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World Intellectual Property Day
April 26th was World Intellectual Property Day. Declared in 2001 by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), this was World IP Day's sixth anniversary, with Intellectual Property – It starts with an idea as the theme for this year's celebration. The power of ideas as the seedbed for innovation and creativity was the theme of this year’s observance. President Bush issued the following message to mark the sixth annual World IP Day:
Dr. Kamil Idris, WIPO's Director General, reminds us on this occasion that: "World Intellectual Property Day is an opportunity to encourage people to think about the role played by intellectual property in everyday life, and about its importance in stimulating and safeguarding innovation and creativity. This year we celebrate the starting point of all intellectual property, the seeds from which all innovations and creative works grow – ideas."
In India, the National Intellectual Property Organization (NIPO) has organized a Seminar on the theme “Data Protection Laws,” held at the Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre, in New Delhi on April 26. In Russia, to celebrate World Intellectual Property Day, the following activities have been organized by the Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks (ROSPATENT): eleven regional seminars on the protection of intellectual property, intended to be both theoretical and practical conferences and round tables which will highlight the role of intellectual property as a power tool for economic development and wealth creation; a meeting on April 26 to improve public awareness and understanding of the role of intellectual property in modern society; publication of the messages of the Director General of WIPO and of the Director General of ROSPATENT in the magazines "Intellectual Property" and "Patents and Licenses," as well as their posting on the ROSPATENT website.
Every year USPTO issues approximately 20,000 patents in software. A U.S. Government Accountability Office report issued last year found that the PTO had serious problems retaining qualified people. In response to this situation, Reps. Howard Berman (D-California) and Rick Boucher (D-Virginia) introduced the Patents Depend on Quality Act of 2006 (PDQ Act). This is a bill designed to upgrade the patent process. The bill establishes a system for reviewing patents after they have been granted, and sets up a patent arbitration process. http://nip.blogs.com/patent/files/17672_patenttext.pdf
The proposed bill seeks to amend Section 122 regarding publication amending, Section 131 regarding third party submission of prior art amending, Section 315(c) regarding inter parties reexamination amending, Section 284 regarding willful infringement amending Section 1400 regarding venue amending, and Section 283 regarding injunctions.
Comments on Proposed Changes to US Patent Practice
As the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office prepares to implement proposed changes to continuing application procedures, patent prosecutors and the government remain at odds about how the alteration will affect certain industries in the United States. As of April 5, 2006, the organizations and persons listed below have submitted comments in response to the Proposed Changes to Practice for Continuing Applications, Requests for Continued Examination Practice, and Applications Containing Patentably Indistinct Claims, Notice of proposed rulemaking, first published in the Federal Register at 71 Fed. Reg. 48 (January 3, 2006) and then published in the Official Gazette at 1302 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 1318 (January 24, 2006).
Small Business Administration's comments on the proposed rules:
AIPLA's comments on the proposed rules:
Intellectual property (i.e., in patents, copyrights and trademarks) has become an indispensable asset to most companies. Furthermore, companies that focus on its IP tend to outperform in the stock market. Thus, companies are looking new ways to market and derive revenue from their IP portfolios. A new monetization mechanism was introduced on April 6, 2005 at the first-of-its-kind live patent auction, which was held in San Francisco. View the full article here.
Publicly Available Unpublished Matter is Prior Art Printed Publication
In Bruckelmyer v. Ground Heaters (Fed. Cir. 2006), the CAFC found that an application that was “publicly accessible,” was a prior art “printed publication", even though the relevant figures were canceled during the prosecution and were not part of the published patent. Bruckelmyer argued that the unpublished Canadian patent application was not a “printed publication” under 35 U.S.C. Section 102(b) and thus, was not prior art. The CAFC found that the original application was “publicly accessible" and thus a prior art “printed publication” because the Canadian prosecution file was open to the public more than a year before Bruckelmyer filed his application. Accordingly, all prosecution available at the PAIR access site is publicly accessible.
Safe Vaginal Gel to Prevent AIDS
A safe and effective gel allowing women to protect themselves from the AIDS virus may be available by 2010 if current trials involving thousands of women are successful at South Africa's Medical Research Council. Microbe-killing vaginal gels offer huge potential for stemming the epidemic, especially in societies where men are reluctant to use a condom, according to Gita Ramjee, director of the HIV prevention research unit at South Africa's Medical Research Council. Up to 6 million South Africans are infected with HIV, the highest number of any country. It is projected that 2.5 million more may become infected by 2010.
Male Pill is Safe
The male Pill is being explored as an alternative to the three conventional male contraceptive methods the condom, withdrawal and vasectomy. It uses the hormone androgen, or a mixture of androgen and progestagen, to suppress sperm production to zero or negligible levels. Two large-scale trials are currently underway in China and Europe. Doctors in the United States and Australia assessed the outcome of 30 smaller trials, involving around 1,500 men in all. All participants recovered fertility after they stopped taking the hormones. On average, it took 3.4 months to achieve this, defined as a threshold of 20 million sperm per millilitre. The study appeared in The Lancet.
Attention Deficit Patch
The FDA approved the first skin patch to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.
The patch called Daytrana, designed to be worn for 9 hours, contains methylphenidate, which has been shown to help children with ADHD. It is the same stimulant that is in Ritalin. The patch is made by Noven Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Miami.
According to Jain PharmaBiotech's "Pain Therapeutics - Drugs, Markets and Companies", the worldwide analgesic market was worth $50 billion during the year 2005 and is expected to increase to $75 billion by the year 2010 and $105 billion by the year 2015. Calculations are based on the epidemiology of various painful conditions and the development of analgesic drugs and devices. Unfulfilled needs for analgesics are identified and strategies are outlined to develop markets for analgesic drugs. The report is supplemented with 53 tables, 16 figures, and 460 selected references to the literature.
Most of the currently used analgesic drugs fall into two categories of opioids and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs such as COX-2 inhibitors. Non-opioid analgesics include ketamine, a N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist. Adjuvant analgesics include antidepressants and antiepileptic drugs used for the treatment of neuropathic pain. Management of pain is multidisciplinary and includes both pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods such as acupuncture, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and surgery. Various pain syndromes require different approaches in management, for example, the main category of drugs for migraine are triptans such as sumatriptan.
This report describes the latest concepts of pathomechanisms of pain as a basis for management and development of new pharmacotherapies for pain. Major segments of the pain market are arthritis, neuropathic pain and cancer pain. For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c1424.
Genetically Modified Crops
Monsanto has been a major investor in genetically modified (GM) crops and the market leader with a 51% share, with $1.08 billion in sales in the first six months of this fiscal year. Syngenta and DuPont have recently formed an alliance in a 50/50 joint venture known as GreenLeaf Genetics LLC to counteract Monsanto's dominance in the US. The European Commission recently proposed making the approval process for GM crops even tougher.
The Case of Deletion of Files
Once upon a time Jacob Citrin was employed by International Airport Centers and given a laptop to use in his company's real estate related business. At some point, Citrin quit IAC and decided to continue in the same business for himself, a choice that IAC claimed violated his employment contract. When Citrin dutifully returned his work laptop and when IAC tried to undelete files on it to prove he did something wrong. IAC couldn't. It turned out that, according to IAC, Citrin had used a "secure delete" program to make sure that the files were not just deleted, but overwritten and unrecoverable. In most operating systems, of course, when a file is deleted only the reference to it in the directory structure disappears. The data remains on the hard drive. But programs like PGP, Wipe, and Secure Empty Trash will make sure the information has truly vanished. Consequently, IAC claimed that Citrin's alleged secure deletion violated a federal computer crime law called the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which says whoever "knowingly causes damage without authorization" to a networked computer can be held civilly and criminally liable. The 7th Circuit judges said that deleting files from a laptop counts as "damage," and ruled that Citrin's implicit "authorization" evaporated when he chose to go into business for himself and violate his employment contract.
Moral of the story is that employees better not use any secure deletion feature, because they could face civil and criminal charges after they leave their job.
Reddy's Lab Launches drug Allegra
India's Dr. Reddy's Laboratories has said it will begin marketing a generic version of the blockbuster allergy drug Allegra in the United States, disregarding a pending patent infringement lawsuit brought by the drug’s developer, Sanofi-Aventis SA.
Ranbaxy Wins Lipitor in Austria
In a boost for Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd., an Austrian court has upheld an earlier decision invalidating Pfizer Inc.'s patent on Lipitor, enabling the Indian generic drug maker to push forward in its attempt to launch a generic version of the blockbuster cholesterol drug.
From ancient times to the 1880s, secretarial and clerical work was a man's job. Mass production of typewriters began in US in 1870. By 1920s most US secretaries were women, replacing men. Typewriter ruled the office until 1990s, when PC became popular replacing the typewriter. And secretaries became administrative assistants. Milestones:
4th Millennium B.C.: First writing systems developed.
17th Century B.C.: Women worked as scribes in Mesopotamia, in the vicinity of modern-day Iraq.
1625: English philosopher and essayist Francis Bacon writes, "[T]hat which is most of all profitable, is acquaintance with the secretaries and employed men of ambassadors.
1870s: The telephone, typewriter and carbon paper came into popular use.
1880s: Mimeograph and adding machines come into use.
1890s: Dictating and stenographic machines come into use.
1942: National Secretaries Association founded.
1950s: Electronic digital computers made with transistors or vacuum tubes come into use. Early data processing begins.
1951: Most secretaries make $3,060 a year.
1970s: Developments include microcomputers, optical scanning and recognition equipment, and video display terminals.
1980: Movie "Nine to Five" depicts female secretaries wreaking revenge on their nasty male boss.
1990s: The advent of personal computers, the Internet and e-mail.
2005: Most secretaries make $35,000-$39,999 a year.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Britannica, International Association of Administrative Professionals, Internet Movie Database.
In April the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted final approval for Teva's Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) to market its generic version of Bristol-Myers Squibb's Pravachol® (Pravastatin Sodium) Tablets, 10 mg, 20 mg and 40 mg. As the first company to file an ANDA containing a paragraph IV certification for these strengths, Teva has been awarded 180 days of marketing exclusivity. Teva's Pravastatin Sodium Tablets are indicated for the treatment of certain hyperlipidemias and the primary prevention of coronary events.
Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. has received in April final approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) for Cilostazol Tablets, 50mg and 100 mg. Cilostazol Tablets are the AB-rated generic equivalent of Otsuka Pharmaceutical's Pletal(R) Tablets, which had U.S. sales of approximately $84 million for the 12-month period ending December 31, 2005, according to IMS Health.
First Treatment for Pompe Disease
The Food and Drug Administration in April approved a biologics license application (BLA) for Myozyme (alglucosidase alfa, rhGAA), the first treatment for patients with Pompe disease, a rare but severely debilitating disease. Pompe disease, which affects one in 40,000-300,000 individuals, drastically reduces a person's muscle and respiratory function. Myozyme had been granted FDA Orphan Drug designation and was approved under a priority review. Orphan products are developed to treat rare diseases or conditions that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. The Orphan Drug Act provides a seven-year period of exclusive marketing to the first sponsor who obtains marketing approval for a designated orphan drug.
India's Aurobindo Pharma Ltd. said it has received a tentative approval from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for simvastatin, a medicine used to lower the level of cholesterol. The tentative approval is for 5 milligram, 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg and 80 mg tablets, said Aurobindo in a notice to the stock exchange. Simvastatin is a generic version of Merck & Co. Inc.'s branded blockbuster medicine Zocor, which has estimated annual sales of $5 billion in the U.S.
For more on FDA approvals visit: http://www.fda.gov/cder/whatsnew.htm
New Drugs from Plants Maybe Lost
A promising anti-cancer substance has been found in a Borneo shrub by researchers for an Australian pharmaceutical firm, while a chemical found in latex produced by a tree appears to be effective against the replication of HIV, a report from the Swiss-based global conservation group WWF said. In the bark of another species of tree, the researchers discovered a previously unknown substance which in laboratory tests appeared to kill the human malaria parasite, it added. In all, it said, 422 new plant species had been discovered in Borneo -- shared by Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei -- in the last 25 years and many others were believed to be there which could have medicinal applications. Borneo's forest cover has shrunk to 50 percent of its territory today from 75 percent in the mid-1980s, the report said.
New Biomedical Center in Texas
The Paul D. Coverdell Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences was officially unveiled April 7 in a dedication ceremony led by former President George H.W. Bush. The Coverdell Center houses research facilities for biomedical and health scientists working in biology, public health, health communication and emerging global diseases. The 135,000-square-foot center, which is located across from the College of Veterinary Medicine, has laboratory space for 275 scientists and students.
Source: The primary sources cited above, New York Times (NYT), Washington Post (WP), Mercury News, Bayarea.com, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Intellihealthnews, Deccan Chronicle (DC), the Hindu, Hindustan Times, Times of India, AP, Reuters, AFP, womenfitness.net etc.
(Om! Lead the world from wrong path to the right path, from ignorance to knowledge, from mortality to immortality and peace!)
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