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Page 1 of 3 Archive - April 2009

Microsoft invites TomTom to reveal settlement terms after OIN chief's claims

Microsoft has denied that its recent dust-up with TomTom over nine patents relating to car navigation technology ended when the Dutch company agreed a financial settlement of less than $500,000. The claim was made by Keith Bergelt, CEO of the Open Invention Network during a presentation he was giving at the European Patent Forum in Prague. At the time the settlement was announced, the amount involved was kept confidential. However, in response to ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 29 April 2009 @ 3:45PM
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Patent change in Europe is unlikely if business leaders remain silent

If you were looking for something to encapsulate European political leaders' attitudes towards patents, Prague was the perfect place to be yesterday. At the opening ceremony of the European Patent Forum and again immediately afterwards at a press conference, the Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek stressed how vital it is that the EU do all it can to foster innovation. As part of this process, he said, the establishment of a European patent court and a Community patent are absolutely ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 29 April 2009 @ 8:44AM
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EPO relies on prudence to see itself through uncertain times

Speaking today at the European Patent Forum in Prague, EPO President Alison Brimelow stated that to descibe current application trends at the office as "bumpy" would be to use traditional British understatement. Without providing concrete figures, Brimelow stated that the fluctuations the EPO had seen in 2008 were getting stronger in 2009, with periods of decline interspersed with others where activity is much stronger. Patent applications had held up ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 28 April 2009 @ 10:58AM
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Greentech should learn pharma's lessons or we will all end up worse off

Green technology is now being targeted by a number of groups with an anti-patent agenda. As this blog made clear a while back, this was always going to be the case. The message is superficially a very powerful one - access to greentech is being stifled by proprietary rights that cost too much for developing countries to acquire - and it suits the agendas of many national governments that would prefer to spend money on other things such as, for example, tanks, guns ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 27 April 2009 @ 10:28AM
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DuPont: perhaps not as Green as its Eco-Patent Commons membership implies

I was somewhat baffled when calling multinational company DuPont this afternoon. Trying in vain to speak to a member of its IP group about speaking at the upcoming IP Business Congress on green IP issues, I was informed by a very friendly and profusely apologetic receptionist that any correspondence concerning conferences must be submitted to the office via fax. Yes, you read correctly - fax. You can imagine my bemusement: not only was the company suggesting that I use a somewhat ...

Posted by Sara-Jayne Clover, IAM Magazine on 24 April 2009 @ 5:17PM
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So, what happens when the US decides it no longer wishes to subsidise the world?

The importance of the US market to proprietary pharmaceutial companies was emphasised this week by the news that GlaxoSmithKline has announced a dive in profits. Despite strong sales growth in both Europe and Asia, GSK saw a 13% decline fall in its profitability during the first quarter of this year. The slump is being attributed to the loss of patent protection covering five products and the resulting increase in generic competition.  In simple terms, what the ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 24 April 2009 @ 2:53PM
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Reader responses, part 2 - the myth of intangible valuation myths

One subject area that always seems to generate a large number of reader comments is valuation. Witness, for example, the fantastic thread tha developed following a post I wrote back in January entitled Intangible values collapse - the old 70% to 80% claim is now officially dead and buried. Among those taking part in that conversation - indeed the man who indirectly inspired it - was Nir Kossovsky, executive secretary of the Intangible Asset Finance Society and CEO of Steel ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 23 April 2009 @ 9:45AM
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Reader responses, part 1 - US patent reform and the declining influence of interest groups

This blog has a high-quality readership, if I say so myself. All you have to do to see that I am right is to take a look at some of the comments people take the time to craft and then post in response to stories that I have run. I worry that because they may relate to pieces that were written a while back, not enough people get to see them. With this in mind, there are a couple of recent comments from readers that I am going to highlight today. The ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 23 April 2009 @ 9:14AM
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Europe missing out on patent licensing lucre

The 271 blog reports on a new OECD study of licensing activity in Europe and Japan. The main points the work identifies are: • About 20% of European companies and 27% of Japanese companies holding patents license out at least one of their patents to an unaffiliated partner. • The relationship between size and probability to license out among patent holding companies is U-shaped: the smallest ones and the largest ones are more often involved in licensing out than ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 21 April 2009 @ 4:37PM
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Oracle reaches for the Sun and does the deal IBM would not do

Well, there's a surprise. Sun Microsystems is to be acquired after all. But not by IBM. Instead, Oracle is the buyer. The agreed price is $9.50 a share - representing something like $7.4 billion in total. This is what Big Blue was due to pay before it pulled out of the deal after conducting substantial due diligence - much of it IP-related. Has Sun called IBM's bluff here? Or is Oracle prepared to take more of a risk? Maybe it just feels it needs Sun more than IBM ever did. What we ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 20 April 2009 @ 6:43PM
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