Press Releases

Michael Shanahan Joins General Patent Corporation as Vice President & General Counsel

Shanahan Brings Wealth of Corporate and Law Firm IP Licensing
and Litigation Experience to General Patent

Suffern, N.Y. – February 10, 2015 − Michael E. Shanahan has joined General Patent Corporation (GPC), a leading patent monetization firm, as Vice President & General Counsel. In that position, he will manage the corporate legal department, responsible for all litigation activities at GPC. 

Mr. Shanahan brings considerable experience in all areas of IP licensing and litigation to GPC. His career includes first-chair trial experience in federal courts, appeals and interference proceedings as well as patent prosecution before the USPTO.

Before joining GPC, Mr. Shanahan served as General Counsel at Signature Systems LLC. Prior to that he was a partner at McDermott, Will & Emery and at Brown Rudnick Berlack & Israels. His legal career further includes positions at the New York offices of Brown Raysman Millstein Felder & Steiner and Fish & Neave. He began his career at the Bendix unit of Allied Signal Aerospace as an electrical engineer designing aerospace guidance systems. 

“We are delighted to have Michael join our team,” said Alexander Poltorak, Chairman and CEO of General Patent Corporation. “Michael has a wealth of experience that he will put to good use at GPC on behalf of our clients. We welcome him aboard.”

“General Patent is a premier full-service intellectual property organization,” observed Mr. Shanahan. “I am pleased to join the GPC team to help innovators use their IP to level the playing field and succeed in the marketplace.”

Mr. Shanahan received his law degree from New York Law School, and he holds a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering, and an MS in Computer Engineering, from Manhattan College. 

He is admitted to the bar associations of New York State, District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the Eastern District of Texas, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the United States Supreme Court, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

 

"The Big Mystery: What’s Big Data Really Worth?"

"The Big Mystery: What’s Big Data Really Worth?"
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WSJ logoGeneral Patent's founder and CEO, Alex Poltorak, was quoted in “What's Big Data Really Worth?” (Wall Street Journal - October 12). He referenced how many large business do not also know the value of their enterprise's intellectual assets. You will need a subscription to WSJOnline to read it there, but the link will take you to the full article. Dr. Poltorak's comments are highlighted.

The Big Mystery: What’s Big Data Really Worth?
A Lack of Standards for Valuing Information Confounds Accountants, Economists
By Vipal Monga

What groceries you buy, what Facebook FB +1.03% posts you “like” and how you use GPS in your car: Companies are building their entire businesses around the collection and sale of such data. 

The problem is that no one really knows what all that information is worth. Data isn’t a physical asset like a factory or cash, and there aren’t any official guidelines for assessing its value. 

“It’s flummoxing that companies have better accounting for their office furniture than their information assets,” said Douglas Laney, an analyst at technology research and consulting firm Gartner Inc. IT +0.56% “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” 

As more companies traffic in information and use big-data analytic tools to find ways to generate revenue, the lack of standards for valuing data leaves a widening gap in our understanding of the modern business world. 

Corporate holdings of data and other “intangible assets,” such as patents, trademarks and copyrights, could be worth more than $8 trillion, according to Leonard Nakamura, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. That’s roughly equivalent to the gross domestic product of Germany, France and Italy combined. 

These intangibles are becoming an evermore important part of the global economy. The value of patents, for example, has become a major driver of both mergers and lawsuits for technology giants like Google Inc., GOOGL +1.46% Apple Inc. AAPL +1.88% and Samsung Electronics Co. 005930.SE +1.56% But those assets don’t appear on company financial statements. 

“We want some kind of accounting information about it, so you have a better idea of how companies are investing for growth,” said Mr. Nakamura. 

The issue isn’t confined to the tech industry. Supermarket operator Kroger Co. KR +2.13% records what customers buy at its more than 2,600 stores and also tracks the purchasing history of its roughly 55 million loyalty-card members. It sifts this data for trends and then, through a joint venture, sells the information to the vendors who stock its shelves with goods ranging from cereals to sodas.

Consumer-products makers like Procter & Gamble Co. PG +1.19% and Nestlé SA are willing to pay for those insights because it allows them to tailor their products and marketing to consumer preferences. Mr. Laney and others estimate that Kroger rakes in $100 million a year from data sales. But Kroger executives are mum on the subject. 

Kroger does say that it follows generally accepted accounting principles, which prohibit companies from treating data as an asset or counting money spent collecting and analyzing the data as investments instead of costs.

The Financial Accounting Standards Board, the nation’s accounting authority, has struggled to update its rules for an economy increasingly driven by information and intellectual property. FASB has debated the question of intangible assets twice between 2002 and 2007. Both times, complications convinced the agency to drop it from the agenda. Last month, however, members of the advisory council again advised the board to research intangibles, said agency spokeswoman Christine Klimek.

Among the issues: how to account for time employees spent gathering data—as an expense or a capital investment? 

Companies also would have to estimate the shelf-life of their data, figure out its future worth and track and report any changes in its value. Crunching those numbers would be relatively easy for a physical asset like a factory. But in the squishy world of intangibles, there’s little precedent for such calculations.

“When those kinds of questions arise, they overwhelm the matter,” said Dennis Beresford, who was FASB’s chairman from 1987 to 1997.

The lack of consensus on how to measure data’s value creates an especially big blind spot for investors in tech giants like Facebook Inc., eBay Inc. EBAY +2.15% and Google, which rely on the data they collect for the bulk of their revenue.

“A lot of what is going on at the companies is not being reflected in public disclosures or the accounting,” said Glen Kernick, a managing director at investment-banking and valuation advisory firm Duff & Phelps Corp. 

Facebook, eBay and Google have combined assets minus combined debt of $125 billion. But the combined value of shares is $660 billion. The difference reflects the stock market’s understanding that the companies’ prize assets, such as search algorithms, patents and enormous troves of information on their users and customers, don’t show up on their balance sheets. That leads many investors to value them by other, more volatile benchmarks, such as cash flow or the economic outlook.

Many experts argue that investors don’t need to know the specific value of intangible assets like data. They say a company’s stock price reflects the market’s appraisal of those assets. 

“Data is worthless if you don’t know how to use it to make money,” said Laura Martin, an analyst with Needham & Co. Information on individual users loses value over time as they move or their tastes change, she added. That makes data a perishable commodity and more difficult to value at any given moment.

But relying on the collective wisdom of the market can be dangerous. Many investors lost their shirts in the dot-com bust of 2000, which followed a buying frenzy fueled by the widespread belief that traditional metrics for value and risk didn’t matter in the “new economy.”

One of the rare times that companies put a price tag on data is during corporate takeovers. In fact, the value of the data to be acquired in a deal is becoming an important consideration in mergers, said Bruce Den Uyl, managing director at consulting firm AlixPartners LLP.

Nielsen NLSN +0.31% Holdings NV, which tracks what people watch on television and buy in stores, acquired radio-audience tracker Arbitron Inc. for $1.3 billion in September 2013. As part of that deal, Nielsen broke out the intangible assets it acquired on its balance sheet, including “customer-related intangibles” worth $271 million.

That item included the value of long-term customer relationships as well as customer lists, but Nielsen didn’t specify how much it paid for either.

Nielsen doesn’t give a value for the data it has created on its own. But it assigned a value of $1.98 billion of customer-related intangibles and $4.82 billion of other intangibles it had acquired as of the end of the first quarter. Nielsen declined to comment.

Mr. Den Uyl said that he values data based on how companies will use it to make money, and its expected life. He likened the process to solving a puzzle, in which he first values all the other acquired assets and then assigns some of what’s left to data and goodwill.

A spate of hot patent auctions shows there is an active market for some intangibles, said Alex Poltorak, chairman and chief executive officer of General Patent Corp., which helps companies license and protect their patents.

Nortel Networks Corp. NRTLQ -16.00% sold its technology patents for $4.5 billion in 2011. That is more than the $3.2 billion it got from the sale of its operating businesses after filing for bankruptcy protection in 2009.

That disconnect, Mr. Poltorak said, highlights how “the accounting profession has completely failed modern business in not being able to catch up to new forms of property.”

 

patentadmin Tue, 10/21/2014 - 14:39

Image Processing Technologies Awarded New U.S. Patent

Newly Issued Patent Directed to Tracking a Target Using an Image Processing System

 

Suffern, N.Y., September 3, 2014 − Image Processing Technologies LLC (IPT), a client of General Patent Corporation (GPC), announced today that it has been awarded another patent, bringing the total number of its issued U.S. Patents to twenty-two. 
 
U.S. Patent No. 8,805,001 entitled "Image Processing Method" relates to a process for tracking a target using an image processing system.


In addition to its twenty-two issued U.S. patents, IPT has several patent applications pending at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

 
"This new patent is a valuable addition to our already formidable IP portfolio," says Dr. Yoriko Morita, Vice President of Licensing for General Patent Corporation. "We offer a non-exclusive license under this and other IPT patents on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing terms."
 
For licensing terms, contact Dr. Yoriko Morita at YMorita@GeneralPatent.com, or at (845) 368-4000 Ext. 106.
 

About Image Processing Technologies LLC

Image Processing Technologies LLC (IPT) is a patent licensing company that is managed by General Patent Corporation. IPT owns and licenses two patent portfolios: An image-processing portfolio consisting of 12 patents related to image- processing technology commonly used in scene detection, object tracking and other features of digital cameras as well as other applications; and a printer portfolio consisting of 10 patents related to printer cartridge technology. Non-exclusive licenses are available from IPT on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. For more information visit www.ImageProcessingTech.com.

Ryogen Awarded Two U.S. Patents Directed to Hepatitis C and Diabetes

New Patents Further Develop IP Related to CD81 and Human Glucokinase

Suffern, N.Y. –August 27, 2014 – Ryogen LLC, an R&D company focusing on polynucleotide sequences implicated in human diseases, was awarded two new patents, bringing the total number of its issued U.S. Patents to 34. 

U.S. Patent No. 8,795,959 titled “Isolated glucokinase genomic polynucleotide fragments from chromosome 7” was issued August 5, 2014. This patent continues the theme of a previously issued Ryogen patent, U.S. Patent No. 8,313,899. The new patent claims a method of detection of specified sequences from polynucleotide sequence which encodes a protein that has human glucokinase activity. Glucokinase plays an important role in the regulation of carbohydrate metabolism. It serves as a glucose sensor of the insulin-producing pancreatic cells, controls the conversion of glucose to glycogen in the liver, and regulates hepatic glucose production. Mutations in the gene for this enzyme are associated with different forms of Diabetes and Hypoglycemia. 

U.S. Patent No.8,765,927 titled “Identification of isolated genomic nucleotide fragments from the p15 region of chromosome 11 encoding human cluster of differentiation antigen 81 and variants thereof” was issued on July 1, 2014. The patent builds on other patents in Ryogen’s portfolio directed to CD81, namely U.S. Patent Nos. 8,039,602 and 8,399,638. It claims methods of identifying presence and variance of CD81 Genomic DNA using short segments of non-coding DNA or RNA segments. The CD81 protein is a cell surface protein and has broad tissue distribution. It plays a critical role in Hepatitis C virus attachment and cell entry as well as being a factor in HIV and influenza viruses pathogenesis. CD81 represents a potential therapeutic target to ameliorate inflammatory neurological damage in MS. The loss of CD81 is associated with differentiation and metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma. CD81 protein is expressed at high levels in normal germinal center B cells and in subtypes of human lymphomas.

Valeria Poltorak, Executive Vice President of Ryogen, commented that “the new patents are promising in defining novel therapeutic and diagnostic targets for treatment of Hepatitis C and diabetes. The company’s patents are directed to polynucleotides implicated in various cancers, diabetes and obesity, hepatitis C, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's, and other diseases.”

In addition to its 34 issued patents, Ryogen has patent applications in different stages of prosecution at the U.S. Patent Office. The complete list of issued patents is available at the Patents page of the Ryogen website. The whole IP portfolio is available for licensing to research and business communities on very favorable terms. 


About Ryogen LLC

Ryogen LLC, a genetic R&D company focusing on nucleic acid sequences, implied in human diseases, is located in Suffern, N.Y. Ryogen owns an intellectual property portfolio of 34 patents and several patent applications directed to potentially important applications in biomedical research and, ultimately, diagnostics and drug development. Ryogen was formed with the purpose of making its intellectual property accessible to researchers via licensing of its patents. Ryogen is a business unit in the idea incubator operated by IP Holdings LLC, and Ryogen is managed by General Patent Corporation (GPC). For further information, visit www.Ryogen.com.

About IP Holdings LLC 

IP Holdings LLC, based in Suffern, N.Y., is an IP-centric merchant banking organization that provides IP‐related financial services, patent brokerage services, and operates an idea incubatorthat focuses on patent commercialization. IP Holdings is a member of the GPC Group of Companies. For additional information, visit www.IP-Holdings.com.

Ryogen Awarded Two Patents Directed to Polynucleotide Sequences that Play Key Roles in Various Cancers

New Patents Build on Previous Patents Related to TSSC4 and hMDM2 Homolog

Suffern, N.Y. – July 29, 2014Ryogen LLC, an R&D company focusing on polynucleotide sequences implicated in human diseases, was awarded two new patents this month, bringing the total number of its issued U.S. Patents to 32.

U.S. Patent No. 8,765,928 entitled “Identification of isolated genomic nucleotide fragments from the p15 region of chromosome 11 encoding human tumor suppressing subtransferable candidate 4 (TSSC4) and variants thereof” was issued on July 1, 2014. The TSSC4 gene is one of several tumor-suppressing fragments on chromosome 11, alterations to which have been associated with some cancers. Ryogen’s portfolio includes U.S. Patent No. 8,722,865 directed to TSSC4. This new patent claims a further method of identifying variants in corresponding DNA or RNA polynucleotides. 

U.S. Patent No. 8,771,956 entitled “Modulation of human mouse double minute 2 homolog activity” was issued on July 8, 2014. The patent is directed to MDM2 homolog which was a theme of Ryogen’s Patent Nos. 8,313,910, 7,964,357 and 7,754,424. Human MDM2 homolog is an important regulator of the tumor-suppressing protein p53, “the guardian of genome”, which prevents cancerous mutations. The MDM2 dysregulation is associated with acceleration of tumor formation in some cancers. The methods for modulating levels of human MDM2 homolog activity in a subject, claimed by this patent, could constitute an important tool for controlling cancer.

The addition of the new patents further expands Ryogen’s IP portfolio directed to polynucleotide sequences which play important roles in various cancers, diabetes and obesity, hepatitis C, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's, and other diseases. In addition to its 32 issued patents, the company has patent applications in different stages of prosecution at the U.S. Patent Office.

“The new patents are extremely valuable because they hold a promise for anti-cancer therapies,” said Valeria Poltorak, Executive Vice President of Ryogen. The complete list of issued patents is available at the Patents page of the Ryogen website. The whole IP portfolio is available for licensing to research and business communities on very favorable terms.


About Ryogen LLC

Ryogen LLC, a genetic R&D company focusing on nucleic acid sequences, implied in human diseases, is located in Suffern, N.Y. Ryogen owns an intellectual property portfolio of 32 patents and several patent applications directed to potentially important applications in biomedical research and, ultimately, diagnostics and drug development. Ryogen was formed with the purpose of making its intellectual property accessible to researchers via licensing of its patents. Ryogen is a business unit in the idea incubator operated by IP Holdings LLC, and Ryogen is managed by General Patent Corporation (GPC). For further information, visit www.Ryogen.com.

About IP Holdings LLC

IP Holdings LLC, based in Suffern, N.Y., is an IP-centric merchant banking organization that provides IP‑related financial services, patent brokerage services, and operates an idea incubator that focuses on patent commercialization. IP Holdings is a member of the GPC Group of Companies. For additional information, visit www.IP-Holdings.com

General Patent Corporation Settles Patent Lawsuit with GAO RFID Inc.

GAO RFID Takes a License under the Leighton Technologies Patents

 

Suffern, N.Y., July 24, 2014 − General Patent Corporation (GPC), a leading patent licensing and enforcement firm, announced today on behalf of its subsidiary, Leighton Technologies LLC (Leighton), that it settled a patent infringement lawsuit against GAO RFID Inc., GAO TEK Inc., and GAO Tech Inc. (GAO).

As a result of the settlement, GAO has licensed Leighton Technologies’ portfolio of six “Contactless Cards” and related technology patents at a 5% royalty rate. The Leighton patent portfolio covers a hot lamination process for the manufacture of contact and contactless smart cards and RFID cards.

“We are pleased to have reached an amicable resolution of this case,” said Anthony Amaral, Chief IP Counsel of General Patent Corporation. This settlement resolves claims against GAO in Leighton Technologies LLC v. GAO Group Inc., GAO RFID Inc., GAO Tech Inc. and GAO Tek Inc., Case No. 13 CV 8021, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on November 12, 2013. Leighton Technologies was represented by Kheyfits & Maloney LLP of New York, New York.

GAO is the seventeenth licensee under the Leighton patents.


About Leighton Technologies LLC 
Leighton Technologies LLC is the owner of six "Contactless Cards" and related U.S. Patents:
1.   5,817,207 "Radio frequency identification card and hot lamination process for the manufacture of radio frequency identification cards"
2.   6,036,099 "Hot lamination process for the manufacture of a combination contact/contactless smart card and product resulting therefrom"
3.   6,214,155 "Radio frequency identification card and hot lamination process for the manufacture of radio frequency identification cards"
4.   RE 40,145 "Ultra-thin flexible durable radio frequency identification devices and hot or cold lamination process for the manufacture of ultra-thin flexible durable radio frequency identification devices"
5.   6,557,766 "Hot lamination method for a hybrid radio frequency optical memory card converting sheets into a web process"
6.   6,514,367 "Hot lamination process for the manufacture of a combination contact/contactless smart card"
 
Leighton Technologies is managed by General Patent Corporation. A non-exclusive license under these patentsis available on standard and non-discriminatory terms. For licensing terms, please contact Kathlene Ingham at (845) 368-4000 x107. The litigation filed by Leighton Technologies LLC, and the settlements and licensees it has secured for its patent portfolio, are detailed at www.Leighton-Tech.com.

"IP Groups Express Unease Over Patent Reform Bill"

"IP Groups Express Unease Over Patent Reform Bill"
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Law.com-mastGPC CEO Alexander Poltorak was quoted in an article on Law.com in his capacity as President of American Innovators for Patent Reform (AIPR). ("IP Groups Express Unease Over Patent Reform Bill" Law.com − December 4, 2013 − free registration required)

Article excerpt: The House bill's fee-shifting language, in particular, is disastrous for inventors without deep pockets, said Alexander Poltorak, founder and president of American Innovators for Patent Reform, a coalition of inventors, companies and licensing executives.

"This will deter any independent, inventor, startup company or university from ever asserting patents," Poltorak said.

patentadmin Wed, 12/04/2013 - 11:58

Wall Street Journal - "General Patent Corporation Chairman and CEO Alexander Poltorak Joins Spherix Board"

Wall Street Journal - "General Patent Corporation Chairman and CEO Alexander Poltorak Joins Spherix Board"
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The Wall Street Journal carried the news that Alexander Poltorak, GPC's Chairman and CEO, has joined Spherix Incorporated as a member of its Board of Directors. ("General Patent Corporation Chairman and CEO Alexander Poltorak Joins Spherix Board" Wall Street Journal - October 29, 2013)

Excerpt: Spherix Incorporated (NASDAQ: SPEX), an intellectual property development company committed to the fostering and monetization of intellectual property, announced today that Alexander Poltorak has been appointed to Spherix's Board of Directors, effective October 28, 2013.

"We are very pleased that Alex accepted our invitation to join Spherix's board," said Spherix's CEO and President, Anthony Hayes. "Alex's extensive experience in the patent monetization industry will provide valuable governance leadership to Spherix. He will be a great addition to our board. We are excited and privileged to have Alex join our board."

Alexander Poltorak is the Founder, Chairman and the CEO of General Patent Corporation (GPC), a leading intellectual property firm focusing on IP strategy and valuation, IP licensing and enforcement - the oldest such organization in the world. He also serves as the Managing Director of IP Holdings LLC, an IP-centric merchant banking boutique providing IP-focused financial, brokerage and advisory services, and operating an idea incubator. Alexander Poltorak was listed among world leading IP strategists by IAM Magazine in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Dr. Poltorak has co-authored two books, Essentials of Intellectual Property (John Wiley & Sons Publishers, Inc., 2d ed. 2011), and Essentials of Licensing Intellectual Property (John Wiley & Sons Publishers, Inc., 2004), and contributed a chapter to Making Innovation Pay - Turning IP into Shareholder Value (John Wiley & Sons Publishers, Inc., 2006). He also authored numerous articles on patent law, licensing and economics. He served on the editorial board of Patent Strategy & Management.

Prior to establishing GPC in 1987, Alex Poltorak was President and CEO of Rapitech Systems, Inc., a computer technology company that he had founded in 1983 and took public in 1986. Before that, he served as Assistant Professor of Biomathematics at the Neurology Department of Cornell University Medical College. He also served as Assistant Professor of Physics at Touro College. Dr. Poltorak has published papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Alexander Poltorak taught business law as Adjunct Professor at the Globe Institute of Technology. He was a regular guest-lecturer on intellectual property law and economics at the Columbia University School of Business and School of Engineering.

Dr. Poltorak is the Founder and Chairman of an industry association, American Innovators for Patent Reform (AIPR). He was US Co-chair of the subcommittee on Information Exchange of the US-USSR Trade and Economic Counsel.

patentadmin Thu, 10/31/2013 - 16:49

Wall Street Journal - "Matt Gorniak: File as Soon as Possible"

Wall Street Journal - "Matt Gorniak: File as Soon as Possible"
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Blogger Matt Gorniak offered several reasons why it makes sense for businesses to file for patent protection as soon as possible. In comparing the relatively low cost of filing a patent application with the astronomical median cost of defending yourself in a patent lawsuit, Gorniak quotes GPC's Alexander Poltorak. ("Matt Gorniak: File as Soon as Possible" Wall Street Journal Blogs - October 18, 2013)

Article excerpt: Research supports filing early, too. Filing a patent application with the USPTO can be done for $10,000 to $20,000 if you find a good IP lawyer that specializes in startups.

Contrast that with the findings of Alexander Poltorak, founder and CEO of General Patent Corporation, an IP firm that focuses on IP strategy, valuation, licensing, and enforcement. According to Poltorak, the median cost of defending yourself against patent litigation later if another party claims that you infringe their patent is a staggering $5.5 million.

...The bottom line is that startups should work with an experienced IP attorney to develop and implement an IP protection strategy as soon as they have the conviction to build a business and have sufficient proof of demand. If you wait too long, your costs will rise and your ability to protect your IP will diminish.

Read entire blog post on the Wall Street Journal website

patentadmin Mon, 10/21/2013 - 20:38

Law360 - "Lawyers' Voices Needed In Anti-Troll Debate, Judge Says"

Law360 - "Lawyers' Voices Needed In Anti-Troll Debate, Judge Says"
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Alexander Poltorak, GPC's Chairman and CEO, attended a forum on nonpracticing entity litigation organized by the New York Intellectual Property Law Association and was one of the few attendees to question whether patent trolls are the villains they are made out to be. ("Lawyers' Voices Needed In Anti-Troll Debate, Judge Says" Law360.com - October 10, 2013)

Article excerpt: The task of defending nonpracticing entities at the event fell to Alexander Poltorak, CEO of the patent licensing and enforcement firm General Patent Corp.

He said, "I don't see the big deal with patent trolls," since a patent is nothing but a license to sue and nothing in patent law requires that a patentee make products that practice the patent. Much of the agitation for action to curb nonpracticing entities comes from large tech companies that just want to cut their litigation costs, he said.

"Let's have an honest discussion about the real issues and how to improve the patent system, not how to save Cisco and Microsoft from NPEs," Poltorak said.

Read full article on Law360.com (subscription required)

patentadmin Tue, 10/15/2013 - 11:09