“Frivolous inventions, Idly patents, Annual Report for 2016-2017 published, Ramesh Abhishek: dramatic improvement in examination and disposal of IPR applications, Patent office being modernized says Minister Suresh Prabhu, Microsoft accused of patent infringement, Qualcomm easing patent licensing terms, UK ratifies Unified Patent Court Agreement, USTR continues to place India, China and Others on priority watch list, 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
“Exercise care and caution because not every idea is a patentable invention” – Gaurav Mishra, Patent Associate, BananaIP Counsels
Indian Patent Statistics
A total of 859 patent applications have been published in the 17th issue of the patent journal. Out of the 859 applications, 53 applications account for early publications while 806 applications account for ordinary publications or publications occurring after the 18 month period. A total of 215 applications have been granted this week as opposed 231 grants in the previous week marking a decrease of about 7%.
|City||Previous Week||This Week||Percentage of change|
|City||Previous Week||This Week||Percentage of change|
TOTAL PUBLICATIONS (Previous Week): 1003
TOTAL PUBLICATIONS (This Week): 859
Percentage difference: 14.36% decrease
First Examination Report (FER) Statistics
A total of 1310 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|
PUBLICATIONS UNDER GRANT
|City||Previous Week||This Week||Percentage of change|
Number of Applications published based on applicant city
Of the total 859 patent applications published in the journal last week, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata have contributed a total of 67 applications. The total applications from each of the previously mentioned cities for the past week are as follows – 19 from Bangalore, 15 from Delhi, 14 from Chennai, 10 from Mumbai, 6 from Hyderabad and 3 from Kolkata.
|List of Cities||1st January 2018 – 27th April 2018||21st April 2018 – 27th April 2018|
Total number of applications published by the Indian Patent Office from the 1st of January 2018 till date: 12855
- Early publications: 1125
- Ordinary Publications: 11730
Total number of patents granted by the Indian Patent Office from the 1st of January 2018 till date: 5033
- Delhi – 1915
- Mumbai – 612
- Chennai – 1550
- Kolkata – 956
Indian Industrial Designs Statistics
The designs office has registered a total of 202 designs this week. The total designs registered from the 1st of January 2018 till date now adds to a total of 3544 applications.
Total designs registered in the previous Week: 203
Total designs registered this Week: 202
Percentage Difference: 0.49% decrease
Total designs registered from the 1st of January 2018 till date: 3544
The patent application that we are about to describe to you is as interesting as patent applications can get. What makes this application interesting however, is its absurdity. There have been several patent applications in the past which are nothing short of weird, but the present application takes it to a completely new level. This invention is titled “Evolution of species” and in words of the specification “relates to improvement in Evolution of species and more particularly to Evolution of species at different stages.” The 27 page long patent application could be an act of mischief, but the applicant seems quite certain of the invention as the applicant has not only filed a request for early publication but also a request for examination of the application with the Indian Patent Office. We cannot provide you with the abstract of the invention here as the abstract is nearly 4 pages long. You can check out this “interesting” application here.
In yet another bizarre patent application, an applicant has filed a patent application for an invention titled “AN INNOVATIVE AND MODERN IDLY/IDLI FORMAT FOR EASY PACKAGING AND CONSUMPTION”. The abstract of the text reads as follows – “1. An idly/idli with a bite-sized form-factor that can be eaten with a fork, toothpick, chopsticks or other such simple cutlery 2. An idly/idli made In a mould that differs in shape from the simple, concave, parabolic moulds of a traditional idly-thattu – 3. An idly/idli as claimed in claim 1 and 2, wherein the idly/idli can have a cavity that can be filled with sauce or dry filling 4. An idly/idli as claimed in claim 2, wherein the ingredients poured or filled in the mould can be rice batter, rava, or any other ingredient (or combination of ingredients) 5. The packaging of an individual idly/idli or a group of idlis/idlies is such a way that they-can be consumed without the need of directly touching the idlrs/idlies with ones hand.” (The abstract has been taken as is and has not been corrected for errors).
We are not entirely sure if these applications are just acts of mischief or if the applicants genuinely believe that these so-called inventions are patentable. In any case, the patent office is likely to have some interesting applications coming up for examination.
Patent Office Updates
Annual Report for 2016-2017 published
The Indian Patent Office has published its annual report for the year 2016 – 2017. The report indicates that a total of 45,444 patent applications were filed in the year 2016-2017exhibiting a slight dip of 3.2% in the filing as compared to the previous year. The report also suggests that the number of patent applications examined in 2016-2017 increased by 72.2%, number of grant of patents increased by 55.3% and disposal of applications increased by 37.7%, as compared to the figures of 2015-16. We have not yet studied the report completely and will provide our readers with a comprehensive post once we have taken a look at the complete report. In the meanwhile, readers may view the report here.
Ramesh Abhishek: dramatic improvement in examination and disposal of IPR applications
Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) while taking part in the World IP Day celebrations at Delhi, announced that there has been a “dramatic” improvement in the examination and disposal of IPR applications and that the commerce and industry ministry was taking all necessary steps to strengthen the intellectual property rights regime in the country.
While it is true that the disposal of applications and examinations have spiked exponentially, the patent office seems to be disposing applications with far less stringency that the Indian Patent Office has been previously known for. This has raised concerns for many as a recent study alleged that the patent office is currently operating at an error rate as high as 72% and that seven out of 10 patents granted by the IPO are being granted in error.
Patent office being modernized says Minister Suresh Prabhu
Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr. Suresh Prabhu at an event hosted by the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) on the World IP day announced that the Commerce and Industry Ministry has taken several steps to protect intellectual property rights (IPRs) and promote innovation in the country and is currently engaging enforcement agencies including police department for proper administration of IPR laws. Mr. Prabhu, in his speech, highlighted that the ministry has taken up the urgent task of modernizing patent offices across the country to make them as efficient as the EPO or the USPTO.
Patent Infringements, Disputes, Licensing and Settlements.
Microsoft accused of patent infringement
Infernal Technologies and Terminal Reality have filed a lawsuit against Microsoft accusing the tech giant of willfully infringing two of the company’s patents relating to gaming technology. The lawsuit states that games developed by Microsoft such as Halo 5, some Forza titles, and Sea of Thieves, infringe on Infernal Technologies’ patents relating to lighting and shadowing effects in a game. The two companies have claimed that Microsoft has been aware of the technology that the patents involved since at least 2005. There is even evidence to back this up, as Microsoft itself tried to file patents in 2007 for similar technology, but was ultimately rejected due to patents owned by Infernal Technologies being already in place.
Qualcomm easing patent licensing terms
San Diego-based chipmaker Qualcomm appears to be making an unprecedented move by easing the royalty terms for its cellular intellectual property portfolio. The new framework appears to be aimed at smoothing some of the criticisms of Qualcomm’s past practices ahead of negotiations over new 5G technology licenses. Under the new framework, Qualcomm reduced its estimate for patent licensing revenue for the June quarter to around $950 million, far below the number predicted by analysts.
International Patent / Design Updates
UK ratifies Unified Patent Court Agreement
UK has now ratified the UPC Agreement, an international treaty that provides for the creation of a new judicial enforcement framework for resolving disputes over new unitary patents and European patents that are not opted-out from its scope. In its statement, the UK government confirmed that there remains uncertainty over the UK’s participation in the new UPC system post-Brexit, despite its ratification of the UPC Agreement.
USTR continues to place India, China and Others on priority watch list
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) last week announced that India remains on its annual Special 301 report along with China, Canada and nine others in the list for not adequately or effectively protecting and enforcing IP rights or denying market access to US innovators and creators. In addition to its longstanding allegation that the Indian IP laws create challenges for US businesses in India and that there are inefficient IP enforcement measures in the country, the USTR cited new and growing concerns with respect to reductions in transparency by India’s pharmaceutical regulator through the removal of a requirement that applicants submit information about a product’s patent status and positions that India supports and voices in multilateral fora on IP issues.
BananaIP’s Patent / Design Tip of the Week
In India, section 3 of the Patents Act provides a list of ‘what is not patentable’ under the Indian patent law. Section 3(a) for instance states that – an invention which is frivolous or which claims anything obviously contrary to well – established natural laws is not patentable. Applicants must ensure that their invention does not fall within the scope of ineligible subject matter and refrain from filing patent applications for the same if it does. An example of a frivolous invention is the “Evolution of species” patent application that we earlier described in our section on interesting patents.
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]