Impact of Trade Liberalization on Food Security
The issue of food security can either be discussed in terms of food self reliance or self sufficiency. Self sufficiency requires that a country or region is able to produce food that is enough to cater for its consumption while self reliance refers to domestic availability of food in enough quantities. It should be noted that self sufficiency in food leaves out the concept of imports as a source of food supply while self reliance does not emphasize on such a restriction.
As much as food security may be viewed by many as a concern for most countries across the world, it is an issue that is mostly felt by developing countries. It is mainly in the emerging economies that food security is often an issue. Based on trade theory, developing countries are usually endowed with labor, land and natural resources instead of technology and capital, thus, should have a comparative advantage in agriculture (food security).
Trade liberalization has created a scenario whereby manufacturing is more protected while agriculture is heavily taxed. Policies of trade liberalization have led to bias in the development of better agricultural practices in emerging economies. As a result of trade liberalization, farmers are now able to break away from the traditional restrictive practices that offer lower domestic prices for their produce in developing countries. You find that in most of the developing countries, the prices offered for agricultural products is relatively lower compared to when the produce is sold on international markets. As result of this, farmers are always very quick to export their produce abroad.
Developed countries create policies that offer better returns for farmers when they sell their produce on world markets, thus, quite a number shun domestic markets. This means that most of the agricultural produce that is obtained locally is pushed abroad to the developed countries, leaving the locals with just a small percentage that is mostly low quality. Acquiring sufficient food to fill in the gap that is created by farmers selling their produce on international markets is quite expensive. On the other hand, spend most of the earnings from the sale of their produce on manufactured products that are also mainly from foreign industries, meaning that the money is ploughed back to the economies of developing nations.
The above chain continues to a point whereby local farmers are left with very little and low quality food that is not able to sustain the domestic population. With this, it can be said that trade liberalization to an extent, hinders food security in developing nations while enhancing it in developed economies. In developed nations, they have the technology that can be used in proper preservation of food compared to emerging economies. They can decide to store the food until such a time that there is a crisis, upon which they can then sell it at very high prices. As a result of this, poor nations will be forced to spend more of their income on food in order to attain security that will be so hard to come by.
Impact of Trade Liberalization on Economic Growth
According to most people, trade liberalization has an association with economic growth. In fact, the belief is that increased international trade directly contributes to economic growth. However, it should be noted that the truth or falsity of this statement is based on the approach that each parson takes. The impact of trade liberalization on economic growth has been an issue of debate across the board with some pointing negative results and others positive. In fact, the debate has not yet been settled.
Trade liberalization has been effected in various ways that boil down to either the reduction or complete elimination of trade barriers so that people can freely engage in trading on international markets. In fact, this has been the most popular economic policy of both industrialized and developing nations. The motive behind the push for free trade has been the achievement of macroeconomic goals of the economies of the nations. Developing countries are mainly implementing trade liberalization policies so as to achieve economic growth.
One of the points to note about the impact of trade liberalization on economic growth is that it has led to the increase in imports and exports. Since trade liberalization has given both domestic firms the freedom to pursue markets for their products globally, there has been a significant increase in exports and imports for various countries across the globe. As a result of this, individuals and governments across the world have been able to rake in better revenue, hence, economic growth. However, it should be noted that the income generated from free trade varies from one economy to another based on their exports and imports.
Before the liberalization of trade, it was not easy for countries to trade with their counterparts with which they do not lie on the same geographical proximity with. As a result of this, most nations only used domestic markets for their products. However, trade liberalization has opened doors for exports for quite a number of countries. Today, nations that have implemented policies for liberalization of trade are able to export their products to the markets that they deem profitable. As a result of this, such nations have been able to experience a faster growth in GDP. With the growth of GDP, it is obvious that the economy is also growing.
Trade liberalization has opened up new doors for developed nations to invest in foreign countries so as to reduce costs of production among other reasons. This has created employment opportunities in developing countries and even raised the living standards. In the nations where foreign investments have been established, economic growth has been achieved through the opportunities offered. It should also be noted that such foreign firms have brought in innovative technologies that to some extent curtailed the development of domestic industries. In fact, the influx of foreign firms in emerging economies has led to intensive competition that have driven quite a number of domestic firms out of business. To this extent it can be said that trade liberalization has hindered economic growth.
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Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Power
Wind power is one of the sources of renewable energy that you can choose to tap for electricity. However, there are quite a number of things that you should know about this power source in order to make an informed decision on whether to obtain it or not when considering renewable energy. The best way to find out more about wind power is by looking at its advantages and disadvantages.
One of the greatest advantages that even make so many people choose to tap wind power for their electricity is because it is a renewable energy source. It is naturally provided by the earth and can be used for the period of a lifetime without being depleted irrespective of the quantity of consumption. You can harvest and use as much wind power as you want for as long as you want. This leads us to another advantage; it is cheaper. After the installation of equipment for harvesting wind [power like wind turbines, you will not incur any cots again for maybe maintenance or any other. The only maintenance that you can do is on the wind turbines; however, you will never incur any costs for using wind power even if it were consumed by the entire planet.
Another advantage of wind energy is that it is readily available in all parts of the world. This is beneficial because it can be readily used at the place or harvesting without being transported like the way oil is to other locations. Even though some places can be windier than others, wind is always available across the globe free of charge. In fact, wind power can be obtained in cities and even rural areas since it is available in the atmosphere. Even when it comes to harvesting, wind power does not require the construction of large plants like maybe those for coal, hydroelectric power or even oil.
Despite the numerous advantages of wind power, it also has certain setbacks that one needs to critically look into when making a decision on whether to acquire it or not. One of the disadvantages of wind power is that it is an intermittent energy source. This means that wind is never even, it keeps changing in intensity such that whenever a connection is initiated to the electrical grid, there is usually an uneven power supply. Besides, there are even certain regions like the Gulf Coast where there are too strong winds that may even damage wind turbines.
Another setback to wind power is that the storage of excess energy still presents a challenge to most people. Excess energy that is generated by wind turbines can be stored in the form of hydrogen, battery and other forms. However, this still requires more research so that the energy can become more commercially viable. Transmission of wind energy from remote locations may also be a bit challenging especially for large-sized utilities in most occasions, wind turbines are not erected in urban centers.
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Advantages and Disadvantages of Sustainable Energy
Today, there is an on-going advocacy for people around the world to begin embracing sustainable energy sources. The sustainable energy sources include solar, wind, geothermal, wave and tidal. Through all the sources, electricity or energy can be generated for use in various equipment and procedures. However, it is very important that you get to know the advantages and disadvantages of sustainable energy sources before making a decision to also focus your energy concerns on them.
One of the greatest advantages of sustainable energy sources is that they can never run out supply. These energy sources like the sun or even wind have been in existence for thousands of years and no one can even tell when they will be extinct. There are here to stay and will continue to provide energy for thousands of years to come. As a result of this, sustainable energy is one that we can depend on to fulfill our electricity needs for today, tomorrow and the years to come. As a result of this, it can be said that sustainable energy has massive benefits to the economy since it will not require any greater savings in order to continue enjoying the use of renewable energy. A little maintenance is the only thing that will be required; however, this does not cost much.
Another advantage that is even making the world to intensively advocate for the use of sustainable energy sources is because they are harmless to the environment. Compared to fossil fuels, sustainable energy has got no harmful impact on the environment even if used for decades.
Another benefit of sustainable energy is that it creates energy independence that is not common with other energy sources like oil or other fossil fuels. The reason for this is because most of the sources of sustainable energy like wind and solar do not belong to anyone. In fact, there is not even a particular country or group of nations that can claim ownership of such kinds of energy sources. However, countries where there are sources of geothermal and hydroelectric power may claim ownership over the areas where the plants exist. But as for wind and solar, they can be used by anyone at any time that they have the need and in any amount that they want.
Despite the numerous benefits of sustainable energy sources, it should be noted that there are also a few disadvantages that you may need to take note of. The main disadvantage that is associated with sustainable energy is that initiating facilities or making installations for the harvesting of the energy may at times be expensive. However, this is no cause for alarm since several governments have today introduced subsidies to ensure that the solar panels and other equipment for harvesting green energy are offered at reduced prices. Besides, there are even grants that are being offered to ensure that people are not burdened when it comes to starting up projects for sustainable energy.
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Finjan, Inc. v. Secure Computing Corp Patent Infringement
Finjan, Inc. v. Secure Computing Corp patent infringement case was presented before the United States Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit in 2010. It involved proactive scanning techniques for ensuring computer security.
Finjan, Inc. is a company that provides security solutions to enterprise web. It sued the Secure Computing Corp, Webwasher AG and Cyberguard Corp for infringing three patents in the US. These are the patent number 6,092,194, number 6,804,780 and number 7,058,822. In counterclaim, the defenders accused Finjan for infringing two patents of in the US. These are the patent number 6,357,010 and number 7,185,361.
According to the Jury who presided over the case, these patents were valid. Finjan had not infringed any of the patents of the defendants. However, defendants had infringed on all patents asserted in the Finjan claims. As such, Finjan was awarded damaged worth $9.18 million by the district court under 35 U.S.C 284. A permanent injunction was also issued against defendants.
After passing the verdict, defendants appealed for both damages and infringement. On the other hand, Finjan appealed the damage ruling by the district court. Finjan claimed that it should be awarded more damages for duration between post-judgment and the pre-injunction.
In the case, Finjan had three patents that were related to the proactive scanning technology. These technologies were used in detecting and defeating previously unknown computer threats on the internet. These patents were as follows:
- 194 Patent: This included the method claims, storage medium, and system claims that could compromise receiving and comparing steps for downloadable and protection downloadable execution for the purpose of detecting and preventing threats.
- 780 Patent: It included system, storage medium and method claims. It also covered caching or identification of downloadable files that had been encountered previously.
- 822 Patent: This included the system and method claims. It also addressed sandboxing of downloadable items that were potentially dangerous with a protective code.
After hearing appeals from the two sides, the Federal Circuit decision was mixed up. This is because method claims are difficult to determine since they might require performance of some functionalities to find infringement. In regards to infringements, Federal Circuit affirmed infringement of the storage medium and system patent of Finjan by Secure Computing. However, it reversed infringement of method claim of Finjan.
In regards to the damages award, Federal Circuit affirmed the $9.18 damages awarded to Finjan and also remanded the district court to conduct extra assessment for additional damages between post-judgment and the pre-injunction duration.
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Uniloc USA, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp. Patent Infringement
Uniloc USA, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp. patent infringement case was filed originally in 2006 in U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island. Uniloc is a copy protection and computer security software company. It was established in 1992. This company operates on patent-based technology given to Ric Richardson. Uniloc develops try and buy applications which is distribute through magazines. They apps are also preinstalled in new computers.
In this case, the controversial patent was 216 patent. In the US, it is patent number 5,490,216. This is a software registration system deterring users of the software from copying it to other computers. According to Uniloc, Product Activation Feature of Microsoft infringed this patent.
The Product Activation Feature of Microsoft acts as a gatekeeper for different Windows operating systems as well as the Microsoft Office products. Users are required to enter a key with 25 characters in this product. The key is an alphanumeric key. Based on this software, it forms a Product ID and then a Hardware ID is generated from the computer information.
After initiating Product Activation, digital license is requested from Microsoft via the internet. In a remote location, the information is entered into an SHA-1 Windows products’ algorithm or MD5 message digest algorithms for the Office products.
Both software pieces hinder copying of the software casually and users install the copies of program in multiple computers. This violates the conditions of software license. According to Uniloc, Microsoft uses algorithms in the product activation application that infringe its patent.
Microsoft and Uniloc used product key with an aim of reducing unauthorized copying of their software. The district court granted a summary judgment that declared that Microsoft did not infringe patent of Uniloc. However, Uniloc appealed the ruling of the district court in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. This court reversed the ruling and the decision was remanded.
In remanded case, the district court returned the infringement verdict. The court found that infringement by Microsoft was willful and therefore it rewarded Uniloc damages worth $388 million. However, district court allowed for a new trial on willfulness and infringement and other motions after the post-trial motions. Uniloc appealed again.
The new infringement trial was reversed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit but it affirmed the lack of evidence on the side of Uniloc to prove that the willfulness. A new trial for damage costs was granted.
Later, Microsoft and Uniloc reached a mutually agreeable settlement and the terms of this resolution were kept secret.
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TiVo Inc. v. EchoStar Corp. Patent Infringement
TiVo Inc. v. EchoStar Corp. patent infringement case was presented in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas as well as the United States Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit. The case took place between 2004 and 2011.
In this lawsuit, TiVo Inc. was suing EchoStar Corp. claiming that it had infringed its DVR technology patent. Several issues were addressed during the litigation. They included product redesign infringement, injunctions wording, patent infringement, contempt sanctions and court orders’ contempt.
A permanent injunction was issued by the court against EchoStar Corp. However, EchoStar appealed against this judgment in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The infringement judgment was reversed by the Federal Circuit court after review due to hardware claims. However, infringement due to software claims was affirmed by the court. The injunction issued by the District Court was maintained during the court of appeals’ proceedings.
According to the court, EchoStar Corp was not only in contempt of the court due to its non-compliance with the injunction, but it had also infringed the patent of TiVo Inc. EchoStar appealed against the contempt of court judgment in the Federal Circuit. However, EchoStar Corp arguments did not move the court.
The court affirmed the ruling and EchoStar was mentioned for rehearing at the en banc. After review, en banc Federal Circuit noted that KSM test could not work and it established a new post-infringement contempt proceeding test. The existing contempt test was replaced by the court with a one-step test. This simplified test made it difficult for holders of patent to prove contempt due to repeat infringement.
Upon vacation, en banc Federal Circuit remanded infringement provision of a permanent injunction. However, it affirmed the contempt judgment in respect to violation of Disablement provision. This implied that court held EchoStar in contempt of court. However, the two parties in the case reached an agreement, EchoStar Corp. paid licensing fee to TiVo Inc.
On 29th April 2011, the companies reached a settlement worth $500 million. EchoStar Corp. accepted to license TiVo Inc.’s DVR technology. Additionally, the pending litigations were set for dismissal with prejudice and injunctions dissolved. However, en banc federal did not dismiss the Federal Circuit appeal since a decision had been reached before a settlement. Thus, all parties were free on remand to ask the District court to dismiss complaint and to vacate sanctions that had been imposed before die to settlement.
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Diamond v. Chakrabarty Patent Infringement
Diamond v. Chakrabarty patent infringement case was heard in the United Sates Supreme Court in 1980. The case entailed the patentability of genetically modified organisms. Genetic engineer known as Ananda Mohan Chakrabarty developed a bacterium called Pseudomona putida while working with General Electric. The bacterium can break down crude oil which made it suitable for treating future oil spills.
Chakrabarty was listed as the investor of the bacterium by the General Electric when the company applied for patent. However, patent examiner rejected the application on the basis that patent law of that time considered living things as not being patentable subject matters. The examiner quoted Section 101 of the Title 35 U.S.C.
Although the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences upheld the initial decision, the United States Court of Customs and patent did not. It overturned this case in favor of Chakrabarty noting that for the purposes of patent law, the fact that all micro-organisms are living things does not have legal significance. Sidney A. Diamond who was the Patents and Trademarks’ commissioner made an appeal to Supreme Court. This case was deliberated on 17th March 1980. A decision was made on 16th June 1980 and on 31st March 1981, USPTO granted patent.
In the decision that was made in Chakrabarty’s favor, the court noted that a live micro-organism made by human under Title 35 U.S.C, 101. The micro-organism of the respondent constituted of a composition of matter or manufacture within the statute. The decision was written by Warren E. Burger, the Chief Justice. Others who joined him were Potter Stewart, William Rehnquist, John Paul Stevens and Harry Blackmun.
According to Burger, the case presented to the court was narrow according to the interpretation of Title 35 U.S.C, 101. The title allows individuals or entities who discovers or invents useful and new processes, machines, matter’s composition or manufacture whether new or improvement to obtain patent for them under the conditions stipulated by the title.
The judges cautioned the court against reading conditions and limitations in the patent laws which had not been expressed by the legislature. The court observed that when congress chose expansive terms such as composition of matter and manufacture and later modified to any, was a plain contemplation of the wide scope of the patent laws. The court concluded that congress intended to include anything under the sun that is man made in the list of patentable subject matter.
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Aro Mfg. Co. v. Convertible Top Replacement Co. Patent Infringement
Aro Mfg. Co. v. Convertible Top Replacement Co. patent infringement case was presented in the United States Supreme Court in 1961. While deliberating on this case, the Court redefined repair and reconstruction doctrine of the U.S patent law. The decision made by the Court is known as Aro I in some cases because some years later similar issues were readdressed by the Supreme Court in another case in 1964 in which similar parties were involved.
In controversy in the case was about fabric top replacement in a convertible automobile’s roof assembly. After sometime, fabric tops of a convertible would become discolored and torn due to droppings from birds. Owners would like to replace the part of the tops that is made of cloth without having to purchase the entire top assembly of the convertible.
The patent would cover some metal parts and the cloth that would be serviceable. Aro supplied replacement cloth that would fit different car models. Patent infringement arose when Aro refused to pay patentee a royalty fee.
Before the Supreme Court made a decision in Aro I case, buyers of patented products replaced the components of the products. The lower courts in the U.S decided whether this conduct was permitted as a repair or an impermissible reconstruction of patented article using complex and multi-factor balancing test. When making the decision, the courts had to weigh several factors including cost of replaced components against the relative components of the whole article, replaced components against the overall number of the components, life span of the components and essence of the replaced components, as well as whether the replaced component was the gist of the entire invention.
In its opinion, the court of appeals said that the main issue is not relatively expensive or minor component of patented combination or element that is expected to wear out after some years of use despite having an expectable life span that is shorter than life span of other components. For this reason, the court concluded that the owner would or would not rationally believe that a minor repair was being made while replacing worn out fabric. Instead, this replacement would account for a major reconstruction.
However, few precedents of the Supreme Court had a broader analysis than foregoing the factor analysis. The Court noted that distilled essence of the case originated from a ruling by Judge Learned Hand who stated that patent monopolists should not hinder their buyers from reconditioning articles that are worn out by use unless if they make new articles. On this basis, the court rejected factor analysis approach used by the lower courts on reconstruction and repair.
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Measures to Enhance Euro Zone Recovery
The European Union together with the euro area have responded to the euro crisis by coming up with measures that will help improve financial stability, improve economic governance and support employment and growth. The financial and global economic crisis that started in 2008 has left a profound impact on the EU as well as its member states’ economies.
The public debt crisis that came in the wake of the crisis exposed the fact that there was structural weakness in the European economies like unsustainable levels of private or public debate and declining competiveness. In addition to this, it revealed systematic shortcomings in the monetary and economic union itself.
In response to the crisis, European institutions and governments took a range of measures that were aimed at safeguarding the financial stability of the Euro and strengthening institutional architecture f the EU and the euro area as a whole. They came to an agreement about comprehensive economic governance reform for purposes of avoiding the occurrence of similar shocks in the future.
Positive fragmentation and sentiment
During the first half of 2014, there are three economic developments that have taken place in the euro zone.
- Acute phase of Euro crisis has come to an end officially. Countries that are worst affected like Portugal and Greece have found their way to the capital markets and spread on bonds of the crisis in these countries declined even further. Portugal also followed the Ireland example by leaving the program for bailout. The euro zone has continued to grow as a whole while the sentiment indicator is used as the yardstick for economic expectations.
Several factors are driving the recovery of the euro zone such as the introduction of accommodative monetary policies by the ECB June aimed at addressing the crisis. The goals of ECB are those of countering deflationary tendencies and supporting lending to the real economy. The ECB package includes the following:
- Low key interest rates
- Offers for cheap bank loans on the terms that lending to corporate is increased.
- Imposing of a negative interest rate which should be on bank deposits that are made overnight by the ECB
All these factors add up to a range of monetary stimulus programs aimed to aid in recovery of the euro zone. The ECB has also made a commitment to introduce some additional measures which might be unconventional if it sees any risk that might lead to a season of low inflation.
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Effects of Euro Zone Crisis on US
The euro crisis isn’t just a predicament facing the Euro Zone but rather, one that affects the global economy. The crisis hit in 2008 leaving behind an unprecedented history and affecting the global economy disrupting world order. No one knows for certain the duration the crisis will last or what kind of end result impact it will have on the global economy.
Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Ireland are among the countries that have the largest GDP debt ratios and huge unsustainable fiscal deficits. The recent Standard & Poor’s cut rating by the United States cut the credit ratings of 9 Euro zone countries.
Austria and France got stripped of their Triple A status that was coveted by many countries and it also downgraded the rescue fund (EESF) one notch to AA+ from an A. This downgrade was an echo of the views held by Germany, the only euro zone major country to have retained its top position. In accordance to Standard & Poor’s, such downgrade was inevitable taking into account the cuts in creditworthiness of Austria and France two guarantors of EFSF.
The EFSF was set up in May 2010 by seventeen governments sharing the same currency in order to make provision of emergency loans to some of the countries that were needy. It boasts of having an effective lending capacity of five hundred billion Euros which is based on eighty billion Euros and a callable capital that amounts to six hundred and twenty billion Euros.
Europe is also a key trade partner with North America and China as such the crisis also has a major impact on the economies of these two countries. Apart from the slowdown, governments can also decide to reduce spending and cut their budgets which can lead to unemployment. Such factors will also serve to bring the euro into an even much more deep recession.
The default by Greece had been in the offing since the crisis struck after talks between creditors and the Greeks down. Greece was supposed to come into agreement with private sectors so it could accept its voluntary losses on Greek bond holdings.
The European countries have already embarked on policies that will help with deficit cutting and which might damage the prospects by drawing out the demand of the economy. According to OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) the worsening state of the euro zone crisis will affect the demand for oil. The crisis is also expected to impact consumption of oil from emerging economies driving increased global usage of fuel.
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Effects of Euro Zone Crisis on South Africa
The euro zone crisis posed a serious and real threat to South Africa’s economy. By January 2013, South Africa businesses had estimated a loss of US$ 15 billion in revenue because of the crisis. With 4 out of every 10 businesses affected on a global scope, there was an increase in the number of businesses that chose to make investment elsewhere.
An International Business report that was published by Grant Thornton’s estimated that the crisis wiped out $ 2trillion off revenues on a global scope and the effect would have a long term effects for EU business prospects which in turn would choose to carry out less trade in the country.
Towards the end of November 2011, 505 of finance professionals in South Africa felt the euro crisis had impacted their businesses negatively while another 28% claimed they expected their businesses to get affected by the crisis.
The crisis still poses a serious threat to the economy and the most optimistic Europe scenario translates to bad news for the country’s trade with Europe. The possibility of South Africa benefiting from Euro trade is therefore dampened unless there is employment of new growth strategies and alternate trade partners found.
At least a third of manufactured exports from South Africa are purchased by European countries. This means that the economy is heavily dependent on the European countries and though there are slight improvements noted in the euro zone economy, it is likely that recession will continue. This is especially true in the face of tightened bank lending conditions and widespread fiscal austerity. It is because of reasons such as these that the demand for exports from South Africa by European countries will continue to go down.
The expanding economies of Asia are however providing a source of demand for local exports from South Africa. Though this is the case, the demand is of raw materials and commodities rather than manufactured goods and this has also put a strain on South Africa’s manufacturing industry.
While the South Africa government has faced all these challenges, it has proven that it is willing to take the necessary actions needed to cushion its economy from the economic slowdown experienced globally. It has put in place national budget and policies that are geared towards creation of an environment that is conducive to allow growth of the economy.
However, for the plans to be effective there is need to put in place greater controls on government spending in order to ensure funds are used effectively.
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Effects of Euro Zone Crisis on Singapore
The total trade amount in Singapore is 3 times its GDP making it one of the most open economies in the world. The euro zone crisis has been described as the major risk the country is facing especially in respect to its financial and economy systems. The Central Bank in warned that the nation needed to brace for ‘adverse turn of events’ in August 2011.
At that time, Monetary Authority of Singapore managing director, Revi Menon said that any deterioration of the euro zone, which was the biggest export market, would hurt the economy and also lead to dry up of bank credit.
When the euro crisis broke out, the euro zone governments made the necessary steps that were needed to reverse the state of things. However, the government of Singapore warned its citizens to prepare for adverse turn of events. Some of the immediate effects that were as a result of the crisis included the following:
- A shadow in financial markets after Spanish borrowing prices hit a high in the midst of fears Madrid would be in need of a fully blown out bailout.
- Singapore experienced a dry up of credit account as was the case in the aftermath of the United States bank Lehman Brothers which happened in 2008 leaving global markets completely hammered.
- Retraction of euro zone banks trade activities not only in Asia but in global and local banks as well that stepped in to fill the void.
- As an international financial center, Singapore braced itself for excessive outflows and inflows of capital and this impacted the Singapore dollar.
The EU is known as the largest trade partner for Singapore and as such, slowdown in trade with the region means that the recession spectre will only rise higher. The markets are therefore expected to pay special attention to the markets. The manufacturing industry in the country makes a quarter of the GDP which is the measure of value of the state of economy in the city.
Revi Menon, in 2012 August however said that the state of economy in Singapore was on the right track and that the financial system was sound. However, he also warned that people should prepare themselves to brace any storm they might be exposed to. Between 2013 and 2012, the economy was 1.0 and 3.0 % from a 4.9% that was recorded a year earlier.
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Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Patent Infringement
Law suits between electronic manufacturing companies have become rampant in the Federal Courts. One of the widespread lawsuits was between Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Company limited. The case was based on the dispute between the design of smartphones and tablet computers between the two companies. More than half of smartphones were sold globally as of July 2012. Apple had begun to litigate against Samsung in a patent infringement suit whereas; Apple and Motorola Mobility were engaged in a patent war on several instances.
Design patents took core stage in the epic battle between two great electronic companies in the world; Apple Inc., and Samsung Electronics Company. What took place was a dispute centered on design rights between two titans in the electronic world. The case grip was felt not only in the legal fields, but also in the conventional media and press. The case came at the right time and more so during the advanced design era of smartphones and tablets.
In April 2011, Apple filled its complaint against Samsung in the U.S District Court of California. Apple accused Samsung of infringing eight utility patents, six trade dress rights and seven design patents. Apple trimmed its allegations down to three utility patents, four design patents and four trade dress rights and this was after the urging of Judge Koh. Apple claimed that its intellectual property rights have been infringed by two Samsung tablets and 26 Samsung smartphones. Apple clarified that Samsung’s new acquired status was as a result of, copying its lavish product designs.
Apple repeatedly used different demonstratives at the trial to make its claims clear. It required the jury to look at the difference in appearance of the widely acclaimed and commercialized Samsung smartphones before and after the 2007 apple’s iPhone. To clarify their patent infringement allegations, Apple presented to the jury four asserted design patents.
This includes U.S patent Nos. D593, D618, 677; D504, 889 and D604, 305 whereas the D’087 and D’ 677 patents were both send to the ornamental appearance of the front part of the smartphone. The D’889 appeared on the overall appearance of the Samsung tablet. There are more features that Apple that claimed Samsung copied from them to come up with more unique designs.
When the functional element argument was brought forward, Samsung argued that all the asserted Apple design patents are “invalid” due to the fact that each claimed trait in the designs is functional and not ornamental. The basic coverage on the law of design patent infringement was also employed in the case. The first patent infringement test was laid down by United States Supreme Court in 1871 in Gorham Co.v. White. On the Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics co. ltd patent infringement case serves a meaningful data points that can aid in reference in case of a similar case.
The jury was made in regard to distinctive findings on the difference between the patents and accused products. Apple is seeking $2 billion on damages. The trial began on April 2014 and by May 2nd 2014; Samsung was instructed to pay $119.6 million to apple for patent infringement on its smartphone designs. This is a good lesson to manufacturers of many electronics in the world as no one wants to be the design team for its rival corporation.
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Asgrow Seed Co. V. Winterboer Patent Infringement
Many companies offering solutions to farmers in the globe have been established, but many have not been able to protect their inventions. Cases of patent infringement have been reported now and then, however, the case of Asgrow Seed Company against Winterboer was widespread and opened eyes of many corporations. The Plant Variety Protection Act [PVPA] of 1970 is a great act that many companies have relied on for many years. Asgrow is one of the widely acknowledged companies that have embraced the act by filling a patent infringement case against Winterboer.
Asgrow Seed Company held two plant variety protection act [PVPA] certificates protecting different variety of soybean seed. These two certificates act as patent presenting a great way to promote research on new varieties of plants and to protect the owners of the seed varieties from any unauthorized sales. There is an exemption for farmers who sell seeds to other farmers who core occupation is growing crops for sale. In 1990, Winterboer planted
Asgrow soybean variety and harvested 256 acres of land. Winterboer then sold the enough seeds to plant 1000 acres of land to many other farmers.
Asgrow did not take these actions by Winterboer as appropriate and claimed that the PVPA prohibits anyone from selling seeds more than would be needed to replant in his own land. This means that Winterboer sold what could not be planted in his respective land. Winterboer argued that the protections in the PVPA statute protect sales of unlimited amounts of seeds as long as both seller and buyer are able to grow crops primarily for “other than reproductive purposes”.
The case of Asgrow Seed Co. V. Winterboer was widespread and many people whether entrepreneurs or farmers want to see which side the federal court will rule in favor of in the case. The district court ruled in favor of Asgrow Seed Company; however the United State Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit reversed and disavowed Asgrow’s petition for rehearing of the case. If you are still wondering, whether the quantity of protected seed that a farmer can sell under the protections in the PVPA is limited to the amount of see the seller would require to replant on his own fields, then this case of Asgrow Seed Co. V. Winterboer offers exceptional solutions.
The best answer to your question regarding the amount of seeds to sell as compared to want to replant in your fields is; YES! In a decision authored by Justice Antonin Scalia, the court showed that a farmer may sell for reproductive purposes only such seed as he or she has saved for the purpose of replanting in his or her own land.
On the other hand, Plant Variety Protection Act [PVPA] statute allows farmers to save seeds to replant and then sell that saved seed to other farmers, it also bars growing protected seed as a “step in marketing” it as a seed for planting. The Federal court held the case because Winterboer’s planting and harvesting was conducted specially to market Asgrow’s protected seeds varieties. Winterboer surrendered eligibility for the PVPA exemption and infringed on Asgrow’s protective certificate patents.
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