Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

×

Comment: Re:I never understood the recent patent reform (Score 1) 94

by Theaetetus (#49181571) Attached to: Has the Supreme Court Made Patent Reform Legislation Unnecessary?

Switching from "first to invent" to "first to file" makes no sense to me. If you're working on something for several years and some asshat hacks your computer, copies all the data, then files the patent, why should they get credit for it?

If you can show that they did, they won't.

As to why it makes sense - the rest of the world uses a first to file system, only the US was different. This harmonizes patent law and makes it more predictable for businesses, which is a good thing. And finally, despite hundreds of posters on Slashdot telling you how big a change this was and how it guts patent law, the switch from first to invent to first to file affects about 20 patent applications per year, out of half a million filed - there were, on average, only 20 interference proceedings each year, which is where there's a dispute on who invented something first. They were horribly expensive (upwards of $30-50k) and time consuming, and they occurred only after you filed your application and went through full examination... so someone could be already out $25k getting an allowable patent and then be hit with another $50k trying to show they invented it before someone else. Instead, now you can just point to the filing date and save money.

Beyond that, I don't understand how some filers seem to be able to get patents in a few months while others take YEARS to even get reviewed. Something doesn't smell right here.

Not at all - there's a process called accelerated examination, which, for a substantial fee, pushes your application to the top of the queue. People in fast moving technologies like software tend to go for that, while people in slow moving technologies like pharmaceuticals tend to prefer waiting YEARS, since they're in FDA trials and can't actually sell any product. By allowing a fast track and slow track, everyone benefits.

And then there's the patent troll problem. Why has nobody put forth legislation that requires the patent holder to also be the applier of the technology?

Because that would make MIT, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, CalTech, etc. very, very sad and gut their research departments.

Comment: Re:Necissary, not sufficient. (Score 1) 94

by Theaetetus (#49181447) Attached to: Has the Supreme Court Made Patent Reform Legislation Unnecessary?

The problem with the current system is that the PTO has taken the approach of only rejecting patents if they can find documented evidence that someone has done the exact same thing before. If there is a single independent claim for which they can't find exact prior art in a timely manner, then they approve the patent, regardless of how similar it is to other prior art. They deliberately ignore the obviousness of the patent because they don't want to have to defend subjective decisions against appeal.

The recent Supreme Court rulings have forcefully asserted that this is not acceptable. The law clearly states that obviousness is one of the criteria for patentability and therefore the USPTO and courts must take that into consideration when deciding patentability.

Do you have a citation for any of your claims? Because I've got a half dozen patent applications on my desk under obviousness rejections, and I'd love to be able to push them aside because the PTO didn't actually issue them.

Comment: Re:Necissary, not sufficient. (Score 4, Insightful) 94

by Theaetetus (#49178277) Attached to: Has the Supreme Court Made Patent Reform Legislation Unnecessary?

You're not even a little bit fearful that "patent reform" isn't doublespeak for bringing patents more inline with copyrights or some such nonsense?

I'm not. Patent term has only ever been extended once, to comply with an international treaty (the Paris Convention on Intellectual Property), and even then, it was a negligible change (20 years from filing, given an average 3 year delay from filing to issuance vs. 17 years from issuance). Compare that to copyright getting extended every time someone blinks.

There's a simple reason for this. The people pushing for longer copyright terms are the publishers who want to commercially exploit their property for as long as possible, and they've got tons of money; the people pushing for shorter copyright terms are... the public. And we have no lobbying money. So, it's an easy guess as to which one wins.

But patent is different - Apple wants their patents to last a long time, but they want Microsoft's to last a short term, and vice versa. Unlike copyright, where you don't really get Sony Pictures wanting to make a Paramount screenplay without paying royalties, you actually do have tons of large companies wanting to use each other's patents. No one wants longer terms, because all of their competitors have patents they want to use. So, there's no pile of lobbying money pushing on just one side of that equation, and patent terms don't get extended.

Disclaimer: I am a patent attorney. But the above should make sense regardless of your opinion of my work.

Comment: Re:if you think it's a free speech issue--- (Score 1) 309

by Theaetetus (#49138367) Attached to: Reddit Imposes Ban On Sexual Content Posted Without Permission

What consent? I find the vast minority are pictures taken without consent. The majority are:

b) In private due to own stupidity (e.g. Naked selfie sent over the internet, or sent to third party).

And while those pictures are taken with consent, there was never any consent to distribution by the third party or anyone else.

Frankly, what I'd love to see is some of these people start registering their copyright and going after the third parties and the revenge porn operators for statutory damages. Let's see some of those multimillion dollar judgements that the RIAA/MPAA gets, based on the unlawful distribution. I think juries will have a much easier time smacking some porn king with damages than someone who shares a few albums or movies.

Comment: Ooops... (Score 3, Interesting) 186

by Theaetetus (#49127339) Attached to: Jury Tells Apple To Pay $532.9 Million In Patent Suit

Another Apple lawyer, Eric Albritton of the Albritton Law Firm in Longview, told the jury there was no reason for Apple to pay royalties on the price of a phone when the dispute is over a single feature.

“It doesn’t make a lick of sense that one person would buy an iPhone and not make calls,” he told the jury. “People do not buy cell phones for the sole purpose of using apps.”

In related news, iPod Touch sales are apparently nonexistent.

Comment: Re:Filed After Bluetooth 2.0 Was Released (Score 2) 126

by Theaetetus (#49079981) Attached to: Patent Troll Wins $15.7M From Samsung By Claiming To Own Bluetooth

This is kind of what I figured. There should be some strict limitations on this behavior. Using it for one year to hone your patent application? Fine. Using it for over a decade to make sure your patent applies to technology developed after your initial patent filing? Not good at all. Perhaps there should be a hard limit of one year between priority date and filing date.

It's already covered. When you file a continuation-in-part, the only claims that get the benefit of the earlier priority date are ones that were fully described in the initial application. Anything that wasn't described there doesn't get that priority date, and you only get the later date. So, for example, if I file a patent application that describes a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on 1/1/2000, I can later file a continuation in part application on 1/1/2010 (provided the original is still pending) that adds using cinnamon raisin toast as the bread. If that later application has a patent claim of:

1. A sandwich, comprising:
a first slice of bread;
peanut butter adjacent to the first slice of bread;
jelly adjacent to the peanut butter; and
a second slice of bread adjacent to the jelly.

That would get a priority date of 1/1/2000 for searching for prior art. If I have a second claim of:

2. The sandwich of claim 1, wherein the first slice of bread and second slice of bread are each cinnamon raisin toast.

That would only get a priority date of 1/1/2010.

So, it's even better than your suggestion - you don't even get a single day to hone your patent application. Anything new you add gets a later date.

Comment: Re:Absolutely garbage claims (Score 0) 126

by Theaetetus (#49079927) Attached to: Patent Troll Wins $15.7M From Samsung By Claiming To Own Bluetooth

I looked up the patent. Here is the meat of claim 1:

a transceiver, in the role of the master according to the master/slave relationship, for sending at least transmissions modulated using at least two types of modulation methods, wherein the at least two types of modulation methods comprise a first modulation method and a second modulation method, wherein the second modulation method is of a different type than the first modulation method, wherein each transmission comprises a group of transmission sequences, wherein each group of transmission sequences is structured with at least a first portion and a payload portion wherein first information in the first portion indicates at least which of the first modulation method and the second modulation method is used for modulating second information in the payload portion, wherein at least one group of transmission sequences is addressed for an intended destination of the payload portion, and wherein for the at least one group of transmission sequences: the first information for said at least one group of transmission sequences comprises a first sequence, in the first portion and modulated according to the first modulation method, wherein the first sequence indicates an impending change from the first modulation method to the second modulation method, and the second information for said at least one group of transmission sequences comprises a second sequence that is modulated according to the second modulation method, wherein the second sequence is transmitted after the first sequence.

This is absolute garbage. The most powerful claim is so generalized that it can be interpreted to cover anything the owner wishes. It's like patenting a mouse trap that consists of "a device with a mechanism such that mice are trapped".

In what way? That claim can't be interpreted to cover, for example, mouse traps. So it's not quite as generalized as you say.

Comment: Re:Wait, I'm confused... (Score 3, Interesting) 188

by Theaetetus (#49050621) Attached to: MegaUpload Programmer Pleads Guilty, Gets a Year In Prison

Isn't copyright infringement a civil offense?

It's both. 17 USC 506 defines criminal copyright infringement:

(a) Criminal Infringement.—
(1) In general.— Any person who willfully infringes a copyright shall be punished as provided under section 2319 of title 18, if the infringement was committed—
(A) for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain;
(B) by the reproduction or distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180–day period, of 1 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than $1,000; or
(C) by the distribution of a work being prepared for commercial distribution, by making it available on a computer network accessible to members of the public, if such person knew or should have known that the work was intended for commercial distribution.

The usual differentiation between criminal and civil infringement is 1A, for the purpose of commercial advantage of private financial gain. I think in this case, it had to do with the fact that MegaUpload made significant amounts of money through advertising associated with the pages on which they were sharing works under copyright.

Comment: Re:Pointing fingers at problems (Score 1) 493

How the hell does THIS work with freaking MATH? Dick: 4+4 = 8, good job A+ Jane: 4+4=8, stupid girl, fail F- UNless Jane really is not too bright won't she mention she got the right answer????

Dick: 4+4 = 7. Good attempt, and you set up the problem correctly. B-.
Jane: 4+4 = 7. See, this is why girls aren't good at math. You should probably focus on something girls are good at, like making sandwiches. F.

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 493

The students were given two exams, one graded by outsiders who did not know their identities and another by teachers who knew their names.

Okay.

In math, the girls outscored the boys in the exam graded anonymously, but the boys outscored the girls when graded by teachers who knew their names.

How the fuck does that happen?

2+2=4 whether you are a boy or a girl.

How is a teacher grading that differently based on the kids' names?

Aw, Billy, you thought 2+2=3. Well, good effort, half credit.
Sally, you dumb slut, 2+2 does not equal 3. See, this is why you're never going to get any farther in life than a stripper pole.

Comment: Re:Pointing fingers at problems (Score 5, Insightful) 493

Perhaps, but that wouldn't explain the results of the difference in grading

Did anyone ever stop to think that boys are better, and more interested, in some things than girls (and vice versa)?

I'm getting very sick of the daily "It's our fault that there aren't more women in tech" SJW blame-fest here on Slashdot.

And I'm getting very sick of the anti-SJW "I refuse to read the article, but will expound about how awful SJWs are because of my truthy gut feelings" bullshiat. You didn't read the article. The post you're responding to pointed out the difference in grading, and if you had read the article, you'd realize that GP was referring to:

Beginning in 2002, the researchers studied three groups of Israeli students from sixth grade through the end of high school. The students were given two exams, one graded by outsiders who did not know their identities and another by teachers who knew their names.

In math, the girls outscored the boys in the exam graded anonymously, but the boys outscored the girls when graded by teachers who knew their names. The effect was not the same for tests on other subjects, like English and Hebrew. The researchers concluded that in math and science, the teachers overestimated the boys’ abilities and underestimated the girls’, and that this had long-term effects on students’ attitudes toward the subjects.

Now, because you're clearly the slow kid who needs to have everything spoon fed to them, let me repeat: the students took the same test twice, and it was graded by different teachers. If the teachers did not know the gender of the student, the girls scored better. If the teachers did know the gender of the student, the boys scored better. These are farking math tests - there's a right answer and an infinite number of wrong answers. There's no reason that someone should score better or worse based solely on whether their name is Dick or Jane, unless the teachers are consciously or unconsciously discriminating.

So, now do you understand how your comment, "did anyone ever stop to think that boys are better, and more interested, in some thing than girls" is not just irrelevant, but totally wrong? The only thing you've shown is that you are worse than everyone who actually bothered to read the article.

Comment: Re:Swatting is much more serious than a "prank" (Score 1) 327

by Theaetetus (#49008073) Attached to: Swatting 19-Year-Old Arrested in Las Vegas

This exactly. Given the assumption that the person is intentionally making a false report to the police, it should be attempted murder if noone dies, and if someone dies die it should be *premeditated* murder and prosecuted as such.

Yep. There is actually room for this in the case law, too - use of another as an "instrument" in committing murder. Painting a target on someone and shoving them in front of the cops certainly counts.

Comment: Re:Basic DVD feature (Score 3, Interesting) 62

by Theaetetus (#48995567) Attached to: YouTube Launches Multi-Angle Video Experiment

Sure was. My DVD remote still has the Angle button. I can't recall a single title that used it.

That's because it's a useless gimmick. And it requires lot of extra work to produce, with little or no real benefit.

On a DVD, sure. On live TV? Particularly sports? It's awesome. One of the stations - NBC or CBS, I think - streamed an NFL game on their website last year and let you select either the broadcast stream or any of the individual cameras, including sideline, overhead, QB close up, etc. That was really fun. I could see the same benefit for anything where different viewers may be interested in different things happening simultaneously - sports or concerts, primarily.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

Working...