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Jessica Chesher

Managing Editor

Innovation eReview

June 2009 Edition

In This Issue:

Welcome Message

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

This month’s features article, “The Bayh-Dole Act: The Technology Revolution Shows its Age”, by Jeffrey A. Baumel, partner at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP, describes the origins of this pivotal act, assesses the benefits and burdens that it has created, and shares some thoughts about its future.

The June edition also highlights iZoca, a new social networking website, based in New York’s Tech Valley Region, that helps minimize the complexities of scheduling. By combining social networks with organizational tools, iZoca offers a new and simple way for individuals, groups and organizations to manage projects, plan activities, and stay connected between meetings.

In addition, this month’s Research Spotlight should be of interest to NYS businesses and academics, as we highlight a service that’s available at little or no cost to all NYS institutions – NYSTAR’s High Performance Computing Allocation Program and NYS High Performance Computing Consortium (HPC2) – a multifaceted program that ties the use of high-performance computing time with programming assistance in order to help non-computational researchers make the most of New York’s world-class computational assets.

Lastly, although our Webcast Series has come to a close for the semester, we have posted video recordings online for you to view at your convenience. Over the summer, we will be working on the content for the fall series, so if you have ideas about what you’d like to hear, let us know! And looking ahead, please note that we will be holding another conference, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Information Industry, on October 23, 2009 at New York Law School in NYC.

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


Feature Article: The Bayh-Dole Act: The Technology Revolution Shows Its Age

by Jeffrey A. Baumel

Reprinted with permission from Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP
First published in the Winter 2009 edition of Venture Capital Review

During the waning days of the Carter Administration, following the Ronald Reagan landslide in November of 1980, President Carter signed into law the “Government  Patent Policy Act of 1980,” cosponsored by Senators Birch Bayh and Robert Dole, which became known as the “Bayh-Dole Act.” The Act allows universities and research institutions to patent and retain title to inventions developed using government funds and to license such intellectual property rights to private industry and profit from the commercialization of these inventions.

The Bayh-Dole Act changed the landscape of the technology and venture capital industry. It has been largely credited with the creation of the modern biotechnology industry. The implementation and eventual evolution of the Bayh-Dole Act, however, is not without controversy, and with increasing calls for patent reform and pharmaceutical product cost control, the Act and the role of the universities and the government in the development of new technology has come under increasing scrutiny. More...


Intellectual Property News: Sotomayor's IP Law Background

by Erin Lawless

The nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court may result in the seating of a Supreme Court Justice with an unusual amount of experience in the area of Intellectual Property. The following is an overview of her work in the area of IP.

Sotomayor Defends Fendi:
As a corporate litigator at Pavia & Harcourt LLP, a major Manhattan law firm, Judge Sotomayor specialized in intellectual property law. More specifically, she worked on tracking down Fendi counterfeiters and suing importers of counterfeit products.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal about Judge Sotomayor’s time with his firm, firm founder George Pavia said that Judge Sotomayor enjoyed tagging along with the police once suspect counterfeit goods had been traced to a particular warehouse or store. In fact, Pavia told WSJ, Judge Sotomayor went into busts wearing a Kevlar vest to seize counterfeit goods. On one seizure in Chinatown, he added, where the counterfeiters ran away, Judge Sotomayor got on a motorcycle and gave chase. More...


Intellectual Property News: Patents for Human Genes

by Erin Lawless

On May 13, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Public Patent Foundation filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against Myriad Genetics, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), and the directors of the University of Utah Research Foundation to challenge the practice of granting patents on human genes. This suit is the first to challenge the patentability of human genes in the United States. More...


Intellectual Property News: Bilski Goes to the Supreme Court

by Erin Lawless

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide In re Bilski, eventually. The long-debated, often confusing case that has already impacted potential software, biotech, and business method patents was appealed to the Supreme Court because the “machine or transformation” test purportedly conflicts with the broad language of the patent statutes and possibly with congressional intent. On June 1, 2009 the Supreme Court granted certiorari to consider the case. The Court has not considered a similar question since 1981. More...


Company Spotlight: iZoca

by Eric Berlin

Based in New York’s Tech Valley Region, iZoca is a new social networking website that helps minimize the complexities of scheduling. Often described as Outlook meets Web 2.0, iZoca combines social networks with organizational tools, offering a new and simple way for individuals, groups and organizations to manage projects, plan activities, and stay connected as a forum. In this way, iZoca enables real-world groups to communicate and interact efficiently, even during the times between meetings.

More mainstream social networks, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, connect individual users to a crowd. In contrast, iZoca's group networking platform organizes that crowd into distinct groups and provides users with features to keep them connected with those groups at all times. More...


Research Spotlight: NYSTAR HPC Allocation Program and the NYS High Performance Computing Consortium

by Eric Berlin

The New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) established a $3 million grant to create a program promoting supercomputer access and providing assistance for NYS researchers and product developers. This grant was awarded to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) to create the High Performance Computing Consortium (HPC2) to tie together the computational expertise from around the state and thereby tackle our greatest research and industrial challenges. In addition to RPI, the HPC2 includes the University at Buffalo, Stony Brook University and the New York State Education and Research Network (NYSERNet). The grant award is based on the belief that the creative talents of the State’s leading researchers will be enhanced by the opportunity to work with some of the best computational tools in the world. More...


Industry News: Syracuse University's New Data Center to Halve Energy Use

by Eric Berlin

In these dire environmental and economic times, the demand for green energy-efficient technology is on the rise. Each year, a significant portion of the nation’s energy is consumed by data centers, most of which run almost constantly. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in 2006, U.S. data centers consumed about 1.5% of the nation’s energy. And much of that energy is wasted.

On Syracuse University’s South Campus, a solution to this problem is already being built. IBM, as part of its Smarter Planet initiative, has donated $5 million of equipment and services towards the creation of one of the world’s greenest data centers. More...


Industry News: International Collaboration on Clean Tech Raises IP Protection Concerns

by Eric Berlin

Back in February, when Chinese delegates arrived in Seattle for the U.S.-China Clean Energy Forum, both countries, as the world’s two biggest polluters, shared a common goal—to identify concrete ways in which they could address the threat of global warming.

One of the obstacles that kept getting arising, though, was the question of how to handle intellectual property for clean-tech innovations. Since each country has its own laws and regulations, the rules governing their collaboration needed negotiating and explicit spelling out. And with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) coming up this December in Copenhagen, many developing countries, such as China, India and Brazil, worry that whatever new standards replace the Kyoto Protocol at that time may require them to limit their carbon emissions more strictly than they can afford to do. More...


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