATIONS (This Week): 898
Percentage difference: 4.06% increase
PUBLICATIONS UNDER GRANT
|City||Previous Week||This Week||Percentage of change|
Number of Applications published based on applicant city
Of the total 898 patent applications published in the first patent journal for the year 2018, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata have contributed a total of 98 applications. The total applications from each of the previously mentioned cities are as follows – 30 from Delhi, 29 from Mumbai, 17 from Chennai, 12 from Bangalore, 8 from Hyderabad and 2 from Kolkata.
|List of Cities||1st January 2018 – 5th January 2018|
Total number of applications published by the Indian Patent Office from the 1st of January 2018 till date: 898
- Early publications: 117
- Ordinary Publications: 781
Total number of patents granted by the Indian Patent Office from the 1st of January 2018 till date: 241
- Delhi – 102
- Mumbai – 29
- Chennai – 66
- Kolkata – 44
First Examination Report (FER) Statistics
A total of 1193 FER’s have been issued last week. Applicants and their agents can check if any of their patent applications have been examined by referring the journal available here.
|City||No. of FER Issued|
Indian Industrial Designs Statistics
The designs office has registered a total of 219 designs this week. This marks an increase of about 28.82% from the total number of designs registered in the previous week. The total designs registered from the 1st of January 2018 till date is 219 applications.
Total designs registered in the previous Week: 170
Total designs registered this Week: 219
Percentage Difference: 28.82% increase
Total designs registered from the 1st of January 2018 till date: 219
Patents, Startups and Innovations
A robot that intends to put a stop to sewer cleaning deaths
A Kerala based Startup founded by a group of engineering students has developed a robot that intends to put a stop to the manual scavenging related deaths that we often come across in newspapers. Bandicoot, as the robot is called will soon take over the job of fixing the country’s nagging problem of manual scavenging. The Kerala Water Authority has apparently already ordered an army of 50 Bandicoots to assist the department in cleaning up the sewer lines of the state. It appears that a patent for the invention has already been filed in as many as 150 countries.
The robots weighing a whopping 80 kg understandably cost between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 5 lakh. Once installed atop a clogged sewage line, a wire carrying camera goes inside the hole and beams pictures of the problem on the screen atop. After gauging the problem, the robot dismantles itself from the main machine and goes into the hole taking tools such as a shovel or a jet pipe, depending on the magnitude of the problem, and cleans the system.
Interesting Patents & Designs
Amazon’s Mirror Patent for trying on virtual clothes
E-commerce titan Amazon has been granted yet another patent which is as interesting as an invention can get. In its latest US patent US 9858719 titled “Blended reality systems and methods”; a mirror has been described that shows how outfits will look on you without you having to actually put them on. According to the patent “Using mirrors, screens, displays, projectors and cameras, the system is able to combine a person’s likeness with virtual images and present a blended-reality reflection that shows them in a variety of virtual background settings and wearing virtual outfits”.
The abstract of the patent reads as follows: “Systems and methods are provided for generating a blended reality view to a user, the blended reality view combining images reflected by a mirror with images transmitted from a screen behind the mirror. Systems for generating blended reality views can include a display device with a screen positioned behind a mirror. The display device can generate a pattern of illumination and non-illumination on the screen so that the illuminated portions of the screen substantially transmit through the mirror. Projectors can be used to illuminate objects in front of the mirror so that the illuminated objects are reflected by the mirror. In combination, the portions of the screen transmitted through the mirror and the illuminated objects reflected by the mirror can provide a blended reality view to a user viewing the mirror.” (The abstract has been taken from the patent specification as is and has not been corrected for errors.)
Indian Patent Office (IPO) Updates
IPO responds to issues raised by stakeholders
The Indian Patent Office has made its responses and clarifications on the plethora of issues that were raised at the recent meeting of IP stakeholders in New Delhi, available on the official website of the IPO. In addition to the clarifications, the IPO has also accepted certain suggestions put forward by the IP stakeholders. The 21-page document discusses the steps taken up, and those that will be taken up by the IPO for efficient functioning and streamlining IP in 2018. The issues ranged from complaints on the extremely poor response time of the patent office to get back to the applicants and agents to wrongful abandonment of patent applications and examination report never reaching the applicants or their agents. BananaIP also provided a list of suggestions and queries to the patent office which the patent office has acknowledged. You may access the document published by the IPO here.
General IP Updates
Justice Manmohan Singh appointed as Chairman of IPAB
Through its order of 29th December 2017, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion), the Government of India has appointed Justice Manmohan Singh, retired judge of the Delhi High Court, as the Chairman of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB).
Justice Manmohan Singh is very well known in IP circles and has heard numerous major patent cases before the Delhi High Court including the Ericsson versus Micromax series of cases on SEP’s (Standard Essential Patents)
Industrial Design Updates
Assam’s HRDC plans to register traditional designs
It appears that the Handloom Research and Designing Centre (HRDC) in Guwahati has submitted a proposal to the Handloom Directorate of Assam to start the process of applying for design registration of the traditional textile designs with India’s Design Registry. The HRDC is of the opinion that there is a pressing need to protect the traditional designs from plagiarists and to ensure preservation of the ethno-cultural history of the people of the region.
Patent Disputes, Infringements and Settlements
IBM alleges patent infringement by Expedia
IBM has filed a patent infringement lawsuit at the U.S. District Court in Delaware against Expedia, the famous American travel company. IBM in its lawsuit has alleged that Expedia is guilty of infringing several of IBM’s patents, including aspects like ad technology, sign on processes, tracking previous communications with users among others. While Expedia declined to comment on the issue, IBM further stated that it had been struggling for nearly six-years to negotiate a license agreement with Expedia which unfortunately failed and IBM has therefore been forced to seek relief through litigation.
3M Files Lawsuit against Elo Touch
3M Company, formerly known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company has recently filed a patent infringement suit against a leading global supplier of touchscreen solutions called Elo Touch Solutions Inc. In the lawsuit filed in the federal district court of Delaware, 3M alleged that Elo Touch violated four of its patents registered in the United States. The infringed patents relate to 3M’s metal mesh conductor technology that is widely used in touch systems and displays.
3M has more than 109,000 patents in various categories across its product portfolio and the company has been successfully enforcing its patent rights against unauthorized users and infringers.
Xtera alleges patent infringement by Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent and others
Submarine network technology specialist Xtera has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging Nokia, its wholly owned subsidiary Alcatel-Lucent and NEC Corp. of infringing five of Xtera’s patents. In a series of allegations, Xtera has claimed that Nokia’s Photonic Service Engine 2 Coherent Technology and 1620LM Submarine Line Terminal Equipment infringe on one or more of the company’s patents, while NEC has infringed on the company’s NS Series Submarine Repeatered Subsea Systems.
Xtera has further alleged that the company approached Nokia with an offer to license use of the patents’ , which Nokia declined in the past.
BananaIP’s Patent / Design Tip of the Week
Do not overlook Design Registrations on Products
There is often an overlap of different kinds of intellectual property in a product. Among all the possible IP protections that are available to a product, a majority of the IP’s are often masked due to the presence of a stronger IP type. For example, if you have a product that is eligible for both patent and design protection, the design registration either takes a back seat or is skipped altogether. It is therefore important that you take a look at your product and identify if there is an integration of IP’s and what are the possible IP protections that the product may be entitled to.
Author: BIP’s Patent Attorneys
Led by Senior Partners, Somashekar Ramakrishna, Nitin Nair and Vinita Radhakrishnan, BIP’s Patent Attorneys are among the leading patent practitioners in the country. They work with clients such as Mahindra and Mahindra, Samsung, HCL, Eureka Forbes, and Titan. They specialize in IT/Software, Electronics/Telecom, Mechanical, Automotive, and Bio/Pharma domains, and help clients with patent filing, prosecution, management and strategy in India, and across the world.
The weekly patent news initiative is a part of their pro bono work and is aimed at spreading patent awareness. You are free to share the news with appropriate attribution and backlink to the source.
If you have any questions, you may write to BIP’s Patent Attorneys – [email protected].