Dr. Feroz Ali
Intellectual Property Law Scholar, Founder of Techgrapher.com
Intellectual property expert with decades of experience in litigation, consultancy and teaching. Former IPR Chair Professor at Indian Institute of Technology Madras. Founder of Techgrapher.
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Areas of Expertise
Dr. Feroz Ali spent a large part of his professional career in contentious patent proceedings before the Patent Office, Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB), High Courts and Supreme Court. Be it pre-grant or post-grant oppositions, revocations before IPAB or patent infringement suits before the higher courts, Dr. Ali’s work covers different fields of technologies across industry sectors. Dr. Ali was recently involved in the Monsanto v. Nuziveedu case (on gene patents) before the Supreme Court of India.
Knowing how to challenge patents can be an asset when it comes to defending objections from the Patent Office during prosecution. Dr. Ali’s work in patent prosecution involves cases which he refers to as “troubled” prosecution: instances where the patent applicant is faced with strong objections from the Patent Office or a pre-grant opposition or a reasoned rejection which needs to be appealed before the IPAB. Dr. Ali advocates the problem-solution approach to drafting patent applications and follow-up amendments, a tested method to get over prior art and other objections commonly raised in the First Examination Report. Dr. Ali argued the landmark case, Yahoo Inc v Controller of Patents, which he considers to be a typical case of troubled prosecution that resulted from a rejection from the Patent Office.
MANAGING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
Software is eating the world and with Artificial Intelligence, Big data, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and Internet of Things (IoT) heavily relying on software, there has not been a time when protecting software made more sense. But how do you protect software? Does the Indian Patent law offer protection for software? Is copyright the right way to protect code? Can branding through trademarks help? Not just software, how you manage the life of your products and migrate value from limited life to unlimited life intellectual property can be critical in any knowledge-based industry. Dr. Ali has consulted companies on managing their intellectual property focusing on the value articulation framework.
SETTING UP IP CENTRES
As the first Intellectual Property Rights Chair at Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM), Dr. Ali was exposed to the challenges faced by Higher Educational Institutions in managing their intellectual property. His tenure as the IPR Chair coincided with the three years where IITM was ranked as the No. 1 engineering institute by the National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF), an honour that came its way for a multitude of measures including the way it managed its patents. Dr. Ali has helped institutions set up their IP Centre and frequently address academia on issues relating to intellectual property.