Challenges Facing Irish Tourism
There are several challenges facing Irish tourism. Tourism is among the biggest economic contributors to the Irish republic. In 2011, Ireland received more than 6.2 million visitors. Most visitors in this country come from France, Germany, United States and the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, despite receiving a high number of tourists Ireland tourism industry has its challenges as well.
Persistence of difficult economic situations is among the challenges that have been affecting tourism in Ireland recently. Global recession that affected almost every nation had impact on Irish tourism as well. Tourism and travel industry of Ireland faced challenges as a result of the recession from international and domestic fronts.
Over the recent past, Irish tourism has experienced a reduction in the consumer demand as well as restricted spending among the tourists. This has affected the tourism industry negatively especially retail and travel accommodation areas. Both outgoing and incoming tourism suffered more losses especially from 2012.
Retention of the reduced rate of VAT is now welcome and it has helped in improving the situation. Before June 2012, the VAT rate was at 13.5 percent which had a negative effect on the tourism industry especially the hotel operators. High VAT rate made the operating cost high for the hotel operators. This made potential investors run away from the tourism industry making its expansion or growth slow.
Another challenge that is facing Irish tourism industry is the unwillingness of the local investors to invest in the industry. Following the impact of the 2012 economic recession in Ireland, investors are still not confident in the potential of the tourism industry.
Analysts observe that instead of investing in Ireland, most investors in this country especially the big companies are chasing investment opportunities in other countries. This has denied Irish tourism industry funding from local investors.
There is also an uncoordinated competition among the players in the Irish tourism industry. For instance, hotels are competing with guesthouses. In 2012, guesthouses had the worst performance ever. This is because they were facing competition from hotels which had room rates also decline. This combined with extensive promotion made by hotels impacted on the guesthouses negatively making some guesthouse operators close their businesses.
Separation of the Shannon Airport from the Dublin Airport Authority also caused some confusion at first. However, this move has later boosted the tourism industry with more people using the airport to enter and leave Ireland.
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Challenges Facing Irish Agriculture
There are many challenges facing Irish agriculture today. Agriculture has always been the mainstay of Ireland. However, the number of farmers in the fields in Ireland has been decreasing each year. This has a bearing in the overall production and output from agriculture. Statistics by the Irish government indicate that one out of five farmers in this country is poor. This implies that the farmer earns an annual income that is not more than £7,000.
This is not enough and things appear even worse when challenges facing Irish agriculture are considered closely. Decline in agriculture in Ireland has happened at a time when huge investments have been made in this sector. 1.25 billion pounds were invested under the Structural Funding program of the European Union. This has made many people to wonder what would happen to the Irish agriculture if there were no such funding.
This fact has increased the challenges facing Irish agriculture because investors are running away from the sector. Thus, the agriculture sector is lacking investors to pump the necessary resources for reviving it. This bad outlook of agriculture coupled with low returns for farmers is making it difficult for the sector to capture the attention of capable investors.
Another challenge that the Irish farming is facing is the pressure from other states to abolish support of the agriculture sector by the European Union. For instance, the WTO has been very vocal on this issue. The aim of this organization is to ensure that Europe is opened up to Australia and America as well as other producers of food products.
There is also oversupply in some agricultural products. For instance, in Ireland beef production is always at 100,000 tons in the stores as surplus. This beef does not have market. Thus, there is a challenge of overproduction of some agricultural produce that does not have a ready market.
There is also the challenge of old farmers. About 25 percent of farmers in Ireland are over 65 years old. About 50 percent farmers are aged 55 years and above. Young people are not involved in farmer. At old age, farmers cannot innovate or even adapt new farming techniques.
There is also the problem of part time farming. There are many farmers in Ireland who are part time farmers. This implies that they are not devoted in farming. They have lands but they engage in farming activities that do not require much attention such as dairy farming. This has led to under-utilization of farm land which in turn reduces the overall agricultural output.
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Benefits of Natural Pest Control
There are many benefits of natural pest control. Natural pest control is used as one of the means of managing pests. It employs biological materials in managing and reducing pest infestations. Many people use this pest control method as an alternative to the commonly used chemical pest control method due to its benefits.
Natural pest control method is based on the notion that nature has a way of maintaining a healthy balance except when human activities interfere with this balance. Naturally, there are good insects and other living organisms that can help in controlling pests. These organisms act as natural predators and they control population of what are considered as harmful insects or pests in the environment.
The major benefit of natural pest control is that it is eco-friendly. It is a natural way of controlling pests. This is because it uses organisms in controlling organisms. One organism that acts as a predator of the pest is raised in large numbers and then released in the garden where a pest has infested. The predator of the pest fights it biologically.
Thus, natural pest control method controls pest without posing any harm to agriculture. The predator kills the target pest only. This implies that friendly insects are not affected by natural pest control method.
In addition, natural pest control has few and in some cases no effects on humans and livestock as well as the environment. This makes it useful in places where there are livestock and pests. In most instances, this method has proven safe and effective in controlling pests.
It works more effectively than other methods such as chemical pest control method that can harm even the beneficial insects and affect the environment negatively. Natural pest control method is an organic method. It continues being effective for a long time after its introduction.
The extended lifespan of the natural pest control method makes it cost-effective because no reintroduction is needed. Thus, unlike chemical pest control method where a farmer has to keep administering the chemical, natural pest control method requires a single introduction in the crop.
In addition, natural pest control method saves the farmer time. This is because the farmer needs to just introduce the predator to the field that the pests have invaded. The rest will happen naturally. As long as the environment is naturally suitable for the survival of organism, it will reproduce and continue controlling the pest without the farmer applying any effort.
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There are several advantages and disadvantages of pesticide use by farmers. Pesticides are chemicals that kill pests. To most farmers, pesticide use is an unavoidable aspect of farming or gardening. This is because pesticides help in keeping the plants free from pest infestation. Pests are harmful insects whose effects on the crop can be devastating if they are not controlled.
Pesticides help farmers in preventing crop damage by these harmful insects. Although pesticides are important to farmers, using them can pose a risk to the farmer, his family and animals. However, when used properly pesticides may not have significant side effect on humans and animals. Nevertheless, it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of pesticide use before a farmer start using them.
One of the major advantages of pesticide use is that they kill pests faster than other pest control methods. This is because pesticides are specifically formulated chemicals that target certain pests. Once administered in a crop that has been invaded by the pest, pesticides start working immediately by affecting the normal biological functions of the organs of the insect.
Pesticides are also easy to use. With most pesticides, a farmer is just required to mix the pesticide with a specified amount of water and then spray the crop. There are powder pesticides that a farmer applies to the crop that is infested with pests directly. Thus, it takes a few minutes or hours to apply the pesticide and control the pest.
There is also a wide range of pesticides from which a farmer or gardener can choose from. This implies that a farmer can easily find the pesticide that they need to control a particular pest in their farm. Additionally, if a pest has developed resistance to a specific pesticide, a farmer can use another.
Nevertheless, there are also disadvantages of pesticide use as well. For instance, when a pesticide is overused in controlling a particular pest it can develop resistance. If the traits for the resistance are genetic-based, then the pesticide will no longer be effective in controlling that pest.
Some pesticides also kill beneficial insects. Insects such as bees which are agents of pollination can be killed by some pesticides. In addition, some pesticides have residual effects that can be passed on to humans who consume the crops on which they are applied. When used in the field, pesticides are carried by rain water and deposited in water bodies such as rivers and lakes where they interfere with aquatic life.
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Winners and Losers of Globalization
Globalization brought in a lot of changes, some negative and others positive. This is the reason why it is said that there are winners and losers of globalization; there are those that it changed for the better and others that it drove towards the path of poverty and desperation. It is generally believed that there are only two groups that emerged as the winners of globalization. These are the countries that were very rich or occupied the top spot in terms of the distribution of national and global income and those that were at the middle-level of emerging market economies like Indonesia, Brazil and China.
To date, it is still challenging to either confirm or reject these insights. However, a database of surveys conducted by the World Bank and other organization on households offer a clear picture on the winners and losers of globalization. From the statistics, we are able to get the clear view of the impacts of globalization in the past two decades, stretching from 1988 to 2008.
Based on the report by the World Bank, it is indicated that the top of the global income distribution are the ones that registered highly significant increases in per capita income. Closely following suit at are the emerging global middle class economies that comprise of more than one third of the population of the world. Within the period of the past two decades, the top 1% has seen their real income shoot upwards by more than 60%.
When trying to unearth the real winners and losers of globalization, it should be noted that there was an even greater increase by those sections of the global income distribution that occupied the median. These experienced a real increase of around 70% to 80% at the median.
Around the 50th and 60th percentile of global income distribution, is where we find some 40 million Indians, 270 million Chinese, 35 million Indonesians and 20 million Brazilians. Besides, there are also some Egyptians and Mexicans. These parts are occupied by people who in 2008 had annual per capita incomes ranging between 1,100 to 1,600 international dollars after tax. Even at the bottom third of the global income distribution table, we also find that significant improvements have been made with the incomes rising above 40% to about 60%.
The poorest 5% of the world’s population whose real incomes have only managed to move up by 16% can be termed as the losers. These are people whose real incomes within the two decades period only improved by single digits. In other words, they can be referred to as the global upper-middle class and include Communist nations, Latin America and the citizens of rich countries with immobile real incomes.
The winners of globalization are basically the elite transnational capitalist class who are mainly from the developed countries. Their economic interests are usually globally focused. The losers are the low qualified or unqualified who mainly operate in markets with little competition. It should be noted that even capitalists in developing nations are losers.
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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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