Friday, December 26, 2014

Commonwealth of Kentucky and Macquarie use someone else's Intellectual Property for a $300 Million dollar project?

It seems that when you have a great idea it’s OK for a large State and Corporation to plunder from the Little Guy. This is exactly what is happening with the State of Kentucky and the Macquarie Group.

As many of you are well aware, I’ve put a tremendous amount of time and energy in evangelizing about the Public Private Partnership model (now trademarked as the Myers Model™). My model was developed with over 25 years of experience and most specifically outlined within my publications for the last 10 years.  My model is also the only model that can fund the entire program of Broadband. Well, it seems there are those out in the market that believe they can capitalize on someone else’s ideas and claim them as their own.

Now there are many of you who would think I would be very upset – well I am – but I chose a different tactic a long time ago. I’ve been prepared for this situation since day one of this venture. I figure there was going to be one of two paths in the road ahead: 1. A State taking a moral and ethical route of incorporating the ideas then developing them for their needs with proper compensation and accreditation, or; 2. Using the trade secrets and Intellectual Property of someone else then trying to pass it off as their own design even if its against Trade Secrets and Copyright -- which by the way being that these Intellectual Property Rights are covered and protected under a Federal Administration and Legislation would make this a Federal Crime. I’m afraid the Governor of Kentucky may have been undermined by his own Staff who found it necessary to plagiarize the material I’ve been presenting to them since 2012 as the justification to augment an RFP for fiber broadband.

Did anybody wonder why the State issued two RFPs for this project in 2014? The first one for the traditional taxpayer funded bond-grants procurement of a fiber optic network. The second, made in haste and a day later, was an RFP asking for a Private Investment entity to bid on the overall program as a Build Operate Transfer contract, of which Sterne Agee won. Then all of a sudden the first RFP states it will be a Public Private Partnership, which included the requirements from the second RFP. The fact is the only reason the State produced these two RFPs was because of the model and the solution I presented to them, over the course of the last two years, was the only viable way they could avoid the complication of further taxation.

I do have one question though, if that’s the case why would the Finance Department Head, a Cabinet Level Appointee of the Governor, feel its necessary to spend the $30 Million in taxpayer money anyway? Seems odd to go with a bid that still has the taxpayer funding parts of the bid; when the alternative was no taxpayer money at all…doesn’t it? The reason being is that the State wants to spend the $30 Million of taxpayer money to maintain their own control.  There is only one problem… the State is partnering with a foreign company to which, being that they can’t use taxpayer money for investment purposes, means they have no way of a controlling interest. Only the investors will – a foreign company called Macquarie -- which the State cannot be considered as an investor of taxpayer money. Now there is nothing against the Australians, actually you can’t ask for a better partner, but the Australians have even more stringent legal ramifications of protecting Intellectual Property than the US. It’s not totally against the law when a foreign company is holistically making the investment and funding its own operation. The issue is using taxpayer money for government funding, government right-of-ways, government frequencies, and essential Government run Public Safety Services, especially when it’s a protected National Asset. It may be just me but we may have a few sticky points to address, if not all together red flags… but who am I. But I digress…

The secret to my chosen path is the exposure of my material. Since day one I could have tried to hide, and keep secret, my ideas and material, but what good would that be for just a simple American Citizen who doesn’t have the means to market nor protect such valuable materials, especially against such endowed giants within the industry. I am the definition of the “Little Guy”. I am a disadvantaged Veteran with Disability Owned Small Business of one employee -- myself. With that in mind I chose an alternative plan. My plan is to use the politics and the exposure of social media and the open market of information as my protection – essentially hiding in plain site. Imagine all the witnesses you can call to court proceedings to vouch about your work. Imagine all the documentation that is readily available for the courts to digest in its ownership and property rights analysis. Imagine the dichotomy of intellectual and empirical works of knowledge associated with said works; let alone the only published dissertation on the topic in the entire Nation – if not the world. If you need to understand further, then let me recap on the use of Intellectual Property Laws.

“Intellectual property (IP) is a legal term that refers to creations of the mind. Under intellectual property laws, owners of intellectual property are granted certain exclusive rights. Some common types of intellectual property rights (IPR) are copyright, patents, and industrial design rights; and the rights that protect trademarks, trade dress, and in some jurisdictions trade secrets. Intellectual property rights are themselves a form of property, called intangible property.” (Ref Wikipedia

“Typically, a work must meet minimal standards of originality in order to qualify for copyright, and the copyright expires after a set period of time (some jurisdictions may allow this to be extended). Different countries impose different tests, although generally the requirements are low; in the United Kingdom there has to be some 'skill, labor, and judgment' that has gone into it.[22] 
Copyright law recognizes the right of an author based on whether the work actually is an original creation, rather than based on whether it is unique.” (See References below)

The fact is, starting back in 2003, was when I first started scripting and developing this model and its application to the telecommunications market – thus the name “Advancing Telecom” for my business which became an official LLC in 2007. Given the nature and complexity of building broadband is why I chose this topic. But at the time it was focused on delivering broadband to all vertical industries, not just Public Safety. When FirstNet came along I kicked the model into gear and started talking about my idea to everyone of which it then caught fire.

I had my first meeting, with my first State (Texas), in December of 2011, even before the Public Safety Broadband Network was ratified and created. I even solicited a proposal to the State for the Public Private Partnership model to build the State’s Public Safety Broadband Network prior to FirstNet. Texas law states that any Proposal to the State, in a Public Private Partnership fashion, the State has to consider its application and if the proposal creates more opportunity and income for the State and it’s taxpayers, above and beyond what the State can produce on its own, then the State has to adopt it. This was the basis for my initial meeting with the State in December of 2011. Believe me I am watching that submittal very closely.

Following my presentation with the State I thought that the idea would be best applied if I opened it up to more potential users. It was then that I decided, using my own money and time, to present the model to multiple States. My plan was a multi-prong approach of social media (my blog – which has almost 50K followers and readers), attending conference, State meetings and presentations, as well authoring a book and more than 280 articles and publications. I even capitalized on a paid consulting assignment to develop the model for the Electric Cooperatives in Oklahoma, which was a great success.

Since that original roadshow I’ve now met with more than 30+ States and have presented the material to all of them, whether through their appointed SWICs, State CIOs, DHS, Rural Electric Coops, Investor Owned Utilities, Governors, or Lt Governors and of course my attending an assortment of conferences. In one conference alone, hosted by the State of Ohio, I had twelve States show up in one meeting. I’ve also presented the material, and spoken with, the leadership of the FirstNet Board and the FirstNet organization on a number of occasions – to include people within the Department of Commerce, the NTIA and DHS directly.

The point I’m making is that I’ve been tied to this material for a long time. The only reason the State of Kentucky, and the Macquarie Group, are touting “Public Private Partnership” and “it’s something that’s never been done before” and “it’s the first time of inviting Private Equity into such a mix” is all based on my direct Intellectual Property…. plain and simple. I ask this; why is it that a State like Kentucky and a large multi-billion dollar corporation like Macquarie find it necessary to take out the Little Guy in the deal other than insatiability?

My licensing fees and equity stake are trivial to the overall funding of the program and revenue creation. Why risk a $300+ Million dollar program by plagiarizing someone else’s Intellectual Property? To me that’s like getting 20 years in the slammer for stealing a .50 cent candy bar. Was it worth it? Why put the taxpayers in such a position? It takes a lot of guts for someone to put the State’s plan in jeopardy, let alone their own career, the ethical reputation of a standing Governor, and the entire character of the entire State Government for such a small gesture.

The State’s program is at risk of being delayed in the courts, of which, only taxpayers are the ones to lose in the end -- yet again. Is it worth it? How do you think the Grand Jury will look at these two large organizations trying to conquer this lonely Little Guy -- let alone a Veteran with Disability Owned Small Business -- who is just trying to make an honest living? A lot of people don’t realize that in an Intellectual Property dispute the risk is that the Intellectual Property Holder could end up owning the entire program if the Jury decides in his favor. Penalties alone run a minimum of 25% of the total value in the program, let alone the entire programs revenue stream would be diverted to the Intellectual Property Holder. Plus, don’t forget such actions are open to Federal Prosecution, so someone may end up going to Federal Prison for it. Is it worth it?

It really is that simple…. is it worth it?

My suggestion, settle the issue before things get out of hand. But then again who am I other than….

Just some guy and a blog….

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