Commerce Minister raises Ideafarms IP violation at Indo German talks

The Ideafarms vs Continental case has created a stir as the issue of unathorised usage of Ideafarms’ software products by Continental AG was brought up by Industries Minister Sh. Anand Sharma during the recently concluded Indo-German Bilateral talks held in Germany 9-11 May 2012. Ideafarms expresses its deep gratitude to Sh. Anand Sharma for sending a clear message of the Government’s backing of the MSME (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) sector, to urge overseas Corporates to respect India’s IP. This was a key topic of discussion during the meeting with German Federal Minister of Economics & Technology Philipp Roessler. The German government has assured a just solution for this dispute and India will follow up with them.

Quoting the article from Economic Times –

We hope that this move will create more robust IP laws. Let us know what you think about it.

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SpicyIP supports Ideafarms against unfair judgement of German court

The SpicyIP team noticed the Ideafarms-Continental dispute, how despite the unathorised use of Ideafarms’ product by German company Continental AG the German court ruled in favor of Continental AG. The SpicyIP team decided to write about it and bring it to notice timed with Indo-German bilateral talks held in Germany, 9-11 May 2012.

Excerpts from the original article have been covered here for your views. (Click to  read the full article) –

Since 2007, Continental had been using a software framework of Ideafarms, named InDExT, a general-purpose / generic software framework for storing, retrieving and approving documents and managing business processes through a proprietary Visual Navigation system. This software had been customised for Continental as QMD, Quality Management Documentation by Ideafarms for a separate customization fee and installed in the Germany-based servers of Continental under a click-wrap license. The licence agreement was accepted by Continental and was also available for viewing through the software interface itself.
In 2010, when Continental signed the aforesaid termination agreement, it was liable to pay the license fee for the said software for the year 2010. …

 

… The matter, however, proceeded to be heard the next day, wherein the Court acted in a manner that did not conform with the idea of fairness or neutrality. Without allowing a trial, it rejected Ideafarms’ counter claim and instead of allowing any argument on Ideafarms’ part as to what might constitute a valid licence/transfer fee, it summarily awarded Continental the rights to the software. …

 

… Overall, even setting aside the procedural irregularities that the German judge might or might not have indulged in, the decision prima facie appears to contain several laches, such as how could Continental have been awarded the software rights without a trial, when it had never claimed ownership, nor had disputed Ideafarms’ copyright over the same. Even the licensing issue was not settled by the Court.

Read the complete article here.

The post attracted considerable attention and received a string of comments from readers starting a debate.

We would also like to know what do you think about the judgement. Share you views in the comments below.

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Ande ka Funda – A model for organisational innovation

We came up with this egg-shaped model of organisational innovation that we like to call the Ande ka Funda and thought we will share it with you guys.

Demystifying the title for you (its in Hindi …)

Anda = egg

Funda = Concept (we believe it stems from the word Fundamental)
Therefore, by “Ande ka Funda” we literally are trying to depict the concept of organisational innovation using the growing and self-nurturing egg as a metaphor.

An organisation that innovates needs to practice innovation at its core, which means first bringing innovation in its business model, its processes and then innovating its products – this will form the yolk of the egg shaped model. To support this initiative of innovation you need to have a flexible jelly like pool of resources that can keep innovation afloat and act as a cushion. This cushion is then wrapped with a membrane of technologyculture and ecosystem that will provide the necessary energy and resources required to enable innovation at your core. All this is then enclosed in a shell of the brand that will protect the soft and fragile interiors and yet lets it interact with the external world.

We also have for you quick-tips or questions that may help your organisation kick-off its innovation program that you can get by downloading this poster.

(Feel free to blow it up and print it or even share this link with others!)

( P.S: Don’t forget to give us credit for it!)

Egg shaped model for organisational innovation

 

download_pdf_icon Download the poster

Get in touch with us if you want to know more or need help with your innovation program.

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Tata Bye Bye – The Great Debate

Tata, the flagship Indian conglomerate, reaped rich benefits of the free publicity (rumoured to be to the extent of Rs. 500 crores) by announcing the Nano. The company was praised for its frugal innovation.

Image Reference:http://www.crazyengineers.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Tata-Nano-Starter-Motor-Replace-Tata-Motor.jpg
What followed after a status update by Sunil Malhotra was this Facebook battle of wits on 26th March 2012, between Umesh Nevgi and Sunil Malhotra on the relevance of the world’s cheapest car, Tata’s Nano.

We reproduce the great debate for you here and welcome your perspective

Hi Sunil, I have not read any market report or feedback on the Nano. However, I wonder whether is it still not a better & relatively safer option and, hence, an upgrade worthwhile for the numerous families who ride three-up or four-up on a scooter through the busy lanes? I understand this was the vision of Ratan Tata behind it.

Umesh, vision is an outmoded concept IMO. Ratan Tata, no disrespect to his calibre or great achievements, screwed up big time here. The Nano is the outcome of the idea of someone sitting in a customised S-Class Merc and looking at life around him through tinted glasses (all puns intended). How far removed from reality can anyone get? The many plusses in the run up to the launch of the 2000 dollar car are completely overshadowed by the sheer irrelevance to the context of the customer. Sorry, but in my book the only phrase that comes to mind is regressive innovation.


Sunil, product placement– imho – is not an outmoded concept – not yet at the least. There is a place in the marketplace for a Nano to a S-Class Merc and beyond – to suit every pocket, need, want, wish and whim. Admittedly, the Nano may not be an ideal car (I did read some questions raised about its safety levels), however– let’s face it- it is a no-frills car. This itself perhaps should not be the reason for writing off this car altogether. Hopefully, the safety aspect does get improved – within the given cost constraints – for the next upgrade of this car. Finally, as for any product from a toothbrush to a car, striking the right balance between its cost and its quality is always critical. Key q : Is the Nano of today really a more dangerous vehicle on the roads than a scooter ridden – rather perched upon precariously- by a family of four in a busy rush-hour traffic? If not, then would we still call this ‘innovation’ regressive?

I agree with most of what you say but that is a product centric view at best Umesh. From a social relevance perspective, aspiration and image of the target segment have been ignored. Not intentionally maybe, but overlooked at the very least. One is not writing off the car at all – it is a great example of no-frills product engineering. But it has failed the test of the market and the consumer. There are hardly any Nanos on the road 3 years down. That speaks for itself. Hail the market. Hail the intelligent Indian. BTW the starting point imho of the scooter is what I’ve always questioned. My early take even before the launch were published 3-4 years ago in a slightly different context. Car Ke Side Effects
Prophetic or not, you decide.

Download the PDF

Hi Sunil, enjoying this debate… reminds of our hostel years. Read your article – great stuff! I can see where you are coming from – your concerns et al – and I would tend to agree with many of the points/concepts within… corporate social responsibility, the risks of creating a problem while solving another, the legacy of ‘do now, think later’ policy. Social relevance – a key issue indeed. However, I would largely disagree with shifting the entire responsibility for social implications of any product towards the corporate world. The government and – more importantly – we the people shoulder a much MUCH larger responsibility for this. The softer side of this issue – the need for traffic literacy, discipline & fairness on the roads, compliance to law – would need to be met rather through an efficient system of rules & regulations – including extensive monitoring for compliances and severe reprimands/penalties for any non-compliances to such laws. Such an onus for – in your words – a holistic and sustainable approach rests primarily on the lawmakers and the populace alike. Same would hold good for the infrastructure – or, more precisely, the current lack of it. One can not penalise or hold responsible the Tatas for this – beyond their share of responsibility, of course. Secondly, although a climb towards an ideal & disciplined world is the ultimate target, such improvements seldom come in large leaps and often come in baby steps. I reckon the Nano is one such baby step – faltering though it could be. My main support for the Nano rests on the fact that it upgrades the scooter-riding four-up family towards a relatively safer commute. This by itself has a significant social relevance, I hope you agree. If solving a larger problem means living with a new & relatively smaller problem, then so be it. We now then resolve the new smaller problem. One point I would however differ on with the Tatas is that, I think, in the rush towards the world’s cheapest car, the Tatas set themselves super-ultra-low cost and, thus, safety targets. Increasing the cost target to, say, double the current target would have helped to achieve higher safety-levels and, as a byproduct, also control the projected sudden and exponential volume explosion.

Beautiful point about Tatas having set a low target (pun intended), Umesh. That’s what irked me about India’s best brand.

 

Good pun, Sunil. I better understand your irk now. Not having a direct exposure to the Nano, I am not aware of all the issues related to this car in the field. I do find the original intent of bringing the car to the masses as worthwhile. However, based upon the reports I have read, Tatas seemingly have cut large corners and gone overboard in their zest to come up with such a cost-effective vehicle. Hopefully, they now rectify this and come up with a better balance between the cost and the features – perhaps a Micro than a Nano.

LOL! Now that they have proven the low-cost point, they should perhaps think of repositioning it as a campus vehicle for students in the US. And, yes no excuses for compromising safety.

 

Sunil, now that we have discussed and decided to evolve the Nano into a Micro – repositioned with better safety features and a slightly higher but relative to the market still a lower price, this executive decision just simply needs to be conveyed to the Tatas. :)

Hahaha! On a more serious note, corporates (I just made a typo that works even better- corpirates) would be better off moving from business cases to business causes, don’t you think. But they will never get it.

That’s a bit harsh on the corporate world, Sunil – I think. Tatas may have got the balance wrong, but that seems to be just a case of a business strategy gone upside down – can be still rectified at a cost, market forces will ensure that anyway. I reckon the crux of the issue here – the lack of infrastructure / traffic literacy / discipline – boils down to the lack of a strong will from the governments over the years to improve the system in parallel. A willing & empowered governance can literally work wonders to the system and be complimentary to the works of entrepreneurs like Tata – and then the consumer wins. Remember Paan Singh Tomar : bihar mein to sirf baagi rehte hai, asli daaku to sansad mein rehte hai. Perhaps too strong/filmy/exaggerated/”generalised a statement that is, but – unfortunately- not totally opposite from the truth either.

Call me disillusioned. Doing business in India has never been easy especially for those who do not want to bend the rules for their own selfish needs. The Government has been the main culprit, but what sustains Government apathy is the need for greed and power by corporates and our hugely corruptible media. Let me hasten to add that Tata is one of the few companies that has always upheld ethical practices and is a role model for the whole world. It might even be the only Indian Corporate in my book that is incorruptible. But that is the topic of another discussion. But the rest of India Inc. – the less said the better.

Sunil, I fully understand your disillusionment and frustration. I also share your views on Tata (and hence my hesitation to blame them). Tata is perhaps the only visible one, however I am sure there are few more – including one I know in Okhla Phase I, albeit in minority. However, in spite of all the adversities, stay positive – that is the only way to beat the system… eventually. Look at it this way – at the end of the day, not having bent the rules would bring in the inner satisfaction to oneself that having joined the ‘club’ would never ever fetch in. Easier said than done –  however this would always remain THE challenge. It is more than a marathon – stay put and stay the course, my friend. I assure you – the distant & faint light at the end of this long tunnel is not of any train.

Read the original debate on Facebook

Download – Car ke Side Effects(PDF),  Innovation 101 – The Jugaad phenomenon,  Car Ke Side Effects

Innovation for Leadership [Video Mashup]

Sunil Malhotra, our CEO (or the Chief Instigator as we like to call him) was invited to conduct a workshop on Innovation  at a MNC recently. As a precursor to his presentation, and to welcome back people for the post-lunch session, we put together this mashup of videos. We share the video here as a quick capsule for anyone in a leadership position to understand what they need to do to run a sustainable innovation program in their organisation.

<Disclaimer: There is nothing original about this presentation>

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTTwkMv5r9E

Let us know what you think. We would love to hear your views on the topic.

 

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Videolog – An interview with Mr. Joan Kluun (Former MD – Waterloo B.V.)

Last week we had the honor of having in our office Mr Joan Kluun – former MD, Waterloo B.V. Ideafarms had worked with Waterloo and helped them design their Product Selection Guide (PSG as we like to call it) back in 2003. Almost 10 years since PSG and we are fortunate to still have a warm place in his heart, which was validated by the fact that he quickly agreed to give us an interview about his experience of working with Ideafarms. An interview that just started as his feedback on working with Ideafarms, soon grew into something much more insightful. Mr Kluun shared with us his valuable views and opinions about the need for a solution like the Product Selection Guide in the HVAC industry and how it can especially be a useful tool for any user given the current technologies and interfaces. Which is what gave us the idea of sharing it with all of you via this videolog. The Product Selection Guide is an interactive Sales Configurator we had designed and developed for Waterloo B.V back in 2003. You can read more about the solution here, or jump straight ahead to the interview.

The Interview

Mr Kluun shares with us his need for the Product Selection Guide at Waterloo B.V.

Back then, a solution like PSG, Mr. Kluun says was at least 10 yrs ahead of its time and according to him this solution now has a lot of potential, especially with the advent of multi-touch interface and portable devices like the iPad and Android tablet. Watch what he has to say about the future of Sales Configurators like the Product Selection Guide.

Mr Kluun also talks about his experience of working with Ideafarms. This one will make you smile for sure 🙂

And also have a look at some of the pictures from his visit here

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ReMIX – a property search Android solution by Ideafarms

If you had a chance to read our earlier post here, you would probably agree with us that despite the vast array of solutions available in the market today, property hunting is still quite a tedious task for anybody. There is a clear need for a simple yet effective solution that will be available for the user at her point-of-inspiration! Which is where a smart phone comes into the picture.

There is a distinct value that a mobile solution and especially one on a smart phone platform brings to the user.  Smart phones today have practically become an extension of our being; our personal information, wants, needs and traits are all captured within our smart devices. We carry them with us on our person and it’s available with us wherever we go. It is little wonder then that if you are a smart phone user and are also looking for a house, your first instinct will be to look for an app that can help you do just that.

Which is exactly what ReMIX (Real-Estate Mobile India X-change), an Android solution by Ideafarms is designed to do. ReMIX comes packed with features like:

  1. A visual & interactive map-based navigation
  2. Location-based property listing
  3. Property listing and search – for buy or  rent
  4. Filtering of selections based on a user’s needs
  5. One-tap to connect with property owners / agents
  6. Remember properties and mark for future reference
  7. Set Alerts
  8. White-label product

All of these features and more, backed with our User Experience Design capabilities, ensure that you will have a handy and easy to use solution available with you when you go looking for your next house.

A White-Label Product?!

Did the words ‘white-label’ catch your fancy there? Yes, ReMIX is actually designed as an offering for existing Real Estate Classifieds Portals / Realtors / Real-estate Developers to integrate and offer as a value- add to their existing suite of solutions for their smart phone users. On purchasing a license of ReMIX, all you need to do is hook-up your existing database with ReMIX and you can have your own simple-to-use, branded application available for your smart phone users practically from tomorrow! In effect, we are taking away the headache from you of spec-ing out and developing a solution in-house. You can leave those nitty-gritties to the experts – us –  and have a spanking new Android app in the Android-Market with zero time to market!

All this sounds interesting and you want to know more, get in touch with us. You can email us at its[dot]MAGIC[at]Ideafarms[dot]com and we will be happy to set up a demo for you.

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The 2012 Auto Expo in Delhi


The 11th Auto Expo, 2012 is the hottest topic in Delhi and for all the right reasons. While the hot wheels were the main attraction, it was also interesting to see a lot of brands getting innovative in the use of new-age technology and social media effectively to engage the audience.

People walking around the car stalls and liking their favorite brands on Facebook was a common sight at almost all the brands at the Expo. The ones who stood out the most were brands like  Ford who had distributed RFID bands to the viewers to walk around and “like” their favorite cars.  Suzuki had people register at the main entrance and you could walk around liking your car at the kiosks next to them. If you liked a car, your face appeared on a large display which also had a ‘like’ counter. They had also used Android tablets and the Microsoft surface technology as attractions to play around with. Toyota also had an interactive “Make My Car” display and  Hyundai had invited fans to be chosen as  Hyundai ambassadors for the event.

 

What stole the show for me though was the “Flying car” by Chevy.  Imagine a car on display that just levitated and started moving towards you!

[P.S : Brownie points to you if you can guess how they made the car fly ;-)]


httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOtKMY7ELzc

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TEN in 12 – Wishing you a Happy New Year

2012 is a milestone year. Its been a decade since we are in existence. This has been an amazing journey and we would like to take this opportunity to thank those who made it possible. Those who made it memorable.

On this long roller coaster ride many came aboard to enjoy the ride. They are now our most loved ambassadors. Some stayed on to keep building a powerhouse of design and innovation. A heartfelt THANK YOU to all for being a part of the journey.

In some ways 2002 seems very very far behind. In most ways it feels like yesterday. Feel the inTENsity of our gratitude in 2012

We love y’all- Happy NEW Year!!!

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Predictions for 2012 – Ideas of the week 30 Dec 2011

This is the last post in our series of ‘Ideas of the Week’. Since this is also the last blog post of the year, we thought we can end the year by sharing with you some predictions for 2012 that we have been reading and find interesting. So here goes, without much further ado …

Predictions for 2012

1.Web design

a) The Definitive Guide To HTML 5

2.  Mobile+Technology

a) Best Tech Predictions Of 2012
b) Twelve Mobile Predictions for 2012

4. Social Networks

a) Five social network predictions for 2012

5. Internet networking + Cloud computing

a) Nimbula: Cloud Computing Predictions for 2012
b) Networking 2012: Analysts predict what’s ahead for the industry

6. Marketing

a) Internet Marketing Predictions for 2012

This week’s post compiled by Bhaskar