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Patent Searching RESEARCH by Genius Geeks

Patent Search: Determine how prior art is similar or different?

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Patent filing requires “money”. Patents have filing fees, professional fees and maintenance fees over the life of the patent and a large amount of money is required for the defence of the patent. A Patent search is carried out inorder to ascertain that the patent generates enough financial gains to justify the cost associated with its filing and the time and expense of moving forward with a patent application is a worthwhile.

For inventors, searching prior-art in the form of patents filed and granted should be the first step in the patent application process. Patent search gives an opportunity to discover which aspects of your invention can be claimed and high quality patent searches can help inventors anticipate about the scope of any patent claim. Without a patent search an inventor will describe the various  aspects of an invention as if they are equally important which won’t be the case.  

A patent is lot more than just a document. Careful assessment of patents found in the search report is tedious but the inventors who really take the time to read the key patents found in the search know its importance in contributing to the decision about whether to move forward with the patent application and then ultimately to meaningfully contribute to the preparation of a patent application.

Unfortunately, a lot of inventors only give a hasty and not thorough review of the patents found, thereby missing a great opportunity to use the prior art found to figure out what is most likely unique and patentable. Inventors perhaps look at the titles, the pictures, maybe read the Abstract and get overwhelmed.

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For this reason inventors frequently choose to hire a patent professional or patent attorney for carrying out patent search. The inventor has the detailed knowledge of the invention, and is in the best position to identify the similarity and differences of the invention with respect to the prior art and the patent professional is in the best position to determine whether those differences will likely contribute to patentability through a collaborative approach.

A detailed compiled disclosure of the invention forms the foundation of a strong patent application. Determining how the prior art is similar and how it is different is essential to being able to gather great detail of information that can be put together while writing a patent application and invariably leads to a far more detailed written description of the invention.

Many a times inventors carry out a patent search themselves before filing a patent application and during the patent examination an exact invention already patented is found. But this is why you do the search!!!!

Thus, It is better to spend a modest amount of money on patent search before filing a patent application to learn about the prior patents instead of spending a lot of money on patent application only to learn later that no patent could be obtained.

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Three Types Of Innovation. Here’s How To Manage Them

Three Types Of Innovation. Here’s How To Manage Them

“Dreamers are mocked as impractical. The truth is they are the most practical, as their innovations lead to progress and a better way of life for all of us.” ― Robin S. Sharma

With a view of generating revenue immediately from new products, a firm should customize the process of product development for different kinds of innovations. For a company the biggest challenges aren’t in coming up with big ideas but in the organizational and management issues that these new ideas bring along.

No matter what a company is dealing in, companies strive to create innovative products and services adequately and accurately.  

“Chance favors the connected mind.” ― Steven Johnson

For an individual to to bring new ideas to market, create more realistic testing and growth expectations and better manage their innovation pipelines, it is important to identify the types of innovations, needs and the correct approach to nurture and grow the type of innovation.

THE THREE TYPES OF INNOVATIONS

To prolong their stay in the market, companies need to come up with sustaining products and services. Sustaining innovations in products or services help any organization raise the bar enough to stay in the game. These innovations can sometimes be thought of as modification of an already existing product.

To significantly up the level of game within an existing category a company should come up with remarkable offerings. The product should be such that seeing it, customers couldn’t help but want it–over time making it the best-selling product.

“Progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things.” ― Robert A. Heinlein

When we think about an innovation, many of us have some sort of ideas in our mind. Such breakthrough ideas are called disruptive innovations because they disrupt the current market behavior, rendering existing solutions old-school, transforming values, and bringing previously marginal customers and companies into the center of attention.

The Social media could be considered a disruptive innovation within sports. More specifically, the social media has radically changed the way that news in sports circulates nowadays. Social media has created a new market for sports that was not around before in the sense that players and fans have instant access to information related to sports.

“In a world of change, the learners shall inherit the earth, while the learned shall find themselves perfectly suited for a world that no longer exists.” ― Eric Hoffer

To help explain the difference between these three types of innovations, let’s look at the coffee industry. Maxwell House came up with a dark roast version of coffee, it introduced a sustaining innovation. A new flavour was only a variation on their existing products.

A breakout innovation was General Foods’ line of International Coffees, which added connoisseur of fine flavors to the instant coffee category and elevated the at-home coffee experience. And Starbucks has obviously been a disruptive innovation, turning coffee into a destination experience worth paying a lot more for.

“Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship…the act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.” ― Peter F. Drucker

In a given category, disruptive innovations come first and are then followed by a series of progressive innovations, with sporadic breakout hits interspersed. Eventually, the market is disrupted once again, starting the cycle anew.

Although  disruptive innovations have the potential to yield the greatest benefit to a company, it is not necessary that it will lead to immediate market success. Because disruptive offerings differ significantly from the existing products, they often require time to gain market acceptance.

“You have to take your own bold approach, and if you do you will be rewarded with success. Or calamitous failure. That can happen too.” ― Steven Moffat

Analysis of revenue and consumer buying patterns:

  • Sustaining: Immediately moderate, then tapering off.
  • Breakout: Rapidly strong, then quickly dropping to a lower level.
  • Disruptive: Longer gestation period leading to exponential growth.

For disruptive undertakings, success typically requires different development processes,

different approval and funding mechanisms, and different performance expectations. At

times, work on a disruptive innovation gets stalled in a system that is optimized for the creation of sustaining offerings. For the success of a project a company should tailormade their approach depending on the goals.

“Innovation is an evolutionary process, so it’s not necessary to be radical all the time.” ― Marc Jacobs

To support the ultimate goal of generating immediate revenue, companies should classify each of its new product concepts within the framework of sustaining, breakout, or disruptive. This allows a company to manage risk and reward at a portfolio level.

Categorizing innovations using this framework is an effective way to ensure that target outcomes are in line with the expectations. Companies are able to focus their innovation efforts by clearly stating that they are prioritizing the development of breakout products and consciously minimizing the exploration of disruptive opportunities.

“Do not get obsolete like an old technology, keep innovating yourself.” ― Sukant Ratnakara

 

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Food Processing Sector

Food Processing Sector-“priority sector” in India’s Make in India Programme

India is one of the quickest growing economies in the world. India has climbed 30 ranks in the World Bank’s ease of doing Business rankings 2017 and was ranked number 1 in the world in 2016 in greenfield investment. The government of India is undertaking a range of transformational initiatives as a result of which India is also rapidly progressing on the Global Innovation Index, Global Logistics Index and Global Competitiveness Index. World Food India (WFI) was a gateway to the Indian food economy and an opportunity to showcase, connect, and collaborate.

Food Processing Sector

“World Food India 2017”

A global event to facilitate partnerships between Indian and international businesses and investors held in India from 3rd Nov 2017 to 5th Nov 2017. World Food India 2017 was organized by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India and was inaugurated by Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi on 3rd Nov 2017. World Food India 2017 hosted the largest gathering of investors, manufacturers, producers, food processors, policy makers, and organizations from the global food ecosystem to provides opportunities for both investment and trade in the food processing sector for leading Indian and International companies.

Food Processing Sector is the”priority sector” in India’s Make in India Programme. India is now the most preferred investment destination in the Food processing Sector because 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is now permitted, for trading, including via e-commerce, of food products manufactured in India. As an incentive from the Union and state governments, it has become very easy to obtain loans for food and agro-based processing units, and cold chains at low Interest Rates.

Nivesh Bandhu or investor’s friend is a one of its kind portal launched by Government of India to bring together information on Central and State Government policies and incentives provided for the food processing sector. It is also a platform for business networking, for farmers, processors, traders, and logistics operators.

 

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Venture Capital Fund

Venture capital funding

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Venture capital funding is increasingly becoming a common capital raising source, and is most widespread in the rapidly evolving technology.

According to Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), Venture Capital Fund’ (VCF) means a Fund registered as a ‘venture capital fund’ under SEBI (Venture Capital Funds) Regulations, 1996.

Venture Capital refers to the money provided by an outside investor to finance a new, growing, or troubled business that are believed to have long-term growth potential.

A significantly high risk is associated with the Venture Capital investment as the company’s future profits and cash flow is uncertain. Capital is invested in exchange for an equity stake in the business rather than given as a loan. Venture Capitalist may exercise some level of control, influence, or participation in the activities of the company.

Depending on the stage of investment, Venture Capital Funds are of 3 types :-

  • Seed Capital 
  • Early-Stage Capital 
  • Expansion-Stage Capital

Methods of Venture Capital Financing:-

Equity :By contributing equity capital, Venture capitalist acquires the status of an owner, and becomes entitled to a share (not more than 49% of total equity capital) in the firm’s profits as well as the losses.

Conditional Loan :– No interest is paid on Conditional loans but they are repayable to the capitalist or the lender in the form of royalty after the venture capital undertaking is able to make revenue. The royalty rate may vary from 2% to 15%, on the basis of factors such as gestation period, external risk and cash flow patterns.

Income note :- If a Venture Capitalist invests in the form of Income Note, the Venture capital firm pays both the royalty and interest but at low rates.Participating Debentures :-

The participating debenture; is an example of innovative financial securities introduced by a few Venture Capitalists.

Such security carries charges in three phases:

Start-up phase– before the venture attains operations to a minimum level, no interest is charged.

Initial Operation phase A low rate of interest is charged in the initial level of operation.

Full Commercial Operation- Once the venture starts operating on full commercial basis, a high rate of interest is required to be paid.

The Venture Capital Funding Process :-

Process of venture Capital investment

Major phase in development of India's patent system happened after India joined World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995
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Patent Examination in India

Expediting Patent Examination in India

If a man is keeping an idea to himself, and that idea is taken by stealth or trickery-I say it is stealing. But once a man has revealed his idea to others, it is no longer his alone. It belongs to the world.” ― Linda Sue Park

Patents allow companies with innovative products to benefit from their research and development by giving them exclusive right to make and sell these products, usually for a period of 20 years.

A delay in granting patents prevent companies from commercializing their products whereas a quick grant of patent allows the companies to fully enjoy their patent rights by providing an opportunity to capitalize.

“We are born rich, it is for us to decide between materialistic poorness or building upon intellectual richness.” ― Vishwas Chavan

Technology is moving at a very fast pace. By the time a technology is developed and commercialized it’s more efficient alternative is in the pipeline. So in today’s age where patent rights play a vital role in encouraging innovations across the globe, a timely grant of patent is imperative.

One of the problem in Indian Patent System is that patent grant process in India takes a long time and there is a huge backlog of pending patent applications in Indian Patent Office. A patent application takes on average 6 years to get approved in India.

A faster prosecution of patents requires an efficient working of the Indian Patent Office and active compliance from the applicants. Also an important factor behind the delay is shortage of patent examiners. With increased examiners and controllers it is expected that the time for patent grant will come down.

“The patent system added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius” -Abraham Lincoln

Moreover, Indian Patent Office has launched many new initiatives directed at faster examination of patent applications one such initiative is expedited examination routine which application is taken out of the normal queue and examined. Patents are granted within a time frame of 12-15 months and office action is issued within 3-4 months of submitting the request for expedited examination.

“Intellectual property is a key aspect of economic development” – Craig Venter

The following category of applicants can use this expedited examination route according to Patent rules amended in 2016-

(i) A Startup Company which according to the said rule is a an entity involved in research and development, is not more than 5 years old and does not have an annual turnover of 25 crores of Indian currency.

(ii) A patent applicant which has selected India as the International Searching Authority in the PCT application corresponding to the Indian Applicant.

If an applicant satisfies the above criteria but has already filed the Request for Examination(RFE), can convert the already filed RFE to an expedited one by paying balance fee. 

Patent Office adds the flame of interest to the light of creativity. And that is why we need to improve the effectiveness of our Patent Office”. – Abrahm Lincoln

Procedure of expedited examination-

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Gasification of coal

Gasification of coal to methanol

India is on the verge of a huge transformation from a developing country to a developed country and energy is considered as one of the key requirements for economic development of a country.

As India is advancing on its path of development, its energy demand is expected to rise at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.5% till 2040.

Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) is used in India as the cooking fuel. As per the estimates of International Energy Agency (IEA), India houses 800 million people who do not have access to clean cooking fuel.

In view of the above , Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) was launched by the government of India in  May, 2016 under which 5 Cr LPG connections are distributed to households which are Below Poverty Line (BPL).

According to the recent data available, India imports a million tonnes of LPG (60% of total LPG requirements) every month to meet the increased demands of LPG which costs billions of dollars.

India has  large coal reserves which can be used for the production of methanol using coal as a feedstock and can play an important role in order to contain the rising imports and energy security of India.

Government of India is also promoting the gasification of coal to methanol that can be used as a cooking fuel.

The main aim to produce methanol using coal is to decrease the dependence of India on Middle Eastern producers like Saudi Aramco, Qatar’s Tasweeq, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. and Kuwait Petroleum Corp. and save billions of dollars which are spent on the import of LPG.

China is the leading producer of methanol in the World that accounts for the 55% of the global methanol production. China produces 70% of its methanol from coal as it has the third largest coal reserves in the World.

India has the 5th largest coal reserves in the World and thus can contribute significantly to methanol production.

According to a research at Tech Corp International Strategist (TCIS), India, we researched patented technologies to produce methanol from coal . US patent number US 4430096 filed on 8 March 1982, pertains to a method of production of methanol using a slagging gasifier using solid carbonaceous material like coal.

Gasifier contains a gasification chamber having an upper and a lower wall inlet. Upper wall inlet for feeding coal and a lower wall inlet for introducing gas in the chamber.

Coal is heated and converted to ash and the gases released are mixed with water to form a gaseous quencher output comprising hydrogen, carbon monoxide and water. A catalyst converts hydrogen and carbon monoxide into methanol. This method converts coal almost exclusively to methanol and was given by Conoco Inc. (Wilmington, DE).

US patent number US 20020159929 filed on 29 Feb 2000. In this method, Methanol is synthesized from a gas produced through gasification of biomass serving as a raw material, making use of a biomass feeding means for feeding biomass into a furnace main body and, located above the biomass feeding means, combustion- oxidizing- agent- feeding means for feeding into the furnace main body a combustion-oxidizing agent containing oxygen or a mixture of oxygen and steam.This method was given by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (Tokyo, JP).

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