Uber, Driverless car, Samsung, Rollable tablet, Patent Licensing, Disputes and Settlements, Apple, Qualcomm, Nokia, McDonald’s, Patent Tip and more

Uber’s driverless car patent, Samsung’s Rollable tablet patent, Patent Licensing, Disputes and Settlements, Apple versus Qualcomm, Qualcomm versus Blackberry, Nokia versus Apple, McDonald’s Patent Infringement, 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

People equate patents with secrecy, that secrecy is what patents were designed to overcome. That’s why the formula for Coca-Cola was never patented. They kept it as a trade secret, and they’ve outlasted patent laws by 80 years or more. Craig Venter, American Biotechnologist.

Patent stats from the Indian Patent Office

This week there has been a phenomenal increase of 425% in the number of ordinary publications published by the Chennai Patent Office, which takes the sum total of publications this week to 1401. There has been a decrease of 50.79% in the total number of early publications in comparison with the stats from last week. Delhi and Chennai Patent Office have each published 3 applications which are to be restored. Any person who wishes to object the restoration of these listed patents will have to file an objection for the same within a period of 2 months from the date of publication.

Early Publications

City Previous Week This Week Percentage of change
Delhi 12 1 91.66% decrease
Mumbai 23 22 4.34% decrease
Chennai 23 8 65.21% decrease
Kolkata 5 0
Total 63 31 50.79% decrease

 Ordinary Publications

City Previous Week This Week Percentage of change
Delhi 148 237 60.13% increase
Mumbai 92 92 No change
Chennai 196 1029 425% increase
Kolkata 162 12 92.59% decrease
Total 598 1370 129.09% increase

TOTAL PUBLICATIONS (Previous Week): 661


Percentage difference: 111.95% increase


City Previous Week This Week Percentage of change
Delhi 43 81 88.37% increase
Mumbai 15 15 No change
Chennai 44 42 4.54% decrease
Kolkata 39 34 12.82% decrease
Total 141 172 21.98% increase

Number of Applications published based on applicant city

This week 29 applications have been published where Mumbai has been identified as the applicant city, taking the total applications published from the city since the beginning of the year till date to 707. Bangalore, Delhi, and Hyderabad are placed together at the 2nd position with each having published 11 applications this week. Chennai is at the 3rd position with 4 applications, and no contributions have been made by Kolkata this week.

List of Cities 1st January 2017 – till date 20th May 2017- 26th May 2017
Mumbai 707 29
Bangalore 416 11
Delhi 378 11
Chennai 222 4
Hyderabad 158 11
Kolkata 85 0


Total designs registered this Week: 148

Total designs registered in the previous Week: 148

Percentage Difference: No change

Interesting Patent Grants

Uber patents driverless car technology

The USPTO recently published a patent with application no. 15/358,033 titled “Controlling Autonomous Vehicles In Connection With Transport Services” assigned to Uber Technologies Inc. which discloses a system that allows a rider to instruct an autonomous vehicle to perform nondriving operations through a mobile computing device. The operations that the users will be able to control include unlocking the car’s doors, operating audio system etc. The system can determine when the autonomous vehicle and the requester are within a threshold distance of the pickup location.

Samsung obtains patent for A Rollable Tablet

Samsung Display Co., Ltd. has been granted a US patent, for an invention titled “Rollable display device.”  The invention as disclosed in application number 14/957,636, details a tablet with a rollable screen that’s wrapped around one of its sides and can be rolled out by pulling the device apart.

Although the actual mechanism is described in a somewhat vague manner, the illustrations show what looks like a tablet with a stretchable display panel instead of a rollable one. The abstract of the invention reads as follows:

“A rollable display device, including a flexible display panel; a roller having a cylindrical shape, one end of the flexible display panel being fixed to the roller and rolled around the roller, the roller including a penetration part, the penetration part being inclined with respect to a circumferential surface of the roller, the flexible display panel penetrating through the penetration part; and a first guide at a portion adjacent to the penetration part on the circumferential surface of the roller, the first guide guiding the flexible display panel penetrating through the penetration part to be adjacent to an outer surface of the roller.”

Interesting Designs

Exhibition of designs held at Visual Arts Gallery at India Habitat Centre

Final year students of the Department of Industrial Design, School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi have exhibited their designs at the Visual Arts Gallery at India Habitat Centre. The exhibition held from 25th May to 28th May 2017 covers a range of products with innovative designs such as a vegetable cart that increases the shelf life of the produce, a new age traffic signal that integrates information helping the pedestrian, drivers and police personnel in reducing accidents and mishaps. Other designs displayed at the exhibition include a memory album for the visually challenged and an assistive menstrual aid to help women with cerebral palsy.

Startups, Innovations, and Patents

DIPP revises definition of Startups

Under a recent notification issued by the Department of Industry Policy and Promotion (DIPP) the Government has revised the definition for Start-ups under the Start-up India Initiative. As per the new definition, an entity shall be considered as a start-up if it has not completed seven years from the date of its registration. However, for biotechnology start-ups the period shall be up to 10 years. Now entities having “a scalable business model with a high potential of employment generation or wealth creation” can also qualify for recognition as a start-up by the DIPP. Entities recognized as a start-up by the DIPP can acquire various concessions, such as reduction in patent application fees, fast tracking of patent applications etc.

Andhra based startup invents IoT device to ensure quick medical aid to patients

An Andhra Pradesh-based startup called Greenline Labs has invented an IoT (Internet of Things) device and technology called Emergency Response Automation (ERA) which creates a geofencing when any ambulance is within a 500-meter radius of a traffic signal. The technology automatically gives ambulances the green light, all the way to the incident they are attending, and ensures quick medical aid to patients.

The IoT device works by triggering an alert in the traffic junction box that turns the traffic lights green thereby clearing the traffic congestion and making way for the ambulance to go through without delay.

The startup has tested the system in a prototype, simulating a four-road junction and will now be filing a patent application for the technology before going live.

Patent Licensing, Disputes and Settlements

Qualcomm approaches court, asks it to direct Apple to pay patent royalties     

In the latest development in the ongoing patent war between Apple and Qualcomm, Qualcomm has approached a US Court asking it to direct Apple to pay the royalties that it owes to the chip-making giant.

In this fresh suit against Apple, Qualcomm has alleged that Apple is trying to force a settlement by throwing its weight around and that  Qualcomm would suffer a loss of about 500 million dollars in revenues in this single quarter if Apple does not pay the royalties.

With the ongoing volley of legal suits between the two tech giants, nobody can truly bet on who could emerge a winner.

Qualcomm to pay 940 million dollars to BlackBerry       

As if Qualcomm did not have enough on its plate already, a recent ruling by an arbitration panel has directed Qualcomm to pay 940 million dollars to BlackBerry to settle a patent licensing dispute.

The ruling came after the arbitration panel found that BlackBerry had overpaid Qualcomm in royalty payments from 2010 to 2015 under the terms of a patent licensing deal.

BlackBerry has become increasingly active in patent litigation following its exit from the handset manufacturing business. For instance, earlier this year BlackBerry filed a lawsuit against Nokia, alleging that the Finnish company was infringing on as many as 11 of its patents in offerings to carriers including AT&T and T-Mobile.

Nokia settles patent dispute with Apple

Nokia and Apple recently announced that the two companies have settled all litigation related to their intellectual property dispute and have agreed to a multi-year patent license deal. Under the business collaboration agreement, Nokia would provide certain network infrastructure product and services to Apple, while Apple would resume carrying Nokia digital health products in Apple retail and online stores.

While Nokia has said that it would receive an up-front cash payment from Apple, with additional revenues during the term of the agreement, the details of the agreement and payment amount have not been disclosed.

Patent Infringement

FujiFilm imports to be investigated following Sony’s patent infringement Claim

Reports indicate that the U.S. International Trade Commission will launch an investigation into Fujifilm’s magnetic tape cartridges and component imports following a patent infringement claim by the Japanese multinational conglomerate, Sony Corporation.

While Sony has alleged that the magnetic tape cartridge uses technology lifted from Sony products without a license, Fujifilm’s filed a patent infringement claim against Sony for the sale of data storage tapes and cartridges last year.

McDonald’s faces patent infringement suit over Internet software

Internet Media Interactive Corporation, an American media, and Internet company has filed a lawsuit with the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division against the American hamburger and fast food restaurant chain, McDonald’s alleging patent infringement of its use of location-specific Internet technology software.

The Internet Media company has claimed that McDonald’s has directly infringed on its US patent 6,049,835 which claims a technology that provides automatic access to preselected locations on the internet. The patent in question relates to location-specific URLs which allow third party social media companies to target location-based advertisements at users.

Apple and Visa face patent infringement lawsuit

A Boston-based company called Universal Secure Registry has filed a lawsuit against Apple Inc. and Visa Inc. alleging infringement of four of the company’s patents.

In the case filed with the U.S. District Court, District of Delaware, Universal Secure Registry has claimed that it sent a series of letters to Apple in 2010 describing its patented technology and seeking a partnership much before Apple Pay was launched. In addition to this, the Boston-based company tried to pursue a partnership with Visa around the same time but the offer was declined by both Apple and Visa in favor of a partnership with each other to incorporate the technology into Apple Pay.

Neither Apple nor Visa have rejected the claims of the Boston Company and it remains to be seen if this could turn out to be another case of patent trolling.

International Government Updates

WIPO states that the article published by Fox News is inaccurate and erroneous

In a press release statement, WIPO has claimed that the article carried by Fox News claiming that WIPO was aiding North Korea in securing a patent in relation to sodium cyanide, is inaccurate and erroneous. In its press release, WIPO has provided a set of facts stating that patent applications are not covered by the UN Security Council Regulations. On 22nd May 2017, WIPO released another statement confirming that amongst its 1718 committee staff, no UN Member State had ever notified the Committee of a patent application that might violate the UN Security Council Regulations.

Plant Varieties News

Woman farmer won the Plant Genome Saviour Farmers Reward

Gangwar Anjamma, a 70 year old woman, has been presented with 1.5 Lakh rupees by the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority for her exemplary work in the conservation and sustainable use of 80 types of seeds at her farm. In addition to preserving 80 varieties of seeds, Gangwar Anjamma has also built a community seed bank in her village, Pastapur which supplies seeds to farmers. Her technique in conserving the seeds without the use of fertilizers, pesticides or bio-pesticides is being used at the breeding program followed at the Agriculture Research Centre.

BananaIP’s Patent Tip of the week

Building and Managing a Patent Portfolio

Work with respect to a patent does not cease once an application has been filed; it is simply the beginning. From its conception to expiration, a patent undergoes a lot of procedural, legal and market-driven changes, which more often than not have an impact on the business and its valuation.

A patent portfolio can be a significant part of a corporation’s overall value. To maximize the value of one’s patent portfolio, it is advisable that the owner of the patent portfolio recognize and answer some simple questions such as:

  1. What’s in your portfolio?
  2. What’s in your competitor’s portfolio?; and
  3. What are the Commercialization opportunities for your patent portfolio?

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