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December 2004

ImClone Gets New Cancer Antibody Patent

ImClone Systems Inc. reported Tuesday it received a patent from the Patent and Trademark Office covering the use of a certain antibody that binds to a receptor to prevent tumor growth.

The company said the patent - No. 6,811,779 - covers the therapeutic use of a vascular endothelial growth factor receptor, or VEGFR, antibody and either radiation or chemotherapy to treat cancer.

Full story.

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Lycos Offers Program to Attack Spammers

By Daniel Woolls
The Associated Press
Tuesday, November 30, 2004; 2:02 PM

MADRID, Spain -- At the risk of breaching Internet civility, Lycos Europe is offering computer-users a weapon against spam-spewing servers: a screen-saver program that automatically hits the offenders with data to slow them down.

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New model for testing transistor reliability

Purdue engineers create model for testing transistor reliability
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Researchers at Purdue University have created a "unified model" for predicting the reliability of new designs for silicon transistors – a potential tool that industry could use to save tens of millions of dollars annually in testing costs.

Full story.

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Netherlands Hospital Euthanizes Babies

Nov 30, 3:03 PM (ET)

By TOBY STERLING

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) - A hospital in the Netherlands - the first nation to permit euthanasia - recently proposed guidelines for mercy killings of terminally ill newborns, and then made a startling revelation: It has already begun carrying out such procedures, which include administering a lethal dose of sedatives.

The announcement by the Groningen Academic Hospital came amid a growing discussion in Holland on whether to legalize euthanasia on people incapable of deciding for themselves whether they want to end their lives - a prospect viewed with horror by euthanasia opponents and as a natural evolution by advocates.

In August, the main Dutch doctors' association KNMG urged the Health Ministry to create an independent board to review euthanasia cases for terminally ill people "with no free will," including children, the severely mentally retarded and people left in an irreversible coma after an accident.

Full story.

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Japan: Accused net file-swapper is found guilty

Japanese man receives three-year suspended sentence
The Associated Press
Updated: 12:57 p.m. ET Nov. 30, 2004TOKYO - A man arrested last year on copyright charges for disseminating films on the Internet was given a three-year suspended sentence Tuesday — averting a jail term in one of the first crackdowns on file-sharing in Japan.

Full story.

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Tech Firms Keep Riding Chinese Tiger

By Cynthia L. Webb
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 30, 2004; 10:10 AM

China may be an important growth market for software and hardware companies alike, but doing business there is not always an easy affair. Microsoft Corp. just got bird's nest soup on its face when a software deal in the country went bust after Beijing soured on it less than two weeks into the contract. And there's a renewed push to buy more locally made software as China works to fight the rampant problem of software piracy -- more bad news for U.S. software players.


Full story.

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Scientist's invention was let go for a song

By Brier Dudley
Seattle Times technology reporter

Jim Russell, now retired in Bellevue, developed an early form of the compact disc and DVD when he was an engineer at Battelle. The glass plate Russell is holding was used to record a soap opera off television in 1974.

Consumers will spend billions this holiday season on CDs, DVDs and machines to record and play the ubiquitous silver discs.
But the inventor of the underlying technology won't make a cent.

Jim Russell, a retired scientist in Bellevue, can only shrug, shake his head and tell his story.

"What I invented was the optical-digital data-storage technology — the fundamental technology behind the whole thing," he said.

Full story.

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Half Price Books Trademark Case

BarnesandNoble.com loses round in trademark case

By Stefanie Olsen

Promoting half-priced books could end up costing BarnesandNoble.com more than it bargained for, if a rival has its way.

A district court judge recently dismissed BarnesandNoble.com's motion for summary judgment in a case brought by Halfpricebooks.com, which sued the online book giant in 2002 for infringing its trademark "Half Price Books." The judge's opinion, filed Nov. 22, effectively allows Half Price's suit to proceed on the grounds that BN.com could have overstepped fair-use laws governing the right to use descriptive trademarks.

"While BN.com's name is displayed on each and every page (of its Web site), a reasonable jury may find that the usage of 'Half-Price Books' on the webpage is sufficiently prominent to suggest that there is an affiliation between HPB and BN.com," according to an opinion from Judge Lee Cook. "Therefore, HPB has directed the court to sufficient evidence in the record from which a reasonable jury could find in its favor on the issue of fair use."

Full story.

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USPTO to Expand E-Notice Use

USPTO uses e-notices
BY Florence Olsen
Published on Nov. 29, 2004

U. S. Patent and Trademark Office officials have expanded their use of a Web-based bulk mailing system offered by the U.S. Postal Service.

USPTO officials said the electronic TPostal system creates electronic post cards with notifications for people who have applied for trademarks. The agency recently expanded its use of TPostal to 13 different notices of official trademark actions and deadlines. By sending about 1,000 such postcards daily, the agency saves nearly $64,000 a year on postage, agency officials said.

The online system, which USPTO officials refer to as TPostal, is based on USPS' NetPost Services.

Full story.

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Hybrid Open Source

The Secrets of Open-Source Managing
Start treating your customers like employees.

From: Inc. Magazine, December 2004 | Page 33 By: David H. Freedman
Computer-game maker Valve Software had high hopes for Half-Life 2, an eagerly anticipated sci-fi shoot-'em-up thriller that had been five years in the making. And when the game finally became available over the Internet last year, fans were ecstatic. There was just one problem: Valve hadn't actually released the game. Instead, the code had been snatched by hackers, who'd posted it online for anyone to download. "This could have been a real hit to our bottom line," says Valve marketing chief Doug Lombardi.

. . .

Why would a posse of online gamers -- a group not known for respecting niceties like copyrights -- set out after the liberators of the program they had so eagerly awaited? The answer can be found in the open-source movement, in which software -- the Linux operating system is the best-known example -- is developed by a community of mostly volunteer programmers, and anyone is free to use or modify it. Open-source ideas are fast moving beyond the high-tech world that spawned them. And while few firms are ready to give their products away, a growing number of entrepreneurs are embracing the idea of handing over their intellectual property to a community of volunteer enthusiasts to perform tasks that have long been the province of salaried employees. Call it a "hybrid open-source" model: The company owns the product, but the customers help customize and improve it. "Having people constantly adding to a product extends its life and fills out market niches that the original product wouldn't have reached," says Lars Bo Jeppesen, a visiting scholar at MIT who has studied hybrid open-source efforts.


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IPac Formed to Voice Consumer Copyright Concerns

Battling the Copyright Big Boys

By Katie Dean | Also by this reporter Page 1 of 1

02:00 AM Nov. 30, 2004 PT

Lobbyists for movie studios and record labels have long dominated the copyright discussion in Washington, using their power and influence to help craft law favorable to their interests.

Now, a group of citizens in favor of a more consumer-friendly copyright policy have formed a political action committee in hopes that the interests of the public can be served, too.

Full story.

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Robot Rats

I, Rodent

By Gregory T. Huang
Innovation News
December 2004

At the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology in Japan, neurobiologist Kenji Doya is ankle-deep in rodents. Not real ones, but “cyber rodents” made of plastic and silicon. Two of the critters circle each other in a mating dance. Others forage for fresh batteries on the floor. Another one just sits there. “That one is lazy,” says Doya, who also heads a group at the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute in Kyoto. “It doesn’t expend energy to get a reward”—and probably won’t last long.

Groups of robots have been fixtures in academic robotics labs for years. But Doya’s project is one of the first to use robots to probe how administering rewards to individuals when they achieve simple goals can give rise to intelligent group behaviors. This work could help designers build machines that collaborate to carry out complex tasks. By studying how groups of mobile robots interact and adapt, researchers could eventually develop self-sufficient swarms of robots that explore hostile environments, gather surveillance data, and repair equipment remotely.

Full story.

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Nine-Year Sentence Too Much for SPAM

The Nine-Year Itch
Sure, spam is a scourge. It's too bad a Virginia jury's tough sentence for a convicted spammer won't make a difference.

By Deborah Asbrand
November 30, 2004

The message from the jury in Loudoun County, VA, was unmistakable: For hurling unwanted bulk e-mail to millions of America Online subscribers, Jeremy Jaynes was getting the book thrown at him. After listening to eight days of testimony in a trial that was Virginia's first for its anti-spam statute, the 12-person jury recommended that the 30-year-old Jaynes spend nine years in prison.

Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore called the sentencing recommendation a victory. Jaynes' defense attorney called it shocking. One juror told a reporter that some panel members had pushed for a 15-year sentence.

For the Jaynes jury, the arc of spam's trajectory through the culture has carried it from being a clogger of in-boxes to a felony that merited a sentence on a par, in Virginia jurisprudence, with possession of child pornography. Observers say the emphatic message no doubt resonated among law-enforcement and judicial officials pursuing legal remedies. The widespread media attention may have had an educational affect on the public. The only group it's not likely to affect? Spammers.


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Australian Medical Council Concerned about Catholic Bias in Medical School

Catholic medical school bias concerns

CHARLIE WILSON-CLARK

The body approving Australia's first Catholic medical school is concerned about possible religious bias and inadequacies in the way doctors will be taught about ethical issues such as homosexuality, abortion and contraception.

Fremantle's University of Notre Dame received official accreditation from the Australian Medical Council yesterday, meaning the 80 students selected to start the four-year graduate course in February can now be told they have earned a place.

But the AMC's report identifies some problems for the university, which teaches compulsory units in theology, philosophy and ethics to all students.

Full story.

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Supreme Court Refuses Celebrex Case

UR denied Supreme Court review


Michael Wentzel
Staff writer

(November 29, 2004) — The U.S. Supreme Court today denied the University of Rochester's request for a review of rulings that invalidated the university's patent on a class of drugs that include the multimillion-dollar Celebrex.

In April 2000, when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded UR a patent for cox-2 inhibitors — drugs that can relieve pain and inflammation without causing cramps and bleeding — the university and others predicted it would provide the school tens of millions of dollars in royalty payments.

The court's decision ends the university's attempt to restore the patent and collect royalties.

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JBECC System Protects President

Updated: 7:19 p.m. ET Nov. 29, 2004
WASHINGTON - The reason Brown International got into the business of guarding the president with a sophisticated radar command center is really quite simple, its officers say. Repairing televisions just wasn't paying enough.

While no longer the 12-person repair operation it was in the 1980s, the Huntsville, Ala., company is still a tiny fish in a huge pool of corporations helping the military defend the homeland. But it was Brown's engineers who got a frantic call from an Air Force commander the evening of Sept. 11, 2001.

. . .

There are at least two JBECC systems, one that travels to major events — particularly those involving the president — and another that is more stationery at an undisclosed location in the Washington area. The Associated Press was granted access to see one of the models.

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Brain Researchers to Develop New Class of Drugs to Repair Psychiatric Disorders

“Smart” drugs capable of targeting specific brain cells to control psychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia may be ready for early clinical trials within three years, with the launch of a $1.5 million project to take place at the Brain Research Centre (BRC), a partnership of the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI).

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Finding Could Improve Safety of Stem Cell Transplants

Toni Baker
Nov. 29, 2004

A lipid that helps destroy potentially harmful cells during brain development shows promise for improving the safety and efficacy of stem cell transplants, say researchers at the Medical College of Georgia and University of Georgia.

When embryonic stem cells are being coaxed toward becoming brain cells that could be transplanted, that lipid, ceramide, helps eliminate cells that could later form tumors called teratomas, researchers say in the Nov. 22 issue of The Journal of Cell Biology.

“The body has amazing mechanisms to eliminate cells that are no longer wanted and that if they remain will harm the body by developing into tissues that are not meant to be,” says Dr. Erhard Bieberich, MCG biochemist and the study’s lead author. “Our studies show this particular mechanism can help stem cells safely become the cells we want them to be.”

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Blood product trial sparks informed consent debate

The FDA allows informed consent to be waived in emergency situations if other treatment is unavailable or unsatisfactory.
By Andis Robeznieks, AMNews staff. Dec. 6, 2004.

A test for a new blood substitute has created tension between groups seeking to save lives and those looking to preserve research ethics.

While some investigators hail PolyHeme, an oxygen-carrying liquid produced by Evanston, Ill.-based Northfield Laboratories Inc., as a potential lifesaver, others say clinical trials for the product -- which include waiving test subjects' informed consent -- could set a precedent for future abuses of the Food and Drug Administration's guidelines, which allow such waivers in life-threatening situations.

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GE Healthcare Announces Fastest Volumetric Imaging in the World

LightSpeed VCT with 0.35 Second Rotation Speed and 40 mm Coverage is a Breakthrough in Cardiac Imaging

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 29, 2004--GE Healthcare announced today that its next-generation volume computed tomography (CT) scanner, the LightSpeed VCT, has set the record for fastest volumetric imaging in the world. The LightSpeed VCT with its 0.35 second rotation and 40 millimeter coverage allows for true volumetric scanning of the heart in only five beats. This breakthrough technology is being showcased at the Radiological Society of North America's 90th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting this week in Chicago, Illinois.

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Merck Licenses Antibiotic Method

SDSU Licenses Antibiotic Development Technology to Merck Pharmaceuticals for $300,000
By Aaron Hoskins

Two new and improved methods of developing antibiotics discovered at San Diego State University have been licensed to Merck Pharmaceuticals for $300,000, the largest technology transfer agreement so far for SDSU.

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South Korea bans some plasma TV panels

SEOUL, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- South Korea Monday temporarily banned imports of plasma display panels made by Japan's Matsushita Co., the Financial Times reported.

The action followed a complaint filed with the Korean Trade Commission by LG Electronics claiming Matsushita violated its intellectual property rights. The panels are used in flat-screen TVs and computer monitors.

The battle over technology between the two manufacturers started with Matsushita, which filed an injunction earlier this month to stop LG from selling its products in Japan.

Full story.





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OpGen Names Shaw CEO

Madison biotech firm names CEO
OpGen Inc., a Madison-based genomics company providing gene mapping technology, has named biotechnology and health care company veteran R.H. Joseph Shaw as its permanent chief executive officer.

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Paralyzed Korean Woman Walks After Umbilical Cord Stem Cell Therapy

Paralyzed woman walks again after stem cell therapy

A South Korean woman paralyzed for 20 years is walking again after scientists say they repaired her damaged spine using stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood.

Hwang Mi-Soon, 37, had been bedridden since damaging her back in an accident two decades ago.

Last week her eyes glistened with tears as she walked again with the help of a walking frame at a press conference where South Korea researchers went public for the first time with the results of their stem-cell therapy.

They said it was the world's first published case in which a patient with spinal cord injuries had been successfully treated with stem cells from umbilical cord blood.

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Judge halts two coal-fired power plants

By Mike Miller
November 29, 2004

Plans by Wisconsin Energy Corp. to build two coal-powered generating plants at Oak Creek have been put on hold.

Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan ruled today that the Public Service Commission's approval of the project violated state laws and procedures in several ways. In a 54-page written decision, Flanagan sent the matter back to the commission to begin the approval process anew.

The decision came in a consolidation of cases brought by Clean Wisconsin Inc. and S.C. Johnson and Sons; the Calpine Corp.; and the city of Oak Creek, all of which opposed at least some parts of the commission's order approving the $2.15 billion project.

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Barrett Critical of Doyle Madison Bias

Barrett: Doyle biotech plan snubs MilwaukeeBy Phill Trewyn
The Business Journal of Milwaukee
Updated: 7:00 p.m. ET Nov. 28, 2004

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is criticizing Gov. Jim Doyle's recently-unveiled plan to advance biotechnology in Wisconsin as another case of the University of Wisconsin-Madison taking priority over Milwaukee when it comes to state research dollars.

Speaking Nov. 18 at the initial meeting of the Biomedical Technology Alliance in Milwaukee, Barrett complained that the abundance of biomedical research conducted in the Milwaukee area goes largely unnoticed by the Legislature. The technology alliance is a consortium of Milwaukee-area academic institutions seeking to collaborate on scientific research.

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Scientists cite breakthrough in producing pure hydrogen

By Matthew L. Wald
The New York Times
November 28, 2004

WASHINGTON -- Researchers at a government nuclear laboratory and a ceramics company in Salt Lake City say they have found a way to produce pure hydrogen with far less energy than other methods, raising the possibility of using nuclear power to indirectly wean the transportation system from its dependence on oil.

The development would move the country closer to the Energy Department's stated goal of a "hydrogen economy," in which hydrogen would be created through a variety of means and would be consumed by devices called fuel cells to make electricity to run cars and for other purposes.

Experts cite three big obstacles to a hydrogen economy: manufacturing hydrogen cleanly and at low cost, finding a way to ship it and store it, and reducing the high price of fuel cells.

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Swiss Approve Embryonic Stem Cell Research by Referendum

Swiss voters approve stem cell research using human embryos
11-28-2004, 16h45

GENEVA (AFP) - Two-thirds of Swiss voters approved a new law that allows medical research on stem cells taken from human embryos but bars cloning, official results from a referendum showed.

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Advice on Trade Secret Breach

Oops. You Told a Secret. What to Do Next?
By CHERYL DAHLE

At a software industry trade show, you are in a crowded elevator discussing your company's product with a colleague. You realize when the doors open that you have dipped too deep into details, blabbing about trade secrets in earshot of people who may work for competitors. What should you do?

A. This sort of inadvertent disclosure - whether through e-mail, conversation or documents - should always be reported to a supervisor or to the human resources department, said Albert J. Solecki Jr., chairman of the New York offices of the law firm Goodwin Procter and a partner in the employment law group. "The principal rule is that covering up or hoping that the disclosure will never come to surface is an extremely risky way to deal with the problem," Mr. Solecki said.

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Brannock files keyword lawsuit

by Casey Dickinson, Journal Staff


11/26/04: SYRACUSE — The Brannock Device Co., makers of the famous foot-measuring device, has filed suit against ABC Industries, Inc., accusing the Long Island–based, store-fixture dealer of infringing on its “Brannock Device” trademark. The suit is a tale of the established, traditional Brannock technology meeting with the Internet’s emerging advertising methods. Developed in Syracuse, the size-determining Brannock Device’s sliding metal parts are a fixture in shoe stores around the world.
A keyword-linked advertisement on the Google search engine prompted Brannock to file suit Nov. 9 in federal court in the Northern District of New York, says attorney George McGuire, who is representing Liverpool-based Brannock. McGuire is chair of Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC’s intellectual-property practice group.

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Making the grade, then making a profit

Making the grade, then making a profit

By JAN NORMAN

The Orange County Register

SANTA ANA, Calif. - When DayNa Decker created a patented line of artistic oil lamps and candles, she approached The Venture Alliance in Irvine, Calif., for funding.

TVA represents a nationwide group of professional investors, venture capital funds and consultants with more than $300 million to invest. But instead of asking for a copy of Decker's business plan, TVA had her answer 900 questions about her startup company, called Lumetique.

On the basis of those answers, TVA rated Lumetique's prospects and informed Decker that it scored 741 out of 1,200 points, or 62 percent. Its intellectual property and market opportunity were good, but Decker's experience and the management team were weak. In short, Lumetique needed a lot of work. So, no money for Decker - at least not in the spring of 2003.

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California's New Stem-Cell Initiative Is Already Raising Concerns

By JOHN M. BRODER
New York Times
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 26 - As California moves to begin a lushly financed program of embryonic stem cell research, medical ethicists and other skeptics are concerned that the $3 billion that state voters approved for the endeavor could become a bonanza for private profiteers.

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Intangible Assets Yield Tangible Value

As companies recognize the growing importance of their intellectual property, they're looking to technology to monitor and protect it

by Bob Violino
November 2004, Issue 22
Until recently, intellectual property was managed mostly by corporate patent lawyers, accountants, and finance executives. IP usually referred to something tangible, such as a patent or physical invention. Today, it can be as diverse as digital media and as abstract as business processes. Increasingly, businesses are using technology to improve their ability to track and manage these valuable properties.

At a growing number of enterprises, CIOs and other high-level IT executives are stepping up to manage and protect these assets, which lie at the very heart of their business. In an Optimize Research survey of 200 business-technology executives, 40% of the respondents said their CIO or VP of IT is involved in IP management. About 17% said departmental IT managers take part in IP management, as well.

"In many cases, it takes technology to monitor the use of intellectual property and to look at who's using what and for what purpose," says Kathy Harris, an analyst who tracks IP-management issues at Gartner Inc. in Stamford, Conn. In a service-oriented economy, intangible IP is often the product and, therefore, it has gained more visibility. "Content and intellectual property are at the core of [many] services and revenue streams," she says.

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Yes, Madison is research 'epicenter,' but other parts of state can play a role, too

Yes, Madison is research 'epicenter,' but other parts of state can play a role, too
By JOHN TORINUS
Special to the Journal Sentinel
Posted: Nov. 27, 2004
Gov. Jim Doyle put on a game face of major league proportions when he rolled out Wisconsin's response to California's approval of $3 billion in state funds for a decade of stem cell research.

He did what he had to do to keep Wisconsin in the forefront of bioscience. California's initiative will be hard for a smaller state to match, especially one with a major deficit. So Doyle packaged every hunk of funds, private and public, to banner $750 million in new and continuing initiatives.

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Microsoft offers Windows amnesty deal to British


Limited-time British program aims to fight counterfeitingThe Associated Press
Updated: 5:39 p.m. ET Nov. 26, 2004LONDON - Owners of pirated copies of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows XP operating system can trade them in for the real thing as part of a bid by the software giant to fight counterfeiting.

Microsoft said the deal, open only to residents of Britain, would help it fight the proliferation of "high-quality counterfeit versions" of its software.

The company said users unsure of the legitimacy of their Windows XP software could submit it to Microsoft for analysis, along with sales receipts and other documentation. Software found to be counterfeit will be replaced.

Full story.

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Brazil Goes to War on Piracy

Brazil Goes to War on Piracy
Written by Alessandra Bastos

Friday, 26 November 2004

The battle against piracy in Brazil just got some reinforcements this week with the formal establishment of the National Council Against Piracy and Intellectual Property Crimes which is housed in the Ministry of Justice.

The new council's main task will be to draw up a national plan to combat piracy and the resultant loss of tax revenue, as well as crimes against intellectual property.

The battle plan is move on three fronts: repression of the commerce of illegal goods on one hand; attempt to get price reductions of legal goods on the other; and finally, an educational campaign to make the public aware of the problem.

Full story.

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Recording Industry, File-Share Face Off

Recording Industry, File-Share Face Off

By MIKE CORDER
The Associated Press
Friday, November 26, 2004; 1:50 PM

SYDNEY, Australia - The next chapter in the global legal battle between the recording industry and file-sharing services is due to unfold here Monday when the owners of the hugely popular Kazaa software go on trial on civil copyright infringement charges.

"We don't want to shut down Kazaa, just its illegal activities," said Michael Speck, general manager of Music Industry Piracy Investigations, a body set up by major Australian record labels to target copyright infringers.

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Internet upstarts v traditional publishers

By Matthew Cockerill and John Enderby
Published: November 25 2004 19:09 | Last updated: November 25 2004 19:09

The benefits to scientists of open access scientific publishing provided by the internet are too significant to be ignored, says Matthew Cockerill.

The progress of science is ultimately defined by peer-reviewed journal articles: they record the results of research and act as a foundation for all future research.

In the UK alone, billions of pounds of tax-payers’ money are spent annually on research, so the government might be expected to take a prudent interest in how the resulting journal articles are published, archived and made accessible. Surprisingly, though, copyright to publicly funded research articles is routinely signed over to publishers, who then sell limited, subscription-based access back to the scientific community.

The cost of publishing a scientific research article is a tiny fraction of what it costs to do the research in the first place; yet publishers end up controlling access to the findings.

What does this mean in practice? Researchers are frustrated by a lack of access to research, since no library can afford to subscribe to all relevant journals. Modern research is increasingly interdisciplinary, but the pressure on librarians to subscribe only to “core” journals limits cross-fertilisation between disciplines. Meanwhile, funders get less return on their investment because researchers are working without adequate access to previous research. Finally, the public is denied access to reliable peer-reviewed research findings - especially ironic in the case of medical research, where so much dubious information is openly accessible on the net.

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New Journal of Physics has just published a focus issue on Ultrafast Optics

Friday 26 November 2004

New Journal of Physics has just published a focus issue on Ultrafast Optics, edited by Markus Pessa and Ian White. All contributions are listed below and are freely accessible via the links provided.

The establishment of ultrafast optics as an important research field followed the invention of the laser in the late 1950s. However although the generation of ultrashort optical pulses was observed not long after the laser was first invented, it is only in the last few years that ultracompact lasers have been devised which generate picosecond or sub-picosecond sources.

This focus issue reflects the rapid changes that have occurred within the field, incorporating a range of papers. These include reviews of the new generation of compact optical sources now able to generate short optical pulses, switching techniques and applications. Three main classes of mode-locked laser are studied - two particular papers concern solid state lasers (Brown et al) and fibre lasers equipped with efficient nonlinear SESAM reflectors for passive mode-locking of pulses (Okhotnikov et al). Semiconductor diode lasers are also reviewed.

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Judge Upholds Ill Man's Living Will

ORLANDO - A judge on Tuesday upheld a living will for a 73-year-old Central Florida man, hospitalized and on life support, despite pleas from his wife that he is not as ill as his doctors say.

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Living wills are often ineffective

WASHINGTON - Patients checking into hospitals and clients meeting with their lawyers are often advised to take a simple step toward planning for the future: Fill out a living will.

But too often, living wills don't work.

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Merge Technologies buys imaging company

Merge Technologies Inc., a West Allis medical software company, said Wednesday it will buy a California medical imaging company for $6 million.

AccuImage Diagnostics Corp. of South San Francisco specializes in technology used to analyze and manage medical images from devices such as computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging equipment.

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Building a better turkey through biotech

Researchers hope to mend defects of selective breeding

The Associated Press
Updated: 4:41 p.m. ET Nov. 24, 2004SAN FRANCISCO - Most of the turkeys gracing the nation's dinner tables Thursday have been selectively bred for their white meat for so many generations that simply walking can be a problem for many of the big-breasted birds and sex is no longer possible.

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Europe: Court ruling heaven scent for IP lawyers

LAYING DOWN THE LAW

STUART SKELLY


THE 19th-century author Balzac hailed perfumes as one of mankind’s gifts to God - "the most refined expressions of our nature".

He was French, of course. Now, with fragrances a multi-billion-pound global industry, a recent, rather unrefined court dispute between two European perfume-makers has shown that at least one French company is not giving its scent away to anyone.

The decision of a Dutch appeals court in June, which held for the first time that a perfume could be protected by copyright, has been greeted with incredulity in some quarters.

The notion that the intellectual property (IP) right which once protected artistic creations like Dickens’ Great Expectations and Van Gogh’s Sunflowers could now be extended to smelly stuff which you put behind your ears, does, at first sniff, seem pretty whiffy.

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Trademark lawsuit filed over yogurt name

DES MOINES, Iowa Wells' Blue Bunny is taking another company to court over yogurt.

Wells, based in Le Mars, makes the LITE 85 brand. It is suing Minneapolis-based Kemps, which makes LIGHT 80.

Wells says Kemps' name is so similar that it infringes on its LITE 85 trademark. Wells also says the similar names have confused some customers and some may believe Kemps yogurt is connected with Wells' Dairy.

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On the Ground Floor of Nanotechnology

Josh Wolfe, Forbes/Wolfe Nanotech Report, 11.24.04, 3:50 PM ET

NEW YORK - Through the end of the third quarter, the average stock in the Nanosphere has been trimmed 20% since 2004's first day of trading. But, I am advising you to hold fast. Fundamentals in the development of nanotechnology have never been stronger. During 2004, corporate earnings for nanotech developers have increased, new products have reached the markets and new partnerships have formed. But, investing in nanotech--like biotechnology--will be marked by a series of fits and starts--even while progress in the technology's development remains constant.

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Umbilical cord blood can help adults, too

Stem cells used in leukemia treatment
By JOHN FAUBER and SUSANNE QUICK
jfauber@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Nov. 24, 2004
Stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood may be nearly as good as bone marrow in treating adult diseases such as leukemia, according to landmark research that could increase transplants of a potentially lifesaving resource that often is discarded.

The studies are the largest comparisons of outcomes between cord blood and bone marrow transplants in adults, one of the authors says.

The finding from two studies, including one from the Medical College of Wisconsin, is expected to fuel cries for a more extensive national program to collect and store cord blood as way to save thousands of lives each year.

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Europeans will back deal with Japan for fusion facility

EU would pay Tokyo to drop its bid to host ITER project, clearing the way for French site.
BRUSSELS, Belgium - European Union ministers will support a proposal to offer compensation to Japan in return for an agreement to build the world’s first thermonuclear reactor in France, officials said Wednesday.

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Bugs and weeds enlisted to fight terrorists

Organisms could provide early warning of attack

WASHINGTON - Don’t squash that bug! Cockroaches, beetles, spiders and worms may be the U.S. government’s next line of defense in the war on terror.

Backed by the Pentagon, scientists are recruiting insects, shellfish, bacteria and even weeds to act as “bio-sentinels,” which give early warning of biological and chemical attacks, detect explosives or monitor the spread of contamination.

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