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Patent Baristas

Some interesting news out of Government Executive Magazine.  Yes, I know you read this religiously.  That is to say, you read it while praying the government doesn’t do yet more stupid things.  A recent survey among federal employees shows “More than half of federal workers value creativity and innovation in their jobs.”

The Partnership for Public Service and the Hay Group found 63.3 percent of employees gave the government a positive score on innovation. Or, about 36.7 percent think they’re stuck in a creativity black hole.  The percentage was based on questions posed in the Office of Personnel Management’s annual survey of federal employee attitudes; the 2010 survey included more than 263,000 employees from 32 large agencies, 34 small agencies and 224 agency subcomponents.

The questions posed were:

  1. I am constantly looking for ways to do my job better.
  2. I feel encouraged to come up with new and better ways of doing things.
  3. Creativity and innovation are rewarded.

What’s interesting is that when asked an “I” question, 91.4 percent said they personally were constantly looking for ways to do their jobs better.  What drags down the scores is that only 39% percent of employees felt their agency rewarded creativity and innovation, and 59.6 percent of respondents said they felt agencies and managers encouraged them to devise new and better ways of doing things.  How can all the employees be simultaneously acting to innovate while being put down by the man.  They are the man!

So, how did the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office fare? It ranked 215 out of 223 agencies surveyed.  OK, I get that NASA ranked number one with a 78.8% innovation score.  They are rocket scientists, right?  But the Patent Office is all about invention.  It came in with a score of 54.6, just slightly higher than the U.S. Mint.  What really pulled down the score?  Just 29.2% agreed that creativity and innovation are rewarded.

Employees need to feel invested in innovation, so reward them for suggesting great ideas that fly and for “failing fast” with ones that don’t quite get off the ground.  Employees who are empowered to express their creativity and think outside the box are more likely to feel compelled to help increase productivity.   If you reward innovation and creativity, you can create a workforce committed to improving the bottom line.

If it’s true that 80% of innovations occur by mistake, then we need to encourage trying new ideas.  Sure, most new ideas will fail, but trying is the only way to get to ideas that succeed.

I am encouraged by the report on “10 Apps Changing Government.  It would be great to have a PAIR system app on your iPhone for looking at records at the PTO.  But then, remember the EFS/PASAT software debacle that required applicants to assemble an application into an open-standard XML format?

What’s really scary is that you can purchase GovernmentExecutive.com swag, including the NextGov baby onesie.  Maybe I should give one away.  Hmmmm.

(via Hal Wegner)

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This is the first of a series of articles on IP and Antitrust issues. This article introduces the topic and the governing laws and guidelines. The next few articles will deal with intellectual property licensing practices, patent pooling and cross-licensing, antitrust/anti-competitive issues in the field of licensing, effects of restrictions in intellectual property licenses and the antitrust consequences of the bundling of various types of intellectual property rights.

We live in a rapidly evolving world where intellectual property is fast replacing physical, real property as assets of a corporation. This means that laws existing for traditional business operations must be stretched to encompass this new form of property. Antitrust laws starting with the Sherman Act, Clayton Act and terminating into the Federal Trade Commission Act must be interpreted in light of their application to intellectual property.

Within intellectual property, as we know there exist several branches. However, we confine ourselves to patents specifically, as this is a dominant form of assets for most corporations. Discussing patents and antitrust laws in the same topic is quite ironic. While antitrust laws prohibit any contract in restraint of trade (See Section 1 of the Sherman Act below), patents on the other hand grant the patent holder unlimited, albeit negative rights of excluding competitors from making, using, selling or otherwise exploiting the invention. The Supreme Court in the Standard Oil Case interpreted Section 1 as prohibiting only restraints of trade that unreasonably restrict competition.

Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, is declared to be illegal. Every person who shall make any contract or engage in any combination or conspiracy hereby declared to be illegal shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding $100,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $1,000,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court. 15  U.S.C. § 1

So how does one bridge the gap between antitrust laws and patent laws? Is one to understand that patent laws are inherently monopolistic in nature? In which case, the Congressional intent in enacting the Sherman, Clayton and FTC Acts is questionable. Is it that patent laws are divest from the purview of antitrust laws or can they be viewed as two sides of the same coin- aiding and abetting one another in enhancing consumer welfare and promoting innovation?  “[T]he aims and objectives of patent and antitrust laws may seem, at first glance, wholly at odds. However, the two bodies of law are actually complementary, as both are aimed at encouraging innovation, industry and competition.” Atari Games Corp. v. Nintendo of America, Inc., 897 F.2d 1572, 1576.  One may seek recourse to case laws, old and new, in addition to the various FTC reports in order to make sense of this conundrum.

If one is to subscribe to Judge Posner’s view, then one can arrive at a conclusion immediately as he held that exercise of monopoly power, including setting up monopolistic prices is not in contravention to antitrust laws as long as such monopoly was acquired by lawful means.

FTC’s last report on antitrust and patents addresses a number of issues such as refusals to license patents, collaborative standard setting, patent pooling, intellectual property licensing, the tying and bundling of intellectual property rights, and methods of extending market power conferred by a patent beyond the patent’s expiration.

Patents as discussed above grant exclusive rights to inventors to exclude others from exploiting the patented invention without appropriate license. These laws thus promote innovation, commercialization and further improvements by making public disclosure of the inventive steps mandatory.

Antitrust laws, for their part, ensure that new technologies, products and services are bought, sold, traded in a competitive environment. They also make sure that all commercial transactions are free from collusions, anticompetitive mergers and monopolistic tendencies.

The intellectual property laws and antitrust laws share a common goal in that they both promote innovation and consumer welfare by prohibiting actions such as imitation without compensation, monopolistic prices and an oligopoly, which inhibits a fair market. The two are thus wedded to each other.

The Antitrust-IP Guidelines have been an indispensable part of the Agencies’ analysis of intellectual property and antitrust issues. In brief, the guidelines emphasize three general principles:

  1. Antitrust rules apply to intellectual property agreements as they would apply to agreements involving any other form of property.
  2.  Possession of any form of intellectual property does not by itself create a market power. The presence of substitutes for the patented product or process prevents exercise of market power and
  3.  That intellectual property licensing is not in contravention to competition issues as it allows firms to combine intellectual property rights with other complementary rights of production such as manufacturing and production facilities and workforces.  Antitrust-IP Guidelines §2-1

We end this segment with the analysis of a landmark care of Image Technical Services, Inc., v. Eastman Kodak Co., 125 F.3d 1195, which clarifies the concept of market power. Kodak manufactures and sells photocopiers and micrographic equipment as well as replacement parts for its equipment. Kodak began restricting plaintiffs’ access to its photocopier and micrographic parts. Kodak also secured agreements from their equipment manufacturers not to sell parts to the plaintiffs.

Section 2 of the Sherman Act reads inter alia, “Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopoloze, or combine or conspire with any other persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce…[commits a felony].”  15 U.S.C. §2

Market power can be shown to exist via circumstantial evidence or direct evidence. Circumstantial evidence must: “(i) define the relevant market, (ii) show that the defendant owns a dominant share of that market, and (iii) show that there are significant barriers to entry and show that existing competitors lack the capacity to increase their output in the short run.” Rebel Oil Co. Inc., v. Atlantic Richfield Co., 51 F.3d 1421, 1434.

In this case, the court held that Kodak had held monopolies over the photocopier parts market as well as the micrographic parts market. Kodak tried to argue (unsuccessfully) that each part constituted a separate market and that the plaintiffs should demonstrate that they could not obtain nonpatented parts and that the failure to obtain that particular part was a result of Kodak’s monopoly over service.

However, it seems obvious that each of the numerous parts of equipment is required for functioning of the photocopier or micrograph. Therefore, the individual parts cannot be bifurcated into as many markets.

The second element of market share is thus calculated. A dominant share of the market carries with it the power to control the output across the market and thereby control prices. Id. at 1437.  Since Kodak controls nearly 100% of the parts market and 80-95% of the service market, with no readily available substitutes, it suffices to assume that Kodak controls the market.

The third factor of monopoly power is in regards to barriers to market entry and barriers to expansion. Common entry barriers include patents or other licenses, control of essential or superior resources, entrenched buyer preferences, high capital entry costs and economies of scale. United States v. Syufy Enterprises, 903 F.2d 659, 663. The court found Kodak to hold 220 patents, control of its designs and tools, brand name power and manufacturing capability. Kodak was also found to control its own original-equipment manufacturers through various contract arrangements. Court found a high barrier to entry to new manufacturers.

The Court also sought to harmonize antitrust principles with those of intellectual property. Despite the tension between the two, it is clear that –

  1.  patent holders are not immune from antitrust liability and
  2.  patent holders may refuse to sell or license protected work.

A monopolist who acquires a dominant position through obtaining intellectual property rights may violate §2 of Sherman Act if the monopolist exploits the dominant position to enhance monopoly in another market. Thus intellectual property rights do not confer an absolute immunity from antitrust liabilities.

In conclusion, the general understanding is that refusal on part of the patent holder to grant a license does not in itself create antitrust liabilities. It is only conditional refusals to grant licenses that create barrier to entry or future growth that give rise to antitrust claims.

Today’s post is by Guest Barista Shalini Menezes of ::O.bi:t.er: D:ic.t:um.

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In Clean Tech Intellectual Property: Eco-marks, Green Patents, and Green Innovation, author Eric L. Lane provides a concise review of the interplay of clean technologies and IP.  In it, he treats clean/green tech IP as a discrete field apart from the general intellectual property law.

Section one of the book presents strategies for patent drafting and prosecuting clean tech patent applications, building green patent portfolios and clean tech transfer and licensing.  Clipper Windpower is used as an example of developing a patent portfolio, including its efforts to design around a blocking variable speed wind turbine patent.  Section two covers clean tech in court and covers litigation tops involving wind turbines and LEDs. Topics also include discussions of non-practicing patentees (NPP’s) in the clean tech world.

Green branding, greenwashing and eco-mark enforcement are covered in section three with special attention given to issues of eco-mark prosecution and green branding, from the brand owner perspective and from a consumer protection standpoint, including a discussion of greenwashing — the practice of companies spinning their not-so-green products and policies as environmentally friendly.  Section four covers green patent policies, initiatives and debates including the Eco-Patent Commons for exchanging technology rights.

Rightfully, the book covers the debate over IP rights in low-income developing countries.  Intellectual property issues come in to play with public policy questions about energy research and development. If someone develops a green technology, the best choice for the environment would be to give it away as cheaply as possible so that the maximum number of people could benefit. But giving a technology away undermines the incentives that private companies have to develop new technologies.

Similar to the debate regarding access to essential medicines, as poorer countries develop economically, their ecological footprint will grow. Affluent consumers have an interest in making this development as green as possible, but we are reluctant to let others free ride on our innovative work. To what extent should we share technologies with them, and on what terms?

Clean Tech Intellectual Property: Eco-marks, Green Patents, and Green Innovation” provides a comprehensive review of intellectual property and clean technology.  It can be dense with information but provides essential background to those new to the field.  It’s clear that green is here to stay.

Clean Tech Intellectual Property: Eco-marks, Green Patents, and Green Innovation, 260 pp. is available from Amazon.

About the Author

Eric Lane is a patent and trademark attorney at Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps in San Diego, where he is Special Counsel in the Technology / Intellectual Property practice group and the Climate Change, Renewable Energy & Sustainable Technology practice group

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Law Grads Sue Alma Maters For Millions In Tuition Refunds

Two lawsuits seeking class action status were filed against Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Michigan and New York Law School. The plaintiffs, who are all graduates of the defendant schools, seek $250 million from Cooley and $200 million from NYLS in tuition refunds, as well as other damages and reformed employment statistic reporting practices.

Both lawsuits state that the plaintiffs seek “to remedy a systemic, ongoing fraud that is ubiquitous in the legal education industry and threatens to leave a generation of law students in dire financial straits.”  Cooley, at about 1,000 students in each class year, is the biggest in the country. (via WSJ Law Blog)

The End of the Full Service Law Firm?

The Wired GC has a post about UK’s Legal Week reporting that mega-firm CMS Cameron McKenna was transferring its immigration practice to a specialty firm, Fragomen.

It’s breathtaking because CMS is honestly saying that some work that we could do, we’ve decided not to. Most large law firms never say this. When I see one referring work to another firm (absent a conflict), I can hear a thousand GCs falling off their Aeron chairs.

Is this the end of the full service law firm? Probably not. But it pushes the essential question for all managing partners: why be all things to everyone?

Will Gene Patents Impede Whole Genome Sequencing?

Chris Holman at Holman’s Biotech IP Blog, is writing an article about how there is a widely held perception that 20% of human genes are “patented” and that these patents preclude researchers and clinicians from using, studying or even “looking at” the patented genes without obtaining a license or risk being sued for patent infringement.

In the recent decision in the Myriad a gene patent case (AMP v. PTO), Judge Lourie repeats the assertion. Ultimately, if you trace the string of references back to their primary source, one arrives at the seminal article by Kyle Jensen & Fiona Murray: Intellectual Property Landscape of the Human Genome, 310 Science 239 (2005).

In fact, a careful reading of the supporting online material for the Jensen and Murray article reveals that their study has been grossly misinterpreted by those who claim the 20% of human genes are patented. In fact, those authors only purported to show that, with respect to 20% of human genes known at the time they conducted their study, either (1) the DNA sequence of the gene, or (2) the amino acid sequence encoded by the gene, was mentioned in a US patent claim. The myth that 20% of human genes are “patented” has taken root because too many have incorrectly inferred that the mere “mention” of a gene in a patent claim precludes all uses of the gene.

Fatal Mountain Goat Attack Sparks $10 Million In Wrongful Death Claims

The WSJ Law Blog reports that a local hiker in Olympic National Park was gored by a 370-pound mountain goat, according to Peninsula Daily News reports.  “I feel like they weren’t protecting people and the ecosystem, and…on the day of the accident, they responded very poorly to our calls for help,” the victim’s widow told the Peninsula Daily News.

When RARE is not so RARE!

At BIOtech Now, Nicole Boice, Founder/President, RARE Project, wants you know that there is a community of sick and disabled women, children, and men that is so large that it outnumbers all of those with cancer and AIDS combined worldwide.  The Rare Disease Community is made up of over 7,000 known rare diseases and over 350 million people worldwide.  Here in the US, over 35 million people are affected with the majority being our nation’s children.  The RARE Project™ has developed two initiatives; The Children’s Rare Disease Network™ (CRDN) and the Global Genes Project™ (GGP) to meet the needs of this community.

Should Bert and Ernie Get Married?

The New York Daily News reports that there’s an online petition with 700 signatures requesting a wedding for the two long-time, best friends. BettyConfidential thinks not:

Yes, there have been rumors that Bert and Ernie are gay. But, can we get real here? First of all, they’re muppets. Secondly, anytime two people, err muppets are close friends, the gay rumor pops up. Thirdly, who fanatasizes about muppet sex? And if you’re thinking about muppet sex, you have too much time on your hands and a possible issue with reality.

For their part, Sesame Street notes:  “Even though the Sesame Street Muppets … possess many human traits and characteristics, they have no sexual orientation.”

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The ABA is once again working on their list of the 100 best legal blogs and they want your advice on which blawgs you think they should include and / or what practice areas you’d like to see represented in the Blawg 100.

Use the Blawg 100 Amici form to tell us about a blawg——not your own——that you read regularly that you think other lawyers should know about. If there is more than one blawg you want to support, please send additional amici through the form. The ABA may include some of the best comments in their Blawg 100 coverage.

Editors make the final decisions about what’s included in the Blawg 100; this isn’t a scenario in which the blawgs that receive the most amici are the ones that make the list. See the amici form page for additional information about amici and Blawg 100 criteria.

Friend-of-the-blawg briefs are due no later than Friday, Sept. 9.

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The Biotechnology Industry Organization believes that fully realizing the promise of biotechnology requires a comprehensive national strategy that fine-tunes some policies and overhauls others.

BIO’s set of policy proposals address two vital needs: 1) the need to re-engineer the biotech economic model, and 2) the need to re-invent the idea-to-market pathway for biotech cures and other products.

Below is that plan:

Creating an FDA that Turns Hope into Cures

The American population is growing older — life expectancy is up by a decade since 1965 and 72 million Baby Boomers are about to enter Medicare. It has never been more critical to support an industry that is working to cure diseases and will impact all Americans by saving lives and dollars. It is imperative that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes its national role in advancing innovation by reviewing innovative products in a timely manner and promoting a consistent and science-based decision making process that is reflective of patient needs.. By facilitating the creation of a 21st century FDA and more effective clinical research and development processes, the proposals below help establish a clear and effective pathway for turning hope into cures.

Elevating FDA and Empowering Operational Excellence

Include Innovation in FDA’s Mission Statement

FDA must have both the capacity and commitment to incorporate the latest scientific advances into its decision-making so that processes can keep pace with the tremendous potential of companies’ cutting-edge science. Congress can help encourage medical breakthroughs by updating FDA’s mission to incorporate modern scientific tools, standards, and approaches.

Establish a Fixed Term of Office for the Commissioner of Food and Drugs

Encouraging consistent and stable leadership at FDA — with protection from the political influence that typically occurs during a Presidential Administration transition — would better equip the agency to fulfill its mission as a science-based regulator to promote and protect the public health. The law should be amended to provide that the President appoint the Commissioner to a six-year term of office. Once confirmed, the Commissioner would be removable by the President only for pre-specified reasons — neglect of duty, malfeasance in office, or an inability to execute the FDA’s mission.

Grant FDA Status as an Independent Agency

The FDA regulates nearly a quarter of the consumer goods supplied to the American public. As such, the agency should have the same authorities to make budget, management, and operational decisions as afforded other independent agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency. This would empower the agency to work more effectively with the President and Congress to carry out its mission to promote and protect the public health, and would also enhance the agency’s ability to obtain quality and consistent leadership.

Establish an External Management Review Board for FDA

The FDA is a large, complex organization. Amending the law to establish a Management Review Board (consisting of experienced external advisors) that conducts periodic reviews of FDA’s management and organizational structure and provides fresh, visionary, and independent thinking and recommendations on how to improve FDA’s ability to fulfill its mission could help the agency address its chronic operational challenges.

Advancing Regulatory Science & Innovation

Release FDA Funding to Support Regulatory Science Public-Private Partnerships

Congress established an independent, nonprofit foundation to support public-private partnerships for the purpose of advancing FDA’s mission through, for example, the formation of collaborations to advance the use of biomarkers, surrogate markers, and new trial designs to improve and speed clinical development. However, Congressional appropriations bills have subsequently restricted FDA’s ability to transfer federal funding to the foundation. These funding restrictions should be lifted so that the foundation can fulfill its intended purpose and promise

Create an FDA “Experimental Space” to Pilot Promising New Scientific and Regulatory Approaches The FDA has developed several initiatives to advance regulatory science. However, FDA’s ability to incorporate modern science into its regulatory processes has been limited because there is no entity within the agency with unified responsibility for systematically analyzing the findings and recommendations from these initiatives, and with clear authority to pilot promising scientific and regulatory approaches. An FDA “Experimental Space,” led by a new Chief Innovation Officer, should be established with the responsibility and authority to ensure that promising new approaches are integrated into agency operations at all levels.

Enhance FDA’s Access to External Scientific and Medical Expertise

Scientific and medical knowledge, techniques, and technology are advancing at a more rapid pace today than at any other time; however, FDA’s capacity to access information about these advances has not kept pace despite the widespread perceptions of the agency as the global standard bearer for science-based regulatory review. It is essential that FDA’s access to scientific and medical advice be enhanced by improving the operations of FDA Advisory Committees, establishing Chief Medical Policy Officers in the immediate offices of the Center Directors, and providing FDA staff with additional avenues for accessing external scientific and medical expertise.

Enabling Modernized Patient-Centric Clinical Development

Increase Access to Innovative Therapies through Progressive Approval

Patients, particularly those with illnesses for which no adequate therapy exists, want access to promising new therapies earlier in the drug development process. Expanding and improving the accelerated approval pathway into a progressive approval mechanism would provide patients timely access to needed therapies, while helping ensure smaller biotech companies are able to maintain operations through extensive phase III clinical testing. Only innovative products for unmet medical needs, significant advances to standard of care, targeted therapies, or those that have been approved by the European Medicines Agency or other mature regulatory agencies would qualify for progressive approval.

Of the 54 orphan drugs approved between
1998 and 2007,
58% were discovered and
developed by biotech companies.

Nature Reviews/Drug Discovery, November 2010

Empower FDA to Utilize a Weight-of-Evidence Approach to Establish Effectiveness

FDA is statutorily required to approve applications for new drugs when they have been demonstrated to be safe and there is “substantial evidence” that the new drug is effective. FDA typically requires two “adequate and well controlled” studies under this standard.

A weight-of-evidence approach to data analysis, however, allows the decision-maker to look at all data and information, whatever its value, and give each appropriate consideration.

Between 1999 and 2005, the average length
of clinical trials
grew by 70%. Currently, the
average time from discovery of a drug
to getting it to patients is
10 to 15 years.

Source: Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development

Leverage Electronic Health Records to Facilitate Clinical Research

Using health information technology (IT) such as electronic health records in clinical research will improve and speed up the drug development process while decreasing costs. However, there are significant barriers preventing widespread use of health IT in clinical research, including slow adoption by providers and lack of standards. To help remove those barriers, Congress should create a Clinical Informatics Coordinator in the Office of the Commissioner of Food and Drugs charged with developing processes to validate and encourage the use of health IT in clinical research and establishing pilot projects to use health IT in clinical research.

Require FDA to Disclose to Companies Reasons for Non-Approval

Current law implies that new drug and biologic applications must either be approved or denied. In practice, however, there is a third response in which FDA neither approves nor officially denies the application (which would require FDA to give the company specific procedural rights such as a hearing); rather, FDA finds the application to be incomplete in some way and therefore ineligible for approval. When FDA makes such a finding, it should communicate to the company in clear terms why risk was determined to outweigh benefits and why tools such as Risk Mitigation and Evaluation Strategies are insufficient (in addition to indicating what must be done to address any deficiencies). This will help ensure a consistent and transparent risk-benefit evaluation and provide the company with better information on what, if any, additional studies are required to achieve approval.

 

See also:

BIO: Unleashing the Promise of Biotechnology (pt.1)
BIO: Unleashing the Promise of Biotechnology (pt.2)
BIO: Unleashing the Promise of Biotechnology (pt.3)

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Sarah Randag of the ABA Journal is hosted Blawg Review #314 in an edition she calls LawLawpalooza!  ABAJournal.com hosted this week’s Blawg Review in conjunction with the 2011 ABA Annual Meeting in Toronto.

Curiously, they were not actually blawging from Canada as they were in Chicago over the weekend noticing the train riders coming in and out of the Loop — many who were among the 250,000 people going to and from the Lollapalooza music festival.

As Lolla ticketholders must choose between bands playing simultaneously, the lawyers at the ABA conference, with some 1,400 legal programs, including business meetings for association entities, do the same and work their way around five or 10 venues for their own LawLawpalooza.

So, check out the LawLawpalooza Blawg Review and see what’s happening around the blawgosphere.  We especially enjoyed the posting about the ABA Expo, where blogger Carolyn Elefant of My Shingle was with Social Media for Lawyers co-author Nicole Black, signing copies of their book:

Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier, American Bar Association (June 16, 2010), described as “a cutting-edge guide that shows lawyers how to use a practical, goal-centric approach to social media. By enabling lawyers to identify the social media platforms and tools that fit their practice, lawyers can implement them easily, efficiently, and ethically. Written by two lawyers, this book is designed with both the novice and advanced user in mind.”

They wrap up the book noting that “Law firms and lawyers who turn a blind eye to technology do so to their own detriment, and their failure to acclimate to rapid technological change is going to catch up with them in 2010 and beyond.”

Indeed.

 

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According to The Wall Street Journal, Mark Bowden, the U.N.’s top official in charge of humanitarian aid in Somalia, said the country “is facing its worst food security crisis in the last 20 years. This desperate situation requires urgent action to save lives…It’s likely that conditions will deteriorate further in six months.”

More than 10 million people across the Horn of Africa are in dire need of humanitarian assistance due to a deadly combination of the worst drought conditions in 60 years, escalating food prices and armed conflict. Two million children are at risk of starvation in Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia. In southern Somalia alone, the crisis has killed 29,000 young children in the last 90 days.

By making a donation and spreading the word about the crisis, you will help make an impact. Here are five organizations that are on the ground in East Africa that need your support.

1. International Rescue Committee:  The International Rescue Committee is scaling up relief efforts to aid people devastated by the drought. Some of their work in this region includes providing new arrivals with medical screenings and fortified food for malnourished young children in Dadaab refugee camp, northeastern Kenya.

DONATE HERE

2. World Food Programme: The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian aid organization fighting hunger. Your emergency donation will help them reach more people on the edge of survival, specifically women and children.

DONATE HERE

3. Oxfam: Oxfam is aiming to reach 3 million people with water, sanitation services, and food. A donation of $50 will provide 200 people a day’s supply of clean water and a $100 donation will feed a family of six for two+ weeks.

DONATE HERE

4. Save the Children: Donate a dollar a day for 100 days to help a child through the drought.

DONATE HERE

5. CARE: A tax-deductible gift will help CARE address global hunger, improve healthcare and create economic opportunity in Somalia, Kenya and other poor countries around the world.

DONATE HERE

6. World Vision:  World Vision is a faith-based organization that strives to eliminate poverty and injustice. Text 4AFRICA to 20222 on your mobile phone to donate $10 to support the emergency relief efforts.

DONATE HERE

7. Mercy Corps: Mercy Corps is responding to the drought in East Africa with emergency operations in northeastern Kenya and plans to build on existing work in Ethiopia and Somalia. Through emergency food distributions, clean water delivery and cash-for-work activities, they have helped 150,000 people thus far.

DONATE HERE

Image source: SAACID-ORG

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