Weekly Patent Update: India on USTR Watch List, Delhi High Court Allows Export of Patented Drugs for Research, Pepsi Offers to Settle with Potato Farmers, and more
“Indian Patent Statistics, Interesting Inventions, USTR puts India and ten other countries in its “Priority Watch List”, Delhi High Court allows export of two cancer drugs patented by Bayer, PepsiCo offers settlement to farmers over potato dispute, Department of Justice, USA launches review into a Government patent used to treat HIV, Director General, Francis Gurry’s leaves a message on World IP Day and other news updates” presented by the Patent attorneys and experts of BananaIP Counsels, India’s leading Patent Firm.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Patents are basically rights to try and develop a commercial product.”– Craig Venter, American biotechnologist and businessman.
INDIAN PATENT STATISTICS
A total of 670 patent applications have been published in the 17th issue of the Patent Journal, 2019. Out of the 670 applications, 92 applications account for early publications while 578 applications account for ordinary publications or publications occurring after the 18 – month period. A total of 341 applications were granted last week thereby marking an increase of about 105.41% in grants.
|City||Previous Week||This Week||Percentage of change|
|City||Previous Week||This Week||Percentage of change|
TOTAL PUBLICATIONS (Previous Week): 324
TOTAL PUBLICATIONS (This Week): 670
Percentage difference: 106.79% increase
FIRST EXAMINATION REPORT (FER) STATISTICS
A total of 510 FER’s have been issued last week. Applicants and their agents can check if any of their patent applications have been examined by referring to 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 670 patent applications published in the journal last week, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata have contributed a total of 95 applications. The total applications from each of the previously mentioned cities are as follows – 10 applications from Delhi, 30 applications from Bangalore, 32 applications from Chennai, 21 applications from Hyderabad and 2 applications from Kolkata.
|List of Cities||1st January 2019 to 26th April 2019||19th April 2019 to 26th April 2019|
Total number of applications published by the Indian Patent Office from the 1st of January 2019 till date: 13559
- Early publications: 1295
- Ordinary Publications: 12264
Total number of patents granted by the Indian Patent Office from the 1st of January 2019 till date: 6502
- Delhi – 2336
- Mumbai – 928
- Chennai – 2123
- Kolkata – 1115
INDIAN INDUSTRIAL DESIGN STATISTICS
The designs office has registered a total of 230 designs this week. The total designs registered from the 1st of January 2019 till date now adds to a total of 4907 applications.
Total designs registered in the previous Week: 119
Total designs registered this Week: 230
Percentage Difference: 93.27% increase
Total designs registered from the 1st of January 2019 till date: 4907
INTERESTING INVENTION OF THE WEEK
Invention 1: FOOD PRINTER
Patent Application No.: 201741037709
Abstract: “The present invention provides a system for ordering and receiving food from fully automated cooking system using interfaces such as Wi-Fi, GSM, and local interface may develop according to the preferred recipe. The system may include cloud storage, a local interface, a Food Printer and a remote interface. From the local interface, the consumer can directly access the Food Printer for ordering preferred recipe. The remote interface may include a PC or mobile App over Wi-Fi, and GSM (SMS texting). The Food Printer may include interface, instrumentation unit, embedded system, automated cooking mechanism and so on. Using the interface, the consumer or user can select multiple recipes at a time and can place the order for food. Further, the user or consumer can also upload or download recipes on to the cloud storage of their preference. The recipes can be selected based on professional chefs, non-professional chefs and so on.” (The abstract has been provided as is and has not been corrected for errors)
Invention 1: AI EMBED INFORMATION GATHERING SMART SPECTACLES
Patent Application No.: 201941012955
Applicant: MALLA REDDY COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING
Abstract: “Nowadays, knowledge is the most powerful thing at all. But most of the peoples are not interested to put effects for gain knowledge. They like the knowledge want to come in finger-tips without taking effects. In this world, information gathering is very important for many researchers. So virtual try-on of glasses has certain advantages over physical try-on in some cases. The virtual try-on system encourages online shopping which enjoys greater popularity. In this world, knowledge is the most powerful thing at all. But most of the peoples are not interested to put effects for gain knowledge. They like the knowledge want to come in fingertips without taking effects. The inventor found exact solution for the above-mentioned problems in the form of computerized spectacles. This spectacle scans/tracks the wearing human eyeball, based on that eyeball vision, the spectacle will scan the object which we can see. While wearing this gadget can know the details like the structure and function of the viewed product. This information would be received by a person who wears those spectacles through Bluetooth earphone/smartphone devices. And also that details may be received by another person or mailbox.”
INDIAN PATENT UPDATES
USTR Puts India and Ten Other Countries in its “Priority Watch List”
According to a Report by The United States Trade Representatives (USTR) has identified 11 countries, including India, under its Priority Watch List. The official report has placed India on its list alleging lack of “sufficient measurable improvements” to its IP system which has in turn affected the American inventors. Despite the efforts made by India to recognize and fix challenges in IP, promote IP protection and employ methods of enforcement, USTR is of the opinion that none of these efforts have benefited innovators in the USA. In the eyes of the USTR, India continues to remain a challenging environment with regard to IP protection. The Report also identifies other countries like China, Russia, Saudi Arabia etc. USTR is now expected to review all developments against the standard laid down in the Special 301 action plan that applies to countries in the watch list. An increased number of bilateral agreements between India and USA can be expected in the following months.
PATENT / DESIGN INFRINGEMENTS, DISPUTES, LICENSING AND SETTLEMENT
Delhi High Court Allows Export of Two Cancer Drugs Patented by Bayer
The Delhi High Court issued a judgement on 22nd April 2019 authorizing two Indian drug companies, Alembic Pharmaceuticals and Natco Pharma to export two of Bayer’s patented drugs exclusively for research purposes. Bayer first instituted two separate suits in the year 2017 against the two drug companies. After the decision of the lower court, Bayer filed an Appeal in the High Court of Delhi where the Court combined the suits as they both dealt with identical issues. The issue was primarily related to the interpretation of Section 107A of the Patents Act, 1970; commonly known as the Bolar Provision. The Indian companies argued that the section supported the sale of patented inventions for the purposes of research and development. In the instant case, the companies intended to export Bayer’s patented drug containing an active ingredient called Sorafenib to China, for research. The Delhi Court said “the sale of a patented drug, both within the country and abroad is authorized and legal provided the seller ensures that the end use and purpose of sale/export is reasonably related to research and development.” It has now asked the lower court to reconsider if the drugs were solely being sold for research purposes. The Court also laid down a set of standards to be considered in similar cases. Click here to access the complete judgement.
PepsiCo Offers Settlement to Farmers over Potato Dispute
PepsiCo instituted a suit alleging nine potato famers in Gujarat for buying seeds and selling the specific variety, also known as FL 2027. PepsiCo claimed to have had the variety registered under the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmer’s Rights Act, 2001. The FC – 5 variety is mainly used by Lays, PepsiCo’s chips counterpart. The nine farmers are from the Sabarkantha and Aravalli Districts of North Gujarat. In the suit instituted by the food and beverage giant, the company produced the Plant Variety Certificate before the court in Ahmedabad and alleged that the act of the farmers amounted to infringement of its IP rights. The Court has issued a stay order on the farmers withholding them from selling and buying seeds of the variety. The next date of hearing falls on 12th June, 2019. After instituting this suit PepsiCo has offered to settle the dispute out of court. A spokesperson from the company said “PepsiCo has also proposed that they may become part of its collaborative potato farming program. This program gives them access to higher yields, enhanced quality, training in best-in-class practices and better prices. In case, they do not wish to join this program, they can simply sign an agreement and grow other available varieties of potatoes.” The dispute currently rests on the decision of the farmers to enter into an agreement with PepsiCo.
INTERNATIONAL PATENT UPDATES
US Department of Justice Launches Review into Government Patent Used to Treat HIV
According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), the US Department of Justice has initiated review of a patent held by the Government that is primarily used to treat HIV infection. The reported investigation into the Government’s patent comes after Gilead’s contentions claiming invalidity of the Government’s 2015 patent. The drug giant currently holds a patent for a drug named Truvada, primarily used to treat people who are at risk of getting HIV- 1. Gilead has openly asked the public to refrain from making any royalty payments. The current review into the Government’s patent indicates a potential law suit in the near future where the findings of the review will be put to good use. The patent held by the US Government is key as President Donald Trump’s administration aims to eradicate HIV by the year 2030. In early April, the Government was forced to face protesters due to the lack of legal action taken by it. It would be interesting to watch the developments of this case as the Government rarely sues drug companies despite the Department of Health and Human Services holding over 2500 drug patents.
President of USA Makes Proclamation on World Intellectual Property Day, 2019
Donald J. Trump, President of the United States of America, made a Proclamation on 25th April, 2019 on the occasion of World Intellectual Property Day, 2019. The President, in his proclamation, explained the significance of intellectual property and the effect it had on economic competiveness of the Nation. He said that the basis of his administration was to build on the country’s tradition of providing IP protection. He drew references to the recently negotiated United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA), North American Free Trade Agreement and also the recent legislature, Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act. Further, he spoke about this year’s theme – IP and Sports by explaining the importance of advancing the ability of athletes to compete. His final message said “I encourage Americans to observe this day with events and educational programs that celebrate the benefits of intellectual property to our economy and our country.” Click here to access the official communication.
Director General, Francis Gurry’s leaves a message on World IP Day
This year, on the occasion of World IP Day, Francis Gurry, the Director General of World Intellectual Property Organization shared a 2 minute 15 second video on the importance of IP and Sports. The Director General explained the theme of this year’s celebrations namely – “Reach for Gold: IP and Sports.” Intellectual Property and Sports intermingle in a number of ways primarily due to advancement of technology. People can watch a sport occurring millions of miles away, from the comfort of their homes – which is only possible through broadcasting rights. Sports mingles with Design rights when teams and sports brands develop and promote their unique and distinct identity and exclusively for fans to distinguish between teams. Trademarks play an essential role in sports by allowing teams and athletes to differentiate themselves in a highly competitive market. He said “Intellectual property rights underlie and empower the financial model of all sporting events worldwide. IP rights lie at the heart of the global sports ecosystem… this year’s World Intellectual Property Day campaign celebrates the positive role that intellectual property plays in encouraging sports.” Click here to watch the Director’s message.
Intellectual Property Office of Singapore to fast-track AI patent applications
Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) will soon offer a procedure to fast tract patent applications as it makes efforts to advance its digital economy. The aim is to reduce the period between filing the patent application and grant of the patent to a period of six months. The current period takes anywhere between two to four years. A spokesperson from the Patent Office said that no additional fees will be charges but the to qualify for the fast track procedure, the invention must be related to AI – related to image recognition, speech and voice recognition, natural language processing etc. The fast track system will be available to innovators outside of Singapore, allowing them to use the country for market access and reinforce Singapore as an epicenter for IP. Similar to the Singapore Patent Office, since 2012, USPTO has offered an option where Applicants could pay a fee ranging between 1000 USD to 4000 USD in order to complete the patent process within 12 months.
Authored and compiled by Vibha Amarnath and Gaurav Mishra
About 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.
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