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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: