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Intellectual Property Tag

BananaIP Counsels > Posts tagged "Intellectual Property" (Page 3)

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.

Patent Invalidation in the US: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

This post was first published on July 18, 2014.

 

After studying citations from patents that were invalidated by US Judges, researchers from the London School of Economics commented, “Patent invalidation has a significant impact on cumulative innovation in the fields of computers and communications, electronics and medical instruments (including biotechnology). We find no such effect in fields involving drugs, chemicals or mechanical technologies.” Let us now take a look at why this discrepancy exists.

What is patent invalidation?

The Patents Act outlines circumstances under which a granted patent can be revoked on certain grounds.

Who is affected by this and how has this come to be?

Start-ups seem especially vulnerable to bad patent policy because they may not have the legal or the economic negotiating power to deal with big business. The researchers commented that when large patentees are involved, bargaining breakdown occurs and small firms are normally less capable of resolving disputes cooperatively, without resorting to the involvement of courts.

Claim Drafting – Transitional Phrases

This post was first published on July 17, 2014.

 

A transitional phrase is a part of the claim that connects the preamble and the body. The Transitional phrase determines as to whether a claim is “Open” “Partially Open” or “Closed.”

Open Claim

An Open claim includes additional unrecited elements i.e., if a claim, which is Open, recites elements A, B, C and D, then an article which includes elements A, B, C, D and E infringes the Open claim irrespective of the fact that the article has an extra element E which is not recited in the Open claim.

The term “comprising” in a claim makes the claim Open.

In, Gillette Co. v. Energizer Holdings, Inc., 405 F.3d 1367 (Fed. Cir 2005), a famous and much talked about case, the claim at issue recited “A safety razor blade unit comprising a guard, a cap, and a group of first, second and third blades. ” The accused infringing product included four blades. The court said that the word “comprising” makes the claim Open and hence, the scope of the claim encompasses all safety razors satisfying the elements set forth in the claim thus concluding that the accused product infringed the claim.

Shouldn’t a Request for Prioritized Examination be Given Priority?

This image depicts Paper Tags having Urgent written on it. This image is relevant as the issue here is whether a request for prioritized examination be given more priority. Click on the image for more information

This post was published on September 17, 2014.

 

All applicants have a desire that their patent applications get prosecuted faster and their patents get a grant on priority, however, such desires are seldom fulfilled. Blame it on the backlog, if you will, and several other reasons for the delay, but patent applicants have to wait more than 3 years to get their patents granted.

Empathizing with the concerns of the applicant, several patent offices have devised procedures to expedite the prosecution of applications. Prioritized examination, accelerated examination, early examination are some of the provisions available to aid applicants in this pursuit. The most interesting among them is prioritized examination which aims to decide the fate of an application (refusal or grant) within 1 year of acceptance of request for prioritized examination.

Post-dating Patent Applications: Frisk it Before You Risk it!

This post was published on August 08, 2014.

 

Our previous article on post-dating exposed the risks involved in the shifting ahead of the priority date of an application. The risk of losing priority can cost you dearly. Today’s post, however, unravels the puzzling question of how to claim priority even from a post-dated application!

We are aware that most applicants tend to post-date a provisional application as the deadline to file a non-provisional application (or complete application, in some jurisdictions) approaches, for reasons best known to the Applicants. Another commonly availed option is to post-date the priority application when the deadline to file a foreign application (1 year from the date of filing priority application) is missed. However, most of us tend to take it for granted that such post-dating will not jeopardize our patent rights and hence fearlessly proceed with the option. A peek into the legislation of certain jurisdictions might prompt us to reconsider these decisions to post-date applications.

Patent Claim Drafting – Preamble

This post was first published on July 16, 2014.

 

It would have been very well drummed into a patent professional, Mr. X, who has just started drafting a patent specification that “claims form the heart of a patent application,” or the “name of the game is claim,” and so on. Very few might agree with me if Mr. X has been told to carefully consider the words and/or features and/or the language used in the preamble, as improper drafting of preamble may limit the scope. Well, it is not Mr. X’s fault, nor the trainer’s fault. There are not many case laws or rather widely discussed case laws, elucidating or interpreting in detail the importance of a preamble as there are for definiteness, written description and other statutory requirements. In fact, in 1934 (in In Re Wolf), CCPA held that, “The preamble of a claim is introductory only and should not be considered as a limitation of the subject issue.”

While CCPA’s decision in In re Wolf is still held aloft like a banner, for more of a visual than cognitive effect, there are some case laws in which the federal circuit has touched upon or at certain times went into a little more detail on the importance/interpretation of preamble.

Court Limits the Scope of ‘Fair Dealing’ under Copyright law

Music Copyright

 This post was published on November 18, 2011. The Delhi High Court, in a recent decision, has held that usage of copyrighted works in television programmes such as an interview with the artist does not amount to fair dealing. Indian domestic television Channel India TV was sued by Super Cassettes and Yash Raj Films in two separate suits for infringing their copyrights. The two suits were clubbed since the defendant was the same and the cause of actions were substantially similar. India TV used certain songs and movie clips belonging to the plaintiffs in some of its television programmes and broadcasted...

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