Category Archives: News & Updates

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.

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)

Division Bench of Delhi HC stays restoration of Monsanto license agreements with Nuziveedu Seeds

In the light of the recent order by Division Bench of Delhi High Court, this is an update to author’s prior blog dated April 5 2017 pertaining to the legal dispute between Nuziveedu Seeds and Mosanto.

US-based agro major Monsanto Technology LLC and Hyderabad-based seed manufacturer Nuziveedu seeds had been locked in a long-term licensing agreement whereby Nuziveedu Seeds was entitled to use Monsanto’s patented seed technology – Bollgard II, for which Monsanto received a patent in 2009 (Patent Number- 232681, granted on 20th March 2009) in India, for its ability to modify cotton seeds to include a microbe- Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which fortifies cotton plants against bollworms. In lieu of making use of this technology, Nuziveedu Seeds was required to pay trait fees to Monsanto.

However in November 2015, MMBL (Mahyco Monsanto Biotech Ltd), a joint venture through which Monsanto sells cotton seeds in India and has sub-licensed Bt cotton seed technology since 2002 to various domestic seed companies, terminated the license agreements of Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd. and its subsidiaries – Prabhat Agri Biotech Ltd and Pravardhan Seeds Private Ltd on account of what it said continued refusal to pay contractually agreed trait fees amounting to more than $20 million.

Monsanto later sued Nuziveedu Seeds (and its subsidiaries) for continuing to sell cotton seeds using its patented Bt technology, even after the termination of the license agreements in 2015. Dismissing the claim, the single judge (Justice R.K. Gauba) on March 28 had held (order) that the license agreements allowing Nuziveedu Seeds to use Monsanto’s patented seed technology still continued to be in force and binding on both parties.

This decision allowed Nuziveedu to continue to use Monsanto’s genetically modified cotton seed technology and had directed the license agreements between the two companies to be modified as per the GM Technology Licensing Agreement found in the Licensing and Formats for GM Technology Agreement Guidelines, 2016.

The court had also held that all future royalty payments for the use of Monsanto’s patents were to be made as per the cotton seed price control order issued by the central government. The 2015 price control order reduces the cost of cotton seeds by 74 per cent, from Rs 163 to Rs 43 per packet (exclusive of taxes)[1].

Monsanto appealed against this single-judge order passed on March 28 which had held that the termination of its license agreements with Nuziveedu was illegal and arbitrary in nature.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, counsel for Monsanto, argued that the single judge could not pass a direction to restore inter-party contracts that had been terminated by one of the companies[2].

The Division bench of Hon’ble Delhi High Court granting interim relief to Monsanto, stayed its single judge’s order reinstating a sub-licence between US-based agro major Monsanto Technology and three Indian seed companies, which the foreign entity had terminated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tanu Goyal, Patent Associate at IIPRD and can be reached at: tanu@khuranaandkhurana.com.

[1]http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/high-court-stays-restoration-of-monsanto-agreements-with-nuziveedu-seeds-117041000803_1.html

[2]http://www.livemint.com/Companies/DvBDJEMcG9GXATm9JADOLL/Delhi-HC-stays-restoration-of-Monsantos-sublicence-pact-wi.html

Early publication of patent application under the Indian patent law system

Publication of a patent application is one of the prime stages in the process of getting a patent. The publication date of the patent application is considered of a specific significance because the applicants’ advantages as well as rights start from the publication date. Even though the applicant cannot seek any infringement proceedings till the patent is granted.

Generally, the patent application is published in the Official Patent Office Journal automatically after 18 months from the date of filing of the application or the priority claimed date, whichever is earlier. It is to be noted that only complete applications are published, whereas the provisional applications, unless filed as a complete after provisional (CAP) application (i.e., complete application before the expiry if 12 month form the filing date of the provisional application), are neither published nor examined by the Patent Office. The provisional application will be deemed abandoned at the expiry of the 12 month period if a CAP application is not filed.

The provision for early publication is given under Section 11A(2) of the Indian Patents Act, 1970, which states that “The applicant may, in the prescribed manner, request the Controller to publish his application at any time before the expiry of the period prescribed under sub‑section (1)1 and subject to the provisions of sub‑section (3)2, the Controller shall publish such application as soon as possible”.

Thus, a request for early publication can be made by filing a Form 9 along with a payment of fees of INR 2500 (if applicant is a natural person/startup) or INR 6250 (if applicant is a small entity) or INR 12500 (if applicant is other than natural person/startup or small entity). Under rule 24A, and upon the request for early publication, the application will normally be published within 1 month from the date of such request.

It is important to note that the provision to file the request for early publication for any patent application is available ONLY to the Applicant of the patent application, whereas any other person, apart from the Applicant of the patent application, cannot file such request for any reason whatsoever.

Advantages of early publication:

Reducing prosecution time. Examination of a patent application takes place only after publication of the patent application (subject to the queue position of the application pending examination and filing of request for examination by way of Form 18). Provided that if an Applicant files a complete application in the first instance along with Form 18 and Form 9, the Applicant stands to advance prosecution time by approximately 17 months. In another example, if the Applicant files a CAP along with Form 18 and Form 9 at the 12 month deadline, the Applicant stands to advance prosecution time by approximately 5 months.
Start time of patentee rights. A patentee can institute a suit or other proceeding for infringement against the infringing party only after grant of the patent, however, the rights start accruing only after the publication date. Therefore, in the instance of early publication, the applicant gets “extra” time for which damages may be claimed from potential infringers.
Prior art: A patent application does not become prior art until it is published, i.e. it becomes a prior art only after 18 months from the date of filing of the application or the priority claimed date, whichever is earlier. An applicant interested in securing his patent rights at the earliest can take advantage of detracting his competitors by making his invention/application public at the earliest instance.
Discouraging competitors: Early publication allows the applicant to advertise to potential competitors that a particular subject matter is already a subject of the patenting process. This may serve to detract the competitor from coming up with a similar product or process. However, with India following first-to-file system, the utility of this advantage has diminished and of limited value.
Disadvantages of early publication:

Fees: Though the fees for filing a request for early publication (as stated above) is not significant, however, for many individual or small entities, the amount may not be trivial and represents a cost over and above the regular fees.
Withdrawal of application: Under normal procedure, the applicant has upto the 15th month from priority date to withdraw the application. However, with early publication, depending upon when the request is made, the Applicant’s choice to withdraw may be greatly curtailed.
Pay-to-play: The early publication feature allows those with financial wherewithal to leapfrog the examination queue in part by eliminating or substantially decreasing the latency time while the application is not published. This may be unfair to applicants who otherwise cannot avail of this opportunity.
Risk of pre-grant opposition: A pre-grant opposition can be filed by any person upon publication of the application and at any time before grant of the patent if the prescribed examination fee has been paid. Thereby, early publication certainly gives more time for the opponents for pre-grant opposition.
Overall, it can be appreciated that based on the strategy of the Applicant and his interest, the provision of early publication can be exercised at the Applicants discretion to maximize the value of the patent.

It should be noted that given the long pendency of applications currently awaiting examination at the Indian Patent Office, early publication just might be a relatively non-expensive method (for those who can afford it) to expedite the prosecution process.

1Section 11A(1): Save as otherwise provided, no application for patent shall ordinarily be open to the public for such period as may be prescribed.

2Section 11A(3): Every application for a patent shall, on the expiry of the period specified under sub‑section (1), be published, except in cases where the application-(a) in which secrecy direction is imposed under section 35; or (b) has been abandoned under sub‑section (1) of section 9; or (c) has been withdrawn three months prior to the period specified under sub‑section (1).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mr. Amitavo Mitra, Patent Agent and Sr. Patent Associate at Khurana and Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorneys. Views expressed in this article are solely of the author and do not reflect the views of either of any of the employees or employers.

Queries regarding this may be directed to amitavo@khuranaandkhurana.com or swapnils@khuranaandkhurana.com

Injunction against Cipla COPD Drug ‘INDAFLO’ Upheld: Delhi High Court

Reportedly, on an appeal filed by Cipla pertaining to COPD drug INDAFLO, the Delhi High court division bench maintained the interim injunction imposed by single judge against Cipla.  As per the order, Cipla has now been restrained from, inter alia, using, manufacturing, importing, selling any pharmaceutical products etc. containing ‘INDACATEROL‘ or ‘INDACATEROL Maleate‘, alone or in combination with any other compound or Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) leading to the infringement of Novartis patent over INDACATEROL.

Background:

INDACATEROL is a bronchodilator and used in the treatment of the patients suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The drug has been protected and patented by Novartis under Patent no. 222346 and Novartis markets the drug in India through Lupin under the trade name “ONBREZ”. However, Cipla had launched a generic version of the drug with the trade name ‘UNIBREZ’ to which Novartis filed a trademark infringement suit and Cipla agreed to change the trade name to ‘INDAFLO’. Further, Novartis moved to Delhi High Court to seek permanent injunction against manufacturing and selling of INDAFLO and thereby stopping Cipla to infringe its patent over this drug. Hon’ble Single Judge Justice Manmohan Singh passed order for interim injunction against Cipla, until the decision on the application for compulsory license to manufacture and sell INDAFLO is decided by the respective authority.

Being aggrieved by the order of the Learned Single Judge, Cipla filed an appeal challenging the interim injunction.

Arguments and Observations:

Cipla contended and relied on Section 48 (Rights of the Patentees) of the Patent Act 1970, referring to the wordings as mentioned in Section 48 “subject to other provisions in the Act” to be viewed in the light of Section 83 (dealing with General Principles applicable to working of patented inventions) of this Act.

Taking Sections 48 and 83 of the Patents Act, Cipla argued that since Novartis does not manufacture the drug in India and therefore Novartis does not comply with the principles under Section 83. The court rejected this argument stating that Section 83 has no relevance as far as Rights of Patentees as mentioned under Section 48 is concerned.

As per the bench of two judges, Section 83 begins with the words ‘without prejudice to the other provisions contained in this Act’ meaning that Section 83 is without prejudice to any sections in this Act which includes Section 48 as well and further it has been stated that Section 83 belongs to the different chapter of the Act and therefore this does not have an effect on the rights awarded to the patentee under Section 48 of this Act.

Cipla has further argued that since Novartis does not practice the patent in India as it imports the drug in limited quantities and market through Lupin, Cipla should not be restricted to manufacture and sell its generic version. Taking the 2002 case Telemecanique in light, the bench of the two judges rejected the Cipla’s claim, stating that the working of the patent need not compulsorily imply to only manufacture in India, however, the patent can be exercised by even importing the products. However, the court at this stage concluded that on the basis of data submitted by Novartis, sufficient quantities are imported in India since other drugs for treating COPD are also available in the market and also INDACATEROL does not fall in the category of Life Saving Drug.

Cipla further argued on the grounds of “public interest” that Novartis is not importing the sufficient quantity of the drug and also the drug marketed by Novartis is approx. 5 times as expensive as compared to Cipla’s generic version. Cipla argued that pubic interest would not be served in case the injunction is allowed to remain and contended that while granting an injunction “public interest” has to be considered as one of the four aspects (in addition to prima facie case, balance of convenience and irreparable harm and injury).  To which, the court rejected this plea stating that “public interest” is only one of the four factors to be considered while granting an injunction. Further, the bench brought it to the notice that Cipla in this case till now has not even proved that the grant of injunction against Cipla would really harm the public interest. Whereas, Novartis has duly established the validity of the patent and the revocation of the interim injunction in this case, would cause irreparable injury to Novartis under their rights as Patentees as mentioned under section 48 of Indian Patent Act.

Judgment:

Therefore, the bench maintained the interim injunction passed by Hon’ble Judge Manmohan Singh judgment and refused to interfere with the impugned judgment proving to be a disappointment for Cipla in the respiratory drugs market.

About the Author: Ankur Gupta, Lead Operations-Hyderabad, IIPRD and can be reached at: ankurg@iiprd.com

Hidden Figures: Panasonics’s Invisible Television

Entertainment has had various developmental dimensions in each decade. From sitting under the sky and watching plays in person, to the same developing as a career. Then we evolved the idea of television, channelizing frequencies to look at people on a screen. Being black and white initially, we have seen added colours, LCD and LED screens, touch screens, Smart TV, HD quality, sleek displays, flat-screens, plasmas, flexible and curved screens and what not. From a mere mode of amusement and leisure, it has become a dominant accessory of our living rooms or bedrooms. A plethora of developments have taken place in the Television industry, but a major development was triggered by Panasonic’s out of the box thinking (quite literally) and has made the box vanish completely! It has come up with its next big thing: the Invisible Television.

Technology involved:

The invisible TV, in its current form, is composed of OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes). It is a flat light emitting technology made with a series of organic thin films placed between two conductors, and they work when electricity is applied through them, and a bright light is emitted. It is organic because it is made of carbon and hydrogen, and no bad metals.

Composition of OLED:

Untitled

The basic structure of an OLED is an emissive layer sandwiched between a cathode (which injects electrons) and an anode (which removes electrons). More layers may be used in modern devices for efficiency and durability, but the fundamental functionality remains the same. An OLED panel is made from a substrate, backplane (electronics – the driver), the frontplane (organic materials and electrodes), and an encapsulation layer. Due to high sensitivity of OLEDs to oxygen and moisture, therefore the encapsulation layer is critical. It does not require backlight and filters, unlike LCD displays, and is much thinner.

Is it real?

Most definitely it is. Panasonic’s display of the prototype of its invisible TV in the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada recently has become a rage in the whole world. It’s like a plain glass pane, you can see through it, and it’ll camouflage in whichever room you place it. Installation in showcases would justify its presence, or absence if you may. It can be operated by a remote control or hand gestures or voice commands. An OLED TV is made from millions of pixels, each made from red, green and blue tiny OLED materials.

How it works?

Since it is a transparent television, all elements used in it are transparent: cathode, anode and substrate. The best part of OLED pixels is that they do not need a separate backlight. They are self-illuminating, and are turned on when electricity is supplied through them. It is made up of layers of OLED pixels sandwiched between two glass substrates (cathode and anode). It requires minimal electricity to run, thereby making it a power saver. The panel can be incredibly thin due to the low electricity requirement, making it practically invisible.  When the panel is on, these self-illuminating pictures produce a picture, and when the screen is off, the components go back to transparency.

Existing technology:

The current technologies used in televisions are many: HDTV, LED, LCD, etc. OLED is also being used in TVs and mobile phones. The awakening of the LED technology has outsmarted every other technology used in the making of TV. The TVs manufactured by the use of this technology cover a very wide price range. Although OLED is comparatively expensive, but is predicted to be cheaper in future considering its simplicity. But the invisible television developed by Panasonic is something absolutely new and attractive.

Merits:

OLED displays have certain advantages over LCD displays. They are as under:

  • Image quality- Improved: better contrast, higher brightness, fuller viewing angle, a wider color range and much faster refresh rates.
  • Power consumption- Lower.
  • Design- Simple: enables ultra thin, flexible and transparent displays.
  • Durability- Better: can operate under a broader temperature range.
  • Green Scheme: uses carbon and hydrogen, and no bad metals.
  • Weight and width: lighter and thinner.
  • Viewing Angle- Better: almost 170-180 degrees.

Demerits:

Despite reaching this stupendous pedestal, some things are still holding us back.

  • Costs: Initially it may be ranged on the higher end of costs, due to low production capacity, which hopefully may change in near future.
  • Damage: It may be prone to getting easily damaged by water and direct sunlight.
  • Lifetime: red and green OLED films have a longer lifetime, but the blue ones have a shorter span.

CONCLUSION:

The invisible TV is ahead of its time, and if launched in the market, it will have a fair batch of potential buyers. This technology would indeed be very well used for uplifting the economy. For instance, it can be used for hospitals for enhancing and simplifying the processes and equipments. X-rays, scans, etc will be extremely elementary and faster. When applied for schooling purposes, it can help children learn better. It will definitely make life easier if absorbed properly by the hospitals and schools due to the sleek design and less weight. If made portable, in small sizes for efficacy of work in the fields, the economy will prosper excessively.  Hence, this invention is being counted upon for a lot of things it can do.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Ms. Aditi Tiwari, an intern at Khurana and Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorneys. Views expressed in this article are solely of the intern and do not reflect the views of either of any of the employees or employers.

Queries regarding this may be directed to swapnils@khuranaandkhurana.com

REFERENCES:

Delhi High Court sought Explanation through Counter Affidavit over Repudiation of Patent application for Xtandi

Xtandi, the wonder drug for prostate cancer, was developed at UCLA, Los Angeles, by the innovation of NIH and Department of Defense grants. The drug was later licensed to Medivation, a biopharma company, which in October 2009 struck a deal with Japanese Astellas Pharma to collaborate on developing and commercializing Xtandi. The two companies now work in partnership to market the drug in US while Astellas Pharma is entrusted with the commercialization of the drug even outside US. The rights to Xtandi were later taken over by Pfizer Inc as a part of Medivation acquisition in August 2016.

In the current scenario, Astellas Pharma, which sells Xtandi in India (a country where most of the people that require the drug make just over $4 per day), is condemned for making the drug available to the Indian metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer patients at a whopping price of 335,000 rupees or about $5014.60 US Dollars for 112 capsules (a monthly supply), translating to roughly $180 or Rs. 11,000 per day. To this condemnation, the Japanese Pharma giant responded by saying that the cost has been fixed to recuperate the cost of innovation and is commensurate with patient benefit. The blockbuster drug currently nets nearly $3 billion in worldwide sales[1].

The patent application towards Xtandi, titled “DIARYHDANTOIN COMPOUNDS”, was duly filed by UCLA with Delhi Patent Office on December 13, 2007 (Application Number – 9668/DELNP/2007). The application was rejected by the Delhi Patent Office in November 2016. Hitherto, the varsity has been granted patent for this innovation in over 50 jurisdictions across the world since 2007. The rejection of the patent application in India came in the wake of a large array of pre-grant oppositions that were filed by a clutch of companies[2] like Fresenius Kabi on December 12, 2012, BDR pharma on July 24, 2013, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, and a few individuals -Mr.Umesh Shah and Ms. SheelaPawar on the following grounds of the Indian Patents Act:

  1. Section 25(1)(e) – Lack of Inventive Step
  2. Section 25(1)(f) – Not inventive (u/s 3(d) and u/s 3(e))
  3. Section 25(1)(g) – Lack of Clarity and sufficiency

The opponents had argued that the claimed compound is not patentable under Section 3(d) of the Patents Act, 1970 as amended by the Patents (Amendment) Act, 2005 as it is a new form of known substances. It was also held that the inventiondid not entail any material improvement in efficacy. Additionally, the Assistant Controller in the case held that the claimed invention did not entail an inventive step over US patent ‘981 and ‘257, inasmuch as it did not entail any non-obvious addition to the compounds envisaged by these documents[3].

For the reasons indicated supra made the Assistant Controller of Patents Designs, Mr. Umesh Chandra Pandey, rejected the invention under Section 25(1) in November 2016 (order by Patent Office). However, now the UCLA (the applicant), represented by senior advocate P Chidambaram, has contended that its application was rejected merely on the ground of opposition by some competitors. The writ petition filed by the UCLA also indicates that even the evidences submitted by UCLA in support of its claims were not considered by IPO and so it has been contested that the application be remanded for consideration of the same[4].

This ongoing attempt of UCLA to get Xtandi (Enzalutamide) patented in India witnessed a development on March 2 when Delhi High Court passed an order in the case of The Regents of the University of California v. Union of India (order), asking the Centre to render an explanation on rejection of patent application (on November 10, 2016).

About the author: Tanu Goyal, Patent Associate at IIPRD and can be reached at: tanu@khuranaandkhurana.com

[1]http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31808&articlexml=Patent-denied-price-of-prostate-cancer-drug-may-10112016014006

[2]http://www.pharmabiz.com/NewsDetails.aspx?aid=98990&sid=1

[3]http://www.mondaq.com/india/x/576168/Patent/IPO+Rejects+Patent+Application+For+Xtandi+Prostrate+Cancer+Drug

[4]http://www.dnaindia.com/health/report-hc-seeks-reason-for-denial-of-prostrate-cancer-drug-patent-2342983