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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 1 declined, 1 accepted (2 total, 50.00% accepted)

Role Playing (Games)

+ - Wizards of the Coast Clarifies 4e License Details

Submitted by Goobermunch
Goobermunch (771199) writes "Back on April 21, mxyzplk reported that Wizards of the Coast had announced "that anyone wanting to publish material for the new Fourth Edition of D&D, expected out in June of this year, must forgo open licensing entirely as part of their new Game System License."

Today, Wizards of the Coast responded to questions regarding the terms of the new license submitted by posters at the popular Dungeons and Dragons fansite EN World. In short, the new license does not require companies wishing to publish under the new license to forgo open licensing. Instead, "Publishers will be able to decide on a product line by product line basis which license will work best for them." The full text of Wizards' response can be found in the linked thread.

It is unknown whether Wizards' position changed as a result of the furore that followed the events reported by mxyzplk, or whether the furore resulted from a misunderstanding of the license terms is unknown."
Patents

+ - Patent Appeals System Under Constitutional Attack

Submitted by Goobermunch
Goobermunch (771199) writes "According to this article, the validity of recent (within the past eight years) patent rulings by the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences is being questioned due to the unconstitutionality of the method for appointing patent and trademark appeals judges. From the article:

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office may have a major problem on its hands — the possibly unconstitutional appointment of nearly two-thirds of its patent appeals judges. Such a constitutional flaw, if legitimate, could call into question the hundreds of decisions worth billions of dollars in the past eight years. The flaw, discovered by highly regarded intellectual property scholar John Duffy of George Washington University Law School, could also afflict the appointment of nearly half of the agency's trademark appeals judges.
The article quotes John Duffy, a professor at the George Washington University Law School, who has analyzed the question in depth. Essentially, the problem arises because the patent appeals judges were appointed by the Director of the Patent and Trademark Office, rather than the Secretary of Commerce. Under Article 2, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, the power to appoint "inferior officers" of the government may be vested in "in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments." The patent appeals judges are likely inferior officers, and therefore must be appointed by the President, the courts, or a department head."

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