Thursday 17 October 2013


-Lt Col CR Sundar
It is now clear to all of us that much of the news media, be it the news papers or television channels, are in the hands of those who are inimical to the idea of a united India and more so to the continued existence of a strong Indian Armed Forces. Therefore it is obvious that our ideas are not likely to be published and publicized by the media.

          So what should we do? A few years back there was nothing that could be done about it. But in this ‘internet era’ we are not so handicapped. We can each run our own media on the net. However, we need to understand how best to use this free-of-cost opportunity.

          I have given some simple suggestions below.

          Whenever you get an idea put it down in the form of a small essay. We have all been taught in school that a composition should have an introduction, a main body and a conclusion. It would not be difficult for us to do this in 300 to 400 words.

          Once you are ready send it to all your mailing list. But if your mailing list is not proper all your bulk mail will end up as spam. How then can we have a proper mailing list?

          When you receive a mail check the mailing list. Many people send their entire mailing list with their mail. Copy the list and paste it on a blank MS Word page. Remove all additional detail and retain just the email addresses.

          Now send your mail to 50 addressees at a time using ‘gmail’. When you have sent to 250 recipients look in your inbox. Some of your mail would have bounced. Open another ‘gmail’ window and go to ‘contacts’. In this window delete the bounced addresses.

          Now you have to create groups. A group should not contain more than 250 addresses. How is this done? Scrawl down the left panel of ‘contacts’ window and find ‘Other Contacts’. Click that and now click ‘new group’. Create a group eg. ‘Alfa’. Put all the ‘Other Contact’ in ‘Alfa’. Repeat the process to create more groups. You may have as many groups as fancy; there is no limit to the number of groups.

          Now, using these groups you can send mails to 250 recipients at a time. But there is a limit of 1000 mails per day. Once you have sent a 1000 mails you have to wait for 24 hours before you can send the next batch.

          Do not use your media ‘gmail’ address for discussions or for banter. News papers do not discuss. They just put out stories and keep moving. Follow the same principle. Whatever you put out let it be a full article.

          Thus over a period of time you will get your ideas through.


-Hari Prasad, IP Dome

Friday, 27/09/2013 at the offices of Giridhar & Sai Associates, Advocates, IP Dome organised a focused group interaction with Mr. Naveen Andrew, Assistant Controller, Patents office, Chennai. The small audience comprised IT entrepreneurs, faculty members of IIT working in the area of computer science and Information Technology, Dean of the Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research Office of IIT, and lawyers.Mr. Andrew made a remarkably pertinent presentation on the ‘Legal Aspects of Software Patenting’.

Mr. Andrew joined as examiner of patent and design with Patent office in 2002, with a BE (ECE) & ME in Communication systems engineering. He has PG Diplomas in IPR and in German language. In 2006 he underwent the in EPOQUE training of the EPO in Berlin and also participated in seminar “EAST MEETS WEST 2012” conducted by EPO Austria. He was promoted as Assistant Controller in 2009. Swapna Sundar, CEO of IP Dome and Mr. Andrew, along with DrVinodSurana formed one viva-voce panel for the Patent Agent Exams held in 2013.

Mr. Andrew began by explaining that Software was a fit and appropriate subject for copyright protection. Computer software is “computer program” within the meaning of the Copyright Act.  Computer programs are included inthe definition of literary work under the Copyright Act.According to the Copyright Act, a computer program is a “set of instructions expressed in words, codes, schemes or in any other form, including a machine readable medium, capable of causing a computer to perform a particular task or achieve a particular result.” Software, per se, are intangibles and not protected by patents but are protected by copyrights as applicable to literary and aesthetic works. A computer program is therefore dealt with a literary work and the law and practice in relation to literary works will apply to computer programs. A computer program can be reproduced in any material form including the storing of it in any medium by electronic means on CDs, DVDs, USBs or Floppys which are now obsolete.

The essential elements of a computer program are:
 1.  It is a set of instructions expressed in:
·         words
·         codes
·         schemes or
·         in any other form, including a machine readable medium

2.  capable of causing a computer to:
·         perform a particular task or
·         achieve a particular results

What are not patentable?
A mathematical algorithm or computer programs are not held as inventions because they merely describe an abstract idea. They merely solve a mathematical problem and not a practical application or idea. They are considered mental acts as any professional could do with requisite skills.

Storage media such as CDs, DVDs and Flash drives are not patentable as such due to lack of constructional features / lack of technical features. Some typical software content which arenot patentable are:
       Methods implemented by algorithms /software products
       Editing functions, user-interface features, compiling techniques , databases..
       OS functions
       Program algorithms
       Menu arrangements
       Display presentations/arrangements
       Program language translations

What are patentable?

Patent law protects the technical idea underlying the invention, i.e. the functional elements, while copyright protects the form in which the idea is expressed, i.e. originality of expression but not the underlying idea or concept or function. In fact, the technicality / functionality of the algorithm or program can be protected , if the same is claimed in method steps, but not the source codes, per se.

The patentee would have to bring out the technical feature of the program in claims, demonstrating the solution of a technical problem (in clear method steps), in co-ordination / collaboration with constructional features (or) by projecting ( in claims) by what constructional features the claimed method is implemented. The technical solution provided has to be novel and inventive.

System/device or apparatus claims are not recommended. However, system claims maybe allowed when the technical functions are performed in co-ordination with new or novel hardware which may result in a technical solution. In this case the hardware has to be supported with description / illustrations. Application claims may be allowed.

Mr. Andrew went on to provide some examples of patents that had been granted and others that had been rejected from his own experience as Controller to explain the nuances of software patenting.


Justice K.N.Basha has assumed the charge as Chairman, Intellectual Property Appellate Board , Chennai on the forenoon of 28th August, 2013.His Lordship was attached to the law firm of the Senior Advocate, N.T.Vanamamalai and later, took over the office of Justice R.Balasubramanian, on his elevation to the Bench of Madras High Court. He was designated as Senior Advocate with effect from 9.2.2005 and elevated as the Judge of Madras High Court on 10.12.2005, retiringfrom the service on attaining the age of superannuation with effect from 13.5.2013.

Justice K.N.Bashatakes over from Justice PrabhaSridevan who demitted office at the end of a 27 month tenure. After she retired as a Judge of Madras High Court, she was appointed IPAB Chairman in May, 2011. During tenure, Justice PrabhaSridevan delivered landmark judgments that have set the course for responsible IP practice in India while ensuring her a place in the list of the "50 most influential people in the IP world" by Managing IP magazine.Justice PrabhaSridevan has been lobbying tirelessly for resources and infrastructure for the IPAB.

At a felicitation programmeorganised jointly by the IP Association of South India (IPASI) and the IP R Bar Association, today at Chennai, members of the IP bar expressed their gratitude and appreciation to justice PrabhaSridevan, noting that she had been instrumental in bringing prestige and energy to the IPAB.

In her response to the appreciative words of the secretary of IPASI, Mr MS Bharath, Justice PrabhaSridevan thanked the IP bar for being responsible in the choice of indications and urged continued and enthusiastic action and lobbying on their part for better resources and infrastructure for the IPAB. In her advice to the bar, she encouraged lawyers to have shorter and more focused pleadings and written arguments that would help the tribunal to render better judgements. She also encouraged the bar to start thinking of the IPAB as a quasi-judicial body, and indeed treated as the judicial forum it was intended to be.

Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) was constituted by the Union Government in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on 15 September 2003 to hear appeals against the decisions of the Registrar under the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.Subsequently, the provisions of the Patent Amendment Act, 2002 and the Patents Amendment Act, 2005, relating to the IPAB were also brought into force, pursuant to which all the appeals pending before the various High Courts stand transferred to the IPAB.

Justice KN Basha was introduced by advocate Rajashekhar of the IPR Bar Association, who took pains to establish that the new chairman of the IPAB was a proficient and sensitive practitioner of both criminal and civil law, and had during his tenure as High Court judge, rendered several landmark judgements in both domains.

In his response, Justice Basha began by pointing out the abysmal lack of resources at the IPAB, and the difficult situation in which the excellent staff of the IPAB were functioning. He pointed out that the term IPAB was inappropriate, as the body was more a tribunal than board and said it would be more fitting to call it the Intellectual Property Appellate Tribunal. He expressed happiness at the promise of better and larger premises for the IPAB at Kelambakkam. He also thanked and appreciated his illustrious predecessor and appreciated the orders passed by her. Justice Basha ended by exhorting the bar to be responsible and "collaborate with the IPAB, so that the chariot of Justice could move smoothly".

Senior advocates of the IP bar also felicitated the judges.

The general feeling in the bar is the Justice Basha will have big shoes to fill, and that he will do so with ease and confidence.