Intellectual Property Rights under ICT
Recognition of patent, trademark and layout design
Sunil D B AbeyaratneBar Association Secretary of Sri Lanka and
Chairman,IT Committee of the Colombo Law Society
What is patent right?
Sunil D B Abeyaratne
An invention is patentable if it is new, involves an inventive step
and is industrialy applicable according to the Intellectual Property
It defines “invention” as an idea of an inventor which permits in
practice as the solution to a specific problem in the field of
technology. Invention may be, or may relate to, a product or process.
Can Computer Programs obtain patent rights?
In the United Kingdom Patent Act 1977, program for a computer has
been excluded from the definition of inventions. Computer programs were
rejected considering they were mere implementation actions of
It was decided in the United Kingdom that any software related
innovation performing a function which could be carried out within the
human brain (even though the function would not reflect the normal
process of human reasoning) would not be patentable.
In Australia the Federal Court has decided that a computer program
producing an improved curve image that if the invention produces a
commercially useful effect, such invention would be patentable. When
there is no technical effect and there is, only a scheme for performing
a mental act a computer program would not be patentable.
What is the position in Sri Lanka?
The position under existing Intellectual Property Act No. 26 of 2003
in Sri Lanka is that there is no exclusion of programs from patent
rights. Intellectual Property rights in ICT industry especially,
relevant to computer programs operate as a global phenomenon and do not
limit to a country or a region.
A major problem arising out of patenting of internet-related
technology inventions since it provides patent protection only
territorially while the effect of operation of the internet is global.
Registration of patent right and trademark is mandatory and procedure
of registration and dispute resolution mechanism upon infringement of
such rights are clear.
Rights relating to trade marks and trade names relating to computers
under Intellectual Property Act?
Applicability of provisions under the Act for Trade Marks and Trade
Names for Computer hardware has no distinction from applicability of the
same for other goods or services.
The rights of a registered owner of a Trade Mark are exclusive but
Section 121 of the Act explains that the registered owner of a mark
shall have exclusive rights in relation to the use of the mark, to
assign or transmit the registered mark and to conclude licence
contracts. Unauthorised use of the mark and misleading the public are
explained in the same section as offences under this Act.
Infringement of trade marks in cyberspace
Domain Names will function as a trade or service mark within the
definition of the Act.
Internet users can be misled by functions of similar domain names
with hyphen, space etc., in between genuine domain name.
As far as the section 121 of the Act is concerned, the provisions of
the same can be applied for trademarks in Cyberspace as well.
Purpose of Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (approved on
24.10.1999) is explained as “policies have been adopted by the Internet
Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and incorporated by
reference into one’s Registration Agreement and set forth the terms and
conditions in connection with a dispute between such person and any
party other than the registrar over the registration and use of an
Internet Domain Name registered by him.”
However, Domain Name Registry is not obliged to investigate whether a
Domain Name applied for would infringe rights of a third party.
Domain Name Registry would only ask for a letter from the
organization requesting the domain to confirm that they have a right to
the name. However, this can be challenged.
Is there any room for protection of Layout Designs of Integrated
Circuits in Sri Lanka?
Part VII of the Intellectual Property Act No. 36 of 2003 in Sri Lanka
defines Layout Designs of Integrated Circuits, right to protection etc.
Section 147 requires ‘originality’ of layout design to provide
protection. Original means that it neither has been produced by the mere
reproduction of another layout design nor of any substantial part
Further, it shall be the result of an intellectual effort of a
creator and cannot be commonplace among creators of layout designs and
manufacturers of integrated circuits at the time of the creation of such
What is the scope of layout designs protection?
This is defined in section 148 (1) of the Act and such protection
shall not extend to the matters explained under section 148 (2) of the
Act e.g., reproduction for the purpose of evaluation, analysis, research
or non-profit teaching, education or matters explained regarding
incorporated integrated circuit of a layout design under the same
Protection will be not available under the same Part of the Act for
any layout design, which has been commercially exploited in or outside
Sri Lanka for more than two years prior to the commencement of the Act.
Further, infringement of the performance of any act contravenes
section 148 and injunctions are remedial measures according to section
156 of the Act. Interpretation of ‘Integrated circuits’ given under
section 159 of the Act is as ‘a product, in its final form of an
intermediated form, in which the elements, at least one of which is an
active element, and some or all of the interconnections are integrally
formed in or on a piece of material and which is intended to perform an
Further, same section defines ‘layout design’ and further states that
layout design is synonymous with topography. Design Right (Semiconductor
Topographies) Regulations 1989 in the United Kingdom brought chip
designs (patterns or arrangement for patterns) within design right.
What is unfair competition and undisclosed information and related
rights in our country?
Part VIII of the Act defines any act or practice carried out or
engaged in, in the course of industrial or commercial activities that is
contrary to honest practices shall constitute an act of unfair
competition. This is common to Information Technology related
transactions as well.
Angelo Mathews with Country Head for Samsung Sri Lanka, K
Samsung signs up Mathews as Brand Ambassador
Mobile market share increase focused:
Samsung Mobile today signed up All Rounder Angelo Mathews as Brand
Ambassador for its Mobile business. Angelo Mathews will spearhead the
Company’s print, electronic, outdoor, and online campaign for Samsung
Mobiles during the Year. “We are very happy to have Angelo Mathews as
our brand ambassador for Samsung Mobile. Angelo in many ways represents
the youth of Sri Lanka - young, dynamic and smart and these values hold
true for Samsung Mobile as well.” said Country Head for Samsung Sri
Lanka K Shankar Narayan.
Speaking on his association with Samsung Mobile, stated Angelo, ``I
am very excited about my new partnership with Samsung Mobile. Given the
worldwide reputation of Samsung’s technologically advanced, innovative
and stylish mobile devices, I am looking forward to partnering with them
to grow the Samsung Mobile business in Sri Lanka.”
Samsung is a market leader in the rapidly growing Smartphone and
tablet market in Sri Lanka.” We will design interesting consumer
campaigns for Samsung Mobiles involving Angelo Mathews to strengthen our
engagement with consumers in Sri Lanka” said Shankar Narayan.
Nokia and Microsoft plan to work together
Synergy aims at smarter mobile devices:
Nokia today outlined its new strategic direction, including changes
in leadership and operational structure to accelerate the company’s
speed of execution in a dynamic competitive environment.
Major elements of the new strategy include:
Plans for a broad strategic partnership with Microsoft to build a new
global mobile ecosystem; Windows Phone would serve as Nokia’s primary
A renewed approach to capture volume and value growth to connect “the
next billion” to the Internet in developing growth markets
Focused investments in next-generation disruptive technologies
A new leadership team and organizational structure with a clear focus
on speed, results and accountability
Nokia and Microsoft intend to jointly create market-leading mobile
products and services designed to offer consumers, operators and
developers unrivalled choice and opportunity. As each company would
focus on its core competencies, the partnership would create the
opportunity for rapid time to market execution. Additionally, Nokia and
Microsoft plan to work together to integrate key assets and create
completely new service offerings, while extending established products
and services to new markets.
Under the proposed partnership:
Nokia would adopt Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy,
innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia
is a market leader.
Nokia would help drive the future of Windows Phone. Nokia would
contribute its expertise on hardware design, language support, and help
bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments
Nokia and Microsoft would closely collaborate on joint marketing
initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future
evolution of mobile products.
Bing would power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and
services, giving customers access to Bing’s next generation search
capabilities. Microsoft adCenter would provide search advertising
services on Nokia’s line of devices and services.
Nokia Maps would be a core part of Microsoft’s mapping services. For
example, Maps would be integrated with Microsoft’s Bing search engine
and adCenter advertising platform to form a unique local search and
advertising experience Nokia’s extensive operator billing agreements
would make it easier for consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone
services in countries where credit-card use is low. Microsoft
development tools would be used to create applications to run on Nokia
Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystem’s
Nokia’s content and application store would be integrated with
Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience.
Today, developers, operators and consumers want compelling mobile
products, which include not only the device, but the software, services,
applications and customer support that make a great experience,” Nokia
President and CEO Stephen Elop, said at a joint news conference in
“Nokia and Microsoft will combine our strengths to deliver an
ecosystem with unrivalled global reach and scale. It’s now a three-horse
“I am excited about this partnership with Nokia,” said Microsoft CEO
Steven A. Ballmer. “Ecosystems thrive when fuelled by speed, innovation
and scale.The partnership announced today provides incredible scale,
vast expertise in hardware and software innovation and a proven ability
Nokia plans to form a strategic partnership with Microsoft to build a
global mobile ecosystem based on highly complementary assets. The
Nokia-Microsoft ecosystem targets to deliver differentiated and
innovative products and have unrivalled scale, product breadth,
geographical reach, and brand identity.
With Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform, Nokia would
help drive the future of the platform by leveraging its expertise on
hardware optimization, software customization, language support and
scale. Nokia and Microsoft would also combine services assets to drive
Nokia Maps, for example, would be at the heart of key Microsoft
assets like Bing and AdCenter, and Nokia’s application and content store
would be integrated into Microsoft Marketplace. Under the proposed
partnership, Microsoft would provide developer tools, making it easier
for application developers to leverage Nokia’s global scale.
Another ‘Hitachi first’ launched
Data storages powered into info centres:
At an event held recently, Hitachi Data Systems Corporation, a wholly
owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT), together with Millennium
Information Technologies (MillenniumIT), Sri Lanka’s premier technology
solutions provider, announced the launch of Hitachi’s Virtual Storage
Platform (VSP), the industry’s first three dimensional scaling platform
to the Sri Lankan market.
Tangit addressing the gathering
Hitachi’s VSP enables organizations to scale up, out and deep for
unprecedented levels of agility and cost savings in their virtualized
data centres and in combination with the new Hitachi Command Suite
management software, offers best-in-class performance, capacity and
open, multivendor storage virtualization for large businesses and
Together, these solutions represent a major milestone in continued
Hitachi Data Systems commitment to transform data centres into dynamic
information centres where access to blocks, files and content is
seamless and resides in a fluid and virtualized environment.
“Hitachi has a long history of innovation and industry-leading
technologies since first introducing heterogeneous storage
virtualization within the storage system,” Emerging markets and
Indonesia Hitachi Data Systems ASEAN Managing Director Terrance Maximus
With unique 3D scaling and management, customers can deliver capacity
and computing resources as quickly as virtual servers are created.
“This exciting partnership with MillenniumIT is a tremendous step
forward because we are launching new technologies like the VSP in the
Sri Lankan market together with a world class IT Solution Provider;
highly reputed for best customer satisfaction and solutions delivery
track record” emphasized Tangit.
‘The data centre strategy of organizations are transforming rapidly’,
said Executive VP MillenniumESP Faiq Faaiz. “Today’s data centres are
reaching an inflection point, evolving into something that is more
agile, scalable and efficient,” said research vice president, Gartner,
Inc Roger W. Cox. “Storage vendors that deliver on the critical
requirements, such as 3D scaling, are what enterprises are looking for
to transform their data centre into an infrastructure that meets the
demanding requirements of today’s virtualized environment.”