Explosives prevent technology theft

<p>Explosives prevent technology theft</p>

The holographic structure on the frisbee glistens colorfully. It is unique to this batch and makes the product forgery-proof. Explosives are used to emboss the original pattern into the injection moulding tool. This method can be used to give copy protection to industrial goods, and also mass-produced goods such as DVDs or medical pills and tablets. The patented technology was developed by Günter Helferich of the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT in Pfinztal. He will receive one of the 2009 Joseph von Fraunhofer prizes for developing an explosive embossing method for the holographic nano-structuring of steel surfaces, as a protection against plagiarism. The necessity for this is obvious – forged products account for approximately 10 per cent of total world trade volume. This not only destroys jobs – approximately 70,000 per year in Germany, according to the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce – but is also relevant to the question of product liability.

Explosive embossing makes it possible to imprint structures directly onto metal surfaces. This method can even be used to transfer the structures of soft holographic embossing templates – nickel shims – into mould inserts for injection moulding. Moulds structured in this way enable plastic products to be produced for the mass market with a clearly visible hologram as a copy protection. This can be done during the production process of the original and without an additional production step. All components can be clearly identified by the 'fingerprint' moulded into the plastic. In addition, the use of conventional galvanic baths or etching baths can be reduced.

Full story.

Please visit Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Too Casual To Sit on Press Row?

Bloggers' Credentials Boosted With Seats at the Libby Trial

By Alan Sipress
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 11, 2007; D01

 

When the trial of Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice opens next week, scores of journalists are expected to throng the federal courtroom in Washington, far too many for the 100 seats set aside for the media.

But for the first time in a federal court, two of these seats will be reserved for bloggers. After two years of negotiations with judicial officials across the country, the Media Bloggers Association, a nonpartisan group with about 1,000 members working to extend the powers of the press to bloggers, has won credentials to rotate among his members. The trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the highest-ranking Bush administration official to face criminal charges, could "catalyze" the association's efforts to win respect and access for bloggers in federal and state courthouses, said Robert Cox, the association's president.

The new validation doesn't necessarily clarify the blurry line between bloggers and traditional journalists at a time when millions of people are discovering that they can project their opinions and expertise around the world with just a few keystrokes. The debates over the traditional checks-and-balances process that journalists follow are continuing, and some bloggers are resisting efforts to be put under the umbrella of the traditional news media.

Full story.

Please visit Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Where Real Money Meets Virtual Reality, The Jury Is Still Out

By Alan Sipress
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 26, 2006; A01

Veronica Brown is a hot fashion designer, making a living off the virtual lingerie and formalwear she sells inside the online fantasy world Second Life. She expects to have earned about $60,000 this year from people who buy her digital garments to outfit their animated self-images in this fast-growing virtual community.

But Brown got an unnerving reminder last month of how tenuous her livelihood is when a rogue software program that copies animated objects appeared in Second Life. Scared that their handiwork could be cloned and sold by others, Brown and her fellow shopkeepers launched a general strike and briefly closed the electronic storefronts where they peddle digital furniture, automobiles, hairdos and other virtual wares.

"It was fear, fear of your effort being stolen,'' said Brown, 44, whose online alter ego, Simone Stern, trades under the name Simone! Design.

Brown has reopened her boutique but remains uncomfortably aware that the issue of whether she owns what she makes -- a fundamental right underpinning nearly all businesses -- is unresolved.

As virtual worlds proliferate across the Web, software designers and lawyers are straining to define property rights in this emerging digital realm. The debate over these rights extends far beyond the early computer games that pioneered virtual reality into the new frontiers of commerce.

"Courts are trying to figure out how to apply laws from real life, which we've grown accustomed to, to the new world," said Greg Lastowka, a professor at Rutgers School of Law at Camden in New Jersey. "The law is struggling to keep up."

U.S. courts have heard several cases involving virtual-world property rights but have yet to set a clear precedent clarifying whether people own the electronic goods they make, buy or accumulate in Second Life and other online landscapes. Also unclear is whether people have any claim when their real-life property is depicted online, for instance in Microsoft's new three-dimensional renderings of actual real estate.

The debate is assuming greater urgency as commerce gains pace in virtual reality. In Second Life, where nearly 2 million people have signed up to create their own characters and socialize with other digital beings, the virtual economy is booming, with total transactions in November reaching the equivalent of $20 million. Second Life's creator, Linden Lab, allows members to exchange the electronic currency they accumulate online with real U.S. dollars. Last month, people converted about $3 million at the Lindex currency market.

Second Life's economy has been surging since Linden Lab made the unusual decision three years ago to grant users intellectual property rights for what they create with the Web site's free software tools. Thousands of people have created homes and businesses on virtual land leased from the site and are peddling virtual items as varied as yachts and ice cream.

Full story.

Please visit Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.