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India's Patent office rejects Google's application for wearable electronics

The company, in its patent specification, said that the invention comprises of electronic devices provided in shoes or ankle bracelets

Gireesh Babu  |  Chennai 

Google, electronics, wearables
The company, in its patent specification, said that the invention comprises of electronic devices provided in shoes or ankle bracelets.

The Indian Patent Office on Thursday rejected Google’s application on wearable electronic devices, observing that it lacks inventive steps and the use and method by which it is to be performed is not fully described in complete specification.

The company, in its patent specification, said that the invention comprises of electronic devices provided in shoes or ankle bracelets.

The patent application for ‘System and method for wearable electronic devices’, filed in 2007, mentions various wearable models including a shoe that can communicate data to the user, electronic communication devices attached to clothes, wireless ear pieces and ankle bracelets that can transmit updated information from the body to the user. The drawings the company submitted to the patent office also show the design of a shoe that can be a wearable electronic device.

The device mounted on the shoe includes a display to show time, caller ID information, temperature, and pulse rate, and such wearables are expected to provide functions not present in existing devices such as cellular phones, and personal digital assistants, according to the application.

The wearable device has features like calendar information, satellite navigation receiver, motion sensing unit, camera, vibrator, temperature sensor, humidity sensor and air pressure sensor, among others.

One of the objections raised by the patent office was that the claims lack inventive step as required under the Indian Patent Act, as the claims of the apparel being used as personal devices to transmit data and display them on a personal device, was already known as per the available documents. The claims relating to transmitting and receiving calls on a portable device worn the wrist are also known. There has also been lack of proper specification and disclosure as required by the Act, the patents office said. In the order, the assistant controller of patents and designs, said that the specification should “disclose the best method of performing the invention”, for which the applicant can claim protection.

The description should be sufficient to enable a person “possessing average skill and average knowledge” to work the invention and obtain the results claimed for the invention, the order read.

“Still the invention and its operation or use and the method by which it is to be performed is not fully and particularly described in the complete specification,” the assistant controller held.

has been developing its own wearable ecosystem with Wear OS, which is used in smart watches for fitness tracking, messaging, among other things. According to reports, acquired wearables maker Fitbit for $2.1 billion late last year, with plans to expand its wearables offerings and “invest even more” on Wear OS.

Last year, there were reports that Verily Life Sciences, part of Google’s parent Alphabet, was working on health-tracking shoes to measure the movement and weight of users. It has also showcased a prototype with sensors attached to monitor the movement of the person wearing the shoes, offering a wide range of uses for them.

First Published: Fri, February 28 2020. 21:50 IST
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