As the year quickly comes to a close, I recently engaged in some file cleanup. During this cleanup, it struck me that the most common type of agreement – by far – I worked on for my clients in the past year was the Non-DisclosureAgreement (NDA). While NDAs are no doubt considered “routine” or “standard” by practitioners and business clients alike, I suggest that each time you engage in the drafting and negotiating of one in the New Year, you actually question the forms you normally use by considering the following:
1.Parties. Who is the contracting party? That is, does the Non-Disclosure Agreement (“NDA” or Confidentiality Agreement) specify a parent, affiliate or subsidiary company? Does the NDA allow the party receiving your client’s confidential information to share it with a parent, affiliate or subsidiary?
2.Personnel. Does the NDA need to specifically list the employees and other personnel of the receiving party who can rightfully access the confidential information?
3.Direction. Does the NDA contemplate a mutual (i.e., “two-way”) exchange of confidential information or just a “one-way” exchange?
The deadline for nominating candidates for the position of Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization is fast approaching. The last day to nominate a candidate is Friday, December 6, 2013. Currently there are only three candidates nominated, they are: (1) Francis Gurry, the current Director General of WIPO; (2) Geoffrey Onyeama, who grew up in England, was educated at Oxford and is the current Deputy Director General of WIPO for the Development Sector; and (3) Ambassador Alfredo Suescum, a U.S. educated lawyer who has served as Ambassador to the United Nations on behalf of Panama, as well as holding numerous other diplomatic posts. Suescum is currently Chairman of the TRIPS Council in the World Trade Organization (WTO).
In what should otherwise be a relatively benign news story, the election of the next Director General of WIPO is taking on a life almost of its own. Over the last several administrations WIPO has been plagued with scandals. For example, Kamil Idris, Director General of WIPO from from 1997 to 2008, was forced to step down a year early from the position due to allegations of misconduct.
When Idris was under attack, then U.S. Ambassador Warren Tichenor, was quoted in the New York Times as follows: “The member states and the employees of WIPO deserve to have an organization that is led with the highest professional and ethical standards…” In a 2008 interview published in Managing IP, Roland Grossenbacher, then chairman of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organization, explained: “WIPO is in a very, very difficult situation right now and needs someone willing and capable over the next years, to handle the operational business, not by rhetoric but by action. That includes effective technical cooperation with developing countries. Sound operational management has been lost under the leadership of Kamil Idris but it has to be restored.”
WASHINGTON – Dean Kamen, founder of DEKA Research & Development, joined a group of fellow American inventors for a press conference call this week to highlight the negative impacts of H.R. 3309, The Innovation Act, and urge members of the U.S. House to vote ‘NO’ on the legislation when it comes up for a vote in the chamber today.
In addition to Mr. Kamen, participants in the call included: Dr. Greg Raleigh, Ph.D, CEO & Chairman of ItsOn Inc.; Dr. Gary Michelson, M.D., Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Hall of Fame Inventor; and Louis Foreman, Product Development & Innovation Expert, Producer of Everyday Edisons.
“These are real inventors – in the trenches, every day, trying to come up with the next best thing and the only way they are able to protect their rights to what they invent is through strong patent rights. We wanted to hear from them and what they think HR 3309 will do to their ability to enforce those rights,” said Brian Pomper, Executive Director of Innovation Alliance, who moderated the call.
Below are quotes from the inventors during the call:
My 2013 ethics series continues, today looking at several final orders in disciplinary proceedings resolved in April 2013.
These, together with the other orders from the Office of Enrollment and Discipline from our 2013 ethics series, will be at the core of my ethics presentation on February 4, 2014, at the 8th Annual Patent Law Institute in New York City. The event will be live and webcast, and then reprised on March 18, 2013, in San Francisco.
This case relates to Leonard Tachner of Irvine, California. Tachner was suspended from practice before the Office in patent, trademark, and non-patent matters for five years for severely neglecting his patent practice to the detriment of his clients, but with a provision that would allow him to apply for reinstatement after serving four years of the suspension. This action is the result of a settlement agreement between Tachner and the OED Director pursuant to the provisions of35 U.S.C. §§ 2(b)(2)(D) and 32 and 37 C.F.R. §§ 11.19, 11.26, and 11.59.
Washington, D.C. – December 4, 2013: Crowell & Moring LLP is pleased to announce that Teresa (Terry) Stanek Rea, former acting and deputy director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and acting and deputy under secretary of commerce for intellectual property, has returned to Crowell & Moring as a partner in the firm’s Intellectual Property Group. She also joins as a director with C&M International, Ltd. (CMI), the international trade and investment consulting firm affiliated with Crowell & Moring. Rea brings to the firms an impressive breadth of domestic and international experience and skills. Her private practice background in intellectual property (IP) and international trade coupled with her senior government service combine to make Rea a true asset for advising clients in the explosive growth area of IP protection. Rea will work with clients in several key areas, including global IP policies and strategies, patent enforcement and post-grant administrative proceedings, trade secrets policy and enforcement, and digital/Internet-related copyright issues.
Located in Sunnyvale, CA, the American multinational corporation Yahoo! Inc. is a major developer of Internet services that are used worldwide. Every month, hundreds of millions of users access Yahoo! websites and services, making it one of the most popularly visited American websites on the Internet. Recently, the company announced a new online picture printing program called Flickr Photo Books that would integrate photos stored on Flickr. Yahoo!’s fiscal strength is evidenced with the announcement that the company is increasing a share buyback program by $5 billion, a decision that’s resulted in rising stock prices for Yahoo! in recent days.
We haven’t profiled Yahoo! before in IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series, but we’re starting to take a closer look as we notice the company showing up often in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office publishings. Recently, the company has filed a large number of patent applications and has been issued a fair amount of patents, all focused on various innovations for its array of Internet services and applications.
In today’s column, we’re going in-depth to explore a patent application that would notify mobile device users of nearby events. These events would be collected from social media applications and filtered based on a user’s interest and proximity to the user, helping that person find interesting events that they were unaware of. Also, a couple of patent applications describe improvements to social networks available through Yahoo!, both on an individual and a group basis.
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