A tiny startup will launch tomorrow (Oct. 16) a Web site it wants to build into a central repository for intellectual property and an online meeting place for researchers in any scientific field. The company, formed by senior academics at Duke and Johns Hopkins, officially came out of stealth mode at the Licensing Executive Society meeting here.
Ironically, the founding of sparkip by Rob Clark, dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke [and Kristina Johnson, provost and senior president of academic affairs at John's Hopkins], tends to re-enforce the viewpoint of the majority in the case Madey v. Duke University.
Separately, Dana Blankenhorn at ZDNET got aspects of patent reform quite wrong.
For example: The House passed H.R 1908 last month, 220-175, and the Senate Judiciary Committee approved an identical bill, S. 1145, in July. IPBiz notes that while 1908 and 1145 started out the same, the version of 1908 passed by the House (220-175) is not the same as what was in the Senate in July (or now). For example, there is no longer a "second window" of post-grant review in the House version.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California (above) may prove pivotal. In committee she expressed concerns about provisions in the bill to expand the ability to challenge patents after they’re granted, and to limit damages based on a patented invention’s contribution to a final product. These are important provisions for the tech industry.
It will be up to reform supporters like the Coalition for Patent Fairness to turn Feinstein around, but they need to act soon, before Presidential politics makes the legislative process grind to a halt.