The News & Views section of the Lesanz website is a great way to read about Lesanz and what press releases we have worked on and items of interest in IP generally. The Bulletin, can be viewed click here. Otherwise feel free to check below regularly for items of interest.
Dear LES Society Leaders,
On behalf of the Global Technology Impact Forum (GTIF) 2014 planning committee, we are pleased to announce much progress for GTIF 2014. We would like to invite your society to make nominations for our two annual GTIF awards.
The GTIF planning committee is proud to build on the past GTIF successes to highlight a discussion about the social and humanitarian uses of intellectual property and technology transfer. Once again, the GTIF will be held in Geneva, Switzerland at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) building. The speakers will include a range of government, NGOs, and other innovative complaining deploying life-enhancing technology around the world. The confirmed speakers thus far include: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Chief Judge Randall Rader, Dick Wilder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a representative of the Brasil National Development Bank (BNDES), Edward Elliot of the USPTO Patents for Humanity program; likewise, the planning committee is considering a range of other very qualified contributors. AUTM and AIPPI have also committed their involvement.
LESI will again sponsor two annual GTIF awards: (1) Best IP & Technology Transfer Policy Award, the leading international organizations in IP have certainly the best position to look at policies and the state of the Intellectual Property systems and its social and economic impact. Hence, we launched an award that will recognize those countries with the best policy related to IP and Technology Transfer; and,
(2) Award to the Humanitarian Technology Transfer Initiative of the Year. Non-for-profits in need of technologies, technology providers and/or companies with the common interest of using the inventiveness of people to help those in need.
In 2013, LESI recognized the USPTO for its Patents for Humanity Program and Solar Sister, respectively.
For GTIF 2014, we already have two nominated programs: Arab Countries and Mexico.
For more information please contact either myself or LESI Executive Director Chris Katopis (at email@example.com). Interested persons may obtain more information and also register online at www.lesi.org/events/gtif.
Since the industrial revolution manufacturing has meant cumbersome factories, production lines, machinery, labour and striving for the creation of economies of scales.
For a manufacturer to scale up, down or change a product line it has required a fair amount of effort, time and money.
But now revolution is in the air, driven by the development of 3D printing technology which is set to change manufacturing as we know it.
See John Hornicks speech on 3D Printing on YouTube via our LESANZ YouTube video.
Poor IP management is putting Australia's growth at risk.
Australia cannot rely on natural resources forever. read more......
After spending valuabletime and money designing nwe technology or equipment, the last think that a resources company needs is to be faced wiht patent infringement proceedings from a competitor who has already designed a similar product. read more......
16th August 2012
In a meeting yesterday, Alison McClelland, Presiding Commissioner of the Productivity Commission heard LESANZ propose that consideration be given to replacing the existing statutory provisions with a streamlined, potentially deregulated access regime which better reflects market forces in technology transfer. The regime should reflect the underlying purpose of the patents system, striking a balance between encouraging innovation on the one hand and, on the other, ensuring that innovative technological advances are made available to the Australian public to an appropriate extent.
LESANZ representatives noted that various regimes already exist to obtain access to patented technology, including:
The current statutory regimes for forcing access to patents under the Patents Act, include:
The meeting was suggested by the Productivity Commission, who released a wide ranging Issues Paper last week concerning compulsory licensing of patents. Senior representatives of the LESANZ Executive met Ms McClelland and eight members of the review team at the Commission’s Melbourne offices to discuss LESANZ’s thoughts on the Commission’s current review. The Commission has actively encouraged LESANZ to lodge a formal submission before the 28 September 2012 deadline.
We look forward to receiving comments from members to assist in preparing our submission. Please send your comments to Beth Benson at the secretariat or speak to an Executive member in person.
EcoCitizen - August 2012
Relivit is an exciting new start-up that recently beat 34 other business teams to win the Licensing
Executives Society (LES) Foundation Graduate Student Business Plan Competition.
For small businesses and start-ups, often the investment of protecting the intellectual property can be prohibitive and a roadblock to commercially developing an original idea.
The global 2012 LES Foundation Graduate Student Business Plan Competition is awarded annually to the team whose plan best deals with Intellectual Property (IP) rights and their use in the global business environment.
Many of Auckland’s homeless will sleep better this winter thanks to an innovative donation received by Auckland City Mission.
Eighty award-winning Backpack Beds designed and produced by Australian charity Swags for Homeless are being donated to the Mission this week by Simon Rowell, partner at James & Wells Intellectual Property, on behalf of the Licensing Executives Society International (LESI) whose Auckland conference attendees in April raised the funds for the Backpack Beds.
Otherwise known as ‘swags’, Backpack Beds meet 47 international standards and roll up to be worn like a backpack. They are fire retardant, waterproof, windproof, mildew resistant and also contain a fire retardant built-in mattress. This is the first time they will be available in New Zealand.
Auckland City Missioner Diane Robertson says they are very grateful for the donation and the Backpack Beds will be used as an emergency measure as winter approaches.
“Mission staff work closely with all our homeless clients, offering a comprehensive mix of services which aim to ultimately move people out of homelessness and into adequate accommodation. The reality is that homelessness is a complex issue that can’t be solved overnight and we do have a population that is sleeping rough.”
“The Backpack Beds will be used in the most desperate cases as an emergency measure: for example, when our street outreach homeless workers come across someone in desperate and immediate need. They will be particularly useful as winter sets in and the weather gets colder and wetter.”
The Backpack Bed has been used by more than 180 homeless charities globally, including organisations in Germany, the UK, and Australia. A Study has shown Backpack Beds improve homeless dignity, health, comfort and warmth. The Backpack Bed has won four global product design awards including Germany’s Red Dot ‘Best of the Best’ and is on display in three international museums.
LESI conference convenor Simon Rowell says the LESI delegates were moved by Swags for Homeless founder Tony Clark, who spoke to them about the patent pending Backpack Beds, and highlighted that about 80 people live rough in central Auckland each night.
“The conference theme was Commercialising Innovation to Save the World, and it is great that the LESI delegates, many from overseas, have actually been able to make a difference to some people’s lives, rather than talking about it at a conference.”
The winner of the LESANZ World IP Day Essay Prize, addressing the topic of ‘Innovation to Save the World’, is Rosemary Lenaghan.
Rosemary approached the topic by focussing on the opportunities for philanthropy which successful commercialisation of innovation provides. She selected two examples to support her thesis, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (www.gatesfoundation.org) and the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (www.sief.org.au).
The majority of the resources available to the Gates Foundation derive from the commercial activities of Microsoft. To a very large degree the commercial value of Microsoft is founded upon the intellectual property rights in its various software products. Even in an age characterised by concerns of widespread infringement, the licensing of intellectual property rights has been essential to creating the wealth which is now directed to the various philanthropic purposes of the Gates Foundation. That vast donation by Bill and Melinda Gates (some US$33.5 billion) has in turn influenced others (including, famously, Warren Buffet) to similarly direct funds towards ‘world saving’ projects and causes.
The Science and Industry Endowment Fund was established in 1926, however it was given new life through a gift of $150 million in 2009. That gift was made possible through the licensing of CSIRO’s Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) technology, fundamental to modern Wi-Fi systems. The Fund supports ongoing research in natural and applied sciences, including ICT, mathematics and engineering generally. In launching the Fund with these new funds in 2009, the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr observed that it was ‘a step towards an Australian endowment culture of scientific research …. made possible by CSIRO’s remarkable success in licensing WLAN to industry … It is the start of something significant and long term – reinvesting the fruits of successful adoption of Australian know-how back into our innovation system.’
LESANZ thanks Rosemary for her efforts in highlighting these important links between successful commercialisation of innovation and philanthropy, and congratulate her on winning the LESANZ World IP Day Prize.
Help us “Save the World” and win $500!
To celebrate World IP Day 2012, and hosting the LESI 2012 Annual Conference, LESANZ announces the following Essay Prize.
Inspired by the theme of the LESI 2012 Annual Conference, Commercialising Innovation to Save the World, the competition is open to all LESANZ members and the deadline for submissions to the LESANZ Secretariat is 13 April, 2012.
See details of Essay Prize
22 February 2012 - Scoop Business Online
28 October 2011
We are very pleased to report that this week, LESANZ received a letter from The Hon. Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, thanking the Society for its contribution to the public debate on the Patent Amendment (Human Genes and Biological Materials) Bill 2010.
On the 20th September you received, via broadcast, a copy of the LESANZ briefing paper to which Senator Carr has responded. This document was also circulated to heads of Federal Government and other bodies and/or individuals who had contributed to the debate.
In his letter to Dr Mark Horsburgh, President of LESANZ, Senator Carr noted "that LESANZ considers the existing safeguards in the Patents Act 1990 and the proposed infringement exemptions in the IP Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Bill 2011 are appropriate measures for ensuring that the public and researchers have access to patented technologies". He further noted that "I am concerned about the impact of the [Patent Amendment (Human Genes and Biological Materials) Bill 2010], which may not align to the broader objectives of our patent system". In mid September, the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee recommended that the Senate should not pass the Private Members' Bill. Senator Carr stated in his letter that "The Government will carefully consider the Committee's report and the impact of all policy options before we act", and acknowledged the contribution LESANZ has made in relation to this public debate.
LESANZ will keep members informed of any further developments on this debate and is grateful to the members and those on the Executive who contributed to the development of this position paper.
13 October 2011 - BRW
Licensing Executives Society Australia & New Zealand’s Simon Rowell wrote to BRW in response to Kath Walter's column 'When patents hinder progress', printed 13 Oct.
In her column, Kath outlined advice she had received "that a patent is only as good as your ability to protect it", suggesting that protection is expensive and often not worth the effort.
Here's Simon's response: To The Editor:
I write in response to the column by Kath Walters in your 13 – 19 October edition titled “When Patents Hinder Progress”.
Without a patent a new invention would likely be copied extremely quickly and the inventor wouldn’t have any chance of stopping it. Even if the patent deters or delays one competitor, the protection has paid for itself. If someone does infringe the patent, at least you know there’s someone very interested in using the invention – and a probable candidate to become a licensee of your technology. Without the patent, the inventor would have no leverage to force the infringer to pay a royalty.
Patents don’t always have to be about stopping someone from using your technology – in fact, it can often make far more sense to let others use your patent in return for a royalty. IBM is involved in continuous innovation, and patents prolifically. It openly licenses its innovations to competitors in return for royalty payments. It uses the royalty payments to fund new R&D, and this helps it lead the innovation race.
In my view, the advice given to Ms Walters, “that a patent is only as good as your ability to protect it’ is absolutely the wrong advice. Ninety percent of IP disputes never get anywhere near a court, and are resolved relatively quickly and without great expense. Frequently, a letter pointing out the infringer’s faux pas will do the trick, catching the infringer red handed. Without a patent, there’s no recourse - the competitor is entitled to copy your product without consequence.
You could even license the infringer to continue their activities in return for a royalty payment to you. The threat of court action means legal costs for the infringer, and the negative PR risk of being exposed as a rip off merchant. Without your patent protection, this deal would not be an option.
Ultimately, the opportunities that come with patenting innovation far outweigh the risks of going without.
Yours sincerely, Simon Rowell - Licensing Executives Society
1 October 2011 - The Australian
Not surprisingly, Carr's bill is backed by industry, including umbrella group the Licensing Executives Society of Australia and New Zealand. It favours enactment of the bill because it "includes the new exemptions that will operate to provide appropriate access to patented technologies".
30 September 2011 - The Australian
The government's long-awaited intellectual property reforms have been held up as instrumental to creating a better environment for innovation. But they are peripheral to what universities are most in need of right now.
20 September 2011 - Media Release
LESANZ's position paper and brief on the proposed Patent Amendment Bill 2010
1 August 2011 - Business Spectator
In an ideal world, a good idea would be recognised immediately and received the funding and support it needs to get off the ground....
24 June 2011 - Press Release
The Licensing Executives Society of Australia & New Zealand (LESANZ) has welcomed this week’s announcement of the introduction to Parliament and expected passage of proposed reforms to Australia’s intellectual property system....
20 June Australian Financial Review - Opinion Piece - page 28 - 2011
With the appointment of Don Russell as the new head of the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, it's time to talk about real change for Innovation in Australia.....
17 June Australian Life Scientists - Online Piece - 2011
The long awaited R&D Tax Credit will give a crucial boost to small innovative Australian biotechnology companies, says Karen Sinclair.....
16 June BioTechnology News - June 2011
Australian biotech companies can become more innovative and globally competitive with the help of the R&D tax incentive announced yesterday.
April Sydney Morning Herald, National Time, The Age, Brisbane Times websites - April 2011
March 2011 - Australian R&D Review
The mining boom won't last forever. In an I article I wrote last year, I warned that Australia needed a long term plan to build other revenue streams that will support the economy........
Nov 2010 - Australian R&D Review Magazine
The resources sector has seen a lot of attention over the last year...
Dec 2010 - Business Spectator Online
The stalling of R&D Tax Credit legislation has forced Australian companies into a holding pattern, says Mark Horsburgh, President-elect of LESANZ...
Oct 2010 - Australian R&D Review Magazine
The stalling of R&D Tax Credit legislation has forced Australian companies into a holding pattern, says Mark Horsburgh, President-elect of LESANZ...
July 2010 - Printed in NZ Lawyer
New Zealand needs a national IP Strategy to become internationally competitive, says Frik de Beer, a Trustee of LESANZ...
May 2010 - Printed in the Independent Financial Review, NZ
A group of intellectual property professionals wants the Government to create a national intellectual property (IP) strategy to ensure the scientific community can contribute more to commercial innovation...
March 2010 - Printed in the Australian R&D Review Magazine
The innovation landscape is ever-changing. A new corporate management approach, 'open innovation', reflects a growing trend for companies...
November 2009 - Printed in the Australian R&D Review Magazine
The Government's launch of its new Commercialisation Australia Funding body early next year...
26 October 2009 - Prepared on behalf of LESANZ by Jeff Bergmann - Trustee at Large
22 September 2009 - Printed in the Australian Fianancial Review
As a nation, our understanding and development of IP rights is at best ad hoc. This stituation was highlighted by the recent visit of the director-general of the WIPO, Francis Gurry...
26 August 2009 - audio interview with WA Regional Chair & 6PR Nightline
Local LESANZ Chair, Peter Caporn is interviewed on 6PR Nightline on the recent event in Perth. This interview also discusses Patents and IP in general. To listen to the interview, click on link below ....
August 2009 - Australian R&D Review Opinion Piece
For local innovation to succeed in a global context individuals and governments must understand and acknowledge the importance of securing intellectual property (IP) rights....
14 May 2009 - Australian Fianancial Review
Funding and regulartory hurdles are causing a worrying contraction in reaserah and development, writes Joanna Mather. Plans for a national commercialisation institute to take home-grown innovations to market and tax credits to boost business investment in research & development ...
for further details on this article - contact the Secretariat
As business and consumer confidence continues to plummet, the outlook for innovation in 2009 is uncertain. Yet a commitment to innovation could in fact help Australia tackle the ecomonic challenges it's facing...
14 May 2008
The Licensing Executives Society of Australia and New Zealand (LESANZ) today welcomed the potential for greater clarity on the position of Australian universities in commercializing new technology. This follows the move by the University of Western Australia (UWA) to appeal the recent dismissal...
8 May 2008
Australian biotechnology company, EcoRegen has been selected as the inaugural Global Winner of the 2008 Licensing Executives Society (LES) Foundation Graduate Student Business Plan Competition in Chicago, USA.