Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Women and the Unified Patent Court - Free Webinar hosted by OxFirst April 28 3 p.m. UK time

 Date & Time:  April 28 2022 15h00 -16h00 GMT = 16.00 – 17.00 CET

 The Influence of Women in IP: Women and the Unified Patent Court.

What the Panel Discussion is About

The establishment of the Unified Patent Court is likely the biggest game changer in European patent system. But what role and influence will women play in shaping this new Court?

Should under the UPC the opportunities for women be stronger established? Should women judges, given equal qualification and competence, be given priority in the selection process? Should there be adjustments made to allow judges who are also parents to participate in the UPC?

And, is there a need to come to grips with more gender-neutral language under the UPC?

This panel addresses these and more questions relating to women in IP and asks what can be done to remove gender barriers in intellectual property.

About the Speakers

Marina Tavassi has until most recently been the President of the Milan Court of Appeal. She has been a judge in Italy for over 40 years (specialized in IP) and sat on Samsung vs Apple, Italy. Since June 2014, she has also been a member of the panel of experts responsible for drafting rules of procedure for European Unitary Patent Court. She has also been a national judge on the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (based in Munich). She is of counsel with BonelliErede.


Julia Dias is Senior IP Policy Counsel for Huawei. Julia specialises in SEP/FRAND licensing, litigation and policy. She is also the Vice Chair of the IPR working group of Digital Europe. Prior to joining Huawei, Julia gained IP experience in the UK and in Germany, including at the EPO where she worked in various ICT projects focusing on SEPs and emerging technologies. 


Katie Colart Katie is a partner in the London IP litigation team at Kirkland & Ellis. Katie specialises predominantly in patent litigation across a range of sectors including life sciences and tech. Katie regularly deals with major cross-border disputes of significant strategic importance to her clients and is ranked as an “Up and Coming” lawyer by Chambers, and a “Next Generation Partner” by The Legal 500.

How to Join:


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Friday, 15 April 2022

Google: Investing in Education . . .

Google recently released some interesting information concerning its economic impact in the United States.  It is very impressive.  Google released its Economic Impact Report for 2021 and announced its investment of over $9.5 billion in U.S. Offices and data centers.  Notably, Google states in a blog post:

Google’s offices and data centers provide vital anchors to our local communities and help us contribute to their economies. In the U.S., over the past five years, we’ve invested more than $37 billion in our offices and data centers in 26 states, creating over 40,000 full-time jobs. That’s in addition to the more than $40 billion in research and development we invested in the U.S. in 2020 and 2021.

Google also notes that:

Today we are also releasing our 2021 Economic Impact Report, which reflects Google’s wider contribution to the economy. The report shows we helped provide $617 billion in economic activity for millions of American businesses, nonprofits, creators, developers and publishers last year. In addition, the Android app economy helped create nearly two million jobs last year, and YouTube’s creative ecosystem supported 394,000 jobs in 2020.

We also continue to help people get the skills they need to succeed in today’s economy, from our role as a founding member of the Michigan Central innovation district in Detroit to our $100 million Google Career Certificates Fund — a new financial model for helping people access education and digital skills.

The Google Career Certificates programs and Fund is an ambitious project:

The goal is to enable Social Finance to reach more than 20,000 American workers. This investment in America’s future has the potential to drive $1 billion in wage gains.

This fund is a new kind of financing model. We’ll invest Google capital and Google.org grants and provide our Career Certificate program. Social Finance will provide funding to nonprofit partners like Merit America and Year Up, who in turn will provide services like career coaching, living stipends and job placement support. And we’ll connect students to an employer consortium of more than 150 companies who are looking to hire workers with these skills.

It’s all designed around student success. They will receive all of this at no upfront cost. And will only pay it back once they find a job earning at least $40,000 a year. Social Finance will then redistribute those repayments to future learners, making this model more sustainable.

Friday, 8 April 2022

U.S. Congressional Research Service Report on Potential COVID-19 IP Rights Waiver

The Congressional Research Service has released a report for the U.S. Congress concerning the COVID-19 Patent Waiver agreement between the U.S., India, South Africa and the EU.  The report discusses the leaked agreement and outlines specific issues for the U.S. Congress to consider:

Key issues include · Should more congressional input or approval be required before the Administration could agree to modifying TRIPS obligations (as proposed in some pending bills)? · How would the proposed agreement affect innovation incentives for COVID-19 vaccines and other treatments? What would it mean for U.S. competitiveness vìs-a-vìs China, which poses major IPR theft challenges? · How would the proposed agreement affect global COVID-19 vaccine production and access? Would any boost occur quickly enough to respond to the pandemic’s current stage, or be more relevant to respond to potential future variants? What does the proposed agreement mean for future pandemic responses? · Is the U.S. position on this waiver particular to COVID-19 or a general policy shift as it relates to historical U.S. positions in advancing IPR in trade agreements? How may these issues shape potential debate on Trade Promotion Authority renewal and U.S. IPR trade negotiating objectives? · What would a timely COVID-19 IPR outcome—or its absence—mean for debates about the WTO’s relevance in the changing global economy?

The report is available, here. 

Thursday, 7 April 2022

Global Detroit Entrepreneur in Residence Program

Global Detroit is a very interesting organization which is basically focused on economic development in Michigan and the general Detroit area.  Detroit has struggled economically.  Notably, Global Detroit has an Entrepreneur in Residence program which focuses on bringing foreign born entrepreneurs and their companies to Detroit/Michigan through working at a host university as a mentor.  Here is a success story:

Ashok Seetharam was living in Milwaukee when his startup, PAXAFE, began to take off. But he wasn’t sure he’d be able to stay. PAXAFE was Ashok’s third startup. After moving to the U.S. from India and graduating from Brown University with a graduate degree in Biomedical Engineering, he co-founded Orthopedix and led the company through XlerateHealth, an early-stage healthcare accelerator program. Orthopedix ultimately licensed its patented technology to a major orthopedic implant manufacturer. Next, he oversaw product development and a team of engineers for another healthcare startup, Toggle Health. 

In late 2018, Ashok and Ilya Preston founded PAXAFE in Milwaukee. Ilya’s family immigrated from Russia when he was a child. He and Ashok met at XlerateHealth in 2017. They originally helped kickstart a Minnesota startup focused on the transport of medical specimens, but ended up parting ways to start their own company. PAXAFE develops hardware and software IoT solutions that enable cheaper, intelligent shipping insurance. 

International startup founders face major challenges to launching their companies in the U.S. To remain in the country, they typically need an H-1B visa, which is available to foreign-born “specialty workers” in specific, largely high-tech fields. Ashok was permitted to remain in the U.S. for a short time on a different visa following his graduation from Brown, but he needed an H-1B visa to stay.

Fortunately for Ashok, in late 2018 Global Detroit launched a program called Global EIR. A partnership with the national Global EIR program, the program places foreign-born startup founders at universities to teach and mentor. By working at the university, Global EIRs are able to legally work in the US. This affords them the opportunity to launch their startups here and apply for a concurrent H-1B through their company. Global Detroit currently partners with the University of Michigan’s Economic Growth Institute on the program. Ashok was accepted, and PAXAFE moved their headquarters to Ann Arbor last summer. The company has recently closed on an additional $650,000 round of pre-seed funding, bringing their total raised in 2019 to almost $1 million. Working out of Ann Arbor SPARK, they have begun piloting their product and hiring for new positions.

“I didn’t think it was possible to continue building my company in the U.S. when I didn’t make the H-1B lottery,” Ashok recalls. “That all changed when I learned about Global Detroit and Global EIR. Not only did they help with my immigration through the Global EIR program but also continued to provide unparalleled support– both personally and with the business–which maximized our chance of success.”