Patently-O Bits & Bytes by Lawrence Higgins

U.S. IP Brokers: No Ethical Regulations and No Standards

  • In a blog post by Raymond Millien of the Washington D.C. Intellectual Property Attorney Blog, he poses the question, What professional and ethical regulations govern the conduct of these IP middlemen? In the post Millien discusses that Individual inventors and corporate IP owners are used to dealing with Accountants, Lawyers and Investment Advisors – all professionals who are governed by federal and/or state professional regulations, as well as national association guidelines. However, Millien suggest that less than 20% of IP middlemen are attorneys, which suggest that they are not governed by any ethical regulations. Therefore, the answer to the question that Millien poses is "none". Millien further notes that, earlier this year, the British Standards Institution (BSI) – the UK's National Standards Body – released standard BS 8538:2011, entitled "Specification For The Provision Of Services Relating to the Commercialization of Intellectual Property Rights. The British Standard specifies middlemen ethical behavior principles relating to: integrity and competence; transparency regarding fees, costs and finances; confidentiality and the disclosure of information; the declaration of conflicts of interest; and complaint handling, among other things. [Link]

Will Research In Motion (RIM) Sell Its Patents?

  • Jaguar Financial Corp. told RIM, the maker of the BlackBerry, that it should consider selling itself or spinning off its patents to boost investor returns after a slump in its stock price. Vic Alboini, CEO of Jaguar stated that RIM should create a committee of 4 or 5 independent directors to study the options to sell itself or its patents. RIM has been losing its stronghold on the smartphone market in recent years, with the introduction of Apple's IPhone and Google's Android phones. If RIM does decides to sell its patents or itself it could be another billion dollar deal. Google recently bought Motorola Mobility and for over 12 billion dollars. It seems like this 2011 is the year of big patent sales. [Link]

Paul Graham's Patent Pledge

  • Graham proposes patent reform without the government. Graham states that, "one way of using patents that clearly does not encourage innovation is when established companies with bad products use patents to suppress small competitors with good products." Graham suggest that a way to decrease this kind of abuse is to get the companies that are above pulling this sort of trick to pledge publicly not to. The Pledge that Graham proposes is very simply written:

    No first use of software patents against companies with less than 25 people.

    Is this a good idea and could it possibly work? [Link]

Patent Jobs:

  • Lee & Hayes is seeking Patent Attorneys with at least 3 years of experience and a (EE) or Computer Engineering background. [Link]
  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is searching for an Associate General Counsel, with a minimum of 10 years of experience. [Link]
  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is looking for 2 IP Attorneys with a minimum of 3 years of experience. [Link]
  • Katten Muchin Rosesman is seeking a patent agent with a background in the electrical arts. [Link]

Upcoming Events:

  • The Chicago-Kent Supreme Court IP Review will be held on September 15th at Chicago-Kent College of Law. The conference is designed to provide intellectual property practitioners, jurists, legal academics and law students with a review of IP cases from the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Term, a preview of cases on the docket for the 2011 Term, and a discussion of cert. petitions to watch. Guest speakers include, Judge O'Malley, Mark Lemley, David Kappos, and a number of other influential individuals in the IP field. [Link]
  • The 2nd European Pharmaceutical Regulatory Law Forum will be held in Brussels, Belgium September 21-22nd. The forum will focus on recent developments affecting the pharma industry in Europe and will discuss the impact of US developments on European companies. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 10 for a 10% discount) [Link]
  • The Fall 2011 Meeting of the Carolina Patent, Trademark & Copyright Law Association is scheduled for September 23-24, 2011 at the Wild Dunes Resort, Isle of Palms, S.C. with 7.25 hours of CLE credit planned. The cost is $250/member and $350/non-member. Guest speakers & presenters include, Tom Irving of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP, Prof. Harold C. (Hal) Wegner of Foley & Lardner, LLP, Maury M. Tepper III of Tepper & Eyster, PLLC and current chair of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, Prof. Timothy R. Holbrook of Emory University, Michael S. Connor of Alston & Bird, LLP, Dean Adrienne Meddock of North Carolina Central University School of Law, & Demian Barbas of Norton Rose, OR, LLP. [Link]
  • American Conference Institute's Life Sciences Business Development & Acquisitions in Emerging Markets conference is scheduled for September 26-27 in New York, NY. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 200 for a discount) [Link]
  • Boston University School of Law and the Kauffman Foundation will be holding a Workshop on Innovation and Patent Harmonization at Boston University School of Management on September 30-October 1. The workshop will cover the effect of harmonization in both advanced countries, such as the US, and in developing nations, with a particular focus on China. Anyone interested in attending, please RSVP to Elizabeth Aggot at [Link]
  • American Conference Institute's 12th Annual Maximizing Pharmaceutical Patent Life Cycles will take place in New York on October 4th-5th. The conference is one of the leading sources of information and analysis on the patent life cycle management. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 200 for a discount) [Link]
  • C5 will be holding the 21st annual Forum on Biotech Patenting in London on October 5th-6th. The 2011 London Biotech Patenting Forum will focus on the latest legal developments affecting biotech companies and how to implement successful methods and strategies for drafting and filing patent applications in multiple jurisdictions. (Patently-O readers can save 100 pounds by using discount code PO 100) [Link]
  • Houston Intellectual Property Law Association (HIPLA) will be holding its Annual IP Institute in Galveston, Texas October 6-8. The Institute will feature topics such as: Do's and Don'ts in IP Licensing, Due Diligence and Ethics in Acquisitions, Patent Prosecution Under the New Cases and Inducement of Patent Infringement after Global Tech Appliances v. SEB. The guest speaker will be Lord Justice Robert "Robin" Jacob, Court of Appeal of England and Wales. [Link]
  • American Conference Institute will be holding a FDA Boot Camp Device Edition conference on October 25th-October 26th in Chicago. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 200 for a discount) [Link]
  • Licensing Executives Society (LES) will be holding their annual meeting on October 16-19 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. Guest speakers include, Martha Ries, VP of IP Management, The Boeing Company and Barbara Dalton VP, Venture Capital, Pfizer. (Register by 8/31 to receive a $100 discount) [Link]
  • The University of Texas at Austin will hold its 16th Annual Advanced Patent Law Institute on October 27-28. The program will cover: recent developments in claims construction and claims drafting, cost savings in litigation, inequitable conduct after Therasense, and many other topics. [Link]

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