GDP Going Gaga: Recalculation to Capture Input From Entertainment Industry

The U.S. federal government is changing how it calculates the company’s gross domestic product or GDP. For the first time, the Bureau of Economic Analysis will include expenditures for “R&D and for entertainment, literary and artistic originals as fixed investment.” The new expenditures will be added to the list of intellectual-property investments.

As explained in a recent Wall Street Journal article, including the money Lady Gaga spent writing and recording an album in the GDP represents a significant change. The same goes for adding the time and money it takes to develop the latest smart phone device.

It not only reveals that the U.S. economy is approximately 3 percent larger, but it also “reflects the economy’s quiet transformation from one based principally on industry to one decidedly based on knowledge and information.” The new GDP measure further solidifies the role of innovation and intellectual property (IP) in driving the economy.

As previously discussed here, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office estimates that IP-intensive industries directly accounted for 27.1 million American jobs, or 18.8 percent of all employment in the economy, in 2010. The industries also accounted for about $5.06 trillion in value added, or 34.8 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), in 2010.

It makes sense that the Bureau of Economic Analysis would want to fully capture the contributions of IP.

How Can I Help?

If you, or someone you know, need any help with Intellectual Property issues, from filing a patent, trademark or copyright, or just need advice regarding how best to protect your inventions, ideas or your brand, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

China Lands On The Moon

Sunday night, China’s Chang’e-3 lunar lander and rover successfully landed on the Moon.

Yutu rover emblazoned with Chinese Flag as seen by the Chang'e 3 lander on the moon on Dec. 15, 2013.  Credit: China Space

China is only the 3rd country in the world to successfully land a spacecraft on the Moon (India and the E.U. have crashed probes on the Moon, but not landed).

Although the United States is still the only country to have successfully sent people to the Moon and back, China is working hard to repeat that feat.  Ironically, the Chinese spacecraft landed on the same day that America’s Apollo 17 mission left the Moon for their return trip 41 years ago.  It has been that long since anyone on Earth tried to land their again.

So congratulations to the Chinese Space Agency for a job well done.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Patent Legislation Mounting in Congress.

Patent activity continues in Congress, with the introduction of several additional bills. One of the more promising is the End Anonymous Patents Act of 2013.
H.R. 2024, introduced by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), would require any sales or transfers of patents to be disclosed to the U.S. Patent and Trade Office, along with a notice of the real party in interest filing by the purchasing entity. New patents would have to satisfy the disclosure obligation at the time of grant, while existing patents would be subject to the requirements at the next scheduled maintenance fee payment.

“The process of uncovering the ultimate owner of a patent can be truly burdensome,” said Congressman Ted Deutch. “During my career in real estate law, I would have found it appalling if the title for property was obscured from the public instead being of up-to-date and easily searchable.”
The bill has already garnered the support of many diverse interests. Microsoft stated, “We think legislation to require transparency around patent ownership will help improve the operation of the patent system, facilitate licensing and thus reduce litigation.” The Software Alliance and the Consumer Electronics Association also applauded the bill.

Non-practicing entity, IPNav, has also come out in support of the legislation. In a recent blog post, the company stated, “If you run or want to start a business and find a great patent that covers technology that could help your product, it shouldn’t be a problem to find the owner so you can ask for a license.  Or perhaps somewhat more urgently, if you make a product and discover that your product is infringing an existing patent it should not be a challenge to find the owner so you can offer to take out a license on the patent.”

How Can I Help?

For information about how the End Anonymous Patents Act and other current patent trademark legislation may impact you or your company, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Never To Old…Never To Young…

At the Texas star party a few years ago I had the privilege of meeting Clyde Tombaugh in person before his passing.

Although his contribution to science was unjustly demoted to a “dwarf” planet, he was still active in the astronomy community.

https://d1jqu7g1y74ds1.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/nathan_gray_supernova.jpg

On the other end of the spectrum, Nathan Gray, age 10, is the youngest person to discover a supernova.

Nathan and his family (his parents and sister) formed a supernova search team in partnership with David J. Lane (Saint Mary’s University).  The family researched images taken from Lane’s Abbey Ridge Observatory.

Nathan had been scanning astronomical images for months (just like Clyde did to find Pluto), and identified some potential supernovae.  Although several sources that Nathan identified proved to be false, his perseverance paid off.  Not only did he discover a supernova, it is a very strange supernova.  The supernova was initially classified as a type II-pec (peculiar) supernova because it has properties that aren’t always consistent with other supernova.

Go Canada!

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

ABA Urges Federal Circuit to Reverse Course on Claim Construction Rulings

The American Bar Association (ABA) recently submitted an amicus brief in the closely watched case, Lighting Ballast Control LLC v. Philips Electronics North America Corp. It argued that federal district court patent claim constructions should be given some deference rather than being reviewed completely anew on appeal.

The federal circuit recently agreed to hear the case en banc to decide the following questions: (1) whether the court should overrule Cybor Corp. v. FAS Technologies, Inc., 138 F.3d 1448 (Fed. Cir. 1998) (en banc) (holding that claim construction, as a purely legal issue, is subject to de novo review on appeal); (2) whether the court should afford deference to any aspect of a district court’s claim construction; and if so, (3) which aspects should be afforded deference.

In its brief, the ABA argues that the appeals court should review the underlying findings of fact made by the trial court in construing a claim term only under the clearly erroneous standard. The ABA further recommends that the Federal Circuit “issue guidance as to the methodology to be used by the district courts in making their findings of fact and to instruct them to identify the findings on which their claim construction determinations are based, with the understanding that this Court, on appeal, may disagree with their distinctions between findings of fact and conclusions of law.”

In support of its recommendations, the ABA notes that de novo review of all aspects of claim construction has not had the intended effect of “providing national uniformity to the construction of a patent claim.”  Rather, it has resulted in high reversal rates and a lack of predictability about appellate outcomes as well as undermined the legitimacy of the district courts. The ABA also highlights that similar concerns prompted the amendment of Fed. R. Civ. P. 52(a) in 1985 to make clear that all findings of fact made by the trial court, regardless of whether they are based on credibility determinations, must be reviewed for clear error.

Accordingly, the ABA concludes, “By deferring on factual questions in connection with claim construction, this Court can maintain its role over claim construction decisions while at the same time promoting legitimacy of the district courts, decreasing the number of appeals, and appropriately allocating judicial resources.”

How Can I Help?

If you, or someone you know, need any help with Intellectual Property issues, from filing a patent, trademark or copyright, or just need advice regarding how best to protect your inventions, ideas or your brand, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

More Private Space Missions.

More and more commercial space companies are making headway toward the heavens.

Moon Express has revealed their lunar lander, the MX-1, earlier this month.

The multi-purpose MX-1 (they MUST get a better name), can also be used to carry cargo to near Earth orbit, such as cubesats and the company believes that the vehicle can be used to help clean up space junk.

“We really have tried to create a multifaceted, flexible and scalable spacecraft that can be utilized by other people for a number of different business applications,” Moon Express co-founder and CEO Bob Richards told SPACE.com. The MX-1 has a lunar payload of 132 pounds (60 kg), and more for closer in missions that don’t require as much fuel.

The company plans to have its first mission to the Moon in late 2015 in hopes of winning the Google Lunar X-Prize $20 MM USD first prize for landing a robot on the surface.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Lawmaker Seeks to Expand Post-Grant Reviews

Senator Charles Schumer recently introduced legislation that would expand the scope of covered business methods eligible for post-grant review.  The “Patent Quality Improvement Act of 2013” would also remove the sunset provision and make the program permanent.

Post-grant review procedures allow a third party to challenge a patent’s invalidity on a number of grounds, including prior art, lack of enablement, lack of novelty, or inadequate written description. Thus, post-grant review allows parties to raise a number of new challenges that were previously reserved for litigation.

Schumer’s bill would expand the availability of post-grant review by amending the definition of “covered business methods” to remove the phrase “financial product or service.” The new definition would read as follows:

IN GENERAL- For purposes of this section, the term ‘covered business method patent’ means a patent that claims a method or corresponding apparatus for performing data processing or other operations used in the practice, administration, or management of an enterprise, product, or service, except that the term does not include patents for technological inventions. (Emphasis added)

If the bill passes, it would then be up to the USPTO to provide precise definitions for the new terms.  While Senator Schumer has stated that the bill would “crackdown on ‘patent trolls’” by providing “small technology start-ups with the opportunity to efficiently address [infringement suits] outside of the legal system,” it has the potential to benefit a wide variety of patent holders.

In addition to this bill there are several others that are pending votes as well:

Manufacturing Innovation in America Act of 2013 (H.R. 2605)

Patent Abuse Reduction Act of 2013 (S. 1013)

End Anonymous Patents Act (H.R. 2024)

Patent Litigation and Innovation Act of 2013 (H.R. 2639)

MODDERN Cures Act of 2013 (H.R. 3091)

PATENT Jobs Act (H.R. 2582)

STOP Act (H.R. 2766)

PACES Act (S. 1478)

PARTS Act (S.780)

Medical Innovation Prize Fund Act (S. 627)

I will keep you updated as the bills are passed or defeated.

How Can I Help?

For detailed advice about post-grant proceedings, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Space And Time (lapse)

There is a very interesting time lapse movie here that shows the Earth from the ISS.

International_Space_Station_after_undocking

Although looking at it, the images seem to be real time, given the fact that the ISS orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes.

I haven’t found out all the astronaut(s) took the images other than Don Pettit who is in the last image.  I do know that the images came from Expeditions 29, 30 and 31.  It would be interesting to find out what equipment they used.

I am currently doing a long term time-lapse of my back yard.  That may seem a little simple, but my back yard overlooks Pasadena and I can see Mt. Wilson clearly.  This time of year is especially nice due to the weather (yes, sometimes in winter we get some weather here).  But the clouds at sunrise and sunset make spectacular viewing.  I just wish I had 4 cameras with at least 100 degree coverage that I could mount on my roof facing to the compass points.

I’ll post the video once I have it completed.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Patent Licensing Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to consider yet another patent case. The case involves the burden of proof required when a license holder is accused of patent infringement.

In Medlmmune, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc., 549 U.S. 118, 137 (2007), the Supreme Court ruled that a patent licensee that believes that its products do not infringe the patent and accordingly are not subject to royalty payments is “not required … to break or terminate its … license agreement before seeking a declaratory judgment in federal court that the underlying patent is … not infringed.”

The question presented in the current Supreme Court case, Medtronic, Inc. v. Boston Scientific Corp., is whether the licensee has the burden to prove that its products do not infringe the patent when filing a declaratory action. Medtronic licenses defibrillator patents controlled by Boston Scientific and challenged that its new products did not infringe those patents.

Generally, the patentee must prove infringement. However, the Federal Circuit ruled that the burden shifts to the plaintiff in cases where a licensee-in-good-standing files a lawsuit for declaratory judgment of non-infringement.

The Supreme Court will now determine the appropriate burden of proof. The case, however, will not be considered until next term.

How Can I Help?

If you, or someone you know, need any help with Intellectual Property issues, from filing a patent, trademark or copyright, or just need advice regarding how best to protect your inventions, ideas or your brand, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Mars – Most Probably Habitable.

Although there has been spectacular hype regarding a billionaires manned trip to Mars, the actual science supports the fact that humans can survive on the red planet.

Curiosity has taken extensive radiation measurements of the planet and the findings look good for a manned mission.

A mission to Mars would consist of a 180-day spaceflight, a 500-day stay (so that Mars and Earth would be in the right position for the return trip) and another 180-day return flight.

The astronauts would be exposed to about 1.01 sieverts of radiation.  As you can see from the chart above, that is less than the cumulative radiation that everyone is exposed to over a year.

However, 1-sievert exceeds NASA’s current standards. But those guidelines were drawn up with missions to low-Earth orbit in mind, and adjustments for longer space mission will have to be made for future exploration.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman