Thursday, May 21, 2015

Indictment against Chinese nationals for economic espionage as to FBAR technology

An AP story discusses a 32-page indictment for theft of trade secrets by six Chinese nationals and includes the text

In 2006, Hao Zhang worked for Skyworks Solutions Inc. in Woburn, Massachusetts, and Wei Pang took a job in Fort Collins, Colorado, with Avago Technologies, which has headquarters in San Jose, California, and Singapore.
Wei Pang allegedly sent an email to two other defendants soon after, forwarding notes he took during a work meeting in 2006.

"My work is to make every possible effort to find out about the process's every possible detail and copy directly to China," Wei Pang is alleged to have written.

Related to theft of trade secrets by persons related to Tianjin University , see the post
Federal prosecutors charge Chinese nationals with trade secret theft including text

With their insider access at U.S. technology firms, Zhang and Pang were suspected of soliciting Chinese universities and other entities to develop FBAR technology [ Film Bulk Acoustic Resonator ], between 2006 and 2007. Through their efforts, the two “established relationships with officials at Tianjin University," one of the oldest universities in the country, which eventually “agreed to support Pang, Zhang and others in establishing an FBAR fabrication facility in the PRC," DOJ alleged.

In 2009, the pair resigned from their jobs in the U.S., became full professors at Tianjin University, and started a joint venture with the school, ROFS Microsystem, a company that would facilitate the mass production of FBARs using stolen trade secrets from Avago and Skyworks, prosecutors alleged.

See also:

Indictment at

**In passing, one notes that professors at Tianjin University also work with biofuels.
For example, see -- Proteomic analysis reveals resistance mechanism against biofuel hexane in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 --in Biotechnology for Biofuels 2012, 5:68 .

PricewaterhouseCoopers says patent lawsuits in US down in 2014

Susan Decker's post Drop in Patent Lawsuits, Damages Blunts Call for Congress to Act discusses results of a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s PwC which showed that patent lawsuits went down in the year 2014.

Within Decker's text:

“I see a tapering of what was seen as a big problem five years ago,” said lead study author Chris Barry, a PwC partner focused on Forensic Services.

US application 20150140640 on microorganisms capable of growing on crude glycerol


Disclosed herein are microorganisms capable of growing on crude glycerol and/or glycerol and/or methanol, or combinations thereof. In some embodiments the microorganisms are knallgas bacteria that produce or secrete at least 10% of lipid by weight. Also disclosed are methods of converting crude glycerol and/or glycerol and/or methanol produced as byproduct of processes including but not limited to biodiesel production, into organic carbon molecules such as triacylglycerol useful for industrial processes including but not limited to the production of additional biodiesel. Also disclosed are methods of manufacturing chemicals or producing precursors to chemicals useful in oleochemicals, jet fuel, diesel fuel, and biodiesel fuel. Exemplary chemicals or precursors to chemicals useful in fuel and/or oleochemical production are alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, fatty acid alcohols, fatty acid aldehydes, methyl esters, ethyl esters, alkyl esters, with carbon chains between five and twenty four carbon atoms long.

**A recent post on biofuelsdigest, titled Kiverdi: Biofuels Digest’s 2015 5-Minute Guide, did not mention glycerol conversion. The post did note:

Kiverdi is in the class of gas fermentation companies – like, say, Coskata, INEOS Bio or LanzaTech, and a modular bolt-on to syngas production processes, such as commercially available gasification or steam reforming technologies. Their differentiating point? The ability to produce a wide range of commercially useful mid- and long-chain carbon molecules using proprietary microbes, co-designed bioreactors, and integrated operations.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

NATURE gets it wrong on patent reform bills

The post in the journal Nature titled

Congress seeks to quash patent trolls

Revised legislation would spare universities from being penalized in the same way as unscrupulous companies.


incorrectly relates the Senate PATENT Act and the House Innovation Act:

The process is moving quickly. The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to vote on the bill by the end of the month, readying it for a final Senate vote this summer, and the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee is likely to vote this week on a similar measure.


They are not "similar" as to "loser pays." The Innovation Act presumes "loser pays" but the PATENT Act does not.


Apple's US application 20150070276: Transparent Electronic Device

The first published claim:

A portable electronic device, comprising: a housing; a display comprising first and second overlapping display screens disposed within the housing; a motion sensor; and a processor disposed within the housing, wherein the processor generates a movable transparent window on the second display screen, wherein external objects behind the electronic device are viewable through the movable transparent window and the first display screen, and wherein the processor positions the movable transparent window on the second display screen based on motion sensor data.


Inventor: Aleksandar Pance.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

On judges seeking guidance

Note the article by Benjamin Reiser titled:

Faced With Legal Puzzles, Judges Often Turn to Fellow Jurists


which includes

The judges interviewed said they would not seek guidance from an outside source, like a law professor or a jurist on another court. However, a legal ethics professor said making such calls to a judge on the same court about a question of law, for example, is permitted by the judicial conduct rules.

“What the inquiring judge, in my experience, does not do,” said Judge Charles S. Haight Jr., a member of the federal bench for almost 40 years in Manhattan and New Haven, “is to abdicate his or her responsibility as the judge of that case. He or she is the decider.”


US 9,034,619 to DEINOVE titled Recombinant bacteria and the uses thereof for producing ethanol

The first published claim of US '619:

A recombinant Deinococcus bacterium comprising a recombinant nucleic acid construct encoding a pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC) from Zymomonas and an alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) from Zymomonas, wherein the PDC and ADH coding sequences are placed in an operon in the recombinant nucleic acid construct, and wherein said recombinant nucleic acid construct is integrated into the genome of the bacterium.


The introduction states:


Bacteria having the capacity to reassemble their genome when disrupted by a stress have been reported in the literature, such as Deinococcus bacteria. Deinococcus is a gram positive bacterium that was isolated in 1956 by Anderson and collaborators. This extremophile organism is resistant to DNA damage by UV and ionizing radiations or by cross-linking agent (mitomycin C) and is tolerant to desiccation.

WO01/023526 shows the unusual resistance of Deinococcus to radiation and further proposes their engineering and use in bioremediation. Patent application no WO2009/063079, unpublished at the priority date of the present application, shows that Deinococcus bacteria can resist to solvents and transform biomass to generate ethanol.

Other stress-resistant bacteria are disclosed in patent application no EP09 305041.7, presently unpublished, as well as methods for their isolation and/or selection, and their ability to produce metabolites such as antibiotics.

Genetically altered gram-positive or Geobacillus strains have been mentioned in WO95/27064 and WO2006/131734. From the industrial perspective, no satisfactory metabolite production has been disclosed for these strains. Furthermore, Geobacillus strains produce spores, which is a substantial drawback for industrial use.

The present invention now shows that the genome of stress-resistant bacteria, particularly Deinococcus bacteria, can be modified to improve their capacity to produce ethanol. More specifically, the present invention shows that it is possible to modify metabolic pathways within stress-resistant bacteria, particularly Deinococcus bacteria in order to increase their performance in the production of ethanol.

Separately, note US 9,029,124 to Joule Unlimited.

CAFC on Apple v. Samsung on 18 May 2015

A jury found that Samsung
infringed Apple’s design and utility patents
and diluted Apple’s trade dresses.
For the reasons that follow, we affirm the jury’s verdict on the
design patent infringements, the validity of two
utility patent claims, and the damages awarded for
the design and utility patent infringements appealed by Samsung.

However, we reverse the jury’s findings
that the asserted
trade dresses are protectable. We therefore
vacate the jury’s damages awards
against the Samsung products
that were found liable for trade dress dilution and remand
for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.



**See also New York Times article

Appeals Court Upholds Apple’s Patent Victory Over Samsung

which included the text

Separately on Monday, Carl C. Icahn, the activist investor, published an open letter to Apple. In the 2,200-word letter, he said Apple’s shares were still “dramatically undervalued,” and urged Timothy D. Cook, the chief executive, to buy back more of Apple’s stock because the company was sitting on too much cash.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Lauren Faits: 3 types of plagiarism that go beyond copy and pasting

Based on the post -- 3 types of plagiarism that go beyond copy and pasting --, one infers that Faits has a different worldview from that of Techdirt.

Text: Plagiarism is about stealing the original ideas and footwork of others- not just their specific word usage.


CBS Sunday Morning on May 17, 2015

Charles Osgood introduced the stories for May 17, 2015. The first mentioned was on David Letterman. The second mentioned was the cover story, titled Places, on the economics of film locations. Third, Nora O'Donnell on the Whitney Museum. Fourth, Conor Knighton on Sun City, Arizona. Rita Braver. Steve Hartman. Jim Gaffing.

Headlines. Tornados in rural Oklahoma. Top ISIS leader killed. Amtrak says emergency braking system will be installed in area of crash of Amtrak 188. Girl gored by bison in Yellowstone.

Weather: 80s in northeast.

Letterman kept Sullivan Theater at 61 degrees F.

Lee Cowan does the cover story, titled Places, on Hollywood. Issue of "runaway production." David Lancaster: most bang for movie-making buck. Location shooting around Los Angeles is down 50% since 1996. Mayor Eric Garsetti: 330 million dollar incentive package. Louisiana is the "other LA." PitchPerfect-2 shot in Louisiana. Hollywood-South.
Tax credits in 2002. Green Lantern. Got 37 million back from state of Louisiana. Celtic Studios. Fantastic Four. Jan Moeller criticizes film subsidies. The first Hunger Games done in North Carolina, but next two in Georgia.

Almanac. May 17, 1992 Lawrence Welk died at age 89. At age 21, Welk did not speak English. In 1951, Welk got a show in Los Angeles. For 27 years, the Lawrence Welk show was on tv. Final show in 1982. Strasberg was birth homestead; in 1992 debate in Congress over funding for homestead.

Pulse: Letterman got 16 Emmys.

Whitney Museum first opened its doors 101 years ago. Now a new site, trendy meat packing district downtown. Whitney focusses on art of the United States. Adam Wineburg. Renzo Piano was architect. Negro sunshine. There are 50,000 square feet of indoor space. Mary Heilman's multi-colored chairs outside. The art is part of the whole world. There has been criticism: clunky or dull. You do what the truth is for you. Whitney Studio in Greenwich Village in 1914.
Edward Hopper; Georgia O'Keefe were given a home at the Whitney. Last Whitney opened in 1956. "America is hard to see."

Conor Knighton on Sun City, AZ which has 40,000 residents. Age-restricted retirement community. Average age is over 70.
Uke-lady. Every time you heard a siren, there was a house up for sale. Del Webb's biggest gamble was Sun City.
Initial homes were 860 square feet. January 1, 1960 was first day. 100,000 people came through over first three days.
Rich Hopper interviewed; three generations. Sun City is now getting a face lift. Piffle ball. Sun City is now 55 years old.

Steve Hartman on second chances. Belinda Smith on wanting to go to high school prom. Didn't go. Son took her to prom.

Jane Pauley on Dave Letterman. Bill Murray was first guest. Football into garbage can. Letterman took ten tries.
There were 18,000 guests. It's like robbing 7-11: the money is good but you know you are going to get caught. In high school, took public speaking. Wow, that was easy. College at Ball State. The weather and weekend movies.
Moved to Los Angeles. On Tonight Show, with Johnny Carson. Like sitting at Lincoln Memorial and talking to Lincoln.
Like standing on overpass watching a chain reaction collision. NBC gave him a slot after Johnny Carson.

Alcohol-ism. Started at age 11. Scotch and soda. In college, it was mandatory. Where are all my drunk buddies. Kept on until age 34. Then quit. In 2009, liasons with staffers. After surgery, joyful weepiness. Shingles.
Brian Williams told helicopter story on Letterman show. Williams lobbied to do Letterman show. Son born when Letterman was 56. Pauley was guest on Letterman the year Pauley left Today. This Wednesday is Letterman's last show.

Jim Gaffigan on Dave Letterman.

B.B. King. Clip with Ed Bradley. King was 89.

Week ahead. Monday: Annual Webby Awards. Tuesday: Melissa McCarthy, Hollywood Star. Thursday: Fleet week.

Rita Braver interviews Judy Blume. Clips from Elizabeth, NJ. Three plane crashes, Dec. 1951 to Feb. 1952.
Book "In the Unlikely Event." Judy Blume born in 1938. Determination is what gets you through. Blume now lives in Key West. Book "Forever..." The lesson of human resilience. Terrible things happen. We go on.

Next week: Anthony Mason on tour with U2.

Moment of Nature (Viking). Indiana Dunes along Lake Michigan.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

TechDirt discusses Hersh copying matter

In a post titled No, Just Because Seymour Hersh Had The Same Story As You, It's Not 'Plagiarism', Techdirt notes:


Seymour Hersh's story, "The Killing of Bin Laden," in the London Review of Books has a fundamental problem: it's either plagiarism or unoriginal.
If it's fiction--as some have implied, it's plagiarism. If it's true, it's not original. The story was broken here on The Spy Who Billed Me four years ago, in August 2011
[ RJ Hillhouse ]

That's silly. First of all, it's not plagiarism, even if it's not true. Just because he heard the same thing from other sources, that wouldn't make it plagiarism. As for the "not original" claim -- well, who really cares? There's this weird obsession some people have with who "broke" a particular story. But the fact is that the story itself happened to others before whoever reported it learned about it. Yes, breaking a story is a nice thing, but it's weird how some people seem to want to claim "ownership" over a story just because they were the first ones to write about it. [Techdirt]


Yes, it's interesting that Hillhouse had a very similar story a few years ago -- which may lend some additional credence to Hersh's story -- but being first isn't always the most important thing. Getting the story widely spread seems a lot more important, which is evidenced by the fact that the story is only now "news" -- whereas Hillhouse's version more or less faded away. It seems like yet another case in which people overvalue being "first" as opposed to actually getting something more widely accepted and understood. [Techdirt]


As to what TechDirt says about Hersh have plagiarized, plagiarism is simply copying without attribution. Hersh probably did not copy the exact words of Hillhouse, but he did use the same idea. If, for sake of argument, the story is pure fiction, and first created by Hillhouse, then there might be issues with both plagiarism and copyright infringement. If the story was created by someone else, and reproduced by Hillhouse, that might be a different situation.

Techdirt's text -- it's interesting that Hillhouse had a very similar story a few years ago -- which may lend some additional credence to Hersh's story --, IPBiz notes one might have said Hersh's account lends credibility to Hillhouse's initial account, rather than the other way around.

Some of the issues related to Hillhouse's charges against Hersh are similar to issues raised earlier concerning Carhart's book about the Civil War action at East Cavalry Field at Gettysburg.

**For example, from the IPBiz post titled Was Tom Carhart's book on Gettysburg pre-empted?

In the law review business, if someone has already addressed a particular issue, a later person is not supposed to write on the same question. Of Carhart's suggestion of Lee's "real plan" at Gettysburg, one notes the following from a review by Steven Leonard of a 2002 book by Paul D. Walker:

In The Cavalry Battle that Saved the Union:
Custer vs. Stuart at Gettysburg, Paul D. Walker
reveals the apparent genius behind the plan:
Confederate General Robert E. Lee's grand scheme was
to attack with infantry from the front while
Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry swept into
the rear of the Union formations.

Sadly, the 2004 review also states:

Only David F. Riggs' relatively short account of the
battle East of Gettysburg: Custer vs. Stuart (Old Army
Press, Fort Collins, CO, 1970 [revised 1985]),
chronicles the engagement.

Unfortunately, among other sources, Wert's 2001 "Gettysburg Day 3" spends much time discussing the cavalry engagement.

D. Scott Hartwig got it right when he wrote:

Our final book this month is yet another revelation of Robert E. Lee’s real plan at Gettysburg. Tom Carhart, in Lost Triumph: Lee’s Real Plan at Gettysburg—and Why it Failed (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 2005), contends that Lee planned to attack the Union rear with Jeb Stuart’s cavalry while James Longstreet’s assault struck their front on Cemetery Ridge, and that the plan failed due to the bravery and impetuousness of George Custer. Carhart is not the first to advance this notion of Lee’s plan for July 3. It has been around for many years, but lacks evidence to support it.

Once again (as with patent grant rate), we have a situation wherein the federal employee called it correctly, and the professor at the elite institution (here Princeton University) was way off base. Proxies for good scholarship don't always work. Separately, we have a moral for the business method/software patent area: what can appear to be novel might only be so for lack of a thorough search.


As to the Carhart matter, although, without more, one could NOT say Carhart copied (plagiarized?) the idea of Walker (and others), one can definitively say it was not "new." Of Techdirt's text -- As for the "not original" claim -- well, who really cares? --, if a book buyer of Carhart's book bought the book because they buyer was told it had a "new" theory (when the theory was not in fact new), the book buyer might care. Maybe some scholars might care too.

**As to pure plagiarism, one might consult the post
JEB Stuart travels to India
which includes the text:

In a March 2007 post, Still plagiarizing after all these years?, IPBiz noted

The onlypunjab web site still has the article:

Edison as a Patent Troll, or Where is California Going in Stem Cell Research? -
By: Annie Kaszina

in which "Annie Kaszina" had substituted her name for LBE in an article which had appeared on ezines in June 2006. Unfortunately for "Annie," the bio of LBE was left at the bottom of the article, and as of May 12, 2007, the bio still is within the plagiarized article on theonlypunjab site:

Lawrence B. Ebert is a registered patent attorney located in central New Jersey. He holds a Ph.D. from Stanford, a J.D. from the University of Chicago, maintains a blog at, and is the author of LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM THE HWANG MATTER: ANALYZING INNOVATION THE RIGHT WAY, published in the Journal of the Patent & Trademark Office Society [88 JPTOS 239 (March 2006)]. The above material is based on a submission to Intellectual Property Today [IPT] which was supposed to have been published in April 2006, but which was not published. Most endnotes of the IPT submission have not been reproduced here. The contents of Endnote 18 of the IPT submission did appear within comments to the USPTO concerning proposed rulemaking about continuing patent applications. Ezine draft submitted June 16, 2006.

As a different blog noted, if one is going to copy the work of another, one should be careful NOT to include the bio of the original author in the copied text [!]


"Letter to editor" in Iowa on the PATENT Act

In a letter to the editor captioned It’s time to change the game that is patent trolling, Matthew Mitchell, West Des Moines manages to cite the following sources:

$1.33 million is the cost of the average troll settlement paid by a small or medium company (Collen V. Chien, Santa Clara University )
$1.75 million is the cost of the average in-court patent defense case paid by a small or medium company (Chien)
$80 billion is the total amount trolls directly and indirectly cost operating companies in 2011 (Boston University study )


Mr. Mitchell might want to consult the following:

**As to the work of Prof. Chien:

**As to the work of Bessen and Meurer of Boston University:

Friday, May 15, 2015

CAFC says TTAB applied the incorrect legal standard in assessing whether the term PRETZEL CRISPS is generic

Princeton Vanguard, LLC (“Princeton Vanguard”) appeals
from the final decision of the Trademark Trial and
Appeal Board (“the Board”) cancelling its registration of
the mark PRETZEL CRISPS for pretzel crackers on the
Supplemental Register and denying its application to
register PRETZEL CRISPS on the Principal Register.
Frito-Lay N. Am., Inc. v. Princeton Vanguard, LLC, 109
U.S.P.Q.2d 1949 (T.T.A.B. Feb. 28, 2014) (“Board Decision”).
Because the Board applied the incorrect legal
standard in evaluating whether the mark is generic, we
vacate and remand for further proceedings.


Princeton Vanguard argument:


On appeal, Princeton Vanguard argues that the Board
erred in its genericness analysis when it assessed the
PRETZEL CRISPS mark as a compound term instead of a
phrase. Specifically, Princeton Vanguard contends that
the Board “took the short-cut of analyzing whether the
words ‘pretzel’ and ‘crisps’ are each generic for a pretzel
and a cracker, and then it merely assumed the public
would understand the combined mark PRETZEL CRISPS
to be generic for ‘pretzel crackers’ without due consideration
of the actual evidence of record.” A


The CAFC noted:

The Board appears to believe that there is a dichotomy
in the standard applicable to a particular mark depending
on whether it is a compound term or a phrase.
According to the Board, if the mark is a compound term,
then Gould applies, and it can focus on the individual
words, but if it is a phrase, American Fertility requires
that the Board consider the mark in its entirety. Id. at
1953. Because the Board found “no additional meaning
added to ‘PRETZEL CRISPS’ in relation to ‘pretzel crackers,’
when the individual terms are combined,” the Board
analyzed it as a compound term. Id. The Board then
considered the terms individually and concluded that
“pretzel” is generic for pretzels and pretzel snacks, and
“crisps” is generic for crackers. Id.
The problem with the Board’s analysis is that there is
only one legal standard for genericness: the two-part test
set forth in Marvin Ginn. Am. Fertility, 188 F.3d at 1348.


As noted, here, the Board determined that PRETZEL
CRISPS is a compound term, not a phrase, and evaluated
the terms individually under Gould. Board Decision, 109
U.S.P.Q.2d at 1953. The Board concluded that the “commonly
understood meaning of the words ‘pretzel’ and
‘crisps,’ demonstrates that purchasers understand that
‘PRETZEL CRISPS’ identifies ‘pretzel crackers.’” Id. at
1959. Where, as here, the record is replete with evidence
of the public’s perception of the term PRETZEL CRISPS
as a whole, it is unclear why the Board would resort to
analyzing the terms individually or why it would believe
doing so would aid its analysis. In any event, as we have
explained, the appropriate legal standard set forth in
Marvin Ginn requires consideration of the mark as a

At the end of its decision, the Board stated in passing
that, although it analyzed the term PRETZEL CRISPS as
a compound term, “were we to analyze it as a phrase, on
this record, our conclusion would be the same, as the
words strung together as a unified phrase also create a
meaning that we find to be understood by the relevant
public as generic for ‘pretzel crackers.’” Board Decision,
109 U.S.P.Q.2d at 1960. But the Board’s decision lacks
any indicia that it actually engaged in such an analysis.

Of "substantial evidence"

We reiterate, however, that substantial
evidence review “requires an examination of the
record as a whole, taking into account both the evidence
that justifies and detracts from an agency’s opinion.”
Falkner v. Inglis, 448 F.3d 1357, 1363 (Fed. Cir. 2006).
Our review under that standard “can only take place
when the agency explains its decisions with sufficient
precision, including the underlying factfindings and the
agency’s rationale.” Packard Press, Inc. v. HewlettPackard
Co., 227 F.3d 1352, 1357 (Fed. Cir. 2000).



Susan Golden gets honorary degree from Missouri

Susan Golden, an MU graduate and a prominent researcher in microbiology will receive an honorary degree during the Honors College ceremony at 8:30 a.m. Saturday in Mizzou Arena.

Golden's discovery of a biological cycle of cyanobacteria, which gets its energy through photosynthesis, reversed the previous notion that organisms with lifespans shorter than one day could not maintain an internal clock. According to a MU News Bureau release, the findings of this study could affect the development of biofuel or improve chemotherapeutic drugs.

Golden is a professor at the University of California, San Diego, and director of the Center for Circadian Biology. She graduated from MU with a doctorate in genetics in 1983.



Former CJ Michel on patent licensing: "attorneys are now advising their clients not to take a license"

Former CAFC Chief Judge Paul Michel comments on the current state of patent licensing:

“If a company was practicing an invention you made and you pointed that out to them, they would take a license,” he said. “Because they would see that they’re infringing a patent and they want to avoid a lawsuit and they want to be a good corporate citizen, they’d say, OK, I better pay and buy a license.

“We’ve totally gone the other way now.”

Attorneys are now advising their clients not to take a license and to fight the claim, Michel said.

“They’re telling these company owners that they can probably get it knocked out and that even if they don’t succeed, that they can outlast the patent owner, so don’t take a license no matter how clearly you’re infringing,” he explained.


Separately, see IPBiz post

Dan Rosenberg on "a patent crisis that doesn't exist"


Survey evidence of Feldman/Lemley criticized; the story of Copaxone

"Daily Californian" discusses CRISPR patent matter

See the post -- UC Berkeley, MIT scientists argue over patent rights to gene-editing tool --

If the [UC] regents’ request for a patent interference is approved, both sides will argue before a panel over who first invented the CRISPR-Cas9 process. The ensuing legal battle could take years and cost millions of dollars, according to Greg Aharonian, director of the Center for Global Patent Quality, which advises clients on patent procedures.

In an interference, the party who filed an earlier patent application is called the "senior party".

The not-senior party bears the burden of proving that he or she is the first inventor.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Clothing that produces biofuel? Mushtari, an artwork 3D printed by Stratasys

The on-the-go technologist can make biofuel from cyanobacteria within clothing.

Oxman explains that she was “Inspired by the human gastrointestinal tract, Mushtari is designed to host synthetic microorganisms – a co-culture of photosynthetic cyanobacteria and E. coli bacteria – that can fluoresce bright colors in darkness and produce sugar or biofuels when exposed to the sun. Such functions will in the near future augment the wearer by scanning our skins, repairing damaged tissue and sustaining our bodies, an experiment that has never been attempted before.”


Matter of disclosure of drug trial results: Orexigen Therapeutics and Contrave

See the post on Forbes titled -- Did Orexigen Have The Right To File Its Controversial Patent? -- for issues on including drug test results in a patent application.

The first paragraph of the Forbes post:

Shares in Orexigen Therapeutics, the maker of a weight-loss drug called Contrave, have dropped 24% to $5 since Tuesday, when news came out that data that the drug maker had originally presented as showing Contrave prevented heart attacks and strokes were part of a study that, in the end, showed no such thing.

Of relevance to the issue is the text

But Nissen [Steven Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic, who ran the trial ] says it just meant that Orexigen could file for a patent based on excluding a doubling of risk. “It doesn’t mean the exact data in the trial can be published,” Nissen says. “We work with industry with the expectation that there is not an effort to game the system.”

link to Forbes post:

Separately, from within the Medscape post titled -- US Endocrinologists React to Contrave Safety Study Halt --

Dr Michael Gonzalez-Campoy, medical director and CEO of the Minnesota Center for Obesity, Metabolism, and Endocrinology, in Eagan, agrees that the events of this week are regrettable.

"A trial is designed to go from beginning to end. There's a board that monitors safety, and unless there are safety signals, it should not be [disclosed] prematurely.…It's only at the end of the trial that you can make valid analyses of the data," he told Medscape Medical News.

But he believes the decision to halt the trial was the right one. "I think it would be very difficult to justify moving forward on a study where data have been prematurely released. It's really truly unfortunate that it happened. It really does hurt this particular study, and possibly future studies as well."

Link to Medscape article:

from the beginning of the Medscape post:

News that a cardiovascular-safety study of the weight-loss drug Contrave (naltrexone/bupropion, Orexigen/Takeda Pharmaceuticals, marketed as Mysimba in Europe) had to be halted due to early release of data has prompted outrage and concern about the public's perception of the pharmaceuticals industry's drug trial conduct.

Concerning the Symantec/Veeam patent matter

Of the Symantec/Veeam matter, from eWeek:

"In February 2012, Symantec filed its first patent infringement lawsuit against Veeam and in October 2012, Symantec filed a second patent suite," Doug Hazelman, Veeam's vice president of Product Strategy, told eWEEK. "At the time, we felt that that the lawsuit was without merit, and here we are three years later and we have successfully worked with the courts and the U.S. Patent and Trade Office [USPTO] to review the patents."



From the specification

[0003] Microalgae, like other organisms, contain lipids and fatty acids as membrane components, storage products, metabolites and sources of energy. Some algal strains, diatoms, and cyanobacteria have been found to contain proportionally high levels of lipids (over 30%). Microalgal strains with high oil or lipid content are of great interest in the search for a sustainable feedstock for the production of biofuels.

[0004] Some wild-type algae are suitable for use in various industrial applications. However, it is recognized that by modification of algae to improve particular characteristics useful for the aforementioned applications, the relevant processes are more likely to be commercially viable. To this end, algal strains can be developed which have improved characteristics over wild-type strains. Such developments have been made by traditional techniques of screening and mutation and selection. Further, recombinant DNA technologies have been widely suggested for algae. Such approaches may increase the economic validity of production of commercially valuable products.

[0005] For the production of some commercial products of interest, organisms producing the products may be grown in liquid environments. It is sometimes beneficial to remove the organisms from the liquid environments. One method of removing organisms is to flocculate or aggregate the organisms to facilitate removal. Flocculants or flocculating agents promote flocculation by causing colloids and other suspended particles (e.g., cells) in liquids to aggregate, forming a floc. Flocculants are used in water treatment processes to improve the sedimentation of small particles. For example, a flocculant may be used in swimming pool or drinking water filtration to aid removal of microscopic particles which would otherwise cause the water to be cloudy and which would be difficult to remove by filtration alone.

[0006] Many flocculants are multivalent cations such as aluminium, iron, calcium or magnesium. These positively charged molecules interact with negatively charged particles and molecules to reduce the barriers to aggregation. In addition, many of these chemicals, under appropriate pH and other conditions such as temperature and salinity, react with water to form insoluble hydroxides which, upon precipitating, link together to form long chains or meshes, physically trapping small particles into the larger floe.

[0007] Flocculation of microalgae using chemical flocculants is known. Long-chain polymer flocculants, such as modified polyacrylamides, are manufactured and sold by the flocculant producing business. These can be supplied in dry or liquid form for use in the flocculation process. The most common liquid polyacrylamide, for example, is supplied as an emulsion with 10-40% actives and the rest is a carrier fluid, surthetants and latex.

[0008] Use of chemical flocculants, however, has multiple drawbacks. For instance, use in water treatment and other processes require subsequent removal of flocculants. The addition and removal of flocculants adds to the cost of commercial production of a product of interest, thus decreasing the economic feasibility of production.


The first published claim:

A method of flocculating a non-vascular photosynthetic organism, comprising expressing an exogenous nucleic acid encoding a first flocculation moiety as a cell surface component of a first non-vascular photosynthetic organism; and contacting said organism with a second flocculation moiety, thereby flocculating said organism.

More on the CRISPR patent matter

IPBiz has been covering the patent issues with CRISPR (e.g.,
Will there be an interference between the Zhang and Doudna work on CRISPR?
CRISPR is high profile in science, patents; competitor labeled a mere second comer )

Further to IPBiz posts on the CRISPR matter, note

Fox News on "patent scandal" at WIPO

See the post at


The first published claim of the application titled --METHOD FOR SELECTIVELY CULTURING MICROORGANISM USING PHOSPHITE DEHYDROGENASE GENE AS MARKER -- to Hiroshima University Hiroshima :

A method for selectively culturing a microorganism, the method comprising the step of culturing, in a culture medium containing phosphorous acid as a sole phosphorous source and containing no antibiotic substance, a recombinant microorganism into which a phosphite dehydrogenase gene has been introduced, the microorganism having introduced thereinto a plasmid containing the phosphite dehydrogenase gene, the method making it possible to, in a case where the microorganism is subcultured, stably maintain the number of copies of the plasmid.

Paragraph 110 notes

[0110] Although not particularly limited, an NADP-utilizing phosphite dehydrogenase can be used as appropriate in the selective culturing method of the present invention. Photosynthetic organisms including cyanobacteria are known to generally have high intracellular NADP concentrations, as Calvin cycle is used. Meanwhile, heterotrophic bacteria such as E. coli generally have high intracellular NAD concentrations.

Dan Rosenberg on "a patent crisis that doesn't exist"

From a letter in the New York Times by Dan Rosenberg concerning patent reform bills such as the Innovation Act:

The bills are influenced by headline-catching “studies” using privately held and generated data to paint the picture of a patent crisis that doesn’t exist. According to federal data and respected academics whose data are available to all, the number of patent litigation cases as a percentage of patents issued has been shown to be stable over decades.


See also IPBiz post of Tuesday, February 24, 2015:

Katznelson on Lemley/Feldman paper on licensing


Survey evidence of Feldman/Lemley criticized; the story of Copaxone

See also IPBiz post titled -- Katznelson's "A Federal Information Quality Act Challenge to the White House 'Patent Troll' Report" --