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Jessica Chesher

Managing Editor

Innovation eReview

September 2009 Edition

In This Issue:

Welcome Message

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

This month, we happily welcome Vonzell Jones as he accepts the position of Associate Director of the NYS STLC here at Syracuse University College of Law (SUCOL). A graduate of the RPI School of Engineering with a B.S. in Computer Systems Engineering, Vonzell earned his J.D. at Albany Law School. In addition to working at the RPI Office of Technology Commercialization, he worked for two years with NYSTAR on a variety of projects, including research on NYS intellectual property policy, the High Performance Computing Consortium, and regulatory reform. We are fortunate to have him join our team.

Also, we would like to congratulate Professor Ted Hagelin, who has been appointed to the Crandall Melvin Professor of Law Chair at SUCOL. We share in recognizing his valuable service.

This month’s features article, “Patent Portfolio Strategies for Cleantech Companies”, by Brent K. Yamashita and Alan A. Limbach, partners at DLA Piper, offers some practical tips on how to manage your green IP now that cleantech products and technologies are on the rise.

This issue also highlights Jodange, a Yonkers, NY-based startup providing software services for media/intelligence monitoring and online publishing. Along with several other innovations, they have created “Top of Mind”, which is being hailed as “The World’s First Opinion Utility” – it enables users to extract and analyze sentiment and opinions from any online data to aid in their decision-making process.

For September, our Research Spotlight focuses on RIT/NTID’s Center on Access Technology (CAT), a pioneering force in the integration of technology into deaf/hard-of-hearing postsecondary education. Within just three years, the CAT has established itself as a national leader in access technologies research, helping to meet a need critical to the success of future college students who are deaf/hard-of-hearing.

And, finally, we invite you to participate in any or all of these upcoming conferences: Healthy Buildings 2009 (9/13-9/17 at SU); Defense Tech Showcase (9/15 in Liverpool, NY); NanoBiotech 2009 (10/19 in Troy, NY); Life Sciences Summit 2009 (9/23 in Long Island, NY); and part of STLC’s Lab-to-Market Series, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Information Industry (10/23 at NY Law School).

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

Feature Article: Patent Portfolio Strategies for Cleantech Companies

by Brent K. Yamashita and Alan A. Limbach

Reprinted with permission from DLA Piper
Originally published in EnergyCentral.com’s Asset Management Topic Center Newsletter

The stimulus package recently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) includes billions of dollars for energy grants and loan guarantee provisions that are intended to enhance the use of renewable energy as well as energy efficiency. This includes substantial funds for R&D in "cleantech" technologies. This funding, as well as the existing global interest in reducing the use of fossil fuels and increasing energy consumption efficiency, should lead to an explosion of new cleantech products and technologies.

These forces are already creating a "land grab" scenario in the cleantech space, where players are racing to reach the market as quickly as possible. In this environment, it is critical that cleantech companies appreciate the importance of developing a patent portfolio to protect their innovations. While this is generally true for most high-tech startups, it is particularly important in a land grab situation. A similar situation existed in the computer industry in the 1960s and 1970s, where IBM amassed a huge computer patent portfolio, and reaped benefits for years in the form of licensing revenue. If history is any guide, we know that companies with cutting-edge technology and an aggressive patent strategy in a rapidly emerging market will amass an arsenal of valuable patents. More...

Intellectual Property News: Biologic Drugs: The Patent Exclusivity Debate

by Erin Lawless

Should biologic drugs get more than 7 years of patent exclusivity? Well, according to Senior White House officials, 7 years is just enough time to protect brand name biologic drugs from their generic competitors.

On one side, the biologic drug industry is calling for 12-14 years of data exclusivity before generic drug makers can swoop in and provide the drugs to consumers at lower costs. In opposition, Representative Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, recently introduced legislation calling for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve generic versions of biologic drugs after only 5 years. More...

Intellectual Property News: Backgrounder on Obama's Science & Tech Czars

by Erin Lawless

President Obama nominated David Kappos as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), commonly referred to as the ‘Patent and Trademark Czar’. Confirmed this August, Kappos is responsible for an office that provides incentives to help encourage technological advancement, protects business investments, and safeguards against marketplace deception.

Patent lawyers expect Director Kappos to act as a strong voice for patent reform and touch on issues such as the slowness with which the office has been reviewing patent applications. When confirmed, Kappos stated publicly that, “Patent quality equals granting those claims the applicant is entitled to under our laws.” He has made clear that patent quality means more than simply rejecting certain patent applications, seeming to imply a break from the notions of his predecessors. More...

Intellectual Property News: The Courts Beat Congress to Patent Reform (Again)

Reprinted with permission of IP Law360

In a recent district court case, Federal Circuit Judge Randall Rader sent a clear signal that reform on patent damages is coming with or without Congress’ intervention.

Sitting by designation, Judge Rader presided over a patent lawsuit brought by Cornell University against Hewlett-Packard Company in the Northern District of New York.

During the course of this litigation, Judge Rader issued two orders that limit a patent holder’s ability to recover a royalty on the entire value of product when the patent only covers a component found within the product.

For several years, the trend in patent litigation has been for patent holders to assert their patents against the farthest downstream entity that sells a product containing the invention in dispute. More...

Company Spotlight: Jodange

by Eric Berlin

Jodange is a Yonkers, NY-based startup that provides decision makers with analytical tools that extract opinions and sentiments from any online content. After gathering a wide range of up-to-date texts related to a user’s query, Jodange utilizes semantic technologies to perform analysis; more specifically, Jodange distinguishes between opinions and facts; classifies each opinion as negative, neutral or positive; and then evaluates the overall bias of each author. In addition, Jodange identifies which authors have helped to set trends and which currently follow. More...

Industry News: USPTO Starts Collaborating with Finland’s Office on Patent Review

by Eric Berlin

On July 6, 2009, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) began a partnership with its Finnish counterpart, the National Board of Patents and Regulations of Finland (NBPRF), to expedite the patent review process and improve patent quality. This collaboration may look like a step towards a global patent system – and, in fact, many hope that it evolves towards that end – but for now, it’s just part of what is called the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program, a year-long partnership that is likely to be renewed as long as both countries find it beneficial.

The PPH is one of several ways that the USPTO has tried to decrease their backlog of patent applications, which has been growing rapidly over the past 14 years. In fact, the backlog has become so huge that some patent applicants have had to wait 5 years before their review even began. More...

Research Spotlight: RIT/NTID’s Center on Access Technology: Helping Deaf Students Succeed in College

by Kathleen S. Smith

For more than 30,000 deaf students enrolled in colleges across the United States, recent technological innovations have opened new doors in terms of accessibility. These innovations include “mainstream” technologies, such as Internet, instant messaging, cellular phones, text messaging, video phones, as well as hundreds of other innovations with the potential to improve the educational experience of college-age deaf students, often with simple adaptations for use in educational settings.

In 2006, in recognition of this potential, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf – one of eight colleges at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) – created the Center on Access Technology (CAT) for students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

The Center’s mission is to investigate, evaluate, and report on technologies likely to directly improve access to students, particularly classroom access technologies, mobile technologies, audio and sound technologies, and training and evaluation services. More...

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