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Friday, December 28, 2018

Improving Technology Commercialisation- strategy papers from India and USA

Towards close of 2018, we see two important strategy papers. NITI Aayog released paper titled- Strategy for New India. NIST released paper titled- Return on Investment Initiative forUnleashing American Innovation. Commercialisation of technology developed in universities with public funding is one of the issues.
What India says
“Lab to Land” time is too long. Renowned public funded institutions like the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) etc., along with prominent universities across the country, have developed many frontline technologies. However, the rate of transfer of these technologies to industry and for societal benefits is low. The major weaknesses of public funded R&D and technology institutions like CSIR, DRDO, BARC, ICMR and ISRO are their poor marketing skills and information dissemination. Some measures for enhancing technology commercialization by public funded institutions are provided below: 
1. Value addition centres may be set up in each of these institutions for (i) up-scaling technologies, (ii) improving technologies from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4 to TRL 6/7, (iii) demonstrating industrial scale pilot production, (iv) coordinating with investors to incubate entrepreneurs, (v) bridging the gap between industry and technology development teams, (vi) enabling formal technology transfer, (vii) enabling commercialization and marketing and (viii) providing technology support during production. 
2. DST should create a National Technology Data Bank in coordination with all publicly funded R&D institutions. This will provide a central database for technologies that are ready for deployment or under development. 
3.Public funded research institutions should consider shifting their focus to the development and deployment of socially relevant technologies in areas such as clean drinking water, sanitation, energy, affordable healthcare, organic farming, etc. These technologies have large potential for commercialization.
What Americans say:
Measures of technology transfer in the U.S. from 1996 to 2015 demonstrate over $1 trillion in economic growth and millions of new jobs. Critical technologies such as life-saving drugs, vaccines, and medical devices, the internet, global positioning system or GPS, and countless other innovations underpinning every aspect of the American way of life are traceable to groundbreaking work at Federal Laboratories, federally funded universities, and private sector R&D organizations. Removing impediments to effective technology transfer and collaboration will accelerate economic value creation. The PMA includes the Lab-to-Market (L2M) cross agency priority (CAP) goal, which aims to improve the transfer of technology from federally funded R&D to the private sector to promote U.S. economic growth and national security. The L2M CAP Goal is organized around the five strategies, which also serve as the organization for the chapters in this green paper: 
1. Identify regulatory impediments and administrative improvements in Federal technology transfer policies and practices; 
2. Increase engagement with private sector technology development experts and investors; 3. Build a more entrepreneurial R&D workforce; 
4. Support innovative tools and services for technology transfer; and 
5. Improve understanding of global science and technology trends and benchmarks.

Indian strategy document is silent on engaging private sector. Can government funded institutes scale up technology from TRL 4 to TRL 6 without involvement of private sector?

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

World Intellectual Property Indicators 2018 : creative economy

Applicants around the world filed almost 3.17 million patent applications in 2017. From 1883 to 1963, the patent office of the U.S. was the leading office for world filings. Application numbers in Japan and the U.S. were stable until the early 1970s, when Japan began to see rapid growth – a pattern also observed for the U.S. from the 1980s onward. Among the top five offices, Japan surpassed the U.S. in 1968 and maintained the top position until 2005. Since the early 2000s, however, the number of applications filed in Japan has followed a downward trend. Both the EPO and the Republic of Korea have seen increases each year since the early 1980s, as has China since 1995. China surpassed the EPO and the Republic of Korea in 2005, Japan in 2010 and the U.S. in 2011 – and it now receives the largest number of applications worldwide. Applicants from China filed around 1.31 million equivalent patent applications in 2017, which is more than the combined total for applicants from Japan (460,660), the Republic of Korea (226,568) and the U.S. (524,835). Those four origins, plus Germany (176,235), accounted for the bulk of the global total. However, it should be noted that only 4.6% of all applications from China are filed abroad, while 95.4% are filed in China. In contrast, filings abroad constitute 43.5% of total applications from Japan and 44% from the U.S.
In 2017, an estimated 1.4 million patents were granted worldwide, up 3.9% on 2016 figures, and represent 17 consecutive years of growth (see figure 1.7). China (420,144) issued the largest number of patents in 2017, followed by the U.S. (318,829), Japan (199,577), the Republic of Korea (120,662) and the EPO (105,645). These five offices issued more than 1.16 million patents between them – 83% of the world total.  India granted 50.2% more patents in 2017 than in 2016, with grants increasing from 8,248 in 2016 to 12,387 in 2017. Non-resident grants accounted for 85% of the total increase.

Applicants from China were the most active applicants in the world in 2017, filing 4,041 plant variety applications. This represents a 48.6% growth in filing activity for Chinese applicants – the fastest growth among the top 10 origins. They were followed by applicants from the Netherlands, who filed 3,320 applications. The U.S. (2,084), France (1,068) and Germany (865) were ranked third, fourth and fifth largest origins, respectively.
Creative Economy:  Data on the 2017 revenues generated by the three sectors – trade, educational and STM – are available for 11 countries. Those 11 countries generated USD 248 billion revenue in 2017. China (USD 202.4 billion) reported the largest net revenue, followed by the United States of America (U.S.) (USD 25.9 billion), Germany (USD 5.8 billion) and the United Kingdom (U.K.) (USD 4.7 billion)
(source: WIPO)

Monday, November 19, 2018

Agri-Startups India

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (FICCI)-PwC Knowledge Report on Agri-Start-ups: Innovations for boosting the Future of Agriculture in India, was launched by Suresh Prabhu, minister of commerce and industry, Government of India, at the International Conference and Awards for Innovations by Agri Start-ups organised by FICCI in New Delhi. High lights:

  • India houses a total of 366 agri based start-ups, of which over 50 per cent came into existence in 2015 and 2016. The combined revenue of all agritech start-ups in India is estimated to be less than $100 million whereas global market is worth $350 billion. Geographically, Karnataka and Maharashtra together account for almost 50 per cent of the total number of agri start-ups opened in the last five years.
  • Big data based agri start-ups:Development of farm-specific, data-driven diagnostics to determine soil and crop health has come up as a big opportunity area. Start-ups are leveraging drones or tractor-based solutions to get data (both on weather and agricultural) on field to determine risk. Growing smartphone penetration will enable precise decision making in farming activity, helping farmers to drive increased productivity and revenue while reducing unit costs.
  • Start-ups developed around the market linkage model: Innovations must be included to help farmers with timely and accurate estimation of sowing and harvesting in sync with consumer demand patterns. Such linkages operate at the two critical ends of the supply chain: input and output models. These models aim to link producers to remunerative sourcing agencies for procurement and to profitable buyers for output sales.
  • Start-ups developed around Farming as a Service (FAAS): Specific farm practices are being identified for provision of technological breakthrough services. Activities such as equipment renting and crop care practices are areas likely to see market traction. FAAS seeks to provide affordable technology solutions for efficient farming. It converts fixed costs into variable costs for farmers, thus making the techniques more affordable for a majority of small farmers. Its services are available on a subscription or payper-use basis in three broad categories, which are crucial across the agriculture value chain.
  • IoT enabled technology based agri start-ups: Smart farming, including high-precision crop control, data collection, and automated farming techniques, will remove inefficiencies and bolster productivity. Information on crop yields, rainfall patterns, pest infestation and soil nutrition can be used to improve farming techniques over time. Low capex for predominantly software based solutions is the key feature for such solutions.

Download the report.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Draft National Policy on Electronics 2018 (NPE 2018)- what is new?

In the long wish list, there are few statements/ intentions that stand out.

  • Admission:  Replacing M-SIPS scheme with schemes that are easier to implement such as Interest subsidy and Credit default guarantee, etc., in order to encourage new units and expansion of existing units in electronics manufacturing sector.(5.1.4).
  • Contradicting: Exempt the import duty on identified capital equipment not being manufactured in the country, to reduce capital expenditure for setting up/ expansion of existing units.(5.1.6). Levy Cess on identified electronic goods to be considered to generate resources for promotion of certain critical sub-sectors of electronics manufacturing such as semiconductor wafer fabrication and display fabrication units.(5.1.9).
  • Confusion persists: Promote path-breaking research, grass root level innovations and early stage Start-ups in emerging technology areas such as....having major economic potential, with a special focus on applying the outcomes, including frugal solutions, to solve real-life problems. (5.6.1)
  • Daring: ...acquire & pool, Core and Peripheral IPs and make them available to the Industry (5.6.4). Promote investment in mega facilities abroad, such as an existing FAB facility, including support for setting up of R&D units abroad, where eco-system exists for a particular technology.(5.15).
Download document. Comment by 15th November 2018.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

EPO guidelines on AI

EPO release guidelines on the patentability of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are based on computational models and algorithms for classification, clustering, regression and dimensionality reduction, such as neural networks, genetic algorithms, support vector machines, k-means, kernel regression and discriminant analysis.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning find applications in various fields of technology. For example, the use of a neural network in a heart-monitoring apparatus for the purpose of identifying irregular heartbeats makes a technical contribution. The classification of digital images, videos, audio or speech signals based on low-level features (e.g. edges or pixel attributes for images) are further typical technical applications of classification algorithms. Classifying text documents solely in respect of their textual content is however not regarded to be per se a technical purpose but a linguistic one (T 1358/09). Classifying abstract data records or even "telecommunication network data records" without any indication of a technical use being made of the resulting classification is also not per se a technical purpose, even if the classification algorithm may be considered to have valuable mathematical properties such as robustness (T 1784/06).

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Global Young Scientists Challenge 2018 (GYSC)

With a view to improve ideas with cross-pollination, Global Young Scientists Challenge was held in India on 8th & 9th September 2018. Science projects of hundred students from India, Malaysia, Laos, China, Russia, Philippines were show cased. International jury headed by Dr Zengpei, CIA, China selected the winners. Awards were presented by Minister for Human Resources of Andhra Pradesh , Sri Ganta Srinivara Rao on 9th.

Drone Regulations 1.0- India

Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which monitors India’s drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) ecosystem has released India’s drone policy called Drone Regulations 1.0, that dictates a process for creating an unmanned air traffic control system for running drones in the low-altitude airspace. These regulations will enable the safe, commercial usage of drones starting December 1, 2018. 
Drone Regulations 1.0 are intended to enable visual line-of-sight daytime-only and a maximum of 400 ft altitude operations. Air space has been partitioned into Red Zone (flying not permitted), Yellow Zone (controlled airspace), and Green Zone (automatic permission). 
Instead of simply digitizing a paper-based process for registering and operating drones, India has formulated an all-digital process. The Digital Sky Platform is the first-of-its-kind national unmanned traffic management (UTM) platform that implements “no permission, no takeoff” (NPNT). Users will be required to do a one-time registration of their drones, pilots and owners. For every flight (exempted for the nano category), users will be required to ask for permission to fly on a mobile app and an automated process permits or denies the request instantly. To prevent unauthorized flights and to ensure public safety, any drone without a digital permit to fly will simply not be able to takeoff. The UTM operates as a traffic regulator in the drone airspace and coordinates closely with the defense and civilian air traffic controllers (ATCs) to ensure that drones remain on the approved flight paths.
Key features of Drone Regulations 1.0 are:
Notification of Final Regulations for Civil Use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has issued today the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) for civil use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) commonly known as drones. The regulation was developed after extensive consultations among various stakeholders, and will be effective from 1st December, 2018.
As per the regulation, there are 5 categories of RPAS categorized by weight, namely nano, micro, small, medium and large.
Operational/ Procedural Requirements:
All RPAS except nano and those owned by NTRO, ARC and Central Intelligence Agencies are to be registered and issued with Unique Identification Number (UIN).
Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP) shall be required for RPA operators except for nano RPAS operating below 50 ft., micro RPAS operating below 200 ft., and those owned by NTRO, ARC and Central Intelligence Agencies.
The mandatory equipment required for operation of RPAS except nano category are (a) GNSS (GPS), (b) Return-To-Home (RTH), (c) Anti-collision light, (d) ID-Plate, (e)  Flight controller with flight data logging capability, and (f) RF ID and SIM/ No-Permission No Take off (NPNT).
As of now, RPAS to operate within visual line of sight (VLoS), during day time only, and upto maximum 400 ft. altitude.
For flying in controlled Airspace, filing of flight plan and obtaining Air Defence Clearance (ADC) /Flight Information Centre (FIC) number shall be necessary.
Minimum manufacturing standards and training requirements of Remote Pilots of small and above categories of RPAS have been specified in the regulation.
No Drone Zones:
The regulation defines “No Drone Zones” around airports;near international border, Vijay Chowk in Delhi; State Secretariat Complex in State Capitals, strategic locations/vital and military installations; etc.
Operations through Digital Platform:
Operations of RPAS to be enabled through Digital Sky Platform. The RPAS operations will be based on NPNT (No Permission, No Take off). The details including links for the digital sky platform shall be available in DGCA website from 1st December, 2018. There will be different colour zones visible to the applicant while applying in the digital sky platform, viz, Red Zone: flying not permitted, Yellow Zone (controlled airspace): permission required before flying, and Green Zone (uncontrolled airspace): automatic permission.
Enforcement Actions:
The enforcement actions are, (a) suspension/ cancellation of UIN/ UAOP in case of violation of regulatory provisions, (b) actions as per relevant Sections of the Aircraft Act 1934, or Aircraft Rules, or any statutory provisions, and (c) penalties as per applicable IPCs (such as 287, 336, 337, 338, or any relevant section of IPC).

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Sovereign Patent Funds (SPF)

In the year 2000, a new patent aggregation business emerged under the name Intellectual Ventures (“IV”). Armed with more than five billion dollars from global companies such as Microsoft, Intel, Sony, Nokia, Apple, Google, Yahoo, American Express, Adobe, SAP, Nvidia, and eBay, IV aggressively acquired patents. Within its first ten years of existence, the privately-held company occupied the enviable spot of being one of the top five U.S. patent owners. In March 2009, IV expanded its reach globally to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, India, and other countries, hoarding patents in important industries as it opened new offices on foreign soil. Indian innovators happily sold their patents for small amounts reported to be around 5000USD.As of today, IV owns a portfolio of 70,000 patents and collects more than three billion dollars in licensing fees.

Alarmed by the rise of powerful patent aggregators in the United States, governments from other countries have decided to counter with their own initiatives of aggregating patents through the establishment of Sovereign Patent Funds (“SPFs”). In the last few years, Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, and France have each launched SPFs. The Japanese government, through the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, established its sovereign patent fund, the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (“INCJ”), in July 2009. In 2010, the South Korean Ministry of Economics established a sovereign patent fund, Intellectual Discovery (“ID”). In August 2011, Taiwan created its first sovereign patent fund, the Taiwan Medtech Fund.  In 2014, China stoked fear in the patent market by establishing the Ruichuan IPR Funds.
Further Reading:

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Patent Cooperation Treaty Yearly Review 2018

Highlights from the report.

  • An estimated 243,500 international patent applications were filed under WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in 2017.  With 56,158 filings, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) received the highest number of PCT applications; it was followed by the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO; 50,674), the Japan Patent Office (JPO; 47,425), the European Patent Office (EPO; 36,714), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO; 15,830) and the International Bureau (IB) of WIPO (10,212).
  • The business sector accounted for 84.8% of all published PCT applications, followed by individuals (8%), the university sector (5.4%) and the government and public research organizations (PROs) sector (1.9%).
  • Huawei Technologies was the top PCT applicant in 2017, with 4,024 published PCT applications. With 2,965 published PCT applications, ZTE Corporation moved from first to second place. These two Shenzhen-based companies were followed by U.S.-based Intel Corporation (2,637), Mitsubishi Electric Corporation of Japan (2,521) and Qualcomm Incorporated of the U.S. (2,163).
  • Among educational institutions, the University of California (482 published PCT applications) has remained the largest user of the PCT System since 1993 . The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (278) ranked second, followed by Harvard University (179), the University of Texas System (161) and Johns Hopkins University (129). 
  • Computer technology (19,122) was the most frequently featured technology field in published PCT applications in 2017, followed by digital communication (18,400), electrical machinery, apparatus, energy (15,223) and medical technology (15,024).
  • India filed 1603 PCT applications in 2017, 1528 in 2016 and 1412 in 2015. One third of Indian PCT applications have USA as designated country. 
  • India is an attractive destination for PCT applications. Indian patent office received 25,896 national phase entries in 2016 and 27,882 in 2015. 96.4% of PCT applications received at India office had date of priority.
  •  A relatively high share of PCT filings from India related to pharmaceuticals, Singapore - semiconductors, China- Audio Visual Technology, Computer technology, Sweden- Digital communication, Japan- Electrical Machinery, Israel- Medical technology, Netherlands- Optics, France- Transport.
  •  In 2017, less than half of all PCT applications (47.6%) were published in English, followed by Japanese (19.4%) and Chinese (15.7%).

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Government seeks public comments on Data protection bill; September 10 deadline

Two weeks after the draft of the data protection Bill was submitted by the Justice BN Srikrishna committee, the government has invited comments from stakeholders and public on it. Inviting comments on the draft, the ministry of electronics and IT has given time till September 10 which can be posted on the website. 
This follows EU Bill General Data Protection Regulation.

“EU GDPR was an over-reach. The Indian law seems a bit more rational and gets the balance right between the rights of the individual and the public good that comes from the digital economy. Having said that, the clauses on processing of data on reasonable grounds should have been less vague and the bill should have defined some accountability on part of the government when it processes personal data of the users without consent,” Suneeth Katarki, Partner, IndusLaw,

Read both and form your own opinion.

Right to be Forgotten:
GDPR’s Article 17 has outlined the circumstances under which EU citizens can exercise their right to be forgotten or right to erasure. The Article gives individuals the right to get personal data erased under six conditions, including withdrawal of consent to use data, or if data is no longer relevant for the purpose it was collected. However, the request may not be entertained in some situations such as if the request contradicts the right of freedom of expression and information, or when it goes against  public interest in the area of public health, scientific or historical research or statistical purposes. The B.N. Srikrishna Committee report has laid significant emphasis on obtaining the consent of an individual to process and use personal data. The committee said consent must be “informed”, “specific” and “clear”, and needs to be capable of being withdrawn as easily as it was given. 
The draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018, has a section on the Right to be Forgotten. But the proposed bill does not provide right to erasure
Section 27 of the bill has listed out three scenarios in which an individual will have the “right to restrict or prevent continuing disclosure of personal data” or the right to be forgotten, in a sense. This will be applicable if data disclosure is no longer necessary, the consent to use data has been withdrawn or if data is being used contrary to the provisions of the law. An adjudicating officer will have to determine the applicability of one of the three scenarios. The officer will also have to determine that the right of the individual to restrict use of her data over-rides the right to freedom of speech or right to information of any other citizen. (Source: Livemint)

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Andhra Entrepreenurs

This second book by Indian Innovators Association looks at the history of Andhra — this is not a story of Rajas and Sultans but of Entrepreneurs. The market is the battlefield. More specifically, it is about the Farmer Capitalists of Andhra and their technocrat successors. 
What is unique about them? They are different; they are neither from the trading community nor from the deserts. The long prologue takes the reader to chapters on the Farmer Capitalists of Andhra, second generation Andhra entrepreneurs, an introduction to the fourth industrial revolution and ends by looking at some opportunities for smart Andhra entrepreneurs. 
“Now is the time for successors to farmer capitalists to reinvent farming with tools of the fourth industrial revolution.”
The book is currently available:

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Patent Efficiency Ranking

In terms of patent efficiency, it costs much more for the US and UK than China, South Korea and Russia to produce a high-quality patent that gets granted. Both the US and UK produce approximately 600 patents per $1 billion of research expenditure. Analyzing Patent Efficiency, converting $1B in R&D to patent grants, illustrates that Switzerland and South Korea generate the highest number of issued patents per R&D dollar.
Patent Efficiency ranking:
2. South Korea
3. Russia
4. Total EU
5. Total China
8. Canada
10. U.K
12. India
13. Brazil

Source: patsnap

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Are there patents in 1st Industrial Revolution? (IS INDIA READY FOR 4TH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION-PART2)

I raised this query in my bog post dated 19th February 2018 and VK Varun, Scientist from DSIR, Ministry of Science & Technology commented  
During First Industrial Resolution, As per USPTO, 4695 patents were granted during 01/Jan/1790 to 31/12/1840 and its distribution is as follows:
1790-1800 [117]; 1801-1810 [084]; 1811-1820 [177]; 1821-1830 [595]; and 1831-1840 [3722].
Thank u Varun. There were indeed many patents and this was discussed in the working paper: Patents and the first industrial revolution in
Some interesting aspects:
Between 1660-1760, few patents were awarded in England; it was unusual for more than a dozen to be granted in any one year. number of patents increases rapidly so that in 1800, 96 patents were awarded and in 1850, 513. Out of 72 'superstar' inventors born between 1660 and 1830, 81% obtained at least one patent in the course of their careers. 
Patent agents appeared in the third quarter of the eighteenth century. Agents offered an extremely valuable service; by 1849, virtually all inventors employed an agent (even if they resided in the capital). 
International patentsIn the 1820s, Britons obtained, at the very least, 170 patents in France (6.3 %) of the total awarded) and in the 1830s, 415 (7%)  of the total awarded. Henry Bessemer worked on the problem of manufacturing cheap steel for ordnance production from 1850 to 1855 when he patented his method. He sold an exclusive licence to the Spanish  for his steel converter for £5,000. 
Patent infringement: Work on patent cases in the Court of Chancery between 1714 and 1758, shows that there were, at the very least, forty one cases instigated by patentees. The Court of Chancery offered patentees a variety of legal remedies – most importantly, injunctions.
Patent licensing Between 1770 and 1845, around 30 percent of English patents were assigned in full and another 25 percent were either assigned in part and/or licensed as well. Many inventors licensed their patent. By selling a portion of the patent as part of a partnership agreement, inventors could obtain access to manufacturing plant and/or capital. Without sufficient capital, it is difficult to turn an invention to profit.
Many inventors made money silk-winding machinery patented by Thomas Lombe in 1718 and worked in partnership with his half-brother John and his cousin William. Over the course of the patent term (1718-1732,  Thomas made £80,000, and when he died in 1739, he was able to leave his family £120,000, a colossal fortune by the standards of the day.
All inventors did not make moneythere were many inventors during the industrial revolution who failed to reap any rewards from their endeavours and ended their days in poverty – John Kay, James Hargreaves and Richard Trevithick to name but three. Moreover, Kay, Hargreaves and Trevithick all chose to patent their most important inventions (respectively, the flying shuttle, the spinning jenny and the first high-pressure steam locomotive), but to no avail.

Patenting is not a new subject, only we cannot continue to ignore them for 4th industrial revolution too. in Part 3 we will discuss about pitfalls of leap-frogging.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Licences DPI de brevet, commercialisation de la technologie, marketing de l'innovation: Première partie, principes fondamentaux des DPI (French Edition)

Inventor and author Majid EI Bouazzaoui translatied into the French language and adaptation to Moroccan law, the first part " Basic principles of intellectual property rights (Ipr) " of the Indian book " Patent Licensing, commercialization of technology, marketing of Innovation "...
It is a unique book that goes around the topic and presents the basic principles of intellectual property law (Ipr), analyses the weaknesses of the law in the face of accelerated technology and economic development; and Even offers solutions.
This is really a reference book that must exist in every home and be reread as often as possible. I recommend it to students, professors, scientists, Phd students, engineers, inventors, entrepreneurs, policymakers, politicians, etc.

Order on Amazon.

US court rules on royalty for 2G, 3G, 4G SEPs

The court took a firm stand against royalty stacking. The judgement cited one of the key reasons for using top down analysis is that it prevents royalty stacking. The court also found that the results from the ex-standard approach proposed by Ericsson are highly suggestive of royalty stacking and lack fundamental credibility. The court adopted a maximum aggregate royalty rate based on various public announcements made by SEP owners and industry leaders for the top down calculations.
The court relied on the top down approach for determining a fair and reasonable royalty rate. It said: “A top down model aims to value a portfolio of SEPs by determining a fair and reasonable total aggregate royalty for all patents that are essential to a standard.” “It then apportions that royalty to the SEP owners based on the relative value of their portfolio against the value of all patents essential to the standard.”
Rates under FRAND:
4G- 0.45%
3G- 0.30%
(source: IP Pro Patents)

Monday, February 19, 2018


Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that the DoT will set up test centre for 5th generation telecom technology with IIT Chennai. As per budget document, the FM has proposed to allocate Rs 134.48 crore for setting up of the "5G connectivity Test Bed".  Further the minister said the government would invest in research in new areas such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics as it looks to prepare the country for the technology of the future. "Technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and others are the technologies of the future and NITI Aayog will establish a national programme to conduct research and development in these areas,".  These new generation technologies are associated with 4th Industrial revolution. Are we getting ready for the Factories 4 ?

The term Industrial Revolution was first popularized by the English economic historian Arnold Toynbee to describe Britain’s economic development from 1760 to 1840. It witnessed the emergence of mechanization, a process that replaced agriculture with industry as the foundations of the economic structure of society. Mass extraction of coal along with the invention of the steam engine created a new type of energy that thrusted forward all processes thanks to the development of railroads and the acceleration of economic, human and material exchanges. Other major inventions such as forging and new know-how in metal shaping gradually drew up the blueprints for the first factories and cities as we know them today.

The first Industrial Revolution and most technological developments preceding it had little or no scientific base. It created a chemical industry with no chemistry, an iron industry without metallurgy, power machinery without thermodynamics. Engineering, medical technology, and agriculture until 1850 were pragmatic bodies of applied knowledge in which things were known to work, but rarely was it understood why they worked. The second Industrial Revolution accelerated the mutual feedbacks between these two forms of knowledge `science’ and `technology’. Historians have labeled the years from 1870-1914 as the period of the Second Industrial Revolution. While the First Industrial Revolution caused the growth of industries, such as coal, iron, railroads and textiles, the Second Industrial Revolution witnessed the expansion of electricity, petroleum and steel.

The Third Industrial Revolution, or the Digital Revolution, refers to the advancement of technology from analog electronic and mechanical devices to the digital technology available today. The era started during the 1980s and is ongoing.  Advancements during the Third Industrial Revolution include the personal computer, the internet, and information and communications technology (ICT). The first industrial revolution used water and steam to mechanize production, the second used electric energy to create mass production and the third used electronics and information technology to automate production.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution builds on the Digital Revolution, representing new ways in which technology becomes embedded within societies and even the human body. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is marked by emerging technology breakthroughs in a number of fields, including robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, The Internet of Things, 3D printing and autonomous vehicles.

The fourth revolution is unfolding before our eyes. For India, the Fourth Industrial Revolution brings tremendous opportunities to leapfrog many stages of development, hastening its journey towards becoming a developed economy. In many ways, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is a leveller. The technologies being used in India will be the same as those in use in the developed world. Robots, AI, IoT are all technologies transforming industry in the West and are ready to do the same in India.

We missed the first and second Industrial revolutions but IT manpower gave us a strong foothold on the global platform in digital era.  Along with lure of opportunity, there exists threat of `premature industrialization’.  De-industrialization sets in for developed economies after they reach high level of economic prosperity.  Manufacturing as a share of total employment peaked at 45% in the UK before World War I, while in the US, it peaked in the range of 25-27% in the 1970s, before dropping off in both cases. But the UK and the US were both prosperous economies at the respective point in times at which this deindustrialization occurred. Harvard economist Dani Rodrik sees what he called “premature deindustrialization” as manufacturing shrinks in poor countries that never industrialized much in the first place. Manufacturing as a share of employment peaked at about 15% for Brazil in the late 1980s, and has been declining ever since. In India, manufacturing peaked at 13% in 2002 and has been in decline since then. We have a thriving service sector but need jobs in manufacturing too.

Analysis by World Economic Forum `Readiness for Future ofProduction analyses strengths and weakness of India. Of the 100 countries we are ranked 30 for structure of production but lower at 42 for drivers of production. The focus thus has to be on improving the areas where we are week. Our weakest area is Technology & Innovation. To understand this we need to reflect on Intellectual Property. We will address this in next part- are there patents in 1st Industrial Revolution?

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Life Science clusters in India

The BIRAC Regional Innovation Centre at IKP Knowledge Park prepared a study of select life sciences clusters in India. It maps the knowledge generation capacity, interaction between various stakeholders and gaps that hinder commercialisation of innovations.
Download link:

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Digital Vaccine- war on trademark

Bhargav Sri Prakash, founder of a Silicon Valley based Indian start up FriendsLearn behind the fooya! app is fighting off a trademark bid for “digital vaccines” by Boston based Moderna Therapeutics which has filed for exclusive access to the trademark for “digital vaccines”. 
“Digital vaccines” expand the definition of a standard injected vaccine. “Neurogaming and immersive VR based apps like fooya! induce specific brain activity to trigger habit formation and have been shown in clinical trials to reduce health risks and prevent lifestyle disease. At its core, this is what our digital vaccine embodies,” says Sri Prakash.
Moderna Therapeutics, is a biotechnology startup based in Boston which has attracted nearly $2 billion from investors since its 2010 founding. Among other things it partnered with Merck to develop personalised cancer vaccine.
IT companies have been referring Digital Vaccine as security packages for network systems.

Readiness for the Future of Production Report 2018

The Readiness for the Future of Production Report 2018 is published by the World Economic Forum’s System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Production. The data-driven Readiness for the Future of Production Assessment 2018 analyses how well positioned countries are today to shape and benefit from the changing nature of production in the future. Readiness is generally regarded as the ability to capitalize on future production opportunities, mitigate risks and challenges, and be resilient and agile in responding to unknown future shocks. The assessment is made up of two main components: Structure of Production, or a country’s current baseline of production, and Drivers of Production, or the key enablers that position a country to capitalize on the Fourth Industrial Revolution to transform production systems. Where does India stand?
Of the 100 countries and economies included in the assessment, there are 25 Leading countries, 10 Legacy countries, 7 High-Potential countries/economies and 58 Nascent countries. All Leading countries are high-income countries except for China and Malaysia. Overall, the 25 Leading countries already account for over three quarters of global Manufacturing Value Added today and are poised to do well in the future—which could lead to increased global disparity in production. India is in the Legacy country category, meaning there exists large structure of production but pulled down by unfavourable drivers of production, which is measured by Technology & Innovation, Human Capital, Global trade & investment, demand environment and sustainable resources. Thus India gets 30th rank for structure of production but 44th rank for drivers of production. And in the demand environment it ranks in top 5.

Legacy countries currently have a strong Structure of Production, but display a low level of readiness for the future of production, characterized by weak performance across the Drivers of Production. Historically, many Legacy countries benefited from globalization as more developed economies outsourced lower pieces of the value chain to places with lower labour costs. As a result, Legacy countries received foreign direct investment, increased market access and developed a strong Structure of Production. Whereas Leading countries score very well on Complexity, Legacy countries’ strength within the Structure of Production tends to be on Scale. With rising production costs, Legacy countries risk losing traditional manufacturing share to Nascent countries that can offer even cheaper labour. By underinvesting across drivers, Legacy countries risk not being as prepared as Leading countries to capture advanced manufacturing share in the future. Combined, these risks could lead to premature de-industrialization if they are not managed effectively.

Does this mean India's ride in 4th Industrial Revolution could be bumpy with obsolete manufacturing technology?

Thursday, January 04, 2018

FRAND rates in US Judgement

A US judge has handed down a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licence for standard-essential patents (SEPs) in a high-profile quarrel between telecoms company Ericsson and TCL, a China-based smartphone maker.   Royalty rates fixed as under:
A running royalty for End User Terminals Sold beginning January 1, 2018 according to the following schedule:
 For each such product Sold that is compliant with GSM, GPRS, or EDGE (but not compliant with WCDMA, HSPA, and/or 4G), 0.164% of the Net Selling Price if sold in the United States, 0.118% of the Net Selling Price if sold in Europe, and 0.090% of the Net Selling Price if sold anywhere in the world other than the United States or Europe; 
 For each such product Sold that is compliant with WCDMA or HSPA (but not compliant with 4G), 0.300% of the Net Selling Price if sold in the United States, 0.264% of the Net Selling Price if sold in Europe, and 0.224% of the Net Selling Price if sold anywhere in the world other than the United States or Europe;

 For each such product Sold that is compliant with 4G, 0.450% of the Net Selling Price if sold in the United States, and 0.314% of the Net Selling Price if sold anywhere in the world other than the United States. Should TCL purchase TCL End User Terminals from a Third Party claiming to  be licensed or to have pass-through rights under Ericsson Licensed Patents that confer a license covering the End User Terminal, then TCL will receive credit for that pass through license in the royalty rates applied. In particular, with regard to Ericsson Patents that are essential to the WCDMA Standards (“Ericsson WCDMA Licensed Patents”) for the Selling of ASICs, then TCL may have the option of remaining unlicensed by Ericsson under such Ericsson WCDMA Licensed Patents subject to Selling TCL End User Terminals with ASICs that are compliant with the WCDMA Standard. TCL shall then pay a royalty equal to the rate paid for the GSM/GPRS/EDGE and/or LTE Standards as specified in Clause E(3)(a) or Clause E(3)(c) of this Injunction, as applicable, for each such TCL End User Terminal  provided that such TCL End User Terminal is also compliant with any of the GSM/GPRS/EDGE Standards and/or LTE Standards while it is qualified as a WCDMA End User Terminal. For the avoidance of doubt, the Parties acknowledge the doctrine of patent exhaustion. Ericsson confirms that upon the Effective Date it has not provided any licenses with pass-through rights under its 4G patent portfolio to a chipset provider, making, using, importing, selling, or otherwise disposing of 4G compliant chipsets and components. For the avoidance of doubt, TCL shall only be required to pay the highest  prevailing royalty rate under this Injunction for each End User Terminal. For example, the 3G royalty rate for 3G multimode End User Terminal includes the royalty rate also for the 2G part in such End User Terminal.
Source: Judgement