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Innovation diary: MIT professors keep the ideas flowing | Financial Times
John Thornhill

“But it is my duty to make something that solves an important problem,” he says. “It is all about the problem.”

Founded in 1861, MIT is one of the world’s leading research centres, with a reputation for “learning by doing”. It is affiliated with 95 Nobel Prize-winners.

Professor Kripa Varanasi, the co-founder of LiquiGlide, has developed a “solid liquid” that enables every last drop of ketchup to slide smoothly out of the bottle on to your fries........ between 5 % and 25 % of various consumer products are left in the bottle, with lotions being a particularly irritating, and expensive, problem for consumers.......LiquiGlide’s technology can also be usefully applied to all kinds of other surfaces, from paint tins to bread-making machinery to catheters. Intriguingly it can also be “inverted” to counter the hydrophobic surfaces of many plants, increasing the absorption rates of chemicals. “Only 2 per cent of what is sprayed sticks to the plants,”........the newly launched Schwarzman College of Computing, a project with $1.1bn in funding that counts the head of the Blackstone Group among its backers. The college has three main aims: to advance computer research; to infuse knowledge of artificial intelligence across all the university’s schools; and to focus on the social impact and ethical responsibilities of computing.

That seems like an urgent priority as we grapple with the malign effects of algorithmic discrimination and facial recognition technologies. “We have to think about all these ethical issues at the design stage,” ........Winston Churchill asserted that no technical knowledge could outweigh the knowledge of the humanities in which philosophy and history walked hand in hand. “Human beings are not structures that are built or machines that are forged. They are plants that grow and must be tended as such.”
artificial_intelligence  entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  fluidity  human_factor  humanities  ideas  innovation  MIT  patents  PhDs  scholars  start_ups  Winston_Churchill  worthwhile_problems 
16 days ago by jerryking
Tech innovation needs a level playing field
January 19, 2020 | Financial Times | by Rana Foroohar.

.........Creating an even playing field will require both monopoly scrutiny and a close examination of whether the pendulum in the patent system has swung too far towards benefiting tech companies that depend more on data and networks than patents, or have an interest in making it tougher to obtain patents.

Because their own products (for example, smartphones) require so many different bits of technology, the companies have an interest in keeping these inputs as cheap as possible. They can deploy legions of lawyers to protect any crucial IP of their own while “efficiently infringing” on the patents that belong to others (that’s the term for violations done knowingly by big companies as a cost of doing business).
......The US, in particular, has work to do there. “Our leadership on the global stage depends on our ability to promote and protect the innovations of American creators, engineers, and scientists,” said Democratic Senator Chris Coons, who has sponsored bipartisan legislation to strengthen America’s own IP protection. “I’m concerned that while our competitors — like China — strengthen their intellectual property regimes, we have been weakening our own innovation ecosystem.”
.......But the US has another problem — that of trying to compete with a state-run economy like China’s when it has no national innovation strategy. While large American companies are busy fighting each other in expensive legal battles to see who gets to set standards for smart speakers (or 5G, or AI, or a host of other areas), China is using its Belt and Road Initiative to roll out its own equipment, technology standards and interests across nations from Asia to Southern Europe. That’s not duplication. It’s just smart.
Big_Tech  China  cross-licensing  entrepreneurship  Google  industrial_policies  innovation  innovation_policies  intellectual_property  national_interests  One_Belt_One_Road  patents  patent_infringement  Rana_Foroohar  smart_speakers  Sonos  technical_standards  U.S.-China_relations 
29 days ago by jerryking
Opinion: How patents really work in the innovation economy - The Globe and Mail
August 8, 2019 | NATALIE RAFFOUL
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED 3 HOURS AGO
intellectual_property  patents  patent_trolls 
august 2019 by jerryking
What will Apple do without Jony Ive?
June 27, 2019 | Financial Times | by Tim Bradshaw, Global Technology Correspondent.

Sir Jonathan prepares to move on from Apple to launch his own new venture, LoveFrom, after more than two decades at the Silicon Valley giant.....As a company worth nearly $1tn, Apple today is financially secure. But Sir Jonathan's looming departure will once again raise questions about its future. 

This is not the first time that Sir Jonathan’s role has evolved. In recent years, his design expertise has extended beyond crafting Apple’s pocketable devices. He helped retail chief Angela Ahrendts overhaul its stores, from fixtures such as its tree-lined “Genius Groves”, down to simplifying product packaging. 

More significantly, he oversaw the company’s long-planned move to its new headquarters, Apple Park, which was first conceived with Jobs back in 2004 and designed in partnership with British architects Foster + Partners.....Speaking at a Wired magazine event in 2018, he appeared to suggest that he was back for the long haul, saying: “There’s an awful lot to do and an awful lot of opportunity.” ....Apple Park...brought Apple’s entire design team together for the first time into one purpose-built studio, with industrial designers sitting side by side with font and interface designers......Perhaps the most important legacy that Jon Ive leaves . . . is the team.”.......By Apple’s outsized standards, the tight-knit group of people who work on product design is small. It runs to just a few dozen people out of an organisation that employs some 132,000 staff.....
Yet the team wields a disproportionate influence inside the Cupertino-based company. With an extensive array of tooling and fabrication equipment that is rarely found outside a manufacturing plant, the studio explores new product categories and the materials that might build them, from unique blends of aluminium to ceramics. 

They define not only a product’s appearance but how its software looks and feels, how it responds to gestures, even how an iPhone or Watch gently vibrates to give a user “haptic feedback”. 

“No group within Apple has more power than the industrial designers,” ......Jonathan Ive has thousands of patents to his name, encompassing the original iPod and iPhone to more obscure innovations, including the iPad’s magnetic cover, the Apple Store’s wooden tables and a lanyard used to attach an iPod to a wrist......Jonathan’s departure is likely to reopen a debate that has been simmering for several years — namely how will Apple come up with a new hit product that can match the unprecedented success of the iPhone, whose record-breaking profits propelled Apple to become the first trillion-dollar company last year........it may be that no single product ever will top the iPhone — for any tech company, not just Apple. It is a question that hangs over Silicon Valley as the industry casts around for a new platform, be it virtual reality or smart speakers, that might become as ubiquitous and essential as the smartphone.........Apple is also putting greater attention on an expanding portfolio of online services, including games, news and video........Tim Cook and Jonathan Ive have both pointed to healthcare as a potential new market for Apple, building on the Watch’s new capabilities for detecting heart irregularities.....Healthcare is just one example of how the battleground has changed for Apple in recent years. Despite pioneering virtual assistants with Siri, Apple found itself outflanked by Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant in both sales of smart speakers and artificial intelligence capabilities.

New blood at Apple

Some analysts believe that new blood could invigorate Apple’s response to these challenges. Alongside the high-profile departures of Ms Ahrendts and Sir Jonathan, Apple poached John Giannandrea from Google to become its head of machine learning and AI strategy, as well as Hollywood veterans Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amberg from Sony Pictures Television to run its push into original video. 

“The apparent acceleration in the pace of change within Apple at the executive level reflects the paradigm shift the company is undergoing from a hardware-driven story to ‘Apple as a service’,....... the most significant concern for investors will be that Sir Jonathan’s departure will take away another arbiter of focus and product direction that Apple had already lost with the death of Jobs.....Jonathan’s focus is growing beyond the steel and glass borders of Apple Park, saying he wants to “solve some complicated problems”. .....“One defining characteristics is almost a fanatical curiosity,” he said. “But if you don’t have the space, if you don’t have the tools and the infrastructure, that curiosity can often not have the opportunity to be pursued.”

LoveFrom itself defies traditional categorisation. “I have no interest in creating yet another design agency,” he said firmly. “What’s important is the values and what motivates that collection of people …Small groups of people, I think as Apple has demonstrated over the years, can do some extraordinary things.”

 

 

 
Alexa  Apple  Apple_IDs  Apple_Park  artificial_intelligence  breakthroughs  curiosity  design  departures  exits  Google_Assistant  haptics  healthcare  Jonathan_Ive  LoveFrom  new_categories  new_products  patents  services  Silicon_Valley  Siri  smart_speakers  subscriptions  teams  Tim_Cook  virtual_assistants 
june 2019 by jerryking
Apple and Qualcomm’s Billion-Dollar Staredown
April 13, 2019 | WSJ | By Tripp Mickle and Asa Fitch.

Apple has called Qualcomm a monopoly and said Mr. Mollenkopf has lied about settlement talks between the companies. Qualcomm has accused Apple of deceiving regulators around the world and stealing software to help a rival chip maker.

For two years, the companies have bickered over the royalties Apple pays to Qualcomm for its patents. Discord between the CEOs, who bring different management styles and principles to the table, has deepened the divide. They have dug into their positions as the dispute has escalated....Apple’s patent lawsuit against Qualcomm is set to go to trial—with both CEOs expected to testify in a case where billions of dollars are at stake. .....Cook’s view that Qualcomm’s licensing practices—taking a 5% share of most of the sales price of an iPhone—was just plain wrong, allowing the chip maker to profit off Apple innovations in display and camera technology.....
5G  Apple  CEOs  conflict_resolution  disputes  Intel  licensing  litigation  mobile_phones  patents  Qualcomm  royalties  semiconductors  smartphones  Steve_Mollenkopf  Tim_Cook 
april 2019 by jerryking
What You Need to Know to Pick an IPO
April 7, 2019 | WSJ | By Andy Kessler.
Dig up dirt on the competition and board members, and buy to hold long-term.......How do you know which IPOs to buy? No, not to trade—you’d never get it right. Lyft priced at $72, traded at $85 on its first day, then closed at $78, only to fall to $67 on its second day. It’s now $74. I’m talking about buying and holding for a few years. Yes I know, how quaint.

The trick is to read the prospectus. What are you, crazy? That’s a couple hundred pages. Well, not the whole thing. But remember, where the stock trades on its first day is noise....... So understanding long-term prospects are critical. Here are a few shortcuts.

(1) First, glance at the underwriters along the bottom of the cover. On the top line are the banks putting their reputation on the line. If the one on the far left is Goldman Sachs , Morgan Stanley or JPMorgan , you’re probably OK.
(2) open the management section and study the directors. Forget the venture capitalists or strategic partners with board seats—they have their own agendas. Non-employee directors are the ones who are supposed to be representing you, the public investor. And their value depends on their experience.
(3) OK, now figure out what the company does. You can watch the roadshow video, look at prospectus pictures, and skim the offering’s Business section. Now ignore most of that. Underwriters are often terrible at positioning companies to the market.......when positioning companies, only three things matter: a monster market; an unfair competitive advantage like patents, algorithms or a network effect; and a business model to leverage that advantage. Look for those. If you can’t find them, pass. Commodities crumble........read the Management’s Discussion and Analysis. Companies are forced to give detailed descriptions of each of their sectors and products or services. Then flip back and forth to the Financials, looking at the items on the income statement and matching them up with the operations being discussed. Figure out what the company might look like in five years. And use my “10x” rule: Lyft is worth $25 billion—can they make $2.5 billion after-tax someday? Finally there’s the Risk section, which is mostly boilerplate but can contain good dirt on competition.
(4) Put the prospectus away and save it as a souvenir. Try to figure out the real story of the company. Do some digging.
(5) My final advice: Never, ever put in a market order for shares on the first day of an IPO.
10x  advice  algorithms  Andy_Kessler  boards_&_directors_&_governance  business_models  competitive_advantage  deception  due_diligence  howto  IPOs  large_markets  long-term  Lyft  network_effects  noise  patents  positioning  prospectuses  risks  stock_picking  think_threes  Uber  underwriting  unfair_advantages 
april 2019 by jerryking
Dyson shifts HQ to Singapore to focus on cars
January 23, 2019 | Financial Times Michael Pooler and Peter Campbell in London and Stefania Palma in Hong Kong.

Move by billionaire’s business reflects strategy to be closer to customers and manufacturing centres....James Dyson’s decision to move his business headquarters to the other side of the world struck an odd note.

The switch to Singapore comes at a crucial juncture for his company, which is seeking to evolve from a household appliance brand to a manufacturer of electric vehicles. It is nothing short of his greatest gamble, which could secure his legacy or risk his fortune.....Dyson said it was simply for commercial reasons because most of its customers and all its manufacturing operations are in Asia, and to give management supervision over the construction of a car factory in Singapore that will be its largest investment to date......“This is to do with making sure we future-proof [the company],”......“What we’ve seen in the last few years is an acceleration of opportunities to grow from a revenue perspective in Asia.”......Dyson CEO, Jim Rowan insisted that the HQ move was not a bad omen for the UK, where Dyson ceased manufacturing in 2003, and pledged it would enlarge its 4,800-strong workforce there. “We’ll continue to invest in the UK,” said Mr Rowan, pointing out a proposed £350m expansion to one of two research and development centres in Wiltshire, south-west England, for autonomous vehicle testing.......far more likely that the move is linked to Dyson’s latest, and boldest, venture — its £2bn drive to break into the automotive arena. It has developed a UK site to test the vehicles, but also plans to expand its Singaporean research and development facilities, a sign that future vehicle work will take place closer to the manufacturing sites.....The company spreads its intellectual property around the globe, with about 1,500 of its 5,000 patents registered in the UK, according to data from patent research group Cipher. “Clearly if you have new business like cars that will generate significant IP,”.....A Dyson spokesman said the company had no intention of moving its current UK patents to Singapore.
Asia  automotive_industry  autonomous_vehicles  Brexit  Dyson  electric_cars  engineering  future-proofing  head_offices  intellectual_property  James_Dyson  manufacturers  patents  relocation  Singapore 
january 2019 by jerryking
Trudeau urged to probe Chinese telecom giant Huawei’s role in Canada - The Globe and Mail
ROBERT FIFE , SEAN SILCOFF AND STEVEN CHASE
OTTAWA
PUBLISHED MAY 27, 2018

Andy Ellis, now chief executive of ICEN Group, said the Prime Minister should assemble a team of deputy ministers and top security officials to examine what − if any − threat that Huawei poses in its drive to scoop up and patent 5G technology that draws heavily on the work of Canadian academics.

“If I was Mr. Trudeau, I would say I want all of you in the intelligence community to tell me the length and breadth of what is going on here and to recommend to me some actions that mitigate it … [and] if we are at risk,” he said in an interview Sunday.
5G  Canada  Canadian  security_&_intelligence  telecommunications  China  Chinese  cyber_security  Justin_Trudeau  Huawei  intellectual_property  threats  patents  Colleges_&_Universities 
may 2018 by jerryking
Canada 200: How to build a business superpower by 2067
Ottawa's upcoming IP strategy should include training for academics, entrepreneurs and administrators about the strategic importance of patents. But those same players must also collectively push to create global standards for technologies developed here. Other countries, including China and the United States, effectively ensure new global standards incorporate their homegrown technology, locking in value for their emerging champions. Canada, by comparison, is a "boy scout," says Michel Girard, vice-president of the Standards Council of Canada.
Artic  biotech  Canada  cannabis  cleantech  Colleges_&_Universities  digital_economy  elitism  gender_gap  infrastructure  intellectual_property  life_sciences  patents  ports  technical_standards  universal_basic_income  uToronto  Vancouver  women 
july 2017 by jerryking
Canada needs an innovative intellectual property strategy - The Globe and Mail
JAMES HINTON AND PETER COWAN
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May 19, 2017

Canada has never before had a national IP strategy, so getting it right will set the stage for subsequent innovation strategies. Here are some factors that our policy makers must take into account:

(1) Canadian innovators have only a basic understanding about IP

Canadian entrepreneurs understand IP strategy as a defensive mechanism to protect their products. In reality, IP is the most critical

(2) Focus on global IP landscape, rather than tweak domestic IP rules

Canada’s IP regime, including the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, needs a strategy that reflects global norms for IP protection, protects Canadian consumers and shrewdly supports Canadian innovators.l tool for revenue growth and global expansion in a 21st-century economy.

(3) Canadian businesses own a dismal amount of IP

Although IP has emerged as the most valuable corporate asset over the past two decades, it is overlooked by Canadian policy makers and businesses.
(4) Building quality patent portfolio requires technically savvy experts

A high-quality patent portfolio needs to include issued and in-force patents, including patents outside of Canada in key markets such as the United States and Europe. Strong portfolios will also have broad sets of claims that are practised by industry, spread across many patents creating a cloud of rights with pending applications.
(5) IP benefits from public-private partnerships are flowing out of country.

Canada’s innovation strategy must consider ownership and retention of our IP as one of its core principles. Are we satisfied with perpetually funding IP creation while letting foreign countries reap the benefits?
21st._century  Canada  Canadian  defensive_tactics  digital_economy  digital_savvy  digital_strategies  high-quality  intangibles  intellectual_property  IP_generation  IP_retention  Jim_Balsillie  overlooked  patents  policymakers  portfolios  portfolio_management  property_rights  protocols  strategic_thinking 
may 2017 by jerryking
To Be a Genius, Think Like a 94-Year-Old - The New York Times
Pagan Kennedy APRIL 7, 2017

Pagan Kennedy is the author of “Inventology: How We Dream Up Things That Change the World”

it’s easy for us middle-aged folk to believe that the great imaginative leaps are behind us, and that innovation belongs to the kids.

On the contrary, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that late blooming is no anomaly. A 2016 Information Technology and Innovation Foundation study found that inventors peak in their late 40s and tend to be highly productive in the last half of their careers. Similarly, professors at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Hitotsubashi University in Japan, who studied data about patent holders, found that, in the United States, the average inventor sends in his or her application to the patent office at age 47, and that the highest-value patents often come from the oldest inventors — those over the age of 55.....The more I talked to Dr. Goodenough, the more I wondered if his brilliance was directly tied to his age. After all, he has been thinking about energy problems longer than just about anyone else on the planet.....“I’m old enough to know you can’t close your mind to new ideas. You have to test out every possibility if you want something new.”

When I asked him about his late-life success, he said: “Some of us are turtles; we crawl and struggle along, and we haven’t maybe figured it out by the time we’re 30. But the turtles have to keep on walking.” This crawl through life can be advantageous, he pointed out, particularly if you meander around through different fields, picking up clues as you go along. .... The tapestry reminds him of the divine power that fuels his mind. “I’m grateful for the doors that have been opened to me in different periods of my life,” he said. He believes the glass battery was just another example of the happy accidents that have come his way: “At just the right moment, when I was looking for something, it walked in the door.”
physics  batteries  energy  creativity  biases  patents  midlife  genius  aging  late_bloomers 
april 2017 by jerryking
Empty talk on innovation is killing Canada’s economic prosperity
Mar. 19, 2017 | Globe & Mail | by JIM BALSILLIE.

Immigration, traditional infrastructure such as roads and bridges, tax policy, stable banking regulation and traditional trade agreements are all 19th- and 20th-century economic levers that advance Canada’s traditional industries, but they have little impact on 21st-century productivity.

The outdated economic orthodoxy behind our discourse on innovation is causing the steady erosion of our national prosperity.

Over the past 30 years, commercialization of intellectual property (IP) became the primary driver of new wealth. The structure of the 21st-century company shifted and IP became the most valuable corporate asset. IP is an intangible good that requires policy infrastructure that’s completely different than the infrastructure required to get traditional tangible goods to market. IP relies on a tightly designed ecosystem of highly technical interlocking policies focused on scaling companies, which are “agents” of innovation outputs.....Canada doesn’t have valuable IP to sell to the world so we continue exporting low-margin resource and agricultural goods while importing high-margin IP. If our leaders want to create sustainable economic growth, Canada’s growth strategy must focus on creating high-margin IP-based exports that the world wants and must pay for.........IP ownership is the competitive driver in the new global economy, not exchange rates that adjust production costs. That’s why despite the strong U.S. dollar, U.S. company valuations and exports are soaring – IP-intensive industries added $6.6-trillion (U.S.) to the U.S. economy in 2014. So what is Canada’s strategy to increase our ownership of valuable IP assets and commercialize them globally? Supply chains in the innovation economy are different than in traditional economies because IP operates on a winner-take-all economic principle with zero marginal production costs. IP is traded differently than tangible goods because IP moves across borders on the principle of restriction, not free trade. Trade liberalization increases competition and reduces prices, but increased IP protection does the exact opposite. The economy for intangible goods is fundamentally different than the one for tangible goods. Productivity in the global innovation economy is driven by new ideas that generate new revenue for new markets. What Canada needs is a strategy to turn its new ideas into new revenue.....The Growth Council missed our overriding priority for growth: a national strategy to generate IP that Canadian companies can commercialize to scale globally.

We urgently need sophisticated strategies to drive the commercialization of Canadian ideas through our most innovative companies.
innovation  Jim_Balsillie  happy_talk  intellectual_property  scaling  tax_codes  winner-take-all  productivity  intangibles  digital_economy  ideas  self-deception  patents  commercialization  national_strategies  global_economy  property_rights  protocols  borderless 
march 2017 by jerryking
Thomas Friedman’s Guide to Hanging On in the ‘Age of Accelerations’ - Bloomberg
by Paul Barrett
November 11, 2016,

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $28)....the wisdom of pausing.... take time “to just sit and think”— a good reminder for the overcommitted.....Friedman's “core argument,” is his description of our disruptive times. By “accelerations,” he means the increases in computing power, which are enabling breakthroughs from 3D printing to self-driving cars. Meanwhile, globalization is creating vast wealth for those who capitalize on innovation and impoverishment for populations who don’t. All of this sped-up economic activity contributes to rising carbon levels, feeding the climate change that threatens civilization.....Friedman relishes catchphrases like “the Big Shift,” borrowed in this case from the HBR. He deploys B-school jargon to explain it, but the definition boils down to companies making the move from relying exclusively on in-house brainpower, patents, and data to exploiting “flows” of knowledge from anywhere in the world.... Friedman makes the case for changed policies to respond to the accelerations he chronicles.
accelerated_lifecycles  sustained_inquiry  Tom_Friedman  books  slack_time  reflections  3-D  globalization  impoverishment  climate_change  in-house  talent_flows  information_flows  GE  prizes  bounties  innovation  contests  contemplation  patents  data  brainpower  jargon  thinking  timeouts  power_of_the_pause 
january 2017 by jerryking
Movement politics: a guide to the new globalisation
NOVEMBER 24, 2016 by: Alan Beattie.

The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization, by Richard Baldwin, Harvard University Press, RRP£22.95/$29.95, 344 pages.

....Just as South Korea has changed, so newly industrialising countries are less keen on setting up entire industries at home and instead try to insert themselves into global supply chains. Sometimes this means changing, not just exploiting, their comparative advantage. Baldwin cites Vietnam, which joined Honda’s supply network by starting to manufacture motorcycle parts using production and technical expertise imported from the parent company. Thus Vietnam’s existing advantage of low-cost labour joined with the management and technical know-how of Japan to create a new specialism......

This framework explains a lot about current tensions around globalisation. For one, the stricken manufacturing towns of the American Midwest, many of whose poorer inhabitants switched to voting for Donald Trump, have experienced first-hand what it feels like rapidly to become a redundant link in a global value chain.

Second, it shows why modern trade deals, such as the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the US and EU, are centred on rules protecting patents and copyrights, and allowing foreign corporations to sue governments if they feel their investments are being expropriated. Multinationals are less concerned with goods tariffs, which are now generally low and belong to an earlier era of trade governance, than they are with trying to protect the specialist knowledge on which their global supply chains depend.

It also foresees the future of globalisation once technology has relaxed the third constraint, the movement of people. The easier it becomes to manage processes from afar — improved videoconferencing, remote-controlled robots — the more virtual immigration can substitute for actual and the specialisation of global supply chains proceed even faster.
books  book_reviews  supply_chains  Vietnam  Honda  international_trade  comparative_advantage  patents  videoconferencing  TTP  MNCs  redundancies  globalization  Midwest  Rust_Belt  industrial_Midwest  value_chains  copyright  transatlantic 
november 2016 by jerryking
Learning to Engineer a Better Brisket - The New York Times
JULY 18, 2015 | NYT | By CLAIRE MARTIN .

They began by analyzing smokers on the market, focusing on Big Green Egg, a popular one with a ceramic cooking chamber. They evaluated the extra-large version, which costs $1,200. “We went through the patent of the Big Green Egg and just completely dissected it,” Mr. Parker said. “Where’s the opportunity here? Where’s the weakness here?”

They built computer models of Big Green Egg, of the brisket and, eventually, of their own smoker. They ran hundreds of computer simulations, and they learned that maintaining a precise, steady cooking temperature is crucial to evenly breaking down the meat’s collagen, tenderizing it. Several students spent their spring break taking a crash course in ceramics at the Harvard Ceramic Studio to build two prototypes of the smoker.

During the smoking sessions, the students attached sensors to the cooking surfaces and collected smoke particles and airflow data. They also inserted thermal imaging devices and probes into the brisket. “It was a heavily instrumented piece of meat,” Mr. Parker said. “It looked like it was in an intensive care unit.”

The final design was a 300-pound ceramic smoker with an hourglass shape that was inspired by power plant cooling towers. An internal computer controls fans that blow oxygen into the fire; it calculates whether the fire needs more or less oxygen and communicates the smoker’s temperature to a smartphone app. Refueling most other smokers requires opening the top and inserting more charcoal and wood chips, which destabilizes the temperature.

A chute on the side of the Harvard smoker lets the chef add more fuel without disrupting its internal temperature. Sensors gauge fuel levels, the temperature of the cooking surface and the weight of the food being smoked, and transmit that information to the app.
Harvard  students  Colleges_&_Universities  patents  competitive_intelligence  entrepreneurship  design  problem_solving  BBQ  engineering  Stanford  cured_and_smoked  beef  sensors 
july 2015 by jerryking
Umbra struggles with copycats worldwide - The Globe and Mail
SUSAN SMITH
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jun. 09, 2015

Umbra sends cease-and-desist orders to manufacturers and vendors around the world who are copying or selling copies of its' designs for household products such as garbage cans, storage devices, kitchen utensils, picture frames and chairs....Protecting intellectual property has always been a concern for companies such as Toronto-based Umbra, but the problem has grown exponentially since manufacturers began making goods overseas to take advantage of lower labour costs. ... By the mid-1990s, half of its production was being done in contract factories in Asia, and some of these factories were copying its leading-edge designs and selling the products on their own.... Umbra's first line of defence is making sure products are made as efficiently as possible and offered at a competitive price. Another way Umbra seeks to remove temptation is to manufacture goods for private labels so that copiers don’t get that business. It has also designed products specifically to serve the discount market, such as the Umbra Loft line sold by Target.
Umbra  design  copycats  households  fast_followers  household_products  patents  intellectual_property  China  retailers  e-commerce  private_labels 
june 2015 by jerryking
To support Canadian startups, offer pro bono legal clinics - The Globe and Mail
MYRA TAWFIK AND JAMES HINTON
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jun. 17, 2015
pro_bono  free  law  patents  patent_law  law_schools  start_ups  innovation 
june 2015 by jerryking
Canadians can innovate, but we’re not equipped to win - The Globe and Mail
JIM BALSILLIE
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 08 2015

[For Corey Reid and UpSark]

...We can make commercialization of ideas a source of our prosperity if we apply strategic approaches....The commercialization of ideas is a chain of systematic and deliberate events. This is how wealth is generated in an innovation economy. Growing and scaling up a critical mass of ideas-based companies in the global marketplace is difficult, but not impossible. Yet for us to expect that the results of our current innovation policies and investments will miraculously spur new companies and significant economic growth is, as many people like to say, the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result....Canada’s innovation performance will not improve unless the country’s business, university and political leadership comes together to consider radically different policies, programs and tools.
angels  commercialization  digital_economy  ecosystems  ideas  innovation  industrial_policies  innovation_policies  intellectual_property  Jim_Balsillie  patents  policy_tools  property_rights  protocols  scaling  systematic_approaches  wishful_thinking 
may 2015 by jerryking
John Chambers and Myron Ullman: Stopping the Economy-Sapping Patent Trolls - WSJ
By JOHN CHAMBERS And MYRON E. ULLMAN
Feb. 16, 2015

Mr. Goodlatte’s bill includes a number of important reforms. For example, it would require disclosure of the actual basis for claims at an earlier point in the legal process; this will provide clarity, sharply reducing defense costs. It would also require transparency as to who is filing the suit, so that multiple suits from the same owner can be detected. It also would strengthen the right of winning defendants in bad cases to recover their legal costs.
patents  patent_law  Cisco  patent_trolls 
february 2015 by jerryking
Strong intellectual property rights are key to prosperity - The Globe and Mail
BRIAN LEE CROWLEY
Strong intellectual property rights are key to prosperity
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Feb. 10 2015,

The stability of property and its transference by consent were thus rightly deemed by the great Scottish philosopher David Hume as two of the three rules that underpinned truly civilized societies (the third was the keeping of promises). Strong, reliable and consistent property rights unlock prosperity because they reduce conflict, promote stewardship and reward investment..... A strong IP regime therefore unlocks creativity, surely one of the keys to prosperity in a society increasingly dependent on intangible services for its wealth creation. Ultimately, all wealth is created by human knowledge, and increasingly the wealth of societies such as Canada takes the form of the fruits of our fertile minds, in software, design, film, fashion, engineering, disease control and more.
capitalism  intellectual_property  rule_of_law  Congo  Zaire  property_rights  abuses  impunity  intangibles  patents  wealth_creation  think_tanks  counterfeits  creativity  digital_economy  protocols  David_Hume  knowledge_economy  prosperity 
february 2015 by jerryking
Canadian patent applications in steady decline: study - The Globe and Mail
BARRIE MCKENNA
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Nov. 28 2014
patents  decline  Canada 
november 2014 by jerryking
Why Canada’s tech companies fail - The Globe and Mail
RICHARD BLACKWELL

The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Apr. 10 2014,

Missing in Canada, though, are advanced skills related to intellectual property rights. At companies, sophisticated IPR capacity is a “precondition to commercially scaling innovative technologies,” he said, noting only U.S., Japanese and South Korean companies have been among the top patent filers in the United States. BlackBerry is the only Canadian company in the top 100.

Mr. Balsillie said Apple Inc. and Google Inc. spend more on acquiring intellectual property rights than they do on research and development.

IPR skills are crucial if Canadian companies are to compete internationally, he said, or else they will end up as a “lambs for slaughter” in the global marketplace. “They will never grow and Canada will continue to fall behind at a [national] level.”

In an interview after his speech, Mr. Balsillie said Ottawa’s role should be to “sophisticatedly understand how the game is played, particularly in the U.S. and Europe, and make sure that companies are trained to thrive in the game.”

He said currently there are no professors in Canada teaching the global patent system in law, business or engineering schools, and there is no training in the subject in the civil service.

Intellectual property is so important, Mr. Balsillie said, that bilateral issues concerning IPR will eventually overtake traditional trade irritants between countries.
failure  Canada  start_ups  technology  Jim_Balsillie  intellectual_property  scaling  patents  property_rights  protocols  Canadian  industrial_policies  Ottawa  rules_of_the_game  civil_service  UpSpark  sophisticated  bilateral  competitive_strategy 
april 2014 by jerryking
Apple, Samsung ready for latest patent faceoff - The Globe and Mail
MARTHA MENDOZA

SAN JOSE, CALIF. — The Associated Press

Published Sunday, Mar. 30 2014
Apple  Samsung  patents  litigation  intellectual_property 
april 2014 by jerryking
How To Tell What Patents Are Worth
6/25/2013 @ 11:13AM 5,390 views
How To Tell What Patents Are Worth
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This article is by Joseph G. Hadzima, Jr.
patents  valuations 
december 2013 by jerryking
Oil Firms Pool R&D, Come Up Empty So Far - WSJ.com
Nov. 13, 2013 | WSJ | By Chester Dawson.

Alberta Premier Alison Redford earlier this year had pledged that the amount of tailings would stop growing by 2016 and that tailing ponds would "disappear from Alberta's landscape in the very near future."

But most industry officials say that is unlikely without major technological breakthroughs.

To help speed up efforts to reduce or reclaim tailings, Cosia's members have pledged to make all of their patented and propriety research available to one another in perpetuity, without charging royalties.

"That's a huge step by the industry and I can tell you big global companies thought long and hard before they did it—but they did," said Marcel Coutu, CEO of Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., the largest shareholder in major oil-sands producer Syncrude Canada Ltd.

But by creating a monopoly among oil-sands producers in environmental technology, some industry officials say that Cosia may actually stunt development—by discouraging innovation from third parties who are unwilling to surrender their patents wholesale.

"It's not to our benefit to spend a whole lot of money on R&D and then just hand it over," said Preston McEachern, research director at Tervita Corp., a Calgary-based environmental services provider. "That, to us, is a real bar against bringing new innovations forward and helping achieve these great outcomes," he told attendees at a recent oil-sands conference in Fort McMurray.
oil_industry  R&D  oil_sands  joint_ventures  oil_patch  patents  third-party  collaboration  Alberta  innovation  pooling  environmental_services 
november 2013 by jerryking
Patent Wars Erupt Again in Tech Sector - WSJ.com
By
Ashby Jones
connect
Nov. 3, 2013

After a brief hiatus for major new litigation, a joint venture owned by Apple Inc., AAPL +0.10% Apple Inc. U.S.: Nasdaq $520.53 +0.50+0.10% Nov 4, 2013 10:01 am Volume (Delayed 15m) : 9.66M P/E Ratio 13.03 Market Cap $467.89 Billion Dividend Yield 2.35% Rev. per Employee $2,127,850 52552051510a12p2p4p6p 11/03/13 Patent Wars Erupt Again in Tec... 11/01/13 Short Lines for Apple iPad Lau... 10/31/13 Morning MoneyBeat: Are Buyback... More quote details and news » Microsoft Corp. MSFT +0.49% , BlackBerry Ltd. BB.T -1.70% , Ericsson Inc. and Sony Corp. 6758.TO -11.13% launched a barrage of new lawsuits against a group of defendants that include Samsung Inc., GOOG -0.25% Samsung Electronics Co. 005930.SE -0.07% , LG Electronics Inc., 066570.SE +1.03% HTC Corp. 2498.TW +4.86% and Huawei Technologies Co.
litigation  patent_law  patents  Huawei  LG  HTC  Samsung  Google  Sony  Ericsson  BlackBerry  Microsoft 
november 2013 by jerryking
For Most Small Companies Patents Are Just About Worthless -
10/04/2013 | Forbes | Todd Hixon

A widespread meme in the tech community holds that patents are a path to riches: an entrepreneur who solves a key technical problem and receives a patent can build a business on the technology and ride to glory. Xerox and Polaroid are celebrated examples (both now nearly extinct). But, IMHO, for most small companies today, patents are just about worthless. Many entrepreneurs misunderstand the value patents create, and how difficult they are to enforce........A patent is a sword, not a shield. It gives you the right to attack a competitor who makes commercial use of ("infringes") your patented technology. Contrary to common belief, it does not give you the right to practice your technology free of interference.....Patents are often quite narrow and hence can be circumvented: they might apply to a specific design element or combination of characteristics. They have effect only in the jurisdiction of the patent-granting authority: effective world coverage requires six to ten patents in different geographies......Enforcing your patent in the courts is a nightmare. Plan on 3-5 years and $3-$5 million to get to a judgment. And then there is the appeal ... Usually the stakes and time frame will be too much for a start-up. .......In the information technology world, patents have the most value in the hands of big companies, as part of patent “portfolios” so large that any competitor is bound to infringe some of them. They use this weapon to attack competitors (usually smaller ones) that lack patent portfolios: e.g., the lawsuits against Google ’s Android operating system. To defend itself, Google acquired Motorola, which owned a large relevant patent portfolio. Now Google can counter-sue. The usual result among the big companies is a stand-off, reciprocal licensing, or a patent pool wherein the major competitors share their patents, and new entrants are out in the cold.

My suggestions for a small technology companies*:

* Don’t base your business strategy on patents. And don’t try to raise money primarily on the basis of patents; most likely this will fail and you will appear naïve.
* It’s worthwhile to file patents for your key inventions in the U.S. (what patent-savvy universities do), but don’t go much beyond that.
* Pay close attention to patents that others hold which might enable competitors to block you. In my experience “freedom to operate” is more important when evaluating a business plan than patent ownership.
* It will rarely make sense for a small company to sue a big company for patent infringement. The lawyers will probably be the winners.
* Non-patent intellectual property strategies can hold off copycats effectively. Trade secrets (parts of the product or production technology that are hard for competitors to replicate), knowledge of customers, and superior rate of innovation work best.
* Build your business on real competitive advantages: product value-in-use, customer relationships, rapid innovation. Don’t count on patents to defend you from your competitors.
cross-licensing  patents  patent_litigation  portfolios  portfolio_management  offensive_tactics  pay_attention  small_business  start_ups 
october 2013 by jerryking
Don’t expect BlackBerry’s patents to stay in Canada - The Globe and Mail
BARRIE McKENNA

OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail

Published Sunday, Sep. 29 2013

The way to extract real value from BlackBerry’s IP is to use the patents in cross-licensing deals between tech companies, allowing players to use each others’ technologies. Patents can also be used in litigation – either on offence to protect turf, or to defend against infringement by others.
Blackberry  cross-licensing  defensive_tactics  intangibles  intellectual_property  IP_retention  litigation  patents  patent_infringement  portfolios  portfolio_management  property_rights  offensive_tactics  sellout_culture 
october 2013 by jerryking
Canada gets good and bad news from a new measure of innovation
Jul. 22 2013 | The Globe and Mail | DAVID PARKINSON.

how does Canada fare? Among major industrialized economies, it’s a middle-of-the-pack innovator – nestled in between France and Sweden, a discernible notch or two below the traditional innovative leaders such as the United States, Great Britain, Germany and Japan. (Among all countries globally, Canada ranks 11th.)

But the details of Canada’s ranking by this measure are more telling. By the university education measure, Canada’s top three schools rank higher than every other country except the U.S. and Britain. Canada’s citations of scientific research are in the top five in the world.

Where Canada’s innovation falls down, however, is in international patents. Canada ranks a weak 19th in the world by this measure, well behind the likes of Denmark, Israel and even Barbados.

In short, we have great schools and world-class thinkers, but for some reason that’s not translating into a lot of global-scale breakthroughs. This finding suggests a need to address our policy approach to research and development; we’re stumbling on a critical step needed to convert big brains and great ideas into vehicles for economic growth and global leadership.
Canada  Canadian  innovation  metrics  competitiveness_of_nations  breakthroughs  patents  commercialization  mediocrity  industrial_economy  bad_news  R&D 
august 2013 by jerryking
Sanofi head sees cures for what ails Canada’s pharma sector - The Globe and Mail
Jun. 16 2013 |The Globe and Mail | SOPHIE COUSINEAU.

Canada and Quebec, where the country’s pharmaceutical R&D is concentrated, must also adapt quickly to the downsizing of in-house research.

“The business model has changed not only for financial considerations, but because the science has shifted,” he said. “It has become so complex that no single organization has all the disciplines to be successful.”

The collaborative approach that Mr. Viehbacher has tried to instill at Sanofi since he took over the company in late 2008 relies on creating an ecosystem like the one found in Boston, where the company acquired rare-disease specialist Genzyme Corp. for $20.1-billion (U.S.) in 2011.

In Boston, researchers from universities, biotech firms and pharmaceutical companies often work together from the get-go, in a public-private partnership, or PPP, culture. Big pharma doesn’t wait around to pick the biotech fruits when they are ripe. “We can accelerate the development or, in certain cases, kill a project earlier, so that resources can go elsewhere,” Mr. Viehbacher explained.
attrition_rates  stage-gate  pharmaceutical_industry  Montreal  CEOs  Sanofi  competitive_landscape  patents  intellectual_property  PPP  partnerships  Sophie_Cousineau  accelerators  kill_rates 
june 2013 by jerryking
America the Innovative? - NYTimes.com
March 30, 2013 | NYT | By EAMONN FINGLETON.

How do we explain America’s sudden mid-20th-century ascent to technological glory? The credit goes not to freedom but to something more prosaic: money. With World War II, the United States government joined corporations in ramping up spending on R&D, and then came the cold war and the Soviets’ launch of Sputnik in 1957, which gave further impetus to government-funded research. One result was Darpa, which helped develop the Internet.

Throughout history, rich nations have gotten to the future first. Their companies can afford to equip their tinkerers and visionaries with the most advanced materials, instruments and knowledge.

This raises an epochal question: as China becomes richer, is it destined to pass the United States as the world’s most inventive nation? The question is all the more pertinent because many experts contend that America’s inventive spirit is already flagging. As the Silicon Valley venture capitalist Peter Thiel put it to me in an interview, American innovation in recent decades has been remarkably narrowly based. “It has been confined largely to information technology and financial services,” he said. “By contrast in transportation, for instance, we are hardly more advanced today than we were 40 years ago. The story is similar in treating cancer.”
China  U.S.  competitiveness_of_nations  innovation  creativity  China_rising  patents  DARPA  Cold_War  America_in_Decline?  post-WWII  Peter_Thiel  inventiveness  visionaries  abundance  state-as-facilitator  tinkerers 
april 2013 by jerryking
America Invents Act Patent Reform Implications for Small and Large Business
October 01, 2011 | CFO Magazine
New Patent Law Highlights the Need for Speed

The new patent reform law has sparked mixed reactions, with large companies generally in favor and small businesses opposed.
Marielle Segarra
patents  patent_law  speed 
february 2013 by jerryking
Apple-Google Team Up for $500 Million-Plus Kodak Patents Bid - Bloomberg
By Serena Saitto, Beth Jinks & Brian Womack - Dec 8, 2012

Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Google Inc. have joined forces to offer more than $500 million to buy Eastman Kodak Co. (EKDKQ)’s patents out of bankruptcy.

The two companies, competing for dominance of the smartphone market, have partnered after leading two separate groups this summer to buy some of Kodak’s 1,100 imaging patents.
Unlikely partnerships are typical in patent sales because they allow competitors to neutralize potential infringement litigation. A group including Apple, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Research in Motion Ltd. bought Nortel Networks Corp.’s more than 6,000 patents for $4.5 billion out of bankruptcy last year. Google lost the auction for those patents after making an initial offer of $900 million.
Apple  auctions  bankruptcies  coalitions  collaboration  Google  Kodak  Nortel  patents  patent_infringement  partnerships  smartphones 
december 2012 by jerryking
Following Up With Dan Brown, Inventor of the Bionic Wrench - NYTimes.com
November 26, 2012, 7:00 (share with Paul Boldt)
Following Up With Dan Brown, Inventor of the Bionic Wrench
By GENE MARKS

we definitely need some changes if our country is ever going to protect our significant investments in innovation. Most people do not know it, but we have a double standard in the protection and punishment of intellectual property theft. Without going into all of the detail, the punishment for willful copyright and trademark infringement is a criminal penalty. This is a very strong deterrent for copyright and trademark infringement. The punishment for willful patent infringement is a civil case and not a criminal case. As it stands today, this piracy model for patent theft allows infringers to proceed unchecked for years in the marketplace, often destroying the market, business, and investment of the patent rights owner. The current system forces the victim to fight a protracted and expensive legal battle. If Congress were to simply make those cases of willful patent infringement a criminal case, and we began holding the responsible individuals and officers of the companies personally accountable — as it is in willful infringement of copyrights and trademarks — I believe these infringers would think long and hard before they risked infringing a patented product....Unfortunately, the sales cycle in this business runs well ahead of the delivery cycle. Pioneering a new product into a retailer is very challenging, especially when attempting to convince a buyer whose paradigm is almost totally based on purchasing imported products at very low costs. That is why we worked so hard with Sears to prove the viability of the product and sales program.
delivery_cycle  double_standards  intellectual_property  inventors  litigation  new_products  patents  patent_infringement  patent_law  retailers  sales_cycle  Sears 
november 2012 by jerryking
Smartphone Patent Wars Show the System Works, Patent Chief Says - NYTimes.com
November 20, 2012, 3:25 pm 5 Comments
Smartphone Patent Wars Show the System Works, Patent Chief Says
By STEVE LOHR
patents  USPTO 
november 2012 by jerryking
In Technology Wars, Using the Patent as a Sword - NYTimes.com
By CHARLES DUHIGG and STEVE LOHR
Published: October 7, 2012
Historically, the United States has awarded ownership of an innovation to whoever created the first prototype, a policy known as “first to invent.” Under the America Invents Act, ownership will be awarded to whoever submits the first application, or “first to file.”

The shift, inventors like Mr. Perlman say, makes life harder for small entrepreneurs. Large companies with battalions of lawyers can file thousands of pre-emptive patent applications in emerging industries. Start-ups, lacking similar resources, will find themselves easy prey once their products show promise........“Start-ups are where progress occurs,” “If you spend all your time in court, you can’t create much technology.”
Apple  intellectual_property  inventors  litigation  Nuance  offensive_tactics  patents  patent_law  Silicon_Valley  Steve_Lohr  USPTO 
october 2012 by jerryking
With Smartphone Deals, Patents Become a New Asset Class - NYTimes.com
September 24, 2012, 1:21 pm4 Comments
With Smartphone Deals, Patents Become a New Asset Class
By STEVE LOHR

patents have become a new asset class.

Traditionally, patents sat on corporate shelves and were occasionally used as bargaining chips in cross-licensing deals with competitors. But that began to change in the 1990s, when technology companies like Texas Instruments and I.B.M. started to regard their patent portfolios as sources of revenue, licensing their intellectual property for fees.

Today, companies routinely buy and sell patents, mostly in deals that draw little attention, for millions of dollars instead of billions. The question, experts say, is how big the market will become.

“Patents are a tricky asset to trade,” said Josh Lerner, an economist at the Harvard Business School. “But there is clearly a huge amount of value in intellectual property. And I think what we’re seeing is the beginning of a lot more monetization and trading of intellectual property rights.”

A sizable specialist industry has developed to build the marketplace for trading ideas. The players include patent aggregators like Intellectual Ventures and RPX, patent brokers like Ocean Tomo and ICAP, hedge funds, investment banks and law firms.
smartphones  patents  intellectual_property  law_firms  asset_classes  Steve_Lohr  valuations  Ocean_Tomo  markets  monetization  portfolio_management  cross-licensing 
september 2012 by jerryking
Jenkins: The Jury Has Spoken—Think Different - WSJ.com
August 28, 2012, 7:07 p.m. ET

The Jury Has Spoken: Think Different
Samsung's loss is Microsoft's opportunity.

Microsoft is a pygmy in the smartphone business though, unlike Google, Microsoft troubled itself to design a smartphone operating system that does everything a smartphone must without being an iPhone knockoff.

Microsoft may genuinely have believed there's a better way than Apple's of organizing a user's interaction with a mobile device. Microsoft may have concluded there was no future in merely making another Apple knockoff, then trying (thanklessly) to give birth to a third app ecosystem around it.

Maybe Microsoft was just worried about lawsuit vulnerability. Whatever the reason (how's this for irony?), Microsoft was the company to "think different" and create a mobile operating system "for the rest of us"—i.e., an alternative to Apple's vision. The result is Windows Phone 8, the operating system behind the oft-praised but slow-selling Nokia Lumia 900....a too-weak patent system can be as bad for competition as a too-strong one. Until Friday's verdict, it was just too easy for Google-Samsung to gain a dominant share by copying Apple's innovations and giving them away for free. That's especially true of the subtle feedback Apple figured out how to provide users through a touch-screen. Google's business model, Apple could be forgiven for thinking, is more like piracy than competition.

Apple's lawsuits are not without strategic design, of course. The aim is to raise the cost to handset makers of using Google's "free" Android software—one reason Samsung, not Google, was the target of Apple's legal vendetta....But the verdict has an ironic potential. With Android seeming less "free," handset makers now have more incentive to get behind real innovation, such as Microsoft's promising but negligibly patronized operating system. Sooner rather than later, in other words, we might have a choice not just between Apple and fake Apple.

Microsoft and other innovators still face a monumental hurdle, it's true, in a lack of apps. What would really hasten the icejam breakup would be more decisions like one recently from the Financial Times.

The FT has decided to stop making Android or Apple apps or other ecosystem-specific apps in favor of a universal app riding on the mobile browser layer, using the tool set known as HTML5.

By HOLMAN W. JENKINS, JR.
Apple  Samsung  Microsoft  Holman_Jenkins  patents  patent_law  ecosystems  Android  HTML5  knockoffs  think_differently  legal_strategies  lawsuits  litigation 
august 2012 by jerryking
In Canada, the Impact of America's New Patent Law Is Seen - NYTimes.com
August 26, 2012, 7:00 pm4 Comments
In Canada, the Impact of America’s New Patent Law Is Seen
By STEVE LOHR

Outlines the negative effects of passing the America Invents Act on small, innovative businesses....Under the new law, the United States, beginning in March of next year, would move from a first-to-invent system to first-to-file. Opponents of the law say the switch would favor large corporations, whose big legal staffs will likely win the paper chase to the patent office...America’s current patent system, according to Adam Mossoff, a professor at George Mason University School of Law, is intentionally biased toward small upstarts, the “new innovators that disrupt and destroy existing companies and industries.”

There is debate among economists about the role of small inventors and companies in innovation and job growth. The drift of research is that a tiny percentage of fast-growing small companies that quickly become bigger companies — sometimes called “gazelles” — account for most of the job generation and disruptive innovation.
gazelles  patents  Canada  inventors  innovation  patent_law  crossborder 
august 2012 by jerryking
Mobile phones: Difference Engine: Copying the copier
Aug 6th 2012 | The Economist| by N.V.

The 73-year-old Judge Posner, who also teaches at Chicago Law School, is one of the founders of the legal school that interprets patent law in economic terms. His argument last June for refusing to ban Motorola’s products from the shelves, as Apple sought, was that “an injunction that imposes greater costs on the defendant than it confers benefits on the plaintiff reduces net social welfare”. That is the economic interpretation of patent law at work.

If, as it seems, Apple has had to resort to the courts to stifle competition and limit consumer choice, then it is a sad day for American innovation. That the company can do so with such impunity is an even sadder reflection of how dysfunctional the patent system in the United States has become.

The only reason why governments grant patents (and the monopoly rights they entail) is to promote innovation—in the hope of generating jobs and additional sources of revenue. Patents seek to do this by requiring the inventor to make prompt and full disclosure of the idea, so others may seek a licence to use it, or find ways to work around it. In exchange, the inventor is granted the right to exclude competitors for 20 years or so.

The cost to society of allowing a monopoly to flourish has long been assumed to be outweighed by the benefits that accrue from encouraging individuals to spend their own resources inventing useful things that did not exist before. In short, patents have been seen as a necessary evil for fostering innovation.

That assumption is now being challenged. Indeed, a debate has been raging in the United States over whether patents—especially those granted for protecting software ideas and business processes—help or hinder innovation.
patents  patent_law  Apple  Samsung  mobile_phones  smartphones  litigation  Richard_A._Posner  innovation  uChicago 
august 2012 by jerryking
Apple Gets Decisive Win in Patent Case - WSJ.com
August 24, 2012 | WSJ | By JESSICA E. VASCELLARO.

Apple, which cited more than 28 Samsung products, sued Samsung last year and accused the South Korean company of infringing seven patents. Samsung fired back, alleging that some iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch models infringed up to five patents....Apple has won big...being awarded $1.05 billion in damages and providing ammunition for more legal attacks on mobile-device rivals.

Jurors Friday found that Samsung infringed all but one of the seven patents at issue in the case—a patent covering the physical design of the iPad. They found all seven of Apple's patents valid—despite Samsung's attempts to have them thrown out. They also decided Apple didn't violate any of the five patents Samsung asserted against it.

The damage award is shy of Apple's request for more than $2.5 billion, but much larger than Samsung's estimates and still ranking among the largest intellectual-property awards on record.
litigation  Apple  Samsung  patent_law  patents  smartphones  intellectual_property 
august 2012 by jerryking
Finding a New Niche May Offer Better Chance at Fat Margins - WSJ.com
May 13, 2003 | WSJ | By JEFF BAILEY | Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
These days, with information and capital zipping around at warp speed, a business or industry with fat margins essentially has a target painted on its back.

And yet, plenty of small and midsize companies in less-than-glamorous industries manage, some year after year, to post enviable margins. Some have patents or other intellectual property that protect them from competition. Others have invested large sums in plant and equipment to acquire economies of scale that scare off new market entrants. Some defend themselves by knitting together extensive sales-and-distribution networks that would take years to replicate.
patents  intellectual_property  entrepreneur  business_models  dealerships  automotive_industry  barcodes  medical_devices  hospitals  niches  unglamorous  differentiation  proprietary  small_business  mid-market  barriers_to_entry  economies_of_scale  margins  warp_speed  defensive_tactics  distribution_channels 
may 2012 by jerryking
Tech Firms Crowd-Source to Fight Suits - WSJ.com
May 2, 2012 | WSJ | By JESSICA E VASCELLARO.

Article One Partners LLC crowd-sources evidence that a patent being challenged isn't novel. Proving so in court can invalidate a patent.

It's called finding "prior art" and has long been a core part of fighting patent cases. Now companies are trying a techie twist: describing the disputed technology online and giving awards of around $5,000 or so to those who find the best stuff, from photos to literary references to obscure foreign documents, to strike down the patent.
bounties  patents  patent_law  crowdsourcing  Jessica_E._Vascellaro  Microsoft  Apple  Article_One_Partners  self-employment 
may 2012 by jerryking
The Most Inventive Towns in America - WSJ.com
July 22, 2006 | WSJ | by REED ALBERGOTTI.
The tinkerers who helped build America haven't disappeared -- they're right next door. Our search for small-town patent hubs found surprising innovations from coast to coast.
cities  entrepreneurship  innovation  inventors  patents  patent_trolls  small_business  tinkerers 
april 2012 by jerryking
The Invisible Man
Oct. 19, 2011 | The Globe and Mail |BRENNAN CLARKE. Sell camouflage clothing to militaries around the world.
patents  copyright  HyperStealth  security_&_intelligence  innovation 
march 2012 by jerryking
Blackberry's Jam
June 1st, 2005 | Bloomberg Markets | Anthony Effinger is a senior writer at Bloomberg News in Portland. aeffinger@bloomberg.net

Research in Motion is paying $450 million to settle a patent dispute over its popular e-mail device. Dispatching competition from mobile phone makers and Silicon Valley startups won’t be as easy.
patents  RIM  patent_trolls 
october 2011 by jerryking
Intellectual property is a new kind of arms race, with patents as ammo - The Globe and Mail
john manley
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
Oct. 05, 2011 .

​To spur innovation and economic growth, Canada needs an intellectual property framework that fairly balances the rights of creators, consumers and society as a whole. In addition to passing a new copyright bill, the federal government should undertake a comprehensive IP policy review to address barriers that hinder opportunities for companies and inventors. Such a review, says the Canadian International Council, should examine “how much of an obstacle our corporations face when obtaining licences from Canadian patent holders, and the extent to which this barrier impedes innovation and growth.”

Of equal importance is the need to improve the quality of patents issued in Canada and internationally. By some estimates, close to a third of all new U.S. patents are of questionable quality, often because the invention claimed is not new or because the patent is vague or overly broad. One way to address this is to make it easier for third parties to challenge these applications without resorting to litigation.

At the same time, it’s vital to speed up the patent application process. Obtaining a patent now takes as many as three years in Canada, 3½ years in the U.S. and a decade in Europe. As the CIC points out, “Such delays hurt innovation, particularly in the informative-technology sector, where the commercial value of a patent may last only a year or two.”
John_Manley  CCCE  intellectual_property  patent_law  patent_trolls  patents  frameworks  arms_race 
october 2011 by jerryking
Google Bids for Nortel Patent Portfolio - WSJ.com
APRIL 5, 2011 | WSJ | By AMIR EFRATI And STUART WEINBERG.

Google Seeks Nortel Patents in Defensive Move. Google has bid $900 million for the broad patent portfolio held by bankrupt Canadian telecom equipment maker Nortel Networks, in an attempt to shield itself from current and future patent litigation.
auctions  Google  litigation  Nortel  patents  portfolios  portfolio_management 
july 2011 by jerryking
Google in Talks With InterDigital - WSJ.com
JULY 21, 2011 ANUPREETA DAS. Google in Talks With Wireless Patent Firm
google  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  wireless  patents  intellectual_property 
july 2011 by jerryking
Pharma Edges Toward 'Patent Cliff' - WSJ.com
JUNE 15, 2011, By STEN STOVALL.

The European pharmaceuticals sector has long been chugging toward a
so-called patent cliff, when many top-selling drugs will lose legal
protection, unleashing generic versions onto markets that will sap
billions of dollars of revenue from "Big Pharma." The cliff is fast
approaching. White-knuckled investors have been hoping that drug makers
would have found replacement products by now or adequately diversified
themselves to withstand the impact. Indeed, some are better placed, and
some already have taken much of the hit, such as GlaxoSmithKline PLC,
which also has hopefully put behind it exposure to huge legal claims
regarding its once top-selling diabetes drug Avandia. Still, an
estimated $250 billion in sales is at risk through 2015, according to
data from Internet pharmaceuticals consultancy EvaluatePharma.
patents  pharmaceutical_industry  expirations  Europe 
june 2011 by jerryking
Schumpeter: Bamboo innovation | The Economist
May 5, 2011 | The Economist | Anonymous. China’s lack of
originality matters less than you may think, believe Dan Breznitz &
Michael Murphree of the Georgia Institute of Technology. In a new book,
“Run of the Red Queen”, they argue that it is wrong to equate innovation
solely with the invention of breakthrough products. In an emerging
economy, other forms of innovation can yield bigger dividends. One is
“process innovation”: the relentless improvement of factories and
distribn. sys. Another is “product innovation”: the adaptation of
existing goods to China’s unique requirements.

The biggest threat to the Chinese model comes from India.
innovation  China  industrial_policies  strategies  books  patents  breakthroughs  portfolios  process_improvements  product-orientated  taxonomy  moonshots  marginal_improvements 
may 2011 by jerryking
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