Thursday, September 30, 2010

CAFC finds a "digest" can be information

The meaning of the word "digest" was at issue.

In Extreme Networks v. Enterasys, the CAFC vacated
a district court's summary judgment:

Because the district court erroneously construed the
contested limitation “digest of information,” this court
vacates the summary judgment as to the ’181 patent.
This court also vacates the denial of Extreme’s motion for
attorney fees.

Was a digest information or a structure?

The district court explained in its sum-
mary judgment order that because the digest “contain[s]”
network protocol processing information, “the digest is a
structure and not the contents of the structure.
” Extreme
Networks, 558 F. Supp. 2d at 920. The district court
granted summary judgment of non-infringement based on
Enterasys’s alleged concession that Extreme’s devices do
not have such a structure.
The parties agree that the term “digest” does not have
a specific definition in the relevant art. The term “digest”
ordinarily means a collection of information. (...)

The district
court erred by focusing on the claim term “containing”
and concluding that something “containing” information
cannot also be information. To the contrary, the term
“containing” does not indicate whether the “digest” is a structure or the contents of a structure.

The CAFC affirming tossing of an expert:

Frederiksen would not qualify as a person of ordinary
skill in the relevant art even under her own proposed
definition. Frederiksen received an Associate of Applied
Science degree in Computer Programming. She worked
as a system administrator for several corporations, but
she never seems to have worked on “the design or devel-
opment of high speed switches, bridges, or routers.”
General experience in a related field may not suffice when
experience and skill in specific product design are neces-
sary to resolve patent issues. See, e.g., Flex-Rest, LLC v.
Steelcase, Inc., 455 F.3d 1351, 1360-61 (Fed. Cir. 2006)
(affirming exclusion of an ergonomics expert where the
invention at issue related to an ergonomic keyboard
design). Therefore, the district court did not abuse its
discretion by ruling that Frederiksen was an unqualified expert.

GM's US 20100227735

Note GM's recent US 20100227735 and the story Truth About Volt’s Mechanical Linkages Starts to Emerge .


Plagiarism problems at Western Carolina University newspaper

There was a suspension in operation of The Western Carolinian over plagiarism issues.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"The 25 Most Influential People in IP"

The list in is based on "Interviews with dozens of professionals who work in the field." Most of the 25 most influential are in industry. Justice Kennedy made the list (he could be the answer to the most influential justice, too), as did former Judge Michel and current Judges Rader and Ward. Elected officials were Senator Leahy and Congressman Berman, tho the latter's influence in IP in the current committee arrangements is "not much." One wonders "how long ago" these interviews were done!

Nimmer and McCarthy were on the list, but Chisum was not. (Duffy and Lemley were on the list.)

Of Lemley, the article said:

After publishing 109 articles and seven books, including Intellectual Property in the New Technological Age, Mark Lemley is unquestionably the most-quoted IP scholar alive today. In fact, a recent survey conducted by legal research outlet HeinOnline of 19 million pages of content in the Law Journal Library found Lemley to be cited more times than the legendary U.S. Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis. Lemley's writings often offer counterintuitive theses. In one 2010 study, for example, he noted that contrary to popular belief, the Eastern District of Texas is not actually the most favorable venue in the country for patent plaintiffs. And his studies can have real-world impact: In its landmark 2006 ruling in eBay v. MercExchange, for example, the Supreme Court adopted much of the reasoning that Lemley laid out in his amicus brief on behalf of a group of law professors. A founding partner of Silicon Valley litigation boutique Durie Tangri, Lemley has been mentioned as a potential judge. Maybe, but that could be a bit restrictive for someone who clearly relishes writing on whatever topic he likes.

The segment did not mention the fate of Lemley's "Ending Abuse of Contnuation" article and did not mention Durie Tangri's dumping of Shephard Fairey.


Lemley's amicus brief in i4i got a push at Patently-O and an interview at IPWatchdog.

Of the amicus brief in i4i -->

[at page 7] And it [the CAFC] has
held to that view even after this Court pointed out its
unreasonableness in KSR, with panel opinions refusing
to follow KSR
rather than Federal Circuit precedent and
the court repeatedly refusing to rehear the question en

[at page 8] It has adhered to that test
despite academic criticism7 and even in the face of a clear
suggestion from this Court to the contrary. This Court
should grant the petition for certiorari in order to
restore the proper, context-sensitive presumption of

Yes, the "gold plating" paper appears in footnote 7:
Mark A. Lemley et al., What To Do
About Bad Patents, Regulation, Winter 2005-06

See also On Gold-Plating Patents

Among the signatories of the brief:

Professor Christopher A. Cotropia
University of Richmond School of Law

Professor Bronwyn H. Hall
Department of Economics
University of California at Berkeley

Professor Gregory N. Mandel
Temple University Law School

Professor Jonathan Masur
University of Chicago Law School

Professor Peter S. Menell
Boalt Hall School of Law
University of California at Berkeley

Professor Daniel B. Ravicher
Cardozo Law School
Yeshiva University

**Of the IPWatchDog interview, note the text, And rather than say, here is the definition of a troll, you’re on one side or the other, what we’ve got is a pretty complex ecology of kind of 12 different types of patent plaintiffs , an allusion to the Lemley work with Intellectual Ventures [IV]

The culture of tolerance for fraudulence thing

Saskatoon school officials have removed penalties for plagiarism. Now, the offender gets a re-do.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

NCIS features patent in 28 September 2010 episode

In the beginning of NCIS on 28 September 2010 ["Worst Nightmare"], some school kids are put to sleep while in class. Although it might have been the subject matter [discussion of Paradise Lost, and the quote: "Better to reign in Hell, than to serve in Heav’n" ], the culprit was actually gas being piped into the classroom. One of the school kids is kidnapped. Later, Abby identifies the gas compound, a high molecular weight organic unlikely to have significant volatility [ie, scientifically implausible].

Still later in the show, we get to the patent connection. Although Abby had been unable to find the gas compound in any chemical database, a variant on the molecule is found within a patent on a sense delivery system for billboards. [Obliquely, the show makes the point that a chemical compound has to be patented for a use, here a smell emanating from a billboard. One cannot patent a chemical compound without identifying a use.]

The connection between the mystery gas and patent leads to an inference that whoever filed the patent is the same guy who released the gas.

Tim Greystone from Greystone Compounding Industries / Greystone Pharmacy is the potential chemist/patentee villain.
But the chemist villain is actually a chemist victim. [As a bit of "unintended consequences," the compound was invented to reduce casualties.]

Mason (Devane), the grandfather of the kidnapped girl, speaks of an off-the-books experiment which did the things that needed to done. The experiment was during the Reagan time (allusion to "Simi Valley"). Project cancelled two decades ago and the team members were not to contact one another. But now one member of the old team is atoning for past bad deeds by killing the other team members.

Mason (Devane) has figured out that the kidnapping is merely a ruse to cause Mason to seek out, and thus expose, members of his team from the off-the-books experiment. The poor chemist/inventor is a victim, not a perp.

Walter Carmichael (the teacher of the class from the beginning of the show and played by "Lost" actor Sam Anderson) turns out to be the real villain.

for a detailed summary Worst Nightmare Episode Recap

CADC restores NIH stem cell funding

The AP reported: The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington [CADC] granted the Obama administration's motion to allow the funding from the National Institutes of Health to continue while the government appeals a judge's order that blocked the research.

from Court: Stem-cell funds can keep flowing

See previous IPBiz posts: : [ Dickey-Wicker amendment ]

"I was stunned": Collins doing his best Captain Renault?

Prosecutions under the 1996 Economic Espionage Act (EEA)

From an FBI press release:

Shanshan Du joined GM as an engineer in 2000, signing an agreement to protect proprietary information created or obtained during her employment. In late 2003, she asked to be reassigned to work involving the motor control system of hybrid vehicles. That gave her access to company trade secrets, and over the next couple of years, she allegedly copied thousands of sensitive GM documents onto external hard drives and flash drives—and even sent a few over her GM e-mail account. She is accused of then passing that information to her husband, Yu Qin, who was employed by a power electronics company but who was also secretly running his own company that was involved in hybrid technology.

Yu Qin allegedly used the GM information given to him by his wife to communicate with others, by e-mail and in person, about new business ventures that would provide hybrid vehicle technology to a Chinese automotive manufacturer and GM competitor. He also allegedly used the information when he applied for a job in the hybrid vehicle field and submitted résumés listing one of his “major accomplishments” as the design and simulation of the hybrid motor vehicle motor control system—the very subject of GM trade secret documents found in his possession.

In a different case, involving David Lee (currently of Jersey City, NJ):

According to the plea agreement, between September 2008 and February 2009, Lee negotiated employment with Nippon Paint, located in Shanghai, China. On Feb. 27, 2009, Lee accepted employment with Nippon as vice president of technology and administrator of research and development beginning on April 1, 2009, in Shanghai. Lee purchased a ticket to fly from Chicago to Shanghai on March 27, 2009. He did not inform Valspar that he had accepted a job at Nippon until he resigned on March 16, 2009.

At Valspar, Lee’s duties included scouting new paint technologies, coordinating with other paint laboratories, coordinating staffing and projects with Huarun Limited, a Valspar subsidiary located in China, and overseeing Valspar’s technical service group, which conducted experiments for paint coloring.

Between November 2008 and March 2009, Lee downloaded technical documents and materials belonging to Valspar, including the paint formula batch tickets. He further copied certain downloaded files to external thumb drives to store the data, knowing that he intended to use the confidential information belong to Valspar for his own benefit. The total value of the trade secret information Lee took is estimated at between $7 million and $20 million, the plea agreement states.

"I had accused someone of plagiarism ... these are simple matters, not criminal."

The AP covered the testimony of Raphael Golb in the Dead Sea Scrolls sock puppeting case.

Included was the text: "I used methods of satire, irony, parody and any other form of verbal rhetoric that became the type of language used by philosophers during the Enlightenment to expose the irrational arguments of their opponents."


"I asked myself whether there was some law I had violated, and I rapidly decided no. I had accused someone of plagiarism ... these are simple matters, not criminal."

See also:

Monday, September 27, 2010

"intent" in plagiarism at UVa

LBE wrote the following to the Cavalier about a past discussion in which the element of "intent" is to be added to the definition of plagiarism at the University of Virginia:

For the sake of history, here is some discussion from September 2009:

Although Sam Leven spends much time saying intent IS an element of an Honor Offense, his conclusion on intent is: “Because the Intent Clause is ambiguous in many ways, however, adding intent to the definition of plagiarism would solve multiple problems.” The CURRENT UVa definition of plagiarism does NOT include an element of intent. In an upcoming paper on academic plagiarism, researchers survey definitions of plagiarism at universities on four continents, and find that NONE include intent as an element of plagiarism. In dealing with the PUNISHMENT phase AFTER plagiarism is found, intent IS a factor. Because UVa chooses to have only one punishment (expulsion) for an Honor Code violation, UVa would tinker with the definition of the “crime.” Apart from the general silliness of this approach against a background where other universities have a fairly uniform definition of plagiarism, the proposed UVa change would foster the concept of “inadvertent plagiarism” as exemplified in the Poshard matter at SIU.


One "Bob" wrote:

Oh, I might add both of you (Mr. Ebert and Mr. Leven) should take a minute to actually think about what the other is saying before you fight each other. Both of you made yourselves look like idiots in last year’s discussion as you were actually arguing the same thing, yet because you chose different words, thought you were disagreeing and attacked each other.

Mr. Leven – To the average person, who hasn’t spent years involved in the Honor System like you did, an “Honor Offense” is the Act itself, not the three components. So, when you say “intent” is a component of the Honor Offense, to someone not familiar with our system, it sounds ridiculous. To them, the “Honor Offense” is the Act, and Intent and Triviality are just what determines how the offense is punished, if it is punished at all. That’s why Mr. Ebert went nuts when you kept saying intent is an element, since he’s not familiar with how our system works, so to him, what you were saying literally sounded nuts.

Mr. Ebert – You have to understand that Mr. Leven spend six years in the Honor System here, and is used to only talking with people who understand its terminology. The Honor Code here, by its OWN definitions, not by Mr. Leven’s choice, actually defines an “Honor Offense” as “An act of lying, cheating or stealing, done with dishonest intent, which is non-trivial.” In other words, in the Honor System’s own terminology, the act itself, the requisite intent, and the requisite non-triviality, are all ELEMENTS of an “Honor Offense,” and when any one of these things is lacking, by Honor’s terminology, it is not an “Honor Offense.” This is why Mr. Leven kept saying intent is an element, not because he viewed intent as part of the act, but rather because the System itself defines an Honor Offense as more than just the act. This may not be intuitive to you, but that’s how the wording works here, so for someone who’s been involved for so long, that usage of the terminology becomes obvious, and is why you two kept yelling past each other last year.

There, in sum, you two actually agree, now stop fighting and sounding like idiots to the rest of us.

If Bob's version is correct, it might seem a bit redundant to add the element of intent to the "crime" of plagiarism, which is a species of the genus of "Honor Offense."

There is only one punishment for a finding of an Honor Offense, expulsion, as poor Allison Routman found out in being put ashore in Greece from Semester at Sea, run by UVa. The ruckus at UVa, post-Routman, has been to find a way to deal with the Draconian punishment without messing too much with the Honor Offense system itself. Although Bob writes -- the point of the re-definition was not to change how plagiarism is defined, per se, but rather how it is punished once it is found. -- Sam Levens has a far better grasp of the problem UVa has. Bob, and others, try to point the finger at out-of-control professors (The problem people have with the Routman case is that the process followed to convict her was so different than the process used on grounds at UVA, and it allowed a jury of biased professors, instead of unbiased students, to decide her fate. )

The "one punishment fits all" approach of the Honor Code is the problem, and changing the definition of plagiarism to one not followed anywhere else is not a good remedy. Bob's dissembling doesn't change that reality.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

"CBS Sunday Morning" on September 26, 2010

Charles Osgood led off with mention of autumn and the new normal as to climate and as to the economy. Martha Teichner talked about the "new normal" with a clip from ex-secretary Robert Reich. The second preview concerned Marlo Thomas. Third was Anthony Mason on Katy Perry, the pop princess who scored the biggest hit of the summer. Too sexy for Sesame Street. Fourth, Bill Geist on Rock Stars (stone skipping, a reprise). Movie: the social network.

Headlines: Bishop Eddie Long, New Birth Baptist Church. An AP poll shows only 30% favor new health care law. The Chilean miners. In Israel, restrictions on new settlements end today. Rivers in midwest are receding. Highs in 60s for northeast.

The cover story was on the "new normal." Announcement on Monday that recession over. Velma Hart: is this my new reality?
If you’re middle class, the answer is probably yes. Carmen Reinhart, this time is different. Unemployment rate tends to be much higher for the next decade. Robert Reich we are not going to recover quickly (Aftershock). More and more of the income went to people at the top. 1928 and 2007 richest 1% taking home 25% of all income. Wage inequality at heart of woes. Spend enough to jump start the economy. The consumers are the middle class. Henry Ford understood this ($5 per day); workers buy Model T’s they are making. Getting anybody to buy anything these days is a challenge. “Investment clothing”. More than 6 out of 10 Americans have cut back on spending since 2007. The antiMcMansion. Blu homes. In Springfield, MASS. There are always Phoenixes that come out of the flames. In Phoenix, Az, solar panels. Rob Gillette of First Solar. (Perrysville, Ohio mfg plant). Petrobas Brasil in background shot. Vincent Reinhart: 10 years from now we will be more resilient.

Almanac. Sept. 26, 1960, the evening Nixon and Kennedy in the first ever televised debate in Chicago managed by Don Hewit.
"Think I'd better shave" by Nixon. Nixon opted for "over the counter makeup." TV viewers saw a cool and calm Kennedy vs. rumpled Nixon, but radio listeners thought Nixon had won the debate. Hewit was quoted: That's the way you elect Miss America. Presidential debates are here to stay.

The late Dorothy Draper quoted on interior decor. In a piece "Fashion Forward," Kelly Wearstler was featured. Viceroy and Avalon hotels. Living without color is like living without love. Mix elements from all different styles, periods. Maximalist style. Used money from posing for Playboy to start her own company. Gwen Stefani noticed Kelly. Bravo Show: Top Design.
Frank (teddy bear) is 98 years old and a good luck charm. Lives in Cubby Broccoli's former home. Shag couches.

Ahead: online friendship on film.

Rita Braver does Sunday profile on Marlo Thomas. With Phil Donahue on a yacht in New York City. Free to be you and me. Book coming out this week: growing up laughing. Milton Berle was on all the time. I just worshipped George Burns. In 1966, she developed "That Girl." A guest on Donahue's show in 1977.

Facebook founder giving $100 million to Newark school system. Hype for "The Social Network." Basically about a guy who creates a social network who has no social skills whatever. He's the guy we want to be. A "Citizen Kane" figure. Turning the world into a giant high school?

Saying farewell to Eddie Fisher. Died from complications from hip surgery at age 82.. In 1955, Fisher married Debbie Reynolds.

School lunches in France. A five course meal for three year olds in school AND a recommendation for "what's for dinner."
Introduce children to the variety of French cuisine. High tech, ultrahygienic food preparation facility. Deep fried broccoli.
American's gobble their food. Share food, conversation. The lunch costs $5-6 in Paris. Elswhere less ($2.50 per plate).
The menu for three year olds is laid out two months in advance.

Katy Perry rocked the house on Saturday Night Live. Anthony Mason covered the pop star with the pinup girl look. Playful flirtation with obvious innuendo. Inescapable and unstoppable. "Teenage Dream" was released and she appeared on Letterman. She was cut from Sesame Street. play date with Elmo cut short. Grew up in Santa Barbara. Signed to a Nashville gospel label, which went bankrupt. Signed and dropped by two more labels. Damaged goods. Capitol Records picked her up and switched her name from Hudson to Perry. "I kissed a girl."

Comments on Ben Stein's oped from Sept. 19 about new tax plan being "Just punishment". On screen criticsim by Linda--> Ben Stein is wrong. I'm fine with tax increase. American's who don't feel punished. This isn't charity. This is about being a grownup. We prospered. Now it's time to help the rest of America. He's out of touch with the average person. Or he just doesn't care about them. The haves are greedy. This is the first time I've heard one express it so openly. We Mr. Stein are not suffering (Linda McGiveny (spelling?))

Emmy awards tomorrow. Three stories of Sunday Morning nominated including rock skipping by Bill Geist (in 2009). Franklin, PA on Allegheny River. Russell Byars. Kurt Steiner. American Journal of Physics has an article on stone skipping.

Moment of nature. Tall cactus outside Tucson, AZ ( Saguaro National Park)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hiltzik says Allen suit is an Interval legacy thing

Michael Hiltzik suggests a rationale for Allen's lawsuit:

The lawsuit is more about Interval Research's legacy.

Interval hasn't been mentioned much over the last few years. But while it existed it was the talk of Silicon Valley. To run it Allen hired David Liddle, who had been one of the computer science and engineering pioneers at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center, the fabled PARC.

Ironically, Xerox's PARC was known for generating good ideas (eg, mouse, ethernet) that were not commercialized by Xerox. Considering that Xerox arose from Chester Carlson, the guy who pushed one good idea against a ton of adversity, this is a real irony. Microsoft arose because IBM didn't understand where clones were going, and didn't know who actually created the first disk operating system.

In Hiltzik's theory, the Allen lawsuit might be to give credibility to discoveries at Interval that didn't even reach the level of those of Xerox PARC.

For patent law matters, Hiltzik quotes Mark Lemley (the guy who said Gary Boone invented the integrated circuit):

"This is a patent troll-style lawsuit," Mark A. Lemley, a patent law expert at Stanford law school, told me. And it is likely to have the same effect as conventional patent troll lawsuits: It will cost the defendants millions.

"They'll certainly have to litigate for a while," Lemley said, predicting that it will take a year and a half of lawyer fees even to get to the point where the defendants can ask a court to throw the case out.

Zucker out; end of the cheap programming gambit?

In a previous post, IPBiz had likened NBC's "cheap programming" gambit to IBM's "wall of patents" strategy. [see

NBC's "cheap programming" gambit fails, but incrementalist patents survive

Now, Jeff Zucker, the author of "cheap programming," is out.


It has long been expected that, once NBCU switched out of GE's control where Zucker was inexplicably protected by CEO Jeffrey Immelt, the savvy Comcast brass would recognize how badly the NBCU topper had "Zucked-up" his job. (I scooped how, during Zucker's mishandling of the Conan O'Brien-Jay Leno Tonight Show situation, private emails went out from high-level executives at Comcast saying, "What a mess.")

But General Electric, a company that used to prize only excellence, kept rewarding Zucker's failures. Then again, Zucker was embarrassingly proud that he kept managing for margins, not programming for ratings. So NBC eventually stood for Nothing But Crap.

Of a trademark issue:

Instead, Zucker embraced cheap and schlocky reality TV that undermined NBC's quality brand.

Now, how about the cheap and schlocky wall of patents?

Thrashing out buggy whips at CIRM?

A note to californiastemcellrepot on 25 Sept. 2010:

Although John M. Simpson of Consumer Watchdog bemoans what he isn't allowed to see, perhaps Simpson should pay more attention to the handwriting already on the wall that is staring him in the face. Simpson et al. challenged the WARF/Thomson patents on ESCs, but here is what Thomson later said:

“If you can't tell the difference between iPS cells and embryonic stem cells, the embryonic stem cells will turn out to be a historical anomaly.” AND

“Only time will tell, but I know where I'm going."

Thus, "who cares" how CIRM thrashes out the last days of a buggy whip industry? The research has been passed by, and the real losers were California taxpayers forced into being venture capitalists betting on the wrong horse.


A look back at iPS: "they could have caught up in a flash"

The patent world of iPS (stem cells): Yamanaka, Bayer, and iZumi

LARYNGEAL MASK: Is written description an affirmative requirement?

In LARYNGEAL MASK CO, the CAFC reversed an invalidity for lack of written description summary judgment:

We conclude that the district court erred in granting
summary judgment that the patent was invalid for failing
the written description requirement. The Summary of
the Invention does not require that the cuff reinforcement
be connected to the backplate. Rather, it describes a
reinforcement incorporated into the distal end of the cuff.
’100 patent col.1 ll.47-63. The Summary of the Invention
further states that “[i]n a preferred aspect,” the rein-
forcement extends from the backplate. See id. at col.1
ll.64-67. We agree with LMA that one of ordinary skill in
the art could read these disclosures as providing for a cuff
reinforcement in the distal region that need not be con-
nected to the backplate. In addition, we agree with LMA
that one of ordinary skill in the art could read the Cuff
Wall Thickening Passage as disclosing a thickened cuff
portion that need not be connected to the backplate. Id.
col.8 ll.9-12. LMA has raised a genuine issue of material
fact on this issue, and therefore we reverse the court’s
grant of summary judgment and remandproceedings consistent with this opinion.

With the text "could read," one wonders whether the written
description is about possessing something or about not saying you
didn't possess something, with one of ordinary skill filling in
the blanks.

Bed bug at Bloomies!

According to Fox, Bloomingdales released a statement Friday (9/24/10) saying that one single bed bug was found inside its flagship store on East 59th Street in Manhattan.

See also

The "top 15" U.S. cities for bedbugs

Say it ain't so: bed bugs at Google, Manhattan!

Meanwhile, Lisa Jackson at the EPA remains befuddled.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The University of Chicago Law School and the poor rich

An IPBiz reader pointed LBE to a blog post of one M. Todd Henderson, University of Chicago law prof, which post is entitled:
We are the Super Rich which post includes the text:

I’m the president’s neighbor in Chicago, but we’ve never met. I wish we could, because I would introduce him to my family and our lifestyle, one he believes is capable of financing the vast expansion of government he is planning. A quick look at our family budget, which I will happily share with the White House, will show him that like many Americans, we are just getting by despite seeming to be rich. We aren’t.

I, like the president before me, am a law professor at the University of Chicago Law School, and my wife, like the first lady before her, works at the University of Chicago Hospitals, where she is a doctor who treats children with cancer. Our combined income exceeds the $250,000 threshold for the super rich (but not by that much), and the president plans on raising my taxes. After all, we can afford it, and the world we are now living in has that familiar Marxian tone of those who need take and those who can afford it pay. The problem is, we can’t afford it. Here is why.

Looking at Henderson's cv, one sees that Henderson was at the University of Chicago Law school, as a student, and received a JD with high honors, 1998, presumably starting as a student in the fall of 1995. Wikipedia notes of Barack Obama: He then served as a professor at the University of Chicago Law School for twelve years—as a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996, and as a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004—teaching constitutional law.[78] This would suggest that Barack Obama was at the University of Chicago Law School all three years of Henderson's time, tho Henderson observed: "we’ve never met."

Henderson's disconnect, as a law professor, from the general population, is a microcosm of the present apparent disconnect of Obama, a former law professor, from the voting population. [We'll get the real picture on the latter in a few months. ]

To bring in the intellectual property connection, of Henderson's areas: His research interests include corporations, securities regulation, bankruptcy, law and economics, and intellectual property. although Henderson's list of publications does not seem to include ones of IP themes. [IPBiz has not read: "The Nanny Corporation." 76 University of Chicago Law Review 1517 (2009).]

Henderson's blog post was criticized in a piece Advice for the 'Poor Rich' appearing through by one Brett Arends, which piece begins

Everybody hates Todd Henderson.

In case you haven't heard, he's the University of Chicago law professor who unwisely blogged last week about his financial woes in a post headlined "We Are the Super Rich."

Mr. Henderson and his wife, an oncologist, make more than $250,000 a year, and apparently they're struggling to get by. If President Barack Obama gets his wicked way, and tax rates rise for those earning more than $250,000 a year, Mr. Henderson says it will mean real sacrifice in his family.

It's too easy to pelt Mr. Henderson with rotten eggs, as so many have now done. (He yanked the post, but way too late—and on the Internet, one's blunders never die.) But can we, instead, give him some useful advice?

As to "yanked the post" remark, IPBiz found the Henderson post. As to "blunders never die," ask Vai Sikahema about "Rutgers is Wrong," wherein Vai's explosive remarks about Rutgers evaporated from the internet. As to Henderson, file under "what was he thinking?"

***from Eric Zorn :

[Henderson] was wrong, however, to lose sight of the First Rule of Self Pity, which states, “No one wants to hear about your troubles unless your troubles are worse than theirs.”

Instead of grumbling to family at the dinner table or to his colleagues in the faculty lounge, he posted a now world-famous jeremiad to his blog (since removed, but archived here) griping that he and wife, a physician, “are just getting by” now on a combined income that “exceeds the $250,000 threshold for the super-rich” who will owe more in taxes under Obama's plan.

How dare he complain about having “less than a few hundred dollars per month of discretionary income” when some 15 million people are unemployed and up to 4 million may lose their homes to foreclosure this year?

The real difference between you and Todd Henderson isn't income or level of contentment, but discretion.

Because at some point you absorbed not just the First Rule of Self Pity but also the Second: “Complain for others and let others complain for you.

**See also It could not have happened to a more worthy target
including: Come on. An engineering degree to law professor at University of Chicago? This is not a man with social skills. I recognize the type.

**From the Chicago Tribune:

While Henderson meant for his posting to encourage a debate about taxes, it turned into a public flogging, characterizing him as out of touch or arrogant. More broadly, it has provoked a discussion about what it means to be rich, particularly in an economy where many people are suffering.

Henderson's no longer part of the conversation, though. The firestorm of online hostility compelled him to delete his essay and declare on Tuesday that he will no longer blog. He declined to comment Thursday. Even his wife is angry at him, he acknowledged in a follow-up blog post.

Michael O'Hare, a professor of public policy at the University of California-Berkeley, who railed against Henderson's blog post, said regular Joes are tired of hearing people better off than them complain about what they have.

"It's just rude to be worrying in public about whether you have to fire the maid," he said Thursday. "That didn't used to be acceptable behavior, for people who were that much better off than the rest of us to complain about their misfortunes."

**On Obama at the University at Chicago Law School, see Teaching Law, Testing Ideas, Obama Stood Slightly Apart

NJ guv Chris Christie does California

New Jersey guv Christie is getting some press for an incident in California. From

Christie is known for his blunt, confrontational demeanor -- his past heated encounters have included run-ins with teachers, unions and journalists. So as the heckler was berating Whitman, the New Jersey governor approached him.

"You want to yell? Yell at me, but don't give her a hard time," Christie said into his microphone. But Christie didn't stop there: "It's people who raise their voices and yell and scream like you that are dividing this country," he said. "We're here to bring this country together, not divide it." The audience roared with cheers and applause.

Christie does a Q&A on New Jersey radio station 101.5, which is something to behold. While in California, Christie could have commented on CIRM.

Previous IPBiz posts:

"Let's go to the videotape": Christie dumps Schundler

Clinton alludes to Christie on "This Week"



Chris Christie talks with Jersey 101.5 "Ask the Governor"

Thursday, September 23, 2010

US 7,255,627: the bra/gas mask

On August 14, 2007, US 7,255,627 titled Garment device convertible to one or more facemasks issued with first claim:

A bra garment comprising: a plurality of detachable cup sections, each of the cup sections having: (a) a filter device; (b) a first portion positionable adjacent to a first central area of a user's chest; (c) a second portion positionable adjacent to a second outer area of the user's chest adjacent to an underarm; and (d) a valve device; at least one securing device detachably coupling the first portions of the cup sections to one another; and at least one other securing device attached to the second portion of at least one of the cup sections, said other securing device operable to: (a) detachably couple the second portions of the cup sections to one another; and (b) for each one of the cup sections, attach the second portion of said cup section to the first portion of said cup section after said cup section is detached from the other cup section.

In September 2010, FoxNews had a story In Case of Emergency, Please Remove Your Bra which begins:

Caught in a disaster? You'd better hope you're wearing the Emergency Bra. Simply unsnap the bright red bra, separate the cups, and slip it over your head -- one cup for you, and one for your friend.

Note Bodnar's Garment device convertible to one or more facemasks , US published application 20050282467 , with abstract

A garment device convertible to one or more facemasks wherein the garment device has a plurality of detachable cup sections. Each of the cup sections has a filter device, an inner portion positionable adjacent to the inner area of the user's chest, and an outer portion positionable adjacent to the outer area of the user's chest. The garment device has at least one securing device detachably coupling the inner portions of the cup sections to one another, and the garment device has at least one other securing device attached to the outer portion of at least one of the cup sections. This other securing device is operable to: (a) detachably couple the outer portions of the cup regions to one another; and (b) for each one of the cup sections, attach the outer portion of said cup region to the inner portion of said cup region after said cup region is detached from the other cup region, thereby converting the garment device to a plurality of facemasks.

What's in a name? Corn sugar.


This week, the Corn Refiners Association, which represents firms who make the product, petitioned the FDA to change the ingredient’s name to “corn sugar.”

Also, on the "sugar" front, the Newark Star-Ledger talked about the FDA action on Avandia:

The restrictions will require patients to sign documents indicating they are aware of the risks associated with taking the drug, and physicians will be limited to prescribing the medicine to certain patients who cannot control their glucose levels with other drugs.

Apple patents and recycling MagSafe connectors

TechDirt features the recent patent infringement brought by Apple against Sanho.

In the old days, one remembers the HP printing cartridge wars, and more recently the disposable 35mm cameras battles.

As to "MagSafe" connectors, IPBiz notes its 2007 model was so poorly designed it failed and IPBiz had to lay out bucks for a rather differently designed replacement.

Profs signaling IP still running amok!

Notwithstanding a comment on IPBiz, the link to the paper Patent Signaling, Entrepreneurial Performance, and Venture Capital Financing is working fine.

The abstract states:

This work draws on comprehensive patent data for VC-backed firms in the U.S. from
1976 through 2005 to empirically examine the signaling effect of start-up firms’ patents
on entrepreneurial performance and financing patterns of venture capitalists (VCs). Start-
up firms that successfully file patents before receiving any VC investment are more likely
to complete IPOs (initial public offerings) and less likely to fail or be acquired. Such
prior patenting helps VC investees to receive substantially more VC funding, attract a
larger number of more prominent VCs, and experience a longer incubation period. The
propensity of patenting is related to information asymmetry in the market: start-up firms
tend to file patents when the degree of information asymmetry in the public market is
higher. These results are robust to instrumental regressions that use public firms’
patenting choices as the instrument. Our empirical evidence therefore suggests that
patenting serves as an effective signaling device for mitigating the asymmetric
information problem between entrepreneurs and VCs.

Addressing the University of Virginia honor code: issues of plagiarism

A group has prepared an 18-page document titled, “Recommendations for Honor Reform with Students’ Constitutional Rights.” with the objective of reforming UVa's rather draconian honor code.

The Cavalier Daily noted:

In the document, which was recently obtained by The Cavalier Daily, Schaedel and her group, called Families for Honor, critiqued the honor system’s single sanction policies, its training for defense counsels and its definition of plagiarism.

See also

University of Virginia to change definition of plagiarism?

Cavalier Daily on the plagiarism of Doris Kearns Goodwin

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Figuratively descriptive: "concrete chiropractor"?

Inventors don't get re-do's

Some attention has been placed on a headline in the Philadelphia Daily News which references Michael Vick's elevation to Eagles starting quarterback with the text:

Top Dog. In a Shocking Turnabout, Reid Names Vick Starter.

Mentioning the word "dog" [and the word "shocking"] is an allusion to Vick's previous problems with dogfighting. Notwithstanding Vick's past, Vick will get a second chance. Second chances also came up in Woody Johnson's discussion of the Braylon Edwards matter

Inventors who don't act promptly and diligently with their inventions don't get second chances, and inhabit the Terry Malloy world of "I could have been a contender, I could have been somebody, instead of a bum which is what I am."

Academics still running amok in IP: VCs and patents

In a post on Sept. 20, 2010 titled Patents, Entrepreneurial Performance and VC Financing , the 271Blog pushes a paper by two assistant professors titled Patent Signaling, Entrepreneurial Performance, and Venture Capital Financing . This is another example of "out of touch with reality" academics running amok, and, indeed, the paper acknowledges Josh Lerner, creating a presumption of IP disconnect.

One indeed finds some "old friends" in the reference list:

Hall, Bronwyn H., Adam Jaffe, and Manuel Trajtenberg (2001), “The NBER Patent Citation
Data File
: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools,” NBER Working Paper 8498.

Hall, Bronwyn H., and Rosemarie Ham Ziedonis (2001), “The Patent Paradox Revisited: An
Empirical Study of Patenting in the U.S. Semiconductor Industry, 1979-1995,” RAND Journal
of Economics, 32, 101-128.

Lemley, Mark A. (2000), “Reconceiving Patents in the Age of Venture Capital,” Journal of
Small and Emerging Business Law, 4, 137-148.

Lerner, Josh, Morten Sorensen, and Per Stromberg (2010), “Private Equity and Long-Run
Investment: The Case of Innovation,” forthcoming, Journal of Finance.

See various IPBiz posts, including:

"Patents are not why we are investing"

VC are trying to leverage up and create an exit strategy
[illustrating a landscape wherein VCs got into some places without patents, and are trying to escape]

How VCs pick companies: finding entrepreneurs who aren't going to fail

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bed bug Summit at the Hyatt Regency

CBS Nightly News on 9/21 did a final story on bed bugs with Cynthia Bowers presenting the piece from Rosemont, Illinois. Cameos included David Bohannon on bed bug sniifing dogs. Luggage wrappers. Freeze them or fry them.

This was the Bedbug Summit at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Rosemont.

Optimum approaches include bagging the beasts.

From CBS/Chicago:

What's the best way? When you stay in a hotel, you might want use a plastic bag and put it around your luggage to keep bed bugs from crawling in.

There's also disposable laundry bags. When you get home, you take everything out of your luggage before you go inside. You place it in the bag and put it directly in the washer or dryer.

From the Gunasekera hearing

From a story in The Post about Ohio U's Jay Gunasekera :

"My reputation is completely tarnished," said Gunasekera, who added he has been unable to seek consulting jobs or conduct research since the incidents of several years ago.

Although Gunasekera is still a tenured faculty member at OU, his Moss Professorship was rescinded after the plagiarism scandal and he was prohibited from advising graduate students on their theses. His suspension from graduate faculty status has also prohibited him from participating in research, Gunasekera said during the hearing. Yesterday's session did not change Gunasekera's status at OU.

"The university has no action pending against him. We will take no action against him," said OU General Counsel John Biancamano. "This is simply his chance to tell his side of the story."

More on S.515 (patent reform)

An entry on govtrack on 14 September 2010:

This bill was considered in committee which has recommended it be considered by the Senate as a whole. Although it has been placed on a calendar of business, the order in which legislation is considered and voted on is determined by the majority party leadership. Keep in mind that sometimes the text of one bill is incorporated into another bill, and in those cases the original bill, as it would appear here, would seem to be abandoned. [Last Updated: Sep 14, 2010 6:13AM]

Monday, September 20, 2010

Thomson/WIPO partner up

from a news release:

The IP Solutions business of Thomson Reuters has announced a partnership with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for the launch of the Access to Specialised Patent Information (ASPI) programme. The ASPI programme will provide industrial property offices and government and academic researchers in developing countries with free and low-cost access to comprehensive patent information, to foster innovation and participate more fully in the global economy.

Innovation is reportedly beginning to lead BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and VISTA (Vietnam, Indonesia, South Africa, Turkey and Argentina) nations to advance technically, economically and socially. The economies of the latter have been forecast to grow 25.5 times more rapidly than today's seven most industrialised countries by 2050.

5th Avenue Niketown shut down due to bedbugs!

Nike's flagship 5th Avenue store was shut down because of bed bugs.

Within the videoclip, there is an assertion that one in five Americans are changing their travel plans due to bedbugs!

Essay mills don't produce quality papers?

An NPR post discusses "Plagiarism and essay mills," by economist Dan Ariely, which seems to conclude essay mills don't produce quality stuff.

Surprise, surprise. In a world wherein the Stanford Law Review proclaims Gary Boone the inventor of the integrated circuit do you really EXPECT high quality work from essay mills??

For between $150 and $216 per paper does one expect other than gobbleygook? If you want something done right, you've got to do it yourself.

This is "gambling in Casablanca", revisited.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

USAToday says: Watch out for copycats

USA Today goes to David Kappos:

The first line of defense, Kappos says, is a patent.

"If you have a great idea, you've got to protect it," he says. "If you don't protect (your ideas), it's very easy for others to legitimately take them."

The filing charge per patent is about $1,000, but individuals and small businesses are able to get a 50% discount, Kappos says. His other advice is a bit more costly to follow: He suggests that firms hire legal help with the patent filing. The fees can be stiff: "in the ballpark of $5,000 to $10,000," he says. But "It's just like preparing a will or contract or leases. Sure, you can do them yourself, but it really is better to get an attorney, if you can."

Yet, investing in patent protection doesn't mean a company can become complacent. Firms should monitor for patent infringements and be ready to dole out cease-and-desist letters, as well as lawsuits.

And even if a company secures a patent, there is always a chance that competitors can legitimately tweak a product idea then sell their own version.


Kappos' advice is that all innovative firms ask others to sign non-disclosure agreements before spilling any information. "(NDAs) are very common, and people don't react negatively to them," he says.

"CBS Sunday Morning" on September 19, 2010

Charles Osgood introduced the show for September 19. The cover story is on the Hoover Dam, with Katie Couric talking to Oliver Stone, and "Don't try this at home" (Bill Geist). Concert in the Park, Auto industry.

Headlines: Sarah Shourd now at home (Michelle Miller) [Also: American released from Iran arrives in U.S. ]. Discussion of the role of Oman in the release. Hillary Clinton on the continuing negotiations. Discussion of the Pope in Britain. Hurricane Igor. BP's oil well plugged. Reports on cult in California. (see Authorities search for missing members of cult-like Palmdale group ). Of weather, the first days of fall cool in the North.

Susan Spencer talked about the 75th anniversary of the Hoover Dam. At 726 feet, it is taller than the Washington Monument. The book Colossus is mentioned. The builders had to "invent" construction techniques. The dam meant a job. There was mention of 145deg temperatures. Officially, 96 men died. The project finished in 1935, and was dedicated by Roosevelt. Hoover was not invited and the dam was called Boulder Dam. Of movies including the dam: Hitchcock's Saboteurs in 1942, and "Viva La Vegas," and "Vegas Vacation" and Superman. There are 17 generating units. Electricity for 1 million people and water for 20 million people.

There was a mention of a Simon and Garfunkel reunion following the piece on the dam. The Sunday Morning almanac was on September 19, 1981, the free concert in Central Park. There was reference to songs in The Graduate. Garfunkel before the show: "I'm like a swimmer on the edge of the pool." There was mention of the "Old Friends" tour, curently on hold.

At the end, a preview of "road to recovery." Steven Rattner on his book Overhaul.

Katie Couric talked of Stone, who was at Yale and then in Viet Nam ("try to keep your own humanity alive inside of you").
Platoon, and Born of the 4th of July. On his movie on Bush: Going across the valley and walking in the shoes of someone you do not like. If I don't live in my conscious while I'm alive. Gecko is not soft, but he has a heart. An allusion to "when I'm 64," with Katie wishing Oliver "happy birthday."

A preview of "as the world turns" followed the Couric piece.

Below the line. 14.3% poverty rate. 1 American in 7. Americans without health insurance 51,000,000. Piece on Howard Brody.
In 1987 at age 71, went to France to cover trial of Klaus Barbee. Walter Cronkite called him the ultimate journalist. The CBS soap opera "As the world turns," ended at age 54 [ first launched in 1956 ]. A spinning colored globe on a desk ended the show.

Rare and exotic musical instruments on display at a museum in Phoenix in a piece done by Osgood. Bill DeWalt is president and director of the museum. John Lennon's piano for Imagine is in the museum. An ingoma, Komuz, Adufe, Jing Ping band.
Bob Ulrich of Target founded the museum.

A preview of "what's in a name." High fructose corn syrup as corn sugar. Carlos Rey is Chuck Norris. A Hundred Monkeys (100 Monkeys) is a company that helps pick names for companies (Danny Altman). Be descriptive andunique but not absurd. Examples in the fish area: "Slime head" turned into orange roughy. Proposed: Asian carp Kentucky tuna. Teach a man to rename a fish and he'll heat almost anything. [There is an obvious connection to trademark law]

Preview: Jamie Lee Curtis and Bill Geist.

Ads for Activia begin the profile for Curtis. Acting is easy for Jamie Lee Curtis. "I was a make believer." There was an allusion to Meryl Streep. At what point: I have achieved what most people don't. Her latest children book is her ninth. An allusion to "You again," which hits theaters this week. "I found high school to be a horror show." I don't think any woman wants to be known for beautiful, or busty. Best role: True Lives. At age 43, a different picture to look at. Air brushing, etc.: Against the essence of who you are. "My mommy hung the moon" dedicated to her mother (Janet Leigh of whom: "I don't remember that bond.") Most people go into parenting: I'm going to do that differently. Relationship with father: beautiful.
"People don't get their dreams, a lot."

Ben Stein: Whether the Bush era tax cuts should be continued. Stein: I am above the level Obama thinks is rich. Left with 0.35 on every dollar I make. I live a great life, and 4 dogs and 6 cats. There is no theory that says raising my taxes will help the economy. What did I do wrong. I tried to be successful. When did this turn out to be a crime.

Preview from Bob Schieffer, talk with Bill Clinton.

Just ahead. Rolling along with the daredevils.

Bill Geist. Saturday night in Omaha. American Daredevil show. Spanky Spangler. People like crunch. Longest car jump. Triple spiral in the air. Met Evil Knieval and that changed my life. Gene Sullivan of Jump for Jesus. Time to smash the metal. This is not pro wrestling folks, this is real. Mr. Dizzy. Spanky's Signature stunt: the car drop. Being a daredevil is freedom.

The moment of nature was on the beach at Cape Cod National Seashore.

**Footnote, of songs in "The Graduate," Joe DiMaggio interview:

00:05:24 Joe dimaggio has never written his memoirs.
00:05:27 He says, "i do not give away " you would say when the song came out, "where have you gone, joe dimaggio," that you didn't understand what the song meant.
00:05:36 Do you now?
00:05:37 >> I still don't know what the song means.
00:05:40 I-i've never understood it fully, and I still don't.
00:05:43 >> Yeah.
00:05:44 Were you resentful that they used your name in that way?
00:05:46 >> Absolutely not.
00:05:47 I was very happy that they would think about it.
00:05:49 These fellas, I guess, maybe they saw me play; maybe they didn't see me play.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Warren writes her own job description?

Back in 2007, Elizabeth Warren wrote an article titled Unsafe at Any Rate in Democracy. Warren's article began

It is impossible to buy a toaster that has a one-in-five chance of bursting into flames and burning down your house. But it is possible to refinance an existing home with a mortgage that has the same one-in-five chance of putting the family out on the street–and the mortgage won’t even carry a disclosure of that fact to the homeowner. Similarly, it’s impossible to change the price on a toaster once it has been purchased. But long after the papers have been signed, it is possible to triple the price of the credit used to finance the purchase of that appliance, even if the customer meets all the credit terms, in full and on time. Why are consumers safe when they purchase tangible consumer products with cash, but when they sign up for routine financial products like mortgages and credit cards they are left at the mercy of their creditors?

And later text proposed a new agency:

Clearly, it is time for a new model of financial regulation, one focused primarily on consumer safety rather than corporate profitability. Financial products should be subject to the same routine safety screening that now governs the sale of every toaster, washing machine, and child’s car seat sold on the American market. (...) So why not create a Financial Product Safety Commission (FPSC)?

Fast forward to 2010. Guess what?

Warren has a New Jersey connection: In 1976 she received her J.D. from Rutgers Law—Newark, where she served as an Editor to the Rutgers Law Review She appeared in Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story.

Recent bipartisan patent reform push just smoke?

A letter from 25 senators to Harry Reid included the text:

The bipartisam Managers' Amendment to S.515 released by the Judiciary Committee would speed the patent application process, reduce the three-year wait that inventors must endure before obtaining their patents and securing the funding needed to place new products on the market. This comprehensive patent reform legislation would also allow the public to bring forward relevant information to the USPTO during the patent examination process and after the patent has been granted, improving the clarity and quality of patents and providing greater confidence in their validity and enforceability. The Managers' Amendment would also move the U.S. patent system into greater harmony with the rest of the world and bring greater predictability to patent infringement litigation, enabling inventors and businesses to dedicate more resources to inventing and bringing those inventions to market.

HOWEVER, the response, mentioned in a WSJ blog, was tepid:

In a statement emailed to the NLJ, Reid’s deputy communications director, Regan Lachapelle, stated, “while this is an important issue, we have many items to consider before the end of the year and not much time to consider them.”

Friday, September 17, 2010

Go West, to China, for innovation?

The Huffington Post reported:

On Wednesday [15 Sept.], the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) said that patent applications in China jumped 18.2 percent in 2008 and another 8.5 percent in 2009. Over the same period, ZTE, China's second-largest telecom equipment maker, boosted R&D spending 44.8 percent.

In the U.S., patent filings fell 11.7 percent in 2008 and 2009, while companies like General Motors, Hewlett Packard and Microsoft slashed their R&D budget by more than 20 percent from 2008 to 2009. In Europe and Japan new patent filings dropped 7.9 and 10.8 percent, respectively, in 2009.

"China is moving up the value chain and rapidly increasing exports based on domestic innovation, so inevitably it is filing an ever-growing number of patent applications," WIPO's Chief told a news conference as the agency announced its latest findings.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gunasekera gets public hearing on Sept. 20

Professor Jay Gunasekera of Ohio University will get a public hearing on 20 Sept.2010 to vindicate himself for his alleged part in the Ohio University student plagiarism matters.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fuzzy definitions of intellectual property?

In an article that started off with plagiarism by chemistry students, one finds the text:

Welcome to the sometimes confounding topic of plagiarism in the cut-and-paste Internet era. While most seem to agree with the notion that plagiarism — taking the work of others and presenting it as your own — is wrong, everyone from national experts to professors and students say the vast quantities of easily accessible online information coupled with fuzzy definitions of intellectual property and common knowledge make this matter thorny. Many campuses are grappling with it.

Plagiarism is copying without attribution. One can plagiarize works protected by copyright and one can plagiarize public domain works. Fuzzy definitions of intellectual property have nothing to do with plagiarism.

The article ended with the text:

“My concern is if we don’t do something, it explodes eventually,” says McCabe. “It gets to the point where everybody is plagiarizing and you no longer know whose paper you are grading.”

So, the endpoint is a world wherein everyone is copying everyone else, and there is no originality left.

Scaling in root beer floats

An entry on by one David Zinczenko includes the text:

A&W Root Beer Freeze (large, 32 oz)
820 calories
18 g fat (11 g saturated, 1 g trans)
400 g sodium
136 g sugars

This beverage is made with nothing but root beer and soft serve ice cream—the exact duo that constitute A&W's root beer float. So ask yourself: Is it worth the extra 500 calories to have it blended and super-sized? Didn’t think so. (Great tip, right? Get instant weight-loss secrets every day when you follow me on Twitter.)

Drink This Instead!
A&W Root Beer Float (small, 16 fl oz)
330 calories
5 g fat (3 g saturated)
100 mg sodium
57 g sugars

When one sees text the exact duo that constitute A&W's root beer float, one might expect that the 16 oz "float" is just half the "32 oz" freeze.

But the ratios of the individual ingredients are all DIFFERENT:

400/100 =4.0

What would happen if one had inconsistencies like this on a patent application?

"Dead Sea Scroll Sock Puppeting" case goes to CRIMINAL trial

IPBiz laid out the basics of this odd case in the earlier post
Plagiarism, sock-puppeting and the Dead Sea Scrolls

The AP now reports:

[A]ttorney, Raphael Golb, went on trial Tuesday [14 Sept. 2010] on criminal charges of online impersonation and harassment for the sheer sake of coloring opinion. The case is a rarity: While impersonation claims have generated civil lawsuits, prosecutions are few unless phony identities are used to steal money, experts say.

There is a University of Chicago connection here. From the AP story:

Many scholars say the [Dead Sea] scrolls were assembled by a sect known as the Essenes. Others — including University of Chicago professor Norman Golb, Raphael Golb's father — say the writings were the work of a range of Jewish groups and communities.

Schiffman told a Manhattan jury Tuesday that he and Norman Golb have long disagreed, albeit cordially, about the issue.

In the present legal matter, Raphael Golb is accused of creating blog posts [ written under various names ] and e-mails [seemingly (but not actually) originating from Schiffman] to tarnish Schiffman.

This is a case out of a University of Chicago playbook: Testimony on September 14 included topics as Roman Pliny the Elder and the ancient Jewish desert fortress of Masada.

And, yes, the Chicago Maroon discussed the matter in Dead Sea Scrolls Scandal

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Joule's US Patent 7,794,969

Claim 1 of Joule Patent 7,794,969:

A method for producing hydrocarbons, comprising:
(i) culturing an engineered cyanobacterium in a culture medium, wherein said engineered cyanobacterium comprises a recombinant acyl ACP reductase (AAR) enzyme and a recombinant alkanal decarboxylative monooxygenase (ADM) enzyme; and

(ii) exposing said engineered cyanobacterium to light and carbon dioxide, wherein said exposure results in the conversion of said carbon dioxide by said engineered cynanobacterium into n-alkanes, wherein at least one of said n-alkanes is selected from the group consisting of n-tridecane, n-tetradecane, n-pentadecane, n-hexadecane, and n-heptadecane, and wherein the amount of said n-alkanes produced is between 0.1% and 5% dry cell weight and at least two times the amount produced by an otherwise identical cyanobacterium, cultured under identical conditions, but lacking said recombinant AAR and ADM enzymes.

One notes there is NO time dimension in the text -- wherein the amount of said n-alkanes produced is between 0.1% and 5% dry cell weight and at least two times the amount produced by an otherwise identical cyanobacterium --

US 7,794,969 was handled under the expedited green technology program, and the publication of the ISSUED patent occurred before the patent application was published. The ten issued claims were as filed, without amendment, although there were two filed composition claims which are are not part of the issued patent.

Victoria Slind-Flor, writing for Bloomberg, noted:

The patent was issued only five months after the application was filed. In December, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office set up a program to accelerate the examination of applications for so-called “green” technologies. Previously, the average wait for patents in such areas was 40 months, according to a patent office statement.

Patent 7,704,969, one of 4,898 U.S. patents issued yesterday, covers bioengineered algae that uses sunlight, waste carbon dioxide and water to generate the fuel.

The algae are of the cyanobacteria class of blue-green algae found on earth as long as 3.8 billion years ago. The patent doesn’t specifically identify the organism.

According to a Sept. 14 company statement, the process by which the organism generated biofuel “produces more net energy than it consumes and yields sulfur-free, ultra-clean diesel.” The invention “clears the path for large-scale renewable fuel production,” Joule said in the statement.

Of Slind-Flor's text -- The algae are of the cyanobacteria class of blue-green algae found on earth as long as 3.8 billion years ago. -- cyanobacteria are bacteria, not algae. As noted on wikipedia, -- According to endosymbiotic theory, chloroplasts in plants and eukaryotic algae have evolved from cyanobacteria [prokaryotes] via endosymbiosis. -- Also from wikipedia: The unicellular cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 was the third prokaryote and first photosynthetic organism whose genome was completely sequenced.

Of Slind-Flor's text -- The patent doesn’t specifically identify the organism. --, examples within the issued patent identify specific cyanobacteria, including 7942 [Synechococcus ]. It is true that claim 1 refers to an --engineered cyanobacterium --.

Of the green technology pilot program at the USPTO, see the IPBiz post

Reality check needed at the USPTO?


Fast tracking of green patent apps not working well?

In the present situation, note that the following issued US patents on engineered cyanobacteria making biofuels were NOT cited in the fast-tracked US Patent 7,794,969: 6,306,639 and 6,699,696 (claim 10 of which recites: A process for producing ethanol according to claim 1 wherein said Cyanobacteria are Synechococcus PCC 7942. ) You won't get this information from the references cited on the '969 patent or from Victoria Slind-Flor.

One does observe wikipedia includes a reference to a "green application" of cyanobacteria:

Inside the transparent PMFC, the cyanobacteria grow in direct contact with a conductive surface, called the anode. When exposed to light cyanobacteria were found to produce an electrical current, where the electrons are moving directly from the cyanobacteria to the anode.

“This study expands our knowledge about possible mechanisms for harnessing solar energy. In the future, the newly discovered physiological activity of cyanobacteria could be utilized for generating green electricity in a fully self-sustainable, CO2-free manner in the absence of any additional organic material,” says Baskakov [Center for Biomedical Engineering and Technology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) ].

The study has been published in the May 25 [2010] issue of the journal PLoS One.

***The statement by Joule Breakthrough process overcomes the costs and complexities of biomass-to-fuel which

Joule's advances in biology are one critical aspect of the company's integrated Helioculture™ platform, which also incorporates process, materials, photonic and thermal engineering to create an optimal system for the efficient production of fuels and chemicals. Joule's novel SolarConverter™ system has been developed to maximize photon-to-fuel conversion efficiency, and features a modular, scalable design for ease of deployment, dependent only on land and waste CO2 availability. The integrated platform will enable productivities above any other closed-system approach, with a commercial target of 15,000 gallons of diesel per acre annually.

Joule has already proven the direct production of diesel, and will begin pilot production by the end of 2010. The company has also proven the direct production of ethanol via the same process at a rate of 10,000 gallons/acre/year, 40% of its ultimate productivity target, and pilot operations are underway in Leander, Texas.


The Procaryotes: Archaea and Bacteria

**sciences at UNLV:

Bacteria and archaea are prokaryotes, or single-celled microscopic organisms that usually have no nucleus.

Dr. Brian Hedlund is at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington and started his research on hot springs at the University of Regensburg in Germany.

***Update on 27 Feb. 2011:

AP story Mass. company making diesel with sun, water, CO2 which begins:

A Massachusetts biotechnology company says it can produce the fuel that runs Jaguars and jet engines using the same ingredients that make grass grow.

Joule Unlimited has invented a genetically-engineered organism that it says simply secretes diesel fuel or ethanol wherever it finds sunlight, water and carbon dioxide.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based company says it can manipulate the organism to produce the renewable fuels on demand at unprecedented rates, and can do it in facilities large and small at costs comparable to the cheapest fossil fuels.


The doing, though, isn't quite done, and there's skepticism Joule can live up to its promises.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory scientist Philip Pienkos said Joule's technology is exciting but unproven, and their claims of efficiency are undercut by difficulties they could have just collecting the fuel their organism is producing.

Timothy Donohue, director of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says Joule must demonstrate its technology on a broad scale.

Perhaps it can work, but "the four letter word that's the biggest stumbling block is whether it `will' work," Donohue said. "There are really good ideas that fail during scale up."

***UPDATE on 5 April 2011

US 7,794,969 issued from application 12/759,657 filed April 13, 2010. On April 5, 2011, less than one year after the filing of application 12/759,657, US 7,919,303 issued based on application 12/879,862 , a continuation of the '657 case.

The claims of US '303 state:

1. An engineered cyanobacterium, wherein said engineered cyanobacterium comprises a recombinant acyl-ACP reductase enzyme and a recombinant alkanal decarboxylative monooxygenase enzyme; and wherein said cyanobacterium, when cultured in the presence of light and carbon dioxide, produces n-alkanes, wherein at least one of said n-alkanes is selected from the group consisting of n-tridecane, n-tetradecane, n-pentadecane, n-hexadecane, and n-heptadecane, and wherein the amount of said n-alkanes produced is between 0.1% and 5% dry cell weight and at least two times the amount produced by an otherwise identical cyanobacterium, cultured under identical conditions, but lacking said recombinant acyl-ACP reductase and alkanal decarboxylative monooxygenase enzymes.

2. The engineered cyanobacterium of claim 1, wherein said enzymes are encoded by genes which are present in multiple copies in said engineered cyanobacterium.

3. The engineered cyanobacterium of claim 2, wherein said enzymes are encoded by a plasmid.

4. The engineered cyanobacterium of claim 1, wherein said enzymes are encoded by genes which are part of an operon, and wherein the expression of said genes is controlled by a single promoter.

5. The engineered cyanobacterium of claim 3, wherein said enzymes are encoded by genes which are part of an operon, and wherein the expression of said genes is controlled by a single promoter.

6. The engineered cyanobacterium of claim 1, wherein expression of the recombinant acyl-ACP reductase or alkanal decarboxylative monooxygenase enzymes in said engineered cyanobacterium is controlled by a promoter selected from the group consisting of a cI promoter, a cpcB promoter, a lacI-trc promoter, an EM7 promoter, and an aphII promoter.

7. The engineered cyanobacterium of claim 3, wherein expression of the recombinant acyl-ACP reductase or alkanal decarboxylative monooxygenase enzymes in said engineered cyanobacterium is controlled by a promoter selected from the group consisting of a cI promoter, a cpcB promoter, a lacI-trc promoter, an EM7 promoter, and a aphII promoter.

8. The engineered cyanobacterium of claim 1, wherein said engineered cyanobacterium is a thermophile.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Joule Unlimited's US 7,785,861

Joule has obtained US 7,785,861 (issued 8/31/2010 on app. 20090203070, HYPERPHOTOSYNTHETIC ORGANISMS ) with
first claim reading:

An engineered cyanobacterial cell for fuel production, wherein said cell comprises a recombinant nucleic acid encoding Vitamin B.sub.12 independent methionine synthase, wherein said Vitamin B.sub.12 independent methionine synthase is at least 95% identical to Escherichia coli K12 MetE of SEQ ID NO: 20, and wherein said cyanobacterial cell lacks an endogenous Vitamin B.sub.12 independent methionine synthase.

and claim 12 reading:

A method to produce a carbon-based product of interest, comprising culturing an engineered cyanobacterial cell in the presence of CO.sub.2 and light under conditions suitable to produce a carbon-based product of interest, wherein said engineered cyanobacterial cell is Vitamin B.sub.12 independent, and wherein said engineered cyanobacterial cell comprises a recombinant nucleic acid encoding a Vitamin B.sub.12 independent methionine synthase, wherein said Vitamin B.sub.12 independent methionine synthase is at least 95% identical to Escherichia coli K12 MetE of SEQ ID NO: 20, and wherein said cyanobacterial cell lacks an endogenous Vitamin B.sub.12 independent methionine synthase.

The first three paragraphs of the summary state:

The present invention provides methods and compositions for engineering pathways that stably utilize photosynthetic organisms by, e.g., genetically improving their light capture and carbon fixation efficiencies and by optimizing their growth properties for propagation in photobioreactors. The present invention also provides the resulting engineered "HyperPhotosynthetic" cells and organisms that enable efficient conversion of carbon dioxide and light into carbon-based products of interest.

Provided herein is an engineered photosynthetic cell comprising: at least one engineered nucleic acid selected from the group consisting of a light capture nucleic acid, a carbon dioxide fixation pathway nucleic acid, an NADH pathway nucleic acid, an NADPH pathway nucleic acid, a thermotolerance nucleic acid, a pH tolerance nucleic acid, a flue gas tolerance nucleic acid, a salt tolerance nucleic acid, a nutrient independence nucleic acid and a near infrared absorbance nucleic acid wherein said engineered cell expresses a heterologous protein encoded by said engineered nucleic acid, overexpresses an endogenous protein as a result of the presence of said engineered nucleic acid, downregulates an endogenous protein as a result of the presence of said engineered nucleic acid, or has a gene knocked-out as a result of the presence of said engineered nucleic acid.

Also provided herein is an engineered cell comprising a plurality of engineered light capture nucleic acids, carbon dioxide fixation pathway nucleic acids, NADH pathway nucleic acids, NADPH pathway nucleic acids, thermotolerance nucleic acids, pH tolerance nucleic acids, flue gas tolerance nucleic acids, salt tolerance nucleic acids, nutrient independence nucleic acids and near infrared absorbance nucleic acids.

First inventor: Eric James Devroe

Sign of the times?

"Detroit" made in Taiwan.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

IBM's US 7,788,063: A total weight of passengers on the vehicle is divided by an estimated weight of each of the passengers to estimate "how many"

Evoking memories of the infamous airplane toilet queue patent, IBM has now obtained US 7,788,063, titled Utilizing gross vehicle weight to determine passenger numbers. The first claim recites:

A method of determining passenger headcounts in vehicles, the method comprising: measuring a total weight of passengers on a vehicle; a data processing device estimating an average weight for each of the passengers, wherein the average weight is estimated according to a current season, a time of day, a day of week, a location of the vehicle and an average weight of carry on baggage; the data processing device dividing the total weight of the passengers by the average weight of the passengers to determine, in real time, a total number of passengers on the vehicle; and dynamically adjusting vehicle routes by adjusting a total number of vehicles on a route, lengths of the vehicle routes, and vehicle sizes and types deployed on the vehicle routes based on the total number of passengers on the vehicle.

Of past efforts by IBM:

Airplane toilet queue patent: it's back!

It's Kappos

On not recognizing creativity

From PCWorld:

Many college students don't view the construction of research papers from copied and pasted Wikipedia entries as an act of plagiarism. Sometimes I wonder if young people even know what creativity is.

Article: As Google Gets Smarter, are We Getting Dumber?

Oddly, students are somewhat creative in the ways they cheat. From an article in the Toronto Star titled Student cheaters have plenty of tricks up their sleeves

Dramatic displays of dishonesty are on the rise at the U of T [University of Toronto] , where the highest academic court – which hears only the most severe cases – received 38 new complaints in 2008-9, up from 21 the year before. The surge may partly reflect a larger trend cited recently in the report “Liars, Fraudsters and Cheats” by the Canadian Council on Learning, which found nearly three in four students in this country say they have cheated at least once, thanks to the cut-and-paste wizardry of the web and the trend to file-sharing almost everything.


“If they’d just invest the time doing the work and studying that they do on all these other tactics, they’d be fine,” said Gaspini. She met this fall for the first time with international students to talk about the perils of plagiarism, warning against such popular tricks as using a Morse code-style system of pen clicks to share answers on a multiple-choice test.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"CBS Sunday Morning" does bed bugs on 12 September 2010

Back during the August 29, 2010 episode, "CBS Sunday Morning" promised an upcoming piece on bed bugs. The bed bug story will in fact be the "cover story" on August 12, 2010:

COVER STORY: What's Bugging Us?
Who would have thought that something so small could panic so many people? Bed bugs are crawling all over the country, and people are responding with a lot of squeamishness, and a lot of scratching. They're also keeping exterminators awfully busy.

Correspondent Martha Teichner takes a close look at bed bugs: Why are infestations increasing? What should you look for? And what can you do about them? And she watches man's best friend get trained to be a bed bug's worst enemy - it turns out a dog's nose is the greatest detection system ever invented.

And if you think this story doesn't apply to you, think again. Entomologists say before too long, every one of us will have to deal one way or another with bed bugs.

Previous "CBS Sunday Morning" references:

"CBS Sunday Morning" on August 29, 2010: recycling again, but with a tip to Katrina

On bed bugs:

The "top 15" U.S. cities for bedbugs

Bedbugs invade Times Square while EPA sleeps

Mike Sorrentino fails to get trademark on "The Situation"

Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino failed to get trademarks to --The Situation-- or to --Mike Sorrentino.--

Harkening back to Bill Clinton's exposition on the meaning of "is," and more recently the government's definition of "research" in
the stem cell saga, Sorrentino's people argued about the word "the": “The presence of the article ‘The’ is a key component of the mark, as it refers specifically to Mr. Sorrentino, and is reflective of how the term is used when applied to Mr. Sorrentino.”

Also, from thesmokinggun

The NYPost reported:

Sorrentino's rejection comes a month after castmate Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi was denied a trademark for her nickname.
The office ruled that "Snooki" was too similar to a registered title of a children's book, "Adventures of Snooky," about a cat who falls overboard while fishing.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Confusion over the Younger Dryas climate episode?

Wikipedia notes of conflict in the explanation of the Younger Dryas catastrophe:

Skeptics of the theory have asserted that the carbon spherules originated as fungal structures and/or insect fecal pellets, and that the claimed nanodiamonds are actually misidentified graphene and graphene/graphane oxide aggregates.

Hmm, a confusion between sp2 carbon vs. sp3 carbon would seem to be easy to resolve. And scientists complain about the patent system?

Martha Stewart "green" detergent strikes out

There's the brand name, and, then, there's the product.


• Martha's Stewart's new Martha Stewart Clean Laundry Detergent (21 cents per load in conventional washers, 28 cents in high-efficiency machines) is among the detergents with greener claims in Consumer Reports' latest tests. But it cleaned about as well as plain water in conventional machines—and only slightly better in high-efficiency front-loaders.

If the product does not live up to the trademark reputation, bad things happen.

In other bad news for the Martha Stewart empire, there's a law suit for patent infringement. From Bloomberg, on 10 Sept. 2010:

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. was sued by an Illinois company that claims the maker of household goods is infringing a patent for “Protect-A-Bed” mattress covers designed to keep bedbugs from biting sleepers.

JAB Distributors LLC claims the Martha Stewart Collection Allergy Wise Mattress Protector is using its invention without permission. Closely held JAB is seeking a court order to prevent further use, plus unspecified cash compensation, according to the complaint filed yesterday [9 Sept 10] in federal court in Chicago [ND Ill].

The patent infringement case is JAB Distributors LLC v. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., 10cv5716, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago venue).

The patent in question is US 7,552,489, with first claim:

A bed bug protective encasement for a mattress, said mattress having six sides, said encasement comprising: i. a fabric cover of a size for surrounding the six sides of a mattress, said cover formed of a bed bug impervious fabric; ii. an opening formed in said cover and being of a size for receiving the mattress; iii. a slide fastening mechanism disposed in said opening and operable to close said opening after the mattress has been received, said mechanism comprising: (a) a zipper head; and (b) a pair of zipper tracks having a longitudinal axis and terminating at an end location; iv. a unitary and continuous barrier disposed at said end location and extending for a distance along said zipper tracks said barrier disposed beneath said zipper tracks; and v. stitching attaching said barrier to said fabric cover, said stitching running relative to each side of said longitudinal axis of said zipper tracks, said stitching being formed so as to prevent traversal by a bed bug across said stitching; and vi. a channel between said barrier and said fabric cover, said channel formed by said stitching, said barrier and said zipper tracks, said channel slidingly receiving a portion of said zipper head and said channel becoming an enclosed channel when said zipper head at said end location; wherein said channel has a confined space of a size to thwart bug movement the channel when said zipper head is at said end location.

One of the references cited is: Doggett et al., "Encasing Mattresses in Black Plastic Will Not Provide Thermal Control of Bed Bugs, Cimex spp. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae)". Journal of Economic Entomology, vol. 99, No. 6, Dec. 2006.

The background of invention notes:

Bed bugs, commonly known as cimex lectularis, are a type of insect that commonly hides within bed mattresses. Such bed bugs are found in homes, cruise ships, motels, hostels or boarding houses where itinerant travelers find overnight lodging. Bed bugs will feed off of the blood of humans sleeping on the mattresses that harbor these insects. Typically, a bed bug will crawl out of the mattress during the night, bite the sleeping victim, and then return to the safe confines of the mattress.

To prevent the escapement of bed bugs from the mattress, and thus contain and starve the bugs, a technique has been devised in which the mattress is surrounded with a fabric cover or encasement to seal the exit of the bugs. The encasement is slipped onto the mattress and closed via a slide fastening mechanism such as a zipper. Bugs escaping from the mattress will encounter the barrier of the fabric cover, and thus will be prevented from reaching a human sleeping on the mattress.

Problems exist, however, with the use of such protective mattress covers or encasements. For example, a user may fail to completely close the zipper on the encasement, or the zipper may become partially unzipped through movement or rustling of the mattress, as for example, when the bed is made and remade. This results in an opening at the zipper end through which bed bugs may escape. Indeed, even zippers that have been carefully and completely closed may still leave a narrow opening at the end of the zipper that is a large enough opening for a small bed bug to crawl through and escape.

[As a footnote, the author of the Bloomberg piece on Stewart is Susan Decker, who separately wrote the Kappos "on the hunt" article. Decker still has not responded to the email of Sept. 9 about the (questionable) accuracy of the "on the hunt" piece.]

Products that don't work well AND an accusation of copying. Things are not good for Stewart on September 10.

History extracted from the movies?

The 2006 movie "The Queen" contained the line -- You are my 10th prime minister, Mr Blair. My first was Winston Churchill." -- which in slightly altered form shows up in Blair's book, "A Journey."

An interesting issue in copyright infringement?

Plagiarism flap at Univ. of Windsor School of Law?

The full story is too voluminous to present, but the first paragraph of a post at the National Post gives the flavor:

A law professor [ Emily Carasco ] is asking the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario to force the University of Windsor to appoint her dean of law, after her candidacy was spoiled by accusations of plagiarism and, she claims, racism and sexism.

Carasco is suggesting that the plagiarism charge was pretextual.

Whitserve goes after law firms

Following its victory over CPI [ WhitServe LLC v. Computer Packages Inc., 3:06-cv-01935-AVC, U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut (New Haven). ], Whitserve has now sued law firms [Chicago’s Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione; Cincinnati’s Dinsmore & Shohl LLP; Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP of Columbus, Ohio; Kusner & Jaffee of Highland Heights, Ohio; Mueting, Raasch & Gebhardt PA of Minneapolis; and Washington’s Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP ] and companies [General Electric Co., EMC Corp. and Intel Corp. ].

The newer case is Whitserve LLC v. Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP, 8:10-cv-01630-RWT, U.S. District Court, District of Maryland (Greenbelt).

"We must unleash…innovation…and nurture the ideas the spring from our entrepreneurs.”

The text -- We must unleash…innovation…and nurture the ideas the spring from our entrepreneurs.” -- comes to us from President Obama via a post titled Who will champion entrepreneurship in Washington?

Within the post, patent reform is mentioned:

Other important policy ideas have been put forward by the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and others – such as patent reform, increased investment in broadband, increased investment in NIH funding, reforming the FDA approval process.

Inspecting the most recent patent reform letter on the NVCA site, that of 28 May 2010, one finds a backing of the manager's amendment to S.515, including the issues about damages and post-grant review.

If one is really concerned about the impact of patent reform on small business, backing the post-grant review provision is about the LAST thing one would promote. That is a provision for the bigger companies to inflict problems on smaller companies. Separately, it is generally the bigger companies that have been clamoring for reform of damages.

As to patent reforms implemented under the Obama administration, one need look no further than the underutilized green technology program. See
Reality check needed at the USPTO?
[An email on Sept. 9 to Susan Decker about the article Patent Chief Kappos `On the Hunt' to Reduce U.S. Backlog, Spur Innovation remains unanswered.]

NVCA letters

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Appellate ruling on Lamberth's order

The AP reported: The government may resume funding of embryonic stem cell research for now, an appeals court said Thursday, but the short-term approval may be of little help to research scientists caught in a legal battle that has just begun.

en banc CA2 denies rehearing in Bayer/Teva CIPRO settlement

The Hill noted on 9 Sept 2010:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied a full hearing in the case of a patent settlement concerning the antibiotic drug Cipro.

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) said the decision provides "a clear sign that the FTC's [Federal Trade Commission] position that patent settlements are anti-competitive, anti-consumer is fatally flawed."

Reuters had written:

On April 29, a three-judge panel in New York upheld a lower court's ruling dismissing objections to Bayer AG paying Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Inc's Barr Laboratories to prevent it from bringing to market a version of the anthrax drug Cipro.

But the panel invited further review by the full nine-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, which published an order Tuesday denying the rehearing.

There is commentary by Daniel Fisher which includes the text:

The case captures the conflict between patents — a constitutionally mandated process for giving inventors monopolies — and antitrust laws, which are designed to protect consumers against price gouging.

One notes that the Constitution empowers Congress to set up a patent system; it does not mandate one. Inventors are given a right to exclude, not a monopoly.

Of Hatch-Waxman, Fisher writes:

The whole controversy arises from the Hatch-Waxman Act, a 1984 law in which Congress cleverly shoved the question of whether generics could compete with entrenched patentholders in front of the courts.

Meanwhile, in the area of pancreatic cancer, consider work by Infinity on the Hedgehog pathway [The Hedgehog pathway contains two cell-membrane proteins, Patched (Ptc) and Smoothened (Smo), that are regulated by the absence or presence of Hedgehog ligand. Smoothened plays a critical role in the malignant activation of the Hedgehog pathway. }