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Who owns the Patent Rights of Aakash Tablets? DataWind or Government of India?

This is the question that no one is answering. Based on an idea floated by the Government of India, Aakash Tablet has been developed by IIT Rajasthan and DataWind won the tender to manufacture the world’s cheapest tablet. The company then subcontracted the manufacture of the tablets to Quaid Electronics.

Registered in UK and having presence in USA, India and Canada, DataWind was marketing (not manufacturing) a product called Pocketsurfer, a pda/cell phone/web browser device.

The company’s official website describes PocketSurfer as a web access device and a wireless cell phone accessory that provides anytime and anywhere access to the real world-wide-web.

Before the episode of Aakash tablet with Indian government, DataWind was never into tablet manufacturing, though it has been marketing UbiSurfer Notebook.

Now, with the knowhow provided by IIT Rajasthan, Datawind started getting Aakash made by subcontractors. Though Indian government has not yet received Aakash II so far, its commercial variant UbiSlat 7+ & 7C are being sold by DataWind in the open market.

Who owns the patent rights of Aakash or its commercial twin UbiSlat? DataWind or IIT Rajasthan or Government of India?

Should not the Government of India (GoI) get royalty on DataWind’s Ubislat Tablet sales in the open market? All said and done, world’s cheapest tablet idea is the intellectual property of the GoI.

Irrespective of the fate of Aakash Tablet, right at the moment DataWind is making big bucks with UbiSlat. Its pre-bookings are closed upto July.

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