Robotic Bees, Working of Patents, DIPP promises early grant, Micromax v. Ericsson, Tinder v. Bumble, Patent Tip and other news


“Robotic bees for pollination, IPO officially announces Availability of WIPO Digital Access Service (DAS), Last Date for submission of comments on issues relating to Working of Patents extended, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu promises steps for quick patent registration, Micromax and Ericsson settle long standing dispute, Crocs suffers setback in design patent suit, Tinder sues Bumble for patent infringement, UK ratifies Hague Agreement, Effect of public display and public use on design novelty,  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 Quote of the Week

“It is patently problematic that a patent should be worked, even when at times it can’t be.” – Gaurav Mishra, Patent Associate, BananaIP Counsels

Indian Patent Statistics

A total of 826 patent applications have been published in the 11th issue of the patent journal. Of the 826 applications, 127 applications account for early publications while 699 applications account for ordinary publications or publications occurring after the 18 month period. A total of 401 applications have been granted this week as opposed to 495 from the previous week, thus marking a decrease of about 19% in grants.

Early Publications

City Previous Week This Week Percentage of change
Delhi 16 22 37.5% increase
Mumbai 1 73 7200% increase
Chennai 26 16 38.46% decrease
Kolkata 0 16
Total 43 127 195.35% increase

Ordinary Publications

City Previous Week This Week Percentage of change
Delhi 91 358 293.41% increase
Mumbai 51 27 47.06% decrease
Chennai 283 176 37.81% decrease
Kolkata 44 138 213.64% increase
Total 469 699 49.04% increase

TOTAL PUBLICATIONS (Previous Week): 512


Percentage difference: 61.33% increase


City Previous Week This Week Percentage of change
Delhi 187 142 24.06% decrease
Mumbai 68 49 27.94% decrease
Chennai 153 136 11.11% decrease
Kolkata 87 74 14.94% decrease
Total 495 401 18.99% decrease


Number of Applications published based on applicant city

Of the total 826 patent applications published in the journal last week, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata have contributed a total of 100 applications. The total applications from each of the previously mentioned cities for the past week are as follows –33 from Mumbai, 27 from Delhi, 16 from Bangalore, 11 from Hyderabad, 9 from Chennai and 4 from Kolkata.

List of Cities 1st January 2018 – 16th March 2018 10th March 2018 – 16th March 2018
Delhi 332 27
Mumbai 195 33
Bangalore 158 16
Chennai 116 9
Hyderabad 99 11
Kolkata 29 4

Total number of applications published by the Indian Patent Office from the 1st of January 2018 till date: 7880

  • Early publications: 744
  • Ordinary Publications: 7136

Total number of patents granted by the Indian Patent Office from the 1st of January 2018 till date: 3289

  • Delhi – 1223
  • Mumbai – 439
  • Chennai – 1029
  • Kolkata – 598

First Examination Report (FER) Statistics

A total of 1422 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 420
Mumbai 237
Chennai 530
Kolkata 235
Total 1422

Indian Industrial Designs Statistics

The designs office has registered a total of 201 designs this week. The total designs registered from the 1st of January 2018 till date now adds to a total of 2298 applications.

Total designs registered in the previous Week: 202

Total designs registered this Week: 201

Percentage Difference: 0.5% decrease

Total designs registered from the 1st of January 2018 till date: 2298

Interesting Patents

Rise of the robot army?

The 21st century has seen a spurt of some of the most amazing patents ever conceptualized. It should therefore not come as too much of a shock when we tell you that you may soon find robotic bees in your garden pollinating your flowers just like real bees.

A patent application filed by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. was recently published by the USPTO; the application number 15/697,106 is titled SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR POLLINATING CROPS VIA UNMANNED VEHICLES and discloses an amazing piece of technology.

We ‘had to’ include the background from the patent specification to highlight this inventions purpose. The background reads as follows – “Since most flowering crops rely on insects and/or animals for pollination, pollinators are very important to the maintenance of both wild and agricultural plant communities. In recent years, the amount of pollinators (e.g., ants, bees, beetles, butterflies, wasps, etc.) has been in steady decline, which leads to reduced fertility and biodiversity of the crops and reduced crop production. While there have been attempts to fertilize crops by pollinating the crops via crop dusting, blanket spraying of pollen onto the crops from an airplane flying above ground is non-targeted and a significant percentage of the pollen may not reach its intended target crops due to the speed of the moving airplane and intervening wind. In an attempt to ensure that a large percentage of crops in the crop-containing area are pollinated, the crop-duster planes often spray more pollen than would be necessary then if the pollination were targeted, making crop duster-based pollination more expensive. In addition, since crop-dusters merely spray the pollen with the hope of providing maximum pollen coverage, but do not provide any verification of which crops were successfully pollinated and which were not, a significant percentage of crops may remain non-pollinated despite the excessive amount of pollen sprayed by the crop-duster” (The background text has been taken from the patent specification as is and has not been corrected for errors, if any)

The abstract of the invention continues on the lines of the problem to read as follows – “In some embodiments, methods and systems of pollinating crops include one or more unmanned vehicles including a pollen applicator configured to collect pollen from a flower of a first crop and to apply the pollen collected from the flower of the first crop onto a flower of a second crop and a sensor configured to detect presence of the pollen applied to the flower of the second crop by the pollen applicator to verify that the pollen collected from the flower of the first crop by the pollen applicator was successfully applied by the pollen applicator onto the flower of the second crop.” (The abstract has been taken from the patent specification as is and has not been corrected for errors, if any)

Indian Patent Office updates

IPO officially announces Availability of WIPO Digital Access Service (DAS)

We had recently reported to our readers that the Indian Patent Office had become a party to the WIPO Digital Access Service system. The Indian Patent Office has now officially confirmed the same with a circular issued on the 12th of March 2018 informing the applicants, stakeholders and public in general of the availability of WIPO Digital Access Service (DAS) under the WIPO-India Cooperation Agreement. The procedure of depositing the priority document as well as the procedure for making the priority document available through the DAS is provided in the official circular.

Click here to read the official document.

Last Date for submission of comments on issues relating to Working of Patents extended

The Indian Patent Office has extended the last date the submit comments on issues related to Working of Patents to the 23rd of March 2018. Accordingly, the date for the stakeholders meeting is rescheduled to the 6th of April 2018. Interested people can submit their comments to [email protected] and [email protected] through email on or before 23rd March 2018.

Government updates

Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu promises steps for quick patent registration

Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu has said that the Indian government will soon unveil a plan for issue of patent registrations in the shortest possible time towards further streamlining the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regime in the country. The minister observed that as many as 6,000 applications are being examined in a month from the earlier average of about 1,500.

While it is true that the speed of examination and the quantity of FER’s have increased significantly, it is high time the government puts in a solid system in place that would ensure both quality and quantity of examination. The pendency of as many as 2.4 lakh applications should be the top concern of the DIPP and measures must be brought in to clear this backlog that has been plaguing the patent office since quite some time now.

Patent Infringements, Disputes, Licensing and Settlements

Micromax and Ericsson settle long-standing dispute

Indian mobile manufacturing company, Micromax and Swedish telecom major – Ericsson have decided to end the long standing dispute between the two companies. Micromax has announced that it will take a global patent license from the Swedish telecom major and will pay royalties to Ericsson for every 2G and 3G set sold in India or abroad.

A judgment of the Delhi High Court has confirmed that the two companies have entered into a Global Patent License Agreement dated 26th January, 2018 and in light of its execution, have put an amicable end to their disputes.

Crocs suffers setback in design patent suit

Crocs, the famous shoemaker suffered a legal setback after a Luxembourg Court upheld the European intellectual property office’s 2016 decision to cancel the design protection granted to the clog range of shoes registered by the company. The European court of justice agreed that as the clog (the plastic shoe sold by Crocs) had made its debut at a boat show in Florida in 2002 and had featured on the company’s website, Crocs was too late when it sought a design patent in 2004.

Tinder sues Bumble for patent infringement

Tinder, the world famous dating services app has sued Bumble, another online dating service app alleging the latter of infringing two patents belonging to Tinder. Bumble was created by one of Tinder’s co-founders and distinguishes itself from Tinder in that that it requires women to initiate the conversations between users.

International Patent Update

UK ratifies Hague Agreement

The United Kingdom has announced that it has submitted the UK instrument of ratification on 13 March 2018. This adds UK to the list of 67 other countries that have ratified the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement, including the European Union, Japan and the USA.

The “Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs” was originally signed in 1925 and was intended to provide a mechanism for the registration of designs in multiple countries via a single design filing authority, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

BananaIP’s Patent / Design Tip of the Week

Effect of public display and public use on design novelty

A design is considered to be new or novel if it has not been disclosed to the public, anywhere in India or in any other Country, by publication or by use or in any other way, prior to the filing date or priority date. It is therefore advisable to abstain from putting your design on public display before applying for design protection over them.

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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