Previous month:
April 2005
Next month:
June 2005

Wisconsin Power Plant Is Called A Setback for the Environment

Wisconsin Power Plant Is Called A Setback for the Environment
Utility Denies That Technology It Plans to Use Is Outdated

By Peter Slevin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 29, 2005; Page A03

RACINE, Wis. -- The tall towers of a coal-fired power plant on the shores of Lake Michigan represent a new front in a national struggle over energy technology and the environmental performance of expanding energy companies.

So far, in the view of environmental activists, water and air quality are being cheated.

The battle here concerns a proposal to double the capacity of the Oak Creek power plant, located south of Milwaukee. Opponents say the new twin 600-megawatt generators would use unacceptably old technology, spilling excessive pollution into the air and disturbing aquatic life by sucking billions of gallons of lake water each week into its cooling pipes.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Scientists of tiny tech aim for big grants

Scientists of tiny tech aim for big grants
00:00 am 5/31/05
Jason Stein Wisconsin State Journal

A UW-Madison center focused on the science of the very small is going after big money.

Local professors are going to Washington, D.C., this week to compete for a federal grant for research into the emerging fields of nanotechnology, said Juan De Pablo, director of UW- Madison's Materials Research Science and Engineering Center. The group is asking the National Science Foundation for $18 million over six years.

The university center is one of 25 finalists from around the country vying for a dozen or more federal grants, which are expected to be announced sometime this summer, De Pablo said.

In nanotechnology, scientists work with materials at the scale of mere atoms or molecules to make objects with new properties, such as fabrics that resist food and drink stains.

The UW-Madison center, which has already received two similar grants over the last decade, is working on projects that could lead to smaller and faster computer circuitry and sensors that could detect viruses or toxins from a bio-terrorist attack, De Pablo said. There are 33 faculty and 49 graduate students working with the center, he said.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Hacker Hunters

Hacker Hunters
An elite force takes on the dark side of computing

In an unmarked building in downtown Washington, Brian K. Nagel and 15 other Secret Service agents manned a high-tech command center, poised for the largest-ever roundup of a cybercrime gang. A huge map of the U.S., spread across 12 digital screens, gave them a view of their prey, from Arizona to New Jersey. It was Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2004, and Operation Firewall was about to be unleashed. The target: the ShadowCrew, a gang whose members were schooled in identity theft, bank account pillage, and the fencing of ill-gotten wares on the Web, police say. For months, agents had been watching their every move through a clandestine gateway into their Web site, shadowcrew.com. To ensure the suspects were at home, a gang member-turned-informant had pressed his pals to go online for a group meeting.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Fruit Fly Cells Involved in Egg Development Stimulated to Revert to Stem Cells

Scientists at Carnegie’s Department of Embryology in Baltimore have found that certain cells involved in egg development in the fruit fly can be stimulated to revert to fully functioning stem cells. “This finding could lead to new sources of stem cells from other tissues and other animals,” said Allan Spradling, director of the department and coauthor of the study published in the March 14 online issue of Nature.

The research conducted by Spradling and colleague Toshie Kai involved so called germline stem cells of the female fruit fly. These cells are precursors to eggs and begin their journey as stem cells living in a special environment called a niche. In the niche, a stem cell splits into two daughter cells, one of which leaves the niche to begin its transformation. Through a series of four divisions a cluster of 16 cells forms—an immature egg with 15 accompanying nurse cells. The researchers discovered that the cells in clusters of 4 and 8 cells can still return to the stem-cell state under appropriate conditions. Moreover, the reverted stem cells worked as well as normal stem cells. Flies with only reverted stem cells were as fertile as normal flies throughout adult life.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

J&J sees 10-13 new drugs approved by 2007

J&J sees 10-13 new drugs approved by 2007
Thursday May 26, 2:44 pm ET
By Toni Clarke and Julie Steenhuysen


NEW YORK/CHICAGO (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ - News) , which like other major drugmakers faces a growing number of patent expirations, on Thursday said it plans to file and receive marketing approval for 10 to 13 new drug compounds by 2007.

Full story.

Sponsor: Gehrke & Associates, SC -- Intellectual Property and Technology Law

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Court Hears Falwell Web Domain Arguments

Court Hears Falwell Web Domain Arguments
Friday, May 27, 2005 - 01:20 AM

By LARRY O´DELL
Associated Press Writer

RICHMOND, Va.
A Web site critical of the Rev. Jerry Falwell´s views on gays contains constitutionally protected, noncommercial speech and should be allowed to keep its name _ a common misspelling for the conservative evangelist, a lawyer for the site owner argued Thursday.

Christopher Lamparello of New York City, who operates fallwell.com, took his case to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals seeking to reverse a federal judge´s ruling that he violated federal trademark law.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

'Homemade' Gene Expression Technology Unreliable

Study: 'Homemade' Gene Expression Technology Unreliable (May 26, 2005)

OHSU scientist participates in study supporting wider use of commercial microarrays

PORTLAND, Ore. - Technology for analyzing gene expression must be standardized among laboratories and across platforms around the world to support this age of human genome exploration, an Oregon Health & Science University researcher says.

Otherwise, scientists using DNA microarrays, also known as gene chips, risk having their research results called into question, said Peter Spencer, Ph.D., professor of neurology in the OHSU School of Medicine.

Spencer, director of the OHSU Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology, co-authored with several OHSU colleagues one of three articles about microarrays appearing this month in the journal Nature Methods. They show that geographically separated multi-investigator teams adopting common commercial, rather than homemade, microarray platforms and common sets of procedures are able to generate comparable data.

"The important point of the three papers is that with contemporary microarray platforms, we have a relatively reliable method with which to assess gene expression, we can do so reproducibly within an individual laboratory, and we can be confident that a similar result would be obtained if the experiment is repeated elsewhere," Spencer said.

Continue reading "'Homemade' Gene Expression Technology Unreliable" »

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Israel allows sex selection of embryos for non-medical reasons

Israel allows sex selection of embryos for non-medical reasons
Jerusalem Judy Siegel-Itzkovich

Israeli parents who have at least four children of the same sex and want one of the other sex can now apply to a health ministry committee for approval of preimplantation genetic diagnosis at their own expense.

Professor Avi Yisraeli, director general of the health ministry, who issued the directive on the recommendation of experts on bioethics, said the new seven member body would approve sex selection of embryos for social reasons only in very unusual cases.

Except for one case officially approved by the ministry, all procedures done at Israeli hospitals for preimplantation genetic diagnosis have, until now, involved a family history indicating a high risk of serious genetic disorders. Such disorders include Tay-Sachs disease and familial dysautonomia (both of which occur mostly in Jews), as well as thalassaemia, myotonic dystrophy, neurofibromatosis, fragile X syndrome, haemophilia, and Marfan’s syndrome.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Abbott drug OK seen as Bone Care boost

Abbott drug OK seen as Bone Care boost

The Capital Times
May 27, 2005

As expected, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given Abbott Laboratories Inc. approval to sell a capsule form of its injectable drug Zemplar for treating a complication of chronic kidney disease.

Zemplar is a synthetic version of vitamin D that counteracts secondary hyperparathyroidism, or SHPT, a condition that damages bones and vital organs.

Abbott has been selling an injectable form of Zemplar for the 300,000 to 400,000 patients with chronic kidney disease who require dialysis. The oral form is for the much larger market of about 8 million kidney disease patients who do not yet require dialysis.

Middleton-based Bone Care International's Hectorol drug is approved for both markets, and the company sees giant Abbott's marketing muscle as an aid in opening up the pre-dialysis market.


Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

WI Budget: Biomedical Technology Alliance to Administer Southeastern WI Research Initiative

Sen. Kanavas: Seeks Funds for Biomedical Technology Alliance:
5/26/2005

High tech research initiative to be centered in Southeastern Wisconsin

(Madison) May 26, 2005… On a vote of 15-1 last evening, the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance, approved a proposal offered by Senator Ted Kanavas (R-Brookfield) to provide funding for a high-tech research initiative in Southeastern Wisconsin.

“The benefits are limitless. This initiative will provide a tremendous opportunity to create high-tech, high-paying jobs for our state. Private industry and local academic institutions will be able to partner together and take advantage of the wealth of knowledge and know how in Southeastern Wisconsin,” Kanavas stated.

The initiative will be administered by the Biomedical Technology Alliance (BTA). The BTA will build bridges, joining academic institutions such as UW-Milwaukee, the Medical College of Wisconsin, Marquette University, the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and UW-Parkside with local industry to increase biomedical research and development capacity in Southeastern Wisconsin.

Continue reading "WI Budget: Biomedical Technology Alliance to Administer Southeastern WI Research Initiative" »

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Iomega aiming for 800GB DVDs

Iomega aiming for 800GB DVDs
By Richard Shim, CNET News.com
Thursday, May 26 2005 11:33 AM

Storage company Iomega is looking to increase the capacity of DVDs up to 100 times, meaning it could, conceivably, create 800GB discs.

The San Diego-based company announced on Tuesday that it had been issued a patent, U.S. Patent No. 6,879,556, which covers a method of encoding data on the surface of a DVD so more data--on the order of 40 to 100 times that of current capacities--can be stored. Current DVDs can hold up to about 8.5GB of data. Data transfer speeds would also jump five to 30 times, according to the company.

The technique uses reflective nano-structures to encode data on a multilevel format.

Iomega is looking to commercialize the procedure and is searching for partners to produce data storage devices, the company said.

Full story.

Sponsor: Gehrke & Associates, SC -- Intellectual Property and Technology Law

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Shareholders approve Merge/Cedara deal

Shareholders approve Merge/Cedara deal
Shareholders of Merge Technologies Inc. and Cedara Software Corp. have approved Merge's proposed acquisition of Cedara in separate votes Tuesday, the companies said.

The deal still requires the approval of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, which is expected May 26. The transaction is expected to close the week of May 30.

The firms announced Jan. 18 that West Allis-based medical imaging technology provider Merge, doing business as Merge eFilm, would buy Cedara for about $393.4 million in stock. Cedara Software Corp. (NASDAQ: CDSW) is a Mississauga, Ontario-based provider of medical imaging technologies.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

WI Joint Finance Committee Rejects Tax on Internet Downloads

Budget committee rejects tax on Internet downloads
Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Legislature's budget committee Tuesday rejected the governor's plan to begin taxing music, movies and books downloaded from the Internet, a proposal that could have cost Wisconsin consumers an additional $1.3 million over the next two years.

The Joint Finance Committee also dumped Gov. Jim Doyle's plan to change Wisconsin's sales tax code to join a national effort to make sales and use taxes more uniform. Approving the change could have cost consumers $19.1 million more over the next two years.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

President Bush on bioethics

Transcript of remarks by President Bush on bioethics

(Washington) May 24, 2005 - Thank you all. Please be seated. Good afternoon, and welcome to the White House. I have just met with 21 remarkable families. Each of them has answered the call to ensure that our society's most vulnerable members are protected and defended at every stage of life.
The families here today have either adopted or given up for adoption frozen embryos that remained after fertility treatments. Rather than discard these embryos created during in vitro fertilization, or turn them over for research that destroys them, these families have chosen a life-affirming alternative. Twenty- one children here today found a chance for life with loving parents. (Applause.)

I believe America must pursue the tremendous possibilities of science, and I believe we can do so while still fostering and encouraging respect for human life in all its stages.


Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Co. to Test Drugs With Stem Cell Research

By RYAN J. FOLEY Associated Press Writer
The Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. May 25, 2005 — The scientist who first isolated human embryonic stem cells in his laboratory now hopes to profit from the discovery.

Even as a bruising debate unfolds in Washington over federal funding for stem cell research, Jamie Thomson and two colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have formed a company to test new drugs on heart cells they plan to develop from the undifferentiated master cells.

Heart cells don't survive long or reproduce outside the body so scientists are now limited to testing the effects of experimental drugs on the heart in live animals and people. Heart cells derived from stem cells are thought to be hardier and will allow drug tests on the heart to occur in a petri dish.


Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Feds Shut Web Site in Piracy Crackdown

Feds Shut Web Site in Piracy Crackdown

By MARK SHERMAN
The Associated Press
Wednesday, May 25, 2005; 8:51 PM

WASHINGTON -- Federal raiders. Internet pirates. Intergalactic screen adventures. The government announced a crackdown Wednesday on the theft of movies and other copyright materials that has the elements of a film plot.

Federal agents shut down a Web site that they said allowed people to download the new Stars War movie even before it was shown in theaters.

The Elite Torrents site was engaging in high-tech piracy by letting people download copies of movies and other copyright material for free, authorities said.

The action was the first criminal enforcement against individuals who are using cutting-edge BitTorrent software to obtain pirated content online, Justice and Homeland Security Department officials said.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Cultural considerations are increasingly vital in multidisciplinary research

CONTACT: Carol Ryff (608) 262-9772, cryff@wisc.edu

PSYCHOLOGIST: MAKE CULTURE PART OF THE NEW COLLABORATIVE SCIENCE

MADISON-Cultural considerations are increasingly vital in multidisciplinary research as more scientists stray from narrowly focused studies to expansive, boundary-blurring questions, a University of Wisconsin-Madison psychologist will announce to attendees (May 27) at the 17th Annual Convention of the American Psychology Society in Los Angeles.

Academic fields are rapidly converging to form emerging hybrids with tongue-twisting names such as psychoneuroimmunology. But, Ryff says, integrative work cannot tell the whole story - or hope to create tailored, individualized interventions - unless researchers pay heed to the broader cultural context of their work.

Continue reading "Cultural considerations are increasingly vital in multidisciplinary research" »

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Wisconsin vote splits on party lines

Wisconsin vote splits on party lines
Democrats vote yes; GOP, no
By JONATHAN O'CONNELL
joconnell@journalsentinel.com
Posted: May 24, 2005

Washington - Fifty Republicans joined a heavy majority of Democrats in passing a House bill Tuesday that would allow federal funding to support research using new lines of embryonic stem cells.

Wisconsin Republicans were not among those joining the Democrats, however. They denounced the bill as a violation of the rights of human life.

The state's Democrats all voted to support the measure.


Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

State loan aids EraGen expansion

State loan aids EraGen expansion

The Capital Times
May 25, 2005

Madison-based EraGen BioSciences Inc. will receive a $250,000 state Technology Development Loan that will help it continue growing, state and company officials announced Tuesday.

The genetic technology firm, 918 Deming Way, will be spending $1 million to upgrade its manufacturing facility, with 75 jobs ultimately projected to be added to its current 31. The upgrade will enable it to produce its genetic screening test for Cystic Fibrosis under good manufacturing practices.

EraGen last week announced a licensing deal with Bayer under which the global giant will manufacture and market EraGen's Cystic Fibrosis test. The agreement also provides Bayer with additional rights enabling it to expand the deal to other genetic tests.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Federal Trial Over Pipette

MADISON, Wis. May 24, 2005 — A federal trial is scheduled next week involving major makers of scientific equipment, the University of Wisconsin and an entrepreneur, all over who can profit from a device most people know from high school chemistry.

At stake is millions of dollars in U.S. sales of the adjustable pipette, the syringe-like instrument that researchers around the world use to measure and transfer liquids from one container to another.

Inventor Warren Gilson created the instrument in 1972, and since then his company, medical instrument maker Gilson Inc., has had an agreement allowing Rainin Instrument Co. of Woburn, Mass. to exclusively buy and sell it in the United States. For 30 years, the two companies have teamed up to supply laboratories around the world with the devices, which allow researchers to suck up and spit out precise amounts of liquids into a tube at the push of a button.

But Gilson claims that Rainin executives waged a campaign to disparage Gilson's Pipetman products and route customers to their own competing product lines, introduced after the 1974 patent expired in 1991. Gilson blames the drive for a significant drop in sales of pipettes to U.S. customers, and is seeking to break the sales contract with Rainin and recoup more than $8 million in lost profits and royalties.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

The National Academies' Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem-Cell Research

The National Academies' Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem-Cell Research
Initial parameters seek to regulate emerging field of controversial — but exciting — research.

By: Jonathan D. Moreno, Ph.D.
BioPharm International

On April 26 the National Academies of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine released guidelines for human embryonic stem (hES) cell research, the result of eight months of deliberations by a human research ethics committee I co-chaired with MIT's Richard O. Hynes. Composed of scientists, physicians, lawyers, ethicists, a social scientist, and a private citizen, the committee held a two-day public workshop and numerous meetings. We also reviewed international guidelines, policies, and procedures in this field.

The guidelines are not legally binding, but it is hoped that all parties — the scientific community, research institutions, private companies, scientific journals, and all other stakeholders — will voluntarily adhere to them and impose sanctions if they are violated. Although the American public expects all research to be conducted according to the highest ethical standards, clearly this is an area that is particularly sensitive. Therefore, uniformity of good conduct is especially important for this work to progress.

A key recommendation calls for all hES cell research protocols to be reviewed by an embryonic stem-cell oversight (ESCRO) committee. We were hesitant to recommend another bureaucratic oversight entity, but the burden in this case is justified given the novel and controversial nature of hES cell research. Oversight is especially important considering the vacuum left by current federal policy that places severe constraints on public funding. ESCRO committees should include experts in biology, stem-cell research, law, and ethics as well as public representatives.


Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Protecting intellectual property often hard

Protecting intellectual property often hard
For small businesses: Many don't know the value of their ideas or how much is lost to unfair copying
By Glen Warchol
The Salt Lake Tribune

Most small-business owners probably figure they have enough on their plates growing a business without worrying about something as esoteric as intellectual property theft.

Let global giants such as Nike and Microsoft stew over international piracy, right?

U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce Jon Dudas begs to differ. About half the patents issued in Utah - 683 last year alone - went to small-business owners. And those ideas - the foundations of dozens of businesses - are at risk of theft.

"We've found that small businesses don't understand intellectual property," said Dudas. "One tremendously bad case of intellectual property theft and they could lose their business."

Intellectual property includes everything a sharp entrepreneur could dream up - from software programs, which can be copied on a massive scale and transmitted in seconds over the Internet, to knock-off motor boat gauges or a hot-selling brand of glue churned out of a Far East factory.

Because trademark and patent theft has become a $600 billion problem - pirates siphon off about 5 percent to 10 percent of the value of U.S.-trademarked products - Dudas has kicked off a nationwide series of seminars for small businesses. The first started Monday in Salt Lake City and will continue today at Little America Hotel.

Full story.

Sponsor: Gehrke & Associates, SC -- Intellectual Property and Technology Law

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Alternative Stem Cell Bill Added to Debate

Alternative Stem Cell Bill Added to Debate

By Rick Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 24, 2005; Page A03

With a closely divided House poised to vote today on whether to expand federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research, opponents are offering fence-sitters what they say is an embryo-friendly alternative: a bill that would foster the use of stem cells from umbilical cords discarded after birth.

The Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act -- introduced by Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.), chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus -- would establish a network of blood banks to help make cord blood cells readily available for patients and research. The bill is set for a House vote this morning in advance of a vote on the hotly contested Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. That bill would boost federal research spending on cells taken from live human embryos slated for disposal at fertility clinics.


Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

House Approves Spyware Penalties

House Approves Spyware Penalties

By David McGuire
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 24, 2005; 12:32 AM

The House of Representatives on Monday night approved two measures designed to punish Internet scammers who install "spyware" on people's computers without their knowledge.

After abandoning efforts to merge the two measures into a single bill, the House voted 395-1 to pass legislation that would send some spyware distributors to jail for up to five years, and 393-4 in favor of another bill that would impose heavy fines on people and companies that install spyware on people's computers without their permission.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

THE INVERSE DOPPLER EFFECT

CONTACT: Dan van der Weide, (608) 265-6561, danvdw@engr.wisc.edu

THE INVERSE DOPPLER EFFECT: ECE RESEARCHERS ADD TO THE BYLAWS OF PHYSICS

MADISON - What if the speed of light is a constant only most of the time? What if gravity sometimes pushed instead of pulled? Scientists are increasingly asking what would seem like far-out questions regarding the laws and rules of physics after discovering conditions and materials where the rules don't quite apply.

Take the Doppler effect.

The Doppler effect is in use everywhere, everyday. Police use it to catch speeders. Satellites use it to track space debris and air-traffic controllers use it to monitor aircraft. The Doppler effect explains why the pitch changes from high to low when a police siren passes you on the street. As the siren moves toward you, it is catching up to and compressing the sound waves it produces, thus the higher pitch. When it passes, the sound expands to fill the increasing space between you and the noise. The sound waves are longer and the pitch is lower.

The inverse Doppler effect is not something you can hear, but understanding it could one day lead to important advances in optics and communications equipment.

Continue reading "THE INVERSE DOPPLER EFFECT" »

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

UW-MADISON PROFESSOR WEAVES WISCONSIN IDEA INTO THE CHEMISTRY OF CLOTH

CONTACT: Majid Sarmadi, (608) 262-7492, majidsar@wisc.edu

UW-MADISON PROFESSOR WEAVES WISCONSIN IDEA INTO THE CHEMISTRY OF CLOTH

MADISON - To paraphrase a popular advertising line, Majid Sarmadi doesn't make the products you use every day. He makes them better.

The products in question here are textiles, and Sarmadi has uncovered new technologies to make cloth less static, more absorbent, more repellent, better able to take prints and dyes, deflect or absorb light, shield from electromagnetic radiation and more. In addition, he also has found methods of reducing waste and environmental pollution relating to textile manufacture.

A member of the University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty since 1986, Sarmadi holds joint appointments in both the College of Engineering's Materials Science Graduate Program and the School of Human Ecology's Department of Environment, Textiles and Design (ETD). As one of the world's leading textile chemists, a member of the Center for Plasma-Aided Manufacturing, Sarmadi works closely with colleagues in the disciplines of forestry, chemistry, medicine and biological systems engineering as well as materials science and textiles.

"I feel like a cluster hire all on my own," he says, although he is quick to credit his graduate students and colleagues, especially materials science associate professor Ferencz Denes, for his success. "Faculty stand on the shoulders of their colleagues and their graduate students," Sarmadi says.

The cornerstone of Sarmadi's research is applying cold plasma technology, generated in a high-voltage electric field at low pressure, to textiles. Specific plasma gases can modify functional characteristics of the fabric or achieve new properties.

Not one to stop there, however, Sarmadi also has applied his plasma technologies to reduce manufacturing waste and environmental pollution. For example, every day millions of gallons of water go toward the dyeing of fabrics; Sarmadi has devised a way to reuse the dye bath to both cut the level of environmental contaminants and save water and energy.

This application of plasma techniques has proved most personally satisfying of all his research activities, he says.

Continue reading "UW-MADISON PROFESSOR WEAVES WISCONSIN IDEA INTO THE CHEMISTRY OF CLOTH" »

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

A real plum for Wisconsin growers

A real plum for Wisconsin growers
Professor's quest could yield a sweet new crop for Midwest agriculture
By KATHLEEN GALLAGHER
kgallagher@journalsentinel.com
Posted: May 21, 2005

After 14 years of pruning branches, grafting stem pieces to root stock and tweezing stamens and petals off plants so they don't self-pollinate, a University of Wisconsin-River Falls horticulture professor has developed a plum that could create a whole new crop for Midwestern commercial growers.

Brian R. Smith's Lydecker plum won't be available in nurseries for at least three years. But the fruit-bearing tree he patiently bred from a cherry plum mom and a Japanese dessert plum dad has all the qualities that Smith and others believe will help Midwestern commercial growers produce a fruit that hasn't been grown here before.

The Lydecker plum tree is highly productive and short-statured, has good winter hardiness and a fruit that ripens earlier, and produces completely round, purple to black plums.

"It's very juicy, a really succulent plum that's tasty and large - and it's a relatively modest plant with pretty good production on it. It looks like a winner," said Rodney J. Nilsestuen, Wisconsin's secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

"There's no reason we shouldn't be able to grow the Lydecker throughout the Midwest," said Smith, who is growing his new plum in River Falls, east of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Wisconsin has no commercial plum industry at present, but some see the Lydecker as a potential way to compensate for injuries California has inflicted on other state endeavors.

"This is our revenge. California has been taking our cheese and milk, and now we're going to take their plum industry," said Maliyakal E. John, general manager of WiSys, the licensing and patenting arm of the UW System.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Inside the Korean Cloning Lab

Inside the Korean Cloning Lab
An exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the laboratory that leads the world in the creation of human embryonic stem cells
By ALICE PARK SEOUL AND CHRISTINE GORMAN

Posted Sunday, May. 22, 2005

The room is warm and still and nearly dark, bathed only in the light that leaks through its glass door. Refrigerator-size incubators, set to body temperature, line one wall. Along another wall, a young woman in a blue jumpsuit, mask and bonnet is peering through a microscope at half a dozen freshly harvested human eggs. With a glass pipette in one hand and a microneedle in the other, she braces one of the eggs against the tip of the pipette and, as if she were making a stitch, plucks at the membrane, creating a tiny opening. Resting the egg against the pipette, she uses the needle to gently squeeze the cell until the nucleus oozes out, like the center of a jelly doughnut. This is the sixth-floor lab in Building No. 85 at Seoul National University, the center of operations for Woo Suk Hwang, the South Korean scientist who made headlines last week when he announced that his team, using Dolly-the-sheep techniques, had created 11 human stem-cell lines perfectly matched to the DNA of human patients—a giant leap beyond anything any other lab has achieved. The eggs hollowed out in Building No. 85 were fused with skin cells taken from nearly a dozen patients—ages 2 to 56, suffering from a variety of injuries and disorders—and grown with unprecedented efficiency into early embryos lined with stem cells.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Bush: I'll Veto Stem Cell Legislation

Bush: I'll Veto Stem Cell Legislation
By TERENCE HUNT, AP White House Correspondent
2 hours, 16 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - President Bush on Friday said he would veto legislation that would loosen restrictions on embryonic stem cell research and expressed deep concern about human cloning research in South Korea.

"I'm very concerned about cloning," the president said. "I worry about a world in which cloning becomes accepted."

White House deputy press secretary Trent Duffy said the work in South Korea amounted to human cloning for the sole purpose of scientific research. "The president is opposed to that," Duffy said. "That represents exactly what we're opposed to."

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Medtronic's patent dispute settlement completed

Medtronic's patent dispute settlement completed

Medtronic Inc. settled a snarl of patent issues Wednesday by buying out the doctor who invented the technology: Los Angeles physician Gary K. Michelson and his company, Karlin Technology Inc.

. . .

The settlement means that Medtronic acquires substantially all of the spine-related intellectual property of Karlin, including related contracts, rights and tangible assets. Medtronic gets ownership of more than 100 issued U.S. patents, another 110 pending patent applications and about 500 foreign patents.

Full story.

Sponsor: Gehrke & Associates, SC -- Intellectual Property and Technology Law



Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Governments in Asia Moving to Open Source

By Ong Boon Kiat, CNETAsia
May 19, 2005

Forget hard figures, the return of investment calculations and the list of new application features. These factors count for little as organizations deciding whether a move to a new IT platform is viable seek a different comfort level. This new level of comfort requires sufficient evidence of successful adoption by others in the industry. It also requires that the move be seen to inspire confidence among partners and customers.

In Asia, one can now argue that both prerequisites have been met when it comes to moving to an open-source platform. It may be hard to state a defining moment when that happened, since comfort is an intangible measure, but it is not hard to sense the optimism that now resonates on the ground with open-source software (OSS).

This confidence stems from the abundant anecdotal evidence that OSS benefits both government and commercial organizations. In Asia, Singapore's Ministry of Defence (Mindef), for instance, saved S$15 million (US$9.3 million) by deciding to let its existing licenses for Office 97 software lapse and to migrate to OpenOffice instead.

Thailand's National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC), the nation's IT development agency, has been replacing its fleet of proprietary software with freeware and open-source applications such as GIMP, OpenOffice and Irfanview. NECTEC director Dr. Thaweesak Koanantakool reckons that at a nationwide level, using OSS saved Thailand US$45 million in 2003.

The state-owned Central Bank of India saved US$4 million a year, or reduced 30 percent of its IT expenses, when it adopted Linux to run Oracle applications last year.


Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Stem cells created to match patients

Stem cells created to match patients
Research hailed as major advance
By JOHN FAUBER
jfauber@journalsentinel.com
Posted: May 20, 2005

Using remarkably efficient cloning techniques, South Korean researchers have created the first lines of embryonic stem cells customized to specific patients, a major advance that could accelerate the long-awaited dream of using genetically matched healthy cells to replace human cells and tissues damaged by disease and injury.

The scientists used donor cells from 11 individuals ranging in age from 2 to 56, including patients with spinal cord injuries, one with juvenile diabetes, and one with a congenital immune disease.

The new cells are a genetic match to those 11 donors, meaning they would be less likely to cause immune rejection if transplanted, one of the major obstacles with using existing stem cell lines.

"It's a very major breakthrough," said John Lough, a stem cell researcher and professor of cell biology, neurobiology and anatomy at the Medical College of Wisconsin.


Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Human embryo cloned for first time in Britain

Human embryo cloned for first time in Britain
Thu May 19, 5:51 PM ET

LONDON (AFP) - A human embryo has been cloned for the first time in Britain, where such work is strictly regulated, scientists announced.

Scientists at Newcastle University, the first in Britain to obtain a licence to carry out therapeutic cloning for stem cell research, said they had successfully produced a blastocyst -- a tiny, early-stage embryo consisting of a hollow ball of cells -- cloned from a human cell using nuclear transfer.

Scientists hope the work will eventually lead to successful treatments for degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, or for the paralysed victims of spinal injuries.

The announcement came on the same day that a team of South Korean scientists announced they had developed the first lines of patient-specific stem cells, designed to match the DNA of a specific person.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Small Madison biotech firm lands contract with huge Bayer AG

Small Madison biotech firm lands contract with huge Bayer AG
By RICK ROMELL
rromell@journalsentinel.com
Posted: May 18, 2005

EraGen Biosciences has struck a licensing agreement with global health care giant Bayer AG that could mean millions in revenue for the small Madison firm, Irene Hrusovsky, EraGen chairman, president and chief executive officer, said Wednesday.

Bayer has contracted for the exclusive rights to use a genetic test, developed by EraGen, for detecting cystic fibrosis.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Cord blood found to increase survival

Krabbe's therapy shows promise
Cord blood found to increase survival
By JOHN FAUBER and SUSANNE QUICK
jfauber@journalsentinel.com
Posted: May 18, 2005
Watching her infant daughter die of Krabbe's disease was horrifying.

At first, the baby cried all the time. Then, LeA Gartzke gagged on her milk - throwing up everything she consumed. Unable to eat, the Shorewood child rapidly began to lose weight, requiring doctors to insert a stomach tube.

Soon after, the seizures began, sending her body into spasms, stiffening her muscles, making it all but impossible for her or her parents to bend her arms and legs. And as more of her defective brain cells died, she became blind and unresponsive, said Micki Gartzke, LeA's mother.

In 1998, at age 2, LeA died - the same age as the vast majority of babies with Krabbe's.

However, an experimental treatment using transplanted umbilical cord blood has produced astonishing results for children like LeA. Indeed, another Wisconsin child is among the first who may have been cured by this novel therapy, reported today in the New England Journal of Medicine.


Full story.

Additional information.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Scientists develop novel multi-color light-emitting diodes

Scientists develop novel multi-color light-emitting diodes
Contact: Todd Hanson, tahanson@lanl.gov, (505) 665-2085 (04-141)

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., May 17, 2005 -- A team of University of California scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed the first completely inorganic, multi-color light-emitting diodes (LEDs) based on colloidal quantum dots encapsulated in a gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor. The work represents a new "hybrid" approach to the development of solid-state lighting. Solid-state lighting offers the advantages of reduced operating expenses, lower energy consumption and more reliable performance.

. . .

The secret to making the electrical connection to the quantum dots is the use of a technique developed at Los Alamos by Mark Hoffbauer and his team that utilizes a beam of energetic, neutral nitrogen atoms for growing GaN films. The technique, called ENABLE (for Energetic Neutral Atom Beam Lithography/Epitaxy), allows for the low-temperature encapsulation of nanocrystals in semiconducting GaN without adversely affecting their luminescence properties. By encapsulating one nanocrystal layer or two layers of nanocrystals of different sizes, the researchers have demonstrated that their LEDs can emit light of either a single color or two different colors. The two color-operation regime is an important step toward creating devices that produce white light.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Astellas Pharma, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Jointly Sue Flomax Generic for Patent Infringement in US

Astellas Pharma, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Jointly Sue Flomax Generic for Patent Infringement in US

Tokyo (JCNN) - On May 16, Astellas Pharma and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals (BIPI), a US subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim of Germany, jointly announced that they have filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the US against Ranbaxy, which has recently submitted an abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) for a generic product of Flomax, Astellas' proprietary drug designed for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

The two companies request an order that the date of approval of Ranbaxy's ANDA not be earlier than the expiration on October 27, 2009 of Astellas' US patent on tamsulosin HCI.

Full story.

Sponsor: Gehrke & Associates, SC -- Intellectual Property and Technology Law

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Bone Care advances latest drug

Bone Care advances latest drug

By Jeff Richgels
May 17, 2005

As Bone Care released more details on its pending acquisition by biotech giant Genzyme Corp., the Middleton-based pharmaceutical maker also announced a step forward for the latest generation of its drug line.

Early data have shown that the new vitamin D compound, "LR-103," has fewer side effects while being just as effective as Hectorol, Bone Care's lead drug that has been on the market for several years. Hectorol treats secondary hyperparathyroidism, a condition that can harm bones and vital organs, including the heart, in patients with chronic kidney disease.

"This is what we affectionately refer to as 'Son of Hectorol,' " Charles Bishop, Bone Care chief scientific officer, said of LR-103, which he said could become the company's new flagship drug.

The early data comes from an ongoing Phase I clinical study with LR-103 in cancer patients, Bishop said.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Berbee buys Appleton tech services firm

Berbee buys Appleton tech services firm

The Capital Times
May 17, 2005

Fitchburg-based Berbee Information Networks Corp. announced that it has acquired much smaller Strategies & Solutions LLC of Appleton in a merger of private technology services companies. Terms were not disclosed.

The companies both provide Cisco Systems infrastructure, Microsoft operating systems and applications, and IBM server and storage hardware. S&S has expertise in IBM's iSeries servers.

"The combination will allow both organizations to cross-sell their respective products and services into the extensive client base of each company," said Berbee president Paul Shain. "In addition, the geographic fit is excellent."

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Vote on Bone Care sale is June 30

Vote on Bone Care sale is June 30
00:00 am 5/17/05
Judy Newman Wisconsin State Journal

June 30 is the date that Bone Care International's shareholders will vote on a plan to let Genzyme Corp. buy the company for $33 a share, or a total of $600 million.

Meanwhile, Bone Care has the right to consider other offers - but not to solicit them. And if the Middleton specialty pharmaceutical company jilts Genzyme for a better offer, Bone Care will have to pay Genzyme nearly $20 million.

Those are among the terms of the agreement between the two companies, according to papers filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Les Paul Inducted to Inventor Fame Hall

Les Paul Inducted to Inventor Fame Hall

AKRON, Ohio (AP) -- Electric guitar pioneer Les Paul was one of 14 people inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame this year.

Paul invented the solid body electric guitar in 1946, and his Gibson Guitar Corp. model is one of the best-selling instruments in the industry. The 89-year-old Wisconsin native is widely renowned for his recording techniques.

Paul also has won five Grammy Awards.

Other inventors inducted on Saturday included Dr. Alec Jeffreys, who invented genetic fingerprinting, and Robert Gundlach, who has earned more than 150 patents and invented the modern photocopier.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

PTO listens to appeals from cyberhearing room

PTO listens to appeals from cyberhearing room

By Mary Mosquera
GCN Staff

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has launched an electronic capability for hearing patent and trademark appeals from remote locations.

The e-hearing room accommodates appeals and contested cases before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, which held its first hearings two weeks ago while the appellants participated electronically from Chicago. While three administrative patent or trademark judges preside from the PTO in Alexandria, Va., an attorney can present a client’s case from across the country or across the ocean.

“The new cyberhearing room saves our customers time and money because they don’t need to travel to our office in order to be heard,” said PTO director Jon Dudas in a statement. PTO is an agency of the Commerce Department.


Full story.

Sponsor: Gehrke & Associates, SC -- Intellectual Property and Technology Law

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Engineers improve plastic’s potential for use in implants

Engineers improve plastic’s potential for use in implants
by discovering way to link it to biological materials
May 16, 2005

AUSTIN, Texas—Engineers at The University of Texas at Austin have found a way to modify a plastic to anchor molecules that promote nerve regeneration, blood vessel growth or other biological processes.

In the study led by Dr. Christine Schmidt, the researchers identified a piece of protein from among a billion candidates that could perform the unusual feat of attaching to polypyrrole, a synthetic polymer (plastic) that conducts electricity and has shown promise in biomedical applications. When the protein piece, or peptide, was linked to a smaller protein piece that human cells like to attach to, polypyrrole gained the ability to attach to cells grown in flasks in the laboratory.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Rexnord Corporation Completes Acquisition of Falk Corporation.

Rexnord Corporation Completes Acquisition of Falk Corporation.
Monday May 16, 6:48 pm ET


MILWAUKEE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 16, 2005--Rexnord Corporation announced today that it has completed the acquisition of the Falk Corporation from Hamilton Sundstrand, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation for $295 million.
Rexnord Corporation, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a worldwide manufacturer of mechanical power transmission components with revenues of approximately $800 million and 4,800 employees located at more than 30 manufacturing facilities worldwide. Falk Corporation, also headquartered in Milwaukee, is a manufacturer of gears and couplings, with annual revenues of approximately $200 million.

"We are pleased that the acquisition process is complete," said Robert Hitt, Rexnord Chief Executive Officer. "The merger with Falk represents an important step forward for Rexnord, significantly enhancing our capabilities in the power transmission industry."


Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Monitoring Camtronics' health

Monitoring Camtronics' health
With accounting troubles eased, president keeps hand on pulse of company
By KATHLEEN GALLAGHER
kgallagher@journalsentinel.com
Posted: May 15, 2005

Dan Webster holds a meeting every workday morning at 7:30 to discuss with company leaders how Camtronics Medical Systems Ltd. is recognizing revenue from customer contracts.

Given the impact of the accounting issues the Hartland maker of cardiology information systems has had to grapple with, Webster says he doesn't think that's overkill.

"The downside is so precipitous," said Webster, who became Camtronics' interim president after its accounting issues forced its parent company to delay filing its financial results for the quarter ended Oct. 31 and jeopardized its listing on the Nasdaq stock market.

"If we had another revenue recognition problem - I don't even want to think about it," he said.

In January, Camtronics' Peabody, Mass., parent company, Analogic Corp. (stock: ALOG), restated revenue for the first three quarters of fiscal 2004, and for fiscal 2002 and 2003. A month later, a Nasdaq review panel said the company was back in compliance with its requirements and could remain listed on the national market.

"We are very pleased that the investigation of the financials and the restatement is behind us," John Wood, Analogic's president and CEO, told analysts during a March conference call.

Camtronics, founded in 1986 by three former GE Healthcare Technologies executives, got its initial funding from Analogic and became a wholly owned subsidiary in 2001.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Sensitive Skin Covering for Robots Proposed

Sensitive Skin Covering for Robots Proposed

NASA -- The ballerina gracefully dances on a small stage. She is followed not by a male partner, but by a robotic arm manipulator that seems to sense her every move. For NASA Goddard technologist Vladimir Lumelsky, the performance captured on the videotape neatly shows the future of robotics.

It also demonstrates an advanced technology that Lumelsky hopes to develop as part of the push from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. to develop niche robotics capabilities critical for carrying out the Vision for Space Exploration.

New Laboratory Under Development

Lumelsky, until recently a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has begun setting up a laboratory at Goddard to develop a high-tech covering that would enable robots to sense their environment and react to it, much like humans respond when something or someone touches their skin.

Such a technology, which he refers to as a "High-Tech Skin," is essential for carrying out the Vision for Space Exploration because the Vision depends heavily on humans and robots working together under a variety of working conditions, many of them highly unstructured, Lumelsky said.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

NPR Show on Stem Cells and the President's Council on Bioethics

Ethical Guidelines for Stem Cell Research Proposed

Read the Report President's Council on Bioethics: 'Alternative Sources of Pluripotent Stem Cells'

All Things Considered, May 15, 2005 · This past week, the President's Council on Bioethics released a report looking at ways to avoid the ethical minefields that stem cell research presents -- and still allow research to go forward. NPR's Joe Palca discusses the report's conclusions.

Link to the NPR Audio link.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

eBay wins stay in MercExchange case

eBay wins stay in MercExchange case
Published: May 13, 2005, 11:38 AM PDT
By Dawn Kawamoto
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

TrackBack Print E-mail TalkBack
eBay announced Friday it won the latest round in its patent fight against networking-systems developer MercExchange when a federal appeals court granted the online auctioneer a stay in the case pending a prospective review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

eBay, which was sued in 2001 by MercExchange, is fighting allegations that it violated two MercExchange patents. The case will go before the Supreme Court, which will decide whether it will review the case or send it back to the lower courts.

Full story.

Sponsor: Gehrke & Associates, SC -- Intellectual Property and Technology Law

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Fight over patent fee diversion drags on

Fight over patent fee diversion drags on
By Sarah Lai Stirland, National Journal's Technology Daily

The annual appropriations fight over the federal government's practice of diverting fees it charges patent holders to fund general government operations is off to a colorful and quirky start this year.
Oral arguments for the four-year dispute over whether a court should proceed were scheduled for early Friday afternoon in a federal claims court. The plaintiffs in the case are Heath Hoglund, a patent lawyer working out of Puerto Rico, and Robert Rines, a well-known inventor and founder of a prestigious specialty law school. They charge that Congress acted unconstitutionally when it increased and diverted patent filing fees to fatten the coffers of other government agencies.

In particular, the two attorneys are seeking to file a class-action lawsuit against the government on behalf of all patent holders. They want to permanently stop Congress from diverting the patent filing fees. In their initial complaint, the lawyers reiterate many arguments that technology industry lobbyists have been making for years.

They say the practice of "fee diversion" is pushing the Patent and Trademark Office to a point of operational crisis. The attorneys argue that patent holders are harmed because the length of time that it now takes to receive a patent discourages inventors from participating in the process.

"Increasing patent pendency harms inventors because a patent in hand is needed to attract investment capital," wrote the attorneys in their most recent April brief.

The attorneys, who were scheduled to present their case in front of the federal claims court Friday afternoon, want Judge Bohdan Futey to rule that the case should go forward. Justice Department attorneys have argued that the suit should be dismissed, saying the Constitution's Commerce Clause enables Congress to regulate interstate commerce.

In part, the case has been delayed while the judge awaited the outcome of the Supreme Court's decision in Eldred v. Ashcroft. The court issued an opinion in January 2003 affirming Congress' power to extend copyright terms retroactively, and said it had not overstepped it constitutional authority

Full story.

Sponsor: Gehrke & Associates, SC -- Intellectual Property and Technology Law

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.