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Jessica Chesher

Managing Editor

Innovation eReview

October 2009 Edition

In This Issue:

Welcome Message

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

We hope to see you at our Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Information Industry conference, the latest in NYS STLC’s Lab-to-Market Series (10/23 at NY Law School). Focusing on startups in the information industry, a solid roster of speakers will discuss technology commercialization issues, such as the current state of R&D in the information area, the information needs of tomorrow, and the challenges involved in launching and financing startups. Also, please check out NanoBiotech 2009 (10/19 in Troy, NY) and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s SURE 2009 (11/5 in Syracuse, NY).

This month’s feature, “The Why, When and What of IP Due Diligence Investigations”, by John W. Boger Esq., associate at Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti P.C., explains the uses of various types of due diligence investigations and spells out the benefits of investigating before you invest.

The October issue also highlights Sonostics, a Vestal, NY-based startup commercializing vibromyography devices that measure muscle imbalance and force. Their initial application helps to heal and prevent knee injuries, but their products also offer a metric for therapeutic progress.

Finally, this issue spotlights the research of the Center for Advanced Information Management (CAIM), whose Deputy Director, Dr. Tomaselli, will speak at our Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Information Industry conference. CAIM specializes in bringing cutting-edge information science to industry for product development and enhancement and has a breadth of experience in developing information technologies at the interface between biomedical and communications sciences.

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

Feature Article: The Why, When and What of IP Due Diligence Investigations

by John W. Boger, Esq.

Reprinted with permission of Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti P.C.

Whether you are buying a company with cutting edge products, investing in exciting technology or licensing a single patent, the most important thing you need to do before you sign the check (the “when”) is to diligently investigate the seller’s products or the target intellectual property (IP) and ensure that the amount of the check actually equals the value (the “why”). The depth and breadth of an IP due diligence investigation will vary greatly depending on the type of business deal being contemplated (the “what”), the estimated value of the transaction, the budget allocated to perform the investigation, and the amount of time remaining before the proposed deal’s closing date. It is important to remember that not every deal or transaction is the same and, thus, not every due diligence investigation will be the same. For example, it may be important to review patents only in the U.S. and Europe for one type of deal, but for another type of deal patents and trademarks worldwide must be searched. Before any work is started, the intellectual property professional must review with the buyer or licensee all of the transaction factors to ensure that a properly defined scope of investigation will be performed in the required time frame and at the agreed upon price. More...

Intellectual Property News: PTO Director Kappos Sets Patent Process Goals

by Erin Lawless

In two speeches delivered within the last month, the New Director of the Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), David Kappos, announced that there would be “lots of changes to lots of processes.”  At the Intellectual Property Owners Association annual meeting on September 14, Kappos commented on many aspects of the patent process that need improvement – backlogs, patent pendency, greener jobs, agency transparency, and patent reform in Congress.

He described an aggressive strategy for lowering backlog and patent pendency that would decrease the backlog from approximately 1.2 million to 300,000 cases as well as reduce first action pendency to 10 months and the pendency of appeals to 3 months. Overall pendency, Kappos claims, will be reduced to 20 months down from 27, even for high-tech patents, for which the wait is currently double that of low-tech patents. Kappos commented that he will not tolerate discrimination among technologies, a note that seems to address the current discrepancy in pendency time between high- and low-tech patent applications. More...

Intellectual Property News: Copyright, Energy and Tech Czars Get Situated

by Erin Lawless

President Obama announced on Friday the appointment of Victoria A. Espinel to the position of Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, commonly referred to as the ‘Copyright Czar’. Espinel will oversee the enforcement of national intellectual property laws as well as protecting U.S. intellectual property rights abroad. Espinel’s position requires Senate confirmation, which is still in progress.

More specifically, the Copyright Czar will oversee government anti-piracy crackdowns, train other countries about IP enforcement, look out for countries that pose threats to U.S. intellectual property, and attempt to work with those governments to take action against any such perpetrators. There is also talk of an FBI piracy unit that would have the authority to demand the forfeiture of equipment used in large pirating operations, as this is what is called for by the PRO-IP Act. More...

Company Spotlight: Sonostics

by Eric Berlin

Sonostics is a startup company based in Vestal, NY working on vibromyography (VMG) devices that measure muscle force and muscle imbalance. VMG is a bioengineering technology that Sonostics is about to make commercially viable. Using VMG, Sonostics will manufacture and market devices for the non-invasive assessment of muscle performance and strength balance. With Sonostics’ products, such as AccuForce 1000, there is no need for special skin preparation; there are no electrodes, no disposable parts, and no worries about artifacts such as sweat corrupting the signal. This really sets the technology apart from electromyography (EMG).

As a person exercises, Sonostics’ patent-pending technology records muscle vibrations and converts that information into absolute force by means of wavelet packet analysis. The process involves three main components: first, multiple MEMS accelerometers are used as muscle vibration surface sensors; then, data processing hardware monitors the signal data; and finally, proprietary software captures muscle force data in real time and provides users with biofeedback, which can be compared to prior activity and is actionable in rehabilitation regimens or sports training programs. More...

Industry News: Google Books: Privacy Concerns Addressed in Amici Briefs

by Erin Lawless

To address privacy concerns with the proposed Google Books settlement, on September 4, Consumer Watchdog and the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) filed separate amici briefs. This new feature currently offered by Google in beta form is called Google Books, and it enables users to search through the text of many books that have been scanned into a user-friendly online database. Books that are in the public domain would be available in their entirety; others would be available only in excerpt form. In response to concerns that have been raised about copyright infringement, Google has claimed that this sort of service would actually boost sales by helping users to find the book that best meets their needs. Back in the fall of 2005, however, Google was sued in a class action for massive copyright infringement (Authors Guild v. Google Inc.). More...

Research Spotlight: Center for Advanced Information Management

by Eric Berlin

In 1983, just a few years after the Bayh-Dole Act gave universities nationwide a financial incentive for research, the New York State Office of Science Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR) started the Centers for Advanced Technology (CAT) Program to further promote the marketization of technology at the state level. Recently, Governor Paterson reaffirmed the State’s commitment to this goal by saying “we have to remember . . . that in terms of establishing an innovative economy, there is going to have to be a relationship between the innovations in New York and job creation in New York.” Well, the Center for Advanced Information Management (CAIM) at Columbia has created those relationships again and again. In fact, George Hripcsak, CAIM’s current Director, stated in a recent newsletter that during 2007-08, “CAIM reported to NYSTAR a total economic impact of $33.5 million or a return on investment to the state of 33:1. At the same time, we generated $2.6 million in matching funds from these companies."  More...

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