Despite our daily pressures, realize it or not we are
working for our family’s benefit and our later years.
One finding reviews tools to forecast and predict
what retirement might be for each of us.
Another finding talks about how states are dealing with
recent patent law changes and the evolution of patent
For those in important decision making positions
and who aspire to them, we report on factors that
affect decision making.
A bonus reference about manners is added at the end.
SOURCE: L. Moyer, WSJ 5-24-14, B7-B9, “Calculating
There are so many variables for calculating estimates
of whether you are on track and when you should
retire. Add to that the uncertainty of all the assumptions
that should be considered. Moyer reports on at least
8 on-line calculators and offers suggestions on SS
income, current and predicted savings and expenses,
life expectancy, inflation and rates of return.
At some point all of us will be doing this. This is
a worthwhile reference point.
SOURCE: R. Simon and A. Loten, WSJ 5-22-14, B6.
” States revise laws to curb patent trolls“
Recognizing the US Senate is not dealing effectively
with legal maneuvers of entities affecting use of
ATMs, email tools on fax machines and many others,
states are addressing perceived abuses of demand
letters from companies whose core is licensing and
EXECUTIVE BRAIN DECISION MAKING
SOURCE: A. Blackman, WSJ and Advisory.com
4-28-14, R1,R2 “Executive Brain“ 2
Deadlines and pressure limit thinking processes.
Finding resources to promote focus and relaxation
release our brain’s emotional centers to make better
decisions, the author writes. Uncertainty exaggerates
and restricts thinking.activity.
An adjacent article offers lightening the workload
is a worthwhile behavioral adjustment. [A Dizik]
BONUS: Mary Mitchell, “Modern Manners“
Contains thoughtful reminders and thinking behind the
action to help us behave and act professionally.
Science, technology and engineering are many times concerned
about holding patent protection, infringing on someone else’s
patent claims or having a competitor infringe on their existing
Patent trolls, where NPE non-productive entities hold rights to
patents and litigate against firms when they believe patent claims
have been infringed, provides a challenge to harm US manufacturers
and technological progress.
Ashby Jones summarized recent proposals to roll out executive orders
and seek legislation in June 5 WSJ (subscription required to view).
Two items of note in the article:
1- there is a 6-fold increase in “troll suits” from ‘06 to ‘12
2- legislative action, which is believed quite important, could have
unintended consequences for universities and research institutes who
have troll-like characteristics in that they license patents, rather
than bring products to market using patents.
University and tech transfer offices of institutes need to pay close
attention where this goes.
With much attention promoting the entrepreneurial
spirit for STEM graduates to excel and thrive,
Charles Duhigg has unearthed the evolution of
some roles patents play in a recent NYTimes
article and podcast.
Duhigg observes that we are now in the
iEconomy and that patents take on strategic
roles of defining new concepts even before
successful demonstrations or products are
prototyped as we have moved from an
industrial economy to a digital and often
We have written about patent trolls previously.
While these are mentioned, entrepreneurs are
paying attention to the patent landscape in “different
lights and using microscopes” when thinking about
business ventures, venture capitalists, competition
and the law.
One interesting area, new to me, is “standard essential”
patents that are significant in many software and presumably
hardware concepts. They are neatly defined by the
example of the railroad rail gauge on moving from one
state or country or company to another. In order for
the public to be served, standards had to be agreed upon
and set. Then, all users had to agree to license and
share for fair compensation.
Hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend, rather
than a mid-week day off. Hope you are well and not
affected by storms, heat waves and other natural
calamities. Our watch-outs are not about those.
They touch on what each of you likely already know
but seek more breadth in the applications of
breakthroughs and what seems to be evolving
with the tactics used by patent trolls. Finally,
how the IRS is going to locate errors in retirement
accounts and tax them.
SOURCE: Michael S. Malone, “The sources of
the next American boom,” WSJ, 7-5-12
While the chemical industry is abuzz with the
increasing supply of natural gas to make polymers
and fuel our homes and buildings, Malone
points out that there are clear evidences of
the next boom in four areas: nanoculture,
managing and inferring data from selected and
massive sources, moving from 3-D prototyping
to production and individual’s health maintenance
The comments are interesting.
SOURCE: A. Jones, “Patent Troll Tactics
Spread,” WSJ 7-9-12
Some large tech companies are developing
tactics to profit with nonpracticing entities
through legal efforts to monetize collected
patent portfolios. This interesting article is
just the tip of the iceberg for what is happening
on this fact changing area.
IRA ERRORS CAN LEAD TO FINES
SOURCE: K. Greene, “The Feds crack down on
IRA Errors, Part II“, WSJ 7-7-12
Four distinct topics appear in this piece, that
emphasize reading carefully and reporting
accurately your activities and the activities
one generation before and after yours. These
vehicles are 35 years old now and replace
an existing structure of pensions for a
large population. this article touches on
conversions and inheritance issues.
NEW PHARMA THERAPIES
Sources: R. Winslow, WSJ 6-6-11, P. 1
Emerging ability of researchers to use
biomarkers to develop and exploit
new therapies for cancer and other diseases.
While it does not offer a ‘cure’,
it offers personalized routes for
PATENT TROLLS AVOIDANCE
Source: S. Weinberg, WSJ 6-1-11
“Patent researcher turns tables on litigants“
Article One Partners advertises a product,
Litigation Avoidance, that aims to invalidate
poor quality patents that are held by
nonpracticing entities who seek to gain
from legal patent infringement.
Worth being aware of in high tech fields.
PETROCHEMICAL SUPPLY CHAIN
Source: S. Gold, WSJ 6-1-11, Exxon
fuels a chemicals drive,
ExxonMobil reported completing a
large raw petrochemical material project
in Singapore. It signals the continued
use of new supplies of petrochemicals and
positions for chemical engineers and