1. Sony patents tech that turns ‘bananas’ into a PlayStation controller

A patent application was filed last summer by Sony  which detailed a method of turning a banana into a Playstation controller. According to the patent, the new technology allows people to use a banana or any other object as a game controller. The filing was spotted by GamesIndustry.biz. It is understood that the patent is a method that will turn a non-luminous passive object which the user holds into a controller by superimposing virtual buttons on top of it. The banana was given as an example. A camera will detect the objects that are being used as the controller. The camera will also detect the user’s fingers in obtained images which will coincide with the location of the virtual button. In such a manner, a user can make any particular object a video game controller.

2. Oreo-maker takes Parle to court for ‘copying’ cookie design

A suit has been filed in the Delhi High Court by the maker of Oreo biscuit against Parle products. Allegedly, the design of the Indian firm’s product “Fabio biscuits” is deceptively similar to the design of Oreo biscuits. In this case of trademark infringement filed by US-based Intercontinental Great Brands LLC, the date of the next hearing has been set as April 12. Parle Products has not responded to the email seeking comments. Oreo was launched in India almost a decade ago, including variants of the same branch such as Oreo Vanilla, Strawberry, and Choco creme.  Fabio was launched by Parle Products in January 2020.

3. Ludhiana gets state’s first intellectual property rights facilitation centre

The Central government is reported to have approved an Intellectual Property Rights Facilitation Centre (IPRFC) for Ludhiana. First of its kind in the state, the centre will spread awareness about intellectual property rights among entrepreneurs, especially those connected with micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME). The government has sanctioned the centre for the Auto Parts’ Manufacturers’ Association (APMA) of the city, but will offer services to all other sectors in filing for patents, copyrights, trademarks, and industrial designs. IPRFC is said to work for all types of industries, including auto, cycle, tractor and sewing machine parts, machine tools, agricultural implements and hosiery, among others. “The main role of this centre will be to take measures for protecting ideas and business strategies and assist MSMEs in technology upgrade and enhance their competitiveness and also educate them about effective utilisation of IPR tools.” Said G.G Kahlon, President of the APMA on the matter. 

4. Pakistani brands get IPR protection in 100 countries

Under a new International Protocol signed on Friday, Pakistani brands to get protection from infringement in more than 100 countries. The country is reported to have joined the Madrid system of trademarks of the World Intellectual Property Organization, which allows the brand owners to protect their trademarks in over 100 countries through a single and cost-effective procedure. Lauding the efforts of the Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan (IPO), Razak Dawood, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment stated that “It is the policy of the government to help Pakistan’s brands to go global,” The Madrid system registers and manages trademarks worldwide. Businesses can file a single application and pay one set of fees to apply for protection in up to 124 countries. The singing of protocol is to complement the recent relaxation in regulations related to transfer of funds abroad for brand marketing and business setup.

5. Offences under Section 63 of Copyright Act, 103 Trademark Act are non-bailable: Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court recently held that the offences of infringement of copyright under the Copyright Act and the act of falsely applying any trademark under the Trade Marks Act to be non-bailable offences that can attract up to three years. After analyzing several judgements and the criminal law, Justice Sarang held that the bare reading of Party II of Schedule I of CrPC shows that if the offences in the other laws are punishable with imprisonment for three years and upwards, then the offences are cognizable and non-bailable. “Wherever it is possible to impose the punishment extending to three years, this category would apply, because in such offences it is possible to impose a sentence of exactly three years. In such cases, the offences would be non-bailable” said Justice Sarang, rejecting the plea before him.

6. Wearable Artificial Organs, Inc. Granted Patent for the Wearable Artificial Kidney (WAK) 3.0 

Victor Gura, MD, Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer of Wearable Artificial Organs Inc., recently announced that the US Patent Office has granted approval of patent No. 10,933,183 for the new version of the Wearable Artificial Kidney, WAK 3.0. The new model of the device that is much smaller and lighter (2 pounds) than its predecessors is powered by a rechargeable battery and was successfully trialed in 3 clinical trials in V Vicenza, Italy, London, UK, and Seattle, WA. “It will free patients from spending lengthy hours in bed or an armchair, tied up to a big machine in a dialysis clinic. A miniaturized, battery operated wearable artificial kidney (WAK) can improve patient autonomy and has the potential to improve quality of life and reduce mortality.” Said Dr. Gura, the inventor of the device.

7. Samsung loses $62.7m OLED patent suit

Samsung has been ordered to pay $62.7m in damages by a Texas court for infringing two OLED display patents owned by Dublin-based tech licensing firm Solas OLED.Galaxy S and Galaxy Note smartphones with flexible touch sensors were found by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to have infringed US patent numbers 7,446,338 and 9,256,311 owned by Solas. The ruling was handed down  following a five-day trial. Gerald Padian, co-founder and director of Solas, said in a statement: “For too long, the behemoth that is Samsung has played the game of double standards—taking and using the patented technologies of others without paying, while at the same time constructing the world’s largest patent portfolio behind which they hide their billions of dollars.

8. Court rules Harvard, not descendants, owns slave photos

Harvard University is the rightful owner of photos of enslaved individuals, a US court has ruled in a lawsuit that accused the institution of illegally and “shamelessly” profiting from the images. The decision was handed down at the Massachusetts Superior Court in Massachusetts.  In 2019, Tamara Lanier sued the university, demanding that it return the images to her family, pay unspecified damages to her and acknowledge that it was “complicit in perpetuating and justifying the institution of slavery”. According to the lawsuit, the images depict her family’s ancestors, two South Carolina slaves identified as Renty and his daughter, Delia, who were forced to pose shirtless in 1850. They were photographed by a Harvard professor, biologist Louis Agassiz, to support the now-discredited theory that Africans and African-Americans were inferior to white people. Harvard has buildings named after Agassiz, including the Louis Agassiz Museum of Comparative Zoology. The lawsuit held that Lanier had verified her genealogical ties to Renty, whom she calls “Papa Renty” and that she grew up hearing bedtime stories about him. Neither Harvard nor the court disputed this claim at trial. Lanier sought an unspecified sum in damages for “wrongful seizure, possession and expropriation”.

Image Sources:

  1. Sony Interactive Entertainment on http://www.playstation.com
  2. Unknown author on PDF; in SVG konvertiert on de:Benutzer:Connum
  3. Macau Photo Agency on Unsplash 
  4. Abuzar Xheikh on Unsplash
  5. Nichalp on Wikimedia
  6. Wearableorgans.com
  7.  Kote Puerto on Unsplash
  8. Clay Banks on Unsplash