Patenting in Mobile Application and Technology


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Presented By Komal Shah Bhukhanwala at the 2nd Conference On Mobile Application Development, August 2011

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Patenting in Mobile Application and Technology

  1. 1. Patenting Mobile Applications Komal Shah Bhukhanwala InnovarIP
  2. 2. When we talk about patents…
  3. 3. Lets make things look complex… <ul><li>On seeing a glass of water: </li></ul><ul><li>Optimist: Glass is half full </li></ul><ul><li>Pessimist: Glass is half empty </li></ul><ul><li>Patent Attorney: H 2 O bisects an open cylindrical vessel…. </li></ul>
  4. 4. August 15, 2011 <ul><li>The Patent Arm's Race Explodes with Google Buy of Motorola </li></ul><ul><li>The patent war between Google and Apple just took another dramatic move this morning with Google’s all-cash purchase of Motorola Mobility. </li></ul><ul><li>If you think this is about Google getting into the handset business, think again. </li></ul><ul><li>If Google were to get into the handset business, they would turn their back on partners like HTC, Samsung and others. Today’s deal is all about acquiring Motorola’s backlog of mobile-related patents. When Google lost out on the batch of Nortel patents, they worried that Android was significantly at risk. Microsoft had already successfully sued to get $5 per handset from some Android devices. Will this deal inoculate Google from future patent battles? Not entirely. But it is a big improvement – even if it depletes their cash by a third. And I wouldn’t rule out Apple or others sniffing around Motorola and thinking about upping the offer. Carl Icahn looks smart for musing about the power of Motorola’s patent portfolio a few weeks ago. </li></ul>
  5. 5. August 17, 2011 <ul><li>Patents main lure behind purchase </li></ul><ul><li>It has hardly taken investors and technology rivals much digging to find the main motivation behind Google’s mould-breaking and at first eyebrow-raising acquisition of mobile phone maker Motorola Mobility. </li></ul><ul><li>With its highly successful Android mobile phone software facing lawsuits from arch-rivals such as Microsoft and Apple, the world’s biggest internet company needed some solid legal defence. Motorola, with a history dating back to the beginnings of the mobile business - and which once forced Nokia into submission in a landmark patent dispute - could offer some of the strongest patent protection going. </li></ul><ul><li>But while motivated mainly by considerations of intellectual property , the implications of the deal could spread much further. </li></ul><ul><li>The Motorola handset business is a shadow of its former self, with only an estimated 4 per cent share of the global smartphone market. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>FINANCIAL TIMES </li></ul><ul><li>Apple consortium beats Google to Nortel patents </li></ul><ul><li>By Tim Bradshaw in London and Joseph Menn in San Francisco </li></ul><ul><li>A group of technology companies including Apple, Microsoft and Research in Motion have paid $4.5bn in cash for a strategically vital patents from Nortel in a blow to Google and its fast-growing Android operating system. </li></ul><ul><li>Google had opened the bidding for the remaining portfolio of the bankrupt Canadian telecoms equipment maker in April, with an offer for 900 mn for the more than 6,000 patents which cover wireless, 4G, data networking, internet and semiconductor technologies. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Overview <ul><li>Why Patent </li></ul><ul><li>Interesting Statistics and Trends </li></ul><ul><li>Inventions – what is patentable? </li></ul><ul><li>Patent Filing Process </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile Patent Applications </li></ul><ul><li>Licensing- Case study </li></ul><ul><li>Final conclusions and remarks </li></ul>
  8. 8. Why Patent? <ul><li>Obtain an exclusive monopoly </li></ul><ul><li>Create a competitive advantage </li></ul><ul><li>Block your competitors </li></ul><ul><li>Increase shareholder value </li></ul><ul><li>Improve revenues through licensing </li></ul><ul><li>Improve on return on investment in R&D </li></ul>
  9. 9. Points to consider before patenting… <ul><li>What do you want to prevent your competitor from doing? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you need to patent defensively? </li></ul><ul><li>What geographies do you intend to conduct commercial business? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you expect to detect infringement? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you intend to partner and license the technology? </li></ul><ul><li>Estimate budget for spending on patent prosecution. </li></ul><ul><li>How unique is the technology? How easily will this be accepted by the customer/consumer? </li></ul><ul><li>What commercial advantage can be obtained by patenting? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Some interesting numbers… <ul><li>Top Patent Filers in India </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Top 10 Filers in India: (1986 – 2004) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CSIR: 3083 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hindustan Lever: 946 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hoechst: 766 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Siemens AG: 685 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Westinghouse: 477 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Union Carbide: 365 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Procter & Gamble: 337 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Rieter AG 336 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lucas and PLC 326 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ICI PLC 308 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Some interesting numbers… <ul><li>Top Indian Filing Companies: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CSIR: 3083 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ranbaxy: 320 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dr. Reddy’s: 315 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>IIT: 237 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bharat Heavy Electricals: 189 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Orchid Chemicals: 149 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cadila Healthcare 148 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cipla: 138 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Steel Authority of India: 136 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Larsen and Toubro:123 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Top Global Filers <ul><ul><ul><ul><li>IBM Canon </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Microsoft Philips </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Toshiba Samsung </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sony Seiko </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Denso Matsushita </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>GE General Motors </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fujifilm Corporation Motorola </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Toyota Honda </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Qualcomm Hon Hai Precision Industry </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>BASF Tokyo Electron Limited </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>TDK Corporation Huawei Technologies </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>NEC Corporation Nikon </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Research in Motion Apple </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>3M </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>What is interesting to note in the above list?
  13. 13. Some interesting numbers… <ul><li>Over 100,000 communication device patents and applications… </li></ul><ul><li>Is patenting only for big companies? </li></ul><ul><li>1972 – 5% of patents went to start-ups </li></ul><ul><li>1992 – 23% of patents went to start-ups </li></ul><ul><li>Small firms spend only 3% of the amount that large corporations devote to research and development, but small firms produce 15% of all patented innovation – U.S. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Some more numbers … <ul><li>IP Neglect in the world markets </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>US Survey 1998 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A technology transfer firm BTG International, revealed that 67% of U.S. companies have technology assets that they fail to exploit. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The study indicated that American firms on average let over 35% of their patented technologies go to waste simply because they have no immediate use in their products. According to the study, the value of these wasted technology assets is at least $115 billion. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Japan: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>33 percent of Japanese firms reported holding 1,000 patents they do not use in their business, compared with 7 percent of U.S. firm. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>India: - IP Neglect?? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>Source: Rembrandts in the Attic
  15. 15. Know this product? <ul><li>Gillette starting making razors in 1901. </li></ul><ul><li>BIC’s disposable razors posed a great threat to Gillette in the 1980s. </li></ul><ul><li>Created the new shaving device with multiple designs and protected this with 22 patents. </li></ul><ul><li>More patents were filed later. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Know this person? <ul><li>Dan Bricklin </li></ul><ul><li>Inventor or the “Father of the Spreadsheet” </li></ul><ul><li>Did not patent the spreadsheet </li></ul>
  18. 18. Identifying an invention <ul><li>What is an invention? </li></ul><ul><li>Definition in the Indian Patents Act </li></ul><ul><li>Invention means a new product or process involving an inventive step and capable of industrial application </li></ul><ul><li>Inventive Step means a feature of an invention that involves technical advance as compared to the existing knowledge or having economic significance or both and that makes the invention not obvious to a person skilled in the art. </li></ul><ul><li>Layman terms: </li></ul><ul><li>- new product or process </li></ul><ul><li>Improved product or process </li></ul>
  19. 19. Determining an invention is patentable <ul><li>Patentability Criteria: </li></ul><ul><li>Novelty </li></ul><ul><li>Non-obvioussness </li></ul><ul><li>Industrial Application </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct a patentability search: </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct a global search. </li></ul><ul><li>Free databases are not a complete source to give you results </li></ul><ul><li>One needs to use multiple databases and keystrings to identify relevant “prior art”. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Identifying your invention <ul><li>Prior art </li></ul><ul><li>Is any information published on the internet (in journals, patent applications, conference material, websites, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Product already in the market </li></ul><ul><li>A new product or process may be patented if … </li></ul><ul><li>It solves a problem not solved by existing products </li></ul><ul><li>It solves a problem in a more efficient way </li></ul><ul><li>It offers a new solution or a better solution or new advantages. </li></ul><ul><li>It is more economical </li></ul><ul><li>It is more user-friendly </li></ul>
  21. 21. So much for Toothbrushes <ul><li>A toothbrush includes a head and a plurality of tooth cleaning elements for enhanced cleaning of the teeth. The tooth cleaning elements include cleaning elements that define a loop arrangement for better retention of the dentifrice, a central cleaning element disposed within the loop, two opposing arcuate cleaning elements disposed on opposite sides of the loop, peripheral cleaning element with a stepped and tapered construction, elongate distal cleaning elements, and proximal cleaning elements. </li></ul><ul><li>A device of the class described comprising a carrying member, a cushion of resilient material thereon, a plurality of projections on the cushion spaced apart and each formed of slightly resilient material with a shallow recess in its end forming a vacuum cup. </li></ul>2006 1922
  22. 22. Inventions not patentable <ul><li>Business Methods, Algorithms or Software per se are not patentable under the Indian Patents Act. </li></ul><ul><li>However, software patents have been granted in the country. </li></ul>
  23. 23. When to file <ul><li>How quickly should you file? </li></ul><ul><li>Are you in a rush to commercialize your technology/product/ invention? </li></ul><ul><li>File a provisional application (this is not examined) </li></ul><ul><li>A complete application must be filed within 1 year from the date of filing the provisional (else your application is abandoned). </li></ul>
  24. 24. Process of filing Conduct a prior art search File Provisional Application File Complete Application and / or PCT application or foreign applications 1 year
  25. 25. Patent Basics <ul><li>Term of a patent </li></ul><ul><li>Patent is valid for 20 years from the first date of filing in India. </li></ul><ul><li>Territorial Rights </li></ul><ul><li>Patent in India provides exclusivities only in India </li></ul><ul><li>Patent in the United States provides exclusivity only in the United States. </li></ul><ul><li>Filing Abroad </li></ul><ul><li>After filing in India, one can file abroad in countries directly or using the PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty). </li></ul><ul><li>Nothing like an “international patent”. </li></ul>
  27. 27. US2011111735 <ul><li>PHONE HOLD MECHANISM   </li></ul><ul><li>Abstract : </li></ul><ul><li>A portable communication device holds an incoming call for a user when the user is temporarily unavailable to pick up the call. In response to an incoming call signal and an indication from the user to hold the call, the portable communication device answers the call and plays back a pre-recorded message to the caller while holding the call. The call can be held until the user picks up the call. If the user is on another call when the incoming call arrives, the portable communication device answers the incoming call with a pre-recorded message and holds the incoming call, as well as concurrently maintains uninterrupted communication on the in-progress call. The user can also enter an estimated hold time, which is announced to the caller. Other embodiments are also described and claimed. </li></ul>
  28. 28. US2011111735 <ul><li>What is claimed is: </li></ul><ul><li>1. A method of a portable communication device, the method comprising: alerting a user of the portable communication device of an incoming call; receiving an indication from the user to hold the incoming call, and in response, answering the incoming call and then playing back a pre-recorded message stored in the portable communication device to a caller of the incoming call; while holding the incoming call, receiving an estimated hold time from the user and informing the caller of the estimated hold time; and holding the incoming call until the user picks up the incoming call. </li></ul>
  29. 29. US2010082349 <ul><li>  SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR SELECTIVE TEXT TO SPEECH SYNTHESIS </li></ul><ul><li>Algorithms for synthesizing speech used to identify media assets are provided. Speech may be selectively synthesized form text strings associated with media assets. A text string may be normalized and its native language determined for obtaining a target phoneme for providing human-sounding speech in a language (e.g., dialect or accent) that is familiar to a user. The algorithms may be implemented on a system including several dedicated render engines. The system may be part of a back end coupled to a front end including storage for media assets and associated synthesized speech, and a request processor for receiving and processing requests that result in providing the synthesized speech. The front end may communicate media assets and associated synthesized speech content over a network to host devices coupled to portable electronic devices on which the media assets and synthesized speech are played back. </li></ul>
  30. 30. US2010082349 <ul><li>What is claimed is: </li></ul><ul><li>1. A method for selectively synthesizing speech based on a text string, the method comprising: parsing through the text string and selecting a first subset of text for which to synthesize speech, and a second subset of text for which not to synthesize speech; and with respect to only the first subset of text, determining a first set of phonemes in a native language of the text string and converting the first set of phonemes into a second set of phonemes in a target language, the second set of phonemes dictating how to render speech based on the first subset of text. 2. The method of claim 1 further comprising obtaining a predetermined set of phonemes that dictate how to render speech based on the second subset of text. </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>SYNTHESIZED AUDIO MESSAGE OVER COMMUNICATION LINKS   </li></ul><ul><li>What is claimed is: </li></ul><ul><li>1. A method of a communication device, the method comprising: establishing an audio connection between a near-end user of the communication device and a far-end user via a communication network; receiving text input from the near-end user and converting the text input into speech signals; and transmitting the speech signals to the far-end user using the audio connection while muting audio input to the communication device. </li></ul>
  32. 32. IBM – licensing technology <ul><li>1950s: </li></ul><ul><li>IBM has been cross-licensing technology to any and all comers who respected their IP. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fundamental reasons: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cross-licensing helped to continue to leapfrog technology </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Technology moved fast – speed was of the essence </li></ul></ul></ul>
  33. 33. IBM – Licensing Technology <ul><li>1980s-1990s: </li></ul><ul><li>IBM invented the PC but other players grew the business around </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Faced with two choices: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Be a Monopoly and exclude others OR </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>License and allow other manufacturers to continue and the industry to grow </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>700 patents a year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decision to License (cross-license): 1000 technology licenses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A chievements: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reduced costs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Access to patented manufacturing technology and methods </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Royalties from licensing funded IBM operations for further R&D </li></ul></ul></ul>
  34. 34. IBM – Licensing Technology <ul><li>Strategic Licensing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Did not license know-how to a large number of players </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Selected partners that “complemented their business”. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Licensing Revenues: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1990s: 30 million per year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2000: 1 billion per year! – 1/9 th of IBM’s yearly pretax profits </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Key Take-aways for Licensing / Cross-Licensing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Type of Technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Speed of change or development of technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Choice of Partner </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Conclusions and Remarks <ul><li>Patenting is a time-consuming job (takes 3 – 4 years for a patent to be granted in a country) </li></ul><ul><li>Patenting is not a one-time job but a long-term strategic policy </li></ul><ul><li>One is more likely to get greater value from a group of patents than a single patent. </li></ul><ul><li>File quickly before you take your idea public. This is by far the most common mistake that most inventors make. </li></ul>
  36. 36. Conclusions and Remarks <ul><li>Ensure prior art is well known and identified. </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure your patent application is drafted well enough to overcome prior art. </li></ul><ul><li>Aim to create a patent wall or thicket to create greater value from your technology or idea. </li></ul>
  37. 37. Thank you for your attention <ul><li>Any questions? </li></ul><ul><li>For further information, please write to us at </li></ul>