Friday, December 13, 2013

Cheap Car Insurance In Alabama Is Easy And Reliable

Car Insurance
Cheap Car Insurance
As a way to have a lot of references such as insurance cheap car insurance. Finding cheap car insurance in Alabama is not easy, you can visit the website online is not entirely safe to enter the required information and basic facts to get different insurance shortest possible time. While you get the best deal on-line in an insurance policy from an insurance company like cheap car insurance, everything possible to meet the needs in this area, such as the winter home heating bills.
Cheap car insurance in Alabama is easier with the help of minutes. The Internet has changed the way we search for information. You can save time when searching for car insurance online. This will allow you to compare insurance quotes, so you can find the best insurance company for your financial level. That would be needed is a few minutes to look for car insurance quotes. Fill out your zip code, use the list of insurance companies and get your offer. You will be able to have insurance in less than 30 minutes, if you need fast.
They do not promote insurance policy in relation to cheap car insurance or any other insurance vendors located in other countries. Our site helps you to harness the potential of the web and then make your insurance agents and brokers compete for your business in relation to cheap car insurance in Alabama.
As cheap auto insurance, to get cheap car insurance is very hard if you find yourself thinking of buying auto insurance plans on the website. It is very difficult for you to learn to rely on existing efforts, looks different to Get the most from you and sell you insurance and your loved one in need.
Visit cheap car insurance in Alabama to check out more information on cheap car insurance. Employee cheap car insurance will help you find the best insurance providers. Site online cheap car insurance in Alabama quickly regarded as the most preferred approach for individuals like you to get car insurance, very good car insurance with other providers who provide insurance coverage on your car or truck in every state in America.
You live near Alabama then grab this opportunity. All bills mounting day, something to be lowered. Having high bills that must be dealt with. Now I am proud to say that our car insurance will be the next. I do not have to pay a very expensive insurance policy with the same benefits. I guess it only makes sense. Why pay a high one if I can get it cheaper with the same policies and benefits.
Easy to get a quote by simply entering your zip code. Then they will proceed to the best car insurance and provide a low cost. You could have a quote quickly, easily and quickly in just a minute so start browsing now.

Benefit From The Cheap Car Insurance Policy

Car Insurance Policy
Car Insurance Policy
State leaders recognize the many benefits that the policy of auto insurance companies can give people. Many benefits you will find when you start looking for auto insurance. Do you have driving experience or just starting out, you'll need to find an auto insurance company that can be trusted. Here are some benefits that you may not have thought about previously.
People know that they will have the money they need to fix their car and pay their medical bills, but there is another distinct advantage. When people are involved in car accidents they believe others will be honest and true about the insurance they have, but it does not always happen. Some people do not have enough insurance to cover your injuries and expenses that you are stuck with and which your insurance is very useful. If you tell your insurance provider what happens they often have coverage for underinsured and those who do not have insurance so you can get your bills paid regardless. This can help greatly when you realize that you may have gotten into an accident with someone who cannot cover your expenses.
Many people dealing with theft and vandalism to their cars every year and more times than not all the safety precautions they take are not enough. Your insurance company auto insurance policy can cover all the costs associated with damage from other people. If your car is not good in a certain period of time you may be able to get a new one with your policy. You must deliberations coverage you have with the insurance company. You will be able to ensure that you will have everything you need.

A Core Point That The Auto Insurance Company

A core point that insurance companies make is that young drivers are not experienced enough to drive to completely trustworthy. This, according to them, is not ageist policy but one that is based on facts and figures. The problem is that the experience of the void can only be filled from time to time, very cheap auto insurance is something this age group should wait.
But there are ways to overcome the obvious injustice. While the time spent on the road may not be the most convincing way to secure cheap auto insurance, it is possible to show greater responsibility and interest in driver safety. Availability of advanced driving courses provide documented evidence of the ability to handle certain situations.
Experience teaches people what the text book or theory can not. But through specific practical courses, a young driver can prove the ability to drive with the responsibility, and have more experience than a normal drivers their age. This certificate can help to lower the cost of auto insurance.
Of course, there are other steps that a young driver can take closer to cheap auto insurance. This relates primarily to safety and driving habits, but overall has a mature attitude when dealing with insurance companies can also help in lowering premiums.
Because young drivers lower in the driving experience, low cost auto insurance is still a way off when they secured their driving license, but it makes the car less likely to be stolen may help to lower premiums for the title. So, installing a reliable alarm and immobilizer are both viable options.
A second step is to ensure that there are no speeding tickets, parking tickets or driving misdemeanors - other relative note. This can easily be controlled by the driver, but the lack of impact can be implemented more involved in an accident. Prove not responsible for any accidents by providing detailed accident reports critical when looking for auto insurance quotes.

A Must Have Car Insurance

Car insurance is a necessity that should belong to every person who has a car and motorcycle rider. Since everyone now has a car that makes the number of vehicles and road accidents overgrowing. To avoid the financial difficulties that a vehicle accident can have a car insurance is a good idea and investment.
Has not only a mere insurance, but insurance is best is everyone's goal. Even after the best car insurance company is the goal of every rider. That is why this article will try to give some guidance or tips on how and what to look for to have the best car insurance from best auto insurance companies.
When looking for the best goods or services, everyone thinks has the cheapest to be the best option. It might be good to have the cheapest, especially when considering the difficulty of the current economic felts. But when has the cheapest ways that have reduced the quality of goods or services, may not be the best deal. The same goes with cheap car insurance. Remember not to compromise the quality of the goods or services when trying to save money. And so on car insurance, buy cheap car insurance is still okay as long as it still has a good quality in coverage. Still must include specifics required by law and will also help ensure the protection of the driver and family and most of the time properties.
As for the insurance company, when looking for the best, there are four basic factors for consumers to consider before even thinking of buying any kind of insurance to the company. The fourth factor is the price of the insurance company's offer, licensing, reputation, and financial stability of the company's car insurance.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Technology and Nurses

nurses
Technology and Nurses
As the fields of Nursing becomes more specialized, the need for nurses is comfortable with new technology will only increase. While many therapies for diseases involving the drug, including a growing number of medical devices. Technology focuses on the healthcare industry now for many reasons. New drugs approved drug interaction has made the construction of more health as companies see the development of the area safer and less litigious development.

Growing needs for medical care and the shortage of health workers is also encouraging the development of new technologies. Innovations that make it possible for nurses to perform tasks more efficiently, or allow them to leave the task to an aide or administrative personnel improve efficiency and increase the number of patients that can be treated with the same amount of nurses.

The desire to reduce errors that can harm patients also encourage the development of technology. Devices that have built in safeguards that prevent abuse is one example of this technology. In many highly computerized hospital, the patient can not be dispensed drugs are not appropriate, because the computer checks the medications the patient is currently taking, and the patient's diagnosis, before allowing the drug to be removed from the pharmacy. If the doctor wants drugs, he must manually change the system.

While no one can completely remove the pressure of working as a nurse, many innovative solutions have made the job much more manageable. While often a steep learning curve, saving time and worry is your compensation.

Improvements In Medical Care

medical care
Improvements In Medical Care
Advances in technology have directed to advanced wellbeing and patient. Former to the development of electrical devices IV monitors and IV infusion pump, any person who obtained IV administered under the supervision of a nurse. Because manual IVs are prone to stopping or raging torrent too very quick, caregivers of patients stay at your edge every time they obtain IV. When you conceder how widespread injection, it is easy to glimpse how much time is saved with the electrical devices IV monitor.
All doctors are familiar with the sphygmomanometer. This is the technical title for a body-fluid force cuff. Having electronic body-fluid force cuff that also notes the patient's heartbeat is likely one of the biggest time-saving tools that expertise has conveyed to the treatment.
Technologies such as ultrasound and sonograms health community have supplied the ability to look interior the human body and glimpse the unborn baby and cancerous tumors. While the doctor did not perform or read ultrasounds and sonograms, the effect of the treatment they have been touched by allowing other invasive diagnostic procedures drop on the edge of humanity.
The significance of nurturing for the persevering is only one part of the work of nurses. Nurses are to blame for sustaining unquestionable notes on each patient under treatment. Whereas many clinics extend to use pen and paper charting, notes expertise can make the method more complicated. It is a computer program available for pharmaceutical spending, lodgings and protection programs and clinic payments. Persevering notes can be sustained in a computerized database that permits doctors, nurses, or health professional to draw the patient's health annals in a matter of seconds. Portable computing apparatus permit doctors to revise information rapidly, not at the end of each. Internet gets access to permits health staff to have get access to the database to gaze for symptoms and pharmaceutical interactions.
Computerized medication administration software reduces the prospect of a persevering obtaining the wrong medication, or management of the two pharmaceuticals should not be administered simultaneously. Portable defibrillators only work when they are needed and directed rightly. Many improvements in technologies aimed at reducing the risk of errors and errors that can outcome in injury or death. It not only makes the hospital a safe location for patients, but it assists decrease the tension of nurses and other health professionals are under.

Considering a Job in Conducting Health Care

health care
Considering a Job in Conducting Health Care
Welcome back if you return tourists and just plain welcome, if you are new! As you know if you’ve been here, this is where I give recommendations to job seekers. Today, I featured an item about the U.S. healthcare system, which is conceived to provide those searching employment in the wellbeing care high altitude outlook of the industry as a entire. Let's get started!
In the U.S., a wide selection of persons and lawful entities to pay for wellbeing care patients are suggested both inpatient and outpatient services by the charity, financial, and government. The health scheme is financed by a blend of public and personal funding; the government takes about 45 % of the total cost.
surgery is performed in various facilities all through the United States. apparently, there is a non-profit clinic, which is operated by a personal business, and there is furthermore a non-profit hospital, which are generally functioned by a nonprofit organization or government or belief. The clinic provides a little allowance of outpatient crisis rooms and specialty clinics but run mainly to provide inpatient care.
Nearly 60 % of Americans receive health protection from their employers, whereas that number declined in a difficult economy. Workers have to pay about 16 % of the cost of lone coverage on their own, and about 28 % of the cost of health care for their families. In supplement, they also have to pay deductibles and co - payments. although, employer assistance to health are not taxed as income - this is an annual tax grant of 150 billion dollars given by the government.
Managed care associations, encompassing HMOs (Health Maintenance association) and PPO (Preferred Provider association. A PPO usually has higher charges than HMOs, PPOs but permits patients to select where they receive their care, while the HMO they are restricted to “the mesh " provider. The PPO has become the superior of the two, over the past decade, and it is common these days for a medical practitioner or hospital to have a agreement with a dozen or more wellbeing designs, each with different referral systems, agreements with facilities different diagnostic and practice guidelines are distinct.
There are many persons who are not covered by personal insurance, but is covered by government programs such as Medicaid (which provides care for the poor), Medicare (which supplies care for the elderly and disabled), or the Veterans Administration (which provides care for veterans, families and their victims). In 2006, Medicaid provided coverage for 38 million Americans, while Medicare does the identical thing for about 40 million. Another 11 million persons are suitable for treatment but not enrolled in any type of government program.
The number of doctors accepts Medicaid has declined over the past ten years because of high administrative charges and reduced reimbursement rates. Another program, the State Children's wellbeing protection Program was conceived in 1997 to provide treatment for young kids in families who profit from too much to qualify for Medicaid but will not afford to purchase wellbeing insurance - although, these programs have lost funding in the states in May.
As you move ahead in your career, only you can conclude if the wellbeing care commerce is right for you. Be vigilant, do not get disappointed and you will find the occupations in health care that you are looking for in no time!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

What are we to make of the Defensive Patent Licence?

Why has discussion on the patent troll phenomenon taken on a bit of a true-believer tone? A case in point is a recent posting on the Cyber-Prof listserv, which is captioned "Private-Ordering Approaches to Patent System Issues-and Defensive Patent License Launch - Conference". It is authored by Jennifer Urban, here, who is the Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Co-Director, Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at the University of California-Berkeley. Let me bring the readers material portions of the post accompanying this notice.
“The current patent system poses a growing threat to innovators. Broad patents of often suspect quality can cripple legitimate competitors and prevent new entrants’ access to the marketplace. Patent trolls buy these broad patents and use them to threaten everyone from large companies to start-ups to municipalities and non-profits.

The DPL Launch Conference will focus on innovative private-ordering solutions to address the patent threat issue. These solutions can go hand-in-hand with congressional or judicial reforms. … The conference will then feature and officially launch the Defensive Patent License (“DPL”). The DPL is a new legal mechanism designed to protect innovators by networking patents into powerful, mutually beneficial legal shields that are 100% committed to defending innovation and reducing patent litigation abuse....

Innovators who opt into the DPL network pledge to forgo any patent litigation against any other DPL user, except when asserting patents defensively. In return, they are eligible to receive royalty-free licenses from every other user’s portfolio. Anyone taking a license must promise to put all of her patents under the DPL. In the event that the patents are sold, DPL users must legally obligate the new owner to abide by prior DPLs. If one ceases offering one’s patents under the DPL, previous licensees keep their DPLs royalty-free, but the leaving user may have her licenses converted from royalty-free to fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms (FRAND) at the discretion of the remaining licensors.

With a broad strong network of reliably defensive patents at their disposal, DPL users gain freedom to innovate. The DPL is also designed to help limit lawsuit risks from patent trolls, as trolls are unlikely to pursue acquisition and enforcement of patents that have been legally obligated to defensive use and licensed to DPL users on a royalty-free basis.”
Let’s assume that this summary represents a short-form manifesto of the current world-view that underlies the DPL initiative. On that basis, I have several questions and comments:

1. What is the empirical evidence for the assertion that “[t]he current patent system poses a growing threat to innovators”, which “cripple[s] legitimate competitors and prevent new entrants’ access to the marketplace.” Patents have always been exclusionary, which is inherent in the nature of a patent as a negative right. What is different this time? The claim seems to rest on the view that there has been a “decline” in innovation. Maybe yes, maybe no, depending upon how one defines innovation, develops a metric for measuring whether innovation is roughly increasing or decreasing, and then can successfully disentangle the ebb and flow of innovation within a normal statistical range from a statistically significant departure from this range. While there has been some empirical research in this regard, to conclude that the patent system is a “threat” to innovation seems at best premature and at worst a bit overwrought.

2. Public patent enemy number one is “broad patents of often suspect quality”, which are then exploited by the patent troll. Here, as well, I am not certain that the research is as clear as suggested. Indeed, I have encountered claims that patent trolls actually make use of patents of reasonable quality. This is assuming, of course, that it is even possible to measure patent quality objectively and point to a decline, at least in some areas, over time. The iconic words about the decline of the youth generation, as taken from the Broadway musical of a half a century ago, “Bye Bye Birdie”, here, merits attention. “Why can’t they be like we were, perfect in every way. What’s the matter with kids [read patents] today.” Perhaps we are imaging a patent past perfect that never was.

3. The connection between patents and innovation is highly nuanced and not entirely understood. As I recently suggested elsewhere, in “The Misplaced Patent Narrative”, here, there may be swathes of innovative activity for which the patent system is of limited relevance. But even if we are talking about inventions (after all, patents are about invention, which is a legal notion, and not about innovation, which is beyond the legal IP pale), something more profound may be taking place in the intellectual IP environment. Thus, if we are speaking of ebbs and flows, what may be occurring is a broader intellectual return to the anti-patent ethos that was present from the post-WWII era through the 1970s (though patents were then seen more as threats to competition to innovation). That patents fall in and out of intellectual favour may be cyclical and correspond to rises and declines in innovation (without any necessary causal connection between the two phenomena).

4. There is a sense that enforcing one’s patent borders on being an “illegitimate” use of the patent right (except for “defensive” purposes, whatever that precisely means). Indeed, the DPL seems to rest on the notion of patent altruism: that it's better to “pool” patents as a collective shield in the name of innovation than for a patentee to assert its patents against a competitor, or for an inventor to seek to monetize his invention by whatever legal means that are available. Whether such an altruistically communal view of the use of patents will in fact lead to “more” innovation” is hardly self-evident and may even be misplaced. I suggest that the DPL supporters take a close look at the kibbutz experience in Israel, here, for an illuminating example of the limits on any experiment resting on communal goodwill in the face of individual self-interest.

5. The ability of an arrangement for the defensive aggregation of patents, such as in the DPL framework, to reduce patent troll activity, also needs to be empirically established. The theory seems to be that such aggregation will serve to dry up the potential pool for patent troll-exploitable patents. Here, as well, maybe yes, maybe no. Ultimately, whether this will come to pass will depend upon whether the type of patent and patentee that seeks the services of a patent troll will be likely to enter into a DPL arrangement. Much more research is required on this point.
Don’t get me wrong. My critique is not directed at Professor Urban, who is affiliated with one of the great universities/law schools/centres of innovation in the world. My reservations rest on whether we really know enough about the connection between innovation, inventions, the patent system, altruism and collective behaviour to consider “innovative private-ordering solutions to address the patent threat issue … [that] can hand-in hand with congressional or judicial systems.” Perhaps a larger dose of humility, at least for the present, might be in order.

More on the Defensive Patent Licence and the February 2014 conference here

Saturday, November 30, 2013

How the Government Can Save Money: Pirate Software

The Washington Post reported that the U.S. Army recently was sued for copyright infringement by breaching a license agreement for software—which the U.S. Army apparently did.  Okay, so that is government not at its best.  The silver lining for the U.S. Army is that the copyright owner settled for $50 million--$130 million less than it would have cost the government to license the software.   The silver lining for the copyright owner is an unexpected check for $50 million and, I would hope, a lot more business.  The nice message for the rest of us is that the U.S. government can hire folks that can create software that works well. 

Here is a portion of the complaint:

In March 2009, Apptricity inadvertently learned that the Army may have been using more Apptricity software than that for which it had procured licenses.   Apptricity employees attended a PD TIS Strategic Capabilities Planning Meeting held March 3-5, 2009 in Richmond, Virginia, where the U.S. Army Program Director stated that the Army was deploying thousands of devices with the Apptricity software.

Anyone need an auditor?

Friday, November 29, 2013

WIPO GREEN marketplace open for business

If you are concerned about how to commercialise a green technology, or about what sort of impact someone else's green technology might have on your business, you may want to take a look at the World Intellectual Property Organization's WIPO GREEN database and online marketplace.  It won't solve any of your legal problems, but it will give you a better idea of what's going on in areas in which you (or your client) may be involved.  Details are available from yesterday's WIPO media release that reads as follows:
WIPO GREEN: New Online Marketplace Seeks Environmentally Sustainable Solutions for Climate Change 
Geneva, November 28, 2013: PR/2013/749 
WIPO launched today a new online marketplace connecting a wide variety of groups seeking shared innovation and environmentally friendly technologies to address climate change.
The WIPO GREEN database and network matches owners of new technologies with individuals or companies seeking to commercialize, license or otherwise distribute a green technology. Its objective is to accelerate innovation and diffusion of green technologies and contribute to the efforts of developing countries in addressing climate change. 

This blogger wonders how long it will be before the issues faced by the ICT sector with regard to standard-setting and FRAND licences are endemic in the green technology sector too.  A big difference there is that the perceived public interest in getting businesses to use green technologies may have an impact on both the rate of royalties that a court regards as reasonable and the exercise of discretion in granting injunctive relief.  Thoughts, anyone?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Aspiration versus reality: a perspective on Scottish plans for business-friendliness

From the excellent Dr Andreas Rahmatian (Senior Lecturer, School of Law, University of Glasgow) comes the following observation:
I have started looking through the "White Paper" ("Scotland's Future. Your Guide to an Independent Scotland") on Scottish Independence which was published yesterday. It is, of course, not a White Paper, but a manifesto of the Scottish National Party (SNP) to promote independence of Scotland. Many sections are quite eerie for somebody with some knowledge of political philosophy and modern European history, not only because what it says, but also because what it leaves out.

In that document I have come across the following passage at page 102. It says:
"Intellectual property

We will ensure continuity of the legal framework for protecting intellectual property rights. Independence will also allow Scotland to offer a simpler and cheaper, more business-friendly model than the current UK system, which is bureaucratic and expensive, especially for small firms. The UK is one of the few EU countries which does not offer a scheme which covers the basics of protection. Scotland could follow, for example, the German model which protects technical innovations."
Can anybody explain to me what that means? Judicious answers are appreciated.
This blogger will start the debate.

On a simple level, the meaning of the words is clear: "Let's introduce a cheap system of second-tier legal protection for innovations that are technical because it is cheaper and more business-friendly than an IP system that lacks such a scheme". However, what it means is not just a question of parsing a verbal formula: there is a real-world dimension to it too.  What does this paragraph mean within the context of attracting innovative businesses to Scotland or inducing them not to leave that country? What does it mean in the context of a former manufacturing powerhouse that is now, like many of the first wave of industrially competent countries, now in a profoundly post-industrial phase?  What does "business-friendly" mean in a context in which, where one business is able to secure a right that is cheap to acquire and awkward to dislodge, any number of businesses that compete with it are deprived of part of their freedom to operate. The high aspirations contained in the quoted paragraph are laudable in themselves, but what they mean at ground level, to innovators, manufacturers, distributors and consumers, is what counts.

Liens over electronic data: Court of Appeal to rule

Via the PLC subscription service comes information concerning a 4 October 2013 ruling of the Court of Appeal, England and Wales, Your Response Ltd v Datateam Business Media Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 1468, on an issue of considerable importance. The Court gave leave to appeal from a County Court judgment in which a counterclaim against a database maintenance service provider was dismissed and the defendant, a former customer, was ordered to pay money due to the provider under outstanding invoices. The proceedings were based on a service provision contract and arose partly from a dispute over the length of the notice period that had to be given to terminate the agreement.

Of particular interest is the comment of Lady Justice Arden that one issue that was worthy of further consideration by the court was whether a service provider can claim a lien over electronic data which it manages for a client. As yet there is no authority to the effect that a lien was exercisable over intangible property.

This blogger suspects that this issue will already have been considered in the United States, and wonders if our US readers can shed any light on the theory and practice of liens over electronic data.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Film funding in Europe: a new Communication

If only ...
The European Commission has now adopted a new Communication on state aid for films and other audiovisual works, to replace the Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on certain legal aspects relating to cinematographic and other audiovisual works (here).

The 2013 version updates the 2001 Cinema Communication by extending the scope of activities which it covers, introducing a higher maximum aid intensity level for cross-border productions and providing for the protection of and access to film heritage. A more digital-friendly, document, it also revises the rules relating to the imposition of territorial spending obligations, while continuing to allow such obligations to be imposed. The new Communication is now in force, having been published in the Official Journal.

Source: European Commission press release here.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Banking on IP? Full report now available

Thanks to Kelvin King (Valuation Consulting Co Ltd, London), we now have a link to the full and unexpurgated version of Banking on IP? The role of intellectual property and intangible assets in facilitating business finance. This is the Final report and it runs to just over 220 pages. You can check it out here. This very thorough and surprisingly readable report was commissioned from Kelvin King and Martin Brassell (Inngot) by the UK's Intellectual Property Office. The report concludes with 10 recommendations, which are worth reproducing below:
1. IP and intangibles must be identified during the financing process
If IP and intangibles are to be given any consideration within credit decision-making, tools to identify and describe the actual assets (not merely evidence of expenditure) need to be embedded within the lending process. Businesses must use them, and lenders must understand and take note of them.
This step will have the wider benefit of boosting IP awareness amongst the business community as a whole and will establish base data for the possible future use of IP as ‘full’ security.
The first steps are to provide a means for companies to identify the assets they own, and to build information on IP and intangibles into the templates companies use when presenting information to prospective funders.
2. The value in IP needs to be taken into account
Whilst immature markets mean that disposal of IP for value is not always straightforward, the most important step in harnessing IP is to acknowledge that its business value is not nil, and therefore requires active consideration within lending and investment decisions.
Robust approaches to determine the value of intangibles exist in the same way as for tangible property and are now included alongside them within the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ Red Book, regarded as a banking industry reference point.
The obstacle that must be addressed here is to demonstrate, reliably and repeatedly, how an SME’s ‘real’ IP and intangibles may deliver value which bears no relation to anything that may be called an intangible on their balance sheet; this generally only shows a sunk cost.
3. Due diligence guidelines can help to control costs
IP and intangibles that are worth something are, by definition, unique. Because the assets are not commodities, checks will be needed to create confidence that the ownership and quality of the IP and intangibles are understood, that they contribute to cashflow (particularly in the case of debt finance), and that their maturity is in line with what it would be reasonable to expect, given the development stage of the business.
These checks are unfamiliar to most lenders: investors are more practised at them, but it is clear that they too face challenges in obtaining and assessing appropriate data.
Guidelines will involve providing templates, training and/or access to professional advice at a cost lending margins can support, within a turnaround time that meets business requirements.
4. More effective charges should be part of the lending package
Once IP and intangibles are captured, assessed and verified, it becomes possible to create a proper and meaningful interest over them, beyond a simple floating charge. This is not happening at present; there is no real notice of these charges, leaving many lenders exposed to unnecessary risk.
Proper controls are an essential precondition if lenders are to place any reliance on the value inherent in IP and intangibles – which in turn benefits the borrower.
Legal templates and the resource toolkit will help lenders to achieve this at modest cost, firstly by providing appropriate wording for the instruments, and secondly by providing guidance on the procedures which must be followed when recording them to ensure their effectiveness.
5. IP markets and IP financing could be facilitated through infrastructure improvements
The development most likely to transform IP and intangibles as an asset class is the emergence of more transparent and accessible marketplaces where they can be traded. This is a domain where services must stand or fall on their commercial merits; however, the available infrastructure needs to support rather than impede their establishment. A parallel lies in the way value has been added, cost reduced and enforcement activity enhanced across a range of motoring-related services by facilitating access to data held by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.
As IP and intangibles become more clearly identified and are more freely licensed, bought and sold (together with or separate to the business), services available to register and track financial interests will need to be improved.
This is not a job for government - but solutions will require the co-operation of official registries and the establishment of administrative protocols.
6. On-going management of IP and intangibles should also be supported
IP does not stop being important once credit is granted. Despite being long established, the asset class is unfamiliar in the lending context. Businesses need to understand how to use and protect it so that risk is reduced. Financiers, too, will require assistance in motivating and monitoring appropriate activity; as examples, there could be a role for the introduction of ‘milestones’ within payment schedules (as commonly used in equity and venture debt) and periodic impairment tests.
The proposed toolkit needs to include measures to inform and encourage SMEs to adopt appropriate IP management practices.
7. Affordable risk mitigation strategies ae to be encouraged
Alongside certain guarantees, access to appropriate insurance policies to guard against unforeseen events could greatly increase banking confidence in adding further weight to IP and intangibles within the lending decision. Evidence provided to this report indicates there is private sector appetite to provide these solutions, if lenders are willing to create the demand.
More detailed dialogue on the requirements of both lenders and insurers is urgently required, to ensure that commercial sector activity is able to provide workable and affordable solutions.
8. Asset-based finance techniques should be adapted for IP and intangibles
Recent financial upheavals have triggered something of a return to first principles in lending and a greater emphasis on assets for business finance (reflected, for example, in ‘challenger’ bank activity). This greater emphasis on assets needs to be extended to include IP.
Alongside mainstream lending, where EFG is an obvious area of focus, asset-based and alternative financing methods should be prioritised for IP-backed finance interventions; these are the parts of the industry most accustomed to understanding and assessing individual assets and their value.
9. Steps to stimulate private investment need closer study
IP rights can be well suited to securitisation (patents, trade marks, registered designs and copyright portfolios). Given the successful track record of venture debt, more work is needed to understand onshore and offshore fund appetite to support investment in IP-rich companies, working with managers that have the necessary expertise.
This work fell outside the scope of the current IP and finance project, but is clearly desirable as a follow-up stage.
10. IP demands joined-up thinking
The Intellectual Property Office exists “to promote innovation by providing a clear, accessible and widely understood IP system, which enables the economy and society to benefit from knowledge and ideas”. It therefore has an important role to play in scrutinising Government and finance industry initiatives to boost lending, to ensure that the assets produced by knowledge receive appropriate consideration.
As usual, readers' thoughts and comments are warmly welcomed.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Eva Cassidy profits: another exercise in how not to do it?

The 1709 Blog has posted this note on Straw & Another v Jennings & Others [2013] EWHC 3290 (Ch), a long judgment (369 paragraph) from the Chancery Division of the High Court, England and Wales, by Mr Justice Warren, dating from the beginning of this month.

In this action the claimants, the exclusive licensees of musical recordings of the late American singer Eva Cassidy, claimed £1.6 million from four defendant companies, alleging that they had failed to account for distribution profits owed due under a distribution agreement. The defendants denied the claims and counterclaimed for copyright infringement.

Relatively little of this judgment is taken up by copyright law; the majority deals with the effect of an amended distribution agreement, the nature of the obligation to account for income, identifying the relevant accounting periods, the availability of deductions and sundry related issues.

This blogger continues to be surprised at the extent to which commercial contracts for the licensing of IP rights continue to lack key provisions, requiring one or other party to exercise a good deal of imagination, generally in vain, in trying to persuade a court to imply into it a term which the parties never stated and without which the contract still seems to make reasonable sense.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Absurd (F)RAND licensing-rate determinations for SEPs

I have submitted many articles to IP Finance over the last couple of years as a "guest" contributor. I would like to thank Jeremy Phillips for inviting me to do so, and posting my articles for me with all the editing and production work entailed. This is my first IP Finance posting as a "resident" contributor.
Absurd (F)RAND licensing-rate determinations for SEPs

Judge James L. Robart's findings in the case between Microsoft and Motorola, which issued in April 2013, represent the first U.S. judicial attempt to determine reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing fees. Most recently, Judge James F. Holderman has also had a go in his royalty rate opinion in the Innovatio case. The judges’ rate setting applies only to standard-essential patent technologies in H.264 video and 802.11 WiFi. In my opinion, the rates set in both cases are defectively based and unreasonably low.


Rate-setting in SEP licensing
The judges’ decisions are both based on the faulty dictum that patentees are entitled only to a small proportion of standard-essential patent value. Valuation methods selected unsurprisingly reflect that predisposition. The judgements significantly rely on the defective notion that SEP-owners’ rewards should only reflect “intrinsic value” of technologies, and that they should be deprived a proportion of the value that comes through standardisation including “network effects.” Core technology developers deserve to share in the economic benefits of standardisation because of the significant costs and risks in developing, proposing and integrating their technologies. That has been the basis for investment and market success so far.

Patent pools and chipset profits used by Judges Robart and Holderman respectively provide biased and misleading benchmarks for (F)RAND royalties. The judges identify some major limitations in using patent pools while seeming oblivious to other pitfalls. Judge Robart ill-advisedly uses pools because participants are mainly implementers who tend to be most interested in keeping their royalty costs low. Those with the most valuable patents tend to steer clear. Judge Holderman latches onto an alternative approach, based on silicon chip component manufacturer profits, that is also deeply flawed, while taking comfort from choosing a reasonable royalty rate that falls within the range established for the same standard by Judge Robart. Licensing rates on ICT products commonly apply across the entire product because value is delivered and enjoyed on that basis. They have little to do with and should not be limited to profits on chips.

My full analysis is a rather lengthier 24 pages. Those with the interest and stomach for it can find it in full here as a PDF document.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

WIPO report pins dollars and cents to brand spend, strategy

WIPO's latest media release, "New Report Explores Role of Branding in Global Economy & Within Innovation Ecosystem", has just been issued today. It reads:
"Companies around the globe have spent nearly a half-trillion US dollars (USD) annually on branding, exceeding outlays on research and development and design while accounting in some countries for up to a quarter of firms’ overall investments in intangible assets.

WIPO’s second “World Intellectual Property Report” entitled “Brands: Reputation and Image in the Global Marketplace” offers fresh data, analysis and insight into how companies use brands to differentiate their products from those of their rivals - and what the growing use of brands means for consumers, market competition, and innovation. ...

According to the report, companies invested some USD $466 billion globally on branding in 2011, the latest year for which there are reliable data. This figure would be even higher if spending on strategic marketing, corporate communications, other bought-in services that contribute to brand perception, as well as company-internal expenditures on branding were also considered [it's difficult to see why in principle these items should be excluded since they are inextricably woven into brand spend in so many sectors -- but it's equally difficult to apportion them clearly between brand- and non-brand functions]. Fuller data for the US, which accounts for all branding expenditures, show that investment in branding stands at USD $340 billion in 2010 for the US alone - twice as much as previous incomplete estimates. This exceeds US companies’ investments in R&D or design, and accounts for a quarter of their intangible asset investments.

While branding investments correlate closely with the level of economic development around the world, rapidly growing middle-income economies such as China and India today invest more in branding than high-income economies did when they were at a comparable development stage [What can we make of this comparison? There are now far more outlets for brand spend now than there were when high-income economies were at the same development stage, and China's and India's proportional spend on labour and tangible business assets is incomparably lower].

The report shows that the average brand value of companies based in middle-income economies has grown faster than that of companies in high-income economies. In fact, the share of middle-income economies in the total value of the top 500 brands increased from 6 percent to 9 percent between 2009 and 2013.

The report also explores the role of the trademark system in supporting the branding activities of firms. Trademarks are the most widely used form of registered intellectual property (IP) throughout the world. Many low- and middle-income countries see companies intensively file for trademarks, even if they make comparatively less use of other IP forms.

Trademark demand quadrupled between 1985 and 2011, from just under 1 million applications per year in 1985 to 4.2 million by 2011. While high-income economies for which data are available increased their trademark filing intensity relative to GDP by a factor of 1.6 between 1985 and 2011, middle-income economies increased it by a factor of 2.6 during this period. Indeed, in 2001, China’s trademark office had become the top recipient of trademark filings – a position China gained in patent filings ten years later, in 2011.

Looking at trademark institutions, the report argues for policies that promote accessibility to the trademark system, while balancing the interests of right holders and those of third parties. In addition, it highlights the risk of “trademark cluttering” – the registries of national trademark offices growing to the point where there’s a diminished availability of names and other signs for new trademarks.

The report looked at other other policy matters, including whether registration of a trademark should be conditional on the applicant usage of a trademark. Also, to what degree offices should examine whether new applications pose a conflict with earlier trademarks in different ownership.

In a wider perspective, the report explores how companies’ branding strategies interact with their overall innovation strategies. Through branding, companies can increase the demand for their products and enhance the willingness of consumers to pay for them. Evidence shows that branding is one of the most important mechanisms for firms to secure returns on product innovation.

Finally, the report looks at situations where strong brands create barriers to market entry, highlighting the role of brands in assessing the competitive effects of mergers and acquisitions, as well as “vertical” arrangements between manufacturers and distributors [this is the sting-in-the-tail bit which competition authorities and policy shapers will be avidly digging into.  Is is the brand that creates the barrier to market entry, or the consumer's choice ...?]".
You can download the report in its entirety via this link.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer Free (!) Online Research Commercialization Course

The National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer (NCET2) is offering a free 10-lecture online course titled, “Research Commercialization Introductory Course.”  The course is co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Academy of Inventors and the National Science Foundation. The course is “designed to help science and engineering researchers better understand how research commercialization works. Over 5000 students, faculty and researchers from across the US have taken this course since it's been offered.”  The course is further described as:

Research commercialization involves taking articles, documentation, know-how, patents, and copyrights, which are created during research activities and getting them to users and patients for real societal impacts. In some cases, commercialization involved taking patents based on the research and licensing them to a company. This usually involves also having the researchers consult to the company. In other cases, commercialization involves forming of creating a startup and applying to federally funded commercialization programs. In all cases, though, research commercialization typically involves defining the nature of the research being commercialized (e.g., in a patent or intellectual property agreement), establishing a commercial relationship with another party (e.g., employment, a sale or license), and negotiating a contract (e.g., compensation).

Areas covered in the course include intellectual property, patents, copyrights, trade secrets, trademarks, licensing agreements, employment agreements, consulting agreements, tech transfer, creating and funding companies, and federally funded Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs

Each lecture is a live 90-minute online class with Q&A.

Here is the course schedule:

CLASS SCHEDULE
Lecture 1: Patents
Thursday, November 14, 2013 , 1:00 to 2:30 pm ET
Lecture 2: The Importance of Commercializing Research
Friday, November 15, 2013 , 1:00 to 2:30 pm ET
Lecture 3: Copyright, Trademarks and Trade Secrets
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 , 1:00 to 2:30 pm ET
Lecture 4: Employment and Consulting Agreements
Thursday, November 21, 2013 , 1:00 to 2:30 pm ET
Lecture 5: Tech Transfer and Licensing Agreements
Tuesday, November 26, 2013 , 1:00 to 2:30 pm ET
Lecture 6: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grants
Monday, December 2, 2013 , 1:00 to 2:30 pm ET
Lecture 7: Introduction to Early Stage Funding
Wednesday, December 4, 2013 , 1:00 to 2:30 pm ET
Lecture 8: Introduction to Structuring and Leading the Research-Intensive Company
Friday, December 6, 2013 , 1:00 to 2:30 pm ET
Lecture 9: Moving from R&D to Manufacturing
Monday, December 9, 2013 , 1:00 to 2:30 pm ET
Lecture 10: View from the Trenches: Applying what you have Learned
Thursday, December 12, 2013 , 1:00 to 2:30 pm ET


This looks like a great program and you can’t beat the price of “free.”  For more information about the course and to register, see here.  (Hat tip to Steven Ferguson at the National Institutes of Health).