Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Sony Seeks ‘SmartWig’ Patent for Hairpieces With Sensors

Sony Corp. (6758), which popularized portable music players with the Walkman, is seeking a U.S. patent for “SmartWig” hairpieces that could help navigate roads, check blood pressure or flip through slides in a presentation.
The wig would communicate wirelessly with another device and include tactile feedback, Sony said in the filing with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Depending on the model, the hairpiece may include a camera, laser pointer or global positioning system sensor, it said.
The development of wearable technology such as eyeglasses, watches and earpieces is expanding as consumers seek new ways to integrate computers into everyday life. The race to gain a foothold in a market that Juniper Research estimates will jump about 14-fold in five years to $19 billion is luring companies including Sony, Google Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. (005930)
“It’s an interesting idea but I think it would be very difficult for Sony to commercialize,” said Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “Who will want to use this wig will become a problem.”
Shares of Sony rose 1.1 percent to 1,869 yen in Tokyo trading. The stock has gained 95 percent this year, compared with a 45 percent advance for the benchmark Topix index.
“It is an object to provide an improved wearable computing device,” Sony said in the patent application. “At least one sensor, the processing unit and the communication interface are arranged in the wig and at least partly covered by the wig in order to be visually hidden during use.”
As posted in Bloomberg By Grace Huang & Mariko Yasu
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Kamaron’s ‘Zecodex’ Mark Canceled, Business Standard Says

Wockhardt Ltd. (WPL), a Mumbai-based drugmaker, persuaded India’s Intellectual Property Appellate Board to cancel a trademark registered to a competitor, India’s Business Standard reported.
Wockhardt said that Gujarat-based Kamaron Laboratories Ltd.’s “Zecodex” mark was confusingly similar to the “Zedex” mark Wockhardt used for a cough syrup, the newspaper reported.
In its ruling, the board said that Kamaron should have conducted a trademark search before filing an application and that the company didn’t produce any evidence it had used the “Zecodex” mark, according to the Business Standard.
Although Wockhardt had used “Zedex” since 1983, Kamaron argued that the Mumbai company failed to oppose Kamaron’s 1996 trademark application for “Zecodes,” according to the newspaper.
As posted in Bloomberg.
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Nestle, Gilead, Frack, Starbucks: Intellectual Property

Nestle SA (NESN) lost a patent on one of its Nespresso single-serve coffee machines, the latest legal setback for one of its fastest-growing brands.
The European Patent Office revoked the patent, which covered the lower-cost Pixie brewer, in oral proceedings on Nov. 19 and Nov. 20, according to Rainer Osterwalder, a Munich-based EPO spokesman. Nestec SA, the unit of Nestle that held the patent, can appeal the decision once the full minutes of the proceedings are released in a few weeks, he said.
Nestle, the world’s largest coffee maker, has said its Nespresso machines are protected by 1,700 patents, yet to date the company has been unable to stem the flow of less-expensive copycat capsules from rivals like D.E Master Blenders 1753 and Mondelez International Inc. (MDLZ)
Last month, an EPO appeals board revoked another Nespresso patent, and in April the Vevey, Switzerland-based company lost a battle to block Dualit Ltd. from making capsules in Britain.
“We are disappointed by the decision,” which “fails to recognize the unique innovations inherent in the design of the Nespresso system,” Diane Duperret, a spokeswoman for the brand, said by e-mail. Nespresso will decide whether to appeal once the EPO publishes the ruling, she said.
As posted in Bloomberg by Victoria Slind.
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Saturday, 23 November 2013

Nokia can't license brand 'Nokia' post Microsoft deal

WASHINGTON: After signing a pact to sell its handset business to Microsoft, Finnish phone giant Nokia can neither license the 'Nokia' brand for use in connection with mobile device sales nor use the brand on its own mobile devices for a specific period.

"Microsoft has also agreed to a 10-year license arrangement with Nokia to use the Nokia brand on current and subsequently developed Mobile Phones based on the Series 30 and Series 40 operating systems," Nokia said in a recent US filins.

okia, which will be left with only its telecom equipment, location and patent development business, would have right to continue and maintain Nokia brand except for certain period as per the agreement. 

After the closing of deal "Nokia would be restricted from licensing the Nokia brand for use in connection with mobile device sales for 30 months and from using the Nokia brand on Nokia's own mobile devices until December 31, 2015," it said. 

 The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to approval by Nokia shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. 

As per telecom magazine Voice&Data, Nokia mobile phones has 27.2 per cent market share India at the end of Financial Year 2012-13. 

Nokia will seek its shareholders approval on November 19 this year to $7.2 billion deal to sell devices and services business to US software giant Microsoft. If shareholders o .. 

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Friday, 22 November 2013

US firm Kibow Biotech loses patent battle for kidney drug

US-based Kibow Biotech, which specialises in patented and proprietary probiotic dietary supplements for kidney and immune health, lost its Indian patent titled prebiotic and probiotic compositions and methods for use in gut-based therapies. This comes after a revocation petition filed by a domestic pharma company.
The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB), in its latest order, revoked the patent, which deals with a pharma composition and its method of use in the kidney patients registered by Kibow Biotech, citing lack of invention.
Kibow Biotech secured two US patents on the same as well as international patents under the Patent Cooperative Treaty (PCT) in India, Australia, Canada, China, Europe, Japan and Korea. The Indian patent was granted in April 2007.
The order follows a patent battle between Kibow Biotech and Gujarat-based La Renon Healthcare. Kibow Biotech filed a civil suit before the Madras high court against La Renon Healthcare, alleging infringement of the impugned patent, while seeking a restraint order to curb the competition in the market from the latter, a major competitor.
Though the suit was dismissed by the court in 2011 due to non-maintainability under Section 599 of the Companies Act, the court, said the plaintiff was entitled to bring a fresh suit after curing the defects of the Act.
As posted in Financial Express by Sajan C Kumar
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Apple vs. Samsung: Jury awards $290 million to Apple in patent feud..

 SAN JOSE -- With a fresh $290 million jury verdict in hand, Apple(AAPL) got exactly what it wanted from a federal jury Thursday in its continuing patent feud with arch rival Samsung -- another stern message that copying iPhone and iPad technology comes with a steep price.
On the third day of deliberations, an eight-member jury awarded Apple $290 million in damages in the latest round of its legal battle with Samsung, close to the amount the Silicon Valley tech giant sought for Samsung's copying of the iPhone and iPad in 13 Samsung smartphones and tablets.
Jurors said after the verdict that they were aware the outcome would send a broader message about patent infringement, particularly in the valley's tech center.
"We felt that was the message of this trial," said juror Barry Goldman-Hall, a San Jose therapist. "If you invent something, that's a valuable commodity. In this particular business, that's serious."
With the verdict, Apple is owed a total of nearly $930 million for its overall patent infringement case against Samsung, including the results of last year's trial in which a separate jury found the South Korean maker of Galaxy smartphones and tablets and other devices violated Apple's patent rights in dozens of products.
In the most recent trial, the jury largely sided with Apple's demands to be compensated for 13 Samsung smartphones and tablets already found to have copied iPhone and iPad patents, such as Apple's bounce back and pinch-to-zoom features......
As posted in Silicon Valley by Howard mintz.
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Google has won a resounding victory in its eight-year copyright battle with the Authors Guild over the search giant’s controversial decision to scan more than 20 million books from libraries and make them available on the internet.

In a ruling (embedded below) issued Thursday morning in New York, US Circuit Judge Denny Chin said the book scanning amounted to fair use because it was “highly transformative” and because it didn’t harm the market for the original work.
“Google Books provides significant public benefits,” Chin wrote, describing it as “an essential research tool” and noting that the scanning service has expanded literary access for the blind and helped preserve the text of old books from physical decay.
Chin also rejected the theory that Google was depriving authors of income, noting that the company does not sell the scans or make whole copies of books available. He concluded, instead, that Google Books served to help readers discover new books and amounted to “new income from authors.”
The ruling is being hailed on Twitter  by librarians and scholars, who intervened in the case to urge the court to declare that Google Books was fair use — a four-part test  that seeks to balance the rights of authors against broader interests of society.
“This has been a long road and we are absolutely delighted with today’s judgement. As we have long said Google Books is in compliance with copyright law and acts like a card catalog for the digital age – giving users the ability to find books to buy or borrow,” Google said in an emailed statement.
Author’s Guild Executive Director Paul Aiken said by email that the group would appeal the decision. He added:
“We disagree with and are disappointed by the court’s decision today. This case presents a fundamental challenge to copyright that merits review by a higher court. Google made unauthorized digital editions of nearly all of the world’s valuable copyright-protected literature and profits from displaying those works. In our view, such mass digitization and exploitation far exceeds the bounds of the fair use defense.”
The decision itself comes as a volte-face for Judge Chin, who expressed major skepticism about the project in a highly-publicized 2010 ruling that blew up a three-part deal between Google, publishers and the Authors Guild that would have created a market for the scanned books. Chin also agreed last year to allow the cases to proceed as a class action — but the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision  and ordered Chin to instead rule on the fair use question. Thursday’s ruling is effectively an acknowledgment by Chin that the higher court (on which he now sits) wanted him to find fair use.
The ruling is unlikely to sit well with some authors, including Scott Turow, who have decried Google’s scanning as an indignity and a money grab.
The latter idea — that Google is profiting off the books at the expense of authors — has been a rallying cry for opponents of the book scanning. Chin’s ruling, however, takes care to reject the notion in detail, and states that Google “does not engage in the direct commercialization of copyrighted works.”
Find the Judgement here

Trade Secrets Watch

When you think of gyms, romance, and reality TV, what’s most likely to come to mind is an episode of Jersey Shore — not a lawsuit for trade secret misappropriation.  But you won’t hear about JWoww, Snooki, or The Situation in three recently-filed trade secret complaints.  These complaints reflect a growing trend in which trade secret cases aren’t limited to traditional spheres like corporate espionage or technical secrets like source code, but instead are based on creative trade secret assertions that go after competitors in unique settings.
Working Out May be Hazardous to Your (Financial) Health
In October 2013, popular upscale gym franchise Equinox Holdings filed a lawsuit against SoHo Strength Lab, a competitor gym created by three former Equinox personal trainers.  Equinox alleges that it spent extensive time and money compiling databases of information about its members — including not only their contact information but also data on their height, weight, fitness levels, buying histories, and training programs.  Although this type of data doesn’t fit the traditional mold, it’s not hard to see how it could potentially be valuable to a competitor in the health and fitness industry.  Equinox’s trade secret allegations are based on “information and belief,” meaning that it still needs to develop its evidence and theories for how the theft occurred, so it remains to be seen how its claims will work out (so to speak).  All we know is that if Equinox wins it will be able to buy a lot of exercise bikes — it’s seeking $40 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
Romance is a Trade Secret
“Hell hath no fury like a speed dating service scorned.” In December 2012, Match.com contracted with Speed Date to set up speed date events on behalf of Match.com members, but the fling was short-lived: Match broke off the relationship just six months later in May 2013.  A few weeks ago, Speed Date sued, claiming that Match.com stole Speed Date’s trade secret “formula and pattern for marketing and running speed dating events, which resulted in their status as the most successful speed dating business/service in the nation.”  Speed Date alleges that Match improperly used the secret formula to host its own speed dating events, and is seeking $5.65 million in damages to help mend its broken heart.
Reality TV is (Not Surprisingly) Drama
You don’t hear about reality TV and trade secret actions every day (or really ever), but the Western District of Wisconsin will have some “must see” courtroom drama in the coming months.  Plaintiff Sean Morrison Entertainment was the producer of “Ultimate Women’s Challenge,” a reality TV series about 16 female mixed martial arts fighters competing in a tournament that was supposed to air on network television.  Each of the MMA fighters signed a participation agreement providing that the outcomes of the individual matches and the overall tournament winner were trade secrets.  The agreement prohibited the disclosure of the tournament results.  Sean Morrison alleges that since this was a reality show, the economic value of the show was entirely dependent on maintaining the secrecy of the contest elements.  (Those who watch The Bachelor would probably agree.)
So how did the fighters misappropriate the trade secrets?  According to a federal complaint filed by Sean Morrison last month, they and their law firm O’Flaherty Heim Egan & Birnbaum (OHEB) intentionally leaked the results of the series —  including the winner of the challenge — when they previously sued Sean Morrison for non-payment and discussed the results in their publicly-filed complaint.  An MMA blog found out about the suit and broadcast the names of the winners, destroying the secrecy (and allegedly, the value) of the series.  Sean Morrison argues that the defendants should have filed their lawsuit under seal to preserve the confidential information about the results of the show and that no network will now pick up the series because the results are all over the Internet.  Sean Morrison is seeking $1 million in damages and attorneys’ fees.
What these cases show is that trade secrets come in all shapes and sizes.  Trade secrets don’t always have to be top secret source code, technical designs, or the formula for Coke.  All companies have trade secrets, but sometimes you need to think creatively to realize what they are and how they’ve been misused.
Find the News here 

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Zynga Defeats Personalized Media Communications’ Patent Claims

Zynga Inc., the San Francisco-based maker of games for social media, defeated infringement claims by a Sugar Land, Texas-based patent owner.
Personalized Media Communications LLC sued Zynga in federal court in Marshall, Texas, in February 2012, alleging that the games company infringed patents related to the delivery and presentation of enhanced media content. According to the complaint, Personalized Media owns more than 50 patents. John C. Harvey, founder and chairman, is the primary inventor of the technology on which the patents are based....
As Published by Bloomberg.
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Samsung Urges Mistrial Citing Racism in Lawyer’s Remark

Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) accused Apple Inc.’s lawyer of making a prejudiced remark during closing arguments in a retrial over how much the South Korean company owes the iPhone maker for patent infringement and asked the judge to halt the proceedings.
Harold McElhinny, Apple’s attorney, spoke yesterday of his memory as a child of watching television on American-made sets, and how because the manufacturers didn’t protect their intellectual property their products no longer exist. “We all know what happened,” he said at the conclusion of a damages retrial in San Jose, California, that started last week.
Bill Price, Samsung’s lawyer, then asked U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh to invalidate the trial just after she had sent the jury to a separate room to begin deliberations in the case. Price said McElhinny presented “absolutely no evidence” for his claim that U.S. companies were driven out of business....
As Posted in Bloomberg By Joel Rosenblatt.
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Publicly Traded Patent Collectors Plaguing Google, Apple.

In more than two decades as a publicly-traded company, Spherix Inc. developed diabetes treatments, marketed a low-calorie sweetener and handled campground reservations. Now it’s dealing in something completely different: patents.
Two months ago, Spherix merged with North South Holdings Inc., owner of a portfolio of 224 patents. The new Spherix, which calls itself an “intellectual property development company,” is pursuing infringement cases against the likes of T-Mobile US Inc. and buying former Nortel Networks patents from a consortium set up by Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc.
Spherix’s overnight transformation from a struggling scientific research company into a patent collector is the latest step in the race to turn other people’s ideas into dollars. In the past 16 months, at least five U.S. companies.....
As Published by Bloomberg
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Khyber restaurant : IPAB Decides in favor of Prior user

Khyber restaurant wins name battle, Surat eatery can’t use its name

 In a victory for the 55-year-old Khyber restaurant at Fort, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB), a judicial tribunal which adjudicates patent and trademark-related disputes, has held the Mumbai restaurant to be the rightful owner of the trade name and mark Khyber Restaurant and Khyber.
The same name and mark were being used by a partnership firm running two restaurants in Surat, Gujarat. The IPAB held that the Surat-based firm, the respondent, had obtained registration of this name and mark by 'wrong statement of use.' In other words, it had misguided the Registrar of Trademarks.The Surat-based firm was also not able to substantiate 'commercial use' of the disputed name and mark. "Mere filing of documents such as rent receipts, licenses, tax returns does not prove the commercial use of the trademark since 1975, as claimed by the respondent," observed the IPAB. Further, as the public could be misled by usage of identical names for identical services, the IPAB ordered rectification of the trademark register.
"Owing to strong facts and documentary evidence, we have been able to remove the trademark registered by the other party," states Avesh Kayser, advocate, who represented Khyber, Mumbai.
In August 2009, the applicant, Sudheer Bahl, owner of the Mumbai-based restaurant, learnt of two Surat-based restaurants which were run under the 'name and style' Khyber Restaurant and Khyber. A legal notice resulted in a reply that the Surat-based firm were the registered owners of the disputed name and mark.
In this backdrop, Bahl moved the IPAB, saying that the name and mark used by the Surat restaurants was identical with that of his Mumbai restaurant.
"Extensive promotional activities have always been undertaken for promoting restaurant services under the name and trademark 'Khyber Restaurant' and 'Khyber' - which have come to represent excellence; this name and trade mark is known to lakhs of people across India and is exclusively associated with the applicant alone," submitted Bahl.
Bahl pointed out that his predecessors had, way back in 1964-65, created a unique and distinct style for representing the name and mark 'Khyber', in which copyright subsists. Both the name and mark appear on all cash memos, bills, invoices, promotional materials, brochures, visiting cards, registers, labels etc.
Further, it was pointed out that the trademarks Khyber Restaurant and Khyber were registered for restaurant services in October 2003, claiming use since December 1958.
It was contented that the applicant had acquired valuable proprietary rights in this name and mark and was entitled to its protection. For instance, strong brand equity and brand royalty had resulted in growing revenues; the turnover for the year 2008-09 had crossed Rs. 13 crore. The tiny restaurant of 800 sq ft since 1958 was now a large one of 7,000 sq ft and was the recipient of several awards.
The Surat-based partnership firm responded that they were honest and bona fide users of the name and mark Khyber Restaurant and Khyber since July 1975 and had earned goodwill and reputation. The trademark registered by it was notified by the Registrar in the trade journal in March 2005.
Based on facts, which included that the Surat firm had obtained trademark registration by furnishing wrong statement of use, the IPAB ruled in favour of the Mumbai-based restaurant.

Find the IPAB order here 

and the news here 

NITK sets up IPR cell to pursue patents for research work

 The National Institute of Technology - Karnataka (NITK), Surathkal, has set up an intellectual property rights (IPR) cell. It has also taken up the task of framing an IPR policy that will guide the Institute on the path of filing patents for works of research that can be commercially exploited.

Swapan Bhattacharya, director of NITK said, "Thus far, the faculty has only focused on carrying out the research without bothering about filing for patents. The research carried out by A C Hegde, head of the department of chemistry on electroplating has been commercially exploited in state of Washington in USA. The faculty of the institute so far have filed for six patents and more are in the pipeline."................

Published from Times of India.

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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Apple, Microsoft were interested in acquiring parts of BlackBerry:

Microsoft and Apple had both expressed interest in BlackBerry's intellectual property and patents, a source briefed on the matter told Reuters. In 2011, the three companies had teamed up with others to buy patents from bankrupt Canadian telecoms company Nortel.
BlackBerry had also held discussions with Cisco Systems Inc, Google Inc and Chinese computer maker Lenovo, among others, about selling all, or parts of itself, Reuters previously reported.
A BlackBerry spokeswoman declined to comment on the board's deliberations, and it is not known what specific proposals were rejected by directors during the company's three-month-long review of strategic options. Microsoft, Apple and the other tech companies have all declined to comment on the matter.
BlackBerry stunned investors on Monday by abandoning plans to sell itself, naming a new interim chief executive, and announcing an $1 billion convertible notes issue to a group of investors including its largest shareholder Fairfax Financial Holdings, Canso Investment Counsel, Mackenzie Financial, Markel Corp, Qatar Holding and Brookfield Asset Management.
BlackBerry shares fell 16 percent on the news as investors fretted the company may have missed an opportunity to deliver shareholder value.
But the board felt the notes issue offered BlackBerry the most near-term certainty and the best chance for a turnaround, said the people familiar with the discussions. Most alternative proposals would have broken up the Waterloo, Ontario-based company, which was not in the best interests of all stakeholders, they added.
One of the sources said the board also took into consideration the current cost of the break-up. Winding down some of BlackBerry's businesses would have created liabilities, including in its commitments with suppliers, and would have weighed on the monetization of the company's intellectual property, the source said.
BlackBerry's assets range from devices and network assets to software and patents. Some of these assets are so intertwined they could lose value in a company break-up, another source added.
The board was also concerned that any deal involving foreign companies would be closely scrutinized by the Canadian government in an extended review process, the sources said, prolonging uncertainty and making it harder for BlackBerry to stem customer losses.
Last month, Canada blocked an Egyptian telecommunication entrepreneur's bid to acquire the Allstream fiber optic network owned by Manitoba Telecom Services, citing unspecified security concerns.
The sources stressed the board's decision not to break up BlackBerry reflected the current situation and did not preclude a future split. But future proposals will likely be measured by a similar yardstick.
A landmark Supreme Court of Canada ruling in the BCE case in 2008 said a Canadian company's board needs to consider the interests of all stakeholders, not just shareholders, when it decides on a deal. Stakeholders can include employees, customers, suppliers and the wider community.
In 2007, telecoms company BCE Inc agreed to a leveraged buyout that offered its shareholders a substantial premium, but the deal hurt the company's bond prices, and its debt holders challenged the deal in court.
While the deal eventually fell apart for other reasons, the Supreme Court ruled that a company's board has to take into consideration the interests of all stakeholders and not just its investors, when deciding on the merits of a deal.
Towards the end of BlackBerry's review of strategic alternatives, a consortium comprised of BlackBerry founders Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin, Cerberus Capital Management LP and mobile chip giant Qualcomm had expressed interest in the company.
BlackBerry's board dismissed that proposal as too tentative since it lacked committed financing, sources familiar with the matter said, adding that this does not mean that the board is closed to entertaining proposals in the future.

© Thomson Reuters 2013

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Friday, 8 November 2013


The concept of Ownership arose from the time man started continuous exercise of his rights over a particular thing for his own  benefit. This enjoyment of  rights resulted in paving a concrete base for the Right of property. The concept of property right grew from time to time and man extended his right over almost all available objects including fellow  human beings.When man found out that his intellect is capable of bringing out monetary and moral benefits to him he started the practice of protecting Property arising out of his intellect by way of Copyright for his literary artistic dramatic and scientific works ,Patents for inventions ,goodwill by way of Trademarks . Intellectual Property rights as a statutory right was recognized as early as in 18th century where Statute of ANN an act of the Parliament of Great Britain, in 1710 was enacted for of protection of intellectual property rights  in books (today's copyright ) . Though by the Licensing Act of 1662 copying restrictions were authorized by Stationers' Company, a guild of printers. The Statute of Anne was the first statute to provide  copyright regulation  by the government and courts, rather than by private parties. Now Intellectual Property Rights is flourishing in every field from printing of book to space technology where  huge amount of money and reputation is attached. This vast growth has demanded an extensive protection from copying and various other infringements and here comes the importance of protecting the intellectual property rights by way of Copyrights, Trademarks,Patents, Geographical Indications, Trade secrets, Traditional Knowledge ,Biodiversity Protection  and Plant Variety Protection   .
Ipmarkets   is a business and legal consulting firm in the areas of Intellectual Property rights, Conveyancing and documentations, Cyber laws, corporate law and compliance through company secretarial works. We are one of the largest Intellectual Property Rights Management Firm in INDIA, with an international reputation for our specialized expertise in the said areas. We are also an exclusive Cyber Law firm handling and assisting in the investigation and solving of Cyber Crimes cases for our various clients. The investigations also include in house cyber security breaches for our clients. Our cyber law services include Digital foot printing, Cyber forensics and cyber security due diligence for companies.
The blog intends to inform and discuss various Intellectual Property issues  arising in today’s techno legal areas .Feel free to reply comment and confeedback. Find us here at http://ipmarkets.in/.