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Jessica Chesher

Managing Editor

Innovation eReview
Legislative & Government News

Bush Taps Hopkins Physicist to Lead NASA - Prior to taking over the space department at Johns Hopkins, Michael Griffin was president and chief operating officer of In-Q-Tel, a CIA-bankrolled venture-capital organization. Earlier in his career, Griffin worked at NASA as chief engineer and as deputy for technology at the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization. (TechNewsWorld, 3/13/05)

FTC Testifies on Data Security and Identity Theft - The Federal Trade Commission testified today before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs about the reach of existing federal laws that require certain information providers to safeguard sensitive information and to ensure that the information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. The Senate Banking Committee is examining recent developments involving the security of sensitive consumer information. (FTC, 3/10/05)

Attorney General Renews Commitment to IP Task Force - Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales today announced the continuation of the Justice Department’s Task Force on Intellectual Property and renewed the Department’s commitment to aggressively enforce intellectual property laws. The Attorney General also named Kyle Sampson, Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor to the Attorney General, as the new Chairman of the Task Force. Federal prosecutor Arif Alikhan was named Vice Chairman and Executive Director. (DOJ, 3/9/05)

US gov't committee approves IBM, Lenovo deal - IBM Corp. Wednesday said it received final U.S. government approval to sell its PC division to Chinese PC vendor Lenovo Group Ltd., and expects to close the deal soon. (Macworld, 3/9/05)

Senate Republicans Set High-Tech Policy Goals - U.S. Senate Republicans want to pass patent reform, a permanent Internet tax moratorium and a permanent research and development tax credit in the next two years, members of the Senate Republican High Tech Task Force (HTTF) said Wednesday. (Network World Fusion, 3/9/05)

EU council endorses patent bill - The EU Council has approved a controversial proposal on software patents, despite opposition from numerous software developers and some European countries. (ZDNet, 3/8/05)

Federal Trade Commission Staff Cites Opposition to North Dakota PBM Bill - In a comment submitted to North Dakota State Senator Richard L. Brown at his request, staff of the Federal Trade Commission’s Office of Policy Planning, Bureau of Economics, and Bureau of Competition stated that House Bill (HB) 1332, which currently is pending in the legislature, might have the unintended consequences of increasing the price of pharmaceuticals within the state and ultimately decreasing the number of North Dakotans with insurance coverage for pharmaceuticals. In his letter, Senator Brown asked the FTC to examine the bill to determine “whether the proposed legislation is anticompetitive and will likely result in the increased cost of pharmaceutical care for consumers.” (FTC, 3/8/05)

U.S. Marshals Seize Lots of GlaxoSmithKline's Paxil CR - In a response to ongoing concerns about manufacturing quality, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Justice today initiated seizures of Paxil CR and Avandamet tablets manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, Inc. (GSK). Manufacturing practices for the two drugs, approved to treat depression and panic disorder (Paxil CR) and Type II Diabetes (Avandamet), failed to meet the standards laid out by FDA that ensure product safety, strength, quality and purity. (FDA, 3/4/05)

USPTO Announces New Initiatives To Improve Patent Process - At a town-hall meeting held last Friday, March 4th in Chicago, Under Secretary and Director Jon Dudas identified three new USPTO initiatives that will speed patent prosecution and which will save applicants about $30 million annually. (USPTO, 3/4/05)

USPTO Changes Practice for Handling Fees - Among other changes to patent and trademark fees, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005, splits the patent application filing fee into a separate filing fee, search fee and examination fee, and requires an additional fee for applications who specifications and drawings exceed 100 sheets of paper. The USPTO is changing the Office's practice for handling patent applications filed without the appropriate filing, search, and examination fees. (USPTO, 2/28/05)

USPTO Hold Seminar on Chinese Criminal Justice System - The Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today sponsored a seminar on the Chinese criminal justice system for intellectual property offenses. The seminar was held to introduce the Chinese criminal justice system to U.S. industry, government agencies, intellectual property owners and legal practitioners so they may better understand the system and use it to their full advantage to combat counterfeiting and piracy. The seminar is part of USPTO’s ongoing effort to assist U.S. businesses and intellectual property owners on protecting their rights in overseas markets. (USPTO, 3/17/05)

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