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Jessica Chesher

Managing Editor

Innovation eReview

March 2009 Edition

In This Issue:

Welcome Message

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

This edition’s feature article, by Lawrence R. Robins, a partner at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP, delineates the difficulties of branding an environmentally friendly product and shares some strategies that will help protect your trademark and make registration easier.

This edition also highlights Endomedix, Inc., a Stony Brook, NY-based company whose core technology is a biocompatible, biodegradable, environmentally responsive hydrogel with a number of biomedical applications.

This month, the NYS STLC successfully launched the first in a series of webcasts.  Rich Newman gave a presentation on Hurdles in Managing University R&D Projects, and we invite you to view his materials online.  We also look forward to April 30, when George McGuire will present on New Developments in Patent Law, and May 12, when Lisa Dolak will present on Establishing First-to-Invent & Electronic Lab Notebooks.  Click here for registration information.

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


Feature Article: It Ain't Easy Being Green

by Lawrence R. Robins

Reprinted with permission from Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP

Your company plans to introduce an exciting new product and market it as the environmentally friendly alternative to the current market leader. Marketing wants to brand the product with an "Eco-Conscious Term", such as "green" or "eco”, but the legal department objects vehemently.

To Marketing, those words send the message that the new product is good for the environment. What is legal's problem? Why can't the lawyers see the great value in this front-of-the-curve branding?

A short history lesson provides the answer. During the Internet boom at the turn of the millennium, companies flooded the marketplace and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) with brands using terms such as "e”, “i”, ".com”, and "net”, very often combined with generic terms, such as "travel”, "business”, etc. More...


Intellectual Property News: Federal Circuit to Get a Makeover

by Melissa Dobson

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is expecting an overhaul in the next few years as 8 of the 12 judges sitting on the bench will become eligible for retirement or senior status. While the Federal Circuit rules on government contracts, veterans’ benefits, and other matters, it is also well known for its decisions regarding patent law. With an increase in patent filings and patent litigation, patent law prevails as one of the most important government policies related to innovation and economic growth. More...


Intellectual Property News: Congress Reviews Patent Examiner Goals

by Erin Lawless

The appropriations bill will provide the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) with $2.01 billion, but not without a catch – the money must be obtained by PTO pass-through fees.

In part, the appropriations bill states that as much as $5 million will be held back from the PTO until the PTO agrees to complete “a comprehensive review of the assumptions behind the patent examiner expectancy goals . . . and adopt a revised set of expectancy goals for patent examination.”  More...


Company Spotlight: Endomedix, Inc.

by Melissa Dobson

Endomedix, Inc. is an early-stage medical device company. The company’s primary focus is the development, patenting and marketing of medical devices using a platform of proprietary technologies to facilitate the improvement of surgical outcomes, simplification of surgical techniques, and reduction of costs for health care providers, while providing superior returns on investment to its shareholders. Endomedix focuses on hydrogel technology within the medical device market for tissue sealant, hemostat and biomedical adhesives. The hydrogel technology is biocompatible and biodegradable with a number of surgical applications, including vascular, spine, and ophthalmologic surgeries, to name a few, as well as non-surgical wound care.  More...


Industry News: Stem Cell Research: Science Prevails Over Politics

by Melissa Dobson

In early March, President Obama abolished contentious restraints on stem cell research. His encouragement of scientific research has changed U.S. science policy to ensure that scientific data is never distorted or concealed for political purposes.

Although opponents of stem cell research saw it differently, as impacting morality, the actions by the President will allow federally funded researchers to expand their current use of 21 stem cell lines (created before 2001) to the use of hundreds of new embryonic stem cell lines for potentially creating better treatments, and possibly cures, for conditions ranging from diabetes and Parkinson’s disease to paralysis. More...


Industry News: Does the Stimulus Plan Impact Your Research?

by Melissa Dobson

In February, the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”) released general guidelines regarding its spending of the $10.4 billion received as part of the economic stimulus plan that was signed into law by President Obama. The NIH disbursements will go primarily to 2-year projects that fall within the following categories: More...


Industry News: IP Law is Stable in Economic Downturn

by Erin Lawless

Although the economic decline has set in motion a trend of lay-offs, consolidations, and closures at law firms, not all law firms are feeling the crunch equally.

In fact, according to the National Law Journal (NLJ), in 2008, about 71 percent of law firms increased the amount they charged clients. The same survey found that the top 250 firms increased billing rates for partners and associates while salaries of associates have remained the same since 2007. Similarly, bonuses during this period were rolled back by almost half of what associates earned in bonuses in 2007.  More...


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