July 10, 2014
Posted in News

Canon, Dropbox, Google, and Other Companies Cooperate Against Patent Trolls

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Patent Trolls

Canon press release:

Asana, Canon, Dropbox, Google, Newegg and SAP Announce Formation of New Cooperative Patent-Licensing Agreement

TOKYO, July 10, 2014—Asana, Canon Inc., Dropbox, Google, Newegg and SAP today announced the formation of the License on Transfer (LOT) Network, a cooperative patent-licensing agreement that will cut down on patent troll litigation and the growing practice of patent privateering.

Patent litigation reached an all-time peak last year, with more than 6,000 lawsuits filed. Most of those suits came from non-practicing entities, also known as patent trolls—companies that don’t have a business outside of licensing and litigating patents.

More than 70 percent of the patents used by trolls come from still-operating companies. Indeed, in a growing trend called privateering, companies are selling patents to trolls that then use those patents to attack other companies. In some cases, those companies arrange to get a cut of revenue generated from the trolls’ suits.

The LOT agreement is a new kind of royalty-free cross-license meant to address these growing systemic problems. Member companies receive a license when the patents are transferred out of the LOT group. That means that companies retain their right to enforce a patent so long as they retain ownership of it. However, as soon as it is sold, a license to the other members becomes effective, protecting them from attacks by the troll to which the patent was sold.

The agreement includes several other provisions that preserve a patent portfolio’s value, including carve-outs for certain M&A transactions and change of control.

The initial members of the LOT Network range from early-stage startups to established technology companies. Together they own almost 300,000 patent assets, generate more than $117 billion in revenue and employ more than 310,000 people.

“The LOT Network is a sort of arms control for the patent world,” said Allen Lo, deputy general counsel for patents at Google. “By working together, we can cut down on patent litigation, allowing us to focus instead on building great products.”

“Startups need to overcome many risks before they can become mature, thriving companies. The LOT Network is a powerful and creative new idea that will help ensure that patent abuse need not be one of them,” said Dustin Moskovitz, cofounder of teamwork software provider Asana.

“The LOT Network provides a unique mechanism for reducing patent troll threats while maintaining a portfolio’s primary significance and value,” said Kenichi Nagasawa, director and group executive of Canon Inc.’s Corporate Intellectual Property & Legal Headquarters. “Through the further expansion of the LOT Network, I look forward to the patent system restoring its sound functionality.”

“We believe that patents should never be used to stifle innovation,” said Brett Alten, IP counsel at Dropbox, “The LOT network is a creative solution to fight patent abuse that becomes more effective with each company that joins. The more participants there are, the better off we’ll all be.”

“Newegg has a very strong history of successfully battling patent trolls, and the License on Transfer Network is another valuable tool that helps protect participants from frivolous patent litigation,” said Soren Mills, chief marketing officer of Newegg North America. “We’re very happy to join forces with Google and other leading technology companies to preserve the spirit of innovation that’s so vital to our collective well-being.”

“The structure of the LOT Network helps protect innovative patent owners from unwarranted litigation, without stifling valid, beneficial uses of patents, such as cross-licensing,” said Anthony DiBartolomeo, senior vice president and chief IP counsel at SAP. “As long as a company owns their patent they retain all their rights to it.”

More information is available at http://www.lotnet.com.

July 9, 2014
Posted in Deals

Hot Deal: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS – $640

EF 24-105mm f/4L IS Top Rated Plus eBay seller 6ave (99.2% positive ratings) has the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM on sale for $639.99. Free shipping in the US, limited stock. Compare to $1,199
July 9, 2014
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Posted in News

Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM Available At Digitalrev ($399/£259/€359)

Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM

DigitalRev might be the first of the big and serious retailers to have Canon’s new EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM for EOS M systems ready to be purchased. Waiting time for your order to be delivered should be around 2 weeks.

DigitalRev sells the EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM for  $399/£259/€359 (price in € is computed for Germany), which most probably will be the most competitive price you will ever see for this lens. Shipping is free and all custom taxes are included in the price (for EU and Asia customers; US customers have to check this, since it depends by the state). DigitalRev also has the outstanding EF-M 11-22mm IS STM (not available in the US) in stock and ready to ship, this is my favorite lens on the Canon EOS M.

EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM specs:

  • Compact zoom lens that takes you closer
  • Optical Image Stabilizer
  • Smooth, near-silent STM focusing
  • Make quick adjustments with a manual focus ring
  • Great quality images that you’ll be proud of
  • Designed to make great photography easy
  • Lens Construction: 17 elements in 11 groups
  • Closest Focusing Distance: 1m
  • Filter Size: 52mm
  • Max. Diameter x Length: 60.9 x 86.5mm
  • Weight: 260g

Product description after the break.

Read the rest of this entry →

July 9, 2014
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Posted in Pics

Pic Of The Day: My Neighbors In Old Manali (EOS 70D & Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8)

Old Manali

35mm, 1/800, f/2, ISO 100

Neighbors #6 by CW Steve on 500px

Unfortunately I had an accident with the motorbike while travelling to Ladakh. I injured my left hand and now I am stuck here in Old Manali, India, for some time. I spend most of the day walking around this mountain village, chatting with the people and taking pictures.

The pic above is one of my favourites so far. Shot with the Canon EOS 70D and the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM, post-processed in Adobe Lightroom 5 and Perfect Photo Suite 8.

July 9, 2014
Posted in News

Canon Sustainability Report 2014 Published

Canon Sustainability Report

Canon published their Canon Sustainability Report 2014.

Press release:

Notice regarding the publication of Canon Sustainability Report 2014

Canon Inc. is pleased to announce that it has published Canon Sustainability Report 2014, which introduces various activities carried out by the Canon Group in 2013.

The Canon Group promotes its CSR activities in line with the basic policy of contributing to the realization of a better society as a good corporate citizen, effectively leveraging the company’s advanced technological strengths, global business deployment and diverse, specialized human resources.

This year’s report highlights the company’s initiatives aimed at reducing CO2 emissions throughout the product lifecycle along with examples of Canon products contributing to society in such categories as medical equipment, network cameras and mixed reality. It also presents Canon’s support for local communities hardest hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake through the Tsuzuri Project, which promotes the preservation and practical use of precious cultural assets, and introduces activities being carried out by Canon Wind, a special subsidiary, to expand job opportunities for persons with disabilities. Additionally, targeting improved reliability and objectivity, the report includes a third-party verification on the Canon Group’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Aiming to become a corporate group that keeps growing together with communities and society, Canon will continue pursuing CSR initiatives in accordance with the needs of each country and region.

Canon Sustainability Report 2014 is now available for download from the Canon CSR website in a PDF format. Separate PDF files are also available by individual topic.

Note: Canon Sustainability Report 2014 is not available in printed booklet form.

July 9, 2014
Posted in Deals

Deal Alert: Samsung 64GB SDXC Pro UHS-1 Class 10 Memory Card – $32 (Adorama)

 

isgmbsgcgbam Adorama has Samsung 64GB SDXC Pro UHS-1 Class 10 memory cards on sale for just $31.95 (+ free shipping)
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