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  • Ten years ago no one would have thought that the taxi business might replace public transport. This is something that is not only becoming a reality with the help of apps like Uber and Ola, who offer car-pooling, but in fact this might even be the cheaper mode of transport. In the past one week, Uber has come up with a 100 rupee pass for up to 12 kilometers in a sedan. This means that it will cost four people twenty-five rupees each to travel twelve kilometers in an AC car.   Traveling back from work in an AC car was a luxury that only few could afford just a while back. Today it is something that happens on the regular, and according to Niti Aayog, it is a market that has not been capitalized fully as of now. According to their suggestions, private cars should be allowed to offer carpooling and ride-share services in order to make the medium even more cost-effective and efficient.   How this would work is that, a person who is driving his private car back from work could choose to offer a carpool option to people in the locality that are going back to the same area. This would make the system cost effective and efficient as the number of cars offering these services would increase. Additionally, car owners could earn back the cost of driving to work, and maybe even make a small profit every day, just by offering these services to and from work. As is obvious, there would be many advantages if this system falls through, as the amount of traffic would drastically reduce. In addition to that, public transport would be much less crowded, car owners would only take their cars out in case of a necessity and people would be able to travel in a time-efficient way. These appear to solve a lot of problems faced by the common man in India with rising traffic and cost of traveling.   Niti Aayog, which is chaired by Narendra Modi, has partnered with ride-sharing companies such as Uber to assess the impact of this move, both economically and environmentally. However, there are some challenges that would be faced before this becomes a reality. The transport ministry is not in favor of this move as they feel that this would eliminate the concept of taxis. In addition of that, they feel that this move would jeopardize the jobs of the 5 million taxi drivers in India. Commercial vehicles have certain provisions in place such as, higher duties, insurance premium, permit charges etc. that insure the safety of the riders. All this would be absent in case of privately owned cars and there would be ambiguity in the regulatory framework. Official have been quoted as saying that, ‘despite the convenience, various legal aspects have to be kept in mind.’   In my opinion it is only a matter of time before private car-pooling becomes real, as this is something that is already seen in developed countries such as Canada and the US. In these places, people have seen prices of travel go down by more than half when compared to buses. This is a concept that can be a game changer when it comes to a country like India. We are a developing country that needs to develop better connectivity between cities, towns and villages all over the country. Right now we are talking about car-pooling between work and home. In no time we will be talking about it when it comes to traveling hundreds of kilometers.   The world is ever-changing, with things that were not even dreamed of, becoming a reality today. Humans have always adapted in order to escape disaster, and car-pooling might be a small step in the direction of saving fossil fuels. This is not to say that people will stop taking their cars to work completely, but with people getting more educated by the minute, we can rest assured that they will realize the benefits to this and utilize this services to its full potential. 
    Jul 18, 2017 402
  • With the fight of the century, starring Connor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather right around the corner, every morning I have been watching highlights of the promotional events taking place. These videos were of interest to me for two reasons; my interest in boxing, and the marketing genius displayed by both these fighters. It is estimated that the value of this fight is over $527 million, with Mayweather getting $400 million and McGregor getting the rest. This disparity is due to the fact that Mayweather is his own promoter and doesn’t have to provide a cut to someone else, like McGregor has to, to the UFC.     To put things into perspective, Zomato is estimated to be worth $500 million. Yes, that is right, two fighters, fighting for 36 minutes in a ring are worth more than a successful company that has existed since 2008. All this might seem too good to bet true but it’s not. There is one reason behind the success of this fight and that is: MARKETING. We can learn a lot about marketing from this fight, and I want to help break it down for you.   We must first acknowledge the fact that boxing is a sport that is a lot about promotion, and that boxers are typically good at promoting their fights. Keeping this in mind, the fact of the matter is that both Floyd and McGregor are insanely better at this than their competitors. We can break down marketing by analyzing the way that these two fighters go about with their promotion. McGregor is someone who relies on intimidating his opponents and saying things that other fighters would be petrified of saying at the world stage. This highlights a key component of marketing, and that is creativity. You need to be creative with your campaigns to catch the eye of the public. In order for the masses to remember your product, you need to be unique and stand out in their minds. You have millions of companies advertising their products to you every single day, but it is only the ones that stand out in your mind that actually make a difference.   On the other hand, Mayweather has a different approach to his trash talk as compared to McGregor. He is cautious in what he says and makes sure to point out his accomplishments from the past. This gives us another valuable lesson when it comes to marketing and that is: brand name. You need to be able to back up your words and not attempt to oversell yourself. We have all seen universities claiming to be ranked number one in the country, when we know for a fact that, that is not the case. Doesn’t this lower your opinion of the university in your eyes? We also see that when you create a good brand name for yourself, you open up avenues that you previously could not access. We see many forms of innovative advertising from companies that would not be successful without their brand name. Hence, companies should focus on perfecting their product and developing a reputation of excellence in the market.   As a fan of combat sports, it was torture for us to see Mayweather and McGregor go back and forth for years without there being a possibility of a fight. However, when both parties realized that they have maximized the interest of the fans, they decided on a date for the fight within no time. In retrospect it was one of the most cunning marketing moves that I have ever seen. Both fighters used their banter to peak the interest of the consumers, and decided to capitalize on it at the most opportune time. This teaches us that marketing is all about timing and being relevant in the market. When you have a product that is going to hit the market, you need to make sure that the interest in the product is at a point when you will be able to make maximum profit. At the same time, you have to understand that the consumers will only buy your product if it is relevant at the time. The promoters for the fight realized this as well, as consumers were getting frustrated and decided to finalize the terms of the fight.   The next thing that is important is: knowing your consumer base and being able to relate to them. Both fighters have a certain type of crowd that they attract and they know it. Mayweather knows that his image in the market consists mainly of him being a wealthy celebrity who likes to flaunt his wealth, as shown by his ring name, Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather. He knows that while this is not something that is relatable to everyone, millions of his fans adore him for it. This leads to his antics on the stage, as was seen in the New York chapter of the promotion.    McGregor on the other hand, is someone that is known to be a lovable fighter who isn’t afraid to challenge men bigger and stronger than him. His advantage is his trash talk, which he never shies away from. This shows us that we need to find our niche and capitalize on it. If you are a company that primarily targets teenagers, you need to understand the psyche of a typical teenager and target it. You need to adapt with time and be up-to-date on the latest trends.   The last thing that I want to talk about is negative marketing. You need to understand that when you are a public entity open to criticism from millions of people, you need to be careful with what you say and do. You can never satisfy each and every one of the consumers, but you can always try to avoid making any mistakes. An example of this is Uber, with the CEO resigning in disgrace, the company’s reputation has taken a major hit. Competitors will not waste a single minute in highlighting your flaws, and so you need to be very careful with how you act as a company.   Finally, something that is worth thinking about is the fact that, while marketing is a lot about standing out, you need to target people’s hearts and loyalty. You need to develop a brand with which the consumers feel synonymous, and which they are loyal too. Loyal consumers will get you more business than a good ad might, and so you need to work towards making a place in people’s heart. Just like fans of either fighter will go to any length to defend their hero, you need to be a company that people want to defend and hold up on a pedestal.
    Jul 17, 2017 371
  • A patent claim is undoubtedly the most important part of a patent specification, as it defines the boundary within which is operates. It defines exactly what is to be claimed by the invention. Patents are considered to be the objects of intellectual property. This is because patentable inventions are creations of the human mind, the intellect, hence are known as intellectual property. The reliability and stability of the patent systems depends in a clear and definite way on the ability of the patent offices and the courts to effectively determine and agree on what is and is not patentable. But determining what is and is not patentable has been a major problem for patent systems for a long time. For example, in the USA since 1790, majority of patent systems postulate some phenomenon called invention, but in fact no satisfactory legal definition of invention has ever appeared in patent laws. At the same time it is known that a patented invention is legally defined by its claim, the written definitions of the invention.  What has caused such a situation to arise in the field of patents? According to a patent lawyer's guide, 2007 (By Ronald.d.slusky), for most of the people an invention is something tangible, but for patent lawyersan invention is not something physical, instead it is a concept. Indeed, in 1933 book Double Patenting, patent law author Emerson Stringham goes so far as to state that an invention is an abstraction. The difficulty faced by American courts was regarding the thought that an invention, protected by a patent, is tangible. What we mean by this is that a patent is not something tangible, but simply an idea, an abstraction.  Indian law is strict in limiting, what can and cannot be patented as the patent claims are worded carefully with an objective to make it harder for those attempting to work around these claims. In India the law is strict in order to protect the patent holders who dread a situation where competitors make minor changes to a patented product in order to evade patent infringement. Competitors on the other hand dread a situation where changes made to a patented product are not sufficient enough to evade this patent infringement. Patent infringement analysis is primarily conducted in two stages, namely literal and non literal infringement. In the first stage of analysis, the claim and the alleged infringing product or processes are analyzed to determine whether all the elements of the claim are present in the alleged product or not. If the alleged product includes all the elements of the claim when the scope of the claim is construed by the literal language of the claim, the claim is said to be literally infringed by the alleged product. We then proceed with the second stage if literal infringement is not established. In the second stage, the scope of protection conferred by the claim is extended beyond the literal language of the claim.  Patents are designed to reward individuals or a company invention by preventing others from copying invention by preventing others from copying and selling a product, that gives the patent holder a monopoly on supply. However patent laws are very complicated to understand. Mystery of patent claim is nothing but a legal definition of the concrete patentable invention.       
    Jul 14, 2017 153



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