Blog, India, Industry News, Intellectual Property, IP industry, Patent

The growing role and potential implications of AI on patents

As artificial intelligence systems start to co-author patents, how they are treated as part of the organization is going to be a challenge for companies using them for patents.

AI is without doubt the latest buzzword in town. Although it’s not as recent a phenomenon as one thinks, it has definitely penetrated our lives in the recent years more than ever. Be it Google assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, or Apple’s Siri – all of them are powered by a backend AI engine, which is ever learning and ever improving.

Although, AI is penetrating every field now, pharma was one of the earliest adopters of the technology utilizing the AI engines in drug discovery, diagnosis of disease. In 2017, the researchers at Stanford university trained an AI engine using 129,450 clinical images, and then tested its performance against 21 certified dermatologists in identifying Skin diseases. The AI was proven to be as efficient as human dermatologists in recognizing skin cancer. When it comes to patents and AI, there are several issues as discussed in following paragraphs.
Patentability of AI based inventions
As much as it is complex in nature, and ever learning, and ever improving, AI is a software, and software patentability has been frowned upon by law across the globe. In Europe, Article 52 of the European Patent Convention clearly states that “The following in particular shall not be regarded as inventions: schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business, and programs for computers”.

Similarly, the Indian Patent act in Section 3(k) also states the computer programs as not being patentable per se. Although, the law seems to be united against the patenting the AI, but there have been workarounds for patenting the software, for example, in India, the software patents have been allowed in case they are tied up with a hardware, for example, the computer processor on which the software executes, so AI related inventions will not likely be very different.

AI as an Inventor

Perhaps, the most interesting issue in the patenting industry is of the AI being a named inventor of the algorithms it develops. DABUS (“Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience”) is an AI system developed by Dr. Stephen Thaler, which was also named as an inventor in two patent applications on the technology that was developed by the AI. The patent applications, with DABUS as inventor, were filed in US, UK and European Patent Office.

All the three patent offices rejected the patent applications that named DABUS as inventor. The key grounds for rejecting the patent applications were that the laws, as written, envision a natural person to be an inventor and not an AI.

Clearly, there’s a gap in the current legislations which the law makers across the globe need to ponder over and address in case AI systems were to become inventors.

But things do not stop there, in case an AI invented something, who owns the technology and the intellectual property generated thereby?Most of the organizations own the intellectual property generated by the employees, as they are working for the organization for emoluments. Is it safe to consider that DABUS, was working under the supervision of Dr. Stephen and his organization, therefore, the intellectual property belongs to the organization? That would that make DABUS an employee of the organization, giving the AI legal rights.AI being an ever learning system, what if DABUS further evolves and says no?

AI assisted patent intelligence

AI has impacted many industries, and Patents is no different. The major benefit of the AI would be to make the process more efficient and faster across all levels – the patent searching, patent examination and grant process, and even patent licensing. The patents data is very structured across the globe – there is a defined way to draft a patent, there are defined sections in patents that contain specific information.

If AI systems can help consume unstructured data and observe trends from it, absorbing patents data to identify patterns will be a relatively easy task for an AI engine. AI is already integrated in may patent searching tools today, and are making the searching process more and more efficient.

For the same search query, a search engine backed by AI results in less false positive results.AI based translation engines are making more and more patents accessible to public by translating patents to English. The Indian Patent Office is also interested in leveraging the AI based engines to make the patent granting process more efficient.


From the standpoint of patents, the AI is still in the nascent stage and we are yet to witness the full extent of the benefits it can provide. There is no denying that the AI systems will prove to be tremendously beneficial to everyone by making the process more efficient and faster. Also, the legislation across the globe seems to be the lagging behind, as most of the patent laws today were written in an era when AI was just a science fiction, which will need to be updated to match the recent phenomenon.

The author is Vice President, Effectual Services- Advisory firm that offers IP support solutions

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Articles, Industry News, Intellectual Property, IP industry, Patent, Tips

The Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Technology Innovation

Intellectual Property (IP) is a term which refers to intangible creations that arise from human intellect. There are many types of IP recognized by law, and each type provides some form of protection to a person who has made the creation. The basic idea behind various types of IP is to provide an incentive to the owners to disclose the idea to public, so that others can further develop the technology, and therefore, it leads to an overall growth of science and technology. As logical as this may be, it has been criticized by many – people who follow an opposing school of thought propose that IP rights serve as a tool to provide monopoly to large corporations, and it’s difficult for smaller players to invest in R&D as much as bigger companies, eventually, strict implementations of IP laws kill the innovation and thus it defeats the sole purpose. Let’s examine this with help of history –

The Indian Pharma sector

The Indian Patent Act was enacted in 1970, at that time, the lawmakers did not allow protection to pharmaceutical products (i.e. medicines) under the act, but only afforded protection to “methods” of making pharmaceutical products. This allowed the Indian pharma industry to reverse engineer the drugs made by international companies, and manufacture them using alternate methods, i.e. they could make same API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) using different methods. Needless to say, that the exercise of researching an API is more capital intensive, than researching for an alternate method to produce the same API – and thus, came the rise of Indian generic drugs.

Looking back, it seems like the lawmakers might have done this intentionally, to preserve and promote the domestic pharma industry, as they knew that the domestic pharma industry probably did not have the necessary means to innovate back then. The result – India became the world’s largest provider of generic drugs, and we primarily became “imitators”and not “creators”.

The laws have since then been amended multiple to be TRIPS compliant, and since year 2005, India allows patenting of Pharma products. The industry reacted to this positively and domestic firms, since then and even prior to that, have slowly been investing more money into their R&D programs or have formed alliances to tap into these opportunities. Back then, when the patent law was enacted, the Indian pharma companies might not have been very capable of innovating and competing against international pharma giants, but today, we have companies like Biocon and Dr. Reddy’s – who rely heavily on R&D and have filed numerous patents across the globe, and are already competing against international pharma giants.

The Chinese example –

China is without doubt the manufacturing base of the globe, and Chinese products are synonyms for counterfeit for many. However, like India, Chinese patent laws are evolving and are moving towards a stricter IPR regimen – a brief review of the history of IP laws in China reveals this fact. Chinese patents act was enacted back in 1984 and thereafter, there have been three main amendments – the 1992 amendment, the 2000 amendment and the 2008 amendment. The 1992 amendment was made in accordance with “Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the United States and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Intellectual Property.”. The 2000 amendment was made in anticipation of China becoming a member of World Trade Organization (WTO). Both these amendments aimed to create a stricter IP regime, which was more in compliance with the developed countries across the globe. However, the 2008 amendment, which was also directed to creating a stricter IPR regimen and to promote patent filings, was purely voluntary and was done without any external pressure.

The result – China overtook US in 2011 in terms of patent filing, which was the leading country in patent filings till then. Since then, the China patent filings have remained more than double of US (Source: WIPO IP Statistics Data Center).

By encouraging the patent filings, and imposing a stricter IP regime, China aims to move from being a manufacturing hub to more of a research hub. It is not surprising to note Huawei among the top companies conducting active research and filing patents in 5G space.

The case of Robert Kearns –

Innovation not only stems from R&D labs of big companies but also from companies that start from a garage –key examples being companies like Apple and individuals like Robert Kearns. Robert Kearns was an inventor made famous by his patent war against automobile companies in US during 1978-1992. He was an inventor of intermittent windshield wiper, which was useful in light rain or mist, and held a patent for the technology. He tried to license his technology to General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler but each rejected his proposal. Even though the proposal was rejected, Ford and Chrysler went on to implement his technology in the cars they manufactured. Thus ensued the most interesting patent infringement cases that ran years, and finally the courts decided in favor of Robert, and the auto giants had to pay damages to Robert.

Conclusion –

From the standpoint of IP, the countries across the globe can be divided into two broad segments – Developed & Innovating and Developing & Imitating. The Developed and Innovating have well defined and well understood IP laws that impose a stricter IP regimen, which leads to innovation. Then comes the second segment – of which countries like India and China are a part, which are gradually moving to an ever stricter IP regimen, albeit with some temporary intentional delays recorded in India.

Stricter IP laws do seem to have a positive impact on driving innovation, at least in a longer run, and in the countries in which the industry has potential, and is capable of innovation. It seems that the hypothesis – “strict implementations of IP laws kill the innovation” might not be correct after all, and is more focused in short sighted goals. In fact, if it were not for a solid IPR regimen, it become easier for bigger companies to steal the idea from a genuine individual inventor – as we see from the case of Robert Kearns.

It is safe to assume that India does have a lot of potential of innovation, and with initiatives like “Make in India” every industry in India will react to become more and more innovating, and eventually, the legislation and the courts will enforce a stricter IP regimen in India as well.

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Press Releases

Effectual Services announces the opening of a new office in Mohali, Punjab

With plans to expand company’s business,The new office in Mohali will have a total headcount of 100 employees by end of the year 2020

Mohali, July 2020: Effectual Services, a leading Intellectual Property Management advisory firm continues to strengthen its presence in India and plans to expand business and company footprint. Effectual Services announced the opening of a new office in Mohali which will house over 100 employees. In 2019, the company had announced expansion in its corporate office, hired over 200 employees and moved to a new location.

In sync with the company’s strategy and to expand in the Punjab region, Effectual Services plans to hire more than 50 employees in immediate future who will be assigned to allow the organization to enhance its service volumes by providing IP support solutions to Fortune 500 companies, law firms, research institutes, universities, and venture capital and PE firms.

Effectual Services is focusing on expanding exponentially in the domestic as well as the global market. The Effectual Services team of multi-disciplinary experts working in Mohali will contribute to company’s goals of global and domestic expansion. The organization aims at building competency to deliver the depth and breadth of expertise, insight and quality that the clients demand and deserve. In Mohali, Effectual Services will be increasing the total employee base to over 25% in the next 2 years.

In the near future, the organization would add more offices / centers to the company’s portfolio. Effectual Services will be looking at expansion in several hubs known for technical innovation and strategizing. The company’s growth will also focus on vertical expansion investing in newer business opportunities that will be beneficial for company’s organic, revenue and business growth.

Speaking about the new office Amit Aggarwal, Co-Founder, and Director, Effectual Services said; “We are thrilled to expand our footprints in Punjab. This is an opportunity for us to introduce ourselves in a location with the best talent that is absolutely relevant to our business. Mohali was a sensible choice for us and for our clients to continue to provide expert and serve better. While our main goal is to ensure that our existing clients get the timely service and support they need. Opening a second office in India was a logical step in our business growth strategy and response to an increasing demand from both clients and trap some best talents. We would continue to hire creative and innovative talent that helps us drive and achieve the company’s larger goals.”

“With the opening of our new facility in Mohali, we have received a new platform to serve a range of new clients.” he added.

About Effectual Services

Effectual Services is a leading Intellectual Property Management Advisory firm that offers IP support solutions to Fortune 500 companies, leading law firms, research institutes and universities, and venture capital firms/PE firms. It has a team of multi-disciplinary experts, who have rich experience in handling complex patent assignments in domains that include Alternative Energy, Automotive and Aerospace, Biomedical, Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals, Chemicals and Materials, Information Technology, Electronics and Computers, Life Sciences, Telecommunications and many others. The company also provides Intellectual Property Support Services (IPSS) such as proofreading, docketing, creating an Information Disclosure Statement and expertise during the Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) process.

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Blog, Industry News, Intellectual Property, IP industry

Blockchain- Transforming And Revolutionising Intellectual Property Rights in India

“The ultimate aim of making the innovational sphere a fair playfield to nurture as well as promote innovation, depends solely on the amount on reliability as well as transparency we can offer. The introduction of the Blockchain to the supply chain is the catalyst we need to achieve all of that.”

The spark towards the information revolution kindled by Blockchain is the modern-day counter-part of what steam engine and other technologies did for the industrial revolution back then. The distributed ledger introduced to the world back in 2008, is pushing the boundaries of the digitised world by revolutionising every industry from Fintech to real estate and has the potential of bringing another radical transformation due for the mankind since the advent of Internet. The biggest uncertainty regarding the digital ledger paying back to the IPR industry for the protection it has offered to the notion since its conception is no longer followed by a question mark, as PTOs all over the world are exploring the different applications of the immutability, reliability, transparency and security offered by Blockchain to the various aspects of the life cycle of IP rights.

Blockchain: Applications in IP

The first and foremost application of the technology in the domain takes the form of a “Smart register” for maintaining an online registry of IP assets and registering patents, trademarks etc. to put an end on the slowpoke and money sinkhole disputes surrounding the ownership of IP assets. Another application lies in tracking the forgery of protected goods by mounting a Blockchain base tag to track the entire lifecycle of goods. Further, in the PTOs, the technology can redefine the working of every stage from filing-to-grant of the application by minimizing the human effort required and can hence reduce the time-to-grant for the applications, something, the inventors and PTOs have collectively wished for throughout the years.

Blockchain in IP: The Indian Landscape

Protection of the assets and IPR rights has always been a worrisome area in India and has even obstructed or atleast impeded the foreign investments in certain sectors. For the same reason, the Central Government has been keenly working on strengthening the IPR regime in the country and the recent steps by the government, like expediting time-to-grant, promoting IPR in the educational sector, increasing the number of examiners etc. have all been in the same direction. But the greatest step towards the notion can be seen in the form of the recent tender issued by the IPO exploring the use of AI and Blockchain to form the platform “IndiaChain”. It is expected to be the world’s largest blockchain implementation program in governance.

The IPO aims to revolutionise the IP process via the infrastructure by using the hash-based technology to improve the experience for inventors as well as examiners. By streamlining the registration process via Blockchain, the IPO purports to be able to foretell the timelines for the inventors regarding the different actions of the office as well as rectify the disparities surrounding the first to file rule among the applicants.


Despite the concerns surrounding the enormous task of inter-connecting IP registries and the massive power requirements of a Blockchain-based infrastructure, IPO has laid down the foundation stone for the amalgamation of the technology into the IP ecosystem. If the prophecy regarding the technology being even more beneficial to the innovational sphere than the finance domain, turns out to be true, we might see IPO moving towards more advanced uses of the technology like ledger management, a supervisory authority for tracking the use of IP assets in the market and their commercialization for investors via a bidding system; providing a central and government-backed market place for innovators to catch the eyes of the tech-titans etc. and many other potential applications bringing the revolution promised by the ledger to the table.


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Articles, India, Industry News, Intellectual Property, IP industry

Covid19- Impact on Patent Filings in India

The coronaviruses that registered their first presence on the planet more than 50 years ago, recently became the hot topic of every conversation when the 7th known coronavirus, popularly known as Covid-19, took the entire world under its blanket and since then, every passing day adds to the horror of it as the tally of worldwide infected people increases with little to no promise of the development of a successful vaccine the next day. Covid-19 has brought an economical, health, financial as well as asocial crisis on every continent, country, state that none of them was prepared for and the only known counter-action to the governments, the “Lockdown,” has been cataclysmic for every business sector, from agriculture to IT, leaving them counting the costs. Although the world of intellectual property has successfully avoided a complete halt, the innovational pool has not been completely immune to the pandemic.

Covid-19 and Intellectual property: The after-effects

As stated above, the IP sector has so far managed to maintain the curve amidst the pandemic, but prolonged existence of the outbreak can nudge the IP and legal services domain to plummet as companies holding big IP portfolios are among the ones greatly affected by the virus and as a counter-act to tackle the declining economy, have started cost-cutting by minimizing the expenditure on maintenance of patents as well as prosecution. To further mitigate the expenditure, IP holders are even considering reducing the research costs as well as abandoning the holding of patents or the acquisition of new IP ideas.

Another after-effect of the pandemic can be an alarming reduction in the number of PCT applications filing as companies would refrain from spending extra bucks on patenting their innovation in every nation and would cleverly limit their filings to selective countries depending on their interests.

Further, the pandemic has affected the working of every patent and Trademark office from worldwide administrators like WIPO to every national PTO office.

The counterattack by IPO

As the virus continues to spread to more and more countries, IP offices throughout the world are taking countermeasures depending on their local landscape, to counter the effect of the pandemic on their working, operation procedures as well as the IP service practitioners. The Indian Patent and Trademark Office (IPO) along with other major PTOs like the European Patent Office (EPO), United Kingdom, and USPTO took the approach of extending the deadlines.

The Supreme court on March 23, took Suo Motucognizance over the concerns raised by the pandemic to debar them while keeping in mind the Social distancing norms issued by the Central Government and following that IPO has issued several notices to ensure the smooth dealing of IP related concerns.

Stimulating the Innovation curve amidst the pandemic

As the pandemic progresses towards more critical stages, the Indian IP office is expected to introduce policies to counter the impact and to provide relief as well as a ray of hope amidst the darkness to the IP holding companies and practitioners. Also, IP owners, holders, professionals, and practitioners are advised to manage their IP portfolio assiduously to identify and differentiate between their performing and non-performing assets and devise clever strategies to gain an upper foot in the post-pandemic environment. Further, it is important to seize and secure any essential IP concerning mass manufacturing of Crisis Critical (CC) Products.

Further, the likelihood of a surge in the growth of the intellectual property domain Post-COVID cannot be ignored as it will certainly push tech companies to go after incentivization of their portfolio via the licensing of their existing IP to refill their financial reserves.

To conclude, it can be said that the current scenario poses the potential threat of a downfall in the domain, but the perennial introduction of countermeasures by IPO as well as holding on to and investing in critical IP assets by the IP holders can prove as a potential opportunity of growth of the domain in the post-pandemic world.

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F-Term Vs IPC/CPC For Japanese Patents

Explanation of F-Term Classifications

F-Term is a multidimensional classification system consists of a theme and multiple viewpoints. There are about 2,600 Themes which can be further divided to form 380,000 different classifications. The notation of F-term is shown below.

  • Theme code: represents a technical field
  • Viewpoint: analyses the theme (material, purpose, operation, manufacturing, etc.)
  • Figure: subdivides the viewpoint
  • Go to JPO

    Which Patent Classification System should we use to search Japanese patent?

    There are mainly two international patent classification systems that are IPC and CPC. There is another Classification system which could be usable for searching Japanese patents is F-Term. F-Term is a very complex Classification that is developed by Japanese patent office for only Jese patent. It has a very different structure then the other classification system (as shown above). So, there is a need of comparison between IPC/CPC and F-TERM classification system.

    Need of Classification based search for Japanese Patents?

    The Japanese patents are foreign language patent translated into English language. As a result the keyword based searching will
    not be a good way. Because there are a lot of jargons used which come due to translation. As, we know Patent classifications are language independent. Patent Classification automatically removes all the jargons.

    Comparison of IPC/CPC and F-Term Classification based searching of Japanese Patents

    To compare the IPC/CPC and F-Term based search. We have to take an examplary claim:
    1. A liquid immersion photolithography system comprising:

  • an exposure system that exposes a substrate with electromagnetic radiation and includes a projection optical system that focuses the electromagnetic radiation on the substrate;
  • a liquid supply system that provides liquid flow between the projection optical system and the substrate; and
  • a plurality of micronozzles arranged around a periphery of the projection optical system so as to provide a substantially uniform velocity distribution of the liquid flow between the substrate and the projection optical system.
  • To Search for the above invention disclosure:
    1. We have to extract relevant IPC/CPC and group them and search accordingly
    2. We have to extract relevant F-Term and group them and search accordingly

    1.Searching using IPC/CPC classification (for demonstration we also use keyword+classification based
    search to make it broader):

  • Number of results using on IPC/CPC classification: 307
  • Number of result using keyword+ IPC/CPC classification: 3992
  • Total no. of results: 4075
  • 2. Searching using F-Term classification:

  • Number of results using on F-Term classification: 360
  • Conclusion

    With above analysis it could be seen that there are almost 106 results out of 360 results which are not retrieved using IPC/CPC and IPC/CPC+keyword based search. So, it is necessary to use F-Term classification to search for Japanese patent.
    F-Term have more division (380,000 entries) means we can do more specific search. There are Multidimensional viewpoints for every theme. F-Term classifications are very well structured for Language independent search. So, The F-Term classification based search is very successful for Japanese patents.

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    Blog, Copyright, IP industry

    Copyright and the Fair use doctrine

    Definition of Copyright

    Copyright is a type of intellectual property, that provides exclusive rights to its owner’s to make copies of the original work. The very basic definition of copyright is the right to copy. This means that work can be reproduced only after the consent of its original creators or anyone they have given authorization. The creative work can be in a literary, artistic, educational, or musical form.

    Fair Use & The Four Factors for Determining the Fair Use

    The fair use doctrine is described more precisely as the troublesome and the most problematic doctrine in all of copyright law. It’s because it is an open-ended doctrine. The Federal courts of the United States created Fair Use doctrine from a very famous 19th decision by Justice Joseph Story known as Folsom versus Marsh. The case was related to copywriting a publication relating to George Washington’s letters and copies of it. Justice Story formed the basis of the modern fair use doctrine which considers various factors to determine whether the copied property amounts to infringement or not, while considering the purpose and overall circumstances.

    It is codified at 17 U.S.C. §107 and states that “the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phono records or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.” Therefore, there are no hard-and-fast rules, only general guidelines and varied court decisions, this was done to provide expansive meaning to the definition of fair use.

    Judges use four factors for measuring and determining the fair use to resolve the disputes related to fair use. These factors are not definitive; these are only the guidelines that courts are free to adapt to a particular situation on case-by-case basis. Alternatively, a judge has freedom when determining the fair use, therefore the outcome can be hard to predict in any given case. In each instance, all four factors have to be applied to the copying, and then once the factors are applied and weighed, one can determine whether it’s fair use or not. The four factors judges consider are:

    1. What is the purpose and character of the use: The fair use doctrine in most cases will be fair for Non- Commercial uses and Non-profit educational uses, whereas, this is not entirely true all Non-profit education and Non- Commercial uses. Transformative use may qualify for fair use. Transformative use may be for purpose such as scholarships, research, or education. Also, parody may classify as fair use because the parodist transforms the original work.


    1. What is the nature of the copyrighted work: When a new work is being made from a copyright it’s better to copy from published work than unpublished work. The scope of fair use is quite less for an unpublished work as compared to published work, since the author has right to control the first appearance of their expression in public. More particularly if the facts are copied from any copyrighted material it still may come under fair use.


    1. What is the amount and substantiality of the portion used: This factor is defined on the basis of the amount that is copied. The amount copied is directly proportional to the chance of fair use of any copyrighted work. More the amount copied lesser will be the chance of getting under fair use, similarly, lesser the amount copied more will be the chance of fair use of product. Further, even if you take a small portion of a work, your copying might not be fair if you copy the core or the most important aspect of the work.

    1. What is the effect of the use upon the potential market of the copyrighted work: This factor considers if there is any depreciation in the income of the copyright owner or undermines a new or potential market for the copyrighted work. If the work competes directly with the original work a law suit may be filled.



    Fair use doctrine is a very important aspect of the copyright. It helps to strengthen the protection that is given to the citizens. The fair use doctrine helps to provide wider scope to the federal courts and provide better judgement. It helps to provide a more adaptive approach on the case-by-case basis.


    Hitesh Dhiman

    Effectual Knowledge Services Pvt Ltd

    View website

    Email :

    Tel: +44 207 993 8632


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    Blog, Intellectual Property, IP industry, IP Litigation, Patent, Patent Infringement

    Efficient use of search tools for prior art and patent searching

    Potential applicants are recommended to carry out a prior art search to check whether their invention is novel. These searches can create stronger claim development, as well as verifying that the invention does not infringe another’s intellectual property, thereby avoiding any potentially expensive litigation further down the line.

    When performing a prior art search, patents are the main (and best) source for identifying patent documents (non-patent literature can also be useful). A patent database search will look for particular ideas and technologies by keyword, classification, date, inventor and assignee, among other things, and can be carried out on numerous free and paid databases.

    Free patent databases

    Since each country carries out the patent examination procedure before granting exclusivity rights to an invention, most have developed their own search portals in order to carry out an initial patentability examination and simplify the examination process.

    To further enhance the efficiency of these portals and keep up with the rapid pace of development, most countries have moved towards the amalgamation of machine learning and AI to organise patent documents (eg, into International Patent Classification (IPC) and/or Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) categories, along with other docketing processes based on technical divisions).

    The top free databases with research and analytics functions are provided by:

    • Google Patents;
    • the EPO;
    • the USPTO;
    • the Japan Patent Office;
    • the Korean Intellectual Property Office;
    • the Canadian Intellectual Property Office;
    • the China National IP Administration; and
    • IP Australia.

    Third-party databases

    There are several paid databases that operate on deep-learning AI and natural language processing, which provide a comprehensive guide to portfolio analysis, document comparison and high-performance searches across a large number of countries. These are equipped with machine translation to translate all non-English patents into English for easier understanding. The AI ​​behind these databases further enhances other important features, such as filtering and sorting the shifting of patented datasets. Another interesting function of these tools is the similarity search, which looks at phrases or paragraphs in the patent and showcases a list of similar patents based on the input.

    The formation of a query depends on the analyst’s know-how of the concept and its iterations. These searches are built with synonyms, proximity and Boolean operators and different types of classification (eg, IPC, CPC and US and F-terms) to obtain the exhaustive set of prior art documents related to the concept disclosed in the invention.

    The abovementioned features are common to most paid databases. However, the most appropriate and unique specifications of several paid third-party databases are listed below.

    Orbit, Questel

    This is a highly respected database to perform patent searching for prior-art searches and landscape analysis. It can access more than 54 million patent families, 100 million patents and 12 million design patents. It also provides worldwide patent coverage.It is possible to search for non-patent literature as it provides access to 108 million scientific publications, including books, research papers, journals and articles.Further,efficient resource sharing is available due to its sub-account feature. Here, multiple sub-accounts can be associated with a single primary account, which allows for the export of a shortlisted patent dataset to these sub-accounts for further analysis, while the primary account remains free for subsequent formation and running of search queries.

    Derwent Innovation, Clarivate

    This is an excellent tool for projects that require long and complex search queries, as it allows significant flexibility to a patent search process, especially in the life sciences and wireless sectors. Data intelligence provides a stunning graphical representation of the patent dataset for results interface based on assignees, inventors and legal states, among other things, which can come in handy in landscape projects. Further, it provides advanced filtering features such as forward and backward citations, legal status and INPADOC patent family searches.

    Patseer, Gridlogics

    For a service provider or an innovation-driven company, Patseer can function an optimum decentralised solution, as it allows the creation of a group where multiple members can work, customise and manage their project online.It can work as a boon in case of a landscape project, as different members can create an online taxonomy where they can add or remove patents in that category and can directly export the dataset or charts based on this later on. Sorting and filtering the relevant patents is much easier with this database, as it provides an outstanding dashboard for visualisation and analytics where it is possible to play with the results in multiple ways. There is also a filtering feature based on the number of occurrences of particular keywords used to search for a patent.


    To be a unicorn in the field of ideas and technologies, you need to keep an eagle eye on competitors, which the insights feature of Patsnap helps to achieve. This is useful in identifying the patent value, top authorities, patent type and filing trends of any desired company.For an individual patent attorney or strategist, the most tedious task can be done with a single click by using the playbook list feature, which analyses patent value, litigation threat and litigation history, and simulates a merger and licensee locator. This databaseprovides a quick check on whether a patent has contributed to any standard.


    R&D professionals and inventors need tools to efficiently analyse the disclosures closest to their innovation from a pool of ideas presented to them. Although free tools provide easy access to every individual, they also have drawbacks, which may affect the accuracy and efficiency of the search process and potentially risk the project. These holdbacks can be corrected by including features such as Word Intelligence to automatically highlight the synonyms of keywords used in the search strings, graphical and statistical analysis of datasets, and patent sorting and filtering based on the high relevancy order. It is hoped that some of these features will be included in subsequent updates to other patent databases.

    For further information contact:

    Nitesh Chaurasiya
    Effectual Knowledge Services Pvt Ltd
    View website

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    Articles, India, Intellectual Property, IP industry, Patent

    Patent law: Transforming the telecommunications industry

    The telecommunications industry is perhaps the largest driving force behind almost all other industries that benefit from it – it is the epicenter for a variety of other industries that depend on it. Remember how online payments of electricity bills, and online bank transactions 10 years back have now moved to apps sitting in our smartphone. Today, a smartphone is anything but a cell phone used for calling – the users depend on smartphones for many other things such as – remote working, ordering groceries and entertainment. Off late, the mobile phone has also become a wallet for many – perhaps, the demonetization provided the necessary impetus!

    The largest and most widely used services by users currently are– video streaming, Internet of Things (IoT), and mobile payments. We took a deeper dive into each of these areas from a patenting activity standpoint and identified over 10,000 patent applications that are filed in India for these three technologies. Of these patent publications, almost 60% have been published in the past 5 years indicating an increased focus on innovation. The largest chunk of publications studied was accounted for by the mobile payments segment (~70% share) followed by the Video Streaming and IoT, roughly accounting for 15% each.

    Interesting trends emerge upon looking at the owners of these patents – the overall top assignees in the patent dataset studied are – Qualcomm, Samsung and MasterCard. Collectively, these three players account for roughly 12% patents studied, thereby indicating that many other players are active in these areas and there is no single player that holds sizeable chunks of IP for now.

    Digging deeper into the individual domains, the following trends emerge:

    Mobile payments:

    Top Players: Qualcomm, Mastercard and Alibaba group

    Only Indian company making it to the top 10 list in this domain was Tata Consultancy Services

    Video streaming:

    Top Players: Qualcomm, Sony, Philips


    Top Players: Samsung, Qualcomm, Lovely Professional University (LPU)

    Notably, Academia also seems to have active interest in pursuing patent filings in this domain

    The telecom value chain comprises of multiple segments – Device manufacturers, Infrastructure and platform vendors, Operators, etc. The patent activity from the operators seems to be on the lower side – our research was able to locate only 71 Indian patent publications from Reliance JioInfocomm, 32 from Vodafone and 7 from Bharti Airtel. The main reason for low patent activity may be due to the fact that these Operators put in very little or no research efforts, and they implement the technology developed by the Infrastructure and platform vendors.

    Undoubtedly, the next big phenomenon in the telecom industry will be the 5G revolution. According to a report from Qualcomm, 5G is predicted to have US$13.2 Trillion dollars of global economic output by the year 2035. Perhaps, the Infrastructure and platform vendors have realized this since long and have been amassing 5G related patents at a phenomenal rate. The following are the approximate counts of patent families (global data) declared as relating to the 5G standards:

    Huawei– 3000+ patents

    Ericsson – 1400+ patents

    Nokia – 2000+ patents

    Qualcomm – 1300+ patents

    Digging deeper, we also studied the likelihood of these patents entering into India eventually, and the following statistics emerge:

    Company Total patent families – All years Patent families filed in India – All years % Total patent families – published>2015 Patent families filed in India – published>2015 %
    Huawei 95,541 6,338 7 53,741 5,217 10
    Ericsson 54,211 8,323 15 19,700 3,844 20
    Nokia* 77,781 6,401 8 17,105 1,799 11
    Qualcomm 59,449 21,205 36 34,922 11,116 32

    (Source: research on a leading third-party patent database; *Alcatel Lucent data included)

    5G did not come into existence overnight, and the research has been going on for a while, but the most patents related to 5G were published after 2016, and we can see that the % of filing in India is on the rise by most companies actively pursuing 5G, noting an active interest in India.

    All in all, it can be safely concluded that patents have thus far played a big role in shaping Telecom industry, and are likely to play a more crucial role in the coming times, especially in the 5G licensing space – though it remains to be seen who, among the above giants, wins the race to the 5G patent dominance.

    Patent law: Transforming the telecommunications industry Article by Amit Aggarwal Co-Founder and Director of Effectual Services.

    Article was 1st published On Dataquest India

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    Blog, Copyright, India, Intellectual Property, IP industry

    Protecting AI inventions

    When AI was first introduced, one of the founding fathers of the technology Professor John McCarthy said that: “AI is the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs.” Since then, there has been a  vast amount of breakthrough research in the industry, which is evident from the fact that almost 386,428 related patent applications have been filed in this field (according to the Derwent database).

    AI as an inventor

    From tools and services to products and consultancies, AI has created a number of revenue-generating opportunities. It has already simplified a number of tasks and now, with the help of neural networks, it is inventing new ways to solve problems. Further, certain privileges have been granted to corporate entities (eg, Facebook and Google) so that they can defend themselves in court. It therefore follows that AI should be able to own its patents. However, debate is ongoing and requires considering where the line between creation by human and machine should be drawn and how much (or little) human input or guidance is required.

    Recently, there was a case where the EPO refused European patent applications EP18275163 and EP18275174, which designated DABUS – a machine described as “a type of connectionist artificial intelligence” – as an inventor. One application was for a new type of beverage container based on fractal geometry and the other was for a device for attracting enhanced attention signals, which could be helpful in search and rescue operations. Similarly, the USPTO and UKIPO have disqualified patent applications on the grounds that a non-human cannot hold inventorship as per these countries’ laws.

    Protection for AI inventions

    When IP laws were formed, it was beyond imagination to consider naming a machine as an inventor. So how can AI inventions be protected in the current IP system? For the time being, this falls under copyright and trade secret laws.


    According to basic guidance in the Compendium of US Copyright Office Practices, works produced by a machine with no creative input or intervention from a human cannot be given authorship. Though the computer programs responsible for autonomously generating works are the result of human ingenuity, their source code may be copyrighted as a literary work under the US Copyright Act. In other recent cases, the Shenzhen Court ruled that AI-generated articles are entitled to copyright protection. The Shenzhen Nanshan District People’s Court recently ruled in favour of plaintiff Shenzhen Tencent Computer System Co Ltd in its claim for copyright infringement against Shanghai Yingmou Technology Co Ltd for an article written by AI software Dreamwriter. Ownership and accountability of AI for copyright IP protection is still under debate and is being discussed in many IP offices.

    Trade secrets

    AI models, tools and data can be kept as trade secrets. Currently, trade secret laws may be used to protect any derived data or additional software code created by the AI. This offers the competitive advantage of avoiding a need for public disclosure of information. Further, proprietary technology lasts longer than patent protection. Trade secrets may provide the broadest scope of IP protection, including information such as algorithms, source code, methods, techniques, processes and the way a business utilises AI to implement machine learning. Also, trade secrets provide immediate protection, without the costly or lengthy registration process required by other forms of intellectual property. Trade secret protection might be well-suited for rapidly developing and improving AI inventions.

    Reaching new heights in the AI world

    The right AI innovation can bring a company leagues above the competition. Trade secret and copyright protection should be considered when developing an effective AI protection strategy. As more organisations are investing in the development of a robust and well-structured AI protection strategy, they will be in a leading position to enforce their IP rights. Further, when infringement and misappropriation occur, they will be prepared and – more importantly – they will be in an advantageous position to prevent unlawful conduct.

    For further information contact:

    Prashant Singhal
    Effectual Knowledge Services Pvt Ltd
    View website

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