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Comment Re:Revised Summary (Score 5, Insightful) 234

Patents have always protected firms from competition. That has always been part of their purpose. Another part of their purpose is to enable some one ordinarily skilled in the art to duplicate the invention when the patent expires. That's the trade-off that justifies patents, as opposed to treating inventions as trade secrets.

What has changed is the definition of obviousness and consequently innovation. Now something is innovative if no one can point to prior art, notwithstanding that it may be obvious to the proverbial someone skilled in the art. Today, the pencil plus eraser would be patentable.

Another thing that has changed is that patents have become so vague that they cannot be duplicated nor can anyone be certain what they cover. This is particularly a problem for business method and software patents.

Comment Re:Someone's got some s'plainin' to do... (Score 5, Interesting) 569

There was no evidence withheld from the defence: The raw data file had already been given to the defence. The IT fellow's analysis was prosecution work product, nothing more. As well, the pictures and text he found were irrelevant to the case: the girl and the gun were not at the scene nor did Martin have any marijuana on him. As well, Kruidbos had an obligation to keep information about the cases he works on confidential, particularly since he didn't raise any concerns with anyone else in the office. Consulting with a lawyer is probably ok, but not when that lawyer is a disgruntled former employee who breaks privilege by running off to the defence.

"Love your country but never trust its government." -- from a hand-painted road sign in central Pennsylvania