Environmental Patents

Lately, the environment, climate change, and fossil fuel alternatives have all been important conversation pieces. The following are some alternative fuel/environmental related patents. As you can imagine these are just a few of the thousands that exist. The most surprising thing to me is that hardly any of the fuel source ideas or electricity creation methods are new.  While they have become more accessible, market-ready, and more effective, the foundational ideas and inventions themselves have been around for quite some time.  Enjoy:

 

Wind Turbine (1944)

https://www.google.com/patents/US2360791

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Method of Storing Natural Gas for Transport (1966)

https://www.google.com/patents/US3232725

 US3232725-0.png

Geothermal Energy Conversion System (1979)

https://www.google.com/patents/US4142108

 US4142108-2.png

Waterwheel Power Generator (1982)

https://www.google.com/patents/US4345160

 US4345160-1.png

Solar-Powered Sun Sensitive Window (1984)

https://www.google.com/patents/US4475031

 US4475031-1.png

The convenient truth at Mohr IP Law is that we work hard and help clients move forward with their intellectual property protection process. While the climate is changing outside, the climate in our office remains constant—a welcoming and friendly degree. Contact us today to get your intellectual property started.  

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Shall We Go Global? Interesting International Patent Information

earth-clip-art-earth_clip_art_23263

What is WIPO?

WIPO stands for World Intellectual Property Organization. It was created in 1967 “to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world.” It currently has 189 member states, administers 26 international treaties, and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Intellectual_Property_Organization

What is PCT?

The PCT or just ‘PCT’ is The Patent Cooperation Treaty. It assists applicants in seeking patent protection internationally for their inventions, helps patent Offices with their patent granting decisions, and facilitates public access to a wealth of technical information relating to those inventions. By filing one international patent application under the PCT, applicants can simultaneously seek protection for an invention in a very large number of countries

http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/, Also see: http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/faqs/faqs.html

What is the PCT Process?

The PCT procedure/process and what does it include?

Filing: you file an international application with a national or regional patent Office or WIPO, complying with the PCT formality requirements, in one language, and you pay one set of fees.

International Search: an “International Searching Authority” (ISA) (one of the world’s major patent Offices) identifies the published patent documents and technical literature (“prior art”) which may have an influence on whether your invention is patentable, and establishes a written opinion on your invention’s potential patentability.

International Publication: as soon as possible after the expiration of 18 months from the earliest filing date, the content of your international application is disclosed to the world.

Supplementary International Search (optional): a second ISA identifies, at your request, published documents which may not have been found by the first ISA which carried out the main search because of the diversity of prior art in different languages and different technical fields.

International Preliminary Examination (optional): one of the ISAs at your request, carries out an additional patentability analysis, usually on an amended version of your application.

National Phase: after the end of the PCT procedure, usually at 30 months from the earliest filing date of your initial application, from which you claim priority, you start to pursue the grant of your patents directly before the national (or regional) patent Offices of the countries in which you want to obtain them.

 

What is the Madrid System?

This relates to international trademark filing (also something we can help you with at Mohr IP Law, but not a patent system)

The Madrid System is a convenient and cost-effective solution for registering and managing trademarks worldwide. File a single application and pay one set of fees to apply for protection in up to 114 countries. Modify, renew or expand your global trademark portfolio through one centralized system

http://www.wipo.int/madrid/en/

 

What is the Hague System?

The Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs provides a practical business solution for registering up to 100 designs in over 66 territories through filing one single international application.

How Do I Know if I Fall Into the Hague System?  

Do you have an industrial design? In a legal sense, an industrial design constitutes the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of an article. An industrial design may consist of three dimensional features, such as the shape of an article, or two dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or color. http://www.wipo.int/designs/en/faq_industrialdesigns.html

Qualification to use the Hague system

Applicants can qualify to use the Hague system on the basis of any of the following criteria:

  • the applicant is a national of a Contracting Party (i.e. member country) (Note-the U.S. is a member)
  • the applicant is domiciled in a Contracting Party
  • the applicant has a real and effective industrial or commercial establishment in a Contracting Party
  • the applicant has its habitual residence in a Contracting Party (only available if the Contracting Party in question has adhered to the 1999 (Geneva) Act)

An applicant who does not qualify under one of these headings cannot use the Hague system. The Contracting Parties include not only individual countries, but also intergovernmental organizations such as the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) and the European Union. This means an applicant domiciled in an EU member country that is not a Contracting Party, such as Austria or the United Kingdom, can nevertheless use the Hague system on the basis of his or her domicile in the European Union.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hague_Agreement_Concerning_the_International_Deposit_of_Industrial_Designs

What Does All This Mean for Me and My IP Protection Plan?

International Patents in General-USPTO Information:  Since the rights granted by a U.S. patent extend only throughout the territory of the United States and have no effect in a foreign country, an inventor who wishes patent protection in other countries must apply for a patent in each of the other countries or in regional patent offices. Almost every country has its own patent law, and a person desiring a patent in a particular country must make an application for patent in that country, in accordance with the requirements of that country.

https://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/international-protection/protecting-intellectual-property-rights-ipr

At Mohr IP Law we are happy to help guide you through the process of both national and international patents. Please contact us today for a no-cost 30 minute process overview with one of our attorneys. We hear our service is out of this world.

overview

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Intellectual Property in the News

Here are some recent intellectual property news stories. We enjoyed reading these and we hope you do as well: 


Zenimax to sue Samsung over virtual reality intellectual property claims

http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/3010234/zenimax-to-sue-samsung-over-virtual-reality-intellectual-property-claims

 

Suburban ‘Bionic Wrench’ maker wins $6M in patent suit against Sears, supplier

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-bionic-wrench-sears-loses-patent-lawsuit-0517-biz-20170516-story.html

 

UN agency helps North Korea with patent application for banned nerve gas chemical

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/05/15/un-agency-helps-north-korea-with-patent-application-for-banned-nerve-gas-chemical.html

 

 

Qualcomm sues iPhone makers in escalating patent war with Apple

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/technology/sd-fi-qualcomm-foxconn-20170516-story.html

 

Growing Music Streaming Industry Leaves Performers By The Wayside, Speakers Say

https://www.ip-watch.org/2017/05/05/growing-music-streaming-industry-leaves-performers-wayside-speakers-say/

 

From Prices to Patents, Target Is Losing the Battle to Wal-Mart

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-16/from-prices-to-patents-target-is-losing-the-battle-to-wal-mart

You shouldn’t have to read between the lines because it’s clear-Contact Mohr IP Law today to start your intellectual property project(s). One day, people may be reading about your story in the news. 

 

 

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Wearing Shades Because Your Future Is Bright

sun-with-sunglasses-clip-art-free-clipart-images-clipartall-2-cliparting-com-sunglasses-clipart-566_292

Content From: http://www.glasseshistory.com/glasses-history/history-of-sunglasses/

While even in prehistoric time Inuit peoples wore flattened walrus ivory glasses to block harmful reflected rays of the sun, the earliest historical reference to sunglasses dates back to ancient China and Rome. The Roman emperor Nero watched gladiator fights through polished gems.

In China, sunglasses were used in the 12th century or possible earlier. These sunglasses were made out of lenses that were flat panes of smoky quartz. They offered no corrective powers nor they protect from harmful UV rays but did protect the eyes from glare. Ancient documents describe the use of such crystal sunglasses by judges in ancient Chinese courts to hide their facial expression when they interrogated witnesses.

 

Content From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunglasses

In the early 20th century, they were also known as sun cheaters (cheaters being an American slang term for glasses

James Ayscough began experimenting with tinted lenses in spectacles in the mid-18th century, around 1752. These were not “sunglasses” as that term is now used; Ayscough believed that blue- or green-tinted glass could correct for specific vision impairments. Protection from the Sun’s rays was not a concern for him.
Content From: https://www.racked.com/2015/4/6/8349545/sunglasses-history

By the 19th century, sunglasses started offering greater protection from the light and were being worn by a much younger population, namely those suffering from syphilis. In part, this was because sensitivity to light is a symptom of the STD. Additionally, it was easy to suspend a metal nose covering between the sunglasses.

You see, this was very helpful since one of the more notable symptoms of syphilis is that it causes noses to rot off. Or, at least, it often leads to saddle nose and skin deterioration around the nostrils. People in the late stages of the disease would often wear contraptions that looked a little bit like those glasses-and-fake-nose accessories you see on Halloween.

 

Content From: Content From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunglasses

In the early 1920s, the use of sunglasses started to become more widespread, especially among movie stars. It is commonly believed that this was to avoid recognition by fans, but an alternative reason sometimes given is that they often had red eyes from the powerful arc lamps that were needed due to the extremely slow speed film stocks used.

 

Some More Recent Sunglasses History/Patents:

In 1916 ‘Sun-glasses’ were invented by Fred C Clarke and were used primarily for baseball players, “My invention relates to improvements in eye-glasses or spectacles particularly adapted for the use of baseball players whose positions when in the field are such that they are forced to look toward the sun in facing the diamond or the batter.”

https://www.google.com/patents/US1181291

 

Edward Land (Co-Founder/Owner of Polaroid) used the technology on glasses that would be ‘polarized.’ Note: he held over 500 patents.

https://www.google.com/patents/US2237567

main-qimg-7902b46843cb68d25c3852ffd1dc4619US1181291-0US2237567-0

It’s arguable who invented Aviator Sunglasses. Many attribute them to the company Ray Ban (part of a company called Bausch and Lomb) who made “Ray-Ban Aviators” in 1937 but it’s believed that a company called American optical made them for the Air Force in 1935-a few years prior. http://theeyewearblog.com/the-first-aviator-sunglasses-revealed-were-they-ray-bans-part-four/

 

Many also believe that if Tom Cruise didn’t wear them in several of his films they would have lost popularity-Thank you Tom?!? They were originally made for pilots and fitted with green lenses to cut out glare. A year or so later they were rebranded and mass produced.

 

These highly recognizable Oakley glasses were patented in 2003. Oakley holds more than 600 patents for eyewear and performance gear.

https://www.google.com/patents/USD470166

 

At Mohr IP Law we believe your future is so bright you will want to wear shades. We also think it’s possibly to work hard and stay classy at the same time. The sun is finally shining and so are your ideas. Protect your eyes and your ideas-let’s get your intellectual property projects going! Contact us today for a free 30 minute no-cost attorney consultation.

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Patents for Humanity

 

In 2012, the Obama administration started an award program run by the United States Patent and Trademark Office to award new innovations that solve/help solve global development challenges. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patents_for_Humanity.

Winners in the program receive a variety of business incentives including but not limited to an acceleration certificate to expedite their application process and public recognition of their work. https://www.uspto.gov/patent/initiatives/patents-humanity/learn-more

Selection Criteria

Applications will be judged by one of the following sets of criteria, depending on how their technology benefits the less fortunate. Humanitarian Use is for those applying eligible technologies to positively impact a humanitarian issue, focusing on demonstrable real-world improvements:

  1. Subject Matter – the applicant’s technology, which is claimed in a U.S. utility patent in force at the time or a pending U.S. utility patent application, effectively addresses a recognized humanitarian issue.
  2. Target Population – the applicant’s actions target an impoverished population affected by the humanitarian issue.
  3. Contribution – the applicant took meaningful actions to make the technology more available for humanitarian uses. This only includes actions taken by the applicant.
  4. Impact – the applicant’s contributions have significantly advanced deployment of the technology to benefit the target population. This includes downstream actions by third parties building on the applicant’s contributions.

 

Humanitarian Research is for increasing the availability of patented technologies to other researchers for conducting research with a humanitarian purpose, particularly areas lacking commercial application:

  1. Subject matter – the applicant’s technology, which is claimed in a U.S. utility patent in force at the time or a pending U.S. utility patent application, effectively supports research by others, e.g., as a tool or input.
  2. Neglected Field – the research by others clearly targets a humanitarian issue in an area lacking significant commercial application.
  3. Contribution – the applicant took meaningful actions to make the technology more available for research by others in the neglected field. This only includes actions taken by the applicant.
  4. Impact – the research by others has a high potential for significant impact on the neglected field. This includes downstream actions by third parties using the applicant’s contributions.

From:

https://www.uspto.gov/patent/initiatives/patents-humanity/learn-more

In a 2015 address at the Patents for Humanity Awards Ceremony, USPTO Director Michelle K. Lee gave a speech not just welcoming everyone, but explaining some of the beautiful aspects of this program.

“Consider what these award winners have been able to accomplish. They have found new and innovative ways to: combat malaria, tuberculosis, and malnutrition; improve basic sanitation; provide light through solar power; and increase mobility for disabled people; all in some of the most disadvantaged and under-served regions of the world. And, given the global impact of our program, I think it’s especially noteworthy that among this year’s Patents for Humanity winners are foreign recipients—from France, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. In addition to the very tangible benefits their inventions and those of their fellow award winners will deliver, they will also inspire others to bring the power of innovation to bear on more of the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. “

From: https://www.uspto.gov/about-us/news-updates/remarks-michelle-k-lee-patents-humanity-awards-ceremony

They have not yet announced the 2017 winners. This typically happens sometime in late September/early October. However, here are the 2016 winners for your reading pleasure:

From: https://www.uspto.gov/patent/initiatives/patents-humanity/2016-award-recipients

The 2016 Patents for Humanity awards recognize four recipients and two honorable mentions, selected from the 2015 application pool.

 

Award Winners

  • S. Food & Drug Administration– for developing an improved meningitis vaccine production process that’s been used to immunize 235 million people in high-risk Africa countries.
  • Case Western Reserve University – for creating a low-cost, accurate malaria detection device using magnets and lasers that allows better diagnosis and treatment.
  • GestVision, Inc – for developing a quick, simple diagnostic test for preeclampsia, a potentially life threatening pregnancy complication, for use in developing regions.
  • Global Good Fund at Intellectual Ventures – for creating a passive cooler that can keep vaccines cold over 30 days and donating dozens of units to the fight against Ebola and other relief efforts.

Honorable Mentions

  • Alere Inc – for developing diagnostic assays for rapid and early HIV diagnosis at the point of care in low-resource settings.
  • Sanofi – for researching new malaria drug candidates with shorter, simpler treatment regimens that can potentially counter the growing trend of drug resistance.

Read more about their stories below.

Award Winners

Category Recipient
Drugs & Vaccines U.S. Food & Drug Administration

 

Meningitis A is a devastating disease afflicting 26 countries in Africa’s meningitis belt across sub-Saharan Africa.  Thousands of people would die or be disabled each year, such as the 1996-97 epidemic when 25,000 were killed and a quarter million afflicted.  The disease primarily afflicts young adults and children, leaving many wage earners with permanent brain damage.  The Meningitis Vaccine Program (MVP) was formed by the health non-profit PATH, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the World Health Organization to combat this epidemic.

 

Besides regulating the safety of food and health products, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) also conducts research on human health issues.  FDA scientists set out to create a better meningitis vaccine production method for the MVP.  The new technology they came up with raised the vaccine production yield from 20% to 60% and enabled the vaccine to last up to four days without refrigeration, unlike previous vaccines.  FDA licensed the technology to the MVP and hosted production scientists from MVP’s Indian manufacturer to teach them how to use the vaccine production technology.  As a result, more than 235 million people in Africa’s meningitis belt have been immunized with MenAfriVac® since 2010.  Only four cases of meningitis A were reported in 2013 in the immunized region covering 16 countries.  In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that MenAfriVac® be introduced in routine immunization schedules in sub-Saharan Africa.  This will ensure that infants are protected against meningitis and will maintain population-wide immunity.

Medical Diagnostics Case Western Reserve University

 

Accurately diagnosing malaria is a difficult problem, with an estimated half of global cases undiagnosed.  The standard microscope test has low sensitivity with up to 30% false positives and 20% false negatives.  This causes people infected with malaria to go untreated and people without malaria to receive anti-malarial drugs, contributing to drug resistance.  Engineers and doctors at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) designed a rapid, accurate, low-cost malaria diagnostic test to address this problem.  The Magneto-Optical Detection (MOD) device uses lasers and magnets to diagnose malaria in a completely new way, by detecting iron-laden byproducts of the parasite in the blood.  This provides results in minutes with just a finger prick blood sample.  The device can be ten times cheaper per test than the current standard and can be run by ordinary caregivers with minimal training.  CWRU has conducted field trials diagnosing malaria in the Amazon, India, and Kenya.  Since receiving an honorable mention in the 2014 Patents for Humanity program, CWRU has begun working with manufacturers to produce the device at scale for wider user.

Medical Diagnostics

 

 

GestVision, Inc

 

Preeclampsia (PE) is a pregnancy complication that is the leading cause of prenatal death for mothers and babies worldwide, mostly in low and middle income countries.  Although most deaths are preventable, approximately 63,000 women die from PE annually.  In developed countries, PE can be diagnosed by regular doctor visits and laboratory tests, allowing treatment before severe symptoms if caught in time.  However, in developing regions without regular prenatal care, PE is often undiagnosed until serious complications such as seizure, stroke or organ failure occur.  Startup company GestVision has developed a rapid, affordable urine test caregivers can use to diagnose PE in low-resource settings.  The test detects misfolded proteins in urine associated with PE, which may be shown by a colored dot similar to a pregnancy test.  GestVision’s test kits are currently being used in clinical studies around the world, including Bangladesh, Mexico, and South Africa under a grant to The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital from Saving Lives at Birth, which is a collaboration of USAID, the Gates Foundation, and others to seek groundbreaking prevention and treatment approaches for pregnant women and newborns in poor, hard-to-reach communities.  Following initial research at Yale University, GestVision was created to further develop the technology.  GestVision is working on a manufacturing process to produce the kits in large volume.

Medical Devices

 

 

Global Good Fund at Intellectual Ventures

 

Delivering vaccines to off-grid regions is complicated by the need to keep them cold.  The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 25-50% of global vaccines are wasted annually, much of this due to problems with maintaining a refrigeration “cold chain” during delivery.  Researchers at Global Good designed the Arktek cooler to keep vaccines cold for over a month with no power required.  The device combines an advanced design with high-efficiency insulation materials to prevent heat transfer.

 

The Global Good Fund managed by Intellectual Ventures is dedicated to inventing technology that improves lives in the developing world.  They aim to develop sustainable commercialization models which ensure the technology is affordable, accessible, and appropriate for developing regions.  Global Good donated 30 Arktek coolers to help the WHO deliver vaccines during the Ebola outbreak in 2014, and other units to Nepal to assist with vaccinations after the 2015 earthquake.  They have also collaborated with the Clinton Health Access Initiative, PATH, the Gates Foundation, UNICEF, and other United Nations organizations to conduct field trials with over 50 devices in Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia and Nigeria.  Arktek has been used to store vaccines for tuberculosis, polio, and the pentavalent vaccines covering influenza, whooping cough, tetanus, hepatitis B, and diphtheria.  The technology has been licensed to a leading refrigeration manufacturer to produce the device at scale for an affordable price.

 

Honorable Mentions

Honorable mentions are awarded to outstanding projects with promising accomplishments.  These projects remain eligible for an award in the future with further development.

Medical Diagnostics Alere Inc

for developing diagnostic assays for rapid and early HIV diagnosis  at the point of care in in low-resource settings.

Drugs & Vaccines Sanofi

for researching new malaria drug candidates with shorter, simpler treatment regimens that can potentially counter the growing trend of drug resistance.

 

At Mohr IP Law, we hope your invention is good for humanity but sometimes even that is subjective. Whether you have a new type of disco light or way to fry food–or an admirable way to clean our oceans, we are all ears. We don’t have awards ceremonies but we hope patenting something for humanity will be rewarding in itself. Contact us today to get your intellectual property project started.

 

 

 

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Patents That Help Us Get in Shape

Do you recognize these items in your gym? They’ve changed some but interestingly enough have stuck true to their beginnings…

Dumb-bell

https://www.google.com/patents/US1672944

dumbbell.jpg

Rowing Machine

https://www.google.com/patents/US641596

 Rowing Machine.png

Exercise stair device

https://www.google.com/patents/US4496147

 exercisestairdevice.jpg

Health-Exerciser

https://www.google.com/patents/US1211765

healthexerciser

Skier training apparatus which allows for transverse and longitudinal movement

https://www.google.com/patents/US3475021

ellipticalmachine.jpg

At Mohr IP Law we try to keep as physically and mentally fit as possible. We’re not personal trainers but we can help you maintain your body of intellectual property. Contact us today.

 

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Spring Cleaning with Dyson

If you’re like me, you’re extremely impressed by Dyson products. We happen to own a used Dyson vacuum that was gifted by a friend. Prior to owning this vacuum my thoughts were: Why would anyone spend so much on a vacuum? Do they really work as well as advertised or does Dyson just want to suck up our money (get it-a vacuum joke)?

I’ve come to learn that these vacuums work like Vegas show magic…and I now see why people are willing to dish out close to a thousand dollars for one. If the vacuums weren’t enough -there’s also now Dyson product lines for hair care, hand dryers, lighting, and air treatment. http://www.dyson.com/

I can’t help but wonder who is this brilliant British man? Did his Mom come home from work and find him on the floor with her vacuum completely dismantled? And maybe him looking in her eyes for trust and the reassurance of, “Don’t worry Mum, I’ll make you a better vacuum with more suction.”

James Dyson spent a year studying art and then transferred into furniture and interior design. Then he became interested in engineering and inventing. While he doesn’t have a formal engineering education, he was later given an honorary engineering degree. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Dyson

Dyson was disillusioned by his Hoover vacuum and felt that when it was trying to pick up dirt it struggled and lost suction. He had the idea in the late 1970s of using cyclonic separation to create a bag free vacuum that maintained suction. This idea as inspired by how sawmills work. http://www.dyson.com/community/aboutdyson.aspx

Dyson wasn’t always successful. It is believed that it took Dyson 5,127 protypes. In 1986, more than 10 years after his idea came to fruition; he obtained his first US Patent:

https://www.google.com/patents/US4593429

Even though he won the 1991 International Design Fair Prize in Japan no major manufacturers wanted to buy or license his vacuum. As a result, he created his own manufacturing company in 1993. Finally after numerous years in debt, his vacuum became a hit primarily due to a TV advertising campaign which highlighted that no bags were needed. The slogan on the ad was, “Say goodbye to the bag.”

By 1999, companies like Hoover (the very company that made the vacuum that inspired him) lost a lawsuit to Dyson. The Court ruled that Hoover deliberately copied the bag-less feature and suction technology (that was patented in the UK and US). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Dyson

Dyson didn’t stop trying or inventing. The moral of the story is if you have something amazing it may require you to make life sacrifices to work on it. The other moral of the story is, intellectual property protection is extremely valuable. Dyson is currently worth 5 billion pounds (I’m not sure what the American Dollar equivalent is). I can guarantee that if he wasn’t diligent about IP protection, he may have lost not only money, but his brilliant ideas to others.

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When you’re taking a break from work and thinking (or doing) your spring cleaning, remember to contact Mohr IP Law. Whether you have an idea for a vacuum, hair dryer, or dog toy –we are here for you. Please contact us today for more information.

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