Patent Business Lawyer in Asia

Patent Attorney practicing Patents, Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions, Venture Financing, Startup Technology Law

We provide patent services including patent searches, patent analytics, patent drafting, patent filing in India, PCT patent filing, patent prosecution, responding to patent office actions, patent monetization, patent commercialization, patent valuation, patent licensing, patent assignment, patent infringement reports, patent invalidation searches and patent legal opinions. Technology landscape studies are core part of our patent practice across a wide range of technology sectors:

ICT Patents

Information and Communication Technology

Biotechnology Patents

Software Patents

Mobile Applications and Computer Related Inventions – IoT (Internet of Things)

We provide comprehensive Patent and Trademark legal services via our global network to create valuable patent portfolios and resolve complex patent disputes by providing patent litigation support services.

Our team of advanced patent attorneys assists clients with patent searches, drafting patent applications, and patent (intellectual property) agreements, including licensing and non-disclosure agreements.

Advocate Rahul Dev is a Patent Attorney & International Business Lawyer practicing Technology, Intellectual Property & Corporate Laws. He is reachable at rd (at) patentbusinesslawyer (dot) com & @rdpatentlawyer on Twitter.

Quoted in and contributed to 50+ national & international publications (Bloomberg, FirstPost, SwissInfo, Outlook Money, Yahoo News, Times of India, Economic Times, Business Standard, Quartz, Global Legal Post, International Bar Association, LawAsia, BioSpectrum Asia, Digital News Asia, e27, Leaders Speak, Entrepreneur India, VCCircle, AutoTech).

Regularly invited to speak at international & national platforms (conferences, TV channels, seminars, corporate trainings, government workshops) on technology, patents, business strategy, legal developments, leadership & management.

Working closely with patent attorneys along with international law firms with significant experience with lawyers in Asia Pacific providing services to clients in US and Europe. Flagship services include international patent and trademark filingspatent services in India and global patent consulting services.

Global Blockchain Lawyers (www.GlobalBlockchainLawyers.com) is a digital platform to discuss legal issues, latest technology and legal developments, and applicable laws in the dynamic field of Digital Currency, Blockchain, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and raising capital through the sale of tokens or coins (ICO or Initial Coin Offerings).

Blockchain ecosystem in India is evolving at a rapid pace and a proactive legal approach is required by blockchain lawyers in India to understand the complex nature of applicable laws and regulations.

Business productivity across nations has grown significantly due to ICT (Information and Communication technology) revolution. In essence, ICT represents intersection of multiple technologies in a manner to revolutionize the communication across the globe. With such rapid growth, ICT growth has resulted in commercial as well as legal implications.

ICT companies routinely face complex issues pertaining to corporate laws and intellectual property rights (IPR), specifically ICT patents. Since ICT patents are bound to play a crucial role in shaping up the digital future of the world, the patent expertise required to solve the ICT patent issues involves thorough understanding of communication technology, hardware devices and components, digital technology, Software as a Service (SaaS), eCommerce, Data Processing innovations, Education Technology (EdTech), Semiconductors, Antennas, Microprocessors, Microcontrollers, Financial Technology (FinTech) and Digital Content based innovations.

ICT Patents

As the citizens of the digital age, information technology has become an integral part of our lives. From catching up on the latest news to reading the new bestseller, there is hardly anything that can be done without the crutches of technology. In a nutshell, information technology is truly our second skin.

Information and Communication and Technology Patents

IT and ICT: Are they different?

While information technology (IT) refers to the whole gamut of computing systems aimed at the collection and dissemination of information, information and communication technology, commonly known as ICT, expands the scope of IT. In other words, one can say that ICT is an extension of  IT with its focus on ‘connective communicative technologies’[i].  This is best illustrated by the definition assigned by UNESCO. As per UNESCO, ICT can be defined as a “diverse set of technological tools and resources used to transmit, store, create, share or exchange information. These technological tools and resources include computers, the Internet (websites, blogs and emails), live broadcasting technologies (radio, television and webcasting), recorded broadcasting technologies (podcasting, audio and video players and storage devices) and telephony (fixed or mobile, satellite, video-conferencing, etc.).”[ii] Given the subtleties of differences between IT and ICT, it is not very surprising that these terms are often used interchangeably.

ICT: The Building Block of the ‘Innovation Economy’

Given the dynamic nature of ICT, constant innovation is the life blood to make the ICT industry more sustainable. The growth of the ICT industry in the past few years has led to the development of what is called as the ‘innovation economy’. The report published by the New South Wales, Australia Innovation and Productivity Council describes innovation economy as a system where any innovative “changes emerge at large scale and come to dominate or disrupt pre-existing sectors, and commerce or trade, to foster advanced and high-growth industries.”[iii] The report further states that the growth of internet and digital systems has led to a globalised innovation economy and the future of nations have recognized that the sustainable growth is heavily dependent on how innovative the said economy is.[iv] The European Commission has also in its report stated that a smart growth of the economy lies in strengthening the knowledge and innovation.[v]

The ‘Reward’ in Innovation Economy: Granting Protection through patents 

For an industry such as ICT that is entirely driven by innovation, providing adequate and appropriate incentives to the innovators becomes extremely essential. One of the ways in which incentives can be provided is by ensuring a strong framework to protect the interests of the innovators and allow them to reap the commercial benefits of their invention. This is where protection through patents comes in. Foremost, granting patent protection ensures that an inventor can control the commercial use of their invention[vi]. Secondly, patent protection also contributes to the development of the technology further as the revenues generated by the innovators are used towards extensive R&D.[vii]

Key Issues with Patent Protection in ICT Industry

Of the many concerns regarding patents awarded in the ICT industry, this article focuses on the two key issues of patent thickets and SEPs.

Patent Thickets:

The complex technological process and the surge in the volume of patent applications has led to a fragmentation of patent rights and led to patent thickets[viii]. The only formal definition of a patent thicket has been provided by Carl Shapiro in his paper[ix] and he has described patent thickets as a “dense web of overlapping intellectual property rights that a company must hack its way through in order to actually commercialize new technology”. The reason for the growth of patent thickets in the ICT industry is due to the simple reason that protections are required for several technologies which will be then utilized for the manufacture of a new product. Some commentators have argued that this leads to a large volume of patent thickets can ultimately lead to lesser innovation and higher costs for the R&D[x]. Patent thickets are also furthering competition in the industry as companies are vying to acquire and boast of the biggest patent portfolio.[xi]

Standard Essential Patents and FRAND:

Standard Essential Patents or SEPs refer to the patents which have been granted in order to implement a specific industry standard. Access to such patents is crucial in the ICT industry in order to further and promote innovation. Accordingly, the Standard Setting Organization of a nation have committed license the SEPs on such terms and conditions which are ‘Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory” (FRAND).[xii]

The FRAND terms ensures that the patent holders receive an appropriate reward for their investment in research and development and at the same time there is access to these specific patents.[xiii] Commentators have also noted that lack of a standard procedure to determine FRAND leads to disputes in cases of SEP licensing which in turn hampers the widespread use of the key standardised technologies and development of a true innovation economy.[xiv]

Conclusion

The surge of patenting in the ICT industry has led to a fragmentation of IP rights which has proved to be a major bottleneck of most national patenting system. Disputes and litigations arising out of the licensing terms of such patents is also another issue plaguing the industry. Reforms of the patenting system, keeping in mind the specific needs of the ICT industry, will require a true harmonization of the patenting rules.  A harmonized regime can prove to be a true game changer for the patents in ICT industry.

We provide comprehensive Patent and Trademark legal services via our global network to create valuable patent portfolios and resolve complex patent disputes by providing patent litigation support services.

Our team of advanced patent attorneys assists clients with patent searches, drafting patent applications, and patent (intellectual property) agreements, including licensing and non-disclosure agreements.

Advocate Rahul Dev is a Patent Attorney & International Business Lawyer practicing Technology, Intellectual Property & Corporate Laws. He is reachable at rd (at) patentbusinesslawyer (dot) com & @rdpatentlawyer on Twitter.

Quoted in and contributed to 50+ national & international publications (Bloomberg, FirstPost, SwissInfo, Outlook Money, Yahoo News, Times of India, Economic Times, Business Standard, Quartz, Global Legal Post, International Bar Association, LawAsia, BioSpectrum Asia, Digital News Asia, e27, Leaders Speak, Entrepreneur India, VCCircle, AutoTech).

Regularly invited to speak at international & national platforms (conferences, TV channels, seminars, corporate trainings, government workshops) on technology, patents, business strategy, legal developments, leadership & management.

Working closely with patent attorneys along with international law firms with significant experience with lawyers in Asia Pacific providing services to clients in US and Europe. Flagship services include international patent and trademark filingspatent services in India and global patent consulting services.

Global Blockchain Lawyers (www.GlobalBlockchainLawyers.com) is a digital platform to discuss legal issues, latest technology and legal developments, and applicable laws in the dynamic field of Digital Currency, Blockchain, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and raising capital through the sale of tokens or coins (ICO or Initial Coin Offerings).

Blockchain ecosystem in India is evolving at a rapid pace and a proactive legal approach is required by blockchain lawyers in India to understand the complex nature of applicable laws and regulations.

References:

[i] https://www.techwalla.com/articles/the-difference-between-it-ict

[ii]  http://uis.unesco.org/en/glossary.

[iii] Page 7, The Innovation Economy: Implications and imperatives for States and Regions, Professor Greg Clark, Dr. Tim Moonen and Jake Nunley (August 2018), available at: https://www.industry.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/163267/IPC-The-Innovation-Economy-2018.pdf

[iv] See generally:  The Innovation Economy: Implications and imperatives for States and Regions, Professor Greg Clark, Dr. Tim Moonen and Jake Nunley (August 2018), available at: https://www.industry.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/163267/IPC-The-Innovation-Economy-2018.pdf

[v] See generally   The Innovation Union Competitiveness Report, European Commission, 2013, available at https://ec.europa.eu/research/innovation-union/pdf/competitiveness_report_2013.pdf

[vi]See generally https://www.wipo.int/ipoutreach/en/ipday/2017/innovation_and_intellectual_property.html

[vii] ibid.

[viii] The Role of Patents in ICT: A Survey of the Literature, Stefano Comino et al. (2017) available at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318040107_The_Role_of_Patents_in_Information_and_Communication_Technologies_ICTs_A_survey_of_the_Literature

[ix] Navigating the Patent Thicket: Cross Licenses, Patent Pools, and Standard-Setting, Carl Shapiro (2001), available at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=273550

[x] Are ‘Patent Thickets’ Smothering Innovation?, Stefan Wagner, 2015, available at https://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/are-patent-thickets-smothering-innovation

[xi] Ibid. The author illustrates this with the example of Google launching its operating system. At that time, the patent portfolio of Google was relatively small. However, in order to be able to compete with industry giants like Apple, Google eventually acquired Motorola in order to gain access to its patent portfolio.

[xii] See footnote 8.

[xiii]Standard Essential Patents, Dipak Rao and Nishi Shabana, April 2016 available at http://www.mondaq.com/india/x/484412/Patent/Standard+Essential+Patents

[xiv] India as an Innovation Economy: The Role of IP and ICT, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) and European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC), June 2018 available at http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/files/file/ICRIER-EBTC_White_paper_IP-ICT.pdf

 

Machine Learning

Machine Learning or ML is a concept that enables a machine or a software tool to learn on its own without specific programming.

For example, in banking sector, ML can be used to predict unpaid or bad loans before a default actually occurs based on the previous payment patterns.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zVfGgs9BhE&w=560&h=315]

Other uses of ML include image recognition, like suggesting a name of a friend to tag in a particular image, or speech recognition, like conducting searches and performing other tasks after speech to text processing.

Similarly, diseases can be predicted using clinical parameters and medical history of the patient along with the medical history of the family members of the patient.

Machine Learning Models

Generally, the machine learning algorithm is trained using training data to create learning models. Subsequently, when new data is introduced to the algorithm, it makes a prediction. The machine learning algorithm can be categorized into 3 types, supervised learning, unsupervised learning, and reinforced learning.

In case of supervised learning, the input data acts as a reference or a foundation. For example, if data relates to weather, the algorithm can be trained to learn about specific parameters like temperature and humidity patterns.

In case of unsupervised learning, the algorithm determines the patterns on its own. For example, if data covers weather and population information, the algorithm can create separate data clusters for weather and population data, so that when new data is introduced, it can be automatically fed to the correct cluster.

In case of reinforced learning, the tools is programmed to determine the best possible solution on its own for achieving a particular goal, mostly by interacting with an environment and to learn and evolve using such interactions.

A good example of reinforced learning is elevator service. Like in our office, there are 6 elevators to transport people across 25 floors. So, to provide a timely service, the elevator controller manages the elevators on its own depending upon factors like number of calls and direction of each call.

While training the machine using different methods, valuable intellectual property is generated at each step, which can be protected by way of patents.

For example, patents can be filed for new tools to prevent cyber attacks or for speech recognition tools for better processing of natural languages across different geographies.

Such patents can then be licensed to other industries for broader applications.

Patent Claim Charts

With ever-growing number of patents in the sector covering computer related inventions, software patents, mobile app patents, IoT (Internet of Things) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Patents, claim charts can be prepared to determine patent infringements or for exploring patent licensing opportunities.

In use, patent claim charts can illustrate an overlap between a product (or a service) and the claims of a patent. Essentially, the patent claim charts dissect the claims of a patent by its specific elements. Other names of claim charts that are used by patent attorneys are, patent claims tables, or patent infringement contentions, or patent invalidity contentions, or patent preliminary infringement contentions (PICs).

In addition to drafting a strong patent application, protecting the company’s intellectual property is a crucial business practice. Strong patent and IP protection ensures that the unique elements of company’s products and processes are protected and adds a high degree of credibility to the company in the industry.

Apart from adding to patent licensing potential, patent claim charts illustrate the extent of patent infringement in a simple and visually understandable manner. Claim charts are also known as ways to illustrate patent mapping between the products and the patent claims, which are used to signify “Evidence of Use” for licensing strategies and patent litigation research.

Product to patent claim mapping is a detailed comparison of granted independent set of patent claims with the product, apparatus, machine, system or method / process

Best 6 Steps for Performing Product to Patent Claim Mapping

  1. Identify the infringing products.

  2. Prepare a claim mapping table describing every feature of the independent patent claim in separate cell.

  3. Interpret the scope and understand every feature of the independent patent claim.

  4. Note down the interpretation of every feature of the independent patent claim.

  5. Map (Compare) the identified infringed product with respect to every feature of the independent patent claim.

  6. Highlight the features identified in the product brochure for easy reference.

What is product to patent claim mapping in patent study?

Product to patent claim chart mapping is a detailed comparison of granted independent set of patent claims with the product, apparatus, machine, system or method / process that may be infringing the granted patent claims. The patent claim chart includes comparison of identified products infringing the granted patent. The steps includes analysing a set of granted patent claims with product features. Our computer software attorneys who are trained by US patent attorneys provide product to patent claim mapping services for ongoing US Patent court litigation. Our CS lawyers have been preparing Evidence of Use patent charts for over 10 years.

Product to patent claim mapping services for independent granted USA patent claims

Sample US claim chart for product to patent claim mapping

Patent Claim 16

Interpretation

Feature Present (Y/N)

Product 1 (iDAvatars)

16. An article of manufacture including a non-transitory computer-readable storage medium having stored hereon computer-executable instructions, execution of which, by a computing device, causes the computing device to perform operations for performing speech recognition, the operations comprising:

Any computing device performing one or more operations for performing speech recognition

Y

Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) [Page 1, para number 4]

initiating a finite state machine; User interacting with the computer-implemented voice user interface with personality. Y iDAvatars combines artificial intelligence with cutting-edge natural language processing technologies and state of the art animation to produce avatars that listen, speak and respond through talk, text and touch [Page 1, para number 2] voice response or text-only guidance [Page 1, para number 4]
receiving a voice input; Input data is user speech. Y Conversational avatars that promote patient engagement [Page 1, para number 1]

state of the art animation to produce avatars that listen [Page 1, para number 2]

interpreting the received voice input, comprising: interpret the spoken command of the user Y Natural Language Processing expertise [Page 1, para number 4] Speak and respond through talk [Page 1, para number 2]
transitioning to a domain state functionality of the finite state machine, determining which domain of functionality to proceed to next based upon an user dialog Y Natural Language Processing expertise, Cognitive computing capabilities [Page 1, para number 4]
selecting a generic prompt corresponding to the domain state functionality, and Analysing user dialog and selecting pre-stored response Y Natural Language Processing expertise, Cognitive computing capabilities [Page 1, para number 4]
selecting a specific prompt corresponding to the generic prompt, selecting a specific prompt that corresponds to the generic prompt, the voice user interface with personality considers both prompt history 930 (i.e., what the virtual assistant has said to the subscriber) and recognition history 916 (what the user has said to the virtual assistant). Y Natural Language Processing expertise,Cognitive computing capabilities [Page 1, para number 4]
wherein the specific prompt comprises
a variant of the generic prompt and also corresponds to the domain state functionality; Each prompt includes both a specific name (e.g., a specific prompt) and a generic name (e.g., a specific prompt corresponds to a generic prompt, and several different specific prompts can correspond to the generic prompt). Voice user interface with personality 1002 determines which domain of functionality to proceed to next based upon a dialog (e.g., dialog 1008) with a subscriber. N
and transmitting the specific prompt in a response. Computer-implemented voice user interface with personality can output to respond to various types of questions or responses in various situations during interactions with the user Y iDAvatars combines artificial intelligence with cutting-edge natural language processing technologies and state of the art animation to produce avatars that listen, speak and respond through talk [Page 1, para number 2]

We provide comprehensive Patent and Trademark legal services via our global network to create valuable patent portfolios and resolve complex patent disputes by providing patent litigation support services.

Our team of advanced patent attorneys assists clients with patent searches, drafting patent applications, and patent (intellectual property) agreements, including licensing and non-disclosure agreements.

Advocate Rahul Dev is a Patent Attorney & International Business Lawyer practicing Technology, Intellectual Property & Corporate Laws. He is reachable at rd (at) patentbusinesslawyer (dot) com & @rdpatentlawyer on Twitter.

Quoted in and contributed to 50+ national & international publications (Bloomberg, FirstPost, SwissInfo, Outlook Money, Yahoo News, Times of India, Economic Times, Business Standard, Quartz, Global Legal Post, International Bar Association, LawAsia, BioSpectrum Asia, Digital News Asia, e27, Leaders Speak, Entrepreneur India, VCCircle, AutoTech).

Regularly invited to speak at international & national platforms (conferences, TV channels, seminars, corporate trainings, government workshops) on technology, patents, business strategy, legal developments, leadership & management.

Working closely with patent attorneys along with international law firms with significant experience with lawyers in Asia Pacific providing services to clients in US and Europe. Flagship services include international patent and trademark filingspatent services in India and global patent consulting services.

Global Blockchain Lawyers (www.GlobalBlockchainLawyers.com) is a digital platform to discuss legal issues, latest technology and legal developments, and applicable laws in the dynamic field of Digital Currency, Blockchain, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and raising capital through the sale of tokens or coins (ICO or Initial Coin Offerings).

Blockchain ecosystem in India is evolving at a rapid pace and a proactive legal approach is required by blockchain lawyers in India to understand the complex nature of applicable laws and regulations.

 

Provisional Patent Filing

Provisional patent application is filed when the invention is not fully ready. A well drafted provisional patent provides patent pending rights to establish inventorship and patent ownership as patent office follows first to file approach to determine the true inventor of a patent covering new idea or product.

Formulating a sound patent strategy for your technology driven company is very important in the current era. Across the globe, the in-house patent counsels, heads of research departments, tech based startups and inventors file a preliminary patent application for their invention / idea before the patent office and is known as provisional patent application.

patent attorney for drafting patent application

How to Patent a Product?

It is extremely common for the inventors to ask this question about patenting a novel and inventive product. The first and foremost requirement for inventors while planning for patent process is to maintain proper records of their invention. In essence, laboratory notebooks, idea related documentation, technical specification and other details should be recorded with date, which can establish clear inventorship and ownership of the invention at a later date. It is common for the inventors to docket each and every step of the inventive process, inventive product and novel aspects of the invention, with a view to determine the patentability or patent eligibility of the invention. 

Subsequently, a detailed and thorough patent search is conducted to determine the relevant prior art, which can challenge the novelty and inventive step (non-obviousness) of the invention. While conducting a patent search, the patent searcher or the patent attorney conducts detailed patent search and analysis across various databases, such as, for example, Google Patents, USPTO Patent Database, EPO, UKIPO, JPO etc. Such patent search is conducted by forming multiple patent search strings and using these strings in different combinations by using boolean operators like AND, OR etc.

How much does it cost to file a patent?

The cost of filing a patent and obtaining patent rights depend upon multiple steps. The patent filing process begins by engaging a patent attorney, who charges a fee for conducting a patent search and drafting a patent application, which may be a provisional patent application (PPA) followed by a non-provisional patent application (NPA), or a NPA directly. The professional charges for patent searching and patent drafting by a competent patent attorney may be in the range of 2000$ to 8000$, or maybe upwards depending upon the jurisdiction of the patent and experience of the patent lawyer. Additional component to calculate the patent cost includes official filing fee, which again varies for each jurisdiction and is further dependent upon the category of the patent applicant, i.e. one or more natural person(s) or one or more legal entities. 

Once a patent application is filed, additional cost is required to maintain the pending patent application, and once the patent office issues a patent office action or a patent examination report, further cost is incurred for responding to such objections by way of patent office action response. Thereafter, once the patent prosecution process is complete, patent renewal fee is required to be paid at regular intervals during the term of the patent. Hence, as may be seen, the total cost of a patent depends upon multiple steps, subject to the jurisdiction and requirements specified by the local patent office.

How do you patent an idea or a product?

To protect a new idea or a new product, a well crafted patent strategy is required that ensures that the new idea or the new product is not infringed by third parties. One important point to be considered is that patent laws across various countries or jurisdictions require that a patent application must be filed before disclosing or discussing the idea publicly. This is so because once a new idea is shared publicly without filing a patent application, it becomes public knowledge and anyone is free to execute the idea.

How do I turn my idea into a product?

Successful conversion of new ideas into products requires detailed market research, development of prototypes and appropriate patent marketing. Operationally, patent licensing opportunities can be determined by conducting thorough studies about market potential, financial and technical due diligence, regulatory analysis and SWOT analysis.

What is a provisional patent application?

The provisional patent application is a legal document filed before the patent office (For example,  United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Indian Patent Office (IPO) or any other patent office.) If a US national is filing patent before the USPTO, the patent application would be known as U.S. national patent application having validity in U.S. alone. Even though, formal set of patent claims are not mandatory in the provisional patent filing we recommend our clients to write a broad set of patent claims in the provisional patent application

However, in order to obtain a granted patent, the patent applicant must fully and particularly describe the invention  in detail and describe the best mode in a complete specification. It is important to remember the deadline for filing Non-provisional patent application. Once the Non-provisional patent application in filed in the home country, one can file international PCT patent before the WIPO.

Missing the deadline for patent filing of complete / non-provisional patent application [12 months from filing provisional patent application] will cause irreparable loss and the provisional application will simply expire.

To read more articles related to Provisional patent applications: click here

Frequently Asked Questions by Inventors

Priority date implies the earliest date from which the patent rights begin, and while determining the term of a patent or during patent infringement lawsuits, the priority date plays a crucial role.

It is common for inventors to develop prototypes and pen down ideas during early stages before finalising the exact features of the invention. To ensure appropriate protection during this period, and to establish ownership by creating patent pending rights, it is important for the inventors to file a provisional patent application.

Provisional Patent Application

A provisional application is a summary of the invention and is filed to protect the invention at its early stage.

Since 8th June, 1995, U.S Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has provided inventors the choice of filing a provisional application for patent which was intended to provide a lower-cost prior patent filing within the United States and to administer U.S. applicants equality with foreign applicants under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Uruguay Round Agreements.

If an applicant has filed the a Provisional Patent Application for grant of patent he/she has to file the Non-Provisional/Complete Patent Application filed under U.S. Code § 111 of Title 35, within a period of 12 months from the date of filing of the provisional application or else the application will be considered to be abandoned. The pendency period of 12 months cannot be extended, but if the Non-Provisional/Complete Patent Application is filed after 14 months of filing the Provisional Patent Application, such application may be accepted by filing a grantable petition (including a statement that the delay in filing the Non-Provisional/Complete Patent Application was not deliberate and the required petition fee has been paid) to reinstate the advantages under 37 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 1.78.

Non-Provisional/Complete Patents v. Provisional Patents

> Non-Provisional/Complete Patents are most undeviating and therefore, the shortest path to grant of patents, whereas, Provisional Patents have a much lower cost of applying as compared to Non-Provisional/Complete Patents.

> A Non-Provisional/Complete Patents is good for inventions that have a short half life much like electronics and software which are about to be launched into the market, whereas, Provisional Patents are good for inventions that take time for R&D and thus needs to be kept under wraps by getting an additional year for filing for grant of the patent with complete specifications of the patent.

> In case the applicant wants to make additions after filling for Non-Provisional/Complete Patents, he/she has to do it by re-filing those addition inventions, whereas in Provisional Patents, the applicant has one whole year to make all the changes he/she wants in the patent and it also benefits the applicant by addition one extra year to the patent life (i.e., from 20 years to 21 years).

> One can only file his/her patents application as Non-Provisional/Complete Patent, in one time, whereas multiple Provisional Patent Applications may be filed by the applicant and be considered as one at the end of one year.

Limitation of Provisional Patent Applications

With some benefits, the Provisional Patents also attract certain limitations which are as follows:

1) The Provisional Patents Applications cost more than Complete Applications since the effort put in is double.

2) Even though the patent specifications will be kept from public record, the invention will has to be disclosed.

3) In case the applicant misses the one year deadline of filing the Non-Provisional/Complete Patent Application, the application will be considered as abandoned.

Filing of Provisional Patents Applications

A filing date will be granted to a Provisional Patent Application only when it contains a written description of the invention, fulfilling with all requirements of U.S. Code § 112(a) of Title 35.

The USPTO provides the following two documents for filing of Provisional Patent Application which have to be filled by either the applicant himself or his/her legal representative:

* Provisional Cover Sheet identifying;

* the application as a provisional application for patent;

* the name(s) of all inventors;

* inventor residence(s);

* title of the invention;

* name and registration number of attorney or agent and docket number (if applicable);

* correspondence address; and

* any U.S. Government agency that has a property interest in the application.

* Fee Transmittal Form as set forth in 37 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 1.16(d)

The provisional application (written description and drawings), filing fee and cover sheet can be filed electronically using EFS-Web or filed by mail.

Electronically Using EFS-Web: The provisional application can be filed electronically only if EFS-Web is used. EFS-Web permits patent applications, together with provisional applications, to be filed safely via the Internet. Applicants prepare documents in Portable Document Format (PDF), attach the documents, authenticate that the PDF documents will be well-matched with USPTO internal automated information systems, submit the documents, and pay fees with real-time payment processing. When fillable EFS-Web forms are used, the data entered into the forms is robotically loaded into USPTO information systems. Further information on EFS-Web is available here.

By Mail: The provisional application and filing fee can be mailed to:

Commissioner for Patents

P.O. Box 1450

Alexandria, VA 22313-145

USPTO Patent Filing

What information to include in a provisional patent application while filing it before US patent office USPTO ?

Many a times, our patent clients ask about what all information we should provide which can be included in the provisional patent application. However,  it is a known fact that you get protection for matter you disclose in the patent application. Having said that, it is important to include as much technical information as possible in the provisional patent disclosure.

The provisional patent application should describe the nature of invention & contain the description of essential elements of the invention. A provisional patent application with detailed explanation provides a good skeleton for the patent attorney to convert it into a utility / non-provisional patent application.

For example, a start-up research company is in phase I for making a new antibody to a particular antigen, but lack finances to actually create the antibody itself. Generally, in such a scenario the start-up research company will pitch the idea to the venture capital entities in exchange for the monetary funds needed to create the antibody. It is advisable for the start-up research company to first file a provisional patent application that includes details about the particular antigen and novel description for the same. More details of the main elements should be included in the provisional patent application.

Advantages for Filing Provisional Patent Application

As a patent centric firm managed by highly experienced patent attorneys and patent lawyers, we retrieve and provide clients with strong patentability analysis reports in addition to provisional patent application drafting, which can save time and money during the entire patent process. Such thorough patent research is aligned with the business strategy and corporate evaluations of the clients, so that potentially strong patent applications are filed to create a valuable patent portfolio, thereby adding to the intangible assets owned by the clients.

Advocate Rahul Dev is a Patent Attorney & International Business Lawyer practicing Technology, Intellectual Property & Corporate Laws. He is reachable at rd (at) patentbusinesslawyer (dot) com & @rdpatentlawyer on Twitter

Quoted in and contributed to 50+ national & international publications (Bloomberg, FirstPost, SwissInfo, Outlook Money, Yahoo News, Times of India, Economic Times, Business Standard, Quartz, Global Legal Post, International Bar Association, LawAsia, BioSpectrum Asia, Digital News Asia, e27, Leaders Speak, Entrepreneur India, VCCircle, AutoTech)

Regularly invited to speak at international & national platforms (conferences, TV channels, seminars, corporate trainings, government workshops) on technology, patents, business strategy, legal developments, leadership & management

Working closely with patent attorneys along with international law firms with significant experience with lawyers in Asia Pacific providing services to clients in US and Europe. Flagship services include international patent and trademark filingspatent services in India and global patent consulting services.

Global Blockchain Lawyers (www.GlobalBlockchainLawyers.com) is a digital platform to discuss legal issues, latest technology and legal developments, and applicable laws in the dynamic field of Digital Currency, Blockchain, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and raising capital through the sale of tokens or coins (ICO or Initial Coin Offerings).

Blockchain ecosystem in India is evolving at a rapid pace and a proactive legal approach is required by blockchain lawyers in India to understand the complex nature of applicable laws and regulations.

Blockchain Patents

Blockchain is one of most hyped technology in recent times, and patent protection for blockchain based innovations will have a high degree of impact on projects covering smart contracts, cryptocurrency (Bitcoin), distributed ledger, financial technology (FinTech) products and supply chain management.

Like all other patents, blockchain patents are exclusive rights which are issued by an official authority like an intergovernmental organization or a sovereign state. These exclusive rights are of the inventor or the assignee which he/she gets in exchange for providing the details of the invention in a public domain.

patent lawyer in india

Blockchain Patent embodies the new business value of “trust”. Information technology infrastructure readiness will wither make or break the future of Blockchain because collaboration is the basis for Blockchain innovation. Thus, you should go slowly before you get fast by following the 3 A’s – Awareness, Adoption & Acceptance. A flexible approach will help beat security, privacy, scalability and interoperability challenges.

Blockchain has achieved global importance in recent years due to Bitcoin. It depends on encryption for safety and distributed computer technology. Instead of counting on a third party, it preserves, corroborates, broadcasts, and exchanges data over a distributed network, thereby delivering trusted and value at a very low cost. To get a head start in blockchain standardization and patents, the Chinese government has encouraged the industry, academia, and research institutes to develop related technologies and apply for patents. Some of the leading vendors of Blockchain Patents are Alibaba, Tencent, Xiaomi, Huawei, SinoChain, Bubi Technologies, IBM Intel etc.

Blockchain Patent Landscape

Globally, patent applications pertaining to blockchain technology have been rising rapidly. A thorough review and analysis of blockchain patent landscape reveals that blockchain patents are being filed worldwide in the financial sector, non-financial sector (real estate), and other generic sectors. It is expected that with growth of blockchain, and with introduction of novel innovations using blockchain, patents are bound to increase in this area, thereby increasing the possibility of blockchain patent lawsuits and blockchain patent licensing.

First Blockchain Patent

As reported by CoinDesk, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), has explored ways to authenticate digital certificates and store data in a sharable blockchain. As per a patent application filed with China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), the bank aims to use a blockchain system to improve the efficiency of certificate issuance and save users from repetitively filing the same document to multiple entities. In use, the technology, based on the patent, touts a system where a certificate issuer will first match a user’s credential with a particular certificate digitally. After it’s approved, the data will be encrypted and moved onto a blockchain which will update the distributed ledger held by different entities that could potential require this certificate. By further decrypting the data with users’ specific credentials, the system will allow entities to view an authenticated document digitally to streamline its operation flow.

As reported therein, the referenced patent, currently the first blockchain-related one filed by the bank with the SIPO, was first submitted in November 2017 and released on Friday. It explained that the technological exploration stems from the current pain point where consumers are constantly being required to submit the same certificate – such as for birth, marriage or eduction – by different entities they are dealing with.

Number of Blockchain Patents

As per numerous reports, there exist more than 500 blockchain patents worldwide. As it may seem obvious, majority of these patents are filed by banking and financial companies, thereby leading to a possible patent war in future. Apart from potential patent battle, multiple patent licensing opportunities can also be expected in near future.

List of Blockchain Patents

The first mentions of blockchain and cryptocurrency-related patents appeared around 2012, as per USPTO records. During the 2012-2015 period, in the U.S. alone, establishments had had congregate a minimum of eighty three patent applications that contained words like “cryptocurrency” and “blockchain” in their forms. Consequently, that number has escalated even further since, 2017 was a very active year for blockchain and cryptocurrency patent filings. The number of major patent applications appears to be on the rise throughout the primary months of 2018.

IBM Blockchain Patents

As a result of comprehensive research and development efforts, IBM inventors have received a record 9,043 patents in 2017, marking the company’s 25th consecutive year of U.S. patent leadership and crossing the 100,000-patent milestone. As reported by IBM, almost half of the patents granted to IBM in 2017 are pioneering advancements in AI, cloud computing, cybersecurity, blockchain and quantum computing.

Blockchain Patent Apps

Blockchain acts as an enabler for other high technologies such as IoT (Internet of Things), Machine Learning, AI (Artificial Intelligence). There are about 100 million users of Blockchain applications worldwide, which also include various blockchain patent apps.

Blockchain Patents by Company

Major financial and technological enterprises from China and also the U.S. are leading the world drive to develop blockchain applications, according to a new report that ranks entities by patents filed. The Internet giant in China, Alibaba tops the list with a total of 90 patent applications targeted on blockchain-related technologies. In second place is IBM, which plunged by just one short of that total with 89 filings, while Mastercard occupies third place with 80 filings. Bank of America secured the fourth place, with 53 blockchain patent applications.

Who owns blockchain patents?

It’s straightforward to see why big, well-established FinTech companies (i.e. JPMorgan, Mastercard, Bank of America, etc.) would desire to file patents for blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies. However, the kinds of companies filing such patents appear to be increasing in variety each year.

Companies from “traditional industries” are also opening to file more blockchain and cryptocurrency patents. For instance, Zhong An, a large Chinese insurance company, is functioning on a number of innovative blockchain technologies. The rise in patent applications from companies which were once considered to be in non-tech sectors are helping re-shape the way people look at the long run of business and tech in the global economy.

Is the Blockchain even Patentable?

It is likely that patent applications will multiply, but the immediate question is whether they can overcome the hurdles presented in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, (2014) US Supreme Court decision. The Supreme Court unanimously held that claims to a computer-implemented technique of extenuating “settlement risk” in financial transactions were barred from patenting. The Court elucidates that a claim directed to an abstract idea is not qualified for patent protection when it “merely requires generic computer implementation” or “attempt[s] to limit the use of [the idea] to a selected technological surroundings.”

Blockchain and Cryptocurrency

Over 10,000 years ago, humans began wisdom to use shells to trade for supplies. Shells eventually turned into money. Now, with the development of the Internet, digital currency has begun to pass and is gradually replacing traditional currency. Unparalleled changes in payment strategies are coming about as a consequence. The sudden surfacing of cryptocurrencies such as BitCoin, Ethereum, and LiteCoin has forced the financial world to meet these changes head-on and to consider complete changes. Cryptocurrencies are ready to develop unhampered by the traditional financial system because they are backed by a key technology – the blockchain. In its fundamental form it is an open ledger of information that can be used to store and track transactions, and which is exchanged and verified on a peer-to-peer network.

Distributed Ledger

A blockchain is a type of distributed ledger, consisting of unalterable, digitally recorded data in packages called blocks. A novel solution achieves this without any trusted central authority: preservation of the blockchain is performed by a network of communicating nodes running bitcoin software. Transactions of the form payer A sends B bitcoins to payee C are broadcast to this network using voluntarily available software applications. Network nodes can authenticate transactions, add them to their copy of the ledger, and then transmit these ledger additions to other nodes. The blockchain is a distributed database – to achieve independent verification of the chain of ownership of any and every bitcoin (amount), each network node stores its own copy of the blockchain. Approximately six times per hour, a new group of accepted transactions, a block, is created, added to the blockchain, and quickly published to all nodes. This allows bitcoin software to determine when a particular bitcoin amount has been spent, which is necessary in order to prevent double-spending in an environment without central oversight. Whereas a conventional ledger records the transfers of actual bills or promissory notes that exist apart from it, the blockchain is the only place that bitcoins can be said to exist in the form of unspent outputs of transactions. Blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin could profoundly alter the way banks do business worldwide, lowering their operating costs and making financial services securer and more accessible, a World Economic Forum report finds Technology could lead to lower fees for consumers, better regulatory oversight and better preparedness against financial bubbles, but impact is likely to be mostly limited to the back-end of banking operations, with major disruption through innovations such as bitcoin less likely to transform the industry.

Blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies create a trustworthy and transparent record by allowing multiple parties to a transaction to verify what will be entered onto a ledger in advance without any single party having the ability to change any ledger entries later on. Each transaction or “block” is transmitted to all the participants in the network and must be verified by each participant “node” solving a complex mathematical puzzle. Once the block is verified, it is added to the ledger or chain.

Blockchain technology enables cryptocurrencies, which are peer-to-peer, decentralized, digital currencies capable of serving in highly secure transactions. Pseudonymous developer(s) Satoshi Nakamoto introduced BitCoin in January 2009, offering a currency that used no paper or metal

but only 31,000 lines of code and an announcement on the Internet.8 Today, the market capitalization of bitcoin is around $10.5 billion.

Blockchain Applications for Banks

The blockchain can guarantee the provenance of every transaction—a service currently provided for banks by a cumbersome and bureaucratic set of back-office systems. With blockchain architecture, there is no need for a central clearinghouse or financial institution to act as a third party to financial transactions, because trust in the system is created by a type of cryptography. Moreover, according to Blythe Masters of Digital Asset Holdings, “one master prime record can eliminate the need for reconciliation, which is a very costly process for financial institutions, while improving compliance, security and privacy.”11 The economic impact is that a cryptocurrency carries a very low transaction cost and, theoretically, offers a cheaper electronic payment method.

The blockchain technology has created a whole new playing field, and the game could yet be very hard-fought. It remains to be seen whether this becomes a winner-takes-all race and how the issue of standards for the technology will be managed. But in the face of a disruptive technology, banks will be keen to protect their innovations.

Limitations & Challenges of Blockchain in Public Sector

Blockchain is not a cure-all, it has certain limitations and challenges to face in the public sector, such as:

1) IMMUTABILITY- A blockchain is an add-only list. Once data is added, it can’t be removed. Perhaps not a good fit when updating/deleting data is a regular occurrence.

2) DATA STORAGE – Databases are often used to store large amounts of data (images, docs, apps, etc.). However, Blockchain is designed for small pockets of data. If data storage is needed, Blockchain may not be a good fit, or a hybrid solution may be needed.

3) TALKING ABOUT BLOCKCHAIN – The act of explaining blockchain to public officials and civil servants is difficult. De-linking blockchain from Bitcoin and discussing how it can improve efficiency and strengthen mission effectiveness can help.

4) COSTS – Higher short-term costs associated with a still- emerging technology prevent its widespread use. Blockchain-as-a-service products are starting to be offered that can allow for experimentation.

5) BLOCKERS – People often flag issues such as energy consumption and scalability as Blockchain blockers. However, many of these are irrelevant to government Blockchain implementations (i.e., only apply to Proof of Work consensus on permissionless/pubic blockchains).

6) CODING & GOVERNANCE MODELS – Blockchains are known for eliminating the need for central authority, but this is not entirely true. They must be coded and governed by those entrusted with key roles. Governments must build a technical knowledge base to ensure these decisions are made well (even if the actual coding is outsourced).

Blockchain Innovations

The more blockchain innovators join together to protect and nurture our innovation, the better for our ecosystem. We all agree that patents in the wrong hands will hurt our industry and the speed at which others embrace blockchain. We all must take responsibility and be good corporate citizens when it comes to IP. By removing the uncertainty that comes from PAEs, we can avoid the turmoil and costly litigation we saw play out in the Smartphone and semiconductor industries. If we remove friction, we can accelerate the adoption of blockchain technology. This tide will raise all boats.

Whether you are an investor or an entrepreneur in blockchain projects, you should strongly consider the manner by which your projects handle their intellectual property and do careful diligence to ensure that your interests are not threatened by a potential patent battle.

Advocate Rahul Dev is a Patent Attorney & International Business Lawyer practicing Technology, Intellectual Property & Corporate Laws. He is reachable at rd (at) patentbusinesslawyer (dot) com & @rdpatentlawyer on Twitter

Quoted in and contributed to 50+ national & international publications(Bloomberg, FirstPost, SwissInfo, Outlook Money, Yahoo News, Times of India, Economic Times, Business Standard, Quartz, Global Legal Post, International Bar Association, LawAsia, BioSpectrum Asia, Digital News Asia, e27, Leaders Speak, Entrepreneur India, VCCircle, AutoTech)

Regularly invited to speak at international & national platforms (conferences, TV channels, seminars, corporate trainings, government workshops) on technology, patents, business strategy, legal developments, leadership & management

Working closely with patent attorneys along with international law firms with significant experience with lawyers in Asia Pacific providing services to clients in US and Europe. Flagship services include international patent and trademark filingspatent services in India and global patent consulting services.

Global Blockchain Lawyers (www.GlobalBlockchainLawyers.com) is a digital platform to discuss legal issues, latest technology and legal developments, and applicable laws in the dynamic field of Digital Currency, Blockchain, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and raising capital through the sale of tokens or coins (ICO or Initial Coin Offerings).

Blockchain ecosystem in India is evolving at a rapid pace and a proactive legal approach is required by blockchain lawyers in India to understand the complex nature of applicable laws and regulations.

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