Ford patents round car, Smart wheelchair patents, BlackBerry sues Snapchat, USPTO issues notice on patent subject matter eligibility, Patent tip of the Week and other news

“Ford’s Round Car, Smart wheelchair for differently abled people, BlackBerry sues Snapchat, FRAND case against Huawei and ZTE to proceed in UK, USPTO Issues Notice of Guidance on Subject Matter Eligibility, UK ratifies Hague Agreement, Mexican Design Law amended, to take effect from 27thApril, 2018, 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.

Design Quote of the Week

“In an action of infringement of design, it is not necessary that the two designs must be identical on all points and they should be exactly the same.”  – Dart Industries Inc. vs. Cello Plastotech (12.05.2017 – MADHC): MANU/TN/1629/2017.

Indian Patent Statistics

A total of 1003 patent applications have been published in the 16th issue of the patent journal marking a modest increase of about 13.07% in the total number of patent applications published. Out of the 1003 applications, 55 applications account for early publications while 948 applications account for ordinary publications or publications occurring after the 18 month period. A total of 231 applications have been granted this week as opposed 176 grants in the previous.

Early Publications

City Previous Week This Week Percentage of change
Delhi 1 2 100% increase
Mumbai 45 23 48.88% decrease
Chennai 14 26 85.71% increase
Kolkata 9 4 55.55% decrease
Total 69 55 20.28% decrease

Ordinary Publications

City Previous Week This Week Percentage of change
Delhi 237 196 17.29% decrease
Mumbai 93 200 115.05% increase
Chennai 472 383 18.85% decrease
Kolkata 16 169 956.25% increase
Total 818 948 15.89% increase

TOTAL PUBLICATIONS (Previous Week): 887


Percentage difference: 13.07% increase

First Examination Report (FER) Statistics

A total of 1265 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 443
Mumbai 184
Chennai 411
Kolkata 227
Total 1265


City Previous Week This Week Percentage of change
Delhi 70 87 24.28% increase
Mumbai 12 26 116.66% increase
Chennai 58 74 27.58% increase
Kolkata 36 44 22.22% increase
Total 176 231 31.25% increase


Number of Applications published based on applicant city

Of the total 1003 patent applications published in the journal last week, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata have contributed a total of 90 applications. The total applications from each of the previously mentioned cities for the past week are as follows – 25 from Bangalore, 20 from Mumbai, 14 each from Delhi and Hyderabad, 13 from Chennai and 4 from Kolkata.

List of Cities 1st January 2018 – 20th  April 2018 14th April 2018 – 20th April 2018
Delhi 444 14
Mumbai 293 20
Bangalore 279 25
Chennai 190 13
Hyderabad 165 14
Kolkata 69 4

Total number of applications published by the Indian Patent Office from the 1st of January 2018 till date: 11996

  • Early publications: 1072
  • Ordinary Publications: 10924

Total number of patents granted by the Indian Patent Office from the 1st of January 2018 till date: 4818

  • Delhi – 1853
  • Mumbai – 591
  • Chennai – 1463
  • Kolkata – 911

Indian Industrial Designs Statistics

The designs office has registered a total of 203 designs this week. The total designs registered from the 1st of January 2018 till date now adds to a total of 3342 applications..

Total designs registered in the previous Week: 203

Total designs registered this Week: 203

Percentage Difference: No change

Total designs registered from the 1st of January 2018 till date: 3342

Interesting Patents

Ford’s Round Car

In an interesting yet weird invention by Ford Global Technologies, the motor company has filed a patent application in the US for an invention titled “VEHICLE WITH ROUND PASSENGER COMPARTMENT”. The patent application claims: A vehicle comprising: a wall having a cylindrical shape and surrounding a passenger compartment; a table in the passenger compartment; a circular track fixed in the compartment and extending around the table; and a plurality of seats mounted to and independently slidable along the track.”

What makes this bizarre patent interesting is that entire car compartment can be rotated, or the seats repositioned on the circular track they’re mounted to. The description also highlights the presence of entry systems where one or more of the wall sections either slides or swings open, and a roof that can be retracted in a number of ways.

Smart wheelchair for differently abled people

In the 16th issue of the official patent journal, an interesting invention caught our attention. The invention titled “Smart wheelchair for differently abled people” aims to make life as easy as possible for the differently abled. The abstract text of the Indian patent application 201821013483 is provided below:

“Even in 21st century there is still a sector of people who find it difficult to even perform their daily activities as they need to be dependent on others for their locomotion. For such people wheelchair proves to be a boon to some extent. The wheelchairs presently available can be broadly classified into 2 types namely, push-based & joy-stick based. Push based are the ones where user need to be dependent on somebody else while joy-stick based are the advance version of it in which dependency on others is removed. Its a sad fact that there are no wheelchair for people suffering from paraplegia or quadriplegia or senior citizens. Our main focus is on them. Below mentioned stats tell us there ratio in our society is quite considerable. As per 2011 census in India, 2.21% population is disabled while there are 0.62 amputees per thousand people. Also population aged 60 & above is projected to be 19% in 2050according to the United Nations Population Division. The use of powered wheelchair with high intelligence can ease there life. We are developing wheelchair which can be operated using application based on any type of mobile devices. To control its movement we wacceleration and manual inputs from users. Our best option is with smart external input. We are trying to provide many such facilities while considering quadriplegia peoples to provide them comfort and ease of access so that as per their specified direction, movement of wheelchair will take place.” (The abstract has been taken as is and has not been corrected for errors)

Patent Infringements, Disputes, Licensing and Settlements.

BlackBerry sues Snapchat

After accusing Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp of infringing BlackBerry’s patented technology, the Canadian company has now trained its guns towards Snapchat. In its latest suit against Snapchat, BlackBerry has alleged that Snap has breached upon six of its patents from 2012 and 2014.Two of these patents are among the 7 patents that are included in the charge against Facebook. The patents in question allegedly relate to UI and map enhancement for up-to-date mobile advertising methods and mobile devices. The map enhancement technology in particular is directed to the Snap Map released by Snapchat in June last year.

FRAND case against Huawei and ZTE to proceed in UK

The attempt by Huawei and ZTE to evade a patent dispute with a Luxembourg based IP licensing company has been thwarted by a UK Court. Conversant Wireless Licensing had recently accused Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei and ZTE Corporation of infringing the UK designations of four of its European SEPs. Huawei and ZTE in an attempt to evade the dispute had questioned the jurisdictional legitimacy of the English courts. Justice Henry Carr however, rejected the arguments put forth by the Chinese company and has announced that the Court would be hearing the case “in the coming weeks” in order to determine a remedy.

International Patent / Design Updates

USPTO Issues Notice of Guidance on Subject Matter Eligibility

The United States Patent and Trademark Office on Friday issued a notice in the Federal Register providing guidance to patent examiners on patent subject matter eligibility. As per the USPTO press release, the guidelines have been issued n response to a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Berkheimer v. HP Inc., pertaining to subject matter eligibility.

The new guidance pertains to the second step of the Alice-Mayo framework for determining subject matter eligibility, and is focused on how examiners are to analyze and document a conclusion that a claim clement is “well-understood, routine, conventional” during the patent examination process.

UK ratifies Hague Agreement

United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union brought in various questions with regard to the filings and prosecution of intellectual property in UK. It is now confirmed that UK has become a member of The Hague Agreement by ratifying it. However, based on the draft withdrawal agreement published recently, UK will be continue to be a part of the EUIPO until December 2020 hence it will not be necessary for applicants to pursue separate design applications before the EUIPO and UK design offices.

Mexican Design Law amended, to take effect from 27thApril, 2018

The amendments to the Industrial Property Law of Mexico are scheduled to take effect from the 27th of April 2018. In the amendments brought about, the total term of a registered design has been increased from 15 years to 25 years. However, this extension is not applicable at once, and is subject to renewals at 5 year intervals. Further, the official gazette will now allow inspection of design applications prior to its registration. Another welcome amendment brought to the design law, the law now defines the terms “independent creation” and “significant degree” providing clarity with respect to the definition of novelty in a design.

BananaIP’s Patent / Design Tip of the Week

Cross check documents upon publication of patent application

An application is ordinarily published within 18 months from the date of filing of the application. While the details of the application become available to the public at this stage, documents submitted with the patent offices are also put up on record for public access and viewing. It is always advisable that the applicant verifies all the documents uploaded by the patent office and ensures that the publication is proper in terms of the details and documents recorded.

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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