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Innovation e-Review

The Innovation Review is the New York State Science & Technology Law Center's monthly newsletter, bringing information on a variety of economic, business, and technology related legal news as well as highlighting and profiling resources and events across the state.

IP/Regulatory Law Watch


Supreme Court to Consider Rules on Patent Challenges

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether a federal agency's procedures have made it too easy to successfully invalidate patents and too difficult for inventors to defend their claims. The America Invents Act (AIA) introduced a procedure known as inter partes review (IPR), which allows a third party to challenge the validity of a patent in front of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). IPR allows companies to challenge and potentially invalidate a competing patent, settling intellectual property disputes far more cheaply and quickly than through a Federal Court proceeding. Critics of the process say that the PTAB is utilizing an improper standard in construing claims in a manner that is disadvantageous and unfair to patent holders. The high court justices will review the Federal Circuit panel's 2-1 decision in Cuozzo Speed Tech's appeal to determine whether the PTAB is improperly interpreting the patents and whether the Federal Circuit is correct in determining that it lacks jurisdiction to review the PTO's decision to institute IPR.


EPA Officials Announce Scrutiny of Patent Applications for Regulatory Compliance

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials have indicated that they intend to review patent applications to determine whether the makers of pesticides, and perhaps other chemical-containing products, have violated the agency's requirement that information concerning potential adverse effects of certain chemicals and products be immediately submitted to EPA for review. This comes after the EPA revoked the approval of a Dow Chemical herbicide because of additional information found in the patent application. The EPA interprets the failure to file such data to be a violation of a “continuing” nature for which penalties can be assessed per day, indefinitely until such time as the violation is corrected or otherwise made known to the EPA.

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Bloomberg Innovation Index

The United States is often held up as a leader in economic development and innovation, but is that always the case? Bloomberg recently released its 2016 Innovation Index, which scores economies based on their overall ability to innovate using six metrics: research & development, manufacturing, high-tech companies, postsecondary education, research personnel and patents. South Korea placed first in this year's overall ranking, while U.S. placed sixth, and China placed 22nd. For more information about this year’s rankings see the original article. Bloomberg also ranked the most innovative states, New York State placed seventeenth.


Around New York State


Rochester Venture Challenge Now Open

The Rochester Venture Challenge is a business competition that encourages entrepreneurship and recognizes new, high-growth ventures in the Greater Rochester New York Region. Four weekly workshops throughout January and February are included within the challenge to help companies write their executive summary and plan and create an investor presentation. Five finalists will give their presentations before a panel of judges and a live audience on April 20, 2016 and three winners will be selected to receive a combination of cash and services prizes. The first-place winner of the competition receives a $25,000 cash prize.

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A Look at Gov. Cuomo's Executive Budget Proposal

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State Book contained a proposal for tax cuts for small businesses worth $298 million a year in his state budget. The governor says that the cuts will help 1 million small businesses, including 37,000 in Central New York.

The governor’s Executive Budget allocates nearly $30 million dollars to high technology programs including Innovation Hotspots, the Centers of Excellence and the Centers of Advanced Technology. Gov. Cuomo also proposed to support the Regional Economic Development Councils with $750 million. The legislature has begun a series of budget hearings this week to solicit feedback on key areas in the Governor’s proposed budget. The governor has 30 days to amend his budget after its initial introduction. Both parties must reach an agreement on budget by April 1.

Educational Opportunities

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Syracuse Pre-Seed Workshop

MedTech, in partnership with CenterState CEO, is hosting a Pre-Seed Workshop on February 19 and 26 at the Tech Garden in Syracuse. The community event brings together experts in various professions to determine the viability of new-start up concepts. Teams of highly-skilled professionals and academic researchers that have patented inventions to work together to “transform potentially commercializable technologies into pre-seed stage companies.” This provides the team with the advantage of leaving the workshop with a thin commercialization plan for a start-up business. To learn more about the Workshop, visit preseedworkshop.com.

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