Trademark, Copyright. IPR: Intellectual Property Rights
is a Patent?
patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to
the inventor, issued by the Patent and Trademark Office. The
term of a new patent is 20 years from the date on which the
application for the patent was filed in the United States
or, in special cases, from the date an earlier related application
was filed, subject to the payment of maintenance fees. US
patent grants are effective only within the US, US territories,
and US possessions.
right conferred by the patent grant is, in the language of
the statute and of the grant itself, “the right to exclude
others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling”
the invention in the United States or “importing” the invention
into the United States. What is granted is not the right to
make, use, offer for sale, sell or import, but the right to
exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, selling
or importing the invention.
is a Trademark TM and Servicemark SM ?
is a word, name, symbol or device which is used in trade
with goods to indicate the source of the goods and to
distinguish them from the goods of others. See the example:
This particular design with the words “dish NETWROK”
and TM superscript is the Trademark of Dish Network.
(Btw, Sun TV is newly added channel to the Dish Network
in US recently).
is the same as a trademark except that it identifies
and distinguishes the source of a service rather than
a product. The terms "trademark" and "mark"
are commonly used to refer to both trademarks and servicemarks.
Cingular wireless, since is a service-oriented company,
has SM superscript in its logo.
rights may be used to prevent others from using a confusingly
similar mark, but not to prevent others from making
the same goods or from selling the same goods or services
under a clearly different mark. Trademarks which are
used in interstate or foreign commerce may be registered
with the Patent and Trademark Office.
are some logos and brand names followed by the ® symbol?
® indicates that the trademark is registered with the
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
™ symbol may be used when trademark rights are claimed
in relation to a mark, but the mark has not been registered
with the government trademarks office of a particular
country or jurisdiction, while the ® is used to
indicate that the mark has been so registered. It is
not mandatory to use either symbol, although the force
of convention is such that the symbols are widely used
around the world. However, in various jurisdictions
it is unlawful to use the ® symbol in association
with a mark when that mark is not registered. Either
symbol is typically placed in the top left- or right-hand
corner of a mark. [Wikipedia]
is a Copyright © ?
is a form of protection provided to the authors of “original
works of authorship” including literary, dramatic, musical,
artistic, and certain other intellectual works, both
published and unpublished. The 1976 Copyright Act generally
gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to
reproduce the copyrighted work, to prepare derivative
works, to distribute copies or phono-records of the
copyrighted work, to perform the copyrighted work publicly,
or to display the copyrighted work publicly.
protects the form of expression rather than the subject
matter of the writing. For example, a description of
a machine could be copyrighted, but this would only
prevent others from copying the description; it would
not prevent others from writing a description of their
own or from making and using the machine.
States Patent and Trademark Office
do Indian patent laws stifle research? The story of
Novartis’ challenge to a particular provision of the Indian
Patents Act 1970 goes much beyond its interest in the patent
application for its life-saving cancer drug ‘Gleevec’ (imatinib
mesylate). It is a story involving many powerful players
each trying to wrest the initiative and many conflicting
interests each trying to influence the development of patent
law in this country.
Indian - American patents of interest:
on Neem:The neem tree (Azadirachta indica) originates
from the Indian subcontinent and now grows in the dry
regions of more than 50 tropical countries around the
world. The neem tree has multiple uses. It is mentioned
in Indian texts written over 2000 years ago and has
been used for centuries by local communities in agriculture
as an insect and pest repellent, in human and veterinary
medicine, toiletries and cosmetics. It is also venerated
in the culture, religions and literature of the region.
Largest number of patents is in USA (54) followed by
Japan (35), Australia (23), India (14). In India additionally
more than 53 patent applications are pending for either
gazette notification or opposition since 1995. If granted
India will have the largest number of patents in neem.
This itself illustrates that IPR does not stifle creativity
and innovation but creates challenges and opportunities
to over come the existing patents barriers by innovation
and invention. There is also an increasing trend of
filing application through PCT. An analysis of type
of patents suggests that majority of them are for crop
protection applications (63%), followed by health care
(13%), industrial (5%), veterinary care (5%), cosmetics
(6%) and others (8%). This trend is also shown in country
wise granted patents. For example in US out of 54 patents
granted 31 were for crop protection rest for healthcare,
cosmetics, industrial and veterinary applications. Organization
wise patents ownership indicates largest number owned
by Certis - W.R. Grace (49) followed by Rohm & Haas
(36), CSIR-India (14), Trifolio (9), Bayer (8) and EID
Patent revoked by European Patent Office: The
challenge to the patent had been made at the Munich
office of the EPO by three groups: the EU Parliament's
Green Party, Dr. Vandana Shiva of the India-based Research
Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, and
the International Federation of Organic Agriculture
on Turmeric (Haldi). Turmeric is a tropical
herb grown in East India, and the powdered product made
from the rhizomes of its flowers has several popular
uses worldwide. Turmeric powder, which has a distinctive
deep yellow color and bitter taste, is used as a dye,
a cooking ingredient, and a litmus in a chemical test,
and has medicinal uses as well. In the mid-1990s, this
product became the subject of a patent dispute with
important ramifications for international trade law.
A U.S. patent on turmeric was awareded to the University
of Mississippi Medical Center in 1995, specifically
for the "use of turmeric in wound healing."
This patent also granted them the exclusive right to
sell and distribute turmeric. Two years later, a
complaint was filed by India's Council of Scientific
and Industrial Research, which challenged the novelty
of the University's "discovery," and the U.S.
patent office investigated the validity of this patent.
In India, where turmeric has been used medicinally for
thousands of years, concerns grew about the economically
and socially damaging impact of this legal "biopiracy."
In 1997, the patent was revoked. But for two years the
patent on turmeric had stood, although the process was
non-novel and had in fact been traditionally practiced
in India for thousands of years, as was eventually proven
by ancient Sanskrit writings that documented turmeric’s
extensive and varied use throughout India’s history.
Many developing countries are concerned that the globalization
of intellectual property rights under the WTO's TRIPs
agreement, and the negative consequences it has for
traditional indigenous knowledge and biodiversity. Also:
an Indian discovery, says US patent office
the West now patent even Kamasutra poses? -
Well, one can patent support devices for yoga like gloves
and mats but not any specific asana . If there are,
then, the government should take it up and file a revocation