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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Who owns patents in Mobile Devices in India

The report `PATENTS AND MOBILE DEVICES IN INDIA: AN EMPIRICAL SURVEY by Jorge L. Contreras and Rohini Lakshané' provides useful data. Highlights:

  • The report identified a total of 19,569 published Indian patent applications and 4,052 issued Indian patents relating to mobile devices from January 2000 through February 2015. Top eleven holders of patents  are all non-Indian, based in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.The single technology category with the greatest number of patents was communications (12,857). Of approximately 23,500 total patents identified, a total of only eighteen patent applications and no issued patents were held by three of the Indian firms studied (Spice Digital, HCL and Videocon).
  • While absence of patenting activity in India is predicted, what surprised the authors is significant presence of software patents.  3,068 patents covered software-related features such as the operating system, message display, searching, file management and ringtone management. 
  • Finally authors refer to a possible solution - One of the authors (LakshanĂ©), together with the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS), have requested that the Indian government establish a patent pool covering critical mobile technologies, and that licenses to such pool be made available to all domestic manufacturers at a fixed royalty rate of 5% of the end product’s net selling price. Read the open letter addressed to Indian PM.

Integrated Rail Energy Management System

Indian Railways plan to save 41,000 crore rupees using Integrated Rail Energy Management System. A mission statement with plan of action is a rarity in government and this is a trend setter.
Download the report

Friday, January 06, 2017

Delhi High Court Strikes Down Section 24(5) of the Plant Varieties Act as Unconstitutional

On December 2, 2016, the Delhi High Court struck down Section 24(5) of the Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act, 2001 (Act) as unconstitutional in Prabhat Agri Biotech Ltd. et al. v. Registrar of Plant Varieties. 
During the proceeding, the Solicitor General, on behalf of the government of India, argued that Section 24(5) was necessary for the public interest. Specifically, the Solicitor General argued that this section of the Act was based on Article 13 of the International Convention for the Protection of New Plant Varieties, 1991 (UPOV), which necessitated Article 24(5) because it obligated parties to take suitable steps to safeguard the rights of applicants during the period during which their application was under evaluation. 
The Court concluded stating:
“Given the importance of the Act, there is enormous danger in empowering authorities with unguided and uncanalized power through provisions that can implicate livelihoods and limit or impair food access to tens of thousands – potentially hundreds of thousands of farmers and users of plant varieties. The existence of a large section of farmers unschooled in the provisions of the Act and unaware of their rights renders unethical bioprospecting practices and spurious claims to development of new or other registrable varieties, entitled to registration, a real possibility. Section 24(5) of the Protection of Plant Varieties & Farmers’ Rights Act as cast as present may undoubtedly be an adequate remedy to prevent abusive practices (assuming that what is abusive can be defined over a period of time); yet the danger of abuse of the provision itself and the attendant (likely) long term injury to innocent breeders, framers and those in the business of development of hybrids and plant varieties far outweighs its benefits, in view of the unguided nature of the power, which is destructive of the rule of law and contrary to Article 14 of the Constitution of India. Section 24(5) of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001, is, therefore, declared void.”
Source: bricwallblog
Also read: spicyip