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Page 1 of 5 Archive - April 2007

Supreme Court paves way for raised patentability threshold in the US

According to the SCOTUS blog site, in a unanimous verdict in the KSR v Teleflex case, the US Supreme Court today found that "the Federal Circuit Court had been wrong in taking a narrow view of when an invention is "obvious" and thus cannot be patented. The ruling favored a Canadian company in a dispute over an adjustable accelerator pedal for cars and trucks. Thus, it concluded that the claimed invention by Teleflex, Inc., was obvious." The full decision can be ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 30 April 2007 @ 12:00AM
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US VC funding back to 2001 levels

Although not directly IP related, the most recent report on VC activity from the National Venture Capital Association in the US makes for interesting reading. In the first quarter of 2007, over $7billion was invested in 778 deals, with the life sciences proving to be by far the most active sector. Of course, VC money tends to go to industries in which intellectual property - and patents in particular - is very significant. It looks like recent Supreme Court decisions and ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 29 April 2007 @ 12:00AM
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Malaysia to spend big on IP, but will it work?

The Malaysian government has stated that it will be setting aside over $1.4 billion to establish a special IP fund and set up a specialist IP court. The fund will be used to provide assistance to Malaysian companies and inventors to file patents and to commercialise their ideas. The initiative is part of the National Intellectual Property Policy, which this blog discussed at the beginning of the year. Some further insight into the Malaysian government’s thinking can be found in ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 29 April 2007 @ 12:00AM
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IAM at the INTA

This week IAM has decamped en masse to Chicago for the 129th annual meeting of the INTA. We have a stand in the exhibition hall next to one for our sister publication World Trademark Review, so if you are in the windy city, please drop by and say hello. Among the people I have already met up with is the senior in-house trademark counsel at one of the world’s largest companies. We had a chat about the recent US decision to take China to the WTO over IP. He was far from ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 29 April 2007 @ 12:00AM
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Are patents an asset class?

Nir Kossovsky, the founder and executive secretary of the Intangible Asset Finance Society, as well as CEO of TOPCAP, was among a group of panellists talking about IP as an asset class at the recent Milken Institute Global Conference. Nir has sent in the following brief report of what was discussed. As the room darkened, the audience gasped: “Resolved, that patents do not comprise a useful asset class.” This was the opening slide of the break-out sesssion on IP ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 28 April 2007 @ 12:00AM
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A reason for hope on World Intellectual Property Day

It was World Intellectual Property Day yesterday, in case you had not noticed. Here in the UK, I am sure that most people had absolutely no idea. But dutiful IP journalist that I am, I went to the British Library in London to attend an event organised by the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) in the Library’s IP Centre. It turned out to be a thought-provoking morning. Among the speakers was Ian Fletcher, who is taking over as the new CEO of the UK Intellectual ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 26 April 2007 @ 12:00AM
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At last, Vonage gets some good news and shares rise

Over the last couple of weeks this blog has been following the fortunes of Vonage as it battles to overturn a potentially crippling decision from a US district court concerning infringement of patents owned by Verizon. Well, for the first time in a while, the company's executives will be waking up today with a smile on their faces following a CAFC decision to overturn a permanent injunction that had forbidden Vonage from recruiting new customers while the court considered an appeal ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 25 April 2007 @ 12:00AM
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Germany puts EU member states on the spot over European patent reform

Once again, I am indebted to the IPjur site for revealing a new development in the on-going struggle to reform Europe’s patent system. Germany, as the country that currently holds the EU presidency, has put out a questionnaire to be answered by members of the European Council’s Working Party on Intellectual Property (Patents). Although I cannot find any confirmation of this, I understand that this Working Party is largely made up of representatives from individual member ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 25 April 2007 @ 12:00AM
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Hedge funds, US litigation and more on the Ocean Tomo auction

I have just come across an interesting article on the Forbes.com site, looking at how hedge funds and other investors are increasingly funding patent suits in the US in the hope of getting substantial returns. Among those that are profiled is Altitude Capital Partners, which this blog took a look at a few weeks back. Rather unfairly, I think, the article is headlined “Patent Pirates”, the insinuation being that firms such as Altitude are nothing more than the friends of ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 25 April 2007 @ 12:00AM
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The IP Hall of Fame - the search for 2007's inductees begins

Apart from attending the Ocean Tomo auction, the other reason I was in Chicago last week was to announce the launch of the 2007 nomination process for the IP Hall of Fame. We devised the IP Hall of Fame last year as a not-for-profit project to focus on individuals from business, politics, finance, the law, academia and anywhere else who have played a major role in the creation of today's IP system. There were two basic reasons for doing it. First of all, it seems to me that there ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 24 April 2007 @ 12:00AM
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