March for Science

20170422_133718One week ago we participated in the March for Science, here in Madrid. What do we have to do these days, in the middle of the 21st century! But yes!, it seems that science is frowned upon, it seems that we are in recession. You just have to look around to see how many tarot readers are around the corner, how homeopathic clinics and even degrees in homeopathy offered by universities proliferate, how people sell  and use “lucky objects” of all kinds, such as frogs, gems, bracelets and the like.  And even worse, we can see that presidents of nations are scornful about the reality of climate change, the incontestable utility of vaccines, or the evolution of species.

And if this is what happens, for example, in the United States, let see what happens in Spain !… where there is more talk in TV about tourist counting or  weather forecast than about science, where culture is almost exclusively associated with theater, literature, arts in general, but hardly with scientific knowledge. For example, we have a radio programme entitled “the critical eye” (El ojo crítico) in the Public Radio that is advertised as “the cultural program par excellence” of the Spanish broadcasting. Indeed, it is a daily programme between 7 and 8 p.m, indeed, it is a cultural program, but wherein half of the culture is completely forgotten. Contrarily, what about the programme “On giant’s shoulders” (A hombros de gigantes),? a broadcast devoted to scientific dissemination with interviews, news, stories about scientists and their achivements, in a nutshell, science for everyone. It is broadcast live Mondays at 2 a.m.! I have no comment on that!.

It is clear that a journalist – with exceptions – will feel more comfortable interviewing an actor than a physicist, but scientists must make themselves heard, if not to make a journalist to spread science, at least to make people respectful with it. If you do not understand science, at least, do not deny it!. As a banner read: “science is not another alternative”, science is a fact, and is the only option that can save the planet and ourselves.

And as another banner read: “there is no planet B!”

We shall get back to patents shortly!.

Seni Cueto

Drafting patents?, not that easy!

FOTO DEL DESORDEN

It has been a long time since we last published something in this section, but it is very understandable because, as you will see, we are busy drafting patents.

When we want to buy a product, such as a garment, a book or a piece of furniture, and we go shopping, we ask the store clerks, we listen carefully to their explanations and comments, showing interest in what we are buying until we decide to buy the object, or leave the shop wishing them a pleasant day. If we have purchased the product we pay for it, enjoy it, use it and we have a clear idea of ​​what we expect from our purchase.

This is the real, everyday life for all of us. But let’s talk about patents! None of the above works with patents. “Patent clients” are different, even if they are the same people who just bought the furniture or the book, they are transformed when it comes to placing an order for a patent application draft. It’s something similar to what happens when we get behind the wheel …

As “patent-drafting-persons” we undertake a philosophical approach when tackling the situation that can develop more or less as follows (with many other alternatives):

You receive an order to draft a patent application, you read it carefully, understand the gist of the invention – not piece of cake! – prepare a first version with carefully prepared comments and questions, and send it to the client. Wait!.

Two weeks later you get almost the same version that you sent. Or you get some vague answers like “this is explained below” …. where?, “this is known in the art ...”, “we have not checked that ..”.

And again, after a deep breath and no less deep reflection about the questions you asked, you check everything to check whether you can read the answers between the lines. You do not want to be a pain in the neck, but you know you are being such one, or the client will perceive it like this. For the sake of quality and for your own dignity, you take deep breath again, maybe some more coffee and you click once more the return key to forward a draft to the client, that has as many questions as the first one.

Several days pass and while you are working on another subject you are surprised by an email. Instantly several thoughts cross your mind about the possibility that the client has finally answered your questions, or has he been disappointed, and will say that you are not being helpful, or even worse, that he does not understand your work, and that he is going to work with somebody else ….upon you having done the hardest task!.

At best, let’s go with the third version!. You try to highlight less fragments in the text … it seems that things are getting better and you start to envisage the end. Click!, message sent!.

You receive the client’s reponse and the text looks now clean, the explanation of the technical matter looks to be complete.There are no more examples to give further support to the claims, therefore you can do nothing more. Of course, you relax as you think you have finished the job. After the sort of ping-pong match in which you lost some neurons (he/she is completely unaware of that), the client suddenly becomes particularly picky, and ask you to correct two blank spaces and a comma on page 14, line 7. Are you kidding me?.

There is another less refreshing end, which is when the client adds a paragraph where he/she feels like it, that reads: “it also can be used to roast chickens in case the rectangular piece is removed …”. Oh, my God!. You pretend not to have seen it, but you are a professional who knows that nothing can be left to chance in patent matters. So, you are decided to re-start the ping-pong match even if there will be an invention disclosure within two days. You can  make it!

You would better not try making any balance. This work is never well paid!. Good luck!

Seni Cueto

The awakens of Science

20151219_J VERNE ESFERAWe can forget without regret some of events or facts happened in 2015, for example the number of original Spanish patent applications filed with the Spanish Patent Office. Our hope this new year is that scientific research improves, what means more financial resources, more resources for enterprises, universities and research institutions, more grants, happier researches, more enthusiastic teachers. We really, really expect that the “science force awakens”.

We would not like to forget, however, some other events occurred in 2015. A journey through the work and legacy of a man with one of the biggest imaginations can be made right now in 28 Gran Vïa Street, Madrid. I refer to the Jules Verne exhibition. I personally had the privilege of visiting it with a group of persons accompanied by Miguel Ángel Delgado, one of the organisers and exhibition curator. And if you have the occasion to have Miguel Ángel as a guide, in adidtion of enjoying the visit, you will have the impression that he lived with Mr. Verne most of his life, such is the level of knowledge he has. But not only about Jules Verne as a writer, or as a man, but also about the historic environment including science, nature exploration, technology or literature.

I strongly recommend to spend two hours at Fundación Telefónica in Gran Vïa.

Another recommendable journey to start this year is to go find Luke Skywalker in the last Star Wars movie  While the plot may seem too simple at a first glance, let’s get sentimental and go to find Luke!. Another prodigiously imaginative movie that perhaps we could not enjoy if there hadn’t been before a Jules Verne. Let see for instance a map of the territories imagined by Mr. Verne.

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Either of both journeys can be a good proposal to start the year with optimism.

Do not stop imagining! Let imagination and patents fly in 2016!

Seni Cueto

Galileo, Keppler, Newton, do not patent anything…, but they visit Vicálvaro

20151113_201721Last week we celebrated the “Bookstore day”. Bookstores are for some people a rarely visited place. They do not like book smell and they think that books are only for intellectual people, and these “weird and unspired” persons are not to be found  in the streets, or around their houses.

Jarcha is a modest bookstore located in Vicálvaro, an also modest neighbourhood of Madrid.  There is a university campus nearby, but Jarcha has been there for years before the university was set up. Jarcha organises speeches to disseminate science, to disseminate  culture. Last Friday there was a short conference about the history of Science and particularly about Newton. We were about fifty persons in the middle of the room, surrounded by shelves filled with books with the typical paper fresh scent, shelves hidding their treasures, emotions, equations,  inventions, among the pages. We were very close to each other as a gesture of respect to the books. And it was a pleasure to see a number of chidren at the front row, to see the room completely full, and to listen to the children asking questions… “- what is this?”…           “- it is a test tube with a fluorescent reagent…”

To finish the event, our friend Quique Royuela told us about “Principia” a new magazine with a name honoring Newton and created about one year ago for the dissemination of culture. It can be found on the internet, but also in paper. And soon we shall see “Principia Kids”.

We are acustomed to hear that everyday is the “world’s day of something”. With the huge number of events and celebrations our brain discards in a subtle way the information it considers unnecessary or excessive. We hope that books continue to live with us and  that they really share their live with ours.

Congratulations to people who care about culture and spreading culture, congratulations to bookshopers and congratulations to our Jarcha friends. Thank you.

Seni Cueto

19th September 2015

OFERTAS DE EMPLEO – Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas

OFERTAS DE EMPLEO – Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas

Fecha de publicación:  2 de Septiembre de 2015

1) Oferta: CS_MAD_VATC_139:

Titulación requerida: Licenciado en química

Funciones del puesto:  Promoción de las tecnologías del CSIC a través de la red europea Enterprise Europe Network y la participación en ferias tecnológicas internacional y brokerage events o negociaciones con empresas para establecer condiciones de licencia de tecnologías del CSIC a la empresa. Elaboración de acuerdos de confidencialidad (NDA) o acuerdos de tran2)  Oferta: CS_MAD_VATC_140sferencia de material (MTA).

2)  Oferta: CS_MAD_VATC_140

Titulación requerida: Licenciado en física

Funciones del puesto:  Promoción de las tecnologías del CSIC a través de la red europea Enterprise Europe Network y la participación en ferias tecnológicas internacional y brokerage events o negociaciones con empresas para establecer condiciones de licencia de tecnologías del CSIC a la empresa. Elaboración de acuerdos de confidencialidad (NDA) o acuerdos de transferencia de material (MTA).

3) Oferta: CS_MAD_VATC_141

Titulación requerida: Licenciatura Química, Grado Ingeniería Química, Ingeniería Industrial, Ingeniería Materiales

Funciones del puesto: Evaluación de patentabilidad e interés comercial y protección de resultados de investigación relacionados con materiales y nanotecnología.

 

Lugar:

Vicepresidencia Adjunta de Transferencia de Conocimiento, CSIC; Serrano, 142 Madrid

 

 

 

News in 2015: Morocco closer to Europe, and the European patents in an upward trend

marruecosEurope not only stretches to the Canary Islands in the political map, but soon will stretch to the border with Mauritania thank the European Patent Convention (EPC). As of March 1 this year patent applicants will be able to designate Morocco in their European patents.

With the entry of Turkey almost 10 years ago in the European Convention, Europe had already stretched to the border with Iran. In the near future a European patent validated in Morocco will have the effect of a national patent in that country, as it happens in the rest of the EPC members.

And negotiations with Tunisia and Moldova are underway!.

This is another step in the consolidation of the patent system. And particularly in Europe, where the number of filings in 2014 has continued to grow compared to previous years. It has increased in about 3% according to the European Office that will publish official data on 26 February. This growth comes mainly from US applicants who have submitted a 6.7% increase in European applications with regard to the previous year, while applications from European applicants remain virtually unchanged, and from Japanese applicants decreased by 3.8%.

We are not very excited about the figures from Spain, which finally ended 2014 with national patent applications below 3000, i.e. at the level of 1991. We are looking forward to seeing what will happen in 2015. We are as excited as we are with the Hollywood Accademy Awards.

Best of luck everybody and many patents for this year!.

Seni Cueto