Braille Patents, Self-repairing phone patents, Cloaking device patents, Harmful designs, WIPO training program, IPR MoU, unique seminar on patents, Zydus v. Aptalis, Ericsson v. Wiko, Trade secret theft, Free patent search, Patent Tip of the Week and more.


“Dynamic Braille Board, self-healing screen for smartphones, Toyota’s patent on method for making an object appear transparent, Spikes for Bird and Pigeons, 2 weeks WIPO-India Training program, MoU between India and Sweden on IPR, Unique seminar on patents, Zydus v. Aptalis, Ericsson v. Wiko, U.S to investigate China for Forcing Trade Secrets, Conducting a free patent search, Patent Tip of the Week and more weekly news updates,” presented by the Patent attorneys and experts of BananaIP Counsels, India’s Premier New Age Patent Firm.

 Patent Fact of the Week

In 2015, the Chinese government rolled out an “innovative” scheme that allowed inmates to get out of jail by buying patents. The prices for these patents varied from $1,100 to $11,000. While some rich inmates did buy their way out of jail, the rest were not so lucky.

Indian Patent Statistics

There has been a significant increase in the total number of patent applications that have been published this week by the Indian Patent Office. With a total of 624 patent applications being published, the percentage of publications has increased by approximately 41.18%. While 43 of these patent applications are early publications, the remaining 581 applications are ordinary publications or publications occurring after the 18 month period. A total of 155 patents have been issued this week, which marks a measly 0.64% decrease.

Early Publications

City Previous Week This Week Percentage of change
Delhi 0 9
Mumbai 31 6 80.65% decrease
Chennai 21 13 38.1% decrease
Kolkata 0 15
Total 52 43 17.31% decrease

Ordinary Publications

City Previous Week This Week Percentage of change
Delhi 85 165 94.12% increase
Mumbai 75 79 5.33% increase
Chennai 226 209 7.52% decrease
Kolkata 4 128 3100% increase
Total 390 581 48.97% increase

TOTAL PUBLICATIONS (Previous Week): 442


Percentage difference: 41.18% increase


City Previous Week This Week Percentage of change
Delhi 47 57 21.28% increase
Mumbai 16 11 45.45% increase
Chennai 56 55 1.79% decrease
Kolkata 37 32 13.51% decrease
Total 156 155 0.64% decrease

Number of Applications published based on applicant city

Of the total 624 patent applications published this week, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi and Hyderabad have contributed 114 applications in total. Chennai and Bangalore have contributed the maximum number of applications this week also, as has been the trend in the previous weeks. Kolkata’s contribution this week continues to remain nil. The total applications for each of the previously mentioned cities are as follows – 40 applications from Chennai, 38 applications from Bangalore, 17 applications from Delhi, 10 applications from Mumbai and 9 applications from Hyderabad.

List of Cities 1st January 2017 – till date 12th August 2017 – 18th August 2017
Mumbai 901 10
Bangalore 771 38
Delhi 568 17
Chennai 454 40
Hyderabad 260 9
Kolkata 95 0

Total number of applications published by the Indian Patent Office from the 1st of January 2017 till 18th August 2017:17081

  • Early publications: 1697
  • Ordinary Publications: 15384

Total number of patents granted by the Indian Patent Office from the 1st of January 2017 till 18th August 2017: 7600

  • Delhi – 3266
  • Mumbai – 812
  • Kolkata – 1406
  • Chennai – 2116

Indian Industrial Designs Statistics

The designs office at Kolkata has registered a total of 199 designs this week. This marks a 25.16% increase from the total designs registered in the previous week. The total designs registered from the 1st of January 2017 till date now adds to 5,834 applications.

Total designs registered in the previous Week: 159

Total designs registered this Week: 199

Percentage Difference: 25.16% increase

Total designs registered from the 1st of January 2017 till date: 5,834

Patents, Startups, Innovations

Dynamic Braille Board (DBB)

Four former students of Bangalore based CMR Institute of Technology have developed a novel and noble invention that seeks to bridge the gap between technology and the visually impaired. Sparsh, as the final product is called, streams digital data into Braille real-time. The students noted that Braille books available at blind schools were bulky, as normal one-page content took up to three pages in Braille after translation. As a result, students are not allowed to take books home because of scarcity of resources. This fact got the students working on an easily portable device, which resulted in the development of “Sparsh”.

The invention is a Dynamic Braille Board (DBB), which consists of a single cell forming a rolling display that can be projected onto the user’s fingertips, helping them access the information in the tactile Braille script. The device is compatible with computers and smartphones via Bluetooth and gives the user the option of using earphones to get audio feedback to read out file names helping the user in making selections easily. The inventors are currently applying for a patent for the invention and have suggested that the maximum cost of Sparsh will be around Rs 7,000 as opposed to similar devices which currently cost Rs 1.5-2 lakh in the market.

Interesting Patents and Designs

Motorola’s patent application on self-healing screen for smartphones

An interesting patent application filed by Motorola Mobility LLC has been recently published by the USPTO. What makes this patent application unique is the fact that this application discloses a phone display that can heal itself when cracked or scratched. The patent application 15/015,242 is titled “Method and Device for Detecting Fascia Damage and Repairing the Same” and is currently under examination at the USPTO. While there are uncertainties on whether the technology will ever be implemented by Motorola, the technology is undoubtedly very interesting and something that most people with butter fingers would look forward to.

The abstract of the application reads as follows: “An electronic device includes a fascia manufactured from a shape memory polymer. One or more thermal elements can be disposed adjacent to the fascia or integrated into the fascia. One or more processors can be operable with the one or more thermal elements to detect deformation along at least a portion of the fascia and cause the one or more thermal elements to selectively apply heat to the shape memory polymer along at least a portion of the fascia to reverse at least some of the deformation.”

The independent claim of the patent application reads: “An electronic device, comprising: a fascia comprising a shape memory polymer; one or more thermal elements disposed adjacent to the fascia; and one or more processors operable with the one or more thermal elements, the one or more processors to: detect deformation along at least a portion of the fascia; and cause the one or more thermal elements to selectively apply heat to the shape memory polymer along the at least a portion to reverse at least some of the deformation.

Note: Patent abstract and claim language has been reproduced as is from the patent document, and has not been corrected.

 Toyota files for a patent on technology capable of making objects appear transparent

Another very interesting patent application published by the USPTO recently discloses a technology that claims to be able to make an object appear transparent. The patent application numbered 15/185,988 has been filed by Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. and is titled “APPARATUSES AND METHODS FOR MAKING AN OBJECT APPEAR TRANSPARENT.”

The abstract of the application reads – “A cloaking device includes cloaking region boundary planes oriented non-planar to each other, each of the cloaking region boundary planes having an outward facing mirror surface and an inward facing opaque surface. The cloaking device includes a cloaking region bounded at least partially by the inward facing opaque surfaces of the cloaking region boundary planes. Half mirrors are spaced apart and generally parallel to the outward facing mirror surfaces such that a half mirror is spaced apart and generally parallel to each outward facing mirror surface. Light from an object on an object-side of the cloaking device is directed around an article within the cloaking region and forms an image on an image-side of the cloaking device such the article appears transparent to an observer looking towards the object.”

The independent claim in the application reads – “A cloaking device comprising: an object-side and an image-side; a cloaking region (CR) boundary plane having an outward facing mirror surface and an inward facing opaque surface; a CR at least partially bounded by the inward facing opaque surface of the CR boundary plane; a half mirror spaced apart and generally parallel to the outward facing mirror surface; wherein light from an object located on the object-side of the cloaking device and obscured by the CR is redirected around the CR to form an image of the object on the image-side of the cloaking device such that the light from the object appears to pass through the CR.”

 Note: The abstract and claim from the patent document has been reproduced as is, and has not been corrected.

While the technology would not make an entire pillar or car disappear, the system would render the roof pillars of a car virtually invisible, providing an unobstructed 360-degree view for the driver.

Interesting Design Patents (Industrial Designs)

Spikes for Bird and Pigeons

Ayodel India Private Limited, a Delhi based company has been granted a design registration by the Designs Office at Kolkata over an article named “Spikes for Bird and Pigeons.” What is peculiar about this design is that the article is capable of stirring an interesting debate. While it may be argued that the article is intended to keep the birds and pigeons away, the article is likely to achieve this by causing some kind of harm or injury to the birds.

The design numbered 294118 has been registered under class 30-99 relating to Articles for the care and handling of animals. Speak of irony! A photograph of the article can be seen below.

This image is a photograph of the registered design titled "spikes for bird and pigeon"

Patent Office Updates

2 week WIPO-India Training program at RGNIIPM Nagpur

WIPO Academy, the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of IP Management, Nagpur (RGNIIPM) and the Maharashtra National Law University Nagpur (MNLUN) will be organizing a two week summer school program on Intellectual Property (IP) at Nagpur from November 6th to November 17th, 2017. The last date for registrations to the program ends on August 31st, 2017. Further details of the program are available here.

Request for Certified Copies of Designs, now available on e-filing portal

 In a progressive step towards revamping the facilities under the designs e-filing portal, the designs office has now provided applicants with the facility to file a request for issue of Certified Copies of Designs online. This facility is likely to benefit a number of applicants who were earlier forced to file these requests in physical forms and the exchange of these forms with the Designs office in itself would waste a lot of the applicant’s crucial time.

Government updates

Cabinet clears MoU between India and Sweden on IPR

The Union Cabinet recently cleared a MoU between India and Sweden on intellectual property right (IPR) cooperation, aimed at benefiting entrepreneurs, investors and businesses. The MoU it is said, aims to establish a wide-ranging and flexible mechanism through which both countries can exchange best practices and work together on training programmes and technical exchanges to raise awareness on IPRs and better protect intellectual property rights.

As part of the MoU, a joint coordination committee with members from both sides will be established to exchange best practices, experiences and knowledge on IP awareness among the public, businesses and educational institutions of India and Sweden.

Among others, there will also be collaboration for training programmes, technical and expertise exchanges, exchange on best practices, experiences and IP knowledge with the industry, universities, research and development organisations and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Patent Seminars, Conferences, Conclaves

Unique seminar on patents to be held on September 22, 2017 at Bangalore

BananaIP (BIP) Counsels is organizing a unique seminar on patents for corporate inventors on 22nd September, 2017, at Bangalore, India. Unlike the traditional patent seminars, the program intends to do away with lectures and talks and instead focus on participative teaching and learning methods such as story weaving, role plays, narratives and simple problem solving techniques. You may learn more about the event on:

Patent disputes, infringement and settlements

Zydus settles patent dispute with Aptalis over an important drug

Pharma major Zydus, has announced that all litigation with Aptalis in respect of Aptalis’ drug Canasa used for treatment of ulcerative colitis has been settled and that the company’s US subsidiary, Zydus Pharmaceuticals (USA) Inc, will be able to market its generic version of Canasa in the United States beginning on June 13, 2019, or earlier under certain circumstances.

Zydus Cadila had earlier received tentative approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) to market its generic version of Canasa.

Ericsson sues Wiko over patent infringement

Swedish mobile major Ericsson has sued French-Chinese smartphone maker Wiko for infringement of standard-essential patents for 2G, 3G and 4G technology belonging to Ericsson.

Ericsson has alleged that Wiko has been infringing its patents for six years, despite attempts by Ericsson to establish a license agreement under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms (FRAND). While other details including the quantum of damages sought have not been made public yet, the numbers are likely to be high given that Ericsson’s intellectual property portfolio (IRP), which includes over 42,000 granted patents worldwide, covers 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE technologies and yields around 867 million USD annually.

Trade secrets

U.S to investigate China for Forcing Trade Secrets from U.S companies

US President, Donald Trump has signed an executive action asking the trade office to explore a possible investigation into China for the alleged theft of American technology and intellectual property. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has been ordered by the president to investigate whether China is demanding U.S. companies to divulge trade secrets to trade in the Chinese market.

BananaIP Patent Updates

BananaIP announces a Unique Seminar on Patents for Corporate Inventors

BananaIP (BIP) Counsels is organising a unique seminar on patents for corporate inventors on September 22, 2017 at ITC Gardenia in Bangalore. The seminar titled “The Strategic Inventor,” is a first of its kind program to help companies generate business and competitive value driven Patents from their inventors. The program is aimed at helping corporate inventors create patentable and risk free inventions that address a company’s business goals, and further its competitive value in the marketplace.

You may learn more about the event on BananaIP’s website:

For more information on the seminar, you may write to Ms. Ragini, [email protected]

BananaIP’s Patent Tip of the Week

Free patent search

Inventors and entrepreneurs often look to cut costs by performing their own patent search. While there is no harm in doing so, inventors and entrepreneurs must try to eliminate the inherent bias to overlook patents that closely relate to the invention at hand. Even though there can’t be a true comparison between a patent search done by an inventor and a patent search done by a professional searcher, approaching the latter might be a good idea. Having said that, listed here are a few free patent search databases that inventors and entrepreneurs can use to conduct a patent search.

  • Google Patents: Yes! Google does offer a free patent search tool.
  • Espacenet: The European Patent Office offers Espacenet as a free tool for beginners and experts to perform patent searches for inventions and technical developments.
  • Offered by WIPO, this patent search tool allows you not only to search the PCT database of about 2 million International Applications but also the worldwide patent collections.
  • Free Patents Online: The FPO database is a nearly complete repository of hundred and thousands of patents and is one of the easiest to use when performing a patent search.

Author: BIP 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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