Patent Law News Update


Interesting Patents, Amazon’s parachute-dropping drone, Facebook – electronic payment service, Recent Patent Grants, Glenmark obtains US FDA approval, Pharma Patents, Whirlpool Patent Infringement, Stupid Designs, Patent Search, Patent Tip and more, presented by the Patent attorneys and experts of BananaIP Counsels, India’s Premier New Age IP Firm.

Patent Quote of the week

“Abraham Lincoln said, Patents Add Fuel to the Fire of Genius. What the great man did not say is that Too Much Fuel Can Burn the Genius” ― Dr. Kalyan C. Kankanala, Renowned IP Attorney, Professor and Novelist

Patent stats from the Indian Patent Office

While there has been a slight decrease of 16.05% in the sum total of early publications and ordinary publications this week, total grants have shown a significant increase of 77.32%.  2 applications from the Delhi Patent office and 4 applications from the Chennai Patent office have been published with respect to restoration of patents. Any person wanting to oppose the restoration of the said patents can file an objection to the same within the 2nd of August 2017 (2 months from the date of publication).

Early Publications

City Previous Week This Week Percentage of change
Delhi 1 30 2900% increase
Mumbai 22 15 31.81% decrease
Chennai 8 35 337.5% increase
Kolkata 0 2
Total 31 82 164.51% increase

 Ordinary Publications

City Previous Week This Week Percentage of change
Delhi 237 235 0.84% decrease
Mumbai 92 103 11.95% increase
Chennai 1029 741 27.98% decrease
Kolkata 12 15 25% increase
Total 1370 1094 20.14% decrease

TOTAL PUBLICATIONS (Previous Week): 1401


Percentage difference: 16.05% decrease


City Previous Week This Week Percentage of change
Delhi 81 137 69.13% increase
Mumbai 15 16 6.66% increase
Chennai 42 96 128.57% increase
Kolkata 34 56 64.70% increase
Total 172 305 77.32% increase

Number of Applications published based on applicant city

A total of 27 patent applications have been contributed by Delhi this week, making the city, the top contributor among the metros. Mumbai is short of two applications bringing its total contribution this week to 25 patent applications. Bangalore is at a distant third with 19 applications, while Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata have collectively contributed 20 applications putting them in the fourth, fifth and sixth positions respectively.

List of Cities 1st January 2017 – till date 27th May 2017- 2nd June 2017
Mumbai 732 25
Bangalore 435 19
Delhi 405 27
Chennai 233 11
Hyderabad 166 8
Kolkata 86 1

Total Patent Grants by the Indian Patent Office since 1st Jan 2017 till date:

Delhi – 2287

Mumbai – 473

Kolkata – 941

Chennai – 1291

Total grants: 4992

Industrial Designs

Total designs registered this Week: 153

Total designs registered in the previous Week: 148

Percentage Difference: 3.37% increase

Interesting Patents and Recent Grants

Amazon patents parachute-dropping drone

The e-commerce giant, Amazon has been recently granted a patent by the USPTO for a shipping label that includes a built-in parachute for drone delivery. The invention as disclosed in application no. 14/836,112 with patent no. US 9663234 describes systems and methods for delivering packages via aerial vehicles. The parachute as described in the patent application enables the packages to be dropped at the destination without any damages. Further, the system also includes a self adhesive backing, parachute chords with shock absorbers and a breakaway cover.

Facebook applies for a patent on electronic payment service in India

The social media giant, Facebook has recently filed a patent application with the Chennai Patent Office for an invention titled “SENDING AND RECEIVING PAYMENTS USING A MESSAGE SYSTEM”. The Indian application number 201747015893 discloses a system, method and device that provides a transactional payment system that allows users to send and receive electronic payments from other users of the messaging system. The payment system could also facilitate payments in groups, where the amount to be received by the individual members could be defined. Further, the messaging system can also provide status updates to the sender and the receiver, during the payment process through messages.

Wal-Mart files patent application for blockchain based drone tracking system

The USPTO recently published a patent application with application no. 15/360091 titled “Unmanned aerial delivery to secure location”  assigned to the US based mega retailer Wal-Mart which discloses a delivery management system involving drones, lockers and blockchain technology. According to the patent application, the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) drops the parcel into an automated locker, which will open in response to a message validating the identity of the UAV.

IPO Updates

Biennial action plan between the office of CGPDTM and Japan Patent Office signed

A Biennial action plan for 2017-2019 was signed by Shri O.P. Gupta, Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks and Mr. Masayuki Koyanagi, Deputy Commissioner of Japan Patent Office on 24th May, 2017 at Mumbai under a Memorandum of Cooperation on Industrial Property. This action plan aims at increasing the exchange of information on search and examination practices between the Intellectual Property Offices of both the Countries, organizing awareness in both countries to facilitate promotion, creation and commercialization of IP Assets, etc.

Pharma Patents

Glenmark gets US FDA approval to launch generic drug for anti-hypertension

Glenmark, the Indian pharmaceutical major has received a US FDA approval to launch a generic drug called Nebivolol, commonly used in the treatment of hypertension. Nebivolol is the generic version of the Bystolic tablets manufactured by Forest Laboratories.

Glenmark will be able to launch Nebivolol tablets in September 2021 as per a settlement agreement with Forest. The agreement with Forest Labs will allow Glenmark to market and distribute its product under a licence from Forest three months prior to the expiration of US Patent No. 6,545,040, including any extensions and or pediatric exclusivity, or earlier under certain circumstances.

Glenmark’s current portfolio consists of 116 products authorised for distribution in the US. The company has 68 ANDAs pending approval with the US FDA.

Patent Licensing, Disputes

Whirlpool Corp., the appliance giant has been slapped with a patent infringement suit by the University of South Florida Research Foundation over the company’s refrigerator door water dispensing system.

In the lawsuit filed in a federal court in Tampa in the Middle District of Florida, the University has alleged that Whirlpool’s “Measured Fill” feature on many of its refrigerator models infringes on the University’s 2007 patent on “volumetric control apparatus for fluid dispensing,”. Among the features that Measured Fill provides that are similar to the University’s dispensing invention is the ability to dispense water in pre-selected quantities, a “smart valve,” a flowmeter that measures the flow of water, and a control unit or “user interface” that is connected to the other parts and tells the smart valve when to open or close based on the volume of water measured by the flowmeter.

Stupid Designs

Ford Motor’s windshield design has been awarded “Stupid Patent of the Month”

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has awarded the title of “Stupid Patent of the Month” to Ford Motors for its design patent on a windshield. The windshield has been granted a design patent D786,157 by the USPTO disregarding the fact that the windshield design claimed by Ford Motor’s is neither new nor original.

International Government News

Tokyo-Yokohama leads in the maximum number of applications published based on inventor city

In a recent study conducted by the WIPO, it was revealed that amongst the PCT filings made between 2011 and 2015, Tokyo-Yokohama has the maximum number of applications with inventors based therein. Among the global top ten, two other Japanese cities, Kobe-Kyota and Nagoya have been identified. Further, the studies also reflect a drop in Europe and UK inventors.

USPTO to be granted funding in US Financial year budget for this year

In a proposed budget release by the US President’s office, the USPTO is likely to be granted 3.6 billion dollars. If the proposed budget is approved by the Congress, the USPTO will not be subjected to fund diversion. The funding is based on the fees collected by the USPTO, and any fees collected in excess of the funding amount will be added to the Patent and Trademark Fee Reserve Fund instead of the usual practice of being moved to the General Fund.

New provisions for colour and animated design released by the Canadian Industrial Designs office
The Canadian Industrial office has declared that July 1st 2017 will be the last day to amend design applications to seek registration as per the new provisions released by the office for colour and animated designs. The new provision allows colour in combination with other features as a part of the claimed design. Applicant of any design application made before January 16, 2017 will be allowed to amend his application before July 1st to include colour representations and claim registration as a colour design. However, amending the application will slightly delay the registration process. The same rules will apply for the animated designs as well.

Indian Plant Varieties News

Requirement of NoC, waived for the Cotton seed companies

Following Monsanto’s case, the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers; Rights Authority has waived the condition of obtaining a NoC from it for small and medium cotton seed entities, while developing new varieties based on registered or licensed technologies.

Monsanto BT technology, one of the largest players in the cotton seed market in India has licensed its BT technology to some 350 odd companies under a strictly one-sided agreement which prohibits these companies from selling the varieties developed by them.

BananaIP’s Patent Tip of the Week

Is Patent search really necessary?

Performing a patent search (patentability search) before filing a patent application is a good idea. It saves the applicant from wasting a lot of time and money on an invention that would otherwise not be patentable or at least would be very difficult to obtain meaningful patent protection for. While inventors and applicants often tell patent attorneys that there is nothing like their product / invention on the market, patentability involves much more than what is on the market alone. A good search can turn up prior inventions that could potentially bar an applicant from obtaining a patent.  Additionally, a good search will predict the objections that the patent office might raise against patentability of the invention and give the applicant extra time to consider a proper response to an office action.


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