U.S. Chamber’s “State of IP”: Public Policy Makers around the World Have Taken Steps to Reduce Businesses’ Confidence

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center’s Executive Vice President Mark Elliot released the following statement today in observance of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s 13th Annual World Intellectual Property Day:

“As we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day, it is worthwhile to review advancements made over the past year and the current ‘state of intellectual property.’ The theme of World Intellectual Property Day this year, Creativity: The Next Generation, puts into perspective how creativity and innovation will lead the next generation into the future.  But how is that creativity and intellectual property being treated in 2013?

“Over the last year, while many governments are seeking to incentivize innovation and investment in creative industries, some nations have taken steps in the wrong direction.

“The Obama Administration proposed only seven years of protection for biologics in its budget, instead of the needed twelve that is current law. China continues to be the biggest market with the largest IP theft problem. Additionally, the Government of India took actions that deteriorated the protection of IP rights that affect all industries and negatively impact businesses’ ability to invest in their country.

“Fortunately, many domestic and international efforts have provided for more security of IP rights, and will continue to generate innovations and attract investment in the economies that follow these principles.

“Significant work by the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator has continued to focus on improvements in domestic enforcement, voluntary arrangements between responsible companies, and a strategy for tackling trade secret theft. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement continues to stop IP theft around the country, including the successful effort of Operation In Our Sites. The voluntary, educational Copyright Alert System launched, providing copyright owners, Internet companies, and consumers alike with a non-confrontational way of reducing online piracy.

“Today, on World Intellectual Property Day, it is important to consider the work still before us. In the year ahead, GIPC looks forward to continuing to lead a worldwide effort to protect the IP rights that are essential to creating jobs, advancing economic growth, and improving the lives of people across the globe.

To view the full State of IP address, please click here.

The Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center is working around the world to champion intellectual property (IP) rights as vital to creating jobs, saving lives, advancing global economic growth, and generating breakthrough solutions to global challenges.

The U.S. Chamber is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.




World Intellectual Property Rights Day observed

The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) celebrated World Intellectual Property Rights Day in collaboration with Intellectual Property Organisation of Pakistan (IPO) and Saarc Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and agreed to initiate joint ventures for awareness and capacity building activities with the objectives to make business community conversant with protection of Intellectual Property Rights.


Addressing the seminar, IPO-Pakistan Director General Tarik Feroze reiterated his firm resolve to make IPO a vibrant organisation by giving due consideration to recommendations of stakeholders and said that they had adopted a policy to approach partner organisations for seeking their expert opinion. He said IPO has also made it possible to keep liaison with right holders at grassroots level to get their suggestion, which would help in policy formulation and developing future strategies. He said they can face all the challenges by developing joint work relationship with stakeholders and in order to achieve better results.


Tarik also highlighted the need of public private partnerships for promotion of Intellectual Property Rights in the society. He said IPR’s would be enforced vigorously with active involvement of law enforcing agencies.


ICCI President Zafar Bakhtawari, said that this is age of intellectual property and promotion of brands must be given due consideration. He said that private sector should be given proper representation in IPO policy board so that the concerns of business community could be addressed in efficient manner.


Saarc Chamber of Commerce and Industry Secretary General Iqbal Tabish underlined the need for developing close interactions among Saarc member countries so that better understanding may be developed through sharing of knowledge and experiences of each other to manage IPR issues in Saarc member countries.


Muhammad Ismail, Nadia Zubair Shah, Dr. Arshad Ali and Muhammad Siddique also gave presentations relating to intellectual property subjects.



Ex-Korn/Ferry Executive Convicted of Trade-Secret Theft

David Nosal, former regional managing director at Korn/Ferry International (KFY), was convicted by a federal jury in San Francisco today of trade-secret theft and hacking for gaining access to the firm’s computer system.

Nosal, who worked for the Los Angeles-based executive recruitment firm in Silicon Valley and other locations from 1996 to 2004, was indicted in 2008 on charges that he and another former employee stole the firm’s proprietary information to start a competing business.

Nosal was found guilty on six counts, including conspiracy to transmit trade secrets, unauthorized computer access, unauthorized downloading of trade secrets and possession of stolen trade secrets.

Steven Gruel, a lawyer for Nosal, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail message seeking comment on the verdict.

The case is U.S. v. Nosal, 08-cr-00237, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).


Intellectual property law should be strengthened

Interview. Many Tanzanian investors have a negative attitude towards tapping huge potential in information and communication technology. BusinessWeek Reporter Ludger Kasumuni interviewed the chief executive officer of DTBi ICT Incubator of the Commission for Science and Technology, Mr George Mulamula, on challenges for young ICT investors

What achievements have been made since the ICT business incubator took off the ground one and half years ago?
More jobs have been created — about 80 direct jobs and 4,500 indirect jobs.

More ideas have been turned into bankable ideas and around 20 companies have been established. With support of development partners, an innovation fund of Sh39 million has been created and the money will be given in three years. More loans have been given to the incubatees.

The Tanzania Commission for Education has got a state-of-the-art computerised system for registering and overseeing university student enrolments.

Five incubatees have got a seed funding to finalise their prototypes. Tanzania is known regionally and internationally as a hub of ICT entrepreneurs. One of our incubatee has won a regional competition and now being sent to Silicon Valley in the US to compete there with all expenses paid for.

Our incubatees are attending international exhibitions and being offered jobs there. One of our incubates has been recognised and put on the cover of IT Africa magazine as an upcoming entrepreneur from Tanzania.

What challenges is the ICT incubator programme encountering?
Tanzanian investors do not recognise the importance of ICT entrepreneurship. So they invest more in music, sports and very little in our upcoming ICT entrepreneurs.

The mindset of many university graduates is to be job seekers rather than job creators through entrepreneurship. The procurement system is skewed negatively for young entrepreneurs so that big and external entities are favoured over these young entrepreneurs in being awarded tenders.

Banks do not understand the process of lending to technology innovators and their intellectual property assets and seeing them as high risk intangible assets thus marginalising them in favour of trade and commerce contracts that have tangible assets. Also, there is a lack of trust on local innovations even when they have international standards.

What should be done to tackle those challenges?

More advocacy is needed to change these attitudes. The media should write more on ICT entrepreneurship and play a role in this advocacy. The financial sector should be sensitised on the role of intellectual property rights and their assets should be looked upon as a trading commodity (as it is in the other countries).

The regulatory framework should be adjusted or amended to allow Tanzanian entrepreneurs get some form of preference in tendering processes, as long as they produce the required and/or international standards so to save foreign exchange.

There should be contracts that favour knowledge and technology transfer so as to build our local capacity to produce Tanzanian entrepreneurs. Advocacy in higher learning institutions should churn out graduates who also value entrepreneurship so as to become job creators.

What are your comments on Tanzania’s ICT laws and regulations?
The intellectual property law for the protection of programmes and ideas need strengthening and the current ICT policy should be revamped to include issues relating to ICT entrepreneurship and youth being given the opportunity to be creative and innovative.

Are there any young Tanzanian youths who have been successful ICT entrepreneurs?
Yes. One youth has been chosen to go to the US for presentation in California. The youth is developing an e-parliament programme that has got him recognition in the IT Africa magazine.

The other youth has developed a registration system for the universities regulatory authority that is sought in South Africa and South Sudan.

A team of young people has developed a system for use by local government authorities and it has helped the authorities increase revenue collection by 300 per cent in a short time. Another youth team developed a search engine for the Internet that gives specific information requested by a client and as a result they have been contracted by Precision Air.



AudioEye Retains Patton Boggs, LLP Intellectual Property Group

TUCSON, Ariz., April 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — AudioEye®, Inc. (OTCBB: AEYE), the creators of the Audio Internet™, the patented audio browsing and automated publishing technology, announced today it has retained the intellectual property group at Patton Boggs LLP.  The firm will help AudioEye protect, grow and maximize the adoption of its technology by U.S. Government website publishing clients seeking to comply with the requirements of the 21st Century Communications Act. The new compliance requirements contain groundbreaking protections to enable people with disabilities to access broadband, digital and mobile innovations; the emerging 21st century technologies for which the act is named. With offices in Washington DC, Dallas and Denver, Patton Boggs offers close proximity to the regional United States Patent and Trademark Offices (PTO), including the main PTO in Alexandria, Virginia, where much of this work will take place.

AudioEye’s decision was based primarily on the fact that Patton Boggs offers a dedicated IP practice, with particular strengths in IP portfolio management, licensing and technology transfer, United States Government licensing, global patent and trademark prosecution, enforcement, and IP transactions. “Each of these expertise is vital to our efforts to maximize the value of our patents and the innovations they represent, protect those innovations in the global marketplace, license them to partners, and expand their relevance to other audio driven technologies,” stated Nathaniel Bradley, Chief Executive Officer. “Patton Boggs offers a ‘one-stop shop’ with respect to virtually all of our needs in this area of legal service.”

Patton Boggs is also widely recognized as the leading public policy and legislative advocacy firm in Washington DC. As such, their expertise extends to advocating on behalf of clients before Congress, the Administration and federal administrative and regulatory agencies having oversight of technology and tech-related issues. This is yet another area in which the alliance between Patton Boggs and AudioEye will help ensure that expansion of our innovations into new products and markets. We look forward to building a mutually beneficial relationship with Patton Boggs.

“We are excited to be working with AudioEye.  AudioEye is well positioned to become a market leader in alternative mobile and Internet communications, and Patton Boggs looks forward to helping the company navigate the legal and regulatory issues of this exciting new field.” – Darren Collins, Partner, Patton Boggs.

About Patton Boggs

For more than 40 years, Patton Boggs has maintained a reputation for cutting-edge advocacy by working closely with Congress and regulatory agencies in Washington, litigating in courts across the country, and negotiating business transactions around the world.  Our partners include women and men with extensive backgrounds in government service with strong ties to both major political parties, as well as top-flight litigators and individuals with a keen understanding of business and finance.

About AudioEye

Founded in 2003, AudioEye, Inc. (AEYE.OB) is a Delaware Corporation that has developed patented Internet content publication and distribution software, enabling the conversion of any media into an accessible format and allowing for real-time distribution to end- users on any Internet connected device.  The focus of the company is to provide solutions to create better and more comprehensive access to the Internet, print, broadcast and other media, irrespective of an individual’s network connection, device, location, or impairment. AudioEye solutions also provide comprehensive E-Learning and E-Commerce systems, as well as a variety of Internet publishing products and services. AudioEye, Inc., Audio Internet and AudioEye are Registered Trademarks of AudioEye, Inc., All Rights Reserved. The systems and technologies described herein are protected all or in part by US7966184, US7653544, US8046229, US8296150, US8260616 and patents pending in the U.S. and Internationally. These products enable all customers to create and deliver highly scalable accessible voice browsing applications. For more information, please visit www.audioeye.com or call 866.331.5324

Forward-Looking Statements

This release includes forward-looking statements contained within Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements regarding our expected future financial position, results of operations, cash flows, financing plans, business strategy, products and services, competitive positions, growth opportunities, plans and objectives of management for future operations, as well as statements that include words such as “anticipate,” “if,” “believe,” “plan,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “could,” “should,” “will,” and other similar expressions are forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond our control, which may cause actual results, performance, or achievements to differ materially from anticipated results, performance, or achievements. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include those set forth in our Form 10-K and other reports filed with the SEC. We are under no obligation to (and expressly disclaim any such obligation to) update or alter our forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.



YouTube protected by DMCA in Viacom lawsuit, judge rules

A federal judge has ruled in favor of YouTube once more, shooting down claims made by Viacom that the Google-owned video service infringes on its intellectual property. Judge Stanton agreed with Google that it was protected under the “Safe Harbor” provisions of the DMCA.

At the heart of the matter was a never-ending stream of YouTube videos originating from various Viacom properties, including the “The Daily Show” and “SpongeBob SquarePants”. As the parent company of Paramount Pictures, Viacom also owns numerous other content outlets like Spike, Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central.

Viacom had originally sued YouTube in 2007, citing rampant, “intentional” piracy of their video content. After a three-year legal battle, the court ruled in favor of YouTube in 2010. However, troubled that the ruling would“completely destroy” copyrights, Viacom invoked its right to appeal, prompting yet another look at the intellectual property case.

“This ruling ignores the opinions of the higher courts and completely disregards the rights of creative artists,” Viacom said in response to the latest ruling. “We continue to believe that a jury should weigh the facts of this case and the overwhelming evidence that YouTube willfully infringed on our rights, and we intend to appeal the decision.”

On the other hand, Google said, “The court correctly rejected Viacom’s lawsuit against YouTube, reaffirming that Congress got it right when it comes to copyright on the Internet.”

Not surprisingly, Viacom intends to once again appeal the decision.

Judge Stanton ruled that the burden of determining whether or not videos uploaded to YouTube are subject to copyright is an intractable task for the company — one of the cornerstones of its defense. Viacom though, Stanton ruled, should be the one responsible for reporting unauthorized content to YouTube.

Although Viacom and YouTube have remained embroiled in legal accusations, the two have managed to find some common ground over the years. A deal was struck between the two companies, allowing YouTube to stream Paramount movies in a rental-style service. Meanwhile, YouTube deployed and continues to improve upon its anti-piracy filter.


ISOC, IETF Promote Open Standardisation, Consider What’s “Open”?

Berlin – Open standardisation processes, their problems and their value for economy and society were the subject of discussion at a conference on 17 April at the German Ministry of Economy and Technology in Berlin.

The discussion was organised by the Internet Society as a pre-event for the meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force later this summer.

While government officials at the meeting underlined their general support for open standards as a basis for technical development and competition, they also pointed to blurred lines about what is open and to the issue of powerful market players being able to game standardisation processes. The German government at the meeting also announced a consultation on the future role of the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU), one of the more traditional standardisation bodies.

Everybody today talks about open standards, said Ulrich Sandl, deputy assistant undersecretary at the Ministry of Economy and Technology. “Certainly nobody would tell you he has a proprietary standard.” But the answer to what “open” means in “open standards” is heavily “dependent on who answered the question.”

What’s in an Open Standard?

For some, Sandl said, it just means that everybody could without discrimination use a standardised technology. For small software companies, openness means they could develop their own products based on such a standard without being forced to consider patents at all. In public procurement, an open standard mainly has to assure non-dependency of one supplier of hardware or services. Sandl said the necessary differentiation would not lend itself easily to political discussions. Yet it is necessary to check on standardisation processes, which are dominated by large market players, in order to push complete business models.

Jan Krancke, vice president of regulatory strategy and economics at Deutsche Telekom, said, “Apple or Google just set up subsidiaries in 20 countries and thus have 20 times more votes in ETSI than we have.” ETSI is the European Telecommunication Standardization Institute, which works mainly on mobile standards. “We have to look into what is actually happening in the bodies of the standardisation venues,” he said.

Sandl said: “If you pour enough money into standardisation processes at ETSI or ITU, for example, you can get the standards you want. It is impossible for many of our entrepreneurs to compete on that field,” he said. The German government, in an effort to push secure e-mail nationally has stepped up with a national-only standard that now heavily criticised by security experts.

IETF and Open Stand: More Resistant to Domination?

Martin Stiemerling, researcher at NEC laboratories and a director of the “transport area” in the IETF, acknowledged the possibility of gaming in standardisation processes, but promoted the IETF model as more resistant. “Chances that the process is not gamed are bigger in the IETF,” he said.

Working group chairs overseeing what is called the “rough consensus” process of the dozens of working groups in one of seven areas from “applications” to “security” were able to judge the quality of support for a specific proposal.

A “clever working group chair” would be able to see through efforts by large companies to push for their preferred proposal by sending 20 people, Stiemerling said. Moreover, the accessibility for everybody to IETF processes – not only large and small companies, but non-governmental organisations, governments or public agencies alike, while sometimes making consensus difficult would provide for a “separation of powers.”

Even small companies could contribute in the IETF, said Olaf Kolkman, CEO of the Dutch software developer Nlnet Labs, and in fact could use the IETF process to shield technology from non-practising entities (patent trolls) by publishing it as internet drafts even outside of the standardisation process. Patent offices would use the IETF publication database when searching for “prior art.”

Klaus Birkenbihl, Board member of the ISOC German Chapter and involved in standardisation at the W3C, therefore described transparency and accessibility core criteria for open standards besides due processes, which all standardisation organisations have. Large companies want to control markets, yet they also use the participative models of the open standardisation bodies.

“Companies like Google, Mozilla build communities of people who deliver ideas for free,” Birkenbihl said. “This is what open standardisation bodies have done for a long time.”

Especially beneficial for smaller and medium-sized companies, he added, are the royalty-free licence policies such as the W3C relied on. While obliging all participants to disclose intellectual property rights in the standardisation process – and being reluctant to standardise heavily patent-protected technology – accepts also RAND (reasonable and non-discriminatory) licences. Birkenbihl asked to check funding of the work in standardisation bodies.

“We spend a lot of money in traditional standardisation bodies, while the open standardisation bodies cannot attract enough people to get engaged in their processes,” he said.

Open Stand, ITU Future and Governments’ Role

In an effort to promote what they call a modern standardisation paradigm the IETF, W3C and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) last year published an open stand declaration. Open stand clearly was a reaction to the calls by some government to make standards developed at the ITU mandatory in the future International Telecommunication Regulations (ITR).

The attempt failed together with a consensus over the ITR in general, but the whole ITR discussion highlighted the relevance of thought-to-be pure technology discussions for societies as a whole, said the chair of the ISOC German Chapter, Hans Peter Dittler. The discussions at the World Conference on International Telecommunication had illustrated how technical standards can be used by governments in an attempt to exercise control on the internet.

Secretary of State Hans Joachim Otto, assured participants in Berlin that his ministry would continue to engage in the discussions over government control on the internet. “Freedom of the net is not a given, we have to continue step up for it internationally,” he said, adding that the German government also rejected attempts for governmental intervention in the operational aspects of internet management.

One result of the WCIT process from a German point of view was as a heightened interest from the administration to continue multi-stakeholder consultations on upcoming conferences.

A stakeholder consultation to be held soon, according to Sandl, is on the future role of the ITU. There was a feeling that the ITU was desperately looking for new areas of work with heavy support from many developing countries and China. Depending on the relevance of the ITU as a standardising venue for the industry, the German government would consider how much attention to pay to the organisation. Germany until the last ITU Plenipotentiary Conference was in the group of the largest financial contributors (paying 30 units), but has cut its budget once already (now paying 25 units). Such discussions on the WCIT follow-up and ITU funding are also underway in the US.