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5-a-day: thought leaders, software patents and Obama

James Nurton

Managing IP's new daily round up of who's saying what in IP

Leading by tweet

Congratulations to all the US and Canadian firms and lawyers shortlisted for Managing IP’s North America Awards 2013. The winners will be announced at a dinner in Washington DC on March 19, where we will also present special trophies recognising outstanding corporate and individual achievements. One of the categories is for IP thought leader. What does it take to win this accolade? Six out of the seven shortlisted individuals have a blog (the exception is Mark Lemley). And all of them are on twitter. Meet the men (and one woman) shaping the future of IP – 140 characters at a time.

Is the NYT promoting counterfeits?

New York TimesThere’s a storm in New York, and it’s nothing to do with the weather. On the Brand Protection Blog, Mark Mutterperl of Fulbright & Jaworski has attacked the New York Times for publishing a “deplorable” article on buying fake purses and handbags in the city’s Canal Street, complete with photos and price comparisons. Mutterperl accuses the paper of encouraging crime “with a cynical wink”. An alternative view would be that the Times is shedding light an all-too-real issue for its readers, most of whom are intelligent enough to decide for themselves whether or not they want to encourage criminals by buying counterfeits. Indeed, as Mutterperl points out, the comments on the article are overwhelmingly negative.

Solving software patents

#fixpatents is the hashtag to follow on twitter if you are interested in the USPTO’s initiative to dicuss software patents. The Office organised a roundtable in Palo Alto (where else?) on Tuesday, with another to follow in New York on February 27. Despite some grumblings about accessing the webcast, the debate seems to have been well received – Josh Lamel on the Patent Progress blog wrote: “There is a growing chorus coming from Silicon Valley that there is a software patent problem, and it is nice to see the agency in charge travelling west to listen.” This debate certainly seems to be gaining a lot of interest, but I wonder where will it lead?

Pharma heads East

Reckitt BenckiserIs Chinese traditional medicine the solution to the patent cliff? That may be what UK-headquartered healthcare company Reckitt Benckiser thinks, as it has bought Oriental Medicine Company for what it said was a modest cost. Oriental’s main product is a sore-throat powder. Reporting the acquisition, the Financial Times (subscription site) noted that the deal comes just a few months after Nestlé also agreed a tie-up with a traditional Chinese medicine company.

Obama in IP grilling

President ObamaIt’s not every day you get to quiz the most important man in the world on IP. But today US President Obama is taking part in an online Google Fireside Hangout session (scheduled for 4.50 pm Eastern time). Among the more than 7,500 questions filed via video in advance are several relating to concerns with the DMCA, SOPA and PIPA, and penalties for file-sharing copyrighted material. You can vote on which ones you would like the president to answer.

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