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Archive for February, 2008

Tetra Tech Awarded Wind Energy Projects Valued at Approximately $150 Million – 27th Feb, 2008

Tetra Tech, Inc. announced today that it has been awarded three wind energy projects totaling approximately $150 million by PacifiCorp, one of the leading utilities in the western United States. Work on the three projects will begin immediately and is expected to be complete in December 2008. Tetra Tech will provide engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services for the Seven Mile Hill, Glenrock and Rolling Hills wind farm projects in Wyoming.

Each of the three wind projects will include 66 General Electric turbines and will be capable of generating 99 megawatts of power.

The Seven Mile Hill wind project is located in Carbon County, Wyoming, between the towns of Hanna and Medicine Bow. The Glenrock and Rolling Hills projects are located in Converse County, Wyoming, on a site that includes the reclaimed Dave Johnston Coal Mine, where surface mining operations took place for more than 40 years. Final reclamation of the mine was completed in November 2005, returning the land to its pre-mining appearance.

“Many clients are seeking full-service solutions for their wind power development projects,” said Dan Batrack, Tetra Tech’s CEO. “Tetra Tech has been involved in 70 wind projects in 35 states and is continuing to expand its capability and experience in this growing market.”

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Genentech’s Cabilly patent rejected for fourth time – 27th Feb, 2008

For the fourth time in less than three years, federal authorities have rejected a key patent worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Genentech, the South San Francisco biotechnology giant.

But it’s unlikely the decision by the USPTO regarding the so-called Cabilly patent, which deals with a technique for making antibodies and cells, will have an immediate effect on the company.

Genentech spokeswoman Caroline Pecquet said the firm’s executives haven’t seen the latest decision and haven’t determined how they will respond. But Pecquet noted that when the agency previously rejected the patent, it agreed to reconsider the matter at the company’s request.

The corporation also has the option of filing a formal appeal with the patent office and, if that fails, with the federal courts. Until all appeals are exhausted, the patent remains in effect and Genentech can continue receiving royalty payments from other firms that use the technology.

The patent – which the company obtained in 2001 and expires in 2018 – earned the company $133 million last year, according to an annual report Genentech released Tuesday.

The legitimacy of the Cabilly patent has been challenged by MedImmune of Maryland. That company pays Genentech royalties for using the technology in a drug it sells to treat respiratory diseases.

MedImmune, which has sought since 2005 to have the patent invalidated, also sued Genentech in 2003 over the dispute. That trial is scheduled to begin in June.

After Genentech announced the patent decision, its stock price fell 46 cents to close at $77.50 Tuesday.

Intel, AMD, Nvidia, Sun sued – Feb 20, 2008

A FIRM HAS SUED AMD, Nvidia, Intel, Sun, Raza Microelectronics and Real Networks, alleging they breach a patent it owns.

The patent in question is 6,629,163 with the inspiring name of “Methods and System for Demultiplexing a First Sequence of Packet Components to Identify Specific Components Wherein Subsequent Components are Processed without Re-identifying Components.”

Implicit Networks alleges Intel uses this patent in its Viiv technology, AMD and Raza use it in ATI and Alechemy products, Nvidia uses it in its Stant Media software, Sun uses it in its Java Media Framework, while Real uses it in its Helix DNA client.

Sony, Motorola Accused of Infringing Professor’s LED Patent – Feb 20, 2008

Motorola Inc. and Hitachi Ltd. were among 34 companies accused of violating a retired Columbia University professor’s patent for light-emitting diodes and laser diodes.

Gertrude Neumark Rothschild filed the complaint today with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington. She is seeking to block U.S. imports of products that she says infringe the patent, including video players using Sony’s Blu-ray format, Motorola’s Razr mobile phones and Hitachi camcorders.

Companies named in the complaint include Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., LG Electronics Inc. and Samsung Group, makers of Blu-ray DVD players, as well as Toshiba Corp., which said yesterday it would abandon the HD DVD format that challenged Sony in the market for high-definition video.

Nokia Oyj, the world’s biggest mobile-phone maker, and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, the joint venture between Tokyo-based Sony and Ericsson AB of Sweden, also were named in the complaint.

Chinese courts see surge of foreign-related intellectual property rights cases – Feb 21, 2008

China has seen a surge in foreign-related intellectual property rights (IPR) court cases since joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001.

Domestic courts nationwide tried and concluded 668 such cases in first instance last year, compared with only 43 in 2001.

Local courts concluded 1,634 such cases in first instance during the period, an annual growth of 58 percent.

Cao Jianming, Supreme People’s Court vice president, attributed the surge to the country’s opening-up process and development of foreign trade.

IPR protection has risen in importance on China’s judiciary agenda. Since 2001, the supreme court has ordered the establishment of special courts for IPR cases nationwide and lowered the threshold to prosecute people manufacturing or selling counterfeit products.

China has staged consistent fights against piracy, destroying pirated books and DVDs in public, trading counterfeit DVDs for movie tickets and raiding factories churning out fakes.

Chinese President Hu Jintao promised the implementation of a new “national strategy” on IPR protection at the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) last October.

iVoice, Inc. Announces New Patent Application Filing on Methodology for Wirelessly Loading Over-The-Counter Medicine & Prescription Bottle Containers with Voice Instructions Through Wireless Technology – 13 Feb, 2008

iVoice, Inc.  announced today it has filed an additional patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The application is titled: Methodology for Wirelessly Loading Speaking Medicine Containers, with an internal clock.The invention relates to speaking instruction medicine containers. The new feature includes a compliant warning having an internal clock, medicine container starting table count, required consumption data, and programming. The internal clock is started when a patient activates the audio playback start means for a first time. When a user subsequently activates the audio playback start means at a later time, the microprocessor plays back a regimen message advising the user that a predetermined number of tablets should be remaining in the medicine container at this time, and if that predetermined number of tables remaining is in excess by a predetermined amount, the patient is advised to contact a doctor or pharmacist. The microprocessor calculates current tablet count based upon the first activation, the total starting tablet count, and the tablet consumption rate data.

Innovation Alliance’s study finds no pattern of runaway patent verdicts – 13Feb, 2008

The Innovation Alliance is concluding that there is no pattern of runaway verdicts in patent cases based on its own survey of jury damages in 93 cases in 2005, 2006, and 2007.

The group, an alliance of technology companies and inventors, opposes passage of the Patent and Reform Act of 2007, which is currently under consideration by the U.S. Senate, and that among other things would limit damages in patent disputes.

The analysis was performed by the Paul Janicke, a professor at University of Houston Law Center, who gathered the list of jury damage verdicts and also looked at what happened after the jury returned the verdict.

The analysis found that in 47 of the 93 cases, the jury found damages of $2 million or more, but that judges did not necessarily “rubber stamp” these.

Of the 10 highest verdicts, four were set aside by the trial judge, one was found to be not supported by the evidence and a new trial was granted, one resulted in a settlement, one was affirmed, two resulted in increased awards based on the defendant’s conduct, and one remains under consideration.

Groups advocating for the patent reform act have noted a $600 million settlement in a long drawn-out battle between Research In Motion of Ontario, Canada, and NTP Inc., a Virginia-based patent holding company.

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