Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Who owns the first patents in Asian countries?

IP Komodo was idly speculating as he tucked into his daily diet of goat, as to who owns the earliest patents in some of the countries of Asia in which he prowls. Who were the early Asian Einsteins, great inventors who eagerly ran to the patent office as soon as these institutions opened for business?

India had a patent office in Calcutta during the British colonial period so no surprises to find a British name as the inventor of patent no 1 in India. Both Douglas Leicestor Vernon Browne and his co inventor Jean Masson, a Frenchman, were granted a patent on February 5th, 1912 for an " Improved process and apparatus for sterilizing and purifying liquids and regenerating perishable liquids and materials." They both worked in Paris, at an address which now houses a kindergarten but which was perhaps once a laboratoire.

Thailand with its 1970s start in the patent world granted  a design patent no 1 for "a toothpick" to a Thai individual Mr. Jarat Phuphonthan on 14 December 1981.

Indonesia came to patents late, with its 1990s system. One Soeharto Jendral (yes,
the late Mr. President himself) seems to have been the first utility model registrant for Use of Pumice as Construction Material under Patent No. ID0000001 granted on  22 February 1993. This smacks of a vanity patent, so IP Komodo is intrigued if it was ever worked. As well as smacking of typical Soeharto government fiddling that he got the first grant! 

The first invention patent was granted in Indonesia to Lukas Sadikin for An Improved Distributor Rotor for a Fueled Motor, on 20 April 1993.

In Vietnam it was a local instutution the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences who made it first with Patent No. 1 for a rice variety NN 75-10. It was granted on 28 June 1984 after being filed in April. Today you could only dream to have a patent granted in 2 months - one speculates that the government may have fiddled to guarantee the first patent to a local entity.

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