The Week in Innovation: Aug. 27-Sept. 2

‘The Bavarian way of partying,’ patent wars, and social business as big business.
  • Thisweekininnovation


Internationale Funkausstellung | Aug. 31-Sept. 5 | Berlin The world’s leading trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances will highlight innovations to consumers’ digital lifestyles: from demos of smart TVs and high-end coffee machines to keynotes on smart homes and ecosustainability. Visitors can also check out concerts in the Summer Garden and drink beer to “get into the Bavarian way of partying.”

“In & Around C” | Through Aug. 30 | New York This installation, hosted by the Nouveau Classical Project—a group devoted to introducing new and classical music to diverse audiences—and the artist Mad Mohre, lets visitors and live musicians create music together via a gigantic staff on the gallery floor. During intermissions visitors’ movements will be interpreted by the computer program “In C++,” designed by musician and computer scientist Gabriel Taubman. See how it works here.

World Cancer Congress | Aug. 27-30 | Montréal The congress, held every two years to discuss solutions for reducing the impact of cancer on communities around the world, will discuss the role of global partnerships, different approaches to cancer control in a multicultural society, and the impact of nutrition.


Patent wars As the innovation community digests Apple’s billion-dollar victory against Samsung, another patent-related battle has emerged. The America Invents Act, which is scheduled to take effect in March 2013, would overturn the present system of awarding patents to those who can claim they were “first to invent,” instead awarding inventors who are “first to file” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The plaintiff, Florida inventor Mark Stadnyk, claims the current law favors big corporations who can pay for armies of lawyers to write and file patents. Other entrepreneurs worry the tweak could discourage experimentation.

IBM acquires Kenexa In the latest acquisition of an enterprise social media firm, IBM has announced it will acquire Kenexa, a provider of recruiting and talent management software, for $1.3 billion. IBM’s acquisition follows deals earlier this year by Oracle, which paid $300 million for cloud-based company Vitrue, and, which paid $745 million for Vitrue competitor Buddy Media. Why the sudden interest? According to Mashable, the acquisitions represent giant service firms meeting client demand. In its announcement, IBM cited a recent study it conducted that found 57 percent of CEOs had identified social business as a top priority.

FROM the greenhouse