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Comment: Re:The Human Condition ... (Score 1)246

Since I clearly never argued any of the strawmen you just attributed to me, you are simply trolling. Goodbye.

"The human doesn't need any hardware to add two numbers, or calculate sums of angles. "

Incorrect. A human needs a pen and paper in order to do the calculations.

Being a human computer is not simply doing a trivial sum in ones head. It means taking input (on paper) doing complicated calculations with that input (again, on paper) and then producing output (on paper.)

In the article I linked you can even see a picture of some human computers along with their requisite tools - desks, paper, pens.

You repeatedly argued that humans required hardware - namely, a pen and paper - to perform calculations, including "add[ing] two numbers, or calculat[ing] sums of angles". The quotes are there in black and white, and they're not strawmen, they're your words. Frankly, I think they're as idiotic as you now apparently admit they were.

Comment: Re:The Human Condition ... (Score 1)246

It strains credulity to believe anyone could be as dense as you are acting here.

I agree. I can't believe you're seriously and vehemently arguing that people cannot do math in their heads and that without paper or other tools, people could not perform calculations, in spite of the fact that many people do it publicly and sell books about it. You've repeatedly claimed people like this don't exist. And then you call me ignorant?

Frankly, I think most Slashdotters could perform simple sequences of mathematical algorithms in their heads, such as the square root, squares and addition steps required for determining the length of a hypotenuse given lengths of the sides. Frankly, I'm shocked anyone would doubt that this is possible without requiring paper.

Comment: Re:The Human Condition ... (Score 1)246

No, he's talking to you, and he's spot on.

Being a human computer is not simply doing a trivial sum in ones head. It means taking input (on paper) doing complicated calculations with that input (again, on paper) and then producing output (on paper.)

Nope, if he was talking to me, then both he and you are wrong and falsely limiting the definition - specifically, under your definition, if a human performs a complex calculation mentally*, they are not a human computer. But, if that same human makes a mark on a piece of paper, then suddenly they are? The paper is a necessary requirement that differentiates a human from a human computer? I disagree, as would anyone who has ever performed a calculation in their head and verbally recited the answer. Paper, as with a slide rule, abacus, calculator, or computer, makes the process easier and faster, but it is not a necessary requirement to produce a calculation, as you incorrectly contend.

In fact, as even your own cited Wiki article states, a human computer is merely "one who computes" or a person performing mathematical calculations. Your article only uses the word "paper" once, merely discussing a format of input ("transcrib[ing] raw data from celluloid film and oscillograph paper"), and not as part of your false definition.

And finally, again as noted by your cited Wiki article, the term human computer is commonly applied to "individuals with prodigious powers of mental arithmetic, also known as mental calculators." As Wiki notes, mental arithmetic is "arithmetical calculations using only the human brain, with no help from calculators, computers, or pen and paper."

Quoth the immortal Bard: "Oh, snap!"

*and how complex? Your definition is built on a vague, subjective "I know it when I see it" standard of triviality, and is therefore invalid for that reason alone.

Comment: Re:Conflation of patent eligibility and novelty (Score 1)246

What do you mean by derived as opposed to isomorphic? The two terms are not exclusive.

Derived: at least one noncosmetic change from the antecedent so that the derived FSM produces at least one different output from the same inputs in the same accumulated context in the antecedent FSM. Isomorphic: the commonplace mathematical definition: Two FSMs are isomorphic if they both produce the pairwise-same outputs when given the pairwise-same inputs within the corresponding pairwise-same accumulated context. You are correct to observe that derived and isomorphic are not synonyms.

Thank you. Now, returning to your prior statement, you contended that the derived FSM is obvious if an isomorphic FSM existed previously. But, here, you defined the derived FSM as producing a different output from the same inputs. If that difference is non-trivial, then the derived FSM cannot be obvious, by definition.

Yes, they do - the patent claims begin with a preamble that states whether they recite a machine or apparatus, or a method. That's presumptively conclusive evidence.

I am glad that you mentioned a patent's recitation of apparatus as being presumptively conclusive: from the footnote 18 of In re Bilski:

Complemental Accident Insurance Policy, U.S. Patent No. 389,818 (issued Sept. 18, 1888) (claiming a “complemental insurance policy” as an apparatus consisting of two separate cards secured together); Insurance System, U.S. Patent No. 853,852 (issued May 14, 1907) (claiming a “two-part insurance policy” as “an article of manufacture”).

I'm not sure what your point is - as the Federal Circuit noted, those patents are "fundamentally unlike the Bilski claim, since [they do] not claim a method of organizing human activity not involving manufactures, machines or the creation of compositions of matter" (emphasis added). Thus, there is evidence on the record that those patents are directed to an apparatus and an article of manufacture, respectively, contrary to your earlier assertion.

The salient question here is whether the assemblage of 2 pieces of paper stapled together is (still) an apparatus that is an article of manufacture

In both cases, they are articles of manufacture. The Federal Circuit was wrong in their characterization of the '818 patent, which never once uses the term "apparatus".

... that evokes the correct magic words to become patent eligible under Title 35 USC 101 or 103 (as that assemblage was post-1888 & post-1907). Similarly, the salient question is whether the assemblage of an FSM loaded transiently into an FPGA enjoys enough of the patent-eligibility status as an apparatus that is an article of assembly manufacture as when that same FSM lithographed onto a silicon die as an article of chemical manufacture. If it does, then does that same* FSM represented by sequential imperative instructions in a processor enjoy the same patent-eligibility status? If transiently-stored FSM in an FPGA were in fact found to be definitively patent eligible but that same transiently-stored FSM represented as imperative instructions is patent-ineligible, then what portion of Title 35 USC 101 or 103 implicitly inhibits or overtly prohibits the process of imperative instructions being patent-eligible subject matter, but conversely allows that same FSM to be patent-eligible subject matter when transliterated into a netlist loaded transiently into an FPGA or lithographed (a form of mere printing as words in a book) onto a silicon die. It seems that A) what is sauce for cooking the imperative goose is B) sauce for cooking the lithographed gander as well [and as well C) for the netlist gosling begat by the goose's fleeting transience & the gander's logic gates]. An FSM is an FSM is an FSM.

* Here a "same" FSM is topologically isomorphic with the pairwise-same outputs for the pairwise-same inputs in the pairwise-same accumulated context, even if transliterated into variant encodings: imperative instructions versus FPGA netlist versus silicon-die lithography.

Of course, and why should it not? Why should patentability of a nonobvious, novel, and properly described invention depend upon the trivial question of whether it is claimed as implemented in fixed hardware vs. self-reconfiguring hardware, particularly when the hardware itself is not lending it any nonobvious features?

Comment: Re:The Human Condition ... (Score 1)246

"The human doesn't need any hardware to add two numbers, or calculate sums of angles. "

Incorrect. A human needs a pen and paper in order to do the calculations (of course we can do trivial sums in our head but a 'human calculator' requires more than that.)

... yeah, speak for yourself.

Since you are unable to add two numbers, and are unwilling to acknowledge that other people can do that without requiring computational aids, then this conversation really isn't going to go anywhere. Good day.

Comment: Re:Conflation of patent eligibility and novelty (Score 1)246

The problem isn't the novel or nonobviousness of it... It seems that lately a lot of patents are "we painted the car red" and then "we painted the boar red" and then "we painted the plane red" and now the watches and eye glass are coming out...

It is very obvious that you painted the previous incarnation red, so of course it is obvious you'll paint the new version red, even if no one has done it on the new version yet.

What is even worse, when people try to patent stuff "on the internet" that was done on bbses years ago.

Then, contrary to your first sentence, the problem is the lack of nonobviousness. Yes, doing something that was done years ago in a slightly different environment is obvious (if it doesn't require any extra, nonobvious steps). Doing something to a new model that you did to a previous model is obvious.
But these have nothing to do with subject matter eligibility. The question in CLS Bank and Bilski and the other 101 cases is whether the most novel, most non-obvious, freakin' revolutionary method ever conceived of is still not patentable, merely because it's software, or merely because it can be done in someone's mind, or merely because it doesn't require a machine. They're two separate questions - something has to be both patent eligible subject matter and nonobvious in order to be patentable - and they shouldn't be conflated into one, no matter how pissed off we get about patents on obvious things.

Comment: Re:The Human Condition ... (Score 1)246

I never said they could do it without any hardware. A human calculator needs essentially the same hardware to do this that a digital computer would.

That's exactly right, and that's why it's patentable. The human doesn't need any hardware to add two numbers, or calculate sums of angles. Theoretically, the human doesn't need any hardware to perform the entire equation and, given the various values encoded in the signals, can calculate the indicated coordinates.

But the human does need hardware to receive and decode those values from the signals. That distinction makes the method no longer merely an "abstract idea" or a mere algorithm, as it now requires specific hardware.

Comment: Re:Conflation of patent eligibility and novelty (Score 1)246

A derived finite-state machine (FSM) is obvious if an isomorphic finite-state machine existed, even if no one has ever made the derived FSM before.

What do you mean by derived as opposed to isomorphic? The two terms are not exclusive.

So, for example, if some logic lithographed onto a silicon die or downloaded as a netlist into an FPGA causes a computer to paint the screen in red paisley and that's never been done before, it's new... but it might be nonobvious and in fact patent eligible.

It might, or it might not, if, for example, logic for causing the computer to paint the screen in blue paisley has been done before.

The problem is when modes of implementation of the FSM get compartmentalized into logic gates versus sequential imperative instructions, because patentability of FSMs in logic circuits has been established for decades, while patentability of FSMs in sequential imperative instructions has not.

"Has not been established" or "has been established as not patentable"? Also, again, what do you mean by logic gates vs. sequential imperative instructions, because the two are not necessarily exclusive.

And so, you get cases like CLS or Bilski where the judges want to invalidate the patent because it's stupidly obvious, but they have no evidence on the record that clearly establishes what an apparatus or machine is and is not... so they declare it an abstract idea and invalid.

Yes, they do - the patent claims begin with a preamble that states whether they recite a machine or apparatus, or a method. That's presumptively conclusive evidence.

For example, Intel not only patents the lithography process of silicon dies of x86 processors, but the logic circuit therein as well in separate patents. But that logic circuit can be implemented in a sufficiently large FPGA, which has software-like characteristics that strongly resemble loading a different sequential imperative machine-code program into a general-purpose imperative-machine-code processor, but with the key difference being the lack of sequential imperative instructions in the FPGA or lithographed IC (ignoring the sequentialness of pulsed timing waves of concurrent gate-flipping in the progress of computation in the FPGA or lithographed IC.)

"strongly resemble", "ignoring"... Although useful for a doctoral thesis, glossing over steps is usually not acceptable in a legal conclusion.

Comment: Re:It's not difficult. (Score 2)246

Merely shoving some algorithm that is done by hand onto a computer is nothing novel. This isn't to say a particularly clever and non-intuitive software implementation couldn't be patented. But just doing it in software is not novel; it is obvious.

Sure, if the algorithm is already done by hand. But what if you come up with some novel, nonobvious algorithm, like a way to calculate interstellar warp coordinates? Then doing it either by hand or on a computer is novel... The question is whether it would still be patent eligible or not.
Under Bilski and CLS and current jurisprudence, a claim just to the algorithm would not be patentable... because someone could do it by hand. But if the claim had enough some additional limitations that specifically recited the computer, such that while you could do the algorithm by hand, you couldn't do the algorithm in the claim by hand, then it would be patentable (e.g. say it included a step of transmitting the data to a cloud service for distributed processing - that particular step may not be novel, but remember that the rest of the claim includes your novel, nonobvious algorithm).

I keep recommending these rules:

1. If it's already being done in the real world, doing it on a computer is not patentable per se.

That's currently the rule: computers are known, and if your method is known, then simply doing it on a computer is not patentable.
However, what if you have to do additional steps to make it work on a computer? For example, in the real world, we can look at someone and easily recognize their face as belonging to a friend... but machine vision and facial recognition is really, really difficult. There's a whole bunch of processing that has to be done, because computers don't inherently recognize faces. So, while the broad concept of "recognizing a face, on a computer" wouldn't be patentable, "detecting a first location corresponding to a first eye; identifying a second location corresponding to a second eye; determining an approximate facial width based on the inter-eye distance; identifying a mouth shape in a third location; etc., etc.," would be.

2. Doing a simulation of a real-world item is similarly not patentable per se.

Again, same as above - if the real world item is known, then simply simulating it isn't patentable... unless you have to do other things, or make approximations that don't exist in the real world. For example, the real world has a sky, and clouds, and changes smoothly from dark blue to light blue as you get near the sun... but doing volumetric lighting simulations and simulated Rayleigh and Mie scattering in a way that doesn't kill your GPU is really difficult. Why shouldn't a narrower claim to those be patentable?

3. Doing something wirelessly formerly done over a network, or remotely formerly done locally, or on a lil' phone or tablet or tricorder, is also not patentable per se.

And again, that's how it works. You can't get a claim to "transmitting data over a network, wherein the network is wireless" but you can get one directed to some of the steps you have to do with wireless communications that you don't have to do with wired communications, like the additional signal/noise processing, frequency heterodyning, burst interference avoidance, spread spectrum broadcasting, etc.

4. This is not to say particularly clever implementations (the "machine" part of "virtual machine") could not be patented.

Or stuff that you only have to do with virtual machines, like dynamically provisioning them based on load, or having dozens of virtual machines sharing a single hardware network interface and single memory bus, and transparently distributing packets to them in such a way that each machine doesn't realize there are others using the card.

Comment: Re:The Human Condition ... (Score 1)246

The input/output from the antenna is patentable, and presumably it was patented. The bus that transfers the i/o from the antenna to the processor is patentable, and again, it was patented.

The software that manipulates those i/o numbers is the algorithm under discussion - and should not be patentable.

Alone, yes, but why not together? Since you acknowledge that the antenna is patentable and the bus is patentable, then why can't I claim a device comprising an antenna that receives a signal, a bus that transports the signal, and a processor that executes an algorithm to convert the signal into geographic coordinates? I'm sure we can all agree that devices are patentable, yes?

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1)246

Now lets be clear that I'm not talking about a FPGA! In a FPGA if you "reload" the software you will change the machine because in essence the "software" for a FPGA is like the internal gear system, you can configure it in 1000 different ways to do different tasks. One day it can be a conveyor build and the next it will be a bottle cap remover. So before someone comes in here and blows a gasket at me, I fully accept the fact that a FPGA is very different then a Computer.

Ah, but an FPGA can be simulated in software. Therefore, if you reload the software in the simulator, you change the virtual machine. How is the fact that one is emulated and the other is physical relevant?

The way I look at it, software certainly adds a new state machine into the picture. Whether that qualifies as a machine for patent purposes is a separate question, and there are legitimate arguments on both sides, but whichever way you decide, an FPGA should play by the same rules as software.

Bear in mind also that qualifying as a machine simply distinguishes it from being an abstract idea... it's not enough to make something patentable on its own: it still has to be new and nonobvious, but those are different questions, with different tests - the most revolutionary, novel, nonobvious abstract idea that's ever been invented is still unpatentable, not because it's not new, but because it's not tied to a machine. Software that's tied to a machine only meets that first hurdle - it still needs to jump over the others.

Comment: Re:It IS a new machine, but that's the wrong quest (Score 1)246

only specific, newly invented machines are supposed to be patentable

And if the machine is implemented in software, the only thing that makes it novel and different from a bazillion other machines with the same physical implementation is the algorithms. You're not supposed to be able to patent those.

Why not? And no, I'm not asking "which Supreme Court decision said that you can't patent algorithms," I'm asking why they said that. It's not an arbitrary rule - there was reasoning behind it, and it's the reasoning that you need to look at when determining whether a machine executing novel and nonobvious software is patentable or not, not the one sentence of dicta.

Comment: Re:Jacquard loom (Score 1)246

So then, since the Jacquard loom used a different set of cards to 'program' each different cloth pattern, it qualifies for millions of separate patents.

No, because, after the first one, the others would likely be obvious in view of the first one. Nonobvious, however, is a separate requirement from whether something is drawn to patent eligible subject matter. And the judge's point here was that a programmed computer is a machine, and machines are patent eligible. They still have to be new and nonobvious and clearly described, but they're not immediately disqualified regardless of how new or nonobvious they are, the way pure software is.

We're talking about technology almost 300 years old. I'm thinking some of those judges are not only technically inept, but are in fact Luddites in black robes.

If you came up with a brand new technology, not even 300 ms old, that was just a series of mental steps - say, a method for calculating time travel coordinates, or the like - it could be the newest, most revolutionary technology in the world... and still not be eligible for a patent, because it's just mental steps. But a machine is different. Embody your brand new method in a machine, and it may be patent eligible. That's what the judge was trying to say.

Comment: Re:Conflation of patent eligibility and novelty (Score 2)246

As a shape & color, red paisley would be a 14-year design patent, not a 20-year utility patent. The topic here is utility patents, which are for the "useful arts". Because they are outside the "useful arts", the recognizable shape & color in design patents are for trade-dress topics outside of what can be trademarked.

Since I was citing and discussing the statutes involved, any reasonable person would assume that I was using an analogy to simplify the discussion, rather than discussing something unrelated having to do with design patents. And then there's you.

Now, would you like to go back and add something to the discussion, rather than just trying to be condescending and failing?

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