Archive for the ‘Intellectual Property’ Category

Some user generated databases

Monday, August 8th, 2011

KEI is interested in the development of sustainable mechanisms to strengthen the evidence for public policy decisions. One element of this work concerns user generated databases, an area of considerable interest, but mixed experience, in recent years. The following are examples of several such projects, beginning with the excellent Ensembl project, followed by several others of varying degrees of success in their implementation.

As this brief list shows, there are all sorts of ways to design and manage user generated databases. In some cases, the database services seem to be set up more to showcase a technology or an idea for a platform. In other cases, the database is a focused effort to solve a practical and well identified user interest. Some are run by for profit companies, others by non-profits, individuals or communities. The databases take different approaches in terms of database design, attention to standards for data formats, and governance, among other issues.

The Ensembl Project

The Ensembl project produces genome databases for vertebrates and other eukaryotic species, and makes this information freely available online. The Ensembl project was started in 1999, some years before the draft human genome was completed. Even at that early stage it was clear that manual annotation of 3 billion base pairs of sequence would not be able to offer researchers timely access to the latest data. The goal of Ensembl was therefore to automatically annotate the genome, integrate this annotation with other available biological data and make all this publicly available via the web. Since the website’s launch in July 2000, many more genomes have been added to Ensembl and the range of available data has also expanded to include comparative genomics, variation and regulatory data.

The number of people involved in the project has also steadily increased. Currently, the Ensembl group consists of between 40 and 50 people, divided in a number of teams. (more…)

Notes from Pfizer’s 2010 report to investors

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

Pfizer’s 2010 Financial Report for investors covers a number of topics.

Where does Pfizer sell its drugs? The U.S. represented 42.8 percent of Pfizer’s 2010 sales. Western Europe and Scandinavian countries were 24.6 percent. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and South Korea were 14.9 percent. Together, these high income countries were 82.3 percent of Pfizer’s 2010 sales.

Pfizer calls the other Asian countries, plus Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe, “emerging markets.” This segment had 17.7 percent of Pfizer sales in 2010, up from 14.9 percent in 2008. In 2010, the “emerging markets” were 72 percent of the sales in Western Europe and Scandinavia, and growing at a faster rate. (more…)


Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

This is a playlist I created at Grooveshark last March. I’m not sure how they do this, in terms of legal issues. (more…)

Country of inventor and assignee, for USPTO issued patents mentioning cancer

Monday, July 4th, 2011

On July 3, 2011, I searched the USPTO database patents issued from 1995 to 2010 that mention the word cancer in the specification field. There were a total of 81,062 such patents. Then I narrowed the search to find out how many patents have at least one inventor (there are often multiple inventors). who was listed as a resident of a country other than the U.S. The number of patents by country of the inventor are reported in figure 1. (more…)

USPTO’s summer indoctrination programs for intellectual property officials

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

This is the May to August schedule for the USPTO’s Global Intellectual Property Academy (GIPA).

Among the countries mentioned in the schedule are Ghana, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Liberia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine and Vietnam. However, many of these events are regional or topical meetings that include officials from many other countries. The costs of these operations have to be fairly substantial. (more…)