As the global economy is becoming more innovation centric, today’s growth has become almost impossible without taking Intellectual Property (IP) into consideration. Eastern Asia, where the growth of IP sector is quite apparent, is moving in a direction to cement itself as the IP hub of the Asian region. Marina Acton, the co-founder the Patent Prosecution Hub (PPH) sensed the global economy trends and the importance of IP field in 2014 when she co-founded PPH in Eastern Asia for a wide range of IP related services. Marina Acton herself comes from a legal background as she has spent many years working in the IP field for prestigious US and International law firms and being a Law School graduate from George Washington University. PPH’s mission is to make the patent prosecution a seamless and streamlined process, which results in the issuance of more powerful patents at a reduced cost and in a short time. PPH takes a leading role in the WeTHE IP Group that includes search companies, IP law firms, and tech companies. WeTHE IP aims at providing a full range of services from the pre-filing process to the post-allowance stage. PPH helps clients formulate and implement effective IP development and protection strategies. PPH’s services include conducting patentability analyses, developing plans for building patent portfolios, preparing patent applications, and corresponding with offices of various jurisdictions around the world to protect the global patent rights. PPH brings to bear decades of experience drafting and prosecuting patents in the US, Japan and Korea. PPH’s unique ability to simultaneously prosecute patents in these countries empowers clients to advance to cost-effective “one-stop” services. With the in-depth familiarity with the patent laws of the mentioned countries, PPH offers its clients re-drafts of patent specifications and claims to conform to different laws of major jurisdictions, beyond a mere translation of the specifications and claims. As a founding member of PPH, Marina Acton has helped to design IP solutions to its clients using the out-of-the-box approach, solving critical problems, making informed decisions, and garnering enduring results. PPH’s strength lies in providing innovative IP solutions performed by a specialized team of scientists, engineers, and patent engineers. With Marina Acton’s deep industry understanding, superior IP expertise, innovative processes, and state-of-the-art technology knowledge, she helps the patent owners, inventors, and licensees to discover the inherent value and revenue potential associated with their intellectual assets. Marina and PPH always stay on top of the industry trends and hot topics. With the recent developments in the blockchain and cryptocurrency related fields, Marina has been in the middle of the race to patent the blockchain and cryptocurrencies codes and algorithms. PPH is working with many financial and tech firms with such vision and business model. The Financial services industry is making significant investments into the blockchain, a distributed ledger technology best known for enabling the digital currency Bitcoin. Realizing the economic potential of the blockchain technology could result in sharply lowered fund transfer times and costs while bolstering security. Recent patent applications by several financial services firms offer insight into how those firms think the blockchain technology could work, and the race to patent it could lead ultimately to the next big battle over technology standards and their ownership. Marina Acton’s PPH is a well-established and fast-growing organization. PPH clientele includes Fortune 500 companies, law firms, patent licensing firms, patent brokers, small and mid-sized companies, multinational conglomerates, research institutions, financial firms, universities, venture capitalists, and private equity firms.
While there are talks that investment dollars for security startups are getting harder to find, entrepreneurs still manage to deliver a range of hardware, software and services that protect data, networks and corporate reputations. Marina Acton, the Founder of Marina Acton Charity Fund, Inc is committed towards investing in internet security and data privacy companies. The IT sector in any country is grappling with how to protect sensitive data. The state of data privacy in any organization is worrisome and vulnerable. That makes even the smaller companies care about data privacy. However, it is not an easy task to resolve. Large national and international enterprises take measures to deal with the issue, write encrypted custom software, spend immense amounts of funds and, generally, still remain exposed to an extent. Large companies have more resources and often offer and enforce employee data privacy training in addition to working on the software solutions. When it comes to training employees on data privacy, 82% of the largest organizations teach the right way to handle personally identifiable data and other sensitive information. Similarly, only 71% of the businesses with 1,000-5,000 employees offer such training. This creates awareness and generates a big need for tools with simple interface which anyone can use to protect their own or their clients’ data. Marina Acton and her fund continue to focus on data privacy and further securing communications online. This time, Marina’s goal is the email communication. There are close to 300 billion emails exchanged daily around the world! This creates a huge threat for consumers and a big opportunity for businesses with cyber security acumen. Marina aims at bringing security and control to email users worldwide by improving the infrastructure and enhancing the existing products. Marina Acton has invested and provided a grant to Criptext. Criptext is an innovative technology company whose main goal is to bring control back to the email users. Criptext first came into the spotlight in 2015 when the Business Insider praised its UNSEND button. That feature allowed any Gmail user (so far, only Gmail) to literally take back the sent emails, even after they have been read by the receiving party. Over the last two years, Criptext has been establishing itself as a brand that brings privacy, security and a peace of mind to the email market and its consumers. The company and its founder have been victims of government snooping of private emails and an abuse by the omnipresent surveillance system. The personal story has strengthened the commitment to the effort to write a bulletproof software that can deliver high encryption. Marina Acton has brought fresh ideas and is orchestrating the complete repurposing of the Criptext framework. The company plans to expand into more security focused solutions. Continuing with this commitment in 2018, Criptext will be launching a groundbreaking secure email service that will again put its users in control. It will be unlike any other secure email app in the world as it will be using the Signal Protocol to encrypt all emails. By using this renown open source protocol, Criptext will ensure that only senders and the intended recipients have access to the information being communicated. This event will not only be a great milestone for innovation in the email domain, but also for the ongoing protection of privacy of online communications. Criptext will offer a secure, controlled email experience to its users and now with the investment from Marina Acton and a grant from Marina Acton Charity Fund, and Marina Acton on-board, this email startup is all set to continue with its commitment to email security.
Blockchain has become world's most popular software platform for digital assets. Offering the largest production block chain platform in the world, cryptocurrency platforms are using blockchain technologies to build a radically better financial system. After eToro, Coinbase and BitFinex and other cryptocurrency startups getting funded, Blockchange Ventures I L.P, a multi-cryptocurrency exchange and investment vehicle investing in Blockchain protocols and businesses that depend on the Blockchain with a predominantly medium to long-term orientation has now closed seed funding led by Maria Acton, Founder of Marina Acton Charity Fund, Inc. This is yet another evidence of Marina Acton’s growing fondness for investing in internet security and cryptocurrency startups. The fund is focused on companies and projects that are building protocols for the Blockchain, providing solutions to significant problems faced by enterprise companies or addressing significant consumer opportunities that are enabled or materially enhanced by Blockchain. Blockchange Ventures I L.P will primarily make investments in proprietary rounds that are either limited to the fund or capped in size and will be investing in both corporate entities and digital assets (e.g., tokens) based on the fundamental technological promise of the underlying protocol or business. Blockchange Ventures I L.P is run by Ken Seiff, a venture capitalist who has spent most of his career as a founder and investor in disruptive technologies. In 2013 he founded Beanstalk Ventures, a New York-based venture fund that invests in early stage retail technology companies, predominantly focused on B2B software for enterprise retailers. Seiff's partner in this venture is Novel TMT, the global technology investment vehicle of Silas Chou and his family. The fund is relatively unique in its intensely collaborative approach to investing. In 1998 Seiff earned the distinction of being one of the ﬁrst entrepreneurs to build a sophisticated Internet retailer with Blueﬂy.com, a public company which he founded and ran until 2004. Seiff is a seasoned retail technology investor with a penchant for identifying and investing in disruptive technology companies early. Some of his other early round personal investments include uBeam (wireless charging), Hyperloop (transportation), Ethereum (blockchain), Parity (blockchain), Filecoin (blockchain) and SKUchain (blockchain). Seiff was one of the very ﬁrst investors in the pre-sale of Ethereum, which experts now recognize as the single best venture investment of the last ﬁve years (up 1000x since July 2014). Since global markets have crossed the tipping point for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which have transitioned from being a rising trend to a full-fledged technological and financial phenomenon. Our aim, is to help startups working with blockchain technology and the go-to platform among cryptocurrency exchanges globally. With investment and mentorship from our organisation, we are excited to scale secure and compliant technology ecosystem globally, and build an advanced financial ecosystem for investors to work with, while making buying, storing, and trading of digital assets as seamless and secure as possible. Cryptocurrencies are supposed to offer a secure, digital way to conduct financial transactions, but they have been dogged by doubts. Concerns have largely focused on their astronomical gains in value and the likelihood of painful price crashes. Equally perilous, though, are the exchanges where virtual currencies are bought, sold and stored. Cryptocurrency trading exchanges have been mushrooming globally since late 2012.
There is a whole new generation growing up in an era of hyperconnectivity, where almost everything can connect to a network and be controlled remotely. Their sources of anxiety include low battery power, freezing apps, and no wireless network connection. This new generation expects Internet availability the same way the previous one expected electricity and water availability. They sleep with their mobile devices and use apps to fulfill functions that may have necessitated some human interaction before, such as shopping. As people and businesses increasingly become more dependent on being online to survive, the Internet has become a veritable goldmine of data about people, their activities, associations, preferences, and habits. It has garnered the interest of governments, businesses, and criminals alike. Only strong encryption provides the necessary security and privacy, as everything we send to the Internet can be seen, gathered, processed, and even abused at our expense by anonymous actors at any point before it reaches the intended recipient. Without it, most of the Internet based services that we now take for granted today, such as Amazon, e-Banking or social media would not be reliable. Encryption is even more crucial to preserve user privacy, with the rise of identity theft, and Edward Snowden’s revelations on the breadth of mass surveillance by American spy agencies. I have since migrated my email address to Criptext, a secure email platform based in New York City but my favorite means of communication are Telegram, Signal and WhatsApp by far for a host of reasons. Privacy has always been a priority for me, having worked as the personal secretary for the Attorney General in Ukraine. The staff assumed that we were constantly under surveillance, and thus we communicated somewhat like drug dealers trying to fly under the radar. The Attorney General was named “Usatyi Nyan” after a cartoon character he vaguely resembled, we scheduled meetings with a two-hour offset to the actual time, “cabbage” was the code-word for money, and “the show must go on” meant that a case was pending at the court. We communicated very much like drug dealers trying to fly under the radar. The AG had three secured landline phones to communicate with other government officials: The red phone was a direct line to the President, the “10” was for the Prime Minister, and the “100” for Parliament. Nowadays, I have WhatsApp to ensure that I can have a secured line of communication on the cheap to call my grandma. Brian Acton and Jan Koum created the WhatsApp mobile app in 2009, it was meant to be utilitarian, and as reflected in their initial patent filings, was initially a system that would allow users to publish and update their availability status on the phone, before finally focusing on messaging. Acton penned their principles on paper as “No ads, no games, no gimmicks”. With a simple design and functionality based on those principles, integration with most mobile operating systems, and being accessible to most people at $1 per year, WhatsApp disrupted traditional mobile text messaging, especially in countries like Brazil where SMS and MMS were far more expensive. From there, it had a rapid and linear active user base growth. During the DLD 2014 tech conference, in an interview featuring Jan Koum, it was revealed that WhatsApp had more active users than the entire population of the United States any given month, with 16 billion messages passing through its platform in one day, and at least half a million new users joining daily. For a low-key company with only about 50 employees, those were impressive statistics. So impressive in fact, that in February 2014, Facebook bought WhatsApp for a mind boggling $19.3 billion, $4 billion in cash, and the rest in Facebook shares. Today there are about 1.2 billion active WhatsApp users monthly. In 2015 WhatsApp implemented end-to-end encryption using Open Whisper Systems’ Signal protocol, making it virtually impossible for anyone but the sender and recipient to see messages. WhatsApp’ssuccess however have been marred by ceaseless legal challenges from governments accusing Facebook of collusion with criminals. Back in spring 2017, one of the WhatsApp Founders took the stand to answer questions from the Brazilian Supreme Court. He explained WhatsApp’s raison d’être, the technology behind WhatsApp protecting its users from hacking and eavesdropping, and why WhatsApp would not be able to hand them user messages, although it would always fully cooperate with investigations by releasing the information they had. It boils down to this: WhatsApp wants to know as little as possible about its users. The users hold the encryption and decryption keys, meaning that even if WhatsApp captured the communication between two parties under investigations and released it to the Brazilian government, while it would be established that the parties did communicate, there would be no way to decipher the contents without the keys. A competent government would not resort to suing companies like WhatsApp for a backdoor to catch criminals. In the case of Brazil, the rumor is that the legal challenges, fines, and ISP blackouts against WhatsApp are mostly ploys by corrupt officials less concerned about the security of their citizens than recouping a loss of revenue since they no longer have enough visibility to elicit kickbacks through blackmail and extortion. A competent government would commit people to do actual investigative work, the same way it has always been done, but using modern tools, and despite encryption. Some of you may still remember Silk Road, a secure trading platform in the Dark Net, hiding behind the Tor network, and using Bitcoin currency to run illicit online trades of drugs, weapons, and other illegal items. Despite its anonymity it was shut down by the FBI and Europol, since criminals used it to open a black market for illicit and illegal products. Countless other crime rings have been shut down likewise. More recently, in the San Bernardino terrorism case in the US, the FBI initially sued Apple to give them a backdoor to the perpetrator’s iPhone, but eventually dropped the case, by doing the right thing: Figuring out a way to circumvent the security themselves. Criminals do their homework when they want to break into secure systems, there is absolutely no reason why the privacy and security of citizens should be compromised, and thus a security hole be created, so that a government could have its way without much effort. Encryption is not a threat to security. Such an assertion actually sounds absurd, since governments rely on it to protect their secret, when they are diligent enough. As evidenced in the recent news cycles, even governments get hacked. It is because of the possibility online abuse, eavesdropping and mass surveillance leading to actual harm that encrypted apps such as WhatsApp, Criptext, iMessage, Signal, or Protonmail became a necessity. And personally, without trying to sound Libertarian, encryption has become the lynchpin of freedom and security in this digitally interconnected world. Even if the government was somehow given a backdoor to wiretap encrypted communications, criminal elements would find a different way to evade surveillance, and in the end the government would be eavesdropping on law abiding citizens. What then would stop abuse and overreach?
Its last quarter of 2017 and the world keeps going digital. More and more businesses are going online. According to radicati.com in 2015, the number of emails sent and received per day was over 205 billion. Nowadays, this number has expected to have crossed the 300 billion mark. The email security is becoming a big concern as users seek protection from hackers and surveillance. Criptext, a New York based start-up is focused on protecting email confidentiality and giving its users full control of their emails even after they are sent. Criptext is changing the way consumers exchange emails. It makes it so simple and secure giving its users full control over their emails with their set of useful and powerful feature. Criptext actually lets its users unsent emails! Its beyond just adding powerful encryption to regular emails and attachments. Criptext lets users add expiration timers and track the sent email activity like you do in most messaging apps like Signal, WhatsApp, Messenger and iMessages. Users can also send encrypted emails to anyone, regardless of whether the recipient is using Criptext. All of these powerful features coupled with secure encrypted inbox makes Criptext beyond just a email inbox security tool. Criptext is also available on iPhone and Android which makes it really convenient to secure their user's email inbox on mobile device.