Category Archives: Patents

Patent (Amendment) Rules 2017

Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has amended Patent Rules 2003 with effect from 1st December 2017 called as the Patent (Amendment) Rules, 2017. The definition of “startup” under rule 2(fb) has been substituted with a new definition. A more liberal definition of startup has been incorporated that can allow domestic as well as foreign entities to claim benefits such as fast-track mechanism and lower fee for filing patents.

According to the Patent (Amendment) Rules, 2017:

“Startup” means

(a) an entity in India recognized as a startup by the competent authority under Startup India Initiative.
(b) In case of a foreign entity, an entity fulfilling the criteria for turnover and period of incorporation/ registration as per Startup India Initiative and submitting declaration to that effect.

Explanation: In calculating the turnover, reference rates of foreign currency of Reserve Bank of India shall prevail.[1]

According to the Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2016 startups were defined as entities which are working towards innovation, development, deployment or commercialization of new products, processes or services driven by technology or intellectual property where more than five years have not been lapsed from the date of incorporation/registration with a maximum turnover of INR 25 crore per year.[2] However, according to the Patent (Amendment) Rules, 2017, a startup can be any Indian entity recognized as a startup by the competent authority under the Startup India Initiative or a foreign entity that fulfils criteria for turnover and period of incorporation/registration as per Startup India Initiative.

Under Startup India Initiative an entity shall be considered as a Startup, if it fulfils following criteria:

1. incorporated as a private limited company or registered as a partnership firm or a limited liability partnership in India;
2. incorporated or registered in India not prior to seven years, however for Biotechnology Startups not prior to ten years;
3. turnover for any of the financial years since incorporation/ registration has not exceeded INR 25 crores;
4. has not been formed by splitting up or reconstruction of a business that was already in existence; and
5. working towards innovation, development or improvement of products or processes or services, or if it is a scalable business model with a high potential of employment generation or wealth creation.[3]

In view of the foregoing, it can be concluded that the period of incorporation/registration that was 5 years under 2016 rules has been extended to 7 years (10 years in case of biotechnology startups) by the 2017 rules. Also, foreign companies can now claim benefits if they fulfill above mentioned criteria for turnover and period of registration as per Startup India Initiative. Further, to claim benefits for filing patents, Indian entity should be recognized as a startup by a competent authority under Startup India Initiative, whereas foreign entity may provide equivalent documents as an evidence for fulfilling criteria for turnover and period of incorporation/registration as per Startup India Initiative along with a declaration to that effect.

[1] http://www.egazette.nic.in/WriteReadData/2017/180577.pdf

[2] http://www.ipindia.nic.in/writereaddata/Portal/IPORule/1_42_1_Patent__Amendment_Rules

[3] Notification Number G.S.R. 501 (E), https://startupindia.gov.in/notification.php#

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Amendments in Patent Application Process in Singapore

The process of applying for patents in Singapore will become much easier and more efficient after Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), in its continued efforts to ease patent application process, has introduced few changes in Patent forms 1 and 12B. According to a circular released on November 21, 2017 on IPOS website [1], these changes will be effective from 10 December 2017 [1] and will be available to Patent Applicants from that date. IPOS claims that after these changes the patent application process will be enhanced for general Applicants.

Amendments to ‘Patents form 1’ [2]

a. Patents forms 1 & 8 will be merged

This change will allow Applicants to enter details of inventors for which the patent has been applied in part 7 of the newly merged form i.e. merged ‘form 1’ & 8. There will be no need to file a separate form 8. It is a welcome move for the Applicants as they will not have to fill multiple forms. In addition to this, the Applicants will now be able to derive rights from the Inventor. Applicants can do this by filling in part 8 of the newly merged form. However, these amendments will not change the process of correcting the details of the inventors i.e. Patents Form 13 will not be applicable for such amendment or correction. Applicants will also be able to submit the details of the inventor separately by filling Patent Form 8 which will still be available for submissions.

b. A separate attachment for sequence listing

A new document will also be available for “sequence listing” for attachment at the time of filing of patent applications. A “sequence listing” is a list of biological sequences in the format prescribed by WIPO Standard ST.25 (Presentation of nucleotide and amino acid sequence listings) using controlled vocabulary (i.e. defined terms for certain features). This document will be available to patent applicants in case they do not want to include sequence listing as a part of description or claims. Also, the applicants will be able to paginate this document and will be able to indicate the page count of sequence listing document in a separate field.

In addition to this, if Applicants want to submit sequence listing as a separate reference document, not forming part of the description or claims, such document can be submitted using the mentioned “sequence listing” document type with a cover letter attached to indicate that it will serve as a reference document only.

c. A new feature of auto-population during divisional filings

Yet another efficient and productive move by the IPOS is the introduction of auto-population feature when a divisional application is being filed. This means that when an Applicant files a divisional application, relevant information from the parent application will be auto-populated for the convenience of the Applicants. Having said that, the Applicants will still be able to amend the auto-populated fields if they choose to do the same.

 Amendments to Patents ‘Form 12B’ [3]

Similar to the changes in Patents form 1, for the ease of Applicants, Patents Form 13 will also be merged with Patents Form 12B. Applicants don’t need to fill Form 13 in case they wish to make amendments to the specification when requesting for an examination review report using Patents Form 12B, and can do so by selecting the option “Written submissions and proposed amendments are filed” in Patents form B. With this selection, the Applicant will be required to submit both a clean and a marked up copy of the amendment of the specification.

Conclusion

Such amendments in the Patent Application process as mentioned above will be available from December 10, 2017. Further, these changes will ease the application process and will allow Applicants some flexibility in sequence listing, and amending details of inventors as well as amending the specification.

Author: Shilpi Saxena, Jr. Patent Associate at Khurana & Khurana Advocates and IP Attorneys can be reached at shilpi@iiprd.com.

 References:

[1] https://www.ipos.gov.sg/docs/default-source/resources-library/patents/circulars/(2017)-circular-no-8—enhancements-to-patent-application-process.pdf

[2] https://www.ipos.gov.sg/docs/default-source/resources-library/patents/patent-forms-and-fees/form-pf1—otc.pdf

[3] https://www.ipos.gov.sg/docs/default-source/resources-library/patents/patent-forms-and-fees/form-pf12b—otc477c1877c2d0635fa1cdff0000abd271.pdf

The Budding Patent Law in Myanmar

Myanmar, also known as Burma, a least developed country in mainland South-East Asia, is still in its embryonic phase of Intellectual Property Laws. The country is not presently a signatory to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property or any other treaty protecting patents. The Burma Patents and Designs (Emergency Provisions) Act 1946 came into force in 1993 in the country, but has been repealed, and therefore currently Myanmar does not have any standard through which Patents can be applied and enforced. This brings about a scenario where goods that are patented, and for which companies or individuals hold relevant patent rights outside Myanmar, can be produced and used for commercial purposes and traded in Myanmar without the permission of the actual rights owner. There is no regulation or any law for protection of inventions and related IP. As a result, it is currently not possible to apply for patents in Myanmar.

Current setting for Patent Protection: Though, there is a gap between the redundant Patent Law and enforcement of new law, Patent protection has found its way through section 18(f) of the Registration Act under which Declaration of Ownership with the Myanmar Registry Office of Deeds and Assurances can be filed by the Patent owners. This declaration is a solemn statement of facts made by the Patent owner. After the declaration is registered, it is advisable to publish a Cautionary Notice in a daily English Language newspaper informing the public about the ownership of the patent which warns the potential infringers of legal action by patent owners. There is no substantive examination of the patent filed by way of such Declaration. The Declaration is valid for three months period with possibility of renewal. Nonetheless, this Declaration doesn’t grant any patent rights and currently, in absence of a proper legislation, there is actually no option to enforce patents in Myanmar.The Specific Relief Act (Section 54(b) and (c), and Illustration (u)) allows for patent infringement lawsuit, but it is ambiguous as to how such lawsuit may be conducted and decided upon in absence of patent law and the required legal standard. Thus, this law provides limited patent protection. Moreover, priority claim registration is not available under the Registration Act.

  Furthermore, Technology Transfer Agreements are enforceable if they are registered with the Myanmar Scientific and Technology Research Department but it doesn’t cover patent licensing. As there is no specific law for protection of patents in Myanmar, most entrepreneurs as an alternate way of protecting their inventions, spend extensive amounts in protecting their trademarks through the available means. By doing so, they protect the brand reputation and goodwill of their products as a minimum that they can achieve.

TRIPS and MyanmarMyanmar has acceded to Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), and therefore it is required that the country complies and implements the laws in consonance with the Agreement by no later than 1st July 2021. Consequently, Myanmar is drafting IP laws particularly Patent Laws to ensure its legislation is in line with the TRIPS. Thus, the status of IP Law seems to be improving as the country has drafted a new legislation for regulation of Patent which is supposed to be in compliance with TRIPS Agreement.

The Draft Law for Patents: The Draft law has been framed and published in 2015 and it is endowed with the procedural and substantive provisions found in patent laws of most Paris Convention countries. The Attorney General’s Office and Ministry of Science and Technology were instrumental in drafting the said law that is expected to be promulgated by the end of 2017 or in early 2018. According to the Draft Patent Law, to be patentable, the invention must be novel involving an inventive step and should also have an industrial applicability. These requirements are the basic three requirements as per the international standards of patent protection globally.

 According to the draft bill, Patent applications can be filed with the Myanmar Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and the registration system has been kept similar to the other ASEAN countries. IPO shall be responsible for all IP registrations in the country. After the receipt of the application for the patent filed, preliminary examination will be conducted by the IPO following publication of the patent application only after making sure that it does not defy the integrity, national security, and public safety. If it is found that the patent application is contrary to national security and public safety, the rights will get transferred to the Myanmar Government. After the publication, a three months period will be provided for any opposition which can be raised from the date of publishing of the patent application, it will be subsequently followed by substantive examination and finally grant or reject the application. The life of protection of Patents will be twenty years, subject to annual fees.

The draft bill has also provided for the grant of compulsory licenses wherein, the Myanmar Government will have the right to issue compulsory licenses for specific vital pharmaceuticals and the owner of the rights can’t deny such grant of license subject to royalties. The interest of the patent owners has been protected by the law and specific remedies have been provided in case of infringement of the patents which include civil litigation and criminal prosecution. Also, the patent owners can apply to appropriate courts for grant of preliminary injunctions.

At present, it is extremely difficult to enforce patent protection in Myanmar in absence of proper Patent law and legal standards. Innovations and intellectual inventions can’t be protected in Myanmar, so it is highly worthwhile to think before bringing such innovations into place in Myanmar. However, it is a sigh of relief for the inventors and investors, that the country has acceded to TRIPS, the law for patent protection has been drafted and is set to arrive anytime soon.

References:

[1] http://www.youripinsider.eu/patent-protection-myanmar/

[2] http://www.myanmarpatent.com/patent.htm

Author: Ms. Pratistha Sinha, Intern at Khurana and Khurana Advocates and IP Attorneys and can be reached at anirudh@khuranaandkhurana.com.

Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and its Intellectual Property (IP) Interface

With growing importance and widespread adoption of Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple among many others, Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) have become very popular over the last few years. In brief, an ICO is an unregulated means by which funds are raised for a new cryptocurrency venture or even by a technology company that integrates its offerings/products with issuance and/or transactions of cryptocurrencies. An Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is used by startups to bypass the rigorous and regulated capital-raising process required by venture capitalists (VCs) or banks, wherein in an ICO campaign, a percentage of the cryptocurrency is sold to early backers of the project in exchange for legal tender or other Cryptocurrencies as mentioned above. More information on ICO’s can be seen herehere, and here.

Having been an active part of ICOs since 2016, and have drafted over 5 ICO offering documents, and 10 white papers, we have closely observed that there has been a strong and growing correlation between subscription levels for an ICO during the initial offering and the manner in which they depict/demonstrate their Intellectual Property (IP), especially their Patent portfolio. A clear mapping between ICO entity’s product commercialization, coin offering strategy, basis of product differentiation, and how they harness the blockchain technology with respect to their Patent/IP portfolio is a strong indicator of how they create entry barriers. Investors too are gaining maturity by doing thorough due-diligence on the IP that the ICO-entity holds before they invest in the ICO through comprehensive assessment of how broad the claims are, how the claimed subject matter integrates with the blockchain platform for issuance or transaction of newly issued currencies/coins, whether claim charts have been prepared, assignment/ownership issues if any, litigation/pre-litigation outcomes, validity challenges, competitive analysis, market landscape, white-space analysis, among other common IP due-diligence parameters.

Most ICO white papers therefore pay significant attention to how they present their Patent portfolio with respect to the manner in which each feature of their blockchain based implementation would be executed such as, for instance, how digital contracts would be managed, for an IoT architecture based entity: how blockchain would enable optimization of IoT device monitoring, and for an analytics company: how data analytics can be configured to associate with blockchain network tokens. Some white papers go further to even map their patent claims with the cryptocurrency interfacing mechanisms. Although most ICOs focus on their US Patent Portfolio, companies in other major startup communities such as in Israel, UK, Germany, and Singapore are also engaging strongly in how they uniquely position their offerings to gain competitive advantage through presentation of their IP. Most white papers intend explaining what their tokens are, how they are acquired, released/spent, along with their token generation events, and IP’s that interface with each of these steps can be integrated into the relevant portion of the white paper so as to demonstrate the extent of coverage and protection that the entity has done, which is also reflective of their IP strategy.

It is therefore, in sum, crucial to develop a robust IP strategy before launching an ICO to instill higher confidence in potential investors and create a differentiator in the market.

 

Author: Tarun Khurana, Partner and Patent Attorney at Khurana & Khurana (K&K) and IIPRD can be reached at Tarun@khuranaandkhurana.com

Edible Water Bottle/Container: Technological Perspective

A bottle or container which is made of plastic, glass, or metal for holding drinking water is well known in the art but a bottle or container which is consumable along with of water, liquids or other beverages sounds very interesting and unbelievable, isn’t it?

Conventionally known, bottles can be made of plastic, glass, material but the main difference between each type of bottle is the flexibility of the material. In the past, bottles were used for storing drinking water and other beverages over the advantage of being durable, lightweight, and easy to carry. However, the common and convenient practice of drinking water and other beverages from plastic bottles comes with problems. About 50 billion plastic water bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are produced in the United States each year, and most are discarded. Polyesters like PET can be broken down through hydrolytic degradation and the ester linkage can be cut by a water molecule, but this reaction proceed differently in case of acidic or alcoholic condition under temperature 200-300 °C. Based on this PET is considered asnon-biodegradable material which will take more time to decompose such as 450 years. According to the National Association for PET Container Resources, the recycling rate for PET has held steady at 31% since 2013. Using plastic bottles also produces negative effects on health and environment also.Plastic drinking bottles contain many chemicals, which are harmful to human and animals body.Even though plastic drinking bottles are recyclable, most end up in landfills or as litter.According to National Geographic Kids survey, only one plastic bottle recycled out of every six plastic bottles. Therefore there exists a need to use a renewable, bio-degradable, eco-friendly, reusable packaging materials for liquids which may be consumable along with the liquids thereby avoiding need for throwing used packaging around creating and increasing different types of pollutions.

With the advancement in the technology, researchers have now come up with an edible water bottle (water ball) which has capability to set an end to plastic packaging requirements. A water ball is new way of packaging a liquid, say water, that proposes an alternative to the plastic bottle. Te sociality of water ball is that it’s consumable or chewable. Yes, you read it right, the edible or consumable or chewable water bottle is a blob or drop-like water container which is made from sodium alginate gel. The biodegradable blob is created to make a more environmentally friendly alternative to plastic bottles. The water ball encloses a small volume of water in a membrane which is made from brown algae and calcium chloride.

The water ball is prepared by dropping ice (frozen liquid) into separate solutions of calcium chloride and brown algae and membrane form around it. This process is called as spherification process. The technique of spherification, of shaping a liquid into spheres which visually and texturally resemble caviar born in 1946 is disclosed in US Patent 2403547. Using the culinary technique of spherification, the water is enclosed in a double jellylike membrane. The technique consists into apply sodium alginate (E-401) which is natural product of the brown algae and calcium chloride (E-509) in a concrete proportions in order to generate a gelification on the peripheral of the liquid.Calcium deposited on the membrane creates hardened membrane, and hard shell in the manner of an egg shell.The final package is simple, cheap resistant, hygienic, biodegradable and even eatable. The edible water ball is tasteless, although flavors can be added to it.

Recently, Skipping Rocks Lab has actually implemented this concept and come up with a bio-degradable, edible water bottle (water ball) and the ball is named as “Ooho“. The water ball is a spherical packaging made of seaweed, entirely natural and biodegradable. The edible container can be consumed directly. A layer of edible container can be unwrapped off to keep the peripheral clean for consumption. The water ball will replace millions of plastic bottles thrown away every year.

Further to it, Le Labogroup SAS has filed a patent application (EP 2759212 A1) on an edible water bottle technology which talks about edible or potable substances which can be transported in biodegradable vessel. The technique for preparation of water ball consists a process in which a frozen liquid is dipped into separate solutions of calcium chloride and brown algae and membrane form around it.

REFERENCES

[1].https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KppS7LRbybw

[2]. https://www.designboom.com/project/ooho/

[3]. http://www.oohowater.com/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Shubhangi Dhakane, Patent Associate at Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorneys who can be reached at shubhangi@iiprd.com

Patent Landscapes: An Effective Tool for Business and IP Strategy

A Patent landscape is a conglomerate of patent information that provides the most up to date analysis of – who is patenting in any chosen area of technology, what is the innovative focus of companies, businesses and nations; how has a particular technology evolved over a period of time, what has been the filing history and strategies of technology leaders, and of many other pertinent aspects, particularly targeted to direct business benefits.In a complete patent landscape analysis, patent assets(including granted patents, published applications, and unpublished applications) are mapped and analyzed from which important legal, business, and technology information can be derived.

Information derived from a patent landscape analysis is applied within an organization to generate novel technology, to identify possible companies or technologies to license or acquire, to identify orphan patents and thus opportunities for monetization, to design around others’ technology to evade litigation, or to strategically direct research and development toward the open spaces in the patent landscape and steer clear of tracts that are already hemmed-in by densely competing patent activity.

Appropriate approaches are employed to present data to the client in an effective manner such that the client is enabled to ascertain areas of interest quickly and get clear visibility as to which patents are owned by the client, its competitors and other parties. One common approach of presenting data is to organize whole of the data in a spreadsheet, with an area of interest to the client being marked as flagged record.A detailed and non-overlapping hierarchical representation of technology gives an added benefit and clarity to the client. Inclusion of non-patent data and market research is also critical to a comprehensive patent landscape to provide context to the presented patent data.

Top assignee and inventor trendsrender insight into which large companies, startups, universities, and others are most focused in each technology, product, or application area. This information comes in handy to identify potential partners, customers, licensees, and acquisition candidates.Details associated with mergers and acquisitions prove to be a vital piece of information for client as technology transfer and strategic alliances often result from the information covered under sections of mergers and acquisitions.

Patent claims in each technology, product, or market area can be examined and mapped against products for legal analysis pertaining to validity, patentability, or freedom to operate.Effective patent landscape maps or pictorial representations can be analyzed for research, discovery and “white space” opportunities. These graphic visualizations can also be useful for communication and marketing tools – especially to non-patent experts and investors.

A patent landscape can serve an excellent tool for the client, only if it closely addresses the issues important for the client’s business or IP strategy. The landscape should be of adequate granularity to be valuable. A good patent landscape study must always aim to capture the right kind of information and draw out insights from the analyzed information while keeping the end objective of the client as the base.

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

International Patent Office of Philippines appointed as “International Authority on Patents” by WIPO

Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHIL) was designated as an International Searching Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) by the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) on October 5, 2017 at the 57th WIPO General Assembly and 49th Session of the PCT Union Assembly [1] becoming second country of Southeast Asia and 23rd country of world to be assigned as an International Authority on Patents under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). Patent Cooperation Treaty is an international agreement administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) that allows applicants and inventors to file a single international patent application which will have the legal effect of filing in the different countries bound by the treaty.

The IPOPHIL assigned designations, as an International Searching Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA), will remain in force until 31 December 2027 [2]. IPOPHL can now contribute towards more efficient functioning of PCT system by encouraging IP system in all the other developing countries along with promoting the use of patent system in Philippines and harness the strengths of the Philippines as an Intellectual Property (IP) hub in the region. Philippines is the second international searching authority in South East Asia having massive population of young talent, approx. 104 million, is expected to spur innovation and technological advancement that are key factors in deepening ASEAN economic integration.

Ambassador Evan P. Garcia, permanent representative of the Philippines to the United Nations stated that the appointment of IPOPHL at this designation complements the government policy of mainstreaming science, technology and innovation platform across national and local development agenda. He added that it would further foster research and development in country, fitting into the country’s development plan “Philippine Development Plant (PDP) 2017-2022” [3], which is leaning toward a high-trust society and a globally-competitive knowledge economy.

Director General of IPOPHL, Josephine R. Santiago, remarked that the designation of IPOPHIL as ISA and IPEA complements the national development plan and will transform the country into a knowledge-driven and innovative society which in turn will promote R&D activities. She further stated that IPOPHL has satisfied the requirements for designations as ISA/IPEA. She briefed about the number of improvements undertaken by the IPOPHL to meet the requirements of appointment in the past two years. The requirements include:

(i) Sufficient number of technical and manpower competence to carry out search and examination in required technical fields;
(ii) Use of comprehensive commercial and publicly-accessible databases covering patent and non-patent science and engineering databases, for search and examination;
(iii) A comprehensive and multi-tiered quality management system namely, in-process quality check, ISO QMS 9001:2008 and internal Patent Quality Review System (PQRS); and
(iv) Recommendation by established international authorities particularly the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and IP Australia.

In 2015, 43.5% of the PCT applications were filed by Asia and a progressive growth has been noticed by Southeast Asian countries in registration of patent applications in recent years. Thus there is high demand for international PCT work. Philippines with its seventy years of expertise in search and examination well-suits to serve this growing demand of system.

Author: Shilpi Saxena, Jr. Patent Associate at Khurana & Khurana Advocates and IP Attorneys can be reached at shilpi@iiprd.com.

References
[1]http://www.ipophil.gov.ph/releases/2014-09-22-06-26-21/640-ipophl-now-an-international-searching-authority-and-international-preliminary-examining-authority-the-23rd-in-the-world-and-2nd-in-the-asean-region

[2]https://dfa.gov.ph/newsroom/news-from-our-foreign-service-postsupdate/14276-wipo-general-assemblies-appoint-ipophil-as-international-searching-authority-and-international-preliminary-examining-authority-on-patents

[3]http://www.philstar.com/business/2017/10/07/1746166/ipophl-now-international-authority-patent

IPOS: Launch of Patents Formalities Manual

Recently, Singapore’s IP regime has seen a rapid growth and is gradually becoming Intellectual Property centre/hub in entire Asia.  To strengthen its Patent regime, few days back,  [3] the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS),   on 24 Jul 2017 launched a ‘Patents Open Dossier” [1] to provide a single point of access for innovators enabling them to access published patent documents. The POD provides easy access to the applicant as well as the third party to keep track of patent applications, amongst other services.

Further, on 1 August 2017 IPOS [2] launched an online “Patents Formalities Manual” as part of their ongoing efforts to update their practices for helping inventors/innovators on their patent applications and improve on the turnaround time for the application process. This manual can be accessed by general public through the online portal of IPOS https://www.ipos.gov.sg/ [4]. This manual provides set of guidelines detailing the Registry’s practices, procedures and requirements for Patent applications and national phase entry for International applications, in Singapore. The “Patents Formalities Manual” is designed to provide the applicants with a better understanding of the procedures for applying a patent application under the Singapore patents act & rules as well as the procedure for applying as a national phase entry of the Patent Co-operation Treaty (PCT).

Out of many others, the “Patents Formalities Manual” is the most recent step taken by IPOS in enhancing the user experience for their applicants or other stakeholders by aiming to improving the filing accuracy in their patent applications with the IP office and address issues encountered during patent application process.

Patent applicants can refer to the manual on ‘https://www.ipos.gov.sg/resources/patent’ [5] for the most current practices. On this page, the applicants can access all the necessary & relevant documents which are related to filing for a patent in Singapore. The applicants may also refer to the manual to help in their filing process. Some of the documents are:

  • Forms & Fees For Filing In Singapore
  • PCT Forms & Fees
  • Guidelines and Useful Information
  • Circulars
  • Practice Directions

 

References:

[1]https://www.ipos.gov.sg/media-events/happenings/ViewDetails/launch-of-patents-open-dossier/

[2]https://www.ipos.gov.sg/media-events/happenings/ViewDetails/launch-of-patents-formalities-manual/

[3]https://www.ipos.gov.sg/docs/default-source/about-ipos-doc/full-report_update-to-ip-hub-master-plan_final.pdf?sfvrsn=2

[4]https://www.ipos.gov.sg/

[5] https://www.ipos.gov.sg/resources/patent

Author: ShilpiSaxena, Jr. Patent Associate at Khurana & Khurana Advocates and IP Attorneys can be reached at shilpi@iiprd.com.

Intellectual Property of Singapore Launches ‘Patents Open Dossier’

In a bid to continue the growth of Intellectual Property regime in Singapore, the Intellectual Property of Singapore (IPOS) has launched the Patents Open Dossier (POD) on July 24, 2017 [1] [3]. The recently launched POD is an online database, which provides a single point of access for individuals/innovators to access published patent documents.

This POD service have been added to and is available on IP2SG, which is the online e-service portal [2] of IPOS, which enables the public with simple access to a collection of selected published patent documents under Section 27 of the Patent Act and which are not restricted for inspection pursuant to Patents Rule 93(4) and 93(5). These documents comprises of Inventor search reports, the office actions and responses for published patent applications lodged on or after 14 Feb 2014 under the positive grant system, among many others [3].

After the launch of POD, individuals are now able to analyze, view, monitor and manage the patent profiles, which are of interest to them. There are several other advantages of this POD, which are:

  • Reduced time and cost for an individual to extract and analyze patent information of their interest;
  • Enabled work sharing between different IP offices via a single platform for search and examination results; and
  • Enhanced transparency of patent system through easy and increased accessibility of file prosecution histories.

Also, as an administrative concession, the individuals will no longer be needed to furnish any published search and examination results established by IPOS under the positive grant system when they file a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) request in the Office of Second Filing. The effective date for IPOS to be a participating Office under the initiative will be announced on a later date.

As a central agency in providing its Intellectual Property consultations and networking for the current & future growth of Singapore IP regime, the IPOS remains at the forefront of the latest IP developments happening globally. With the launch of POD, IPOS joins the ranks of the IP5 Offices, namely, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), European Patent Office (EPO), Japan Patent Office (JPO), Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) and the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) that have developed a Global Dossier Initiative with the same purpose [1].

Below is the list of documents that are accessible and available for download on the POD platform [4]:

  1. Search Report
  2. Examination Report
  3. Written Opinion
  4. Search and Examination Report
  5. Written Submission in response to Written Opinion
  6. Examination Review Report
  7. Amendment and Correction of Specification
  8. Amendment and Correction of Abstract
  9. Patents Form and Common Forms (With the exception of Form CM10 and

Form CM12 and their related correspondence)

  1. Notification relating to the request made on Patents Form and Common Forms

(With the exception of Form CM10 and Form CM12 and their related correspondence)

Documents not available on Patents Open Dossier [4] are as below:

  1. Cover Letter
  2. Supporting Documents and Statements
  3. Statutory Declarations or Affidavit
  4. Certificate of grant of patent 

Author: Shilpi Saxena, Jr. Patent Associate at Khurana & Khurana Advocates and IP Attorneys can be reached at shilpi@iiprd.com.

References

[1] https://www.ipos.gov.sg/media-events/happenings/ViewDetails/launch-of-patents-open-dossier/

[2] https://www.ip2.sg/RPS/WP/CM/SearchSimpleP.aspx?SearchCategory=PT

[3] https://in.linkedin.com/company/ipos-international

[4] https://www.ipos.gov.sg/docs/default-source/resources-library/patents/circulars/(2017)-circular-no-5—launch-of-open-dossier-and-patents-formalities-manual.pdf?sfvrsn=0

Cambodia, China Sign MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Trademark and Branding

In a further step towards the development and strengthening of Intellectual Property regime of both Cambodia and China, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Branding Cooperation between the Ministry of Commerce of the Kingdom of Cambodia and National Administration of Industry and Commerce of the People’s Republic of China was signed on September 06, 2017 [1][3]. This MoU aims at providing better facilities for trademark and brand registration in both countries.

The MoU signing ceremony took place in the city of Phnom Penh which is the capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia and was held under the presidency of HE Ouk Prachea, Secretary of State, Ministry of Commerce, High Representative of HE Peng Sosachak, Minister of Commerce, and HE Ma Zhengqi, Deputy Minister of National Administration of Industry and Trade of the People’s Republic of China. This MoU will further serve the purpose of strengthening and broadening cooperation between China and Cambodia on an equal and mutually beneficial basis in the Markets, and to also promote the growth of more brands in the respective nations. Additionally, the memorandum will protect consumers and producers’ interests.

This MoU is in continuation with the previous Memorandums [2] which have been signed between Cambodia and China for bilateral cooperation in Intellectual properties. In the press release dated September 6, 2017, on the online portal of Cambodia it is stated that, through this Memorandum both China and Cambodia will share the related documents of intellectual property and also include mutual study visits to strengthen intellectual property regime and trade protectionism. Further under this MoU, China through their experts will be helping in the training of human resources to Cambodia on brand protection and brand control. In addition, China will also in the promotion of Cambodian products exhibitions, as well as building more of Cambodia’s brand in the market.

Author: Shilpi Saxena, Jr. Patent Associate at Khurana and  Khurana Advocates and IP Attorneys can be reached at shilpi@iiprd.com.

Sources

[1] http://cambodiaip.gov.kh/NewsDetail.aspx?id=110051

[2]http://www.cambodiaip.gov.kh/DocResources/5e50267e-486b-4114-86ef-022e96df991d_c786a043-b88d-4f64-9429-60a330efdc5f-en.pdf

[3] http://www.akp.gov.kh/?p=109309