Customers are migrating data warehouses to Amazon Redshift because it’s fast, scalable, and cost-effective. However, data warehouse migration projects can be complex and challenging. In this post, I help you understand the common drivers of data warehouse migration, migration strategies, and what tools and services are available to assist with your migration project. Let’s first […]
On 18 March 2022, the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia issued decisions relating to term extensions of patents covering pharmaceutical products: Commissioner of Patents v Ono Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd FCAFC 39 (‘Ono’); and Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. v Sandoz Pty Ltd FCAFC 40 (‘MSD’). The two decisions have (at least) three things in common. First, both were decided unanimously by a panel comprising Chief Justice Alsop and Justices Yates and Burley. Second, both found against the patentee, with the court reversing the primary judge’s decision in Ono granting an extension of term, and confirming the primary judge’s decision in MSD nullifying a previously granted extension of term. And, third, both referred to the principle set out in the objects clause (section 2A) of the Patents Act 1990 that ‘the patent system balances over time the interests of producers, owners and users of technology and the public’ (emphasis added).
The scheme for extending the term of pharmaceutical patents inherently involves a balancing act. Its primary purpose is to ensure that patentees are not excessively disadvantaged by delays in securing regulatory approval to market patented products. For example, if a drug is not approved for use until 10 years or more after a patent application is filed, the patentee may have less than half of the standard 20 year patent term remaining to compensate for its investment in discovery and development before becoming exposed to generic competition. On the other hand, an extended period without competition necessarily exposes the wider public to higher costs of medical treatment. In an effort to balance these competing interests, the relatively complex provisions of the Patents Act aim to ensure that a ‘typical’ pharmaceutical patentee benefits from up to 15 years of exclusivity, by granting extensions of the patent term of up to five years, i.e. to a maximum of 25 years from filing. (A 2013 review of pharmaceuticals patents – which the government initially declined to release – found that 53% of such patents have an effective life of 15 years, while 89% have an effective life of over 10 years.)
The primary provisions of the Patents Act governing extensions of patent term are:
section 70, which sets out the conditions that must be satisfied before a patentee can apply for an extension of the term of its patent;
section 71, which sets time limits for filing of applications for extensions of term; and
section 77, which specifies how the duration of an extension of term is to be calculated.
In each of Ono and MSD, the patentee sought to obtain an advantage, or avoid disadvantage, by arguing for beneficial interpretations of the extension of term provisions. In each case they failed. And in both cases the Full Court upheld the principle that the purpose of the extension of term scheme is to balance the competing interests of the patentee of a pharmaceutical substance against the public interest in the unrestricted use of the pharmaceutical invention after expiry of the patent. In Ono, in particular, the Full Court rejected the proposition that sections 70, 71, and 77 should be construed to achieve a commercial outcome for the patentee. In MSD the Full Court again invoked the principle of ‘balance’ in declining to permit an extension of term based on a later Australian marketing approval, in circumstances where the patentee had already obtained the benefit of an ‘export only’ approval of a substance falling within its patent claims with an effective life of over 15 years.
The relevance of the Full Court’s focus on balancing of interests, and its references to the objects clause, could extend beyond these cases. The three judges here are all among the five who recently heard the appeal in the Thaler ‘AI inventor’ case, in which the competing interests of developers and owners of ‘invention machines’, and of the broader public (who might not see the same benefit in granting patent monopolies on automatically-generated inventions), are potentially at stake. It will be interesting to see whether they adopt a similar approach to weighing up the balance of interests in that case, also.
This is the second post in a two-part series in which I propose a practical guide for organizations so you can assess the quality of text summarization models for your domain. For an introduction to text summarization, an overview of this tutorial, and the steps to create a baseline for our project (also referred to […]
America's gas stations aren't always pretty to look at. They can often be a grimey lens into people's most basic, and at times, unflattering needs. We rely on them when we're desperate for a bathroom, or when we need to buy junk food, cigarettes, questionable beer, and a lottery ticket to pin hopes and dreams on before filling our car with gas and speeding off like we were never there to begin with.
Developer Monkey Moon's new game, Flat Eye, looks at the gas station of the future--a very believable, even dystopian, future.
It takes place in a world on the brink of becoming a utopia, one where machines are sufficient replacements for human labor. Think self-checkouts, self-cleaning toilets, kiosks that take your order, and machines that make your breakfast sandwich before popping it out a little window. It's a world where you seldom have to come face-to-face with a working human being.
In this alternate future, gas stations (branded as Flat Eyes) are still the place where you get junk food, gas, and use the bathroom, but it's also where entirely new technology is used and showcased, so Flat Eyes are also referred to as "automobile fill-up stations and technological access points." So as well as filling up gas and buying bad hot dogs, you can buy new organs from an organ vending machine, receive medical treatment from an automated medical module, or even clone yourself.
The game is a management sim where you overlook the needs and expansion of a Flat Eye location, where you point-and-click from an overhead view (though the camera is fully moveable), clicking on modules, and dragging and dropping things in place on a grid-like layout. In my short hands-on demo, I ordered a human employee to restock the shelves, repair equipment, and install new amenities like toilets, self-checkouts, and medical modules, all while cashing out other customers in the process. The customers are depicted as colorful, albeit characterless, silhouettes that scurried in and out to use the bathroom or cash out.
Flat Eye takes a hard look at humanity's increasing dependency on technology. It depicts a scenario in which humans themselves become as automated and as mechanical as the very machines they rely on to exist through their day-to-day lives. Despite its bleak view of a possible future, developer Monkey Moon was clear in conveying it wanted to ultimately tell a positive story of humanity. Humans embody more of a machine-like presence in Flat Eye, operating on autopilot through a clean, perfect-looking world. But it's still not without its distinct characters and personalities.
As you manage Flat Eye, special customers will visit, giving you the opportunity to talk to them and navigate branching conversations that present glimpses into the lives of those who inhabit this pseudo-utopian world. When I had initially felt like a floating manager ordering around an employee, these branching conversations had suddenly felt intimate as I was choosing the employee's responses. It's also during these conversations where you interact with Flat Eye's AI, a character that I will not spoil, but one I anticipate will have a strong role in the game's somewhat mysterious narrative.
It's in the introduction to this AI and the conversation with it that I was left most eager to see where Flat Eye will go next. There's a dual narrative working alongside an already interesting management sim here.
At the end of each day, you are able to dive into the data of the Flat Eye's productivity and receive an overall score for how well you did. It's also during the transition between days that you'll have an opportunity to look through emails from Flat Eye's corporate executives and look at messages within the company sent between other gas stations--a humanizing element in a rather detached position as a lowly clerk.
Developer Monkey Moon is building a knack for telling stories through the lens of working-class characters that rarely get the spotlight in games. In its previous title, Night Call, you played as a cab driver in Paris, hearing the stories of his passengers, engaging in conversation, and divulging in the intricacies of people's most intimate stories. But like Flat Eye, Night Call goes beyond its surface level, with layered narratives and themes at play throughout.
Despite my short time with the game, its concepts, themes, and mechanics clicked instantly. Furthermore, seeds were planted for a greater overarching story that seems to be heading towards a redemptive look at a dystopian future.
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The Spanish ombudsman has been receiving complaints about cryptocurrency and how some Spanish citizens investing in these vehicles have lost everything. In his annual report, Angel Gabilondo recognized the rise of cryptocurrencies as a new problem due to the little or no regulation crypto sees in the country. In the same way, the EU has […]