Negotiations between India and Japan on a pact on trade and investment have got stuck on the issue of intellectual property rights with both sides refusing to budge from their stated positions, though most other issues have In 2005, India moved to a more stringent pp_11flagroduct patent regime from one that recognised processes to meet commitments under the TRIP’s agreement of the WTO. Japan wants the bilateral agreement to go beyond the international agreement on intellectual property, or TRIP’s , p11_manmohanwhile India is not prepared to take obligations that are beyond the multilateral regime. TRIP’s-plus commitments would require India to tighten its patent regime further. The country, therefore, is not willing to move to a stricter patent regime which could mean an extended patent protection of more than twenty-years, restricted use of compulsory licenses for producing patented medicines for life-threatening diseases or rules that restrict generic competition. Japan has been running a trade surplus against India for a number of years. In 2008-09, India exported goods worth Rs 3,025.75 crore to Japan while its imports from the country were much higher at Rs 7,886.27 crore.
However, The two countries are keen to wrap up the negotiations in the next couple of months so that the pact can be signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Tokyo visit in October. India is also having a tough time convincing the EU to keep TRIPs-plus provisions out of the bilateral trade and investment agreement being negotiated between the two.

USPTO launches face book page

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently launched an official page on Facebook that will provide regular updates from the Office and provide a public forum for comments, feedback, and discussion pertaining to issues at the USPTO.”Technology has profoundly impacted the way we all consume information and communicate with one another,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos.”I’m confident our Facebook presence will complement the USPTO Web site as a means of communicating and connecting with the public and our stakeholders in the intellectual property community. With more than 400 million people on Facebook, we knew it was an important place for us to be.”
The USPTO’s page on Facebook will not replace the Agency’s Web site ( as the official source of USPTO information. Rather, the Facebook page will provide a new channel for the public to connect with the USPTO.
In addition to communicating directly with the USPTO, Facebook users can expect to see an array of content and information, including press releases, posts from Director Kappos’ “Director’s Forum”blog, event information, photos and video.

Apple’s Recent Patent Filings Hint at Next-Gen Functionality

Some recent patent filings by Apple hint at amazing possibilities in the future of its iOS product line. How does facial, heartbeat and voice recognition sound to you? In the patent titled “Systems and Methods for Identifying Unauthorized Users on an Electronic Device,”Apple outlines a security system that lets users create login profiles for their iOS device. These profiles would authenticate via a variety of methods including voice, facial and heartbeat
recognition. While no timeline has been drawn up for the technology, expect it within a few years at the most. Keep your fingers crossed if you want it in the iPhone 5, which will probably be getting NFC technology to let you use it as a debit or credit card.
Excited about this? I certainly am. This could herald a new era of smart phones that work as highly secure personal data storage devices and the preferred method of monetary transactions. How exactly an iPhone can detect and differentiate heartbeats between different people is another question. While the technology to detect human heartbeats from a distance does exist (think electromagnetic stuff too technical for me to even attempt to understand), consumer applications have been pretty much non-existent.
So let me know what you think. Apple moving ahead and bringing technology with it that other smartphone manufacturers will simply be unable to duplicate? Can Android OS or BlackBerry smartphones even compete with some of these features? Are we going to have to wait until the iPhone 6 for these to see the light of day?

India wins trademark case 

In a significant victory for rice growers and exporters, India has won the trademark case against a Malaysian firm which was granted the registration for the”Ponni” rice, a non-Basmati aromatic variety grown in Tamil Nadu. The High Court in Malaysia on Tuesday ruled that Syarikat Faiza cannot use the “Ponni” label for its rice products. Malaysian firm Syarikat Faiza was issued a certificate, making it the registered proprietor of the Ponni trademark in Malaysia. The firm had been importing Ponni rice variety from India and was distributing it in Malaysia under the “Taj Mahal” brand name. Early 2000, the company sought registration of Ponni under the Malaysian Trademarks Act.
India’s Apeda, under the ministry of commerce, had contested the trademark certification and said on Tuesday that the Malaysian authorities had upheld its position that Ponni rice belonged to India”The judgement implies that the Ponni variety remains with us,” Asit Tripathy, chairman, Apeda, said. The judgement would also prevent Syarikat Faiza from importing rice from Thailand or other key producing countries and sell it as Ponni within Malaysia. Farmers in Tamil Nadu have been protesting over Malaysia being granted trademark rights for the rice variety. White Ponni rice was developed by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in 1986 and is cultivated in thousands of acres in the state.

Google changes AdWords policy in Europe

Google (GOOG) will change its longstanding policy allowing trademark owners to request the exclusive use of trademarked Google AdWords. The shift in European policy mirrors similar changes in the U.S. and Canadian markets in 2004. It changed the policy for British and Irish markets last year. Under the previous system, owners of brands could file a trademark complaint with Google that would ban third-party advertisers from using those names. A coalition led by the French company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which holds the trademarks to numerous extremely valuable brands, said that it was necessary to protect the value and authenticity of the brands.
However, the European Court of Justice ruled in March that allowing third parties to bid for trademarked keywords was within the bounds of intellectual property law. The brand owners aren’t left without any recourse; they can file complaints with Google, which will take the ads down if they agree that the origin of the goods is confusing, as in the case of counterfeits and knockoffs. Google’s argument is that auctioning the AdWords to multiple bidders allows the search engine’s users to find reviews, second-hand sellers and retail locations.

Bradford Licensing forms

India JV with Franchise

New-Jersey-based Bradford Licensing is fortifying its Indian presence via a joint venture with Franchise India Group to launch its global brands such as Marilyn Monroe and Beverly Hills Love in the country. The joint venture, Bradford License India (BLI), will also tap new clients in India. It will offer integrated licensing solution services to both licensors and licensees and devise licensing strategies Global licensing agency Bradford will bring to the JV its existing clients that include Pepsi, 7 UP, Mountain Dew, The Wannabes starring Savvy, King Kong and Zorro. Franchise India has clients like HCL, MGF, Quality Walls, Tata, Gitanjali, HSBC, Levis, JK Tyres, Lakme, D’damas, Adidas, Euro Kidz, The Apollo Clinic, Shiv Khera and Harbhajan Singh. The JV will seek to develop the rapidly growing brand licensing market in India. BLI will act as a global agency and explore non-conventional licensing opportunities in India by capitalizing on the intellectual insight of Bradford Licensing. Says Bradford Licensing president Michelle Minieri “India is a country filled with opportunities for licensing, and ready for significant expansion. As a byproduct of globalization, increased competition and industrialization, licensing is becoming critical to the success of business growth. I am confident that this synergistic relationship now known as Bradford License India is the ideal match that will generate some very exciting business opportunities.”
BLI has initiated the process of building the infrastructure with critical team members working throughout India to acclimate the local team to the world of licensing. Says Franchise India Group president Gaurav Marya,”Bradford License India is perfectly geared to expand into diverse spheres of licensing in India. Its working parameters are primed by deriving licensing models as per the global standards and their integration with local marketing and networking strengths.” Bradford License India aims to focus on comprehensive licensing programmes, including the design, development, and management of the acquired licensing property.