Monthly Archives: September 2011

Facebook Community Pages and the use of YOUR IP

Back in August 2010, Facebook launched their “community pages”.  In the spirit of social media and “shared knowledge” these pages are auto generated from content that is available online under a creative commons licence (mainly but not exclusively from Wikipedia entries).

But what if you don’t like what is written on your organisation’s auto generated community page?  From Facebook help centre:

“Can I edit the content on a community page?

No. Community pages display Wikipedia articles about the topics they represent when this information is available, as well as related posts from people on Facebook in real time. At this time, there is no way for you to add your own pictures or edit information on these pages.”

No?  This seems more than a little unfair.  Especially when the pages are often accompanied with official logos and it is not always clear which pages are owner generated, and which are auto generated…  From IPfrontline.com, “Facebook Community Pages Can Jeopardize Trademarks and Brands

“Users can easily be confused between official pages and community pages. For instance, when a user searches for Dr. Pepper using Facebook’s search bar, many “Dr. Pepper” pages pop up. The consumer can’t tell immediately whether it’s a community page, a fan page, or the official page…”

Help is at hand however, even if it’s not so widely publicised.  Download and read the following article: “Brand Owners Can Now Reclaim Facebook Community Pages” for more information on Community Pages, and steps you can take to reclaim your one if you need to.  See also “Have You Claimed Your Facebook Community Page Yet? Here’s How…”  and “How To: Claim Your Facebook Community Page” (Be sure to read the comments too as its not so straight forward.)

The Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP article also says:

“Facebook’s Community Pages are an excellent example of why brand owners should take a proactive approach to social media and have a clear social media brand protection strategy in place. This is not only important for a brand owner to fulfill its duty to police the marketplace but also to ensure that a brand owner has current information about the constantly changing state of social media. There is little doubt that brand owners will continue to see many new developments in the social media space”

For more information on this topic read also the Social Media Examiner article: “Facebook Community Pages: What Your Business Needs to Know

US Patent Reform: America Invents Act Passed

On September 16th President Obama signed The America Invents Act, introducing some much-needed reforms to the American IP regime.

Key components include:

• Reduction of patent backlog
The law allocates additional resources to the USPTO, which will, hopefully, enable the agency to reduce the current backlog of 680,000 applications.

• Reducing litigation
The USPTO will now offer patent owners new tools, which lawmakers believe will enable many patent disputes to be resolved without the need for expensive litigation.

• Increasing patent quality
Additional resources, tools and new management processes will be allocated to ensure that patents granted are of higher quality, i.e., less likely to be overturned or disputed.

• New fast-track option for Patent Processing
If you can afford to take advantage of this new option, and meet the criteria, wait time can be reduced from 3+ years to 12 months.

• Better protection abroad
Harmonizing the US patent process with legislation in other countries will, in principle, provide more efficient and predictable protection for American patent owners abroad.

The overall goal of the legislation is to stimulate innovation by making the patent process more efficient and effective.

Business Week describes the legislation as “The Biggest Overhaul of the Patent System Since 1952” and quotes Senator Patrick Leahy, who co-sponsored the measure:

The America Invents Act will ensure that inventors large and small maintain the competitive edge that has put America at the pinnacle of global innovation.

Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the legislation is that it embraces first-to-file for new patents, as opposed to the current first-to-invent standard. For one of many perspectives on this, read Paul Kedrosky’s blog post, Patent Reform: Romance vs Pragmatism.  Only time will tell just what the impact of this reform will be, but several commentators observed that the Act does little or nothing to curb the activities of so-called patent trolls.

This important piece of legislation contains a number of additional provisions. More information can be found at the USPTO web site and at IP Watch.

Post written by Peter Bloch

Innovation in Africa

Article written by Stanley Kowalski from the  International Tech Transfer Institute, “Why America must advance innovation in Africa” tackles the issues behind why “An innovative African economy is in the best inter­ests of the U.S.

This is an interesting debate at a time when all public funding is being questioned.

Kowalski’s article says (emphasis added):

“The infrastructure, systems and resources that promote innovation will be the foundation for sustainable, knowl­edge-based economic development in Africa in the 21st century… Stulti­fied policy agendas must yield to dynam­ic strategic planning and coherent program implementation. Ad­ditional discussion and more money alone will not create a solution. In­stead, partnerships and programs must focus on promoting long-lasting outcomes, prioritizing capac­ity-building that generates a steady flow of essential innovations.

As Dr. Norman Borlaug, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and father of the Green Revolution, stated, “The destiny of world civilization depends upon providing a decent stan­dard of living for all mankind.” We must therefore stop viewing Africa as a chronic burden and start viewing it as the key partner in development for this century.” (…)

For full article download the PDF here

Today’s youth: tomorrow’s leaders – Agriculture through the eyes of the under 40s

Cross posting item from the CGIAR Consortium Office “Today’s youth: tomorrow’s leaders – Agriculture through the eyes of the under 40s”

Growing Talents: Youth in AgricultureThese days, more than ever, we are reminded of the growing need for food security and improved livelihoods in many of the world’s developing countries. This is not just a task for those presently at the helm of agricultural research for development (AR4D) endeavors; it will surely also be a priority for many generations to come. As such, it is vital that we don’t think in terms of passing the baton onto the next generation sometime in the future – we need to include young people in every aspect of AR4D from the outset.

When experience, knowledge and wisdom meet the different perspectives and fresh ideas that many young people can bring to the table, there’s no telling what we can achieve in our efforts to reduce rural poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and health, and sustainably manage natural resources. Unfortunately, the supply of new young scientists, as well as youth willing to work on farms, is lagging behind demand. If we are to tackle the challenges of tomorrow, it is imperative that we attract talented young men and women into our organizations, and then train and retain them.

As the 2010 United Nations’ International Year of Youth draws to a close, and the CGIAR celebrates 40 years in agricultural research, we feel it is appropriate to acknowledge both these events by highlighting the work of several talented individuals; young people under 40 who have already made their presence felt in the field of AR4D.

Our Growing Talents: Youth in Agriculture booklet brings together 13 diverse interviews that showcase the work, perspectives, experiences and aspirations of some of the youth we have been fortunate enough to encounter over the last 12 months.

We hope that the youth highlighted in the booklet will encourage other young people to make a lasting difference in AR4D. We also hope their stories will help to underscore the importance of giving youth a platform so that their voices may be heard. The future is truly in their hands.

We invite you to read their stories and download the booklet