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Jessica Chesher

Managing Editor

Innovation eReview

February 2009 Edition

In This Issue:

Welcome Message

Welcome to the February 2009 edition of the Innovation e-Review newsletter.

This edition’s feature article, by Edward E. Vassallo and Swatee Jasoria of Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto, lays out some strategies for carefully drafting license provisions to better protect your IP assets and generate revenue.

In addition, this issue’s IP articles include a synopsis of the American Bar Association’s recommendations to the Obama administration, a description of cases that may shape IP litigation in 2009, and a brief examination of the important role that net neutrality and green technology will play for startups this year. Also, this month’s Industry News story details the panoply of opinions surrounding the modernization of the electrical transmission lines that lead to the nation’s most populous metropolis – New York, NY.

This edition also highlights CST Growth, LLC, an early revenue-stage biotech company commercializing the agricultural uses of “PPFM” bacteria. These are commensal bacteria that are present on the leaves and roots of virtually all plants, a bacteria that secretes nitrogen and two plant hormones that are essential for plants.  These three substances greatly increase the biomass and yields of crops, while protecting crops against stessors.

And finally, on January 28, the New Technology Law Center (“SUNTEC”) at Syracuse University College of Law officially launched three new Technology Commercialization Clinics (“TCCs”) at Stony Brook, RIT, and Niagara University. While we celebrated these new TCCs, Eben Bayer, CEO of Ecovative Design, and Rick Richmond, CEO of SiMPore, joined us to discuss the positive experiences they’ve had with the Technology Commercialization Law Program. We invite you to hear their thoughts by viewing our video of this event.

As always, we welcome your thoughts and comments. Please feel free to contact us at nysstlc@law.syr.edu. Thank you.

Feature Article: Litigation Planning for Licensors

by Edward E. Vassallo and Swatee Jasoria

Reprinted with permission from Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto

Companies seeking to monetize their intellectual property assets often turn to licensing. A licensing agreement can be beneficial to both parties – it allows the licensor to collect royalties and the licensee to reap the benefits of someone else’s intellectual property. This relationship, however, can become adversarial when a licensee attempts to circumvent the terms of the licensed intellectual property agreement.

The license agreement becomes a critical document that governs the relationship between two parties who often have vast sums of money at stake. The task of drafting and negotiating an intellectual property license agreement has never been simple. The objective is to reach a written document acceptable to all which adequately expresses the intent of the parties, is clear as to that intent and is enforceable under US law, including the antitrust laws.  More...

Intellectual Property News: Reform Priorities for 2009

by Erin Lawless

Just before President Obama's inauguration, the IP Section of the American Bar Association ("ABA") sent a report to his transition team indicating their priorities for reform in intellectual property law.

Among other things, the report recommended the expansion of the public’s right to submit prior art in pending patent applications. The ABA insinuated that submitters currently tend to avoid including prior art in submissions to the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") due to a fear that the examiner will not appreciate the prior art’s significance.  More...

Intellectual Property News: IP Legislation in 2009

by Erin Lawless

Will there be any significant IP legislation in 2009? Some lawyers doubt it.  Because efforts to pass a patent reform bill have fizzled out in so many past Congresses, it’s hard for some lawyers to imagine that this year will be any different.

In 2007, The Patent Reform Act passed in the U.S. House of Representatives; however, the companion bill in the Senate never really got off the ground and was halted in 2008.

For those longing for change, though, this isn’t all bad news. Court developments, over the last few years, have changed the needs for reform in several major areas, including venue reform and the standard for proving willfulness in infringement cases.  More...

Intellectual Property News: Tech Legislation for Startups in 2009

by Erin Lawless

Technology Legislation is expected to advance in 2009. Issues to watch include net neutrality and green technology.

After the FCC upheld a complaint brought by subscribers who accused Comcast of interfering with online access to file-sharing applications, FCC Commissioner Kevin Martin commented that whenever net neutrality does get a full airing by the government, “it's going to be a complicated and contentious proceeding.”  More...

Company Spotlight: CST Growth

by Melissa Dobson

CST Growth is an early revenue-stage biotech company commercializing the agricultural uses of “PPFM” bacteria. These are commensal bacteria, present on the leaves and roots of virtually all plants. They secrete two plant hormones that are essential for plants and also secrete nitrogen. These 3 substances greatly increase the biomass and yields of crops, while protecting crops against stressors (drought, heat, insects, and microbial pathogens). Examples: 75% increase in yield of soybeans; 4-fold increase in biomass of rice plants (from which cellulosic ethanol can be extracted); 38% increase in yield of sugarcane; complete protection of corn plants from corn rootworms that damaged the control plants; and complete protection of rice plants from an otherwise-lethal fungus called Rhizoctonia solani (the cause of “sheath blight”).  More...

Industry News: Perspectives on Power Line Renovation

by Eric Berlin

This week, as the much-debated economic stimulus bill was signed into law, taxpayers throughout the country were wondering what impact this bill’s price would have on their lives.  $11B of the $787B package is aimed at funding the initial steps of modernizing the nation’s power grid, but exactly where these changes will be made is still up in the air.  More...