Monthly Archives: June 2017

Global Innovation Index Ranking 2017

On June 15 2017 WIPO has launched global innovation index containing worldwide ranking in term of innovation of year 2017.[1] The theme of the GII 2017, “Innovation Feeding the world,” looks at innovation carried out in agriculture and food system. Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, the USA and the UK are the world’s most-innovative countries, while a group of nations including India, Kenya, and Viet Nam are outperforming their development-level peers.

India holds rank 60th this time. Although improving its rank 66th of previous year but still a long run to go. Switzerland and Sweden maintained their rank 1 and 2 respectively of previous year, this year also. UK dropped down from rank 3 to 5. Switzerland maintained rank from 7 consecutive years now. It has been found that slow and steadily India is emerging as innovation center in Asia.

Global Innovation Index is one of the leading benchmarking tool for business executives, policy makers and others seeking insight into the state of innovation around the world. The Global Innovation Index (GII) aims to capture the multi-dimensional facets of innovation by providing by providing a rich database of detailed metrics for 127 economies 0n the basis of metrics, from patent filing to education spending that provide decision makers an upgraded eye on innovation activities that help those countries to increase their economy and social growth.

The aim of GII is to note a continued gap in innovative capacity between developed and developing nations and lackluster growth rates for research and development (R&D) activities, both at the government and corporate levels.

 

“Innovation is the engine of economic growth in an increasingly knowledge-based global economy, but more investment is needed to help boost human creativity and economic output”.

“Innovation can help transform the current economic upswing into longer-term growth.” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry to the press in press conference regarding the release of Global Innovation Index ranking.[2]

The GII 2017 is calculated as the average of two sub-indices. The Innovation Input Sub-Index gauges elements of the national economy which embody innovative activities grouped in five pillars:

(1) Institutions

(2) Human capital and research

(3) Infrastructure

(4) Market sophistication

(5) Business sophistication. The Innovation Output Sub-Index captures actual evidence of innovation results, divided in two pillars

(6) Knowledge and technology output

(7) Creative outputs.

Global Innovation index recognize the key role of innovation as a driver of economic growth and prosperity, and the need for a broad horizontal vision of innovation applicable to developed and emerging economies, the GII includes indicators that go beyond the traditional measures of innovation such as the level of research and development.

About the Author: Mohini Sharma, Legal Intern at Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorneys. Can be reached at abhijeet@khuranaandkhurana.com

References

[1] Global Innovation Index 2017. (2017, June 15). Retrieved June 16, 2017, from https://www.globalinnovationindex.org/gii-2017-report

[2] Global Innovation Index 2017: Innovation Feeding the World. (2017, June 15). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DPdOZjqYFM

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Geographical Branding for the Mangoes from Guimaras (Philippines)

Guimaras, touted as the “Mango Capital of the Philippines”, celebrated its Manggahan Festival in May 22nd this year.[1] In fact no one will dispute if Guimaras is proclaimed as the “Mango Capital of the WORLD”, considering their sheer love for the sweet fruit, evident by the consumption and sale of varied items of mangoes, ranging right from ‘Mango Pizzas’ to ‘Mango Ketchups’!

But shifting attention from the region to the actual fruit, the reportedly (believed to be) ‘sweetest-variety’ Mangoes from the region, as reported by Manilla Bulletin[2], have finally been granted a Geographical Indication tag which will boost its export which had dwindled in the past few years owing to erratic weather conditions[3] Manila Bulletin’s report was further confirmed by the Western regional director of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) of Philippines, Rebecca Rascon.

The GI tag provides protection to the unique native products originating from that particular region in the country and therefore certifies that the mangoes are grown and produced by members of Guimaras Mango Growers and Producers Development Cooperative. The move will surely go a long way in protecting the reputation of Guimaras Mangoes from “fake” and low quality mangoes, meanwhile also ensuring the label of ‘Guimaras Mangoes’ are no longer used by other producers to sell and earn profits from; and that the consumers are buying real Guimara mangoes only.

DTI’s Intellectual Property Office of Philippines (IPOPHL) was responsible for processing the registration of Guimaras mangoes as one of the country’s native products with geographical branding.[4]

The launch of the GI tag was the highlight of this year’s Manggahan Festival, which ended on May 22. The mango festival also coincided with the 25th founding anniversary of Guimaras, which was previously part of Iloilo province.

Guimaras Governor Samuel Gumarin, meanwhile has established Task Force Golden Island to strongly enforce and make sure that non-Guimaras mangoes are not sold in the local market.

About the author : Abin T. Sam, Patent Associate at Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorneys. Can be reached at abhijeet@khuranaandkhurana.com

References:

[1] A. French, Lillberth. ‘New record in Manggahan ‘eat-all-you-can’. Philippines Information Agency. http://pia.gov.ph/news/articles/931495529552 (accessed on 16th June 2017).

[2] Yap, Tara. ‘Guimaras mangoes earn geographical branding’. Manila Bulletin. http://newsbits.mb.com.ph/2017/05/20/guimaras-mangoes-earn-geographical-branding/ (accessed on 27th June 2017).

[3] Santos, Maricyn. ‘GI seal protection from fake Guimaras Mangoes’. Banner News. https://thedailyguardian.net/banner-news/gi-seal-protection-fake-guimaras-mangoes/ (accessed on June 2017).

[4] ‘Guimaras gets IPO GI seal for sweetest mangoes’. Philippines News Agency. http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/986928. (accessed on 16th June 2017).

Headline: Dealing with John Doe Orders in India

Standfirst: In an effort to reduce piracy, the media and film industries are increasingly seeking John Doe orders against internet service providers, illegal unlicensed distributors and cable operators, say Amruta Mahuli, Abhijeet Deshmukh and Abhishek Pandurangi of Khurana and Khurana.

Pullquote:

“The injunctions on blocking of entire websites ought not be granted ‘unless it is demonstrated that the entirety of the website contains, and contains only, illicit material’.”

 

With one of the largest multimedia industries and consumer bases in the world, India’s media law jurisprudence has always attracted interest. Accordingly, in 2003 Indian finally entered the “John Doe orders era”, or the “Ashok Kumar orders era” as it is referred to in the Indian Judiciary context.

In 2003 the Delhi High Court in the case of Taj Television & Anr v Rajan Mandal & Orsfor the first time passed an exparte interim order allowing the plaintiff to search and seize equipment and devices of unknown defendants, thus starting the jurisprudence of passing orders against John Does/Ashok Kumars. While the Taj Television judgment was considered sketchy when it came to the implementation and formulation of directions for execution, the Indian courts have, in the past decade, evolved to deal with IP infringement instances.

Legislative background

The John Doe orders jurisprudence in India is still considered in its developing phase wherein the Indian judiciary and legal system are making a conscious effort to improve and evolve their laws with technology. John Doe orders in India are governed by Order 39,rules 1 and 2 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 (CPC), read with section 151 of the CPC and the provisions of the Specific Relief Act,1963 related to permanent injunctions.

Therefore, as prerequisites to procure John Doe orders, plaintiffs need to prove the prima facie case, with the balance of convenience and potential damage, while establishment of proprietary rights of the owner is mandatory. The Indian courts often rely upon the following John Doe order factors in the 2003 case Bloomsbury Publishing Group v News Group Newspapers:

“First, the claimant needs to demonstrate that he has a good arguable case against the defendant. The stronger the order, no doubt the stronger that case should be. Second, the order has to be in terms which clearly state what the defendant must and must not do. Third, it must be possible to identify the defendant against whom the order is sought. Fourth, it will only be effective against a person who, when made aware of the terms of the order, will understand that it applies to him.”

Having said that, there are certain intricacies involved, such as execution of orders in the light of technical limitations, and jurisdiction issuesaround the name of John Does identified merely on the basis of a numerical IP address, which may not actually fall within the court’s jurisdiction.

Implementing John Doe orders

In an effort to reduce piracy and its menace, the booming media and film industries have welcomed this change with a warm embrace, seeking John Doe orders for numerous movies against internet service providers (ISPs), illegal unlicensed distributors and cable operators.

On the other hand, some Court dictums have also attracted criticism for their overreaching effect. Such was the case in Star India v Sujit Jha and Ors, where the Delhi High Court passed a pre-emptive order to block 73 websites in their entirety meeting out the prayer by the plaintiff under the guise that: “It is extremely easy for the website to provide access to the blocked content through another URL since a mere change of a character in the URL string will result in a completely new URL.

“Consequently, it is extremely easy for a website to circumvent and thus nullify any order that directs blocking of specific URLs since such websites can very easily provide access to the same content by merely changing one character in the URL string. Thus, unless access to the entire website of the named and unnamed defendants is blocked, there is no alternate and efficient remedy that is open to the plaintiff.”

On appeal, the Divisional Bench of the Delhi High Court narrowed the scope of the order by restricting the blocking of certain URL links rather than the entire websites, but a bit too late—only after conclusion of the relevant sports series.

On another front, the Bombay High Court set out the protocol for the execution of John Doe orders against ISPs in the case Balaji Motion Pictures & Anr v Bharat Sanchar Nigam & Ors. The plaintiffs in this case were directed to serve a public notice stating the crux of the case and order passed by the court to the defendants, thus providing “sufficient service” to the defendants allowing them a period of four days to apply against the grant of injunction.

Denying excessive and unreasonable requests by the plaintiffs against John Doe defendants in the Dishoom case, Justice Patel strongly dissented with the plaintiff’s plea for blocking of access to 134 URL links that mostly were web addresses for entire websites, thus engraving a strong precedent that the injunctions on blocking of entire websites ought not be granted “unless it is demonstrated that the entirety of the website contains, and contains only, illicit material”.

On the other hand, the concerns raised by Justice Singh in Star India regarding setting up of illicit links on a differently named website or on the same website under a hidden or misleading HTML link or tag do not appear far from the truth as well.

The plaintiff in most cases procures the said order with the hope of prohibiting piracy of its films through various portals such as popular streaming websites, while on the other hand, the ISPs complain of web policing; finding the right balance and setting out strong precedents is therefore what the Indian judiciary is currently focused on.

Judicial guidelines

In 2016, the Bombay High Court in the case Eros International and Anr v BSNL & Others extended the requisite guidelines, not just for the executing authorities but also for the jury and the plaintiff, to deal with unidentified defendants, especially ISPs and anonymous bloggers who violate the piracy laws.

The court has instructed copyright holders to verify and authenticate the allegedly illicit links prior to requesting their blocking, while advocates and general counsels are mandated to verify these links again. Last, enforcing Order 39,rule 1 of the CPC, the plaintiff is mandated to submit all the material before the High Court as an affidavit on oath.

The court also issued guidelines to be followed by the courts while issuing a John Doe order: they are advised to review the list and verify its authenticity or delegate a neutral third party to do so. The ISPs are instructed to display a message on the blocked webpage that includes the particulars of the case and reason for blocking, the address of the copyright holder and a statement that any aggrieved person, including the viewers, may approach the court with atleast 48 hours’ notice to the advocates of the plaintiff.

This judgment also narrowed the validity of the block to 21 days, after which the plaintiff would be required to approach the court and obtain an order for extension of the ban.

Policing guidelines

With more and more John Doe orders being sought by media houses, the reality of how badly the media industry is affected by such piracy is evident, but courts are pressing towards the balance against arbitrary and unreasonable relief. Plaintiffs may reasonably limit their request for the relief sought, and the legislative and executive authorities may take a step further and establish regulatory commissions to police selected websites that are suspected of some infringement rather than completely shutting them down.

In the case of Reliance Big Entertainment v Jyoti Cable Network & Ors, the court asked the police to assist the film production companies to curb piracy without any norms or guidelines, thus granting excess discretion for the enforcing authorities which may stand to Constitutional scrutiny.

While such judicial activity spells trouble for illicit web users and websites promoting piracy, there is a new market for online entertainment platforms and streaming services where one can stream videos at a nominal cost or in some cases no cost at all. Unlike sites where there is a risk of pirated videos being uploaded, these services stream only pre-recorded or live videos and have obtained requisite licences from distributors, thereby stifling piracy.

The substantial urban population in India, who once habitually streamed and downloaded videos, books and songs online from illicit sources, are now opting for the safe sources, which guarantee good quality. Indian society and courts are trying to travel away from piracy, and although the destination seems far away, quite a distance has been covered.

Authored by:

Amruta Mahuli is an Attorney-at-law at Khurana and Khurana. She can be contacted at: [mumbai@khuranaandkhurana.com]

Abhijeet Deshmukh is an Attorney-at-law at Khurana and Khurana. He can be contacted at: [abhijeet@khuranaandkhurana.com]

Abhishek Pandurangi is a partner at Khurana and Khurana. He can be contacted at: [ abhishekp@khuranaandkhurana.com]

IIPRD among top 100 Intellectual Property Blogs- FEEDSPOT

IIPRD, with great pleasure, is happy to announce that it has been ranked as one of the top 100 Intellectual Property Blogs writer from thousands of top Intellectual Property Blog writers on IP, Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights by Feedspot.

IIPRD strives to ensure delivering and providing insights to the IP industry continuously and extensively to help their clients, International Law Firms as well as stakeholders to keep them updated/aware about the updates, analysis and insights to the recent happenings in the IP domain across various jurisdictions.

IIPRD is a premier Intellectual Property Consulting and Commercialization/Licensing Firm with a diversified business practice providing services in the domain of Commercialization, Valuation, Licensing, Transfer of Technology and Due-Diligence of Intellectual Property Assets along with providing complete IP and Patent Analytics and Litigation Support Services to International Corporates.

Being ranked among the Top 100 Intellectual Property Blog writers, we would like to extend our gratitude to all our readers, netizens as well as IP stakeholders, helping us to evolve day by day and continue to create benchmarks in the industry.

IIPRD look forward to continue with our sincere efforts in contributing knowledge and excellence to stakeholders across the industry.

NPDC Supplementary Details

Patents are a major area of business proficiency nowadays and recently in India too, it has become as important as marketing, finance, corporate governance, and manufacturing economics. India’s growing R&D operations have taken a beating due to lack of in-house professionals to file patents applications. Even then, the numbers clearly indicate that there is a great deal of patenting activity going on among companies across India. Patent Specification, besides being the most important document in the entire patent registration procedure, is also considered to be one of the most complex Techno-Legal documents. Drafting of Patent Specification is a device of great importance and thus should not be left to a layman to design it. It is extremely important to use carefully selected language to describe an invention to satisfy requirements both in legal terms as well as in technical terms. Selection of the right words may prove tricky when the draft-person is an amateur. Unclear and indefinite languages used in the specification are always likely to draw competitors, or any person concerned to invalidate or oppose the patent or the patent application. And not only is the language significant, satisfying the requirements of patentability is equally vital.

And here is exactly where the National Patent Drafting Competition (NPDC) plays a crucial role in bringing greater awareness and respect for Patents in a coveted and competitive way. NPDC through its nationwide reach will aim to promote development of Patent Drafting as a Skill Set, encouraging more and more technical people to take up Patent Drafting as a Professional Competency and also identifying and honoring Top Patent Drafters in the Country. This initiative of NPDC comes with an earnest effort by IIPRD, its associates, leading sister Law Firm, Khurana & Khurana IP and Attorneys (K&K) and Sughrue Mion. Other partners serving us in this endeavour are TIFAC, PAAI, Spicy IP, IBLJ and Lex Witness.

NPDC commences on 1st of August 2017, when IIPRD and K&K will put forth on their respective websites (www.iiprd.com and www.khuranaandkhurana.com) three invention disclosures, one each in three different domains (Electronics/ Hi-Tech, Mechanical and Chemistry/Pharmaceuticals). The NPDC will be active till 20th August  2017, within which timeframe, Eligible Participants would need to write Complete Patent Specifications (along with Drawings, if applicable) which complies with the Indian Patent Act. Please note that one participant can file only one Patent Specification which will be one domain of his choice.

Complete details of the modus-operandi of the Competition can also be seen here.

Any Practitioner having a Technical/Science Background is eligible to participate in the Competition. So for instance, the Participant could be a student, a practicing Attorney, an in-house counsel, a scientist, a faculty, or any other stakeholder having a technical qualification.

In order to enable serious participants to submit their specification, a small Participation Fees of INR 1000 (USD 50) is to be submitted by each participant, which can either be paid by means of Bank Transfer or though a DD or a Cheque in favor of “IIPRD”. The Draft should reach IIPRD’s Office by 20th August 2017.

 Drafted Patent Application can be sent to Competition@iiprd.com or can be sent in Hard Copy to IIPRD’s, Greater Noida Office. In either way, drafted patent applications should be received by IIPRD on or before 20th August 2017.

Evaluation of the Drafts would be done collectively by representatives from each International Law Firm and Khurana & Khurana, IP Attorneys, coordinated by IIPRD. Their collective decision on selection of the Winners will stand final and shall not be open to change in any manner. The Winners will be decided based on a combination of numerous factors (such as flow of the Specification, Scope covered through embodiments, Claim drafting strategy and Accurary of technical coverage).

On 1st September 2017, two winners for each technology domain would be announced on the websites of IIPRD and K&K.On around 28th September 2017 (to be confirmed soon), during the 3-Days International Pharmaceutical Patent Conference being organized by IIPRD at Hotel Hilton (Andheri East) Mumbai, prize distribution of the winners would take place form 1700 hrs to 1800 hrs, wherein the first winner for technology domain would be given a price of Rupees One Lakh Only (INR 100000) or USD 2000, and the second winner for each technology domain would be given a prize of Rupees Fifty Thousand Only (INR 50000) or USD 1000.

For any of your query/question, please feel free to write to competition@iiprd.com, and/or call 0120-4296878/2342010 and speak with Mr. R. Srinivas.

Exclusions in Patentable Subject Matter in Malaysia

Malaysia’s Patent Act similar to other countries jurisdictions excludes certain subject matter from protection under patent. Such subject matter is defined under section 13(1) of Malaysia’s Patent Act.

The Malaysian patent law uncovers some of the non-patentable subject matter relevant to the life sciences industry in Malaysia. This non-patentable subject matter in Malaysia affects the life sciences industry. Some of the related examples are: discoveries and scientific theories; plant or animal varieties or essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals; methods of treatment of human or animal body by surgery or therapy, and diagnostic methods practiced on the human or animal body. [1]

The Malaysian IP office (MyIPO) for its Interpretation and application of sections 13(1)(a) and 13(1)(b)  is highly influenced by European Patent Convention (EPC) 2000 and European guidelines for the lawful protection of biotechnological inventions.

Section 13(1)(a)

It relates in general to discoveries. Although, Malaysian patent law does not provide protection for discovery of new species, but it is possible to protect the composition/methodology of an extract obtained from new species, if it fulfills the patentability requirements.[2]

Section 13(1)(b)

It states that flora or fauna varieties or essentially biological processes for their production, other than man-made living microorganisms as well as microbiological processes and products of such processes, cannot be patented. To provide protection for new plant species, likely to Europe, Malaysia has also followed a “sui generis system”. Thus, since October 2008, the “Protection of New Plant Varieties Act 2004” is in force. [2] [3]

Practical observation on MyIPO’s interpretation and application under section 13(1)(b) in lieu with animal varieties shows that it is highly influenced by European Patent Convention 2000 and the directive 98/44/EC. [2]

Solutions

EPC 2000 provisions were followed by MyIPO to interpret and apply the provisions of section 13(1)(d) for treatment and diagnosis methods which would be beneficial for the pharmaceutical and medical. The section 13(1)(d)’s subject matter interpretation for exemption under protection has been expanded in Chapter IV, point 3.5 of MyIPO’s Guidelines for Patent Examination (October 2011).

Under section 13(1)(d), it’s been stated that all non-therapeutic treatment methods are patentable whereas surgical or therapy based treatment methods are exempted from protection. It covers all the cosmetic methods and methods which are practiced on human or animal body. Cosmetic methods includes straightening/waving of hair or any other cosmetic application on human body for the cosmetic purpose. [4]

Additionally, technical methods of measuring/recording human characteristics which have an industrial application can also be protected under MyIPO. MyIPO doesn’t allow the biological characters to be patentable. For example, artificial manufacturing of prosthetic limbs, different diagnostic scanning approaches are allowed to be protected under law. Furthermore, diagnosis approaches which involve alive organism for analyzing information that produces intermediate results and does not directs a treatment decision also patentable. [4] [5]

Similar to EPO, MyIPO believes the theory that curing any disease is same as its treatment by therapy, based upon this theory MyIPO excludes the prophylactic methods from the patentable subject matter. [3] [4]

Rooted from European Patent Convention provisions, MyIPO does not exempt apparatuses used in treatment or diagnosis from a patentable subject matter which implies that surgical, therapeutical or diagnostic equipments can be claimed. Through this insight, substances/compositions used for treating a disease if claimed are patentable. [2] [4]

Inspite of the fact that generally “treatment methods” claims are not patentable in Malaysia, still it’s possible to acquire protection over such methods through Malaysian IPO. Malaysian IPO permits to pursue patent over few types of purpose-limited products. These purpose limited products uses medical usage of claims. [4]

About the Author :Shilpi Saxena, Jr. Patent Associate at Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorneys. Can be reached at abhijeet@khuranaandkhurana.com

REFERENCES

[1] Ramachandran, Sumah. “PATENT PROTECTION IN MALAYSIA – A BASIC GUIDE.” PATENT PROTECTION IN MALAYSIA (n.d.): n. pag. http://www.bioeconomycorporation.my. BIOTECHCORP, 23 Dec. 2011.

[2] Office, European Patent. “The European Patent Convention.” Article 53 – Exceptions to Patentability – The European Patent Convention, Convention on the Grant of European Patents – (European Patent Convention), Part II – Substantive Patent Law, Chapter I – Patentability. Espacenet, n.d.

[3] “Malaysia.” Malaysia: Protection of New Plant Varieties Act 2004 (Act 634). WIPO, n.d. Web.

[4] Rights, Journal Of Intellectual Property, and Asif E. “Exclusion of Diagnostic, Therapeutic and Surgical Methods from Patentability.” Exclusion of Diagnostic, Therapeutic and Surgical Methods from Patentability 18.May 2013 (2013): 242-50. Journal of Intellectual Property Rights, 8 Apr. 2013.

[5] RAMACHANDRAN, Suman. “PATENT REGISTRATION PROCEDURE IN MALAYSIA.” BIOTECHCORP, 10 July 2009. Web.

MyIPO allocates Fund for students

A fund of RM 500,000 has been allocated by the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) for school and university students in the country to register their Intellectual Properties (IP), said Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.[1]

The ministry had been strongly encouraging the students to be creative and to patent their products before being commercialized. “The cost to register intellectual properties is very high, which is RM 1,500 and that is why we are allocating a special fund. We will assess all applications to register the intellectual properties via a new application.” he told[2] reporters after the closing ceremony of ‘IP Funtastic’ programme at SMK Sungai Bayor near Selama on April 29, 2017.

‘IP Funtastic’, the two day programme which was organized by MyIPO, aimed at creating imaginative and tech-savvy capitalists and saw a total of 30 students from various schools of the country participate in it. Students as well as teachers were exposed to application design technologies and websites via coding to develop their own IPs during the course of the programme. The same were then uploaded to ‘IP for Youngsters’, a portal and mobile application that gathers creative works by students in the country.

REFERENCES

[1] BERNAMA. “MyIPO Allocates RM500,000 For Students To Register Intellectual Properties”. bernama.com. http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v8/ge/newsgeneral.php?id=1351874 (accessed 22nd May 2017).

[2] BERNAMA. “MyIPO Allocates RM500,000 For Students To Register Intellectual Properties”. bernama.com. http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v8/ge/newsgeneral.php?id=1351874 (accessed 22nd May 2017).

IPOS launches S$1 billion Innovation Fund and upgrades Intellectual Property Masterplan!

Reportedly[1], the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has announced that Singapore is launching a S$1 billion (US$717 million approx.) innovation fund to help companies with strong intellectual property strategies to grow and expand overseas.

The Makara Innovation Fund, a partnership between IPOS and local private equity firm Makara Capital, will invest S$30 to S$150 million on each of 10-15 “IP-rich and high-growth potential” companies from all over the world, including Singapore. These companies will then tap on Singapore’s IP ecosystem to help them deepen their value creation, compete effectively and expand into the global markets.  MIF will help anchor the nation as a destination for ideas to be translated into assets and revenue by employing a ‘from Singapore and through Singapore’ approach.[2]

The IPOS has also updated a 2013 IP Hub Master Plan aimed at building up Singapore’s competencies in managing and exploiting intellectual property (IP).

The Committee on the Future Economy’s (CFE) Report had identified IP as a key driver of economic growth; and in response, IPOS and the Ministry of Law have upgraded the masterplan to support the CFE’s recommendation, to strengthen Singapore’s innovation ecosystem and shape competencies to help enterprises innovate and scale up.

For starters, a master’s programme in IP Innovation and Management, offered by the Singapore University of Social Sciences, will take in its first batch in July 2017.[3] IPOS’ IP Academy will also work more closely with institutes of higher learning to roll out IP electives to undergraduates, and ramp up training for working adults too. The number of skilled IP experts will be doubled to 1,000 over the next five years to support the growing demand for innovation expertise, and create good, well-paying jobs. Company-level engagements will be stepped up to help local innovators and businesses identify and understand their IP, and use it for growth and expansion.

Taken together, the initiatives under the updated masterplan is estimated to inject at least $1.5 billion value-add into Singapore’s economy, with further benefits as it catalyses more innovation-driven enterprises, in the next five years.[4]

IPOS also plans to step up engagement with companies to help them identify and understand their IP and use it for growth.

For example, IPOS signed a memorandum of understanding with the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) to reach out to the body’s 24,200 member firms to raise IP awareness and competencies. The deepened engagement between both organisations will help SBF’s 25,000 member companies build IP awareness and competencies, as well as gain direct access to IPOS’ suite of IP services, such as training, executive education and complimentary IP clinics.[5]

About the Author :Abin T. Sam, Jr. Patent Associate at Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorneys. Can be reached at abhijeet@khuranaandkhurana.com

REFERENCES

[1] Yahaya, Yasmine. “Intellectual property masterplan upgraded to drive innovation”. straitstimes.com. http://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/intellectual-property-masterplan-upgraded-to-drive-innovation. (accessed 18th May, 2017).

[2] Huang, Claire. “   IPOS, Makara Capital launch S$1b fund to drive innovation”. Businesstimes.com.sg. http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/ipos-makara-capital-launch-s1b-fund-to-drive-innovation  (accessed 18th May, 2017).

[3] Yahaya, Yasmine. “Intellectual property masterplan upgraded to drive innovation”. straitstimes.com. http://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/intellectual-property-masterplan-upgraded-to-drive-innovation. (accessed 18th May, 2017).

[4] Yahaya, Yasmine. “Intellectual property masterplan upgraded to drive innovation”. straitstimes.com. http://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/intellectual-property-masterplan-upgraded-to-drive-innovation. (accessed 18th May, 2017).

[5] “One-billion dollar innovation fund launched in Singapore to drive enterprise growth for our future economy”https://www.ipos.gov.sg/MediaEvents/Readnews/tabid/873/articleid/381/category

/Press%20Releases/parentId/80/year/2017/Default.aspx.

IPOS chief chairs UN copyright committee

Mr. Daren Tang, Chief Executive, Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), assumed the Chairmanship of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)[1] Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), at its 34th Session in Geneva. As Chair, he will help steer the SCCR’s discussions on developments to the global copyright regime through his two-year stint.

The SCCR includes representatives from all 189 WIPO member states as well as the Berne Union. It is a platform for members to exchange insights and experiences on copyright matters, initiate international collaborations and facilitate international copyright agreements. An example of an outcome arising from SCCR discussions is the Marrakesh Treaty which facilitates access to published works for visually impaired or print disabled persons. WIPO, or the World Intellectual Property Organisation, is a specialised UN agency.[2]

Reportedly[3], the SCCR is currently discussing the scope of copyright protections (e.g. the limits and exceptions) with a focus on (i) educational activities, (ii) libraries and archives, and (iii) persons with disabilities (beyond Marrakesh Treaty). Another issue currently under review by the SCCR is the international protection of broadcasting organisations.

A 2014 WIPO[4] study found that copyright industries contributed an average 5.2 per cent to national gross domestic product (GDP) across 42 nations, and 5.3 per cent to national employment, the IPOS statement said. In Singapore, copyright industries contributed 6.2 per cent to both GDP and national employment, it added.

It is the first time a Singaporean has been elected to chair this Standing Committee at WIPO.

Chief Executive of IPOS, Mr. Daren Tang, said, “I am humbled and honoured to be supporting the SCCR’s work as its Chair. On behalf of the committee, we would like to thank the current Chair – Mr. Martin Moscoso Villacorta of Peru – for his contributions to the global copyright system. Together with all WIPO Member States, we will continue our efforts to help make a difference, and develop a vibrant and robust global copyright system that fosters creativity and drives economic growth.”[5]

Director General of WIPO, Dr. Francis Gurry, said, “WIPO welcomes the election of Singapore’s Daren Tang as Chair of WIPO’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights. Mr. Tang brings extensive experience in IP policy making, as a key player in developing Singapore to become a global IP hub in Asia. I am confident his leadership will advance the SCCR’s work during his tenure.”[6]

About the Author :Abin T. Sam, Jr. Patent Associate at Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorneys. Can be reached at abhijeet@khuranaandkhurana.com

REFERENCES

[1] WIPO is a UN agency whose mission is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international IP system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit for all. More information can be found from their website (www.wipo.int/about-wipo/en).

[2] IPOS. “Chief Executive of IPOS elected as Chairman of United Nations Committee on Copyright”. ipos.gov.sg. https://www.ipos.gov.sg/MediaEvents/Readnews/tabid/873/articleid/383/category/Press%20Releases/parentId/80/year/2017/Default.aspx. (accessed 18th May, 2017)

[3] Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights,Thirty Fourth Session. http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/details.jsp?meeting_id=42296 (accessed 30th May 2017)

[4]  www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/copyright/en/performance/pdf/economic_contribution_analysis_2014.pdf

[5] Karekar, Rupali. “Ipos chief chairs UN copyright committee”. straitstimes.com. http://www.straitstimes.com/business/ipos-chief-chairs-un-copyright-committee. (accessed 18th May, 2017)

[6] Karekar, Rupali. “Ipos chief chairs UN copyright committee”. straitstimes.com. http://www.straitstimes.com/business/ipos-chief-chairs-un-copyright-committee. (accessed 18th May, 2017)

IPOPHL unanimously recommended for appointment as International Authority on Patent

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has received unanimous international endorsement to be designated as an International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority[1] (ISA/) under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, an agreement administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

In her presentation, IPOPHL Director General Josephine Santiago noted that the IPOPHL has satisfied the requirements for designation as ISA/IPEA. The IPOPHL has[2]:

  • 110 full-time patent examiners adequately trained in search and examination;
  • full access to the minimum documentation, which include publicly available and propriety databases, such as Thomson Innovation, WIPS Global Database, EPOQUENet, among others;
  • patent examiners skilled in conducting search and examination in the required technical fields in English, one of the official languages of the PCT system;
  • a Quality Management System and stringent internal review mechanisms, including in-process quality checks, 3-person team for search report and written opinion, adoption of patent quality manual.

Santiago said[3] the Office has the competence to conduct patent prior art searches and preliminary examination of international patent applications filed under the PCT. In addition, she presented the administrative, operational and infrastructure reforms undertaken by the IPOPHL in preparation for its ISA/IPEA application and the innovative agenda and institutional partnerships of IPOPHL in support of the designation. Santiago cited the vivacious Philippine economy and the country’s achievement of having a highly successful network of Innovation and Technology Support Offices or ITSOs and universities, which becomes a potential source of patent filings. Santiago also highlighted another promising development during her presentation, which being the recent ranking of the Philippines by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), being among the top 15 preferred investment destinations of multinational enterprises.

The Working Group on Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), sitting as Committee on Technical Cooperation (CTC), reviewed the IPOPHL’s application and unanimously endorsed it for approval by the PCT Union Assembly during the General Assembly of the WIPO Member States in October 2017.[4]

The Patent Cooperation Treaty is an international treaty that allows patent applicants to file a single application in one intellectual property office and seek protection in multiple countries. The Philippines is seeking designation as an ISA/IPEA under the treaty. There are only 22 ISAs/IPEAs worldwide.

If appointed, the IPOPHL will become the 23rd ISA/IPEA, and the 2nd in the ASEAN region. The Philippines is one of the founding members of ASEAN, which is commemorating its 50th Anniversary this year.

About the Author :Abin T. Sam, Jr. Patent Associate at Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorneys. Can be reached at abhijeet@khuranaandkhurana.com

References

[1] Application made by IPOPHL was reviewed and endorsed by the Working Group (sitting as Committee on Technical Cooperation) on PCT.

[2] News5-InterAksyon. “IPOPHL unanimously endorsed for appointment as international authority on patent”. interaksyon.com. http://beta.interaksyon.com/ipophl-unanimously-endorsed-for-appointment-as-international-authority-on-patent/. (accessed 18th May, 2017)

[3] S. Sausa, Raadee. “IPOPHL endorsed as global authority on patents”. manilatimes.net. http://www.manilatimes.net/ipophl-endorsed-global-authority-patents/326961/ (accessed 18th May, 2017).

[4] Mercurio, Richmond. “Philippines seek status as international authority on patent”. PhilstarGlobal. http://www.philstar.com/business/2017/05/13/1699295/philippines-seeks-status-international-authority-patent (accessed 30th May 2017)