IPXI is a a financial exchange that facilitates non-exclusive licensing and trading of intellectual property rights with market-based pricing and standardized terms. At the core of the business model is what IPXI calls a “Unit License Right” or ULR. According to IPXI, “ULR contracts transform private licensing of technology into consumable and tradable products, allowing for improved market transparency, smooth technology transfers, and increased efficiencies.” Essentially, ULR contracts will eliminate the inefficiencies that plague traditional bilateral licensing efforts because the exchange will act as an intermediary between patent owners and potential licensees, with rights being exchanged on an open market.
When attempting to determine whether an invention is patentable it is necessary to go through the patentability requirements in an effort to see whether patent claims can be drafted that will be usefully broad and that will be distinguishable over the prior art. I recently wrote about the patentability requirements, providing an overview of patentability.
Where the rubber meets the road when it comes to patentability is often with respect to determining whether an invention is non-obvious, which is one of the five patentability requirements. It has always been difficult to explain the law of obviousness to inventors, business executives and law students alike. Since the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in KSR v. Teleflex five years ago it has become even more difficult to provide a simple, coherent articulation of the law of obviousness that is at all intellectually satisfying. That is in no small part due to the fact that the determination about whether an invention is obvious is completely subjective.
If you look at the Federal Circuit cases it seems that there is an awful lot of reasoning (if you can call it that) that justifies a conclusion already formed. Simply stated, the state of the law of obviousness allows a decision maker to make a determination about obviousness that seems appropriate from a subjective standpoint and then weave the “reasoning” to justify the conclusion already reached.
Australia’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization, Tim Yeend, and Director General Francis Gurry (Photo: WIPO/Berrod)
Geneva, June 15, 2012 — Australia and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) today signed an agreement detailing how an AUD$2 million Australian contribution would assist least-developed and developing countries improve their intellectual property systems.
Australia’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization, Tim Yeend, said Australia’s contribution built upon existing cooperation between WIPO and IP Australia in relation to the provision of IP-related technical assistance and capacity building in the Asia-Pacific region.
Geneva, June 15, 2012 — The stage is set for a new international treaty that would extend the protection for audiovisual performers, granting them both economic and moral rights similar to those already recognized for music performers. Over 500 negotiators from WIPO’s 185 member states, as well as actors, industry and other stakeholder organizations will meet in Beijing from June 20 to 26, 2012 to finalize discussions on an international treaty to update the intellectual property rights of audiovisual performers, such as film and TV actors and actresses. The meeting will be opened on June 20, 2012 at the China World Hotel by WIPO Director General Francis Gurry and high ranking Chinese State and Beijing Municipality officials.
The Diplomatic Conference on the Protection of Audiovisual Performances, convened by WIPO and hosted by the Government of the People’s Republic of China, is the culmination of over twelve years of negotiations. It is expected to result in a treaty that will strengthen the economic rights of many struggling film actors and other performers and could provide extra income from their work. It will potentially enable performers to share proceeds with producers for revenues generated internationally by audiovisual productions. It will also grant performers moral rights to prevent lack of attribution or distortion of their performances.
Professor Josef Bille received a Lifetime Achievement Award
Copenhagen, 14th June 2012 – The European Patent Office (EPO) today honoured outstanding inventors for their contribution to social, economic and technological progress with the presentation of the European Inventor Award (EIA) – Europe’s most prestigious prize for innovation. The Danish Crown Prince and Princess, around 350 economic and political decision makers, researchers, scientists and intellectual property specialists attended the award ceremony at the Royal Danish Playhouse in Copenhagen.
The EIA is presented in five categories: “Industry”, “Research”, “Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)”, “Non-European countries”, and “Lifetime achievement”. The five winners of the European Inventor Award 2012 come from Germany (2), France, Denmark and Australia, and represent the fields of ophthalmology, fuel cell technology, medical research, medical technology and telecommunications.
“With their brilliant inventions, this year’s laureates have created great economic value and thousands of jobs. Above all, they have improved people’s lives”, said EPO President Benoît Battistelli. “The EIA pays tribute to these creative and entrepreneurial minds for their significant contribution to technological progress, social development and economic growth.”
Over the last week the news has been all over the Internet in blog after blog after blog. According to NALP, the Association for Legal Career Professionals, the employment rate for 2011 law school graduates is the lowest in 18 years. See Law School Grads Face Worst Job Market Yet. As if that news wasn’t bad enough, the NALP announcement went on to explain that less than 66% of law school graduates from the Class of 2011 are employed in jobs that require bar membership. That means that over 0ne-third of law school graduates from the Class of 2011 are either back in school, working jobs that did not require them to go to law school in the first place, or they are simply unemployed.
“For members of the Class of 2011, caught as they were in the worst of the recession… the entry-level job market can only be described as brutal,” said James Leipold, NALP Executive Director. “When this class took their LSATs and applied for law school there were no signs that the legal economic boom was showing any signs of slowing, and yet by the time they graduated they faced what was arguably the worst entry-level legal employment market in more than 30 years.”
ReDigi™, the world’s first online marketplace for pre-owned digital music, made two big announcements yesterday. First, the company has now launched an Artist Syndication™ Program, which they tout as a revolutionary platform designed to directly support artists. Second, ReDigi also announced that through a partnership with iTunes® users will now have the option of buying new music from iTunes® on ReDigi.com. As a result of this iTunes partnership, in addition to being able to store, stream, buy and sell pre-owned digital music, ReDigi users will be able to conveniently buying new tracks directly from Apple’s iTunes® platform. Furthermore, ReDigi users will be able to fund new iTunes® purchases from the credit they have generated from their pre-owned sales.
ReDigi™ has been the source of scrutiny since it first opened in October 2011. Capitol Records is suing ReDigi, Inc. in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Capitol requested a preliminary injunction, which was denied on February 6, 2012, by Judge Richard Sullivan in a very terse ruling that gave no insight into the reasons the motion for preliminary injunction was denied. The transcript, however, did however elucidate the matter. Judge Sullivan said: “I think likelihood of success on the merits is something that plaintiffs have demonstrated.” Notwithstanding, Judge Sullivan was not persuaded that irreparable harm is being caused, saying: “I think the lack of irreparable harm is one that really is the issue that causes me to deny the motion. It seems to me that money damages should be able to take care of all of this.”
On July 21, 2011, Kodak announced that it had engaged. Over the past 12 months, Kodak’s financial advisor, Lazard Frères & Co. LLC (“Lazard”), brought in to advise Kodak regarding strategic alternatives in relation to the Digital Imaging Patent Assets, conducted an extensive marketing process for these patent assets, but to no avail. As Lazard marketed various patent assets, Kodak continued with its patent licensing program and strategic litigation. However, as Kodak’s financial condition deteriorated, a sale process, as well as new licensing transactions, became more difficult to pursue and consummate.
Ultimately, on January 19, 2012, Eastman Kodak Company, the once mighty technology company where the first digital camera was invented, filed a voluntary petition for chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. At the time Kodak filed for bankruptcy protection the company explained that the reorganization of the business in bankruptcy was is intended to bolster liquidity in the U.S. and abroad, monetize non-strategic intellectual property and enable the company to focus on its most valuable business lines. The time has now come for Kodak to attempt to shed its non-strategic patents with the sale of roughly 10% of the overall Kodak patent portfolio. Without an acceptable initial bid already in place Kodak will roll the dice and angle for an auction that would take place in early August 2012, assuming more than one bidder emerges.