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Friday, June 21, 2019

Where did Swedens Top 100 innovations originate?


This study has investigated how 100 of the most important Swedish innovations have emerged.The results indicate that 47 percent of the top one hundred innovations were created by inventors as employees of companies, while individual inventors and entrepreneurs have contributed 33 percent and university finally accounts for the remaining 20 percent. Companies and individuals often have a combination of technical expertise and market knowledge that allows radical innovations to emerge. Companies often may have a cash flow that sometimes can be used for funding extensive development.
An important conclusion is that the independent inventors' role has become more prominent in recent decades. Of the twenty major innovations during the period 1955-1979 25 percent of those emerged from independent inventors. Of the 20 innovations between years 1981 to 2006 no less than 45 percent came from this category. The independent inventors in other words have become increasingly important in Sweden.
Some important innovations from independent innovators:
The Respirator, Sparkling mineral water, The Screw propeller, The telephone handset, 

(Extract from report, Author Dr. Christian Sandström,
Ratio and Chalmers University of Technology, christian.sandstrom@chalmers.se  )

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Trade fairs to advance SME internationalisation

The purpose of the study is to find out how trade fairs affect the factors in theory and practice, and how scarce resources should be allocated to gain an efficient trade fair outcome.
Black (1986) defines trade fairs as “events that bring together, in a single location, a group of suppliers who set up physical exhibits of their products and services from a given industry or discipline”. Trade fairs can be roughly categorised based on their geographical coverage, i.e. whether they have international, national or local focus.  Moreover, market coverage classifies fairs regarding their appeal on one particular industry, i.e. vertical trade fair, or appeal on all sorts of goods and services from different industries, i.e. horisontal trade fairs. (O’Hara 1993.)10 most common objectives of trade fair participation: 1. make direct sales, 2.maintain contact and image with former customers 3. make contact and create image with new potential customers, important especially for companies penetrating new market areas 4. introduce a new product or a new line, fairs are a more efficient way to introduce a new product than traditional sales call 5. demonstrate nonportable equipment 6. on-the-spot technical problem solving, increases time usage efficiency 7. find new ideas or applications 8. build morale of local sales representatives 9. counter participation by competitors, enables attendees to compare own products to competitors’ ones 10. recruit personnel.
Authors Miika Kreivi, Matti Muhos, Lingyun Wang, and Pekka Kess illustrate the benefits with 3 cases from China fair. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Patent Infringement Risk-Singapore introduces Intellectual Property Insurance Initiative for Innovators (IPIII)

I talked about Patent Infringement Rik in my 2004 paper-Covering Patent infringement risks in technology transfer agreements, advocated insurance as solution.

This article analyses the emerging scenario; closing gaps between Indian lab transactions and state-of-art, liberal interpretation of patent infringements by US courts, aggressive patenting strategies of MNCs, globalisation of operations by Indian licensee’s  and advocates a mechanism to convert `uncertainty’ into `risk’ and covering of `risk’ with insurance. 

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), Lloyd’s Asia and Antares Underwriting Asia announced ( June 2019) a new initiative to support innovative enterprises as they enter global markets. Called the Intellectual Property Insurance Initiative for Innovators (IPIII), it will give innovative enterprises insurance coverage for legal expenses that may be incurred in intellectual property (IP) infringement proceedings worldwide.Under IPIII1, enterprises and innovators with a Singapore patent, trademark or registered design can take up an insurance policy with substantial cost savings that pays the legal costs of enforcing IP rights or defending against allegations of IP infringement.
More information on IPIII and Antares’ IP insurance policy at www.ipos.gov.sg/protecting-your-ideas/ip-insurance and
www.antaresunderwriting.com/intellectual_property_insurance/ respectively.
The policy pays the legal costs arising from:  • Allegations of infringement of your intellectual property - cover for legal fees to pursue a potential infringer  • Allegations of infringement of someone else’s intellectual property - cover for legal fees to defend an allegation of infringement  • Allegations of infringement against your licensee - cover for legal fees to defend an allegation of infringement made against a licensee  • Disputes between you and your licensee - cover for legal fees to ensure a licensee performs within the terms of their licence agreement.
The insurer gives 20% discount under this policy.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Public Procurement Policy revised to boost Make-In-India

Government of India revised 2017 order on local preference in public procurement.
1. upto Rs50 lakhs only the local supplier shall be eligible to bid,
2. purchase preference to local supplier where the total value is more than 50L but divisible among bidders.
3. The minimum local content is 50%.
4.The margin of purchase preference can be upto 20%.
5.Self certificate by local supplier accepted on local content.
6. supplies protected under IPR exempted from local content stipulation.

India is not a member of WTO's GPA and has chosen to be observer only.

Monday, June 03, 2019

Why India needs a reindustrialisation drive

Why doesn’t India have an industrial policy, given that even the neo-liberal bastions, its biggest critics, are seeing in it a viable response to the relentless Chinese challenge?
Instead, we are going in the reverse direction—with a 14% decline in our high-tech industry and the percentage of GDP devoted to research and development (R&D) decreasing from 0.85% in 2011 to 0.63% in 2015, an anomaly of serious dimensions in today’s technology-driven world.
India needs a reindustrialisation drive to create a level-playing field for the country’s private manufacturers and increase their R&D intensification. Consider this: The much-touted Indian services sector, which forms almost 61% of the economy, generates around $183 billion of exports, while the beleaguered manufacturing sector, the serial sacrificial lamb in trade negotiations (to save H1B jobs) with only 16%, generates $210 billion! It is clear which one is the most productive sector of our economy, and which ones creates more multipliers, jobs and domestic value-addition.
Read more on this article by By Smita Purushottam

Inventor Assistance Program-WIPO

Officially launched in 2016, the Inventor Assistance Program aims to level the playing field for inventors who have great ideas but struggle to secure patents due to a lack of funds. The WIPO-led public-private partnership helps these inventors get professional support from patent experts who offer legal services at no cost to the inventors – a boost for individual innovators, as well as their countries’ economic development. This WIPO established the Inventor Assistance Program to level the playing field for under-resourced inventors in developing countries by pairing them with a specialist to help draft and prosecute their patent applications.
Volunteers provide free assistance before the inventor’s local patent office and in selected jurisdictions. The program operates in five countries today: Ecuador, Colombia, Morocco, the Philippines, and South Africa. For the inventors wishing to protect their invention at the international level, the IAP also provides support for the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) national and regional phase entry in the United States of America and in Europe. The program plans to expand to Japan in the near future.
Already, the IAP has helped 39 inventors. So far, five patents have been granted in Colombia. The covered inventions include a device that stabilizes vehicles on wet, muddy roads, specialized kitchen equipment to cook lasagna, a machine that helps the visually impaired distinguish coins, modular furniture and an automated car covering by inventor Ivan Rizo.
Source: WIPO

2019 Emerging Therapeutic Company Trend Report

Some of the key findings from this report prepared by BIO are:
Venture Capital Investment: A record $12.3 billion in venture funding went to U.S. emerging therapeutic companies in 2018, with 95% toward novel R&D and only 5% into drug improvement R&D for existing drugs. Venture investment into innovative U.S. therapeutic companies continues to outpace Europe (5.7x), Asia (4.6x), and the rest of the world (35x) despite a record $5.2 billion for Ex-U.S. companies.  First-time Series A financing broke a record in the U.S. with 109 new companies receiving funding, indicating a robust interest in early-stage biotech.
IPOs: U.S.-based R&D-stage emerging therapeutic companies were able to raise $5.1 billion from 47 IPOs in 2018, a record dollar amount and the 2nd highest number of IPOs in a decade. Ex-U.S. based R&D-stage emerging therapeutic companies raised $2.3 billion from 22 IPOs, a record dollar amount.
Follow-On Public Offerings: Public market follow-on offerings for U.S.-based R&D-stage emerging therapeutic companies remained strong, with $11.5 billion raised in 2018 across 118 offerings (valued at $10 million or more). Ex-U.S.-based R&D-stage emerging therapeutic companies raised $3.2 billion from 28 transactions in 2018, a record year in dollars raised and the number of financings.
Licensing: Global R&D-stage licensing deals (valued at $10 million or more) brought in $9.1 billion in upfront payments, a 107% increase over 2017. Asian emerging company assets accounted for a record 18 of these deals in 2018, albeit reaching only 11% of the total funds raised.
Acquisitions: The number of global R&D-stage emerging therapeutic company acquisitions rebounded from a decade low of 21 in 2017 to 28 in 2018. A record $32.5 billion was paid upfront for the 28 R&D-stage companies. U.S.-based companies accounted for 66% of the R&D-stage emerging company acquisition targets. The number of global market-stage emerging therapeutic company acquisitions reached a decade low of four acquisitions for $2.2 billion (upfront).
Global Clinical Pipeline: Total active clinical-stage programs reached a record 6,984 with emerging companies accounting for 73% of these programs. Emerging companies have 94 marketing applications for new drugs (NDA/ BLAs) under review at the U.S. FDA. U.S.-based emerging companies account for 62% of these submissions. 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Fintech Startups- regulatory framework

On April 18, 2019, the RBI announced the Draft Enabling Framework for Regulatory Sandbox (“Proposed Framework”), detailing the proposed features of the sandbox. The Proposed Framework is a draft for public comments, and is not effective yet.
The Indian fintech sector has witnessed exponential growth and, by some accounts, is presently the world's second largest fintech hub with more than 2,000 entities operating in this sector.1 While the term “fintech” has emerged from a combination of the words “finance” and “technology”, there is no universal consensus on what innovations fall under the “fintech” umbrella. Some of the major products and services that are now synonymous with fintech innovations include the digital payments ecosystem, peer-to-peer lending platforms, crowd-funding, crypto-assets and blockchain technology, distributed ledgers technology, Big Data, smart contracts, robo-advisors and aggregators.
However, as traditional law and policy development is slow to catch up with the rapid pace of technological innovation, innovators look towards regulators to develop new approaches to support this rapid speed of growth.
In view of the growing significance of fintech innovations,2 the RBI set up an inter-regulatory ‘Working Group on FinTech and Digital Banking’ in July 20163 to study the regulatory responses to such innovations across the globe. The Group included representatives from the RBI, Securities Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (“IRDAI”), and Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (“PFRDA”), select financial entities regulated by these agencies, rating agencies and fintech consultants and companies.

On February 08, 2018, this Working Group released its report, which, among other things, recommended the formulation of an appropriate framework for a regulatory sandbox. The Working Group noted that sandboxes offered benefits including limited testing which would answer questions, before the product is made available more broadly, on the product’s concerns as well as its potential for success. It observed that the objective of a sandbox should be “to encourage more fintech experimentation within a well-defined space and duration where regulators will provide the requisite regulatory support, so as to increase efficiency, manage risks better and create new opportunities for consumers.”

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Scheme for Facilitating Start-ups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP)

Patenting is expensive and many startups do not have expertise in drafting claims. Government of India has designed this scheme wherein the startup can take service of patent expert called facilitator for drafting claims and patent application. Startup pays only statutory patent filing costs. For drafting patent , the government pays direct to the facilitator. List of facilitators can be seen here.

Friday, January 04, 2019

Technologies for Licensing from IOC RandD centre

Indian Oil's  R&D Centre is India's foremost commercial centre of research excellence in the areas of lubricants, refinery processes, pipeline transportation, alternative fuels fuel additives, engine testing, materials sciences and environmental sciences. Indian Oil holds 554 active patents in India & Foreign countries.
Example: Mosquito Larvicidal Oil composition
Disclosed is a very effective non-toxic mosquito larvicidal oil (MLO) composition which eliminates mosquito larvae and pupae by suffocating them, when the composition is applied on stagnant water surface. It is bio-degradable as well as non-toxic to plant and animals, particularly fish, in the area of its application. It poses no danger to human beings because it does not enter into the human food chain. The MLO forms an unbreakable thin film on the water surface. This film prevents the larvae and pupae present in the water from breathing in oxygen from the air above. Consequently, they die of suffocation within a short period. lit is devoid of side effects like pesticide resistance, resurgence of pests and numerous undesirable effects on flora and fauna that are common in similar mosquito larvicidal oil compositions. The MLO is an optimized combination of mineral oils and surfactants emulsifiers for excellent spreading and film formation characteristics. The mineral oil can be paraffinic or naphthenic, hydrocracked or mixture of these. The surfactants/emulsifiers are required for the spontaneous spreading of the oil layer over water surface and stability of the oil film after application on water surface.
Check list of technologies available for commercialisation here