October 2013 archive

Too Many Fail to Audit their Licensing Agreements, Leaving Royalties on the Table

A patent and license portfolio can provide a consistent and reliable revenue stream. However, many companies have technology, trademarks, and merchandising opportunities that are not fully exploited. Even if fully licensed, there is often considerable upside available via vigilant enforcement of audit provisions to ensure all amounts due are paid. Unlike almost any other business …

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2013 Nobel Winners in Economics: Same Prize, Very Different Research

This morning, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences honored three Americans with the most prestigious award in Economics: the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel (more commonly known as the “Nobel Prize”). The honorees, Dr. Eugene Fama, Dr. Lars Peter Hansen, and Dr. Robert Shiller, received this award “for their …

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And the biggest whistleblower award goes to…

…nobody knows.  The recipient of a $14 million plus whistleblower award, the largest thus far, has chosen to remain anonymous and the SEC is legally obligated to protect his or her anonymity. In announcing the award, the SEC would only say that the original information and assistance provided by the whistleblower led to an SEC …

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$1.9 Million to Whistleblower CFO

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) ordered Clean Diesel Technologies Inc.(“CDTI”) to pay $1.9 million to its former chief financial officer in association with a violation of the whistleblower provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. OSHA determined that CDTI wrongfully terminated the former CFO in April 2010 after he warned the board …

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#1 Rice, #2 Southern Methodist University…Another Problematic College Ranking

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on a new university ranking, the Faculty Media Impact Project, which purports to measure “the degree to which faculty share their research with the broader public” relative to the amount of public funding received. Conducted by the Center for a Public Anthropology (“the Center”), the study quantifies professors’ impact …

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Government shutdown great for some businesses

I’m occasionally surprised by the variety of anecdotes that support theories of market efficiency and the rapid adaptation of consumer behavior in free economies. The recent government shutdown seems to have introduced one such case. CBS reports that traffic is suddenly booming for “sugar daddy” websites. The news organization quotes folks at seekingarrangement.com and whatsyourprice.com …

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According to a Scrawny Sample, Fatter Applicants are Less Likely to Get into Graduate School

A recently published article on “Weight Bias in Graduate School Admissions” (gated link here) inadvertently highlights the dangers of drawing global conclusions based on inappropriate samples. Based on responses from 97 applicants to one university’s psychology department, the study asserts that graduate applicants with a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) tend to receive significantly fewer …

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It costs $241,080 to raise a child and other reasons why averages can be completely uninformative

A popular news service reported that it costs $241,080 to raise a child and then remarked, “the cost of raising a child is climbing at a rate that many families can’t keep up with.” The news agency cites falling wages and lower employment rates as support for this struggle to keep up. A host of …

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New AAA Discovery Rules are in Effect

The American Arbitration Association (“AAA”)’s recent revisions to the AAA’s Commercial Arbitration Rules are effective for any AAA-administered arbitration filed on or after today, October 1.  One area of update is the discovery process. Going forward, unless otherwise agreed to by the parties, these new rules should make it easier for arbitrators to more closely control …

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Government Shutdown, What to Expect

It is Tuesday, October 1, 2013 and Congress has not been able to reach a compromise on a funding bill that could get the government running again.  One of the major stumbling blocks is the long-running dispute regarding President Obama’s health care reform law (commonly referred to as Obamacare).  The House would like Obamacare to …

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