Monday, October 31, 2011

I haven't really been a big fan of Twitter due to the dominance that celebrities have over this communication medium.  If people aren't accidentally posting nude photos of themselves, they are often inebriated and issuing a very short speech on a topic we don't trust them to understand (their life for example).   So, what becomes important given a situation such as this isn't who says what but
Category: articles

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The IP Finance weblog's seminar, “Facts and figures on FRAND licensing for standards-essential IP”, will be held on Tuesday 22 November 2011, 5.00pm to 6.30pm. The venue is Olswang LLP's London office at 90 High Holborn.

The speaker is Keith Mallinson (WiseHarbor), who is a regular guest contributor to this weblog on FRAND-related issues. His presentation will be thrown open to comments from a panel of commentators: in alphabetical order Enrico Bonadio (City Law School), Dan Hermele (Qualcomm) and Richard Vary (Nokia). There will then be (i) questions and comments from the floor and (ii) refreshments.

The seminar currently has 24 registrants, but we still have room for more. If you'd like to attend, please email Jeremy here and let him know.

You can follow Keith Mallinson on Twitter at @WiseHarbor
Category: articles
"Trends and challenges in demand-side innovation policies in Europe" is the title of a paper unearthed by Chris Torrero, courtesy of the European Commmission's Enterprise and Industry website here. This is a "Thematic Report 2011 under Specific Contract for the Integration of INNO Policy TrendChart with ERAWATCH (2011-2012)". As the Commission website explains,
"Demand-side innovation policies are important policy instruments aiming to increase the demand for innovations, to improve the conditions for the uptake of innovations or to improve the articulation of demand . Their potential is widely recognised and actively promoted. 
The report aims:
• to identify the trends in the deployment of demand-side innovation policy at national level in the EU Member States during the period mid-2009 to mid-2011;
• to give an overview on recently introduced demand-side innovation policy measures and to ascertain if there are any observable patterns;
• to provide insights into how demand-side measures are being implemented;
• to analyse governance practices for coordinating between demand-side and supply-side measures".
You can read the whole report here.  Curiously, as Chris notes, in this 48-page document the word "patent" appears just once. Even more curiously, the word "invention" does not appear at all and there are just three mentions of "intellectual property".
Category: articles

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Talk about the future of distribution of mnvie contents and all you hear these days is about finding workable commercial models for streaming to a variety of computer and hand-held devices. DVD-rentals seem to be "oh so yesterday." Both the sale and rental of DVDs continue their steady decline. U.S DVD sales are repoted to have dropped by 5.8% in 2010 to $16.3 billion dollars. The recent missteps by Netflix, the pioneer in DVD-by-mail rentals, which tried to separately price (and later even separately brand) its streaming and DVD-rental services with the express intention, were apparently driven in part by the strategic goal that, sooner or later, DVDs will be passe. One could be excused from thinking that the industry is largely giving up the DVD battle.

That does not appear, however, to entirely be the case. As reported on ("Holllywood Studios Said to Study 60-Day Ban on New DVD Rentals to Aid Sales" here), the studios are still seeking to find ways to increase profits from DVD sales at the possible expense of DVD-rental and VOD. According to the article, "[s]tudios are searching for ways to bolster DVD sales and purchases for online viewing, in part by postponing the availability of newly released DVDs for rent or by subscription.... A 28-day window is simply not long enough to shift consumers fast enough to higher-margin” video-on-demand rentals and purchases," observed Rich Greenfield, a noted media analyst.

Accordingly, rumours are flying that the studios are contemplating increasing the waiting period to 60 days before a DVD may be rented or made available on VOD. Not for the first time, reaching back into the mists of 17th century England, where the fledging author class was in conflict with the Stationers, we find today the owners of movie contents at loggerheads with their distributors.

Mind you, even the current 28-day window is a source of discontent. Paul Davis, the CEO of Coinstar, the operator of the Redbox DVD kiosks, states flatly that "[p]roviding access to rental and for-sale customes on the same day is the best for consumers." And besides, Davis notes, "it has the option of buying DVDs elsewhere. Coinstar is posturing a a bit here. Movie contents are not fungible items for which there are perfect product substitutes. Not surprisingly, therefore, Davis has admitted that "[s]ome studios want a window and we try to work with them,[but] there's a point to where it not make sense." Extending the window to 60 days would make a great test for Davis's comments.

The conflict over the length of the ban before DVDs can be rented suggest a number of points:
1. While the market for DVD sales is declining, the aggregate sales amount of more than $16 billion dollars is still substantial. Moreover, sales margins are much more attractive than margins on rentals and the like. Thus, even if the content market is in a transition period from DVD sales to on-line streaming, the studios still have an interest in maximizing revenues from such sales.

2. That said, there is always the tricky balancing act of seeking to squeeze more income from one's current business, while at the same time trying to meet the challenges of creating a new business model.

3. Moreover, a company such as Coinstar may have nowhere else to turn. While Coinstar may be at loggerheads with the studios about the window period, both would appear to be in the same boat with respect to the commercial exploitation of DVD contents. Netflix is trying to decouple itself from this reliance on DVDs by moving into streaming, but recent events show how difficult it is to make the transition in the face of a disruptive technology. It is equally likely that the studios will face a new set of distribution "partners" once the streaming business takes firmer shape.

4. The implementation of the extension from a 28 to a 60-day window will be an interesting experiment in whether consumer behavior can be materially influenced. As Greenfield notes above, the goal is to "force" the consumer to consider the option of purchase or face the prospect of having to wait for an unacceptedly long period before rental is available.
Stay tuned.
More on the Netflix saga here.
Category: articles

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

This blogger has been asked by an author of a book who wants to sell the copyright in his book in exchange for an ongoing royalty on the income (if any) generated by the publication/sale/exploitation of the book/copyright. He has enquired whether there is a database for such royalty rates or any guidelines to determine a market related royalty rate as compensation for such an assignment of copyright. Is there a reader who is able to point this person in the right direction?

Comments appreciated.
Category: articles

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

As we commented here last week, Microsoft has been making a series of important announcements recently concerning the licensing of its patent portfolio and asserted its ambitions on the smartphone market. But since all the eyes are presently turned toward Steve Jobs' soon to come biography and its now famous "I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this" quote, Microsoft recent actions and statements went a little unnoticed. But Microsoft has its anti-android strategy all planned out and technology website dailytech revealed it all yesterday in a very detailed article entitled "Of Lawsuits and Licensing: The Full Microsoft v. Android Story". Contending that "Microsoft is essentially a failure in today's market from a pure unit sales perspective", Jason Mick explains that "Microsoft has turned from primarily being a producer of smartphones to primarily being an R&D-based litigator on the smartphone market", since it makes more money through licensing agreements than from selling devices running his own Windows Phone OS.

This article gives us the list of all the companies that Microsoft is licensing to and suing and highlights the interesting fact the company led by CEO Steve Ballmer is "double dipping" - that is
"seeking licensing fees both from the "original equipment manufacturer" (OEM) who mostly designs the device (e.g. Samsung) and from the "original device manufacturer" (ODM) who primarily handles manufacturing the device (e.g. Foxconn)" - with a certain success since 55 percent of the Android ODMs and 53 percent of Android OEMs entered into licensing agreements. The following paragraph, which a quick outline of the 9 main patents that Android is said to infringe, is also definitely worth a read.

Finally Jason Mick argues that the validity of Microsoft patents will be much harder to call into question, since they appear to reach a high threshold of novelty and non-obviousness (contrary to Apple) and finishes with an interesting comment "(...)one crucial thing to remember is that these patents will expire. Many are expiring within two years, and almost all will be expired within a decade. As a result, within a decade Microsoft's license agreements with Android OEMs and ODMs will almost certainly be drastically restructured. (...) Microsoft can revel in its licensing successes for now, but if it doesn't continue to push ahead in the mobile realm, its gains will be short-lived." It seems that Microsoft understood that fact very well, since the company received more than 3000 patents in 2010...

Category: articles

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Patent Troll T-shirts are
available here
Thanks go to Chris Torrero for spotting, via beSpacific, "The Private and Social Costs of Patent Trolls", a research paper by James E. Bessen, Michael J. Meurer and Jennifer Laurissa Ford (September 19, 2011). Boston University School of Law, Law and Economics Research Paper No. 11-45.  According to the abstract:
"In the past, non-practicing entities (NPEs) - firms that license patents without producing goods - have facilitated technology markets and increased rents for small inventors. Is this also true for today’s NPEs? Or are they “patent trolls” who opportunistically litigate over software patents with unpredictable boundaries? Using stock market event studies around patent lawsuit filings, we find that NPE lawsuits are associated with half a trillion dollars of lost wealth to defendants from 1990 through 2010, mostly from technology companies. Moreover, very little of this loss represents a transfer to small inventors. Instead, it implies reduced innovation incentives".
This 33-page paper can be accessed via SSRN here.

The paper appears well-researched and is quite persuasive -- but this blogger is not economically gifted and he wonders how it appears to other economists.  Also, he wonders why all the debate, and apparently all the numbers-based research, seems to be related to the United States. How does the troll model which is used here fare when measured against, for example, European patent litigation patterns? Can anyone help? This blog is happy to host reviews and comments on this paper.
Category: articles

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Whereas being most definitely one of USA's patent champions with 3,094 patents awarded in 2010 (in 3rd position behind IBM and Samsung), Microsoft is not making the IP headlines as much as its US counterparts such as Google - in the midst of acquiring Motorola Mobility which is now being sued by Intellectual Ventures, or Apple - embarked in an all-out and global patent war against all its competitors on the smarphone market with Samsung as primary target. However two interesting item of news are revealing that this situation might be about to change.

On September 29th Microsoft announced in a press statement a landmark agreement with Samsung 'to cross-license the patent portfolios of both companies, providing broad coverage for each company’s products'. Given the current difficulties encountered by South-Korea's top smartphone seller to launch its products quickly (if at all) on various markets all around the world notably in Germany, the Netherlands and in Australia, such an agreement will certainly provide Samsung with the necessary patent ammunition against its newfound archenemy Apple, while bringing a large amount of money in the bank accounts of the Redmond-based corporation. Well-informed Joff Wild of IAM Magazine speaks of a royalty-based deal ranging from 10$ to 15$ per android device sold. Moreover the announcement also reports the cooperation of Samsung in the development and marketing of Windows Phone, whose latest OS version called Mango received very encouraging critics.

More interesting is another piece of news published on IAM Magazine's blog which reveals that Microsoft hired Florian Mueller to conduct a research on standard-essential/FRAND-related patents. The unorthodox choice of well-known anti-software patents activist Florian Mueller to perform such a research certainly demonstrates Microsoft's keen awareness that negotiating in fair and reasonable terms with all its competitors will help the company exploiting its heavy patent porfolio at its full potential, instead of using it primarily as defensive leverage.

Microsoft active patent licensing strategy could be another sign showing that 'IP really starts taking centre stage in corporate thinking' as many IP licensing specialists start believing after the groundbreaking Nortel patent auction...
Category: articles
The ruling of the Court of Justice yesterday in Case C-34/10 Brüstle v Greenpeace (reported here; see IPKat comment here) has already attracted a good deal of media attention on account of its ethical content. However, readers of IP Finance will doubtless be thinking about the other side of the coin (almost literally): the impact of the ruling on R&D investment.

In this context Dr Philip Webber (a biotech patent attorney with Dehns) has observed as follows:
"The irony of the situation is that the original intention of the Biotech Directive was to protect biotech inventions and to promote investment in this area in Europe, whereas the application of the Biotech Directive by the Court of Justice in this case could well lead to the destruction of a significant part of the European stem cell industry. 
The Court has gone much further than the European Patent Office (EPO) in applying the "uses of human embryos" exclusion. While the EPO shut their eyes to the history of the invention, the Court has said that you cannot ignore the invention's history and that, if the invention is built on immoral foundations, then the whole patent will fall.
The big question that is left unanswered is this: what distance must there be between an immoral act and the possibility of patenting a downstream product or process? The decision refers to a "stage long before the implementation of the invention". So are any inventions ever going to be patentable if - at some point in their (potentially long) past - they required the destruction of a human embryo?"
It's certainly true that the absence of patent protection will be a disincentive to commit funding to research and to what in many cases what will be the perfectly lawful commercialisation of its results. And what we have is only a partial absence: some jurisdictions tolerate stem cell patents while others don't.  We may see the transatlantic flight of a good deal of R&D funding in the near future.
Category: articles

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Unlike before, Volkswagen Scirocco 2012 only three of equipment, such as Scirocco, Sportline and Carat.

2012 Volkswagen Scirocco cost $ 31,200
Was developed based on the "elder" Golf, Volkswagen Scirocco has been on the European market since 2008 with four original equipment, including Scirocco, Sportline, Sport Edition and Carat. Entering the 2012 version, Volkswagen decided to "death" of Sport Editon.
When Sport Edition disappear, the Sportline is the course will be equipped with additional accessories. However, prices for Sportline Volkswagen Scirocco did not change despite accompanying parking sensor, CD/MP3 first touchscreen and standard colors.
Meanwhile, the Carat also provide additional parking sensor, Panorama sunroof and navigation system. So the Scirocco price will increase Carat 810 EUR or $ 1,100.
2012 Volkswagen Scirocco is gia31.200 USD
One of the most significant change is the 2012 version Scirocco R-Line package for the Sportline and Carat. Because R-Line package, Scirocco will own block and front / rear sport, shooting smoke and colored lights dedicated wheel. In the Sport, R-Line package adds Alcantara wrapped interior standards. Material corresponding Carat is the luxurious leather.
"Heart" of the 2012 Volkswagen Scirocco nothing changes. Scirocco is accompanied by the lowest four-cylinder engine, a capacity of 1.4 liters, producing 122 horsepower capacity. Accompany with a 6-speed manual transmission, 2012 Volkswagen Scirocco has a base price of 22,700 euros (approximately $ 31,200). Also, Scirocco 2012 version also get energy from the 2.0 TDI engine, to power 140 or 170 horsepower. Finally, the 2.0 TSI engine with 265 horsepower capacity.
Category: articles

After unveiled at Frankfurt 2011, the new generation Porsche 911 was officially introduced to American consumers.

Recently, Porsche has held a premiere for the new 911 at Rennsport Reunion IV, USA. Before that, fans had the opportunity to carefully watch the 2012 Porsche 911 through Frankfurt this year. So, at the opening ceremony of the new generation 911 in the U.S., Porsche chose to impress others. Specifically, some drivers have been known for its surfing Porsche 2012 Porsche 911 with a few rounds on Laguna Seca racetrack.
Appearing at the opening ceremony of the two 2012 Porsche 911 S is equipped with a flat 6-cylinder, 3.8 liter capacity, production capacity of 400 horsepower and maximum torque of 325 lb-ft. Meanwhile, Porsche 911 Carrera comes standard engine just flat 6-cylinder, 3.4 liter capacity, for a capacity of 350 horsepower and maximum torque of 287 lb-ft. Accompanying the engine is 7-speed manual transmission and rear drive system. Additionally, Porsche offers PDK seven-speed automatic transmission available as an option for new-generation 911.
Compared with the previous version, 2012 Porsche 911 bulky but lighter. Thus, two door Porsche car show promising performance is really impressive. According to Porsche, Carrera S weighs just 1,395 kg 3.9 seconds to accelerate from 0-96 km / h if accompanied PDK gearbox. Meanwhile, Porsche Carrera 1380 kg weight loss of 4.2 seconds to complete similar tasks.
Admire pictures "live" the new generation of Porsche 911 in the U.S.:
Category: articles

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Nissan and Infiniti luxury division is expected to equip a range of new technologies to reduce mortality and injury-related traffic crashes.

Nissan introduced a new safety system
The safety of this technology is packed into a system Nissan "Safety Shield" - the safety shield.
The first is the vehicle compartment systems by jamming the accelerator (for Pedal Misapplication Acceleration Suppression). The name is so, but no "magic" to stop the vehicle continues to accelerate even though the brake is pressed. Instead, the system helps prevent accidents in case the wrong foot brake.
Operating system like? Vehicles equipped with four cameras from observing systems to support the car around (Around View Monitor) to determine the existence of objects and other vehicles in the near distance, which can identify the driver is meant the brakes, or the car is accelerating. If you note the accelerator is pressed too hard in situations of risk of collision, the system will automatically shut off the accelerator.
Of course, if the optical path - the system does not detect nearby obstacles, the vehicle will accelerate to normal.
More characteristic of the system is to use navigation system using ultrasound, automatic braking to avoid collisions review if it detects the driver does not control the situation.
The camera was mounted around the vehicle with a sensor system to detect people, objects or other vehicles may be on the side or rear, but the view of an outside rearview mirror, also called the point blind.
This system has three functions, including:
- Blind Spot Warning: signals warn the driver if xi-labels are turned on and have people, objects or other vehicles in blind spots.
- Warning deviate vehicle lanes: used camera supports the following observations to "monitor" white lines on the road and signal a warning if the car is changing lanes without turn-label xi.
- Detection of cellular material: when the car back, the system is responsible for detecting moving objects behind the vehicle and warning signals to the driver handled.
The technology will be fitted on new vehicles from Nissan and Infiniti year 2012.
New technology in the end, baptism early warning system before the collision, which acts to prevent accidents by using the sensor system to analyze the relevant speed, distance to vehicles ahead. In other words, if after processing information, the system determines that the vehicle is in danger of cardboard in front of the car will alarm signal and automatically tightening the safety belt.
Some pictures on the camera is mounted around the Nissan and Infiniti vehicles, the same image displayed on the screen in the car:
Nissan gioithieu new safety system
Nissan gioithieu new safety system
Nissan gioithieu new safety system
Nissan gioithieu new safety system
Nissan gioithieu new safety system
Nissan gioithieu new safety system
Nissan gioithieu new safety system
Nissan gioithieu new safety system
Nissan gioithieu new safety system
Category: articles
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