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Facebook v/s ConnectU Mediation Case study

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The twin brothers- Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss claimed that Mark Zuckerberg stole the idea for Facebook from them and had brought Facebook against the Winklevoss’s company- ConnectU. The twin brothers initiated a law suit against Mr. Zuckerberg inorder to negotiate a settlement, accusing it of unfair business practices.

The district court in California ordered the parties to mediate.

Before the mediation began, both the parties signed a confidentiality agreement that stated that all statements made during mediation will not be made public and were inadmissible in any arbitral, judicial, or other proceeding. After all the arguments and discussions, a settlement agreement was signed that between both the parties and Winklevosses gave up ConnectU in return for cash and Facebook shares. The Settlement Agreement purported to end all disputes between the parties.

Just after signing the agreement, Winklevosses affirmed that there was a difference in their understanding of the value of the shares of Facebook that they had agreed to accept and that they had been defrauded (in violation of Section 10(b)-5) in the mediation. The twins claimed that Facebook led them to believe during the mediation discussions that Facebook’s share value was $35.90, even though Facebook’s internal tax valuation had determined its share value to be $8.88. Had they known about this valuation during the mediation, they claim, they would never have signed the Settlement Agreement.

Section 10(b)-5 is a regulation that deems it to be illegal for anybody to directly or indirectly use any measure to defraud, make false statements, omit relevant information or otherwise conduct operations of business that would deceive another person; in relation to conducting transactions involving stock and other securities. A party negotiating an exchange of shares to settle a lawsuit could violate Rule 10b-5 by misstating or hiding information that would materially change the other side’s evaluation of the settlement.

In support of these claims, the Winklevosses proffered evidence of what was said and not said during the mediation. However the statements were held inadmissible based on the confidentiality agreement signed by the parties that stated that “All statements made during the course of the mediation or in mediator follow-up thereafter at any time prior to complete settlement of the matter are privileged settlement discussions and are non-discoverable and inadmissible for any purpose including in any legal proceeding. Without such evidence, their securities claims must fail.

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Further, the Winklevoss twins sought to invalidate the settlement agreement under Section 29(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that voids any settlement agreement made in violation of Rule 10b-5. Winklevosses hired a team of lawyers and a financial advisor. Finally, the Court noted that the current valuation of Facebook appears to be three times what the Winklevosses were claiming they were entitled to demonstrating the value of settlement to be $160 million, that was mere $65 million at the time of the settlement.

However, a number of lessons can be learnt from this mediation case study. Whatever happens in mediation stays in mediation. Parties need to be sure that all essential information is included in the settlement agreement. The settlement agreement should be clearly-written. Since no statements made during mediation will be admissible and settlement agreement is the only admissible and enforceable document of mediation.

7 Simple Ways You Can Protect Your Idea From Theft

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Patenting Mind Control & Behaviour Modification Technology

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Brain employs different control strategies. Mind or thought control can be defined as the inability of the human subjects to think autonomously. Initially mind control was considered a mere conspiracy theory but it is REAL!!

Companies like Microsoft and Facebook are coming up with “Brain -Computer Interfaces” which can help the users increase their concentration and think their way around a computer device, hands free.

The emerging discipline of network neuroscience and network control deals with modulating human brain network to treat cognitive deficits and /or enhance mental abilities. A lot of patents are being filed in this field.  

WO/2016/207246

Title: DEVICE AND METHOD FOR EFFECTIVE INVASIVE TWO-STAGE NEUROSTIMULATION

Assignee: FORSCHUNGSZENTRUM JÜLICH GMBH (Wilhelm-Johnen-Strasse, Jülich, 52425, DE)

Publication date: 29 Dec 2016

Abstract:

The invention relates to a device for stimulating neurons, comprising a stimulation unit, which can be implanted in the body of a patient and which has a plurality of stimulation elements for stimulating neurons in the brain and/or spinal cord of the patient with stimuli, and a control unit, which operates the stimulation unit during a first time interval and during a second time interval following the first time interval in different stimulation modes. The control unit controls the stimulation unit during at least 75% of the duration of the first time interval in a first stimulation mode such that the stimulation element repeatedly generate sequences of stimuli and the order in which the stimulation elements generate the stimuli within a sequence is constant for not more than 5 successively generated sequences and is then varied. The control unit controls the stimulation unit during at least 75% of the duration of the second time interval in a second stimulation mode such that the stimulation elements repeatedly generate sequences of stimuli and the order in which the stimulation elements generate the stimuli within a sequence is constant for at least 25 successively generated sequences and is then varied. The intensity of stimuli in the first stimulation mode is lower than or equal to a predetermined stimulus intensity and the intensity of stimuli in the second stimulation mode is at least 1.3 times the predetermined stimulus intensity.

US 20180012009

Title: METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR PROVIDING A BRAIN COMPUTER INTERFACE

Assignee: Arctop, Inc. (San Francisco, CA, US)

Publication Date: 11 Jan 2018

Abstract:

A method for providing a brain computer interface that includes detecting a neural signal of a user in response to a calibration session having a time-locked component and a spontaneous component; generating a user-specific calibration model based on the neural signal; prompting the user to undergo a verification session, the verification session having a time-locked component and a spontaneous component; detecting a neural signal contemporaneously with delivery of the verification session; generating an output of the user-specific calibration model from the neural signal; based upon a comparison operation between processed outputs, determining an authentication status of the user; and performing an authenticated action.

US 20170368348

Title: METHOD AND DEVICE FOR ENHANCING MEMORY CONSOLIDATION

Assignee: ICM (INSTITUTE OF THE BRAIN AND THE SPINAL CORD (Paris, FR)

APHP (PUBLIC ASSISTANCE – HOSPITALS OF PARIS (Paris, FR) 

NATIONAL CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH (CNRS) (Paris, FR)

UNIVERSITY PIERRE AND MARIE CURIE – PARIS 6 (UPMC) (Paris, FR)   

 INSERM (NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH AND MEDICAL RESEARCH) (Paris Cedex 13, FR)

Publication Date: 28 Dec 2017

Abstract:

The present invention relates to methods and devices for consolidating memory and / or cognitive functions by monitoring brain dynamics and delivering a stimulus to the appropriate stage of sleep cycle.

US 9846483

Title: Headset with contactless electric field sensors for facial expression and cognitive state detection

Assignee: Oculus VR, LLC (Menlo Park, CA, US)

Publication Date: 19 Dec 2017

Abstract:

A head-mounted display (HMD) device includes a plurality of activity detection sensors coupled to a liner formed around a periphery of a HMD or a band attached to the HMD. The sensors attached to the liner are adopted for direct or indirect contact to an upper portion of a user’s face, and the sensors coupled to the band are adopted for direct or indirect contact with a back side of the user’s head. The activity detection sensors detect electrical field signals caused by muscle contractions in an upper portion of a user’s face or brain activity signals when the user is wearing the HMD. The HMD includes a module that reconstructs and projects a facial animation model of the user and a cognitive state of the user based on signals from the activity detection sensors while the HMD is in use by the user.

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US 20170351958

Title: BRAIN ACTIVITY PREDICTION

Assignee: UNIVERSITAT ZURICH (Zurich, CH) 

UNIVERSITY OF FRIBOURG (Fribourg, CH)

Publication Date: 7 Dec 2017

Abstract:  

A method for estimating a brain activity response following a stimulus of a person comprises the steps: providing a usage data set of the person from a personal device used by said person, wherein at least one usage attribute is associated to said usage data set, wherein attribute data is associated to each of the at least one usage attribute, providing a computational inference model, generated from a plurality of brain activity data sets and a plurality of usage data sets, wherein each brain activity data set comprises data derived from a brain activity response following a sensory stimulus, submitting the attribute data of each of the at least one usage attributes to said computational inference model, estimating a brain activity response following a sensory stimulus of said person by evaluating said computational inference model for the submitted attribute data. The method is useful to determine, for example the influence of intensive touch pad usage (of a smartphone) on somatosensory evoked potentials.