In this week’s patent news: India triples number of patent grants, finds Economic Survey 2021-2022; Purdue University accuses Google of patent infringement, files suit; Gilead announces patent dispute settlement involving HIV drug Biktarvy; BlackBerry sells Legacy Patents for 600 million dollars; $85 million award against Apple disregarded, Court orders new trial

Indian Patent Updates:

India triples number of patent grants, finds Economic Survey 2021-2022

 According to the Economic Survey 2021-2022, which was tabled in the Parliament on 31st January 2022, the number of patents filed in 2020-21 was 58,502 and shows a gradual increase from 45,444 in 2016-17 and 39,400 in 2010-11. Out of those filed, 28,391 patents were granted, thereby tripling the amount from 2016-17 which stood at 9,847. Contrary to the norm that MNCs would dominate the filing of patent applications, the share of Indian residents in patent applications increased to 40 per cent in 2020-21.

 While the aforementioned statistics have aided India in reaching the 46th spot on the Global Innovation Index, the number of granted patents are still a fraction of those granted by China, USA, Japan and Korea. The same could be due to a variety of factors such as the concerning duration for granting a patent (42 months) and only 0.7% of the country’s GDP being spent on Research and Development (R&D) activities.

International Patent News Updates:

Purdue University accuses Google of patent infringement, files suit

Purdue University’s Purdue Research Foundation is reportedly suing Google LLC over Android software that the university believes incorporates patented technology for smartphones. The patent infringement suit filed before the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Texas, alleges Google of infringing technology relating to the management of “power bugs” in mobile phone apps.

While Purdue has invited Google to meet, see the evidence of infringement, and discuss license terms, it has also threatened Google of amending the suit to add further patents, if Google continues to refuse to negotiate a license.

Gilead announces patent dispute settlement involving HIV drug Biktarvy

GlaxoSmithKline plc in its press release last week announced that ViiV Healthcare, GSK, Shionogi and Gilead have entered into a global settlement agreement and a patent license agreement under which Gilead has been granted a worldwide licence to certain ViiV Healthcare patents relating to dolutegravir and a covenant not to enforce any patents controlled by ViiV Healthcare, GSK or Shionogi against Gilead in connection with any past or future claims of infringement relating to Biktarvy, a triple combination HIV medicine.

BlackBerry sells Legacy Patents for 600 million dollars

 BlackBerry Limited announced on 31st January 2022, that a $600 million patent sale agreement has been reached with Catapult IP Innovations Inc. for all of its ‘non-core’ patent assets. Patents currently in use for BlackBerry’s core operations have been excluded from the agreement. The patents being sold relate to mobile devices, messaging and wireless networking and BlackBerry will receive a license back for the same. It has been clarified that in no way will customers be affected by the transaction.

The transaction is said to be split into $450 million in cash and a promissory note of $150 million with the latter being split into five annual installments of $30 million.

$85 million award against Apple disregarded, Court orders new trial

On 4th February 2022, Apple moved a U.S Court of Appeals to disregard an $85 million award given to WiLAN over a wireless technology dispute. Apple emerged victorious and the Court ordered for a new trial to determine the quantum of damages. The case served as the second incident wherein WiLAN had a multi-million dollar award thrown out because of issues with its expert testimony. WiLAN claimed to have found the decision favourable as the Court still found Apple liable of infringement.

The case traces back to 2014 when Apple sued WiLAN wherein the former aimed to establish that it did not infringe on the latter’s wireless network bandwidth allocation patents. Thereafter, WiLAN countered by claiming that Apple’s iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 infringed on its patents by implementing LTE wireless standard technology.

Authored and Compiled by Chanda S & Vivek Basanagoudar

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