MD&DI's longtime contributing editor Michael Wiklund jokingly calls the World Wide Web the World Wide Waste of Time. Anyone who's done much web surfing knows he has a point. But experienced surfers also know that the value and accessibility of the information on the web are substantial, and growing every day.
For members of the medical device industry, this truth will be demonstrated with a splash on October 15, when Medical Device Link (MDL) makes its Internet debut at http://www.devicelink.com.
Users familiar with our previous site (at http://www.cancom.com/mddi/) will notice some significant differences. That site, like many first-time Internet efforts, was designed to get a simple on-line version of our print information onto the web. MDL goes beyond this approach, having been designed from the ground up as a completely new information tool, one that takes full advantage of this exciting medium.
Although you'll be able to find all of MD&DI's articles from current issues and archives going back, eventually, to 1993, there will be many more resources on MDL. Also available will be articles from MD&DI's sister publications IVD Technology, Medical Plastics and Biomaterials, and Medical Electronics Manufacturing, along with featured products and services from Medical Product Manufacturing News and European Medical Device Manufacturer. In addition, you'll read news and original articles unique to MDL.
To help you find suppliers of products and services, MDL will include a searchable database of more than 1000 leading companies and consultants. You'll be able to browse through this list by predefined product categories, or you'll be able to simply type in the name of the product or service you're seeking (and, optionally, restrict your search to a specific geographic region), and receive a list of companies that match your query. When you find the company you want, you'll be able to contact it directly through the web site.
Additionally, you'll find not only published articles, but also related materials thatbecause of length restrictionscould not be printed in the magazines. But we don't plan to be the only ones adding to Medical Device Link's content. Via the site's Forum feature, we encourage you to offer your own feedback and observations, enriching the site's store of information and helping to build a vital on-line community.
Other notable features of the site will be an on-line bookstore where you can buy publications from Canon Communications (publisher of MD&DI) as well as from other publishers, and an Expo Center where you can receive information about and register to attend upcoming Medical Design & Manufacturing trade events.
The number of features offered through MDL will continue to grow throughout the next year. The possibilities are endless, and we look forward to exploring them with you.
A PATENT ERROR
In last month's column I said that patent law seemed hip to me; unfortunately, I wasn't fully hip to it. Noting wisely that I had just begun to learn about the intricacies of patents, I then made a beginner's blunder. Let me correct the record here: the United States currently has a first-to-invent patent system that proposed legislation would change to a first-to-file system, not vice versa.
I thank Norm Best, president of RoboDisk Corp. in Burbank, CA, for his gracious note pointing out my mistake. He added the following eloquent observation: "The United States has been on the first-to-invent system since its constitution gave Congress the explicit power 'to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.' When the power of the clerk exceeds the power of the inventor, we will have lost a signficant right. The standard of first-to-file would probably not withstand a constitutional challenge."