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In wake of complaints, Pitt extends deadline for faculty to sign over IP rights


By David Schwartz
Published: September 17th, 2014

The University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) has extended its deadline for faculty to sign agreements that would grant the university rights to intellectual property developed by researchers there. The agreements – which are in addition to existing IP policy – come in response to the Stanford v. Roche Supreme Court decision, which held that faculty must actually grant IP to their universities to effect the of transfer rights, not merely promise to grant those rights.

The decision to postpone, as announced by Provost Patricia Beeson, came after complaints surfaced that compelling faculty to sign the agreements was a breach of academic freedom, since faculty members who did not sign an agreement were told their federal grant proposals would not be processed without the signed document.

“After considering the issues raised, I have decided to delay the deadline for signing the Intellectual Property Rights Assignment Agreement and will be forming a task force to make recommendations for implementing a process consistent with our existing policy on intellectual property and in light of current expectations of funding agencies,” Beeson comments.

Pitt faculty members previously had until Tuesday September 16th to turn in the signed agreements. It is unclear how many faculty members had turned in agreements not knowing the deadline would be postponed, or what will happen to those signed agreements. “That’s one of the issues the task force will look at,” says Pitt spokesperson Ken Service.

According to Beeson, the task force will include assembly members, Tenure and Academic Freedom Committee members, and researchers university-wide.

Pitt officials say the agreements are necessary because of the Stanford v. Roche decision. But some Pitt leaders have expressed concern over the agreement’s language, tone and sudden urgency.

According to Service, Pitt never intended to go beyond its existing campus intellectual property policy, which includes language stating the university “claims ownership and control of the worldwide patent and intellectual property rights [that] result from activities of its faculty, staff and students.”

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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Draft Rock-Solid License Agreements and Avoid the Top 7 Litigated Terms


By David Schwartz
Published: September 17th, 2014

You’ve made sure to carefully define terms, responsibilities, and compliance expectations in your license agreements. But what happens when the relationship between the parties to a license agreement turns sour? And what could you have done to prevent a licensee dispute in the first place?

Draft Rock-Solid License Agreements and Avoid the Top 7 Litigated Terms, a detailed webinar scheduled for next Tuesday, September 23, will be filled with drafting tips and strategies focusing on the top 7 issues that are disputed and litigated when parties to a license agreement become adverse.

Featuring license litigation experts Mike Lee and Mark Evens, both directors with the law firm Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox PLLC, in this one-hour program you’ll learn how to minimize the chances of a host of future complications and disputes: IP ownership, under-reported royalties, failure to support the IP as promised, re-interpretation of definitions, sublicensing issues, and many others. For complete program details and to register, CLICK HERE.

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Software patents getting squashed in the wake of Supreme Court’s Alice Corp. ruling


By David Schwartz
Published: September 17th, 2014

After the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Alice Corp. earlier this year in which a software patent was invalidated because it was seen as a “basic concept” merely translated to a computer, software patents are being invalidated in growing numbers across the country as lower court’s apply to ruling.

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Alice Corp. vs. CLS Bank: What's Eligible, What's Not, and What's Still to be Determined? ~ Delve into the Alice Corp. vs. CLS Bank decision and gain insight on all the key issues it raises, clarifies, or leaves open to future interpretation. Click here for details >>

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8 questions entrepreneurs should ask themselves when negotiating term sheets


By David Schwartz
Published: September 17th, 2014

In her recent article for Inc., seasoned entrepreneur and Arbor Ventures founder Melissa Guzy advises entrepreneurs to ask themselves a few hard questions when negotiating a term sheet with investors.

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Brookings Institute report says federal labs are underperforming in tech transfer


By David Schwartz
Published: September 17th, 2014

A recent report by the Brookings Institute finds there is a lack of collaboration with industry among the U.S. Department of Energy’s 17 national labs. According to the report, the labs have underperformed as potential springboards for the high-tech industry to take new innovations to market, particularly for small and mid-sized businesses located near the labs.

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Use this free online tool to test your “InvestorIQ”


By David Schwartz
Published: September 17th, 2014

A new free online resource backed by angel investors aims to educate entrepreneurs on how investors think and act when approached by companies seeking funding. Developed jointly by the Angel Resource Institute, Angel Capital Association and the Kauffman Foundation, the tool – InvestorIQ — offers insights into how investors decide where to invest, whether to invest at all, how they want their money to be used, and how they want to be paid back. continue reading »

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Why some co-founders are not good matches, and why others succeed


By David Schwartz
Published: September 17th, 2014

In his recent article for American Express’ OPEN Forum, Dave Lerner, serial entrepreneur and director of Columbia University Entrepreneurship, explains why some co-founder partnerships within companies simply don’t work out and how it can be avoided.

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U Washington start-up partners with Taiwanese company to commercialize cancer treatment


By David Schwartz
Published: September 17th, 2014

Compliment Corporation, a University of Washington (UW) biotech start-up, has entered into a partnership with Beyond Research and Innovative Medicines Biotechnology (BRIM), a Taiwan-based company, to commercialize Compliment’s two oncology platform technologies.

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Cambridge breaks its record for seed investments for second year in a row


By David Schwartz
Published: September 17th, 2014

The University of Cambridge has broken its record amount of seed stage investment for the second year in a row, from £2.3 million invested in 2012-13 to £2.7 million this year. On the other end of those investments, a number of Cambridge spinoffs including Astex Pharmaceuticals and BlueGnome have been successfully acquired, helping the university bring in a total of £5.6 million from realized investments.

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Rockefeller University licenses cancer-fighting technology to NeoStem


By David Schwartz
Published: September 17th, 2014

The Rockefeller University has licensed a patented cancer-fighting technology to NeoStem Inc., a leading company in the cellular therapy market. The patents cover research on dendritic cells, a part of the innate immune system that can be removed in their inactive form, loaded with antigens, and then re-infused and activated to trigger immune responses against cancer antigens.

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Medical Innovation Playbook published by Cleveland Clinic Innovations


By David Schwartz
Published: September 17th, 2014

Academic medical centers are playing an increasingly vital role in providing breakthrough research — yet information and data on the commercialization system across these healthcare institutions is scarce and difficult to access. But now there’s an all new resource that fills that gap, providing performance benchmarks and detailed best practices from 61 of the nation’s top academic medical centers.

The Medical Innovation Playbook is a new 508-page resource — created by the world-renowned experts at Cleveland Clinic Innovations — that profiles the commercialization programs at 61 of the nation’s top healthcare institutions and academic medical centers. It provides an in-depth look into how hospitals and universities are successfully sending thousands of new technologies to market through locally designed and managed commercialization teams. Nowhere else will you find a more comprehensive view of new approaches and new collaborations in medical innovation and tech transfer, plus you can use the performance data these institutions provide to benchmark your own medical innovation efforts.

For complete details and to order, click here >>>

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Emory U start-up readies disposable, point-of-care anemia test for market


By David Schwartz
Published: September 17th, 2014

Researchers at Emory University, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a disposable point-of-care testing device for anemia that could provide more rapid, less expensive diagnosis of the common blood disorder.

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