What is a Patent?
As per World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem.
Without the consent of the patent owner, the invention cannot be commercially made, used, distributed, imported or sold.
Some Patent Statistics:
- As per the report published on the website of University of Southern California, world’s first patent, related to technological invention, was granted to Ser Franciscus Petri of Rhodes by the Great Council of Venice in the year 1416
- As per the survey conducted by the website statista.com in December 2020, in the year 1990 about 9,97,501 patents were filed worldwide; which has increased to about 32,24,200 in the year 2019. This is an increase of whooping 223%!
- Table below provides the list of top 10 patent offices based on the number of the filed patent applications in the year 2019:
|Sr. No.||Country Name||Patents Applications Filed|
|2||The United States of America||621453|
|5||European Patent Office||181479|
- Thus, it can be observed from the table that patent applications filed in the Chinese Patent Office are highest and the number is more than double compared to the second ranked patent office – US. The number of patents filed in Indian patent office are just about 3.8% of those filed in the Chinese Patent Office! A long way to go for India for sure. Moreover, of the total patents filed in various patent offices of the world about 43% are filed in China.
- Indian Patent Scenario: Please check below the statistical graph published in the website factly.in providing details on the number of patents filed, examined, granted and disposed in India from 2014-15 to 2019-20.
Exclusive rights of the patent owner are:
- Protection against infringement
- Possibility of assigning or licensing the right, in part or in whole
WIPO provides below details on patent infringement:
- An infringement of the exclusive right of a patent owner involves the unauthorized exploitation of the patented invention by a third party.
- The making of the invention in particular, and its development for industrial application, usually involve considerable expense for the applicant and for the future owner of the patent for invention.
- The patent owner thus wishes to recover this expense through exploitation of the patented invention, in particular through the sale of products that incorporate the invention.
Thus, infringement of patent rights in some or the other form leads to the creation of disputes.
Plastic Patent Disputes – In Recent News
Feb 2021: All Plastic, Inc. v. Samdan LLC
All Plastic Inc., a manufacturer of premium displays and containers for medicinal and recreational cannabis dispensaries, filed suit against Smokus Focus and its owners of over the sale of similar products that include a lid with a lens and sealable scent openings as mentioned in their U.S. Patent No. 10,384,834. The case is still under discussion stage
March 2021: Lego vs Delta Sport
The General Court of the European Union (the bloc’s second-highest court) reversed the decision by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) taken in 2019, establishing that the design of LEGO’s (a Danish toy manufacturing giant) building blocks are protected by patent
The disputed brick design was not patent protection until 2010, which has a plastic plate having a width of three studs, that only run down the center of the plate, with the surface to either side being smooth
The brick design was registered by Lego after the European Court of Justice ruled in the years 2008 and 2010, that the classic LEGO brick does not enjoy patent protection
April 2021: 3M vs Avery Dennision & Gogia Plastics
3M filed design infringement lawsuit against Avery Dennison India (ADI) and Gogia Plastics (GP) in the City Civil Court of Bengaluru, India; alleging ADI’s flexible median marker and GP’s Road StarTM flexible median marker, infringing their median marker design rights
3M has been granted an ex-parte ad interim injunction which prevents ADI and GP from manufacturing, selling, offering for sale, distributing, advertising, and exporting the median markers identified in the suit
August 2021: Milliken & Company vs China Xuzhou Haitian Shihua
Milliken & Company filled infringement case against China Xuzhou Haitian Shihua in May 2019 infringing its Chinese CN103391966B patent (granted in 2015) requesting a compensation of RMB 8.5 million. China Xuzhou Haitian Shihua sold the product named “RP368T”; which was thermoplastic polymer composition comprising an additive composition comprising a clarifying agent and a coloring agent.
China Xuzhou Haitian Shihua in their defense mentioned: (1) Milliken has no evidence proving the technical means taken to manufacture the product falls within the claimed scope of protection. (2) The product employs known art, which does not constitute infringement. Further, Milliken’s patent lacks novelty and inventiveness and should be invalidated.
China Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court ruled in favor of China Xuzhou Haitian Shihua holding that the product does not fall within the claims of the CN103391966B patent; describing the patent is mainly comprising of a clarifying agent and a coloring agent, and the parties’ disagreement lies mainly in the coloring agent rather than the clarifying agent.
Dear Readers, do go through the above content – Plastic Patent Disputes – In Recent News, and let me know your viewpoints in the Comments section.
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