Monday, March 31, 2014

Forbes terms Apple/Samsung patent litigation as bordering on farce

Within a post Apple Pursuit of Samsung Starts Bordering On Farce , one has the text

By building an equivalence between its iPhone sales and Samsung’s products, Apple is laying the blame on its South Korean rival for its own market failures, such as they are (and I should underline that Apple is a huge success and perhaps should get back to projecting itself that way rather than as a loser).

Sunday, March 30, 2014

60 Minutes on March 30, 2014

Michael Lewis, author of Flash Boys, tells Steve Kroft
the stock market is rigged.

High frequency traders and front running. In 2008, Kotsuyama noted
Problems in buying stock. Spread Networks. Ronan Ryan.
Beat speed by slowing it down. David Einhorn of a Green Light Capital.
IEX Exchange. Built in speed bumps. Magic shoebox.

Second, Scott Pelley on Elon Musk and Tesla. "Fast Cars and Rocket Ships."
Tesla Model S. He's building 600 Model S's per week. He's interested in
things that change the world. SpaceX and Tesla (first successful car company start up
in 90 years(?))

Tesla will go 250 miles without a charge. Musk's goal was to reveal the
possibilities. Musk grew up in South Africa. A guy with unlimited ambition.
Musk started PayPal, which was sold to eBay. Documentary: Revenge of the Electric
Car. Turning point around Christmas 2008.

Model S runs around $100,000. Picture of battery. Musk must re-invent battery
manufacture. Plans for a new battery plant for Li-ion batteries.

"60 Minutes" also discussed Musk's SpaceX company. Not mentioned, but relevant to
intellectual property, is the text from Elon Musk Refuses To File Patents At His High-Tech Private Space Company

However, the main reason for favouring secrecy over patents is security. Elon Musk, for example, refuses to patent technologies developed at his SpaceX rocket company for fear that foreign space agencies would simply pinch them.

Also in the story about secrets:

Most trade-secret thefts (and over 90% of EEA prosecutions) involve insiders. These are typically employees or contractors who are given access to sensitive information, which they snaffle via flash drive, mobile phone or e-mail. Respondents to the McAfee survey rated insider threats above those posed by software vulnerabilities or cyber-terrorism.

Solutions are far from straightforward. America's patent office is mulling whether to propose a new class of "economically sensitive" patents whose existence could be kept secret until a patent is granted (a process that typically takes over three years), to avoid giving thieves a head start.

Third story. Wynton Marsalis on assignment for "60 Minutes" presents the story of Marcus Roberts.

From the story: Marcus went blind when he was 5 years old. And soon began trying to make sense of life in the darkness. He was unusually curious, and even tore his toys apart just to find out how they worked.

Marsalis on Roberts: “He is completely innovative. He has invented another way to play the jazz piano. Marcus is like a movement.

CBS Sunday Morning on March 30, 2014

Charles Osgood introduced the stories for March 30, 2014. 46 years ago tomorrow, LBJ announced he was not running for President. David Martin on Bryan Cranston as LBJ. LBJ went against the norm. Triumph and tragedy. Second, writing on the wall, from Book of Daniel. Rita Braver on graffiti. Is it art or vandalism? Third, Tracy Smith on "up in smoke," about father who dealt marijuana. Fourth, Susan Spencer on comedians, David Letterman's writers. What makes something funny. Fifth, Anthony Mason.
Headlines: Number missing in Washington put at 30. Flight 370. Holly Williams in Perth, Australia. Southern Indian Ocean. The Rolling 40s. Jeff Thomas, aviation expert, interviewed. More than 100 aftershocks have hit Los Angeles region.
Earth Hour marked last night. Photo of Prince George, prior to Australian trip. Weather: rain storms on east coast.

The cover story is by Susan Spencer on "What's so funny?" Example from Letterman, check in with Bruce and Linda. Comedy bit on "Weekend Late Show." Writer Steve Young, on hitting the sweet spot. Not the first guest to leave a trail of slime. Susan Spencer in front of "The Comic Strip." Joe Moran at the Center for Brain Science at Harvard University. Moran puts people in MRI machines and watches their brain while watching Seinfeld. "Humor detection" and "humor appreciation." Humor takes brains. Children as young as 10: correlation between appreciating humor and intelligence. Set up expectation and violate that expectation. Scott Weems book “Ha! The Science of When We Laugh and Why.” I've had a wonderful evening but this wasn't it.

Almanac gives a story with an intellectual property angle. March 30, 1858. Philadelphia inventor Hymen Lipman, gets patent on pencil with eraser. Patent later invalidated by Supreme Court. ferrule. Mention of David Reese, professional pencil sharpener in story by Mo Rocca on Sunday Morning. Lower your golf score? Bring a pencil with an eraser.

[from US Patent 19783 : Be it known that I, HYMEN L. LIPMAN, of Philadelphia, in the county of Philadelphia and State of Pennsylvania, have invented a new and useful Lead Pencil and Eraser; and I do hereby declare the following is a full, clear, and exact description thereof, reference being had to the accompanying drawing and to the letters of reference marked thereon. (...) from wikipedia: In 1862, Lipman sold his patent to Joseph Reckendorfer for $100,000, who went to sue the pencil manufacturer Faber for infringement. In 1875 the Supreme Court of the United States ruled against Reckendorfer declaring the patent invalid because his invention was actually a combination of two already known things with no new use

Painting Buff by Lee introduces first part of story by Rita Braver. Futura2000. Lady Pink. Dave. Sean Corcoran curates exhibit on graffiti. Heather MacDonald speaks of corrosive effect on city's spirit. Graffiti is vandalism. Shepard Fairey of Obama Hope. Is graffiti art? 51% say no.

Bells rang out in Washington State re: mud slide. John Blackstone has Sunday Journal interviewing people about feelings after mud slide.

Tracy Smith on father/son relationship. Tony Doucopil. Miami in 1980s, paradise lost. 1984: Miami Vice debuted. "Sold real estate in Vermont." When Tony, Jr. was six, father walked away. Freighter goes north, then returns south, and meets sailboats to distribute. Book "The last pirate" Buried cash in coolers. The father, now 67, lives in Cambridge, MA. See post NBC News writer, Tony Dokoupil, tells the story of father’s marijuana millionaire life in new book ‘The Last Pirate’ . Doucopil in Czech means "I bought it all."

Sunday Passages. Senator Jeremiah Denton died. Baltimore Museum of Art displays "On the Shore of the Seine" by Renoir. In 2012, bought at flea market. Court case over ownership.

David Martin on "LBJ" on Broadway. Bryan Cranston. "All the Way" covers the first year of LBJ's term. LBJ went against the norm. He could have left things status quo. Civil Rights Bill. Teaching school at Catula. LBJ: encyclopedic knowledge of Congress. He tape recorded his conversation. Example given: call with Everett Dirksen. Civil Rights Bill on July 2, 1964. Statement by John Lewis. Joseph Califano: we were passing 100 significant bills a year. Johnson's Great Society. Califano: LBJ is the president that impacted the US today more than any other president. LBJ Library in Austin, Texas. Grandaughter Linda Robb. By 1968: half million troops in Viet Nam. Lewis: Johnson did more to liberate black America than anyone.

Steve Hartman.

How I met your mother. Anthony Mason, Sunday Profile. Smoulders lived in meat-packing district in NYC. Oceana.

Commentary by Joel Sartori on sand hill cranes. Platte River in Nebraska. Waste grain in farmer's fields. Can live up to 40 years.

Monday: enrollment deadline for ACA. Tuesday: April Fools Wednesday: Peabody Awards Thursday: Queen Elizabeth Friday: Doris Day Saturday: Final Four in Arlington, Texas.

Next week: Nicholas Cage.

Moment of nature. Spiriva. Snowy owls of Dayton, New York.

But recall: March 11, 2012, 2:10 PM|This "Sunday Morning" moment of nature leaves you out in the cold with snowy owls at Montana's Pablo National Wildlife Refuge.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

NY Times on Alice v. CLS Bank: The Supreme Court should make clear that nobody should be allowed to claim a monopoly over an abstract idea simply by tying it to a computer.

In an editorial Abstract Ideas Don't Deserve Patents, the New York Times suggests that the Supreme Court should find against the validity of the Alice patent.

An article in Forbes includes the text:

We want to have patent protection that is strong enough to encourage more invention but not one that is strong enough to deter further invention or innovation. The Tabarrok Curve is simply a graphical representation of this point. And Tabarrok’s argument is that we’re at the wrong point on the curve.

On images of invention, note the post related to Apple v. Samsung Samsung objects to U.S. patent video for jurors because it depicts Apple devices

Wyoming Supreme Court adopts FOIA definition of "trade secret" in "public records" dispute

The Wyoming Supreme Court, in POWDER RIVER BASIN RESOURCE
discusses the matter of public access of materials disclosed to state regulators.

The background: Recently-adopted regulations require companies engaged in hydraulic fracturing ["fracking"]
to disclose the chemical compounds used to the Commission. Appellants sought disclosure of the chemicals
in several companies’ hydraulic fracturing products from the Commission, but the Supervisor, custodian of the
records, found that information to be exempt from public disclosure as trade secrets under
the Wyoming Public Records Act (WPRA).

An interesting result was that the Wyoming Supreme Court found the state agency needed to use the definition of "trade secret" developed in federal case law under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), not the definition under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act.

Relevant text:

A trade secret in the public records context is “a
secret, commercially valuable plan, formula, process,or device
that is used for the making, preparing,compounding, or processing
of trade commodities and that can be
said to be the end product of either innovation or substantial effort.”
Anderson, 907 F.2d at 943-44 (quoting Public Citizen Health Research
Group v. Food & Drug Admin. , 704 F.2d 1280 , 1288 (D.C. Cir. 1983)).
This “definition requires that there be a ‘direct
relationship’ between the trade secret and the productive process.”

Left open

We are left with the question of whether individual ingredients of hydraulic
fracturing formulae can constitute trade secrets under the definition we adopt above.
We cannot resolve that issue in this appeal, unfortunately.

See also paper by Elizabeth Rowe, "Striking a Balance..."

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Rambus v. Rea causes remand of In re Gross case.

The In re Gross case was remanded by the CAFC in light of Rambus Inc. v. Rea, 731 F.3d 1248 (Fed. Cir. 2013).

new ground of rejection argument

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

CSI and red sweat

CSI on March 26 turned on "red sweat," chrome hydrosis.

CAFC affirms the TTAB in Stone Lion

Stone Lion v. Lion was a trademark case:

On August 20, 2008, Stone Lion filed an intent-to-use application to register the mark “STONE LION CAPITAL” with the PTO. It proposed using the mark in connection with “financial services, namely investment advisory services, management of investment funds, and fund investment services.” U.S. Trademark Application Serial No. 77551196 (filed Aug. 20, 2008). Lion opposed the registration under section 2(d) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(d) (2006), alleging Stone Lion’s proposed mark would be likely to cause confusion with Lion’s registered marks when used for Stone Lion’s recited financial services.

Section 2(d) of the Lanham Act provides that a trademark may be refused registration if it so resembles a prior used or registered mark “as to be likely, when used on or in connection with the goods of the applicant, to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive.” 15 U.S.C. § 1052(d). Likelihood of confusion is a question of law with underlying factual findings made pursuant to the DuPont factors. M2 Software, Inc. v. M2 Commc’ns, Inc., 450 F.3d 1378, 1381 (Fed. Cir. 2006). This court reviews the Board’s factual findings on each DuPont factor for substantial evidence, In re Pacer Tech., 338 F.3d 1348, 1349 (Fed. Cir. 2003), and its legal conclusion of likelihood of confusion de novo, On-Line Careline, Inc. v. Am. Online, Inc., 229 F.3d 1080, 1084 (Fed. Cir. 2000). Substantial evidence is “such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind would accept as adequate to support a conclusion.” Consol. Edison Co. of N.Y. v. N.L.R.B., 305 U.S. 197, 229 (1938).

Bottom line

The Board properly determined that the first four DuPont factors weighed in favor of finding a likelihood of confusion and that the remaining factors were neutral. The refusal of Stone Lion’s application for trademark registration is therefore affirmed.

CAFC in Stoneeagle: "Otherwise, patent attorneys and patent agents would be co-inventors on nearly every patent."

From StoneEagle v. Gilman:

But even where a federal question is raised, the federal courts’ jurisdiction is still limited by the “Cases” or “Controversies” requirement of Article III of the Constitution. Prasco, 537 F.3d at 1335. Relevant to the present case, the Supreme Court has explained that the phrase “case of actual controversy” in the Declaratory Judgment Act refers to this constitutional requirement. See MedImmune, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc., 549 U.S. 118, 127 (2007). Accordingly, to demonstrate a sufficient contro- versy for a declaratory judgment claim that satisfies the requirements of Article III, “the facts alleged, under all the circumstances, [must] show that there is a substantial controversy, between parties having adverse legal inter- ests, of sufficient immediacy and reality to warrant the issuance of a declaratory judgment.” Id.

In this case, StoneEagle’s declaratory judgment claim involves both ownership and inventorship. However, ownership is typically a question of state law. Jim Arnold Corp. v. Hydrotech Sys., Inc., 109 F.3d 1567, 1572 (Fed. Cir. 1997) (“[T]he question of who owns the patent rights and on what terms typically is a question exclusively for state courts.”). In contrast, inventorship is a federal question. For example, Univ. of Colo. Found., Inc. v. Am. Cyana- mid Co., 196 F.3d 1366, 1372 (Fed. Cir. 1999). Thus, jurisdiction in this case turns on whether StoneEagle’s complaint alleges a sufficient controversy concerning inventorship. It does not.


Here, StoneEagle only alleges that Gillman “suddenly and falsely claimed that it is his patent, that he wrote the patent, that it is on his computer, and that he ‘authored’ or ‘wrote’ it, or words to that effect.” J.A. 80. These allegations may give rise to a dispute concerning ownership, but they do not implicate inventorship. Indeed, StoneEagle does not allege that Gillman claimed he invented the health care payment system, much less conceived of the idea or contributed to its conception. Rather, StoneEagle only alleges that Gillman claims to have written the patent application.
This court has stated that assistance in reducing an invention to practice generally does not contribute to inventorship. E.g., Ethicon, Inc. v. U.S. Surgical Corp., 135 F.3d 1456, 1460, 1465 (Fed. Cir. 1998). In this case, the most favorable inference from the record in favor of StoneEagle shows only that Gilllllman assisted in constructively reducing an invention to practice. See Solvay S.A. v. Honeywell Int’l, Inc., 622 F.3d 1367, 1376 (Fed. Cir. 2010). Those activities confer no more rights of inventor- ship than activities in furtherance of an actual reduction to practice. Otherwise, patent attorneys and patent agents would be co-inventors on nearly every patent. Of course, this proposition cannot be correct.

Bottom line: Because StoneEagle did not allege an actual controversy over the inventorship of the ’686 patent, the district court lacked jurisdiction over StoneEagle’s declaratory judgment claim.

Universities licensing to patent trolls?

From the post Tech Firms and Universities Spar Over Patent Troll Bill

“There have been some cases where universities are knowingly licensing patents or selling them to companies that are NPEs and widely thought to be patent trolls,” Vaughn acknowledged. His organization is urging Congress to “find a way that effectively targets abusive practices” without drawing in other universities which aren’t licensing their patents to trolls.

Google wants people who "argue like hell"

In a post titled WHY GOOGLE WANTS NEW HIRES WHO ARE HUMBLE AND ARGUE about hiring practices at Google

Then who does the best at Google? According to Bock, it's the people who "argue like hell" and be "zealots about their point of view," but when a new fact emerges, they'll be able to admit that the situation has changed--and they're not right.

Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of "people operations"

CAFC invokes 1907 Kessler doctrine in Brain Life v. Elekta

In the case Brain Life v. Elekta, although the CAFC found that claim preclusion did not apply to new acts of infringement, the 1907 Kessler Doctrine could be invoked by a patent infringement defendant.

There is such a thing as a status of a non infringing device that is acquired when a defendant prevails in one action.

Yes, Blonder-Tongue v. University of Illinois is cited.

The CAFC stated "We may only apply the law as it continues to exist."

A nuance in the case is that the first judgment of non infringement applied to device claims, but the later asserted claims were method claims.

As to claim preclusion, the CAFC was concerned with the timeline :

Quite simply, Brain Life could not have asserted infringement claims against the products in question for acts of alleged infringement that postdate the final judgment in the MIDCO Litigation in the current litigation.

But the Kessler Doctrine was the key in the "Brain Life" case:

As explained above, however, traditional notions of claim preclusion do not apply when a patentee accuses new acts of infringement, i.e., post-final judgment, in a second suit—even where the products are the same in both suits. Such claims are barred under general preclusion principles only to the extent they can be barred by issue preclusion, with its attendant limitations. The Kessler Doctrine fills the gap between these preclusion doctrines, however, allowing an adjudged non-infringer to avoid repeated harassment for continuing its business as usual post-final judgment in a patent action where circumstances justify that result. While our past reliance on the Kessler Doctrine has been sparse, we have applied it before.

In Kessler v. Eldred, 206 U.S. 285 (1907), Eldred filed suit against his competitor Kessler alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 492,913 (“the ’913 patent”) directed to an electric lighter. Eldred first filed suit against Kessler in the District of Indiana, but the court found that Kess- ler’s product did not infringe, a ruling that the Seventh Circuit affirmed. See id. at 285–86. Eldred subsequently filed suit in the Western District of New York against Breitwieser for infringement of the ’913 patent. Breitwie- ser was a customer of Kessler and was selling the same electric lighters at issue in the Indiana action. See id. Kessler stepped in to indemnify its customer, but also filed a separate suit in Illinois to enjoin Eldred from filing suit in any court alleging infringement of the ’913 patent in connection with those of Kessler’s lighters that had already been found to be non-infringing in the Indiana action. See id. at 286–87. Both the district court and Seventh Circuit agreed with Kessler’s position and grant- ed the injunction in the Illinois action. See id. at 287.
The Supreme Court agreed with Kessler and stated that the final judgment in the first action between Eldred and Kessler “settled finally and everywhere . . . that Kessler has the right to manufacture, use, and sell the
electric cigar lighter” in question. Id. at 288. Flowing from that final decision in the first suit, the Court held that Kessler is entitled to sell its electric lighters unmo- lested by Eldred because those rights were established by the final judgment in the Indiana action. See id. at 289. In sum, the Court granted Kessler a limited trade right to continue producing, using, and selling the electric lighters that were the subject of the first suit and to do so without fear of allegations of infringement by Eldred—even when the acts of infringement occurred post-final judgment and even when it was third-parties who allegedly engaged in those acts of infringement. The Supreme Court concluded that Kessler was entitled to continue the same activity in which it engaged prior to the infringement allegations once it had defeated those contentions in the first suit. The Court did not rely on traditional notions of claim or issue preclusion in crafting this protection for Kessler.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

People related to Intellectual Ventures on US 8,682,619

Patent listed to the Invention Science Fund.  Note lawyer Tegreene is co-inventor.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Microsoft remembering Bobby Fischer

Note that Microsoft's US 8,070,606  cites the Bobby Fischer patent, US 4,,884,255, "Digital Chess Clock."

The first claim of the Microsoft patent [Progressive stall timer ]:

A method of operating an online turn-based multi-player social experience executable via a processor on a server computing device, the method comprising:

acquiring from memory on the server computing device a base time interval allotted for a participant to take an action in a current turn;
providing the base time interval to the participant in the current turn; and
if the participant does not take an action in the current turn during the base time interval, then shortening the base time interval stored in memory on the server computing device to form a shortened base time interval and, in a later turn, acquiring from memory on the server computing device the shortened base time interval in which to take an action in the later turn and providing the shortened base time interval to the participant in the later turn instead of providing the base time interval;
wherein the shortened base time interval comprises a random value within a fixed percentage range of the base time interval.

Microsoft also cited Jay Walker.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

"The Mentalist" on March 23, 2014: White as the Driven Snow

More on the murder of LaRoche.  Begins with last segment of last episode where Grace is abducted.  Rigsby is with Cho and Jane, drinking Lone Stars.  Rose Mountain Inn.  Cho asks about Grace and Rigsby joining FBI.  Cho:  why is the door to your room open?  Rigsby:  where are you Grace?

Richard Haibach is the suspect.  He shows up at the FBI building.
Meanwhile, Grace is shown, confined in a room.

Richard is prepared with alibis for the time Grace was taken, and for the time of the two other murders.

Grace escapes from the room but ends up with Richard's sister, Hazel.

But Haiback and Haibach's lawyer end up in car driven by Jane, later joined by Rigsby.

Jane and Rigsby trick Haibach into revealing the location.

As the FBI homes in on Santa Fe, there is a request for a drone.

The FBI helicopter arrives after Rigsby dispatched Haibach.

The last episode for Rigsby and Grace.

"The Good Wife" on March 23, 2014

"The Good Wife" opened with Will arguing for a defendant (Jeffrey Grant) in a murder trial.    Judge Thomas Politi.  The police arrested the wrong man.  Will:  it's a marathon, not a sprint.

Switch to Alicia, looking lost in thought.  None of this existed six months ago.  Alicia to Cary:  "Thank you for making me do this."  Cary:  I'm seeing Kalinda.  Cary:  you looked concerned.
Alicia:  I thought she was gay.  Cary:  no bisexual, or something.

Dudeck to Alicia:   You represented your husband.  Dudeck:  I advise you to submit to a voluntary deposition.  Will Gardner will go on the record.

Back to Will's murder trial.  Discussing "touch DNA".  A person loses 400,000 skin cells per day.  Will talks about touching a book.  A book on reserve was used by both the victim and grant.

An issue of a chlorinated pool destroying the DNA.    What were Danny Littlejohn's movements?  Diane:  we're putting eight associates on it?  Diane:  do we think Jeffrey did it?  What was the plea on the table?  8 years.  Diane:  what if he's not innocent?  Will:  this is not a crusade.  Diane:  ok, tell me if you need my help.

Alicia on the phone with Grant's parents, who want a second opinion.  Cary:  would you want me as your lawyer.

Grant's card key logged him in at 9:49pm.  A professor (Delaney) was a previous suspect.

Alicia tells Will about the Grants phone call.  Will:  thanks.  Alicia:  we may have our differences but you're the better lawyer.  Will confronts the Grants.

At time of Danny's death, Delaney was with his ex-wife.

Kalinda asks Will:  how long do you need to replace me?  Anyway, I'll miss you.  There are not many people I like who are left.

Dudeck is doing Alicia's deposition.  Reconsider her response.  No, I'm good.  You and Mr. Gardner are lovers, correct.  I know the investigator is in trouble when he tries to make it personal.  You're losing, Mr. Dubeck.

Kalinda learns that the doctor treated both.  A paramedic brought in both.

Back to the deposition.  What did the governor know, and when did he know it.
Once Will Gardner testifies, the dominoes will start falling.

Jeffrey Grant grabs a gun in the courtroom and starts shooting.  Will is hit.

Alicia is at Chicago Correspondents' Dinner.

Will is dead.  Kalinda and Diane remove the sheet covering his head.

Sneak peak:  Diane and Alicia together.

Peter to Alicia:  "We're all that we have"

Michael J. Fox:  I'm the new Will.

"60 Minutes" on March 23, 2014

First, Boston Marathon bombing investigation..
Second, diamond heist at mall in Dubai from Audis.
Third, New Yorker magazine cartoons. [Dog at heaven's gate: Is there any chance of getting my testicles back?]

Scott Pelley gives the inside story of the manhunt for the Boston Marathon perpetrators.  April 15, 2013.  Special Agent Rick Delorie is interviewed.  Everything swept from the street was sent to a 46,000 square foot warehouse near Logan Airport.  Re-creating the bombs from the pieces.  Key evidence:  video from cameras.  120 analysts searching the feeds.  Eureka moment on Wednesday morning:  tall man wearing a white ball cap and a backpack.  The man does not turn to his left when first explosion went off.  Martin Richard, 8 years old, was killed.  Stephanie Richards at FBI command center.  The suspect was termed "white hat."  US Attorney Carmen Ortiz.  New York Post:  posted wrong man in white hat.  The real pictures of "white hat" had not been released.  On Thursday, Rick Delorie revealed the correct pictures.  At 12:30 to 1am the next morning, murder of police office connected to bomb suspects.  Fight in Watertown.  Death of Police Officer Sean Collier.  On Friday, lockdown of Boston.  The Attorney General is seeking the death penalty.  Trial in November 2014.

Bob Simon on diamond thieves, The Pink Panthers.  Ex-Yugoslavs.  In Dubai, at a mall, drove two Audis through doors at mall.  Heist took less than 45 seconds.  Ron Noble [Ronald K. Noble], head of Interpol.    In 2003, stole diamonds in London; hid diamonds in cold cream.  In last 20 years, half a billion in heist.   A woman cases the place first.    They come from Montenegro and Serbia.  St. Tropez:  made getaway in speed boats.  Now, the Pink Panthers are getting into art.

CBS Sunday Morning on March 23, 2014: the money issue

Anthony Mason does the money issue.  Mark Strassman does the cover story on vanishing shopping malls, and reinvention thereof.  Second, Rita Braver on currency.  Third, David Pogue on smart watches.  Fourth, Lee Cowan on Shakira. Fifth, Mark Phillips on Rolls-Royce.  Headlines.  Malaysian flight 370.  Holly Williams in Perth.  Tony Abbott.  Russia's flag over military bases in Crimea.  Mudslide in Washington.  Michelle Obama in China.  Weather.  Midweek storm in northeast.

"Everything must go".  Ruins of American culture.  Abandoned mall in Toledo, Ohio.   The Blues Brothers.  Southdale Mall in 1956 in Minnesota.  Robin Lewis, the New Rules of Retail.  Mall of America, 520 stores.  Then,  No new enclosed mall since 2006.  Jose leg apse in Atlanta.  Plaza Fiesta.  Hispanic mall.  Listen to music.  280 stores, doctor, dentist, bus station.  One stop experience.   Key to re-invention.  Give a reason to come.  An experience.

Rita Braver.  The color of money.  Rose Rios on the money of yesterday.  Allan Ewing.  New hundred dollar bill.  Dead statesmen and old buildings.
Poll:  25% would like to see JFK on currency
Art:  the moneylisa.  Liberty is made from 82,000 bill fragments.
Push broom.  Lancaster, Pa.  Mark Wagner.  Picture of Bernanke comm. by a Time.   Frank Wiliams is a collector.

Seth Doane on fish story.  Skigi seafood market in Tokyo.  Chef Onuki.   Japan consumes 10% of world's fish.   One tuna sold for 1.7 million dollars.

Chester Gould of Dick Tracy.  David Pogue on wrist computers.  Smart watch.  Laptop Magazine.
A companion to smart phone.  Sony smartwatch2.  Samsung galaxy gear.  Monitoring health.  Bob troya.  Self-tracking.  Big money in health tracking.  Battle for your dollars.

John blackstone on seed money.  Blankets for beasties.   Ari nessel.  The Pollination Project.  $1000 per day.  Transformation happens on the fringes.  Average household donates $2500 to charity.

Mark Phillips on Rolls-Royce.  Leather from bulls.  300-400k per car.  Richard Carter.  Fiber optic representation of night sky.  John Lennon.  Richard Caller, the bespoke process.   China is Rolls biggest market.

Richard Scheslinger on Spirit Airlines.  High profit margin.  Ads on overhead bins.  $3 for water.  Options that customers choose.  Year of the customer.  Aligning expectations.

Lee Cowan on Shakira from Colombia.  Wrote first song at age 8.  I wanted to become relevant.  Cowan met her in Cartagena.  Descalzo.  Many more schools to open.

Nancy Giles on tipping points.  Tip=to insure prompt service.  Bob Manning on taxi tips.  Loss adeo of Tip Top Diner in NJ.  Colorado diners leave 19.6% tip.

Serena Altshul.  Quirky inventor.  Quirky manages 900,000 inventors.  Thursday night.
Ben Kauffman.  Make invention accessible.  10% revenue shared.  Citrus sprayer called stem.
Hot dog splicer.  Garson Leslie on air conditioner:  wifi enabled.

Jim Kramer of Mad Money.  Discretionary portfolio.  Vs. 401(k).
Save 10-15%.  Always diversify.  Standard and Poors index fund,  average family $3800 in savings.

Spanish dollar served as US currency in 17th and 18th centuries.

Next week:  science of laughter

Snow geese and tundra swans in Lehigh Valley, Pa.  Many "bills."

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Plagiarism matters: Schavan loses appeal; Bassem Youssef has problems

Former German Education Minister Schavan lost her appeal to regain her doctorate degree which had been revoked for plagiarism.

As reported by


Annette Schavan resigned as Education Minister last February, four days after her PhD title was revoked, but still contests that the Heinrich Heine University was wrong to find her guilty of plagiarism. Schavan took the case to the Düsseldorf Administrative Court, seeking to retain her title for the thesis she submitted in 1980, aged 24.
Judge Simone Feuerstein on Thursday [March 20, 2014] said the university's decision "was taken in compliance with the law," saying her court's investigation found 60 instances of plagiarism in the text. Feuerstein said there were multiple passages from secondary sources which were not properly cited by Schavan.

See previous IPBiz post:

Meanwhile, Bassem Youssef, feted on "60 Minutes" on March 16, 2014, has a plagiarism issue.  From a post  Scourge of Egypt media mocked for 'plagiarism'   

Youssef blamed his workload for not making clear he had lifted large sections of his column from a piece published on US website politico by Moscow-based journalist Ben Judah.


Hauge wins reversal at CAFC of civil contempt ruling in "former employee" case

The former employee Hauge prevailed against his former employer in a contempt/injunction case Energy Recovery v. Hauge.

Of the background for this inventor/former employer disagreement:

The dispute between Mr. Hauge and his former employer, ERI, began more than thirteen years ago over ownership of intellectual property rights related to “pressure exchangers,” a type of energy recovery device used in reverse osmosis. On March 16, 2001, the parties entered into the Agreement resolving the litigation. Three days later, the district court adopted the Agreement and issued the 2001 Order, stating that ERI was to be the sole owner of three U.S. patents and one pending U.S. patent application: U.S. Patent Nos. 4,887,942, 5,338,158, and 5,988,993, and U.S. Patent Application No. 09/508,694, which later issued as U.S. Patent No. 6,659,731.1
The Agreement and subsequent Order obligated Mr. Hauge to transfer ownership not only of the patents, but also “all other intellectual property and other rights relating to pressure exchanger technology” pre-dating the Agreement and 2001 Order. J.A. 10, 16. The Agreement states: “[t]his assignment and transfer of rights is not intended to extend to inventions by Hauge . . . made after the date of this Agreement.” J.A. 16. The Agreement also contains a non-compete clause, prohibiting Mr. Hauge from making or selling energy recovery devices for use in reverse osmosis salt water desalination for two years from the date of the Agreement.

An issue

After the expiration of the non-compete clause, on August 10, 2004, Mr. Hauge filed a provisional patent application, titled “Pressure Exchanger,” and filed a utility application one year later. U.S. Patent No. 7,306,437 (the “’437 patent”) issued on December 11, 2007. Its abstract describes “[a] pressure exchanger for transferring pressure energy from a high-pressure fluid stream to low-pressure fluid stream.” ’437 patent, at [57]. (...)

At the hearing, Mr. Hauge’s counsel argued that ERI had failed to show that the allegedly proprietary technology was protectable as a trade secret, and argued that Mr. Hauge was not prohibited from using the technology because the Agreement related only to transfer of ownership of the patents and proprietary technology pre-dating the Agreement.

A point on appeal procedure:

Even though no final disposition has been made regarding the amount of contempt damages and attorneys’ fees, the district court’s Contempt Order is appealable under §1292(c)(1) because it modified the scope of the 2001 Order.  In relevant part, the 2001 Order declared ERI the sole owner of all “intellectual property and other rights relating to pressure exchanger technology predating this Order.” 

As to contempt

To establish civil contempt, clear and convincing evidence must support each of the following elements:

(1) the existence of a valid decree of which the alleged contemnor had actual or constructive knowledge; (2) that the decree was in the movant’s favor; (3) that the alleged contemnor by its conduct violated the terms of the decree, and had knowledge (at least constructive knowledge) of such violations; and (4) that the movant suffered harm as a result.

The CAFC observed:

None of Mr. Hauge’s challenged conduct violates any provision of the 2001 Order. Paragraph One of the Agreement begins with the heading “ABSOLUTE TRANSFER OF ALL RIGHTS IN PATENTS, PATENT APPLICATIONS AND ALL RELATED INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, TO ENERGY RECOVERY.” J.A. 16. The remainder of the paragraph details that Mr. Hauge “irrevocably and absolutely assign[s]” to ERI “all right, title and interest along with any and all patent rights,” J.A. 16, which Mr. Hauge had in “(i) the patents and patent applications . . . ; (ii) any and all patent rights . . . , intellectual property rights, property rights . . . ; and (iv) all other intellectual property and other rights relating to pressure exchanger technology predating this Order.” J.A. 10. Only clause (iv) is at issue. See J.A. 57 (ERI’s counsel explained to the district court that “[t]he [issue] that is in question . . . for this hearing, it’s not patents, it’s not the applications for patents, but it is No. 4 in the [O]rder, ‘[a]ll other intellectual property and other rights relating to pressure exchanger technology predating this [O]rder.’”).
The Agreement only required Mr. Hauge to transfer ownership of the pre-Agreement pressure exchanger intellectual property; “cooperate fully in executing any and all documents necessary” to do so; refrain from competing for two years; and announce in a press release that ERI was the “sole source for Pressure Exchangers built pursuant to such patents, patent applications, and technology.” 

Of hiring other employees:

The district court was also concerned by Mr. Hauge’s conduct in hiring two (then current) employees of ERI. Mr. Hauge admitted hiring the ERI employees, explaining they were “skilled trade persons . . . and of course no one would hire at this cost and expect no benefit from past work experience.” J.A. 7. Mr. Hauge’s professed motivation for the hires was that when he was the president of ERI, “we basically went through the complete setup of commercial production. And what we were about to do was pretty much all over again doing what I did in [19]98.”  (...)
While it may constitute trade secret misappropriation, that would not justify a finding of contempt in this case. Notably, ERI’s trade secret claim in California state court based on the same conduct resulted in a unanimous jury verdict in favor of Mr. Hauge.

Of consent decrees

the Supreme Court has explained that a consent decree must be discerned within its four corners:

Consent decrees are entered into by parties to a case after careful negotiation has produced agreement on their precise terms. The parties waive their right to litigate the issues involved in the case and thus save themselves the time, expense, and inevitable risk of litigation. Naturally, the agreement reached normally embodies a compromise; in exchange for the saving of cost and elimination of risk, the parties each give up something they might have won had they proceeded with the litigation. Thus the decree itself cannot be said to have a purpose; rather the parties have purposes, generally opposed to each other, and the resultant decree embodies as much of those opposing purposes as the respective parties have the bargaining power and skill to achieve. For these reasons, the scope of a consent decree must be discerned within its four corners, and not by reference to what might satisfy the purposes of one of the parties to it.

United States v. Armour & Co., 402 U.S. 673, 681–82 (1971)

A game of “inventor musical chairs,”

See Gabriel v. Qualcomm   for the text

plaintiffs played a game of “inventor musical chairs,” Defs.-Appellees Br. 23, repeatedly shifting positions as to which individuals from Locate were omitted inventors. In the end, none of the Gabriel plaintiffs’ fact or expert witnesses provided support for the contention that indi- viduals from Locate made a specific inventive contribu- tion to any Qualcomm patent.4

with note 4

The Gabriel plaintiffs argue that the declarations they submitted from “highly-credentialed experts” were sufficient to demonstrate that Locate “conceived of valua- ble contributions to the technology that was later included in [Qualcomm’s] patents.” (...) We have reviewed these declarations, however, and conclude that they fail to adequately identify: (1) any specific inventive contribution that any particular Locate employee made to the Qualcomm patents; or (2) any specific trade secret that was misappropriated by the Qualcomm defendants.

Mixed result in Alcon v. Barr: no infringement and no invalidity

The case Alcon v. Barr was a Hatch-Waxman matter, with Alcon losing on infringement, but surviving as to validity.  The discussion of enablement and written description is of interest.

From within:

Critically, however, the district court found, and the parties do not dispute on appeal, that the composition of the generic product proposed in Barr’s ANDA is significantly different from the compositions tested in Alcon’s study. Alcon, 837 F. Supp. 2d at 376; J.A. 6984, 6991. The test formulations used by Alcon to compile the data in Table 7 were maintained at pH 6.0–6.1 and contained, inter alia, 0.005% weight by volume of travoprost, varying concentrations of PECO, the antimicrobial preservative benzalkonium chloride, and a buffer solution comprising tromethamine, boric acid, and mannitol. Id. In contrast, the generic product proposed in Barr’s ANDA is main- tained at a different pH, is composed of 0.004% weight by volume of travoprost and a buffered preservative system comprising propylene glycol, sorbitol, and zinc chloride, but does not contain benzalkonium chloride or a tro- methamine/boric acid/mannitol buffer solution. Id. Alcon itself admitted that variation in parameters including pH, preservatives, and buffers can have a substantial impact on the chemical stability of a prostaglandin in an ophthalmic formulation. Id. at 376–77; Appellant Br. 39; J.A. 5539–40, 5985. (...)
We thus conclude that the district court did not clearly err in finding that the data in Alcon’s Table 7 had no bearing on whether Barr’s proposed generic product infringed Alcon’s patents. The formulations tested in Alcon’s stability study were meaningfully different from the product described in Barr’s ANDA and thus provided no basis from which to draw any reliable inferences regarding whether the PECO in Barr’s composition would chemically stabilize the prostaglandin. See Lucent Tech., Inc. v. Gateway, Inc., 543 F.3d 710, 722–24 (Fed. Cir. 2008) (recognizing that overly speculative circumstantial evidence will not suffice to prove infringement).

As to section 112

Section 112 of the patent statute describes what must be contained in a patent specification. Among other requirements, it must contain “a written description of the invention, and of the manner and process of making and using it . . . [such] as to enable any person skilled in the art to which it pertains, . . . to make and use the same . . . .” 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶ 1 (2006). Thus, this statutory language mandates satisfaction of two separate and independent requirements: an applicant must both de- scribe the claimed invention adequately and enable its production and use. Ariad Pharm., Inc. v. Eli Lilly & Co., 598 F.3d 1336, 1344 (Fed. Cir. 2010) (en banc); Vas-Cath Inc. v. Mahurkar, 935 F.2d 1555, 1562–63 (Fed. Cir. 1991).


Alcon argues that the district court erred in holding the asserted claims of the ’287 and ’062 patents invalid for lack of enablement because it only weighed the breadth of the claims against the detail of the patent disclosures. Alcon contends that Barr presented no evidence that any experimentation would be required for a person of ordi- nary skill in the art to practice the invention as claimed.
Barr responds that the patents provide very little guidance to one skilled in the art in the form of only three working examples and do not disclose any data for chemi- cal stability. Barr contends that the reported data relate only to physical stability, not prostaglandin degradation, and that the patents do not disclose how PECOs work to chemically stabilize prostaglandins. Barr further asserts that the technology at issue is highly unpredictable, particularly with regard to choice of pH, buffer, buffer concentration, preservatives, chelating agents, and other excipients.
We agree with Alcon that the district court erred in its enablement analysis. To prove that a claim is invalid for lack of enablement, a challenger must show by clear and convincing evidence that a person of ordinary skill in the art would not be able to practice the claimed invention without “undue experimentation.” In re Wands, 858 F.2d 731, 736–37 (Fed. Cir. 1988); see also Johns Hopkins Univ. v. CellPro, Inc., 152 F.3d 1342, 1360 (Fed. Cir. 1998) (“[I]t is imperative when attempting to prove lack of enablement to show that one of ordinary skill in the art would be unable to [practice] the claimed invention with- out undue experimentation.”) (emphasis omitted). After the challenger has put forward evidence that some exper- imentation is needed to practice the patented claim, the factors set forth in Wands then provide the factual con- siderations that a court may consider when determining whether the amount of that experimentation is either “undue” or sufficiently routine such that an ordinarily skilled artisan would reasonably be expected to carry it out. Wands, 858 F.2d at 737.
The district court erred here because its enablement analysis did not address that determinative question: Barr failed to make the threshold showing that any experimentation is necessary to practice the claimed methods, i.e., to use PECO to enhance the stability of a prostaglandin given the disclosures of Alcon’s ’287 and ’062 patents. Instead, the district court’s holding rested on its finding that the full scope of the claims was not enabled after applying the Wands factors as if they were a generalized test for deciding whether a patent disclosure is sufficiently detailed to support a broad claim. Alcon, 837 F. Supp. 2d at 370, 380–83.

Practising vs. optimizing:

Indeed, Barr’s expert observed that “when ‘you have a lot of variables on top of one another, the experimentation gets out of control quickly.’” Id. at 383 (citing J.A. 6009). But such an unsubstantiated conclusory statement is not sufficient. Cephalon, Inc. v. Watson Pharm., Inc., 707 F.3d 1330, 1339 (Fed. Cir. 2013). Barr adduced no evidence at trial that changing any of the “variables” or “[v]arious parameters” identified by the district court would render Alcon’s claimed invention inoperable, nor was there any evidence that experimenting with those variables was required for an ordinarily skilled artisan to be capable of increasing the chemical stability of a prostaglandin by adding PECO. Adjusting variables may be relevant to optimizing the stability of a given prostaglandin composition, but Barr proffered no evidence that any experimentation, let alone undue experimentation, with those variables would be necessary in order to practice the claimed invention. Without that evidence, there is no foundation for the district court’s nonenablement ruling.

An inventor need not know why an invention works:

Furthermore, a patent does not need to guarantee that the invention works for a claim to be enabled. It is well settled that an invention may be patented before it is actually reduced to practice. Pfaff v. Wells Elecs., Inc., 525 U.S. 55, 61 (1998). Similarly, a patentee is not re- quired to provide actual working examples; we have rejected enablement challenges based on the theory that there can be no guarantee that prophetic examples actual- ly work, as “[t]he burden is on one challenging validity to show by clear and convincing evidence that the prophetic examples together with other parts of the specification are not enabling.” Atlas Powder Co. v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., 750 F.2d 1569, 1577 (Fed. Cir. 1984). Nor is it “a requirement of patentability that an inventor correctly set forth, or even know, how or why the invention works.” Newman v. Quigg, 877 F.2d 1575, 1581–82 (Fed. Cir. 1989) (citing Diamond Rubber Co. v. Consol. Rubber Tire Co., 220 U.S. 428, 435–36 (1911)). Thus, it is likewise irrelevant here, as a legal matter, whether the ’287 and ’062 patents contain data proving that PECOs enhance the chemical stability of prostaglandins.

Flunking the written description test?

Barr responds that the claims “flunk the written description requirement” because they encompass “a method for enhancing the chemical stability of innumerable prostaglandins by adding to them PECO in an endless number of combinations and concentrations” and therefore are not precise and “overreach” the scope of the patent disclosures. Appellant Br. 49–50. Barr contends that the specifications only disclose physical data from one compound to support the proposition that PECO enhances the chemical stability of all prostaglandins, but that they do not disclose any data on chemical stability, prostaglandin degradation products, or prostaglandin degradation pathways.

We agree with Alcon that the specifications provide an adequate written description of the claimed invention. “[T]he hallmark of written description is disclosure.” Ariad, 598 F.3d at 1351. The standard for satisfying the written description requirement is whether the disclosure “allow[s] one skilled in the art to visualize or recognize the identity of the subject matter purportedly described.”
Enzo Biochem, Inc. v. Gen-Probe Inc., 323 F.3d 956, 968 (Fed. Cir. 2002). There is no requirement that the disclo- sure contain “either examples or an actual reduction to practice”; rather, the critical inquiry is whether the pa- tentee has provided a description that “in a definite way identifies the claimed invention” in sufficient detail that a person of ordinary skill would understand that the inven- tor was in possession of it at the time of filing. Ariad, 598 F.3d at 1350, 1352; Koito Mfg. Co. v. Turn-Key-Tech., LLC, 381 F.3d 1142, 1154 (Fed. Cir. 2004). That assess- ment “requires an objective inquiry into the four corners of the specification.” Ariad, 598 F.3d at 1351.

Written description vs. enablement:

Despite these disclosures, the district court concluded that the asserted claims were invalid for lack of an ade- quate written description “for essentially the same rea- sons that they fail the enablement requirement . . . .” Alcon, 837 F. Supp. 2d at 384. But written description is about whether the skilled reader of the patent disclosure can recognize that what was claimed corresponds to what was described; it is not about whether the patentee has proven to the skilled reader that the invention works, or how to make it work, which is an enablement issue. See Ariad, 598 F.3d at 1352. Barr’s argument regarding the difference between physical and chemical stability, even if correct, is thus not relevant to the inquiry. Critically, Barr adduced no evidence, let alone clear and convincing evidence, that was probative of whether an ordinarily skilled artisan would not have understood from the disclosures of Alcon’s ’287 and ’062 patents that the patent- ees invented, or possessed, the methods of the asserted claims. Without that evidence, there was no basis on which to find a lack of adequate written description.

Accordingly, we conclude that the district court erred in failing to apply the proper test for determining whether the patents recited an adequate written description and Barr again did not meet its burden of proving invalidity by clear and convincing evidence. We therefore reverse the district court’s judgment that claim 12 of the ’287 patent and claim 19 of the ’062 patent are invalid for lack of an adequate written description.

The conclusion

In view of the foregoing, we conclude that the district court’s assessment that Barr’s ANDA products would not infringe either claim 12 of Alcon’s ’287 patent or claim 19 of Alcon’s ’062 patent was correct and we therefore affirm that judgment. We further conclude that those claims are not invalid under § 112, ¶ 1 and accordingly we reverse the district court’s contrary holding. Finally, because we conclude that the district court did not abuse its discre- tion in denying Barr’s Rule 59(e) motion to amend for JMOL of noninfringement as to Alcon’s ’383 and ’052 patents, we affirm that decision.

Here's what PatentHawk had to say about the decision

In Alcon v. Barr (2012-1340), a CAFC panel reminds that the U.S. patent regime is rotten to the core. Applicants may get patents for so-called "inventions" that don't work: "a patent does not need to guarantee that the invention works for a claim to be enabled. It is well settled that an invention may be patented before it is actually reduced to practice."

Sunday, March 16, 2014

"The Mentalist" on March 16, 2014: "Grey Water" on fracking

The episode begins with a phone discussion of LaRoche's murder among Wayne, Grace, at their place in San Francisco and Lisbon, in Texas.  Then, a shotgun wielding assassin attacks Wayne,  narrowly missing Wayne and child, Maddie.

Wayne and Grace go to Austin.  12 suspects for the killing of LaRoche are identified.

The more focused issue is a murder in Bradley, TEXAS, wherein a body is found on a fracking site.  Dan Becker, local rancher, is the victim and he had brought suit against Millman Oil, a fracking company which had  polluted Becker's groundwater.  Lease was on federal land; ergo FBI jurisdiction.  Fisher wants to question everybody; Patrick identifies the chief operating officer (Kern).  Patrick:  you're big oil, you can do anything you want.  We are not big oil; we are a regional company.  Anti-corporate organization named "The Collective" is suggested as the problem.

Visit to Dan Becker ranch.  Susan Fitzgerald, family friend.  Molly is wife.  Tap water filled with methane.  Dan was going to pass land on to his son Nathaniel.   Molly lights up tapwater with match.  Bryce Kendrick, another friend:  Millman Oil is behind this.  Nobody dares cross them.  Emmet Fitzgerald sold fracking rights to Millman Oil.  Bryce tells Fisher Dan Becker was roughed up the week before.

Scene with protestors in front of Millman Oil. Issue of computer hacking.  Matter of assault on Becker.  Mr. Jane, we're not an evil company.

On the more general theme, Hutton looks like a good suspect for LaRoche murder; he defeated his ankle bracelet.

Jane to Wiley:  how much can you really learn about a person on the internet?  Really.
[This goes to the the IP theme of privacy, as discussed for example on "60 Minutes" on March 9, 2014 in "The Data Brokers." In "The Mentalist", significant information is developed on Bryce Kendrick, which is used to trick him at a "talking" gas pump."]

Bryce Kendrick was the killer of Becker.  The issue was keeping/not keeping money found in  the Millman Oil safe.

One notes both in this episode of The Mentalist, and on the earlier (2010) episode of CSI, also on fracking

#1.  There was an acceptance that there were combustible gases in the drinking water, which were ignited on each episode.

#2.  The fracking company per se was not involved in the respective murders

Hutton turns out not to be the guy in the LaRoche business.

Cast for "Grey Water":

William Mapother: Richard Haibach  Milena Govich: Molly Becker  Todd Williams: Agent Miller  Penny Peyser: Linda Dubin  Sean O’Bryan: Emmett Fitzgerald  Colby French: Jason Kern  Paul Schulze: John Hutton  Claire Winters: Jacquelyn Hutton  Gary Grubbs (currently residing in Hattiesburg, Mississippi   ): Samuel Millman  Judson Mills: Bryce Kendrick  Shannon Sturges: Susan Fitzgerald Zeljko Ivanek: Linus Wagner .

Cross-reference a different CBS show (from 2010) which had a similar plot line on fracking  CSI does Cable Spings, NV and natural gas drilling    with text:

ConservoSolutions is the implied villain of the piece. Bill Gibson's water contained methane, and burned when lit with a torch. [Contemplate the Henry's Law coefficient for methane in water!]

"The Good Wife" on March 16, 2014

The show includes a series of flash backs to Alicia's days of re-starting as a lawyer, as she is (in current time) preparing a keynote speech to the ABA meeting in New York City.   The flash backs illustrate many adverse events in Alicia's attempts to get a job as a lawyer.  Alicia had not worked as a lawyer for 13 years.

Meanwhile, Will talks about Nelson Dubeck.

At the ABA. Elsbeth gives a talk on "my approach to litigation."  Close your eyes and picture a pillow.  (...)

A reprieve as to an appointment with Rayna Hecht, a noted rainmaker, and possible addition to Alicia's law firm.  Rayna is coming to Alicia's keynote.

A man costumed as a bear calls Elsbeth, on the street in Times Square, "a dirty stinking Jew".

Clarke Hayden advises Alicia to frame her ABA speech as one of female empowerment, to impress Rayna Hecht.

Alicia asks Cary what Cary thought of Alicia when they first met.  Cary:  I thought you were entitled.  Why did Will hire you?

Elsbeth to Nelson Dubeck:  How do you know the governor is guilty?  Dubeck:  He is the governor of Illinois.   Elsbeth records her conversation with Dubeck; one person consent is the law in New York (tho not apparently in Illinois).

About midway, Alicia gives her keynote.

I prepared by looking in a mirror; it was the only interview I could get.  Alicia noted she did have a good interviewer (Will Gardner, tho not identified in the ABA speech).  Use everything you have to get the job and don't feel entitled.  Flashback.  Will Gardner gives Kalinda a job to look into Alicia.  Old firm:  lacked a killer instinct, thus get rid of her.
Alicia in ABA speech:  Would I have felt differently if I were a man?  [Attendees start to leave, because of a hostile takeover announcement, and wanting to get part of the action.  Not because of Alicia.]  The key is to raise your profile.  Optout moms are held to a higher standard than everyone else.

Alicia and Will at coffee shop.  Alicia:  I just had 300 people walk out on me.  Why do you hate me?  I don't like you; hate is probably too strong.  Wow, it just never ends.  Don't ask the question if you don't want the answer.  We could never make it work.  You're linking together two things I never did.  If you were any other partner...  You're going to fight me on every client?  Alicia offers a handshake.  Will shakes.

Rayna was impressed with Alicia's speech.  Wants to meet in the lounge; have a quick drink with us.  How to destroy our competitors; may be best man win.

Jim Moody intercepts Will.  I only did what Eli Gold told me to do. [This goes to an IP theme of privacy.  Apparently, Moody was told by Dubeck to encounter Will, so that the encounter could be caught on a surveillance video, which Dubeck obtained directly from the hotel.]

Rayna meets.  Rayna says:  Powerful speech; I am sorry so many of our colleagues had to miss it.  You have female partners.  Rayna:  were you unhappy at Lockhart, Gardner?  Rayna:  what do you want Alicia?  What do YOU want?  Alicia:  I want a happy life and I want to control my fate.
Rayna:  Thank you gentlemen.  Clarke, later:  how were you supposed to answer?

Elsbeth singing:  high hopes.  This city inspires  me.  Nathan Lane's character on NYC:  this city makes me sweat.

Elsbeth announces she has partnered with Rayna. [Thus, one infers Alicia's answer to Rayna was not adequate.]

Lorraine Joy stops by Alicia.  Offers Alicia a job.  In earlier flashback, Lorraine had rejected Alicia.

Cast on March 16 included:  Nathan Lane: Clarke Hayden Jeremiah Wiggins: Howard Acocella Cady Huffman: Marina Vassal Skipp Sudduth: Jim Moody Jill Hennessy: Rayna Hecht Carrie Preston: Elsbeth Tascioni Polly Draper: Lorainne Joy Nestor Rodriguez: Cute Bear Eric Bogosian: Nelson Dubeck

"60 Minutes" on March 16, 2014

First up, a story on Vassem Youssef, a cardiac surgeon who does comedy in Egypt.

Second up, "Drones over America."  FAA is trying out to figure out the rules of the road.  Initially, a park in Austin, Texas.  Colin Quinn illustrates his squadron.  "The Future of Possible."  Drone hovering over Niagara Falls.  Drones in Time Square.  Drones filming surfers in Hawaii.  Definitely a young business.  Environmental research.  Help forest service fighting wildfires.  2011 tsunami in Japan:  measure radiation.  Damage in Phillipines.  Dirty, dangerous, dull missions.  The Drone Show.  Missy Cummings, of MIT and Duke.  Small drones delivering wedding cakes.  "SARA."
SKATE made of styrofoam, weighs about two pounds.  The future was looking back at them.  The issue of privacy.  Greatest privacy invasion:  cell phone, if not your Facebook account.  Diane Feinstein discussed privacy concerns.  Troubled by proliferation of drones.  {UAS}  When does it become stalking?  Demonstrators.  Humming bird drone.  Some certification of operators?  Exercising a dog with a drone.

Third up, "Cajun Ketchup."  Tabasco.  150 years of tradition.  Avery Island, west of New Orleans.  Tony Simmons, fifth generation CEO.  Are there secrets?  Red tabasco, vinegar.  How many secrets can you have?  Edmund invented the category.  Only 30% of companies move from first generation; only 12% move from second generation.   Harold "Took" Osborne is next in line.  Grows peppers on 20 acres to produce seeds to grow plants elsewhere.  Every time you breed something, you give away something.  Some seeds are kept in a vault.  10 million pounds of peppers.  Mash comes back, and is stored in oak barrels.  Mash slumbers for three years.  Spider webs are found.  After 3 years, vinegar added and mixed for 28 days.  Sauce is strained and bottled.  700,000 bottles per day.  Shipping to 166 countries.  "Fatality" brand pictured.  In 2005, Hurricane Rita.  Protect Avery Island.  Salt water intrusion.  They need grass.  Family leases land for oil/gas drilling and salt exploration.  Unique Cajun musical tradition.  "Not sure the joy would be as great if made elsewhere."  IP angle:  Tabasco has been trademarked since 1906.  Can't call a product "Sanjay's Tabasco Sauce."  Can say "Sanjay's Hot Sauce Made from Tabasco Peppers."   Tony Simmons:   I like owning a family business. 

from wikipedia:  Tabasco sauce was first produced in 1868 by Edmund McIlhenny.   Paul McIlhenny, sixth in the line of McIlhenny men to run the business, assumed the presidency in 1998, and occupied the post of chairman until his death in early 2013.

Comments on story.  The Data Brokers.  The Enter Net.  Relationship of The Data Brokers to story on ALMA.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

On mind-numbing Powerpoints: shortcuts to nowhere?

Powerpoint presentations can be a shortcut to no where.  The following is from Californiastemcellreport on comments on one such Powerpoint talk:

The scientist's comment focused on one of the host of Power Point presentations used by CIRM at last January's meeting of the Citizens Financial Accountability and Oversight Committee, the only state entity charged with overseeing the stem cell agency and its governing board. Here is the full text of the comment.
“You referred to the slide show as mind-numbing.  I might call it weird. 
“The title: 'Advancing Stem Cell Science, CIRM's scientific scope' 
“The first slide 'CIRM's vision and strategy'  No vision or strategy follows.
“The near last slide: 'what does CIRM want?' is the stunner.
“CIRM 'wants:' 
“Stem cell therapies -- Not just any therapy but those 'where the stem cell connection is strong.' And if the connection is weak? Say the disease path was identified in stem cells, and the drug for the path made separately or turns out to be a small molecule? Then what? CIRM won't fund it. A plan for development -- so what have they been doing for 10 years?
“CIRM wants to have a strong, 'major impact' -- Is this a vision, lament, or failure to hire the right publicist?
“CIRM wants diseases that already come with biomarkers and a good understanding of the pathophysiology, diseases that come with their own definitions of efficacy, so that clinical trials are easy to do. Heck, if we knew all that, then treatment development would be rational and easy; both NIH and industry money would and does fund it.

“CIRM wants proof of concept by 2017. Please give us a disease and intervention for which we can do a phase 2a study and show efficacy. 
“Finally, CIRM wants 'a strong, credible team with expertise ...' and executive ability.  Yes, as their regular pronouncements indicate, they lack credibility and expertise in many areas?"

Our take: Clearly the use of Power Point presentations at the CFAOC session did not have the desired effect, either on the audience at the time or on the scientist who sent the above commentary. However, that was only part of the problem at that meeting.

The California Stem Cell Report's comment about mind-numbing Power Point presentations was also aimed beyond last January's meeting to include CIRM's heavy reliance on such presentations, which too often substitute for nuanced, written explorations of the issues at hand. The presentations by their very nature are nothing more than outlines. Almost invariably they are simply read to the audience, as in the governing board of the agency. If the goal of the agency is to convince persons outside the agency of the virtues of its billions of dollars in spending, “death by Power Point” is not the way to do it. Like any tool, such presentations have a use. But they are not always the best tool for everything.

Meanwhile, one wonders what californiastemcellreport thinks about the two papers in Nature on stem cells, now under attack?

There is an allusion to these papers in the
post Science and Blogging, which discusses the beneficial impacts of blogging by Paul Knoepfler on establishing communication on the STAP procedure.

Further, the californiastemcell post includes

Michael Eisen, a scientist at UC Berkeley, weighs in on this topic regularly. In a blog item September 2012, he noted that most papers that had been submitted 10 months earlier to journals were still languishing on some editor's or reviewer's desk

As to the (now-controversial) STAP papers at Nature, one notes the second paper went from submission to publication in less than one year.

Published online

  • **And it took less than one month for scientists to determine significant irregularities in the papers.  As to Eisen's comment, perhaps some papers should be reviewed more carefully by editors and reviewers.
** Of a patent angle, one notes that US patent applications are published, and then freely open to the public, 18 months from their priority date.  Separately, per  37 C.F.R. 1.219   Early publication.   , one may advance publication:  
The Office will publish the application as soon as possible if the application is otherwise ready for publication. 

**Returning to the Powerpoint theme, IPBiz notes that patent applications typically have far more useful information than the Powerpoints referenced by californiastemcellreport.

RIKEN holds press conference on March 14, 2014 re: charges against stem cell/STAP papers published in the journal Nature

In a post titled  RIKEN: No Misconduct Yet Found in Its Acid-Bath Stem Cell Investigation

in Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News ["GEN"], officials at RIKEN asserted 
that the mistakes it has investigated thus far do not “constitute research misconduct.”

RIKEN held a press conference on Friday, March 14, 2014 to address issues with the two papers in Nature and therein stated that not all issues have been investigated, including the charge about (unattributed) use of images from Obokata's doctoral thesis:

“The image of differentiated cells for Figures 2d and 2e and the image of chimera mouse immunostaining data are incorrect, and in the process of the investigation, it was found that these images closely resemble images used by [lead author] Dr. Obokata in her doctoral dissertation.”

Also still being investigated are the following charges:

  • Paper 1: “In Figure 1i, lane 3 appears to have been inserted later.
  • Paper 1: “A part of the Methods section on karyotyping analysis
  •   appears to have been copied from another paper.”
  • Paper 1: “Some of the description of karyotyping in the Methods section
  •  is different from the actual procedure that was followed.

**RIKEN president Ryoji Noyori did state:
“It is extremely regrettable that significant discrepancies have been found to have been generated in the process of preparing the Nature articles for publication,” the statement continued. “We are investigating these discrepancies, with the understanding that it may become necessary to demand the withdrawal of the articles.”

**IPBiz asks:  When a scientist prepares work for publication in a prestigious journal such as Nature, would not the scientist be careful NOT to have "significant discrepancies " ?

Link to earlier IPBiz post: