AI managed traffic, Amazon Alexa, Apple versus Samsung, Pharma patents term, Patent tip of the Week and other news

“Interesting patents, AI based traffic control, Amazon’s ‘Alexa’ becomes bone of contention,   Apples demands 1 billion dollars from Samsung, Brazil expands list of accepted technologies under PPH, China to increase term for pharma patents, Patent infringement, 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 Fact of the Week

 In 1883, A. Ashwell of south London, patented the Vacant/Engaged sign for public lavatories.

Indian Patent Statistics

A total of 661 patent applications have been published in the th issue of the patent journal. Out of the 661 applications, 30 applications account for early publications while 631 applications account for ordinary publications or publications occurring after the 18 month period. A total of 247 applications have been granted this week which is 14.88% more than the applications granted in the previous week.

Early Publications

City Previous Week This Week Percentage of change
Delhi 12 5 58.33% decrease
Mumbai 51 5 90.2% decrease
Chennai 26 19 26.92% decrease
Kolkata 22 1 95.45% decrease
Total 111 30 72.97% decrease

Ordinary Publications

City Previous Week This Week Percentage of change
Delhi 261 167 36.02% decrease
Mumbai 206 105 49.03% decrease
Chennai 229 183 20.09% decrease
Kolkata 45 176 291.11% increase
Total 741 631 14.84% decrease

TOTAL PUBLICATIONS (Previous Week): 852


Percentage difference: 22.42% decrease

First Examination Report (FER) Statistics

A total of 1472 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
Delhi 485
Mumbai 177
Chennai 531
Kolkata 279
Total 1472


City Previous Week This Week Percentage of change
Delhi 88 67 23.86% decrease
Mumbai 15 19 26.67% increase
Chennai 60 121 101.67% increase
Kolkata 52 40 23.08% decrease
Total 215 247 14.88% increase


Number of Applications published based on applicant city

Of the total 661 patent applications published in the journal last week, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata have contributed a total of 66 applications. The total applications from each of the previously mentioned cities for the past week are as follows – 15 applications from each of the cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, 13 applications from Bangalore, 5 applications from Hyderabad and 3 applications from Kolkata.

List of Cities 1st January 2018 – 18th May 2018 12th May 2018 – 18th May 2018
Delhi 509 15
Mumbai 337 15
Bangalore 358 13
Chennai 257 15
Hyderabad 197 5
Kolkata 87 3

Total number of applications published by the Indian Patent Office from the 1st of January 2018 till date: 14984

  • Early publications: 1329
  • Ordinary Publications: 13655

Total number of patents granted by the Indian Patent Office from the 1st of January 2018 till date: 5745

  • Delhi – 2187
  • Mumbai – 676
  • Chennai – 1761
  • Kolkata – 1121

Indian Industrial Designs Statistics

The designs office has registered a total of 123 designs this week. The total designs registered from the 1st of January 2018 till date now adds to a total of 4017 applications.

Total designs registered in the previous Week: 168

Total designs registered this Week: 123

Percentage Difference: 26.79% decrease

Total designs registered from the 1st of January 2018 till date: 4017

Interesting Patents

AI based traffic control!

IBM was recently granted an interesting US patent 9,965,951 for an invention titled “Cognitive traffic signal control”

The abstract text of the granted application reads as follows – “In an approach for adapting traffic signal timing, a computer receives a streaming video for one or more paths of a first intersection. The computer identifies traffic within the received streaming video. The computer calculates traffic flow for the one or more paths of the first intersection based on the identified traffic. The computer determines whether a change in a state of a traffic signal for the first intersection should occur based at least in part on the identified traffic and the determined traffic flow with respect to predefined objectives. Responsive to determining the change in the state of the traffic signal for the first intersection should occur, the computer calculates a change to a traffic signal timing based on the determined change in the state of the traffic signal. The computer initiates an adaptation to the traffic signal timing based on the determined change to the traffic signal timing.” (The abstract text has been taken as is and has not been corrected for errors)

Patent /Design Infringements, Disputes, Licensing and Settlements.

Amazon’s ‘Alexa’ becomes bone of contention

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York has filed a lawsuit against Amazon alleging that Amazon’s voice technology, ‘Alexa,’ infringes on a voice-recognition technology patent that Rensselaer professors developed in the early 2000s. A patent was granted to Rensselaer in 2007 which involves a person to verbally communicate with a computer, and the computer would learn from that communication and adjust future results. This, the institute has claimed is the same technology that Amazon uses in its Alexa voice software and on various devices, including the Echo, Echo Dot, Fire TV accessories, Fire Tablets and others.

Apple demands 1 billion dollars from Samsung

In the retrial of the Apple versus Samsung case, Apple has sought 1 billion dollars from Samsung for infringing upon three of the company’s design patents and two utility patents. While, the jurors in the court of US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California have already found Samsung guilty of the crime, Samsung has asserted that Apple is entitled to the damages on just the components which infringed on its patent rights and not the entire phone. Samsung’s lawyers have therefore urged the jurors to limit the damages to $28 million.

International Patent / Design Updates

Brazil expands list of accepted technologies under PPH

The Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (BPTO) has expanded its list of accepted technologies for Patent Prosecution Highway with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Under the expansion list, patent applications relating to information technology and patent applications belonging to oil, gas and petrochemical inventions will be accepted.

BPTO has been suffering with a massive backlog of patent applications and is attempting to clear this backlog by bringing in new measures. The office also has PPH agreements with the Japan Patent Office, PROSUL, the European Patent Office, and the State Intellectual Property Office of the PRC.

China to increase term for pharma patents

China has announced that it would be extending the term of patent protection on pharmaceuticals from the present 20 years to 25 years. This move appears to be aimed at reducing the trade frictions between China and the U.S. A Chinese official was quoted as saying “Patent protection typically lasts 20 years, but drugmakers spend much of that time on clinical trials to clear regulatory hurdles, which reduces the period they can sell new drugs without competition from generic versions.” Japan, US, EU and other advanced economies grant up to five years additional protection to patented drugs to allow drugmakers more time to recoup investments in development.

BananaIP’s Patent / Design Tip of the Week

Patent Infringement

A product placed on the market in a territory where there is no patent for the product in question cannot infringe a patent in another territory. However, importing a patented product into a patented territory from another country in which there is no equivalent patent is an infringing act and is actionable in court.

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].

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