11 surprising and insightful statistics about startups

 

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The rate at which a startup grows has long been a big determinant of startup success. While growth matters, over 70% of startups fail because of premature scaling. This finding and 10 more listed below will help you make wiser decisions based on previous failures, successes and data-backed conclusions.

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China is building an innovation ecosystem ripe for start-ups. Here’s how

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The government is pumping funds into research, education and innovative projects, as Chinese tech firms flourish and investors and venture capitalists flock.

With rising production costs, an ageing population and shrinking return on investments it is clear why China’s economy has shifted from labour-intensive manufacturing to an innovation-driven paradigm in just a few years.

Today, Huawei is the largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer in the world and JD.com, Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu are among the world’s top 10 internet companies in terms of revenue. These companies, and the new tech-based businesses seeking to emulate their success, have all benefited from the “innovation ecosystem” China is developing.

So what are the key elements that make up this ecosystem and have enabled China’s economy to rapidly climb the value chain?

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IBM patenting watermark technology to protect ownership of AI models

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Digital properties such as photos and videos get stolen frequently, which is why many creators of such forms of content employ watermarking methodologies so that ownership is easier to claim in case of theft. Another less-known digital property that can get stolen are artificial intelligence (AI) models, that have been developed by researchers after months, and sometimes years of effort.

IBM is now developing a technique to allow AI researchers to “watermark” these models. The technology is currently “patent-pending”.

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Patent system gets streamlined makeover

Margaret Focarino, Commissioner for Patents, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) was in a state of crisis in 2009. There was a huge backlog of pending patent applications and it was growing. The process for reviewing patents had not changed in decades and was out-of-date. Employee job satisfaction was low and the longstanding distrust between management and the patent examiners union was ever-present.

 

 

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U.S. backs copyright “limitations”

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The US government learns that copyright maximalism won’t work as ACTA withers.

In San Diego last week,  another negotiating round began for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. To the amazement of everyone, the US Trade Representative (USTR) announced on July 3 it would now include a provision in the intellectual property (IP) chapter recognizing the importance of “limitations and exceptions” to copyright and embracing the international 3-part test for what constitutes suitable limitations and exceptions. (For those not familiar with this term of art, “limitations and exceptions” are things like Fair Use and First Sale Doctrine in the United States. As the name implies, limitations and exceptions to copyright limit the rights of the copyright holder and create exceptions to the general rule against copying without permission.)

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ACLU Takes on Biotech Over Patent on Genes

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Lisbeth Ceriani, a breast-cancer survivor who was also a plaintiff in an ACLU case to overturn the patent on the BRCA gene held by Myriad Genetics

For Lisbeth Ceriani, news that a judge had invalidated the patent on the gene that almost killed her was a victory. Gene patents, she says, are “turning our bodies into commerce.”

 

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