Camtek Invalidates another Orbotech Patent

May 25, 2015

Duck Shoot

IL 131283 titled ” Apparatus and methods for inspection of objects” was filed at the end of the last century, on 5 August 1999, and, after its eventual allowance it published for opposition purposes on 8 July 2008. On 7 October 2008 Camtek filed a notice of opposition and on 5 November 2008 they filed their Statement of Case.

Both sides submitted their evidence and on 28 March 2010, the Applicant requested to correct the specification, and submitted amended claims. On 24 May 2010 Camtek announced that they had no objections to the amendments, but reserved the right to raise further issues in the opposition itself. The parties submitted their statements and evidence regarding the amended claims, and, after a hearing back in March 2013, this ruling has now issued.

The patent in question relates to automated optical inspection and the main claim of the patent in question is as follows:

A method for image processing comprising:

generating representations of boundaries of known elements in the image;

identifying candidate defects in the image, in hardware, thereby to generate a hardware candidate defect identifier output including hardware candidate defect identifiers;

receiving the hardware candidate defect identifiers and said representations of boundaries;

generating a window of  interest surrounding at least some of said hardware candidate defect identifiers and said representations of boundaries;

identifying at least one false alarm within said window of interest, in software;

and identifying additional candidate defects in the image, in software.

There are a further 6 dependent claims.

The underlined parts were the result of the amendment during the opposition, which, since it is a narrowing restriction, is procedurally acceptable.

Opposer’s Case

In the Statement of Opposition, Camtek opposed the patent issuing on the basis of Sections 3, 4, 5, 12, 13 and 18 of the Law.

Re Section 3 – Opposer alleged that the patent isn’t directed to a device or process, and at best is an attempt to monopolize a computer process or algorithm per se.

Camtek considers the claimed invention to lack novelty as anticipated separately in three earlier publications:

  1. West at al, ‘The Automatic Visual Inspection of Printed Circuit Boards’ Circuit World Vo. 8 No.2 (1982)
  2. West, ‘A system for the Automatic Visual Inspection of Bare-Printed Circuit Boards’, IEER Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Vol. SMC -14, No.5 (1984)
  3. US 5,619,429; M. Aloni at al, Apr. 8 1997

These publications allegedly render the claimed invention obvious, whether considered separately or in combination.

Camtek further accused Orbotech of inequitable behaviour in having not brought the existence of US 5,619,429 (which was assigned to Orbot Instruments) to the attention of the Examiner contrary to the duty of disclosure.

Camtek further alleged that the amendments to claim 1 designed to attempt to distinguish the claimed invention from that of 5,619,429 did nothing to rectify the failure of Orbotech to bring this to the Examiner’s attention.

Finally, Camtek argued that the claims lacked clarity and were not supported by the specification.

Orbotech’s Position

Orbotech denies all of Camtek’s allegations. According to Orbotech, the claimed invention differs from each of the cited art by including at least one element not described therein.

In particular, none of the citations relates the step of:

“Generating a window of interest surrounding at least some of said hardware candidate defect identifiers and said representations of boundaries”

Orbotech doesn’t consider it is required to address the issue of inventive step (obviousness) since Camtek had merely submitted a list of prior art references and had not shown how they can be combined to teach the claimed invention. Similarly, the lack of clarity and support issues were denied and Orbotech noted that they weren’t substantiated in Camtek’s statement of case.

Evidence

Camtek’s position was supported by an affidavit from Dr Shimon Koren, the director of Technology in the Microelectronics Division at Camtek.

Koren considered that the claimed invention is a known methodology for image analysis that combines hardware and software stages and a standard way of defining areas of interest.

He considers that using software or dedicated hardware was simply a design choice and the claimed elements were the foundation of software engineering in the field, and known to all persons of the art at the priority date.

Specifically, any further image processing on a feature of interest requires the preliminary determination of a boundary to the region of interest, whether automated, by hardware or software, or manually, and there was nothing novel and certainly not inventive in this. [I find this argument compelling, as I have written up about a dozen patents for Siemens CAD vision for detecting lung and breast cancer by image analysis of XRay photographs, and everything starts with drawing a line around the field of interest].

Koren does not understand the relevance of:

identifying at least one false alarm within said window of interest, in software; and identifying additional candidate defects in the image, in software.

And, as a person of the art, Korens considers that these claimed steps are simply confusing, hence the lack of clarity objection.

Koren further expounded on the lack of novelty and inventiveness with respect to the prior art referenced above.

Orbotech submitted an Affidavit of the Director of their Core Technology Algorithm Group, a Dr Rippa, who is a coinventor of the claimed invention.

Dr Rippa stated that the present invention claims a process for identifying and segmenting candidate defects or preselected areas of interest, whereas the prior art merely describes a process for identifying and segmenting candidate defects. Dr Rippa concedes that the hierarchical examinations where each stage filters through candidate defects picked up by the proceeding stage were known to persons of the art. However, the present invention is not necessarily hierarchical in that the areas of interest with their generated boundaries are not necessarily subjected to additional filtering steps. Furthermore, algorithms per se. are not claimed, but rather a process ran on a physical system [so the invention is to be considered as patentable subject matter].

Additionally, Dr Rippa denied the allegations of lack of clarity, claiming that repeated indications provide greater certainty. [I can’t see how this jells with previous statement about the method not necessarily being hierarchical, nor can I see how the wording of the claim supports this interpretation].

Furthermore Dr Rippa also considers that there are significant differences between hardware and software and using hardware where the claimed invention specifies software will be inefficient.

Finally, Dr Rippa related to the cited art and opined that they do not render the claimed invention known or obvious.

The Ruling

Ms Yaara Shoshani Caspi considered that the invention related to the ‘window’ which was not properly described in the application. She found Dr Koren’s explanation convincing, whereas she found Dr Rippa’s explanation incoherent. She also noted that Dr Rippa, as an inventor and witness for the defendant, was more likely to provide misleading testimony. [The ‘defendant’ is the applicant. The issue is an opposition. Both sides have financial interests or the patent would not be opposed. Camtek are not acting out of respect for the integrity of the register].

It seems that during cross-examination, Dr Rippa changed his story, and didn’t seem able to make up his mind whether candidates were segmented or whether also previously defined areas were segmented.

Camtek and their witness, Dr Koren argued that once an area is selected, it requires to be segmented and the window drawing exercise is the same regardless. The point of novelty was, in their opinion, a question of semantics and not  one of substance. The issue is not one of terminology but whether Orbotech was describing something new or not.

It seems that Dr Rippa retracted his original statement and accepted that once a window was drawn, the enclosed space was checked as to whether it fulfilled the criteria of defects or not. Dr Koren argued convincingly that the examination of predetermined windows was for calibration purposes, to help recognize defects.

Since Orbotech failed to convincingly argue that hardware was advantageous over software for this purpose, the argument that hardware was chosen specifically was not given any weight.

The upshot of the above is that Orbotech was claiming to segment candidate flaws and then to examine them and the adjudicator did not consider this novel or inventive.

The additional step  of finding additional candidates was not considered clear and could not, therefore, be used as saving grace. In this regard, the adjudicator noted a dissonance between the claim, the representative figure and the affidavit.

Ms Shoshani-Caspi, did, however, find that the although directed to an algorithm, since the algorithm was for use on a machine having certain functionality, the invention should be considered technological and not software per se or a thought process.

Having defined the invention as segmenting candidate flaws and then examining them, the adjudicator found that each of the publications:

  • West at al, ‘The Automatic Visual Inspection of Printed Circuit Boards’ Circuit World Vo. 8 No.2 (1982)
  • West, ‘A system for the Automatic Visual Inspection of Bare-Printed Circuit Boards’, IEER Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Vol. SMC -14, No.5 (1984)
  •  US 5,619,429; M. Aloni at al, Apr. 8 1997

Separately anticipates  the claimed invention, rendering it known in contradistinction to Section 4 of the Patent Law 1967. Being known, the claimed invention could not be considered inventive in contradistinction to Section 5 of the Patent Law 1967.

That said, the adjudicator did not find the claims unsupported or evidence of inequitable behavior.

Despite the Opposer failing to specfiy the flaws of the dependent claims, the adjudicator did not find redeeming features in any of these.

The patent was found to be invalidated and costs of 15000 Shekels were awarded to Camtek.

Comment

Once again, Camtek, represented by Adv.Adi Levit, has successfully invalidated an Orbotech patent. However, unlike the recent case where Camtek invalidated Orbotech’s IL 179995 patent and the Deputy Commissioner Ms Jacqueline Bracha ruled costs of 296,895 Shekels.as Orbotech forgot to appeal Camtek’s detailed costs submission, the costs awarded in this case were a mere 15000 Shekels which does not seem to be a lot for a case that has been dragging on for 7 years.


Waters of Eden – Nature’s Champagne

May 25, 2015

Mei Eden

Mei Eden (Waters of Eden) is a mineral water bottler and distributor. Their product is sold in blue tinted plastic bottles. Notably, at the time, the company die not sell sparkling mineral water, only still mineral water.

Mei Eden advertised their product as Nature’s Champagne. The Comite Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne (CIVC) which represents the wine manufacturers in the Champagne region of France, who perform a second fermentation of their wines in the bottle to produce a sparkling wine, have a geographical appellation. Only wine from that region may be called Champagne.

The Comite Interprofessionnel sued Mei Eden on grounds of Infringement of their Geographical Appellation of Origin, Unjust Enrichment, the TRIPS Amendment to Israel’s IP Laws 1999 and Commerce relates torts 1999.

In an erudite 52 page ruling Judge Ginat reviewed Israel trademark cases, TRIPS legislation, Perrier related decisions from Germany, and UK rulings by well respected IP Judges Arnold and Laddie.

I can’t be bothered to reproduce the whole case here. I will confine myself to two quotes:

“The necessary elements for a claim in passing off were restated by the House of Lords in Reckitt & Colman Products Ltd v Borden Inc [1990] RPC 341 as follows:

the claimant’s goods or services have acquired goodwill in the market and are known by some distinguishing name, mark or other indication;
there is a misrepresentation by the defendant (whether or not intentional) leading or likely to lead the public to believe that goods or services offered by the defendant are goods or services of the claimant; and
the claimant has suffered or is likely to suffer damage as a result of the erroneous belief engendered by the defendant’s misrepresentation”

As noted above, both of these points were well explained by Laddie J in Irvine, in particular in the following passages:

“First, it is well established that, even in the absence of competition and hence diversion of sales, a misrepresentation leading to the belief that the defendant’s business is associated with the claimant’s is damaging to the claimant’s goodwill. Secondly, it is also well established that, if there is a misrepresentation which erodes the distinctiveness of the indication in question, then that is damage for the purposes of a claim in passing off.”

Expressed in these terms, the purpose of a passing-off action is to vindicate the claimant’s exclusive right to goodwill and to protect it against damage. When a defendant sells his inferior goods in substitution for the claimant’s, there is no difficulty in a court finding that there is passing off. The substitution damages the goodwill and therefore the value of it to the claimant. The passing-off action is brought to protect the claimant’s property. But goodwill will be protected even if there is no immediate damage in the above sense. For example, it has long been recognised that a defendant cannot avoid a finding of passing off by showing that his goods or services are of as good or better quality than the claimant’s. In such a case, although the defendant may not damage the goodwill as such, what he does is damage the value of the goodwill to the claimant because, instead of benefiting from exclusive rights to his property, the latter now finds that someone else is squatting on it. It is for the owner of goodwill to maintain, raise or lower the quality of his reputation or to decide who, if anyone, can use it alongside him. The ability to do that is compromised if another can use the reputation or goodwill without his permission and as he likes.”

In his ruling, Judge Gideon Ginat issued an injunction against Mei Eden using the term Champagne to describe their water, fined the water bottler 400,000 Shekels and awarded a further 200,000 Shekels in legal fees.

02-22286-33 Comite Interprofessionnel vs. Mei Eden LTD et al. Judge Gidon Ginat, 19 May 2015

COMMENT
This decision issues as WIPO members are hammering out the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement. See here for more details.
I have nothing against appellations of origin per se being taken seriously. However, this specific case was filed well after the events and long after the advertising Champagne campaign was initiated. Once a complaint was made the defendant stopped using the slogan. Arguably therefore, there were adequate grounds to throw the case out. I can, however, see grounds for issuing an injunction to prevent Mei Eden describing their product as Nature’s Champagne.

Damages? Unjust enrichment? Not convinced.

Unlike some Israeli sparkling wines which are as good as the French ones, mineral water, no matter how good, is not confusingly similar to Champagne wine, regardless of how bad. Mei Eden is not a sparkling water nor is it sold in glass bottles like Perrier. It cannot be compared to Babycham which was a cider that could allegedly be confused with Champagne by occasional Champagne drinkers or by the inebriated.

I don’t think that Laddie’s comments regarding an alleged misrepresentation leading to the belief that the defendant’s business is associated with the claimant’s is damaging to the claimant’s goodwill are in anyway relevant to this case.

I don’t find the argument of “passing off’ convincing. I don’t see a possibility of customer confusion. I can accept that European trademark practice would consider this type of usage ‘dilution’ and would forbid it. I can therefore see a legitimacy in the Comite Interprofessionnel suing for an injunction, and obtaining their costs. However, I don’t see a justification for this rather large fine. At worse, Mei Eden promoted their water using this Nature’s Champagne campaign. Arguably they increased Mei Eden’s market share of the mineral water market and maybe even increased mineral water consumption, but I seriously doubt it was at the expense of Champagne sales. I just don’t buy this.
The basis of the costs ruling was statutory damage and the damages awarded were “estimated” after weighing up all the considerations. I suspect that this sum will be appealed.

Peckham Spring

Readers are referred to “Mother Nature’s Son” the 1992 Christmas Special of Only Fools And Horses, which is perhaps the most iconic episode ever, and one of the funniest programs ever aired by the BBC, where the Trotters successfully market Peckham Spring Water.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/onlyfools/christmas/1992.shtml


Israel Patent Office Server Outage

May 18, 2015

server

With reference to Fig. 1, the Israel Patent Office server 1 will be down from 5 PM (Israel time) on 18th May until 6 am the following morning. This means it will be disconnected from network 2 and patent attorneys 4A-C will not be able to access content stored in databases thereon (Fig. 2).

This is a planned outage due to maintenance requirements.

TOS-day_of_the_dove_klingons

Rumours that there is a planned Klingon takeover of the Israel Patent Office are believed to be without substance.


Patent Bar Exams

May 18, 2015
The Bar Exam by Will Bullas

The Bar Exam by Will Bullas

Wannabee Israel Patent Attorneys will have their chance shortly.

The written exam for drafting patents for computer, electronics and mechanical inventions will take place on 29 June 2015, and the written exam for biological and chemistry inventions will take place on 1 July 2015. The written exams will take place at 9 am and at 3 PM the candidates will have to take a language proficiency exam (unless they obtain a dispensation from this).

oral examination

The oral examinations will take place on Monday 6 July and Thursday 9 July, and candidates are requested to keep both days free, but closer to the time, will be assigned one or other date.

More details may be found here בחינות עופ – יוני 2015.

 

 


US Court of Appeals Rules Standard Innovention’s Adult Toy Modest

May 14, 2015

toy

According to the International Trade Commission, Standard Innovation’s patent US 7,931,605 titled as used in their kinesiotherapy devices (that’s the CAFC term, Standard Innovation refers to the device as the We-Vibe product) is infringed by Lelo’s adult toys.

Lelo’s claims of invalidity due to obviousness were rejected.

On Appeal the Federal Circuit overturned the ITC ruling.  Since under section 337 investigations, a party can stop patent infringing products from being imported into the US if the company is shown to have made “significant investment” in the US. The Federal Circuit considered that as the components were made in China, Standard Innovention’s investment was modest.

The ruling is here.

The ruling is actually significant in that it relates to whether patents are enforceable in the US by Anton Pillar injunctions and customs seizures, etc. where the product is manufactured in China from largely off-the-shelf components.

What is the point of having a patent if you can’t enforce it?

Actually, to be fair, the patent is enforceable, or at least, there is a presumption of validity and this may be used to obtain judgement and possibly and probably preliminary injunctions. It is not, however, enforceable through the ITC.


California Dreamin – INTA San Diego

May 12, 2015

Calefornia Dreamin

INTA San Diego was my favorite INTA Conference yet. Unlike Hong Kong (see INTA washout) which was a sort of three day shower-cum-sauna whilst fully dressed, San Diego was dry and mild, if a little chilly at night.

I usually look at INTA as a vacation from the family. This time around, I brought my wife Miri with me to San Diego, and discovered that a vacation with the missus is just as good.

We flew in on Wednesday and went to San Diego’s famous zoo on Thursday. Some of the exhibits were temporarily unavailable and others lay there without moving, suspiciously as if they were stuffed. The collection is, nevertheless, very impressive, and zoos are a great place to people watch.

Jet-lagged Australian practitioner

Jet-lagged Australian practitioner

The koalas were somewhat sedentary, but from the way that they were tree-hugging, seem to have acclimatized to California.

A gazelle on its way to becoming a zebra

A gazelle on its way to becoming a zebra

There was an Okapi that had started life as a striped gazelle and was well on its way to becoming a zebra. This was like the Irish accented US patent attorneys, Janet de Penning who pretends to be Indian but whose Australian accent gives here away, and other relocated practitioners including me, an Israeli patent and trademark attorney with a somewhat heavy North-West Suburban London accent.

Urangutan

I tried networking with another alpha male Sumatran trademark attorney. I suspect that it won’t lead to masses of work, but was nonetheless, very enjoyable.

panda

I also met a Chinese trademark professional taking it easy whilst contemplating the week ahead.

On Friday we took a boat trip around the harbor and saw a lot of US naval vessels including a submarine in dry dock and a helicopter carrier. The trade-dress was a dismal battleship grey. We had wanted to take a whale spotting trip, but apparently had missed the season. This seemed to be an appropriate metaphor for INTA, where one goes for the promise of landing a whale of a direct client with an enormous trademark portfolio, but the in-house counsels, were, as usual, keeping a low profile. It wasn’t all doom and gloom though. We did see sea lions and pelicans.

Walking down to the conference center, it was pleasant to be recognized by attorneys from around the world, despite not having a conference name tag yet. The receptions, hotels and meeting places were all close to the conference center, but San Diego is on a hill, and with 10,000 conventioneers marching up the hill to their hotels, down again to the conference center, up the hill to their meeting and down the hill to the reception, I couldn’t help recalling the Grand Old Duke of York. One shop we past sold basic survival garments and had a deal for “two tees, one pant and one shoe”. I would have though one tee and a pair of each of the other garments would be more useful.

Shabbat was spent with Lubavitch (Chabad). There was a small core of Jewish practitioners present. As the Torah scroll was put back into the Holy Ark, everyone sang Psalm 26 with gusto, but to different tunes, and the result was like the school song back at Hogwarts. Despite being a Carlebach, the Rabbi’s singing was as bad as mine. Nevertheless, the welcoming atmosphere and pluralistic congregation did have something of the holy hippilech of the House of Love and Prayer about it. Miami based IP Attorney Michael Chesal  lead the morning service and Israel trademark attorney, Marc Bodner, read the Torah portion in the afternoon.

In some ways, the Rabbi reminded me of Gene Wilder in the Frisco Kid. The Rabbi’s daugher (Mushka -what else?) told me that she had a waggly tooth. I managed to refrain from suggesting that when it fell out, she could put it under her pillow and the Rebbe would come and leave a dollar.

The Kosher food at the opening reception was well wrapped in polyethylene and consisted of bits of Pretzel bagel and mushrooms which were also very well wrapped. There was a second box containing a sort of apple turnover and little containers of some sort of pickled fish, that may have been herring. The regular tables had a wide range of food that looked delicious but less than Kosher. There were some strawberries that were drizzled in chocolate that were quite delicious and also a greenish sludge called Whack-a-Mole, that turned out not to be made of mole at all, but was actually an avocado paste.

whack a mole

I suspect that the accompanying crackers may well have had an OU Kosher certification, but couldn’t be sure, so gave them a miss. Not much of a return for the $100 guest ticket I got my wife. It was an opportunity to introduce her to Irish colleagues, Richard and Mary-Rose O’Conner. Their firm is called Cruikshanks, but from what I could see, their legs looked straight enough.  After a couple of the obligatory beers we went to the Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream parlor in the ‘village’ by the conference center. I missed the Kosher Supper on the Tuesday, but understand from Jeremy “Harley” Ben-David, that it was a mostly schnitzel and chips affair at the JCC. According to the IPKAT, Sandy’s Ego Colb’s Kiddush was well attended and there was little in the way of left-overs.

I arranged back to back meetings from 10 AM to 4 PM. Unfortunately however, not all meetings met up. Particularly those with new associates. It turned out to be fairly easy to find a Indian IP professional at the meeting point. I was looking for someone well dressed, about 5′ 6″, dark skinned with black hair. It was trying to find the right Indian professional that proved difficult. I had a similar problem with Chinese patent attorneys, except the complexion was lighter and the general build more petite. Unfortunately, with 10,000 conference participants, even arranging to meet in a particular spot proved difficult. The blind dates meetings were hard to accomplish as I found myself making eye to name on tag over chest contact with promising but wrong candidates, there being some three hundred or so at the same meeting area.

After a full day’s networking, I didn’t really have the energy to party into the night. I did however, go to the “Meet the Bloggers” reception at Henry’s Pub in the heart of the red gas light district. It was nice to be approached by friends and by people I didn’t recognize, who enjoy this erudite and informative blog. It seems my comments about my wife making me throw away the shoe boxes of business cards from last year before bringing any new ones home struck a chord.

henry's pub

The waitresses in their short pants (using the term in the English manner) made it easy to understand why the Beach Boys sang about Californian girls, but one wonders why the Mamas and Papas didn’t ground them for going out (un)dressed like that?

california girls

To accompany the cider I was swigging, I ordered a plate of raw vegetables with hummus, as did a Sikh associate. Being very close to the Mexican border, the hummus was rather hotter than its Middle Eastern equivalent.

Professor Phillips and his personal assistants

Professor Jeremy Phillips who got a special mention for his prolific blogging, was accompanied by various editors, marketing directors and other young ladies from Oxford University Press. He looked a little like Mother Goose, as he shepherded his harem grand-daughters, off to bed.

There were apparently over 9650 registrants at INTA, and I suspect a further 3-4000 attorneys that came along for the receptions but didn’t register. It was impossible to meet everyone, but I did manage to chat to several hundred practitioners.

As always, Middle Eastern colleagues from Jordan, Egypt, UAE, Lebanon and Dubai were very friendly and special mention should be made of the very attractive young ladies working the Iran trademark stall. We promised to send each other work Insh’Allah once the political situation improves. Grant Thornton’s Baklava was, as always, delicious.

I will refrain from commenting on the lectures, mostly because I didn’t go to any, but also because it seems that no-one else is interested in them anyway.

Instead, here are my winners in the various swag categories, from the Exhibition Center where I shopped for souvenirs and gifts for the kids:

For younger daughters, first prize goes to Zuykov who gave away Babushka dolls. For older daughters, one firm was giving out scented soap, and there were a lot of Chinese bags, scarves and keyrings. Older sons will be delighted with Ali & Associates‘ flash memory daggers. Younger sons will enjoy the rubber band driven balsa wood model airplanes distributed by Patssy Wave.

Suitable for adults and children (i.e. less mature male IP professionals) is Burns & Levinson‘s desktop magnetic dart board. They also had a larger size interactive game, where one throws a remote control at a dartboard shown on a screen – or at least, that seemed to be the idea). For adults, Ali & Associates were giving away pen-knives and pen sets, and also magnetic compasses that were probably designed to find Mecca, but worked equally well for Jerusalem. I discovered I had been praying Westwards instead of Eastwards in my hotel room, but the Talmudic rabbis had a flat Earth cosmology, and we now know that what goes around comes around, so I don’t suppose it matters. Wives and female practitioners may be pleased with Treadstone Inc.’s insulated frozen food bag. Asia IP Exchange were giving out inflatable pillows. Grant-Thornton Lebanon distributed some nice coasters, this time showing the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Despite being a Lebanese firm, over the years, I’ve noticed that they claim IP rights to Egyptian pyramids, Phoenician culture and Israeli Hummus. Although not available from a stall, I think my own limited edition PC Teabags was perhaps the best freebie for patent attorneys.

Talking about adult give-aways, there was a company called .sucks that had a scam to try to get people to register their domains to prevent others from so-doing. Frankly, I was surprised that INTA let them rent space in the exhibition center. They had people outside the conference center too, who were giving away  latex prophylactics condominiums. These green modeling balloons have a nipple at one end which, on inflation, can be pressed back and tied into the knot to make a quite convincing apple. As one of my female colleagues pointed out, it is inadvisable to rely on such things given out for free on street corners to avoid the by-products of intimate networking.

Ghiradelli

Unsurprisingly, the conference coffee was American and foul. There was a Starbucks outside, but that served similar dish-water, with the main difference being the need to pay for it. Better Caffeine fixes were supplied by Dennemeyer and by the SMD Group who each had an expresso machine. For those preferring their Caffeine is solid form, as always, the best chocolate was to be had at the Ecuador stand, but Dennemeyer’s Dickensian chocolate was a close second. For a delicious chocolate fix, we recommend the hot chocolate at Ghiradelli.

bugs bunny

One reception that I did attend was Rothwell Figg‘s  held in the Chuck Jones Gallery, which was resplendent with Bugs Bunny and Road Runner art-work. Most of the food was not Kosher, but there was a welcome if somewhat melancholy fruit platter with strawberries and pineapple. (*yes, I know, purists will argue that Hallachically melon, strawberries and pineapple are not fruit as they don’t grow on woody perennials).

Midway

I understand that Thompson Reuters sponsored a reception on the US Midway Aircraft Carrier that is now a museum, and that dancing on the flight deck was quite something.

Orlando

I am not sure how I will be able to convince the kids that INTA Orlando next year is ‘work’, but am looking forwards to going with my wife.


LES Event on Employee Inventions and University Inventions

May 11, 2015

les

LES Israel is hosting an event on Monday May 18th 2015 on Employee’s Inventions and University Inventions in Israel and Germany.

Speakers include Prof. Dr. Heinz Goddar, Adv. Eran Bareket, Adv. Tal Band and Adv. Gil Granot-Meyer from Yeda R&D.

Full details may be found here

COMMENT

The topic of service inventions is a recurring theme. I co-hosted a conference on this together with WIPO and ONO back in 2009. See here.

Following this event, the State of Israel sued Omrix claiming that their blood clotting adhesive was a govt. service invention. I argued that the strategy taken was flawed in that it invalidated the US patent. Furthermore, I noted that the attorney who the State outsourced to had an apparent conflict of interest as Omrix had been bought out by Johnson & Johnson and the attorney had been handling their trademark portfolio.

More recently, the State of Israel sued employees of the Volcani Institute claiming that they had stolen a service invention.

The topic is widely covered by Dr Shlomit Yanitzky Ravid in a book based on her PhD thesis. See here.


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