Droidcon India

Droidcon's first Indian edition

All about patents, trademarks, copyrights and IP related to your product

Submitted by Debashis Sikdar (proposing) on Saturday, 15 October 2011

This is a proposal requesting for someone to speak on this topic. If you’d like to speak, leave a comment.

Section: Marketing apps Technical level: Advanced Session type: Lecture Status: Confirmed & Scheduled

View proposal in schedule


The session should be such as to provide insights on the relevance of patents, trademarks, copyrights and IP for all respective aspects of an app. It should also throw light on how to 'look-up' for existing patents, trademarks, copyrights; how to obtain the same for the product and watch out for violations of the same. Also, the expenses related may please be discussed. All the above may kindly be covered right from the beginner to the advanced level.


Authentic resources to the topics may kindly be provided for future reference.


  •   Sridhar Dhulipala (@sridhar) 8 years ago

    Very important topic, especially for fast growing companies. IP wars between Apple and others are the rage. For Indian companies, IP creation and protection is a serious initiative at leading IT companies such as Infosys, given their size and global presence.
    Having filed for patents as a startup, there are a few points I can share from my experience that I think could be of interest to people interested in this proposed topic. Caveat: I am not a patent expert or practicing in this field. So please do your own research additionally.

    1. Defensive Vs Aggressive : A patent is an ‘exclusive, time bound right to commercially exploit your idea’. Companies such as IBM, etc. earn over 1billion as royal. But to earn from your IP requires a dedicated team that looks for opportunities such as licensing or infringements, including a lot of legal expertise. On the other hand, a defensive strategy is to file a patent or even a provisional patent, to get a ‘priority date’ that establishes that you came up with the idea first, before anyone challenges you. Defensive strategy is good for startups, IMO, since it protects your precious investment to create something new without someone pulling the carpet rudely, and it adds to valuation.

    2. Patent research: Before you think of patenting something, you should take time out to do a lot of serious research. Look up www.uspto.gov and identify your technical field/area of classification such as 706-Data processing,etc and its sub classes, or just do a plain keyword search.

    3. Software patents: As per international conventions, a patent can only be awarded to a unique ‘working model’ that is ‘claimed’. Software is mostly code, which is text, and typically a bunch of text can only be copyrighted. Hence, it is important to create a working prototype of your software code, and patent that working model with (block) diagrams and descriptions.

    4. Structure of a patent: A patent creation is naturally, in Edison’s spirit, 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Before you even start thinking about patenting something you need to research exhaustively on ‘Prior Art’. Prior Art is about how the problem you want to solve or have an idea for has been solved by others in the past, and that is not confined to other patents. It can be that someone thought of a similar idea that you want to patent and expressed it poetically. The duty of an inventor is to establish that after surveying all Prior Art, no one has solved the problem in the manner you want to propose. This proposal is the next part of a patent - ‘Claims’. Claim illustrates what is unique about your invention and what is the EXTENT of your right on it. For example, a business method such as ‘one click’ was claimed as its own by Amazon long back. But this claim proved to big to defend and it didnt get the patent. Claim is about what monopoly you seek. Claims themselves are two parts - the Primary Claim, which is the most important section of a patent document you should read, and the multiple secondary claims. Usually, the first claim in the list of Claims section is the primary claim.

    5. Related: Trade secrets, Trademarks, Copyrights and Design Registrations are other aspects of intellectual property. Trade secrets are ideas which are kept out of all public view, the most famous one being the formula of coke, which is stored on a piece of paper apparently, in a locker accessible to maybe 1 or 2 people in this world. Trade secrets are not defensible if they get leaked. Meaning you cant claim royalties. People maintain trade secrets because, if it comes into public domain, it is very easy to replicate similar stuff/improve on it. Copyrights are more relevant to stuff you write, music, video, and similar content. For example, all the things I wrote above are not original in the sense that I learnt from experts in this field including patent lawyers, internet, etc., but I wrote it from scratch in my own style for this comment section, which grants me the copyright - often lasts for at least 60 years or my lifetime, unlike patents that are valid for some 20 years max after grant. In fact, the pharma industry constantly seeks out expiring patents to exploit commercially. Design registrations are used by creative professionals and designers who want to patent a specific industrial design - its form and appearance such as a piece of jewelry or a chair they designed.

    6. Hiring Patent lawyers: There are many patent law/attorney firms. In Bangalore I have used http://www.metayage.com/ run by Arjun Bala. It is important to pick a firm that has resources to do its own independent patent research around your topic and most importantly, they are able to understand or comprehend your area of invention. It helps to go to a firm that has prior experience in filing software related patents if your patent is that.

    Good luck!

  •   Arjun Bala (@arjunbala) 8 years ago

    Thanks for the recommendation Sridhar. I would be glad to take up this opportunity to speak and cover all the points mentioned. Our firm specializes in software patents and i will cover the scenario in the US, India as well as Europe.

    On recent speaking engagement of mine is listed below



    Arjun Bala


  •   Debashis Sikdar Proposer 8 years ago

    Requesting the speaker to link the presentation slides to this site.

Login with Twitter or Google to leave a comment