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Page 1 of 3 Archive - April 2008

European patents get much cheaper in just two days' time

For those that do not know, or have forgotten, the London Agreement on Translations comes into force on Thursday, 1st May. This brings the prospect of securing patent protection in many of Europe’s key markets at much lower cost than has been the case up to now. Following is a press release I received today from the patent and trademark attorney firm Marks & Clerk. It outlines what the Agreement's coming into force will mean: On 1 May 2008, a major ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 29 April 2008 @ 12:00AM
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Opportunity is knocking for the intermediaries

As a follow-on to the report we ran on Friday about Keith Bergelt leaving Paradox Capital to head up the Open Innovation Network, I asked Ed Meintzer – who has taken over the reins from Bergelt at Paradox – to explain why IP remains popular among investors at a time when, in general, things are looking pretty difficult in the financial markets. This is what Ed came back with: Based on long experience and well-ingrained investment principles, investors will continue ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 28 April 2008 @ 12:00AM
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Is it time for the US to rethink Special 301?

The Office of the United States Trade Representative has issued its annual Special 301 Report, which identifies those countries that do not adequately protect the interests of American IP owners. Although it has attracted widespread criticism over the years, there is little doubt that the Special 301 regime and the threat of trade sanctions it carries have concentrated quite a few minds. Without Special 301 it is difficult to believe that many of the advances in the creation of ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 27 April 2008 @ 12:00AM
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Bergelt takes on new role at OIN but Paradox Capital keeps on trucking

Keith Bergelt, who made his name first with Motorola and subsequently as a pioneer in the world of IP finance at IP Innovations and then at Paradox Capital, has become the CEO of the Open Innovation Network (OIN). This is the company founded by IBM, Novell, Red Hat, Philips and Sony, that acquires intellectual property rights and then licenses them out royalty free to organisations that agree not to assert their own patents against either Linux or Linux-based applications.

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 25 April 2008 @ 12:00AM
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Community patent breakthrough, but still a long way to go

The Financial Times is reporting today to subscribers only that there has been a major breakthrough in the creation of a Community patent in Europe – a single patent prosecuted at, and granted by, the EPO that would be valid in all EU member states. Up to now, language issues have been one of the major stumbling blocks to negotiations.Many countries have been adamant that full translations of granted Community patents should be available in all official EU languages (or at ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 24 April 2008 @ 12:00AM
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Getting to the heart of the patent quality debate

Is there any more controversial subject in IP at the moment than patent quality? I doubt it. Many people claim that patent quality is on the decline. This leads, they say, to the grant of more dubious patents than ever before, so putting the future of innovation at risk in many technological areas. Poor quality patents, we are told, make companies afraid to invest in R&D, have a direct impact on competition, harm consumers and society in general, and put innovative operations ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 22 April 2008 @ 12:00AM
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Litigation is up in China, but it is not yet making lawyers rich

Last week The Economist ran a brief story looking at the rise in the amount of IP litigation there has been in China over recent years. With patent and trademark applications and grants growing at an extraordinary rate, so the number of IP disputes has also increased. One of the major beneficiaries of all of this has been the legal profession, the article states. Some IP lawyers “reportedly earn more than $5m a year”. While the theme of the article is no doubt correct, ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 21 April 2008 @ 12:00AM
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Futher indications that there will be no Patent Reform Act in the US

This morning I found the following brief note in my in-box from someone who is close to the patent reform debate in the US Congress. From the sound of it, the legislation really is now dead and we should all be referring to the ex-patent reform debate: Looks like this might really be dead. Indicators are: 1) John Whelan [a senior USPTO employee] is moving from Leahy’s office back to the PTO after a year working on Patent Reform; and 2) Susan Davies, Leahy’s Chief of ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 19 April 2008 @ 12:00AM
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Judge shocked by Allen & Overy charges in UK patent case

UK magic circle firm Allen & Overy has been heavily criticised by a High Court judge in London after claiming £5.2 million ($10 million) in costs relating to a dispute that was at trial for five days. A&O, which was representing RIM in a patent case against Visto, allocated one partner – Nicola Dagg – to the case, as well as three senior associates, three associates and a team of trainees and paralegals. Dagg billed 1,387 hours and two of the three senior ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 18 April 2008 @ 12:00AM
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Big Blue CFO confirms company's IP-focused acquisitions strategy

Some interesting comments yesterday from Mark Loughridge, the CFO of IBM. Speaking after the company announced its first quarter results, Loughridge stated that intellectual property concerns were guiding its acquisitions strategy: “We're not buying resources or snap-on divisions … but intellectual property that we can rapidly scale for our rapidly growing set of geographies.” And, surprise, surprise, the IP that IBM is most interested in is software-related.

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 17 April 2008 @ 12:00AM
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