Weekly Updates

This weekly update on patents is brought to you by the Patent experts of BananaIP (BIP) Counsels.

Patent thought of the week:

“A country without a patent office and good patent laws is just a crab and can’t travel any way but sideways and backwards.” – Mark Twain

Patent Stats:

Patent applications published by the Indian Patent Office between 3rd February 2017 and 10th February 2017:  696

Patent applications granted by the Indian Patent Office between 3rd February 2017 and 10th February 2017: 172

Designs registered by the Indian Designs Office between 3rd February 2017 and 10th February 2017: 138

Patent cases update:

Landmark Cases – Bishwanath Prasad Radhey Shyam v. Hindustan Metal Industries

This is one of the land mark cases in Indian jurisprudence where the interpretation of obviousness and inventive step was addressed. The patent in the case related to a device and method for manufacturing utensils. The court stated that the patented invention was merely an application of an old invention, and was obvious to any skilled worker.  The Supreme Court in its analysis stated that the invention should be more than a mere workshop improvement and the improvement itself must constitute an inventive step. As per the court, if an invention involves known elements or combination of known elements, the result must be new, or substantially cheaper or better than what existed, in order to constitute an inventive step.

Patent office updates:

Fully funded course on IP Valuation being offered by UBIM  & WIPO

The Italian Patent and Trademark Office (UBIM) along with WIPO is offering a specialized course in Intellectual Property Management and Valuation for graduates and undergraduates from 16 countries including India. The program is being offered by LUISS Business School affiliated to the LUISS Guido Carli University and well be held from May 2nd to July 22nd 2017 in Rome, Italy. The course will cover Industrial and IP Law, IP Valuation, IP Data Analysis among other topics. A fully funded scholarship will be awarded to 15 students selected by UBIM. The last date for applying is 17th March, 2017. Interested applicants can apply for the afore stated course on the following link: http:/businessschool.luiss.it/ip-management-valuation/how-to-apply/

Government news and updates on Patents:

Patenting in electronics and IT likely to get a booster shot

The Central government on February 10, 2017 approved Rs. 6,831 crores as venture fund for electronics development in India. Law & IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced that the electronic development fund will serve as the mother fund that will contribute to various funds under it for those who invest the money in companies for creation of intellectual property rights in the field of electronics and IT. The patenting trends in electronics and IT sectors have undoubtedly shown an increase over the past few years. This fund is likely to bolster the patenting trends further.

BananaIP (BIP) news & updates:

SpicyIP’s note on BananaIP Post

The leading IP blog in India, Spicy IP, has recently cited BananaIP’s blog rankings in one of its posts. We  once again commend SpicyIP’s contributions and reciprocate the good wishes. As we have been experiencing over the years, writing regularly is not easy, and one must be really driven to take it up for purely social, knowledge dissemination and constructive goals. We learn a lot from SpicyIP and wish the blog a very long life. About the Pro IP and AntiIP thought however, we are happy to get on a debate when all augurs well.

BananaIP’s  Experts to Speak at NLSIU and IIMB

Attorneys at BananaIP will be delivering talks at NLSIU and IIMB during this week. While the talk at NLSIU is on IP commercialization and related policy framework for StartUps and SMEs, the lecture at IIMB will focus on basic concepts of IP and their relevance in the fast changing business environment. As always, we will post PPTs from the said lectures shortly.

Patent Licensing/Commercialization updates:

Symposium on IP Commercialization at National Law School, Bangalore

National Law School, Bangalore is organizing a symposium on IP commercialization on 15th February, 2017. The event will start at around 1PM and conclude at 5PM. Some leading IP experts in India, Government officials, academics and researchers are expected to participate. The symposium is being organized by the Centre for IP Research and Advocacy headed by Professor Ramakrishna, a well known IP Professor and Advisor.

International Patent Updates:

Microsoft’s Unique Patent Program to Build Cloud Customer Base

Recently, Microsoft launched ‘Azure IP Advantage’ program to increase its cloud customer base. It offers two significant advantages through the program: Uncapped Indemnity for IP infringement and Patent Non Assertion with respect to ten thousand patents. It also permits its customers to defend themselves against infringement suits for products developed on Microsoft’s cloud platform by using its patents.

This is a very interesting way to not only gain, but also build long term relationships with customers. Needless to state, these patents will be asserted against those, who decide not to go with Microsoft. Whatever said and done, this is surely a good way to use languishing patents for business value creation and increasing customer base. May be, Indian software services companies can pick a piece or two from this strategy.

Interesting Dog Grooming Patent for Pet Lovers

Sleekez’s innovative dog grooming tool for removing hair, dirt and other particles has been recently granted a US Patent. The product helps dog owners clean their loved pet without pulling good hair, and the company’s founder/inventor of the product claims that it works wonders. Here is the patent number if the patent spikes your interest: United States Patent: 9474250.

General Updates:

India No. 43 in the Intellectual Property Index

For what it is worth, US Chamber of Commerce’s Global IP Centre has ranked India at 43 in its IP index, which  ranks countries based on how friendly they are for US business interests. Many news reports have carried damning notes following the ranking on how India languishes under China, Brazil, Russia and other countries, and how India has not been able to improve its ranking. Pakistan is ranked below India in the list. Not surprisingly, US, UK, France and other US friendly regimes are among the top ten.

The report cites India’s IP policy, which has been criticized by several IP experts for its ambiguity, inconsistency and poor quality. Despite the criticism, the Government had managed to accomplish a lot, which for some reason skipped the USCC RADAR. Also, the report cites the Delhi High Court decision and Computer Program patentability issues, which is also a US jurisprudential phenomenon with user rights assuming predominance and hardware limitations becoming more and more important. The subjectivity in the report makes one wonder if the report should be given any value at all.

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