Greetings to our friends, clients and colleagues!
It was nice seeing many of you at the
LES USA-Canada 2019 Annual Meeting in Phoenix
this past week. Some of my
are included in this newsletter.
During the Annual Meeting, I have officially concluded my term as Chair of the High Tech Sector of LES USA-Canada, a 3-year term where we have seen the sector grow to over 800 members (making it the largest sector of LES). Over the past year, the High Tech Sector offered 17 webinars on various topics, from data security to AI to licensing in China. We now have 8 subcommittees, with 2 new ones (Blockchain and Fintech, and Data and Cybersecurity) added over the last year. Our webinars engaged over 1,300 registrants, about 1/3 of which are non-LES members. Finally, perhaps one of my proudest achievements, is having increased the representation of women in high tech sector leadership to 20% over the past year. To stay connected and get involved in sector and LES activities, please visit the
Also in this newsletter is our
IP News Digest
highlighting stories from our Twitter feed, covering a range of topics, from building an IP portfolio in the cannabis industry, to Copyright issues related to photography.
Finally, we are still looking for speakers for some of our upcoming events. Also, if you have not had a chance to attend the previous 2 presentations of our popular "IP in IPO" webinar, I will be giving it for the third time on Halloween day (Oct. 31st), this time under the auspices of the Business Valuation Resources (BVR) professional training organization, who asked that I give this webinar to their members. Please visit the
section of this newsletter to sign up!
One of my highlights from the meeting was speaking on IP valuation considerations in M&A, as part of an expert panel dedicated to the topic of valuation and taxation considerations in M&A (see panel photo below). I was joined on the panel by two corporate taxation specialists: Peter Chapman (ON Semiconductor), and Oren Ben-Dor (Microsoft), and the panel was skillfully moderated by Nick Baciu (Ocean Tomo). Below are my top 5 takeaways from the panel:
- The Trump Tax Reform has made foreign acquisitions more expensive.
- Tax structure should follow the business strategy, which is a shift in paradigm from the decades-old approach where business strategy followed the tax planning.
- When it comes to IP, legal ownership and economic ownership are two very different concepts for tax purposes; this is particularly critical post-acquisition when the buyer decides where to locate the assets.
- Internally-generated intangible assets are not reported at all on the balance sheet of the seller, and many of them get valued for the first time at their fair value by the buyer, post-acquisition.
- Goodwill impairments are usually a sign of failed acquisitions.
IP News Digest
In markets like technology, the idea of intellectual property (IP) is pretty well understood. Create a unique invention, patent it, and then enforce it against anyone who tries to copy you. There is a strong body of case law to back up claims and at this point, many courts are well-versed on the ins and outs of these kinds of patents.
But in the nascent cannabis industry, the art of creating and protecting IP is still evolving and it is critical for creating true differentiation between companies and their product and service offerings.
Online retailer Amazon has taken a step into the legal services industry, launching a curated network of IP law firms providing trademark registration services at pre-negotiated rates.
The goal of the new
Amazon Intellectual Property Accelerator
is to help companies more quickly obtain IP rights for their brands and access to brand-protection features in Amazon's stores. It specifically targets small- and medium-sized businesses by making it easier and more cost effective for them to protect their ideas.
If an artificially intelligent system creates a new product, should patent offices recognize it as the inventor?
That's the question at the center of a case making its way through patent offices in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East, one that business leaders and lawyers say is posing fundamental questions that could alter how centuries-old patent systems around the world operate.
Copyrights protect original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. When photographers take pictures of individuals, there are substantial questions regarding the elements that should be attributed to the photographer's creativity so that the work has the requisite originality for protection.
Typically, the photographer's choices regarding composition, lighting, focus, depth of field, and filtering, among many other elements, provide a sufficient basis to extend copyright protection to almost any photograph. Thus, when artists reproduce or use a photographer's image in their pieces without permission, the photographer has a legitimate basis to complain.
Call for Speakers
We are looking for speakers to join some of our upcoming events. If any of the descriptions below fits your qualifications, please respond to this email (
) with the email header "Speaker Opportunity":
- Startup expert (focusing on Unicorns or similar high value startups), who is either an entrepreneur, an investor or a lawyer, who can address the IP strategy of the startup and how it impacts its growth and valuation (for the IPWatchdog CON2020 in Dallas, Texas).