Category — Information Technology

Amazon Expands Prime Video in India

Having launched its Prime Video at a lower price than Netflix, Amazon India is now consolidating partnerships to expand its user base in the country. It recently partnered with Vodafone, which, after its merger with Idea Cellular in a $23 million deal, is the biggest telecom company in the country with a customer base of 400 million. Amazon aims to penetrate this user base and also build a competitive edge against Reliance Jio and other Indian service providers that are offering streaming services on mobile phones.

Forbes reports that Amazon India is focusing on local content and targeting smartphone video consumers in India. Mint claims that India is expected to have 650 million internet users by 2020, making it a huge market for video-on-demand consumption.

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon’s strategy of partnering with a telecom operator that can provide 4G services on mobile phones will likely work since the majority of India’s population is not likely to invest in a fast landline broadband connection to view content on large screens.

 

March 20, 2017   No Comments

Smartphones Change Lives of Rural Women in India

28-year old Manisha Badekar runs a design and tailoring shop in Supane, a village in India’s western state of Maharashtra. Though she is well-versed in basic tailoring, Badekar has never been to a design school. Yet, her advanced design learning has been via a smartphone, which she uses to look up designs and re-create them. She is the first both in her family, and among the women in Supane from her generation, to use a smartphone and access the Internet. Badekar also keeps in touch with friends on WhatsApp which she accesses on a 4G connection. She says, “I think everybody should learn how to use the Internet. ”

Another 28-year old from the same region, Monali Shinde, spouse of a soldier in the Indian Army, is excited about the smartphone. Though she doesn’t own one herself, she uses one belonging to Asha Kamle, a well-respected woman in the village who has taught many women how to use smartphones. Shinde is an Arts graduate and a teacher by profession. Interested in design, she learned how to cut fabrics, and paper, and also how to fashion mehendi (henna) designs, and clothes designs. “I used to be so excited, every evening, when I had time for a half hour or an hour, I used to come sit with Tai (Kamle is respectfully referred to as ‘older sister’) and learn,” Shinde says. Aside from learning about possible home businesses, she wants to use the Internet to teach her children. “It is a really a useful way for them to learn, with pictures, and videos,” she says.

Nubia Smartphone

In the same village of Supane, is 33-year old Pallavi Kamble, whose husband is a daily wage earner. She has discovered recipes on the smartphone which she tries out at home to entice her children to eat their vegetables (which they hate)! She doesn’t own a smartphone buts looks forward to a time when smartphones will be available in a range of $38 – $45 so that she can buy one, reports The Hindu.

March 20, 2017   No Comments

India’s 2017 Trademark Rules Are Progressive

In an effort to streamline, simplify and expedite the trademark registration processes, the Government of India has replaced the Trade Marks Rules 2002, with a forward looking and more progressive Trade Mark Rules, 2017.

Some of the salient features of the new rules as reported by Indianceo are:

  • Reduction in the number of trademark forms from 75 to 8: while earlier there used to be one form for each type of application, it is now a single form for requests related to each separate stage of the application life cycle, such as filing, search, opposition, and renewal, among other types; trade mark applications, whether single class, multi-class, collective marks, can now be done now through the same form; contested proceedings such as oppositions or rectifications may be registered through a single form.
  • Hearings in connection with proceedings, will now be allowed through video conferencing or other audio-visual communication devices. The 2002 rules did not have this feature.
  • Sound marks and three dimensional marks will now be accepted for registration. This is a new provision. For registering sound marks, the rule states, “Where an application for the registration of a trademark consists of a sound as a trademark, the reproduction of the same shall be submitted in MP3 format not exceeding thirty seconds’ length and recorded on a medium which allows for an easy and a clearly audible replaying, and which is accompanied with a graphical representation of its notations.” Registration of 3-D marks includes the shape and packaging of goods.
  • Electronic filing and service of documents is encouraged. A fee that is 10% less than for physical filing has been provided for e-filing. Communications which are sent by the Trade Mark office through email will be accepted as completed service. It will not be required to serve documents through the post.
Trademark
While there is a significant increase in the fees, as for example, renewing a registered trademark will now cost Rs. 10,000 or about $150, (up from the earlier Rs. 5000 0r $75), the 2017 rules are forward-looking and include technology to speed up the system.

 

March 19, 2017   No Comments

NetApp Inaugurates a Global Center of Excellence in India

Sunnyvale, California-based storage and data management company NetApp opened a Global Center of Excellence in Bangalore. The 12,000-square-foot data center and engineering laboratory on a 15-acre campus incorporates one   million square feet of work space. The new facility incorporates the company’s first startup accelerator program called “Escape Velocity” that will foster technology startups and expand the Data Fabric ecosystem.

NetApp CEO George Kurian said, “Our continued investment in India, with its highly skilled talent, collaborative government, and global business partners, strengthens our ability to succeed in the new era of hybrid cloud.”

NetApp Innovation Center

Deepak Visweswaraiah, managing director of NetApp India and head of NetApp’s worldwide Data Fabric and Manageability Group, stated, “As we evolve our Data Fabric approach, the Escape Velocity program will help to share our technology expertise and business acumen with innovative startups, which will add to the robust cloud data management ecosystem our customers need.”

 

March 18, 2017   No Comments

WIPO Head: India Will Be Major Hub of Innovation

In an interview with the Economic Times, World Intellectual Property Organization director general Francis Gurry discussed issues of Intellectual Property and Innovation with respect to India.

Francis Gurry

Francis Gurry

Snippets of Gurry’s opinions during the conversation:

There has been a shift in innovation in the last 20 years, from a total domination by North America and Europe, to Asia (in terms of magnitude) in countries including Japan, China, Korea, India and others.

India is a leader in demand-driven and frugal innovation — taking innovation elsewhere and adapting it to local conditions, so you are able to address a problem at a lower cost.

India is compliant with its international obligations. It has not been involved in any dispute resolution process for an intellectual property. The challenge for India is the vastness of the country and the unevenness that exists. It is typical of any big country.

India is going to be a major hub of innovation and IP. You have the human resources, the educational system, high number of scientists and engineers and a vibrant rate of economic growth, which is producing new areas of opportunity.

It is exciting working with the authorities on the state index for innovation in India. It is a friendly competition between the states in the field of innovation. The moment you leave India’s borders the competition is enormous.

Not the least area of concern is the displacement of employment by robotics, artificial intelligence. That means we have to address this starting with the education system. You cannot stop innovation.

Employment is an integral part of human dignity. The massive elimination of work possibilities will be catastrophic, but I do not think that is happening. A more worrying phenomenon is the heavy concentration of wealth that occurs quite rapidly as a consequence of innovation in certain areas.

March 8, 2017   No Comments