The TPP’s Reckless Proposals For Damages Will Have Negative Impact On Future Reform Of IPR Regimes

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28/07/2015 by Intellectual Property Watch

By James Love, Director, Knowledge Ecology International

This week negotiators from a dozen countries are meeting to finalize the rules for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. When or if concluded, this massive regional trade agreement will set new standards for the grant of property rights in knowledge, and the enforcement of those rights.

The TPP chapter on intellectual property covers all intellectual property types included in Part II of the WTO’s TRIPS agreement, plus some others, including not only patents, copyrights and trademarks, but also “undisclosed information”, test data for the registration of drugs, industrial designs, layout-designs of integrated circuits.  The rules in the TPP are intended by the United States to become global norms, effectively replacing TRIPS.

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Verisign gets patent for predicting domain name renewal rates

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by Andrew Allemann — July 28, 2015

The U.S. Patent and Trademark office has granted patent number 9,094,467 to Verisign for “Method and system for predicting domain name registration renewal probability”.

Simply: take a number of factors about the domain name and its history to calculate the chances of it being renewed.

Verisign has to run these calculations frequently, and not just for its own forecasting. Because of the renewal grace period, it can’t give final renewal rates until 45 days after a domain expires. As a public company, it gives some guidance to analysts on each quarterly investor call even though it’s not 45 days after the end of the quarter.

Some of the factors the patent embodiments consider:

· registration information

· hosting details that can include nameserver data, webserver data, and/or mail server data for the domain name

· domain lookup statistics for the domain

· information about a website hosted at the domain

· length of time the domain name has been registered

· number of continuous times the domain name registration has been renewed

· the length of time the domain has been registered without becoming unregistered

· status of the website hosted at the domain

· purpose of the website hosted at the domain



MPEG LA issues MPEG-DASH patent licensing call

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July 28, 2015

Alternative technology licensing body MPEG LA has issued a call for patents essential to the MPEG Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH) standards for the purpose of offering the market efficient access to this important technology. Currently used in leading content delivery platforms, DASH adaptively streams audio and video content enabling continuous viewing without freezing or stuttering.

“Market adoption of DASH technology standards has increased to the point where the market would benefit from the availability of a convenient non-discriminatory, non-exclusive worldwide one-stop patent pool licence,” said MPEG LA President and CEO Larry Horn. “We invite all patent holders to participate.”

To participate in the initial meeting for the creation of a joint DASH Licence, any party that believes it has patents that are essential to the DASH standards is invited to submit them for ‘evaluation of essentiality’ by September 9th 2015.



IPAB to hear HUL's appeal against trade mark Sun Plus

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Kerala-based Thahir Group was allowed registration of the mark for products to be sold in Kerala only

Gireesh Babu | Chennai

July 28, 2015 Last Updated at 18:46 IST

The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has today allowed a petition of Hindustan Unilever Ltd for early hearing and asked the registry to number a counter appeal filed by Kerala-based Thahir Group, in a dispute related to the latter's trade mark 'Sun Plus'.

In March 2010, the Deputy Registrar of Trade Marks has allowed a trade mark application of P C Thahir, trading as Aghin Chemicals and Cosmetics, for Sun Plus for detergent powder included in Class 3 of the Trade Mark classification. This decision was despite the opposition of HUL objecting the trade mark application, on the grounds including that it is not distinctive or capable of distinguishing to the goods of Aghin Chemicals, during the course of trade.

HUL argued that it is well established manufacturer and merchant in the brand name Sunlight and they are also owner of the trade mark Sun in all goods falling in Class 3. It also argued that the mark shall cause confusion or deception during the course of trade as both the marks are identical for the identical goods under Section 11 of the Act.

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GTU claims to have filed 320 Patents so far

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BharatYagnik, TNN | Jul 25, 2015, 02.36PM IST

AHMEDABAD: In a bid to assist the Bachelor of Engineering, Master of Engineering and Master of Pharmacy the Gujarat Technological university started a series of workshop on Patent Search, Drafting and Filing called as "Patent Clinic" at Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar.

According to GTU officials, till date 16 Patent Clinics have been organized successfully and over 320 Patents have been filed by students and faculty members associated with GTU affiliated colleges in field of IPR.

The Admission procedure for second Batch of PGDIPR has been started. In the syllabus there is inclusion of Chinese Patent System and African regional Patent system, which is first time to be taught by any University of India.


GTU Innovation Council (GIC) has started its mission for Intellectual Property (IP) literacy for faculty members and students since September 2011.

Akshai K. Aggarwal, Vice chancellor said that GTU is planning to state two new certificate courses in IPR and IP Valuation and Management. Research in engineering and pharmacy stream should contribute for creating a better world for tomorrow. While creating awareness of IPR is the first step, and developing IPR Policy is the second step, third and most significant step is managing IPR process within an engineering and pharmacy college is the setting up and running of in-house IPR cell.




India IPR Policy Update: Final Draft Circulated

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The final draft of India’s national intellectual property policy has been circulated for inter-ministerial consultation and will be sent to the Cabinet for approval after receiving comments, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said this week. Meanwhile, today public health groups in India announced that revocation of a Roche pharmaceutical patent has been upheld under Indian law.

Commerce & Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gave the update at the opening of a seminar on brand protection organised by FICCI along with the World Intellectual Property Organization and the India IP office (Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion).

Sitharaman gave few details of the draft policy, which is not yet publicly available, but said it “focusses on stronger enforcement of IPR by increasing the manpower strength in IP offices and reducing the pendency of IPR filings,” according to an official press release.

The minister showed awareness of recent pressure from abroad that India has been under regarding IP rights.

“She sought to allay apprehensions in the minds of foreign investors about the strength of the Indian IPR regime, stating that the final draft of the National IPR Policy has been arrived at through a transparent process with inputs from all stakeholders,” the release said.

The update comes as news emerged from nongovernmental organisations that the revocation of a pharmaceutical patent on a drug used for blindness held by Roche has been upheld. The full press release from the Lawyers Collective is below:

Press Release: Patient groups strike yet again: Patent on Valganciclovir stands revoked

22nd July, 2015: In what comes a huge victory to patient groups around the world, the Indian Patent office in Chennai, revoked the grant of a patent on Roche’s Valganciclovir.

Valganciclovir is an important drug for the treatment of active cytomegalovirus retinitis (CMV) infection which, if left untreated, can lead to blindness in persons living with HIV. It is also an important drug for post operative treatment for patients who have received an organ transplant. CMV can be effectively treated with oral doses of valganciclovir consisting usually of 264 tablets given over four months.

Valganciclovir was granted a patent in 2007 which prevented the marketing of low-cost generic versions of the medicine. Priced at Rs. 1,040 per tablet, the entire treatment would cost approximately Rs. 2,74,560 per patient. But with this victory, low-cost generic versions can now be marketed and made accessible to patients across the world at affordable rates.

Patents allow drug manufacturers to charge exorbitant prices and this, coupled with the medicine merely being a new form of a known substance, led Delhi Network of Positive People (DNP+), Indian Network of People living with HIV/AIDS & The Tamil Nadu Networking People with HIV/AIDS to challenge the grant of the patent on Valganciclovir.

The patent was primarily revoked on the grounds that it was obvious i.e. it did not involve an inventive step and was a known substance under section 3(d) of the Indian Patents Act, 1970. When Roche alleged that the patient groups were not ‘persons interested’ and are therefore not eligible to file a post-grant opposition, the Patent Office acknowledged that patient groups are the end users and are severely affected and ergo, had every right to challenge the grant of a patent.

Mr. Anand Grover, Director of Lawyers Collective and the representative of the patient groups in this case, welcomed the decision of the Patent Office as a “highly significant victory” for the patient groups in India and across the world.

Mr. Vikas Ahuja, the President of DNP+ said, “Drug manufacturers these days end up filing patents on older medicines which makes the medicines unaffordable. We are delighted with this decision and we hope that the Patent Office continues to scrutinize patent applications strictly to ensure access to affordable medicines.”

Mr. K.K. Abraham, General Secretary, INP+ said, “We are happy with the Patent office’s decision and we hope that the implications of this decision will benefit millions across the globe.”



Apple has patented a design for a tiny camera that could fit inside an Apple Watch

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If one of Apple's patent applications is anything to go by, we might see it start putting very tiny cameras in some of its products.

Apple filed a patent last September for the design of a 2mm-long camera that would be able to capture sharp, high-resolution images. This, the patent said, "would make the camera suitable for use in small devices," but didn't specify which of Apple's devices this might be.

We've already heard from 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman that the next version of the Apple Watch is expected to come with a camera so people can make FaceTime calls.

There's no actual proof that this patent is for an Apple Watch camera, though. Apple is continually trying to make all of its products slimmer. The protruding camera lens on the back of the iPhone 6 actually prevents it from lying flat, and disrupts the clean lines of the rest of the phone's design. Apple has even hidden the lens in previous promotional images.

It could be that Apple is trying to make as small a camera as possible so as not to affect the design of the Apple Watch too much. The idea has already divided Apple users. Some, like my colleague Dave Smith, believe the Apple Watch is most exciting when doing something futuristic and fantastic. He says FaceTime calls would make him feel like a spy. Other users think holding your wrist up to your face might end up being awkward, or drain battery life much too quickly.

Apple doesn't always create the products it patents, though, and the camera expected to be in the Apple Watch 2 could always be pushed back to a later model, or not exist at all.

The camera is diffraction-limited with a small spot size, meaning that small pixels can be used in the curved photosensor to create high-quality images.



Google fights patent trolls by giving away patents

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Last year, Google and a handful of other technology companies banded together to fight patent trolls -- creating the License on Transfer Network (LOT). It's a pretty good system, effectively protecting LOT members from patent litigation by giving all participants a royalty-free license to any patent that leaves the LOT network. Now, Google wants to expand the network's ranks to include start-ups, and it's offering new members a pretty nice welcome package: free patents.

Here's the deal: The first 50 eligible startups to enroll in Google's Patent Starter Program will be given access to the company's non-organic (not originating from Google itself) patent portal, two years of membership in the LOT program (with membership fees waived) and two patents of their very own. There is a catch, though: the free intellectual property is a little random. Google will create a tailored list of 3-5 patents based on the startup's business focus and allow them to choose two from that list. This means a company could wind up with a patent they don't necessarily want -- but a free patent is a free patent.

Even so, the free patents have a few extra rules: if participating companies leave the program before two years pass, ownership of the gifted patents revert back to Google. The patents can't be used to sue other companies either -- after all, this program is designed to help stop patent trolls, not encourage them.



Forget forgetting: Google wants to index your real-world experiences and make them searchable

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You’ve done a lot of interesting things in your life, but how many of them can you list right now? How well do you actually remember them? Google’s next version of its head-mounted Glass wearable could make forgetting a thing of the past.
In a patent awarded today, Google outlined a method for recording video using a camera mounted on a wearable like Google Glass that can be searched at a later date. In the patent, the wearable would send its video to a user’s paired phone, which would in turn send the video to a server. A user could then head to an online repository to check all their recordings in the cloud, and use keywords to search for specific instances they want to re-watch. It would essentially be like exporting one’s memories to the cloud.

The patent suggests recordings would be tagged by time and location, and that video recording could start automatically if the wearable detects the user is at a popular location, like the Louvre, or places the user has set to always record from. This would preserve the wearable’s battery life, and would avoid potentially always being in record mode.
Users could also replay their memories from their wearable, asking it questions to trigger videos, according to the patent. Users could ask questions like, “What were the paintings I saw when I was on vacation in Paris?” or “How many books did I read in May?” This would be great for the forgetful, especially for those looking to remember what happened the next day after a long night—that is, if they want to remember.

Videos could also be shared to social networks, meaning you could also find out what your friends have been up to without you. Some of the potential questions the patent suggests are “Where were my friends last night?” and “Show me people that were at the party last night?” Perhaps it would be best not to ask those questions.
While this is a patent and there’s no guarantee that Google will turn this idea into a reality, it would be a logical next step for certain products. There’s already a similar sort of searchable technology in Google Photos: If you type in dog, it’ll show you all the pictures you’ve ever taken of dogs. So it’s not a crazy leap to see how this computer vision and recording technology could be used for everything the next version of Google Glass sees. Google was not immediately available to comment on its plans for the patent.
But then, there are privacy issues around always recording video wherever you are. The patent even suggests that the technology could be used by security forces, who could ask questions like “Show me the faces of all people that were seen between 1 P.M. and 3 P.M.” to see everyone seen by a group of security guards wearing Glass. It could essentially turn everyone wearing Glass into a walking CCTV camera. Orwell would be rolling in his grave at that prospect.



Geostellar Awarded Patent for Solar Energy Big Data Breakthrough

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WASHINGTON, D.C., July 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Geostellar, the nation's first and largest online solar energy marketplace, today announced it has patented an invention for programmatically placing solar panels on rooftops or tracts of land in a 3D virtual world and simulating production over a typical meteorological year based on shading, slope and orientation. The invention forms the basis for Geostellar's instant Solar Profile, which describes the economic benefits of solar energy for each individual home based on its unique attributes.

The technology behind Geostellar's U.S. Patent #9,087,388, "Geomatic Modeling of a Solar Resource Based on Radiance Paths and a Normalized Slope" automates the process of modeling solar energy production by raycasting from each square meter of a roof to gauge shading from nearby trees and distant buildings and hills by moving the sun through the sky over the course of a year in order to "see" when the rays are blocked, then determining how directly the sun shines on the panels based on their relative position on the roof.
The patent is at the foundation of Geostellar's big-data geomatics approach, to providing affordable solar energy based on the most advanced technology.  Using measurements from lasers mounted on airplanes, the company's high-performance computing platform inspects the sunlight intensity of each square meter of area, delineates a polygon of only the best contiguous pixels, then places the panels within a buildable area. Using this patented technology, Geostellar's computers can determine system size and production, compute the cost of a kilowatt hour of solar energy, compare the solar costs to the local utility rate, calculate incentives and finally present the optimal installation and financing plans instantly when an address is entered on the website or in the mobile app. A homeowner can even test out different equipment options and financing terms to arrive at the solution that best meets their unique needs.
The patent application was filed on May 27, 2011 with a benefit date even earlier to May 28, 2010. Since then the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has examined applications to make sure patented inventions are novel and not obvious. The USPTO even tightened eligibility requirements for computer-related technologies in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's 2014 Alice decision.

"Geostellar pioneered big-data geomatics to make solar energy simple, convenient and economically attractive to homeowners across the country," said David Levine, CEO of Geostellar. "Hundreds of homeowners every day are discovering the benefits of solar energy for their homes by entering their address and pressing the search button. I'm extremely proud of our talented and dedicated team for bringing such an innovative platform to market."

Geostellar has processed more than 70 million individual solar profiles for properties across the major solar markets in the U.S. Development of an API to access the solar profiles has been funded in part by an award from the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative incubator program. The National Renewable Energy Lab compared the results of Geostellar's algorithms against field measurements by installers and determined the automated results were accurate, relevant and reliable for solar applications. The API is available to utilities, solar financing companies, equipment distributors, installers, sales and marketing organizations and software developers in the solar energy market.

"The instant, accurate solar assessment is a groundbreaking technology for distributed solar," said Paul Feldman, energy board director, advisor to several energy companies and former CEO of two Investor Owned Utilities. "This patent recognizes the important work Geostellar is doing to reduce the costs and increase the benefits of solar energy for everyone, including utilities that can use the models for capacity planning and new customer offerings."

As the only national solar energy marketplace with an instant analysis of solar benefits based on sunlight intensity, installed costs, energy production, electric utility bills and local incentives, Geostellar is uniquely positioned to support homeowners interested in going solar. Geostellar manages all aspects of the solar energy installation, from system design and financing to contracting and ongoing monitoring and maintenance, at the lowest possible cost to the property owner, increasing the benefits of solar energy for homes and workplaces.