TLJ News from February 6-10, 2011

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2/9. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice in the Federal Register that announces, recites, describes, and sets the comment deadline for, its supplementary guidelines for the examination of claims in patent applications for compliance with the second paragraph of 35 U.S.C. ß 112, which requires that claims particularly point out and distinctly claim the subject matter that applicant regards as his or her invention. These guidelines also pertain to the examination of claims that contain functional language for compliance with Section 112, especially computer implemented invention claims. These guidelines supplement the USPTO's Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP). The are effective February 9, 2011. The comment deadline is April 11, 2011. See, notice in the Federal Register, February 9, 2011, Vol. 76, No. 27, at Pages 7162-7175.

2/9. The Department of Commerce's (DOC) Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published a notice in the Federal Register that announces, describes, recites, and sets the effective dates for, its amendments to its Export Administration Regulations regarding mandatory online registration to obtain an account to submit license applications and similar documents electronically through SNAP-R. See, notice in the Federal Register, February 9, 2011, Vol. 76, No. 27, at Pages 7102-7106.


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2/8. A trial jury of the U.S. District Court (EDVa) returned a verdict of guilty against Iheanyi Frank Chinasa on charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud,  and obstruction of an official proceeding. The Department of Justice (DOJ) stated in a release that he engaged in a scheme to defraud Cisco Systems. The DOJ stated that he "manufactured counterfeit computer networking and telecommunications equipment", and then claimed to Cisco that he was "having trouble with a Cisco product covered by a warranty. Cisco would issue replacement parts".

2/8. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice in the Federal Register requesting comments regarding how it might use the Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries (PTDLs) more effectively. The deadline to submit comments is March 17, 2011. See, Federal Register, February 8, 2011, Vol. 76, No. 26, at Pages 6764-6765.


Obama Addresses Innovation

2/7. President Obama gave a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington DC in which he focused on the importance of innovation to the economy.

However, he only made brief mention of patent reform and extending the research and development tax credit.

He said, well into his lengthy address, that "We're reforming our patent system so innovations can move more quickly to market." He said "I've also proposed a bigger, permanent tax credit for all the research and development your companies do in this country. I believe that is a priority."

He spoke in more detail about government spending on education and research. He also advocated things that are accomplished by the private sector, such as building and improving communications networks.

President Obama said that "The globalization of our economy means that businesses can now open up a shop, employ workers and produce their goods wherever an Internet connection exists."

He said that "We need to out-innovate, we need to out-educate, we need to out-build our competitors. We need an economy that's based not on what we consume and borrow from other nations, but what we make and what we sell around the world. We need to make America the best place on Earth to do business."

"We will upgrade our transportation and communication networks so you can move goods and information more quickly and more cheaply. We'll invest in education so that you can hire the most skilled, talented workers in the world. And we'll work to knock down barriers that make it harder for you to compete, from the tax code to the regulatory system."

President Obama also addressed innovation in his speech to the Congress on January 25, 2011. He made numerous references to computing, the internet, innovation, and information technology companies. However, other than vague references to government funded research, STEM education, and immigration policy, he did not discuss technology related legislation or policy.

Prior to these two speeches, the President had spoken little and infrequently about IT and innovation.

"We live and do business in the information age," said Obama in his speech to the Congress. "Today, just about any company can set up shop, hire workers, and sell their products wherever thereís an internet connection. Meanwhile, nations like China and India realized that with some changes of their own, they could compete in this new world. And so they started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science. They're investing in research and new technologies. Just recently, China became home to the ... world's fastest computer."

He said that "No country has more successful companies, or grants more patents to inventors and entrepreneurs." But, he said nothing about pending patent reform legislation, or funding for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USTPO).

He also said that "Our free enterprise system is what drives innovation. But because it's not always profitable for companies to invest in basic research, throughout history our government has provided cutting-edge scientists and inventors with the support that they need. Thatís what planted the seeds for the Internet. That's what helped make possible things like computer chips and GPS."

"In a few weeks, I will be sending a budget to Congress that helps us meet that goal. We'll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology".

"Maintaining our leadership in research and technology is crucial to Americaís success. But if we want to win the future -- if we want innovation to produce jobs in America and not overseas -- then we also have to win the race to educate our kids." He continued that "we want to prepare 100,000 new teachers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math".

He also said that "Others come here from abroad to study in our colleges and universities. But as soon as they obtain advanced degrees, we send them back home to compete against us. It makes no sense."

He also discussed the operations of communications companies. "Within the next five years, we will make it possible for business to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98% of all Americans. This isnít just about a faster internet and fewer dropped calls. Itís about connecting every part of America to the digital age. Itís about a rural community in Iowa or Alabama where farmers and small business owners will be able to sell their products all over the world. Itís about a firefighter who can download the design of a burning building onto a handheld device; a student who can take classes with a digital textbook; or a patient who can have face-to-face video chats with her doctor."

Finally, he discussed trade. He said that "last month, we finalized a trade agreement with South Korea", and "I ask this Congress to pass it as soon as possible." And, he said that the US will "continue our Asia Pacific and global trade talks".

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC), praised Obama's reference to patent reform. He stated in a release on February 7 that "Innovation drives the nationís economy, and that entrepreneurial spirit can only be protected by a patent system that promotes invention and spurs new ideas. As the President said today, 'we're reforming our patent system so innovations can move more quickly to market.' This administration is committed to reinvigorating the economy, and investing in the `next generation of big ideas.ī"

Sen. Leahy continued that "A modernized patent system -- one that puts American entrepreneurs on the same playing field as those throughout the world -- is a key to that success. This is an idea that stretches across the political spectrum. That is why the Patent Reform Act of 2011 received unanimous support from the Senate Judiciary Committee, and why it has been a top priority. The Senate should consider this job-creating legislation without delay."

Judicial Appointments

2/7. The Senate confirmed Paul Holmes to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court (DArk). See, Congressional Record, February 7, 2011, at Page S619.

2/7. The Senate confirmed Diana Saldana to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court (SDTex). See, Congressional Record, February 7, 2011, at Page S619.

2/7. The Senate confirmed Marco Hernandez to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court (DOre). See, Congressional Record, February 7, 2011, at Page S619.

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2/7. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published a notice in the Federal Register that announces, describes, recites, and sets the effective date (February 7, 2011) its final regulation regarding tax treatment of a sale of a copyright in a musical work. The IRS stated that this regulation "provides the time and manner rules for electing to treat the sale or exchange of a musical composition or a copyright in a musical work created by the taxpayer (or received by the taxpayer from the composition or work's creator in a transferred basis transaction) as the sale or exchange of  a capital asset. (Parentheses in original.) See, Federal Register, February 7, 2011, Vol. 76, No. 25, at Pages 6553-6554.

2/7. A trial jury of the U.S. District Court (MDLa) returned a verdict of guilty against Wen Chyu Liu, aka David W. Liou, on one count of conspiracy to commit trade secret theft and one count of perjury. The Department of Justice (DOJ) stated in a release that he stole trade secrets from Dow Chemical Company and then sold them to companies in the People's Republic of China (PRC).


Go to News from February 1-5, 2011.