World Technology Network
During the past year, Elman Technology Law, P.C. (“ETL”) sponsored two programs of the World Technology Network. Earlier this month, we participated in a World Technology Summit, an annual event that I first attended in London in 2001 as a founding member of the WTN. Each Summit is a two-day conference with a variety of presentations and active workshops, culminating in a gala World Technology Awards dinner honoring individuals and companies in various categories, including technology law. At this year’s Summit, our firm sponsored a roundtable of Science Fiction authors, including my friend and mentor Paul Levinson. Click here for more about this illuminating program on How Sci-Fi Legends Dream the Future for Us.
In June, we sponsored the WTN’s East Coast premier of a film by another dreamer of the future. Ray Kurzweil invented, among other things, the omni-font scanner and text-to-speech readers. Based on his 2005 book The Singularity is Near, Kurzweil has now produced a feature-length film of that title. Before the film screening, he spoke of his calculations showing exponential growth of technologies, that lead him to expect a “singularity” within the next few decades. At that point, the computational power of the world’s computers would exceed that of humanity’s collective brains, and biological evolution would be superseded by development of information technology. Watch this space for information about a biographical film about Kurzweil entitled Transcendent Man, which we expect to see again this year.
Go West Young Man
This summer, our colleague Scott Powell moved from New York City back to the Midwest, accompanying his wife Christy to Bloomington, Indiana, as she pursues a Ph.D. in Education. Though Scott is now even farther away geographically, he retains his affiliation with our firm and is a productive member of the growing cadre of teleworkers. Already a patent attorney and a member of the Bar in Pennsylvania, Scott has added the Indiana Bar to his credentials. He continues to provide a high level of service for our clients for a variety of patent, trademark and Internet business law matters, working with us as closely as he did when he was here in Media, Pennsylvania.
And … Returning to Kansas City
Last year at this time, we introduced Jerome Smith as our newest colleague at ETL. Alas, next month Jerome will be leaving us to take on the in-house role of Senior Intellectual Property Counsel of Adknowledge, Inc., a long-time client of Jerome’s that became an ETL client upon Jerome’s arrival. He’s moving to Kansas City, Missouri, from whence he had come to the Philadelphia area. The good news is that our firm will continue to serve as outside IP counsel for Adknowledge, and will provide support for Jerome and the Adknowledge team of inventors and managers. Though we will miss having Jerome in the office, we expect our connection with him to remain strong.
Developments in IP LawIn 2010, the question of what kinds of inventions can be patented has been hotly litigated, from the Supreme Court’s decision in the Bilski case focusing on the unpatentability of abstract ideas, to the challenges to Myriad Genetics’ patents claiming isolated portions of genes. Scott Powell, who spent the first half of 2010 in New York City, had the catbird seat for events there while the Myriad Genetics case was unfolding, and he collaborated with me in chronicling the proceedings. Visit our blog to see the articles on this case that we published in GEN and Biotechnology Law Report. In Washington, D.C. and Cyberspace
In October, M.P. Moon and I attended the Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. of the American Intellectual Property Law Association. We took part in workshops on such matters as dispute resolution, the patenting of biotechnology in uncertain times, chemical patent practice, and copyright law.
Also in Washington that month, my wife Lois and I attended an American Bar Association luncheon sponsored by the Standing Committee on Law and National Security. It featured a lecture on the subject of cyberterrorism by Richard Clarke, author of Cyber War. Since then, in the wake of recent WikiLeaks disclosures, examples of cyber attacks have raised awareness of such threats. Stay tuned for further developments on this front.In cyberspace, trademarks and domain names are increasingly valuable, substituting for the façade of a building. Scott Powell and I recently published an article on an aspect of this subject in the August-September issue of World Trademark Review. Don’t hesitate to ask us for more information on the various legal issues, local and international, that arise on the Internet.
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Last year at this time I wrote of the passing of my mother. This year, my family and I fulfilled my parents’ wishes to scatter their remains into the sea. In October, we participated in a lovely ritual in San Pedro Bay, conducted on a boat of the Neptune Society. Lois and I got the chance to see my brother and sister, our nephews, who filled us in on doings with their babies and their careers in Silicon Valley, and to spend time with my daughter Floren, her husband Sodhi, and my 32-month-old grandson Elijah.
Once again …. a blessing: May happiness health and prosperity be yours — next year and forever