2018-CGS-32: Mains Revision-21: Current Topics in Science & Technology

Patent Exclusivity And Secondary Patents

Patent Exclusivity: It refers to monopoly for manufacturing and marketing of the patented product for certain number of years.

Secondary patents: After obtaining the primary patent the companies file patents for the derivatives and variants, new dosage regimen, new method of administration in order to ensure monopoly. These are referred as secondary patents.

Indian patent law and affordability of drugs

India by utilizing the various provisions under the TRIPS agreement has ensured the medicines are affordable and restricting companies from subverting the laws. Through

  • Compulsory licensing : A compulsory license provides an individual or company seeking to use another’s intellectual property can do so without seeking the rights holder’s consent, and pays the rights holder a set fee for the license under some circumstances. This has increased the availability of life saving drugs at affordable price.
  • No data exclusivity: Data exclusivity refers to protection of clinical trial data required to be submitted to a regulatory agency to prove safety and efficacy of a new drug, and prevention of generic drug manufacturers from relying on this data in their own applications.
  • Granting of patents exclusively for technical advances and not for mere modifications.
  • The mandatory requirement to demonstrate improvements in therapeutic efficiency.
  • No patents for new uses of known drugs.

These innovations in patent laws have made India as a pharmaceutical hub of the world. India has been put under tremendous pressure by US. India has been placed under priority watch list and often the patent exclusivity norms are used to arm twist India by blocking FTAs. India must rise on the occasion by not budging to these pressure tactics. The new IPR policy is a step in this regard. [The Hindu]

Cryptojacking

Crypto Currency is a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.

Cryptocurrency mining is the process by which transactions are verified and added to the public ledger known as the block chain, and also the means through which new cryptocurrencies are released. The mining process involves compiling recent transactions into blocks and trying to solve a computationally difficult puzzle.  The participant who first solves the puzzle gets to place the next block on the block chain and claim the rewards. The rewards include both the transaction fees associated with the transactions compiled in the block as well as newly released Crypto Currency.

Crypto jacking is defined as the secret use of someone else’s computing device to mine cryptocurrency. Ways of crypto jacking include

  • Crypto jacking can happen with the victim unknowingly installing a program (malware) that secretly mines cryptocurrency without the knowledge of the victim.
  • Another way of Cryptojacking is In-browser crypto jacking which uses JavaScript on a web page to mine for cryptocurrencies. By infecting a website or online ad with JavaScript code that auto-executes once loaded in the victim’s browser.

Challenges of Cryptojacking

For Critical Infrastructure

The malware for cryptojacking detect and even disable security scanners and other defence tools. This also increases processor and network bandwidth usage. As a result control applications hang, pause, and even crash. This will impact the ability of operating the critical infrastructures.

This malware was detected in the operating system of the water utility in Europe. This crypto jacking can bring the critical infrastructures to halt as happened with the water utility in Europe.

For Authorities

Cryptocurrencies are not controlled or regulated by legal authorities. They provide anonymity. Any mishaps due to cryptojacking will be left unaddressed. Thus lack of accountability and anonymity can be disadvantage for the cryptocurrencies.

For the Victim

Cryptojacking will affect the right to privacy of the victim. Unauthorized access to the victims computing device may result in damage to the device and also the huge power requirement for mining and the increased lag to crypto currency mining will adversely affect the Victim assets.

As the worlds aims for transition to next generation Finance technology the world must prepare itself for the next generation threats which have potential to destabilize the finance technologies. [Wired]

Artificial Intelligence and Data Management

Artificial intelligence (AI): AI is the intelligence of the machines. Using the intelligence machines perceive the environment and takes necessary action to attain the predetermined objectives. Big data together with artificial intelligence has an immense potential.

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