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November 2004

WI Venture Capitalists

Wisconsin home to venture capitalists
By Tom Murphy
Wisconsin, known best for milk and cheese, paper and paper machinery and boats and fire engines, long has yearned to broaden that spectrum.

The state wants - and needs - to attract venture capital to complement, accompany, and some day succeed, its manufacturing legacies.

Some Wisconsin venture capitalists, including the handful in metropolitan Green Bay, are very private entities. They are primarily family based but network effectively to create investment funds and spread risk.

Full story.

Ron Hamilton made his fortune with disposable lenses

Sunday Herald - 31 October 2004
New contact lens triumph for a man of vision
Ron Hamilton made his fortune with disposable lenses. Now he’s back in the frame with another development. Valerie Darroch reports


ANYONE seeking a lesson on the value of intellectual property should have a chat with Scottish serial entrepreneur and contact lens pioneer Ron Hamilton.
Four years ago global eyecare giant Bausch & Lomb paid $15 million for 15 pages of intellectual property rights relating to the manufacturing process Hamilton invented to create high-quality disposable one-day wear contact lenses.

“That was $1m dollars for every page of the patent,” smiles Hamilton.

Hamilton sold Award, the business he founded in Livingston to make one-day disposable lenses, to Bausch & Lomb in 1996 for about $33m, and the US firm had retained a four-year option on the intellectual property rights.

Hamilton reasoned that either Bausch & Lomb could “invent its way out of having to pay for it”, keep paying royalties to Hamilton and his partner Bill Seden, or buy the IP rights.

Despite the huge research and development resources at its disposal, around seven years after Hamilton and Seden made their technology breakthrough in a mini-lab in Hamilton’s back garden, Bausch & Lomb had still not cracked a better way of making the lenses without infringing the duo’s patent.

Hamilton tots up the total payout Bausch and Lomb has made since it took over the company in 1996. “They paid us $48m in all – that’s $1m for every month we were in the building,” he says.

Full story.

International Intellectual Property Conference

The 2004 Seoul International Intellectual Property Conference began on Saturday, with the theme of "Global Commercialization of Technology Upgrades in the Asia Pacific Rim".

The Conference, co-sponsored by the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) Korea and the Licensing Executives Society (LES) Korea continues until Tuesday at the Westin Chosun Hotel. This is the 7th Conference on Intellectual Property held by AIPPI Korea and LES Korea.

This year's conference features informative and practical presentations on a variety of topics related to intellectual property. The main forum offers eight separate sessions discussing International Trends in Intellectual Property, Inventions Under Joint R&D of Research Institutes/Universities, Protection and Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights, Information Technology and e-Commerce/Business, Patent Infringement and Alternate Dispute Resolution, Brand and Commercialization, Patent Management Strategy and Global Strategy on the Automotive Industry. Most of the speakers at the conference are notable experts who have years of experience and expertise in the field of intellectual property.

Full story.

GE to Launch New CodeLink Assay Within Two Weeks

GE to Launch New CodeLink Assay Within Two Weeks
By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

TORONTO, Oct. 30 (GenomeWeb News) - GE Healthcare will launch its overdue 16-chamber rat ADME assay for the CodeLink platform by the middle of November, said Lisa D’Anzi, marketing director for the platform, yesterday at the American Society of Human Genetics 54th annual meeting.

Full story.

Nano Insurance

Size Matters
Welcome to the wild and wooly world of nanotechnology, the dwelling place of nanotubes, nanoshells, fullerenes, "buckyballs," quantum dots and nanowhiskers. These objects are measured in the billionth-scale. As the size of these products shrink further, their risk in industrial use increases. Insurers remain wary.


Call it the Nanotechnology Revolution. The tiniest substances promise to transform industry and create a huge market. In chemicals, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, technology and textiles, businesses are researching and manufacturing products based on nanotechnology, which uses bits of matter measured in billionths of a meter. The technology, utilizing materials a thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair, is showing up in everything from auto parts to sunscreens and clothing.

The market for nanotechnology products is expected to grow to around $200 billion in 2010 from about $50 billion in 2001, according to industry estimates, and could exceed $1 trillion within 15 years, the National Science Foundation has estimated. These are big numbers indeed, particularly from such small phenomena.

While industry works to develop the promise of nanotechnology, insurers–badly burned by their experience with small substances such as asbestos–are expressing caution about the developing technology as new products enter the markets and potential liabilities build on their books.

Full story.

Google and Trademarks

European Search Landscape - Search Engine Strategies Coverage

Barry Schwartz covering the Search Engine Strategies conference from Sweden.

I was a bit late getting to the Search Engine Strategies conference, but I made it here for the second track.

. . .

Q: The next question went into the trademark issue with bidding on trademark names. A person from Hilton asked how do we control the usage of these words?
A: Google said is has been a challenge, they ask trademark owners to let them know. Google needs the direct involvement from the trademark owners. Overture said that they operate a lot like Google with this in the European market.

Full story.


Allied Domecq faces suit in vodka fight


MOSCOW (AP) - The state-run Russian company that claims the rights to Stolichnaya vodka has targeted British spirits and wine group Allied Domecq in its fight to control the hundreds of millions of dollars in annual sales of the famed Russian vodka in the United States.

Full story.


Krispy Kreme Vs. Krispy Kream

POSTED: 6:54 p.m. EDT October 29, 2004

Cambria County -- Channel 6 News asked people Friday when you hear Krispy Kreme, what do you think of?

Good donuts." "Donuts." "Donuts." "An Ice Cream Cone."

Ice cream cone? Yes. That's what Krispy Kream Drive In on Route 422 in Cambria County sells. The current owners have been in Belsano since 1968.

Christina Hoover owns the Ice Cream shop with her husband. She tells Channel 6 News, "We're an ice cream fast food stand. It's a drive in."

And business is good. Then in the past month two letters from Krispy Kreme donuts. The corporation is not happy with them. But it's not about donuts and ice cream. The problem has to do with the name. Krispy Kreme donuts wants Krispy Kream Drive In to change theirs.

Amy Hughes is the Communications Director for Krispy Kreme. She tells Channel 6 News, "Unfortunately this business is violating a federal regulation trademark that we've had since 1951. And we've respectfully requested that they cease doing so within a reasonable amount of time."

Full story.

Two Arrested for Selling Fake Designer Bags

Cindy Cesare, Reporter
Two Arrested for Selling Fake Designer Bags
(Oct. 29) -- If you've ever been to a purse party filled with inexpensive knock-off designer bags and jewelry, Metro police, say you are contributing to the growing problem of counterfeit trafficking.

Metro police raided what appeared to be a non-descriptive office building on Friday. However thousands of women in the valley knew what the business really was -- a place to buy knock-off designer purses, shoes and jewelry.

"It appears to be a great deal when you can buy something for $400 that has a list price of $4,000 if it was real," said Sgt. Mike Bunker, Metro.

But the hundreds of Chanels, Louis Vittons and Christian Diors are not real. And that's why the store employees, 32-year-old Joe Bogar and 57-year-old Ann Lyerly, were arrested for trafficking a false trademark, which is a felony crime.

Full story.

Appeal Filed in Nuclear Waste Storage Decision

Appeal Filed in Nuclear Waste Storage Decision
Oct. 29, 2004
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah's governor and attorney general want the U.S. Supreme Court to decide who has authority over the transportation and storage of nuclear waste, the latest move in the battle to keep thousands of tons of radioactive waste out of the state.

Full story.