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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

GE says bye-bye to biotech. … So it goes.

 

February 25, 2019  — The Wall Street Journal headline reads: GE to Sell Its Biotech Business for $21 BillionI now know for certain that we’re in a topsy-turvy world.

General Electric logoBack in 1980 it was lawyers for the General Electric company that persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court to affirm, in the legendary decision of Diamond v. Chakrabarty, that even a living organism could be the subject of a United States patent.   Numerous commentators have observed that this green-light signal from the legal system paved the way for billions of dollars of investment in biotechnology research and development, spurring the fruition of this nascent field.  These include David Kappos, who, as the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, said so in a speech to the international convention of the Biotechnology Industry Organization in 2011 (click here for BIOtechNOW’s July 5, 2011 article about his speech).

But since then, the Court has eroded the effect of that formerly auspicious doctrine.  For example, in 2013, the Ass’n of Molecular Pathologists  v. Myriad Genetics case held that even a unique and non-obvious DNA molecular probe wouldn’t be patentable if the sequence of its nucleotides is the same as those of a portion of a naturally occurring chromosome. 

Probably it’s mere coincidence that GE is now divesting its biotech arm.

But as Kurt Vonnegut would remind us  …. So it goes.

Happy New Year 2018

As 2017 winds down, we at Elman Technology Law wish you a very Merry Christmas and a New Year full of health, happiness, and success. 2017 was full of noteworthy events, and we thought we’d highlight a few items that especially affect our clients. For decades we’ve had the privilege of offering calendars with images from historic patents. We regret that our supplier has discontinued them for 2018. To our friends who have, through the years, accorded them an honored place on their walls, we share your pain.

Photo credit: "The Slants" performing at a 1st Amendment Society concert, by Grundick, via Flickr

Photo credit: “The Slants” performing at a 1st Amendment Society concert, by Grundick, via Flickr

What’s In a Name?

The past six months have seen two landmark trademark decisions, both on the unconstitutionality of longstanding legal restrictions. In Matal v. Tam , a unanimous Supreme Court struck down a ban on the registration of “disparaging” trademarks. The case involved an Asian-American rock band named “The Slants” that was refused a registration because the term was a racial slur. The Supreme Court held that the Lanham Act provision at issue violated the First Amendment’s protection of free speech. Then, in December, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s In re: Erik Brunetti decision opened the door for the word “Fuct” to become a registered trademark – despite the sound of the word being a vulgar term. It will be an interesting 2018 at the trademark office…

December 31 Deadline to Appoint a DMCA agent

Most of us are familiar with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The DMCA gained some notoriety in the fight against online piracy. It’s been an important tool to prevent unauthorized content from spreading across online platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). Websites and other “service providers” provide contact information for their DMCA agents, so that the author or owner of a creative work can send a DMCA take-down request to that person. The Copyright Office has recently moved to a new system, and requires that any service provider that previously designated an agent must submit an updated designation to the Copyright office by December 31. Our firm can handle this for you, and is also available to act as your designated agent, with a quick turnaround to meet this imminent deadline.

Can Tribes and State Universities Use Sovereign Immunity to Avoid Patent Invalidation?

Our firm’s recent e-mail newsletter described the efforts of a drug company to prevent its patents from being challenged at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Allergan had transferred certain patents to St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and licensed them back, hoping to take advantage of the tribe’s sovereign immunity to block the inter-partes patent review process. That case is still unfolding in the courts and in Congress, but a recent court decision doesn’t bode well for patent owners who would blindly follow this path.

In a refreshing case of common-sense prevailing over convoluted legal maneuvers, efforts by the University of Minnesota (“UM”) to prevent PTAB inter-partes review, by claiming sovereign immunity, have failed. On December 19, an expanded PTAB panel, including the Chief Administrative Patent Judge, denied UM’s motion to dismiss a company’s request for inter-partes review of the patents. Though acknowledging that state universities are generally immune from inter-partes review, as arms of the state, the PTAB concluded that UM had waived its sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment by filing an action in federal court alleging infringement of the patents at issue. This apparently was a bridge too far for the judges, since UM was obviously trying to have its cake and eat it too.

IoT Becomes the New Thread Stitching IP Together

In 2017, the Internet of Things came into its own. Everyday folks (not just techies or Intellectual Property lawyers) started talking about smart IoT devices: thermostats, lightbulbs, door locks and even smart clothing. On November 29th, I gave a webinar on Federal Guidelines for Security on the Internet of Things. To download a copy of my slideshow, see below.

This fall, I was privileged to be a speaker and mentor at the annual conference for the Industrial Fabrics Association International (“IFAI”) in New Orleans. I was impressed by the many innovations in smart fabrics that are just beginning to unfold. These IoT inventions will need multiple layers of IP protection, through patent, trademark, trade secret, and licensing efforts (and even copyright, after the Supreme Court’s 2017 decision that certain features of cheerleading uniforms can be protected by copyright). At the IFAI Expo I met Ben Carson, an entrepreneur who’s about to launch a social media and podcasting platform called IoClothes.  E-mail me for further information.

On a Personal Note

2017 brought some challenges for friends and family, but I’m pleased to share that we’re still doing well. Lois was very understanding as I traveled to different locales to speak and learn. I hope that you and yours are thriving.

Best wishes for health, happiness, and prosperity in 2018.

-Gerry

Elman Technology Law, P.C. is a boutique law firm in Media, Pennsylvania. We enable small to medium size businesses to effectively secure and manage their intellectual property portfolios for maximum business benefit – protecting, enforcing, and monetizing their rights. Our intellectual property services include patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and licensing. Our cyberlaw services include Internet business law and cybersecurity.


On November 29, 2017, Gerry gave a webinar on "Federal Guidelines for Security on the Internet of Things". IoT presents multiple opportunities and challenges in today's hyper-connected society. What will the future bring?

To download this presentation, please complete the form below to provide or update your contact information. Then you'll see a link immediately below, which you can click on to download a digital copy of the presentation in PDF format. We'll add you to our mailing list to share information about events and other news which we think would be of interest.

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To send a message, please use the following box. Keep in mind that no attorney-client relationship is created through this communication, and this communication is not confidential. For a confidential consultation, please call us at (610) 892-9942.


Gerry Elman on Federal Guidelines for Security on the Internet of Things

On November 29, 2017, Gerry Elman presented a webinar on Automobile security image, from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2016, October). Cybersecurity best practices for modern vehicles. (Report No. DOT HS 812 333).“Federal Guidelines for Security on the Internet of Things (IoT)” as part of a panel discussing the topic of “DHS Framework and Principles for IoT Devices: What It Means to Your Company.”  Click here for more info.

Gerry’s section of the agenda:

  • US DHS issued Strategic Principles for Securing the Internet of Things 12 months ago.  This is important guidance, but without specifics or mandatory requirements.
    • It refers to the NIST framework for cybersecurity risk management as a comprehensive touchstone for organizational cyber risk management.
  • Compare with (and take account of) privacy and security requirements under HIPAA, which are enforced with million-dollar fines.
  • Various industries are subject to more specific guidance and regulation, e.g.
    • Medical devices under FDA regulation
    • Vehicles under DoT regulation
  • Standards organizations are developing consensus rules for certification, e.g. UL, ASTM, etc.

From the webinar description:

With the growth of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) comes not only opportunities and benefits for our society, but also substantial safety and economic risks. In an effort to combat these risks, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued guidance underlining strategic principles for IoT device security. Though these principles are nonbinding and can be ignored by businesses at will, the guidance will likely influence the standard of reasonable security. IoT device manufacturers are expected to be vulnerable to scrutiny by regulators, the plaintiffs’ bar and the courts if they do not consider the DHS guidance.

In this Webcast, a panel of thought leaders and practitioners assembled by The Knowledge Group will provide an overview of the DHS’ Strategic Principles for Securing the Internet of Things and its potential impact to the standard of IoT cybersecurity. The speakers will offer best practices to adopt this guidance, thus, enabling businesses to create a responsible level of security for IoT devices and systems.

Key topics include:

  • DHS’ Strategic Principles for IoT: An Overview
  • Scope, Purpose, and Audience
  • Implications to IoT Security Standard
  • Best Practices on Strengthening IoT Security

Image credit: Automobile security image, from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2016, October). Cybersecurity best practices for modern vehicles. (Report No. DOT HS 812 333).

Privacy & Security for the Internet of Things

On December 8, 2016, Gerry Elman gave a presentation on Privacy and Security for the Internet of Things.  As new products and services are designed, innovators will need to build-in security from the outset and consider the privacy implications of the data derived from them.  Gerry shared the very latest information on the subject (including some major developments from just days prior) as well as best practices for businesses and consumers.

To download the slideshow, please complete the form below, and then click on the link that appears.

We would love to see you at our next meeting.  To be informed of TriState.IoT events, join the online TriState.IoT group.

Download Gerry’s presentation on Privacy and Security for the Internet of Things

Smart devices are rapidly changing our privacy and security. Download this slideshow presentation by Gerry Elman to learn more about how the "Internet of Things" affects businesses and individuals. He recommends best practices to follow and risks to guard against.

To download this presentation, please complete the form below to provide or update your contact information. Then you'll see a link immediately below, which you can click on to download a digital copy of the presentation in PDF format. We'll add you to our mailing list to share information about events and other news which we think would be of interest.

* Full Name:

* Email:

Company Name:

Company Website:

* Street Address:

* City:

* State/Province:

* ZIP/Postal Code:

Country:

Phone:

Please check all options that apply:

To send a message, please use the following box. Keep in mind that no attorney-client relationship is created through this communication, and this communication is not confidential. For a confidential consultation, please call us at (610) 892-9942.


Also see further info about Gerry’s presentation at the IFAI Expo in New Orleans, September 26-28, 2017, and sign up for a one-on-one Mentor Meeting.

American Bar Ass’n to distribute FBI cyber-threat warnings

April 12, 2016 – In the wake of headlines detailing cyber-breaches at some of the most prominent law firms in the U.S., the President of the American Bar Association this morning sent a letter to its members, advising that from now on we will receive FBI Amber Alerts with intelligence that warn of cyber-threats to the legal industry.

2018 Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating of AV Preeminent® Gerry Elman has received a 2018 Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating of AV Preeminent®
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