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Jessica Chesher

Managing Editor


Innovation eReview

February 2010 Edition


In This Issue:



Welcome Message


Welcome to the February 2010 edition of the Innovation e-Review.

This month’s feature article offers an appraisal of the antitrust issues that executives should consider when sizing up the total costs and benefits of restructuring plans. “Antitrust: In Hard Times, Companies Look to Joint Ventures” combines the insights of Robert A. Lipstein, Wm. Randolph Smith and Shawn R. Johnson of Crowell & Moring.

February’s edition also highlights Mezmeriz, an Ithaca, NY-based company that has developed a matchbook-sized device capable of projecting high-definition images. Brad Treat, CEO of Mezmeriz, gave a presentation at the Case Study Conference back in November 2008. Plans are currently underway for another conference this spring, and further details on that will be available next month.

Our Research Spotlight illuminates the work of Wireless Grids Corporation, a Geneva, NY-based company targeting the public’s need for a faster method of sharing information across a wide spectrum of devices. WGC offers its partners in the services sector a way to seamlessly combine subscribers’ phones, cameras, video, photos and documents.

And finally, the NYS STLC will be sponsoring a symposium entitled “Law Chasing Technology: The Perpetual Pursuit” on February 20th at the Genesee Grande Hotel in Syracuse. The event, organized by the Communications Law & Policy Society (CLPS) at Syracuse University College of Law, will explore such topics as “Understanding Your Electronic Footprint: Identification Management in New Media”, “Technology Reporting & Policy” and “The National Broadband Plan”.

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

Feature Article: Antitrust: In Hard Times, Companies Look to Joint Ventures

by Robert A. Lipstein, Wm. Randolph Smith and Shawn R. Johnson

Reprinted with permission from the November 2, 2009 edition of The National Law Journal (www.nlj.com) 2010 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. For information, contact 877-257-3382, reprints@alm.com or visit www.almreprints.com.

The U.S. Federal Reserve reports that manufacturing output and capacity utilization this past summer were at their lowest levels in more than 60 years. These unprecedented economic pressures have forced executives to examine every available option to restore profitability, at a time when raising prices is an unlikely path forward. In response, strategic deal-making has increased, with greater focus on joint ventures—rather than complete takeovers—as a solution to the current economic conditions. Joint ventures (JVs), or competitor collaborations, can cover a range of activities, from research and development (R&D) at one end to all-in JVs at the other. These different forms of collaboration and consolidation pose a range of antitrust issues that need to be fully understood to assess the total costs and benefits of any planned restructuring. More…
 
 

Intellectual Property News: PTO Implements New Patent Term Extension

by Erin Lawless

According to a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the method by which the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has been calculating patent term adjustments was in error in its underestimation of the statutory requirements. Recently, the PTO announced that the ruling would not be challenged. More...
 
 

Intellectual Property News: BPLA's Amicus Brief Supports Gene Patents

by Erin Lawless

On January 13, the Boston Patent Law Association (BPLA), a nonprofit organization, filed an amicus brief in support of Myriad Genetics Inc. and the PTO in a suit where the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and co-plaintiffs are attempting to invalidate Myriad’s patents on human genes. Specifically, Myriad Genetics holds patents on particular genes that, when found in mutated form, indicate a patient’s increased likelihood of developing hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. More...
 
 

Company Spotlight: Mezmeriz

by Amy Kim

Mezmeriz is a projection display technology company based in Ithaca, NY that has developed a matchbook-sized device capable of projecting high-definition images either by itself, or from the devices within which it has been embedded, such as portable MP3 players, cell phones or even televisions. The technology is made possible by the use of microelectromechanical systems (“MEMS”) and Mezmeriz’s own patented method of weaving microscopic carbon fibers in place of the silicon-based material that is typically used in the creation of these microchips. More...
 
 

Industry News: Grants.gov Realizes Record Submissions

by John Amandolare

Recovery Act grant funding is being credited for helping to achieve a 60% submission increase for grant applications in 2009 at Grants.gov, the central repository maintained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for grant programs across 26 federal agencies. Since its founding in 2003, Grants.gov has aimed to help grant applicants across all of the agencies engage in a simplified system that eliminates redundancy. More...
 
 

Industry News: WTO Rules Against China’s Appeal

by Amy Kim


On December 21, the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva announced its ruling that China’s import restrictions on films, books and music from the United States violated the free-trade agreements that China had made upon joining the WTO. China originally brought the appeal last August, after the WTO Panel had held that China could not force foreign importers to divert their media products through state-run companies. China allows only 20 foreign films to be released to theaters each year, and selling music via the Internet is illegal as well, which limits music download companies like Apple’s iTunes from obtaining full access to the Chinese market. More...
 
 

Industry News: Torrent Liable for Inducing Copyright Infringement

by Erin Lawless

The operators of the popular Internet file-sharing site, Torrent, were held liable for inducing copyright infringement in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California last December. Plaintiffs against Torrent include Columbia Pictures Industries Inc., Disney Enterprises Inc., Paramount Pictures Corp., Tristar Pictures Inc., Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., Universal City Studios LLLP, Universal City Studios Productions LLLP, and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. The court held that Torrent’s features were designed to purposefully lead users to “obviously” copyrighted works and encourage misuse. More...

 
 

Research Spotlight: Wireless Grids Corporation Drives Industry Standard

by John Amandolare

Since the company’s founding in 2004, Wireless Grids Corporation (WGC) has been driving a new industry standard in software applications with its mission being to simplify our ever-increasing digital lives. As digital technologies enter more and more into our daily reality – through high-definition TVs and set-top boxes, smart and smarter mobile phones, wireless-enabled laptops and networked desktops, as well as digital cameras, printers, sound systems and, soon, RFID tags – the task of connecting and managing this digitally hyper-enabled environment is set to become the nightmare of the twenty-first century. The research and collaborative effort that eventually developed into Wireless Grids first took its first steps in the 1990s and proceeded with the help of a National Science Foundation (NSF) funding grant in 2002. A follow-on grant from the NSF was awarded again this year to promote the continuation of developing an industry standard for the wireless grids technology concept. More...
 
 

Grants and Funding Opportunities


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