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Comment Microsoft Patent No Defense to i4i (Score 1) 146

It has been suggested in various writings that the newly issued Microsoft patent on an XML-based document would somehow resolve Microsoft's woes against i4i. This is most unlikely. A patent grants only rights to exclude others from practicing a claimed invention, and creates no right at all to practice the claimed invention. It is quite possible to obtain a patent governing a novel and unobvious variation of an existing patented technology. While the second patent would grant its owner the right to exclude people (including the first patent owner) from practicing the variation, it would grant no right to practice the variation if the variation also infringed the first patent.

Of course, it may be the case that the first company may want to practice the variation as well, in which case a cross-licensing deal might be worked out. But the issuing of a new patent on related technology does not, itself, help Microsoft out of its box unless the new technology does not infringe the i4i patent.

Comment It's been done. (Score 5, Informative) 226

In the late 1960s, I was taught high-school physics from the PSSC (Physical Science Study Committee) Physics textbook. The curriculum and textbook were put together by an NSF-convened panel. All the curriculum materials (textbook, supplementary readings, teacher's guides, experimental equipment) were made freely available. I still have two copies of the textbook produced by different publishers and with different covers but identical inside.

Although it was demonstrably superior to other physics curricula, the PSSC program was ultimately a failure because publishers, who couldn't make much money selling the PSSC textbook due to competition, eventually dropped the book and pushed hard to get their proprietary, therefore more heavily marked-up, textbooks adopted by school boards.

Programming

Submission + - Technical Writing for OSS?

sphere writes: As a technical writer, I am looking at open source as a way to build my portfolio and do good at the same time. A reputation for working on OSS projects wouldn't hurt either. So how can I find OSS projects who want a technical writer? Any suggestions, hints, or possible sources would be helpful.

Comment This gets so very old... (Score 4, Insightful) 98

This is really pretty easy stuff guys. The examiner searches for prior art, and if he finds it, or an obvious combination of it, badda-bing, lovely rejection. If not, he is bound by statute to allow the patent, period. 35 USC s. 102 ("A person shall be entitled to a patent unless" there exists invalidating art). We all know you hate the law and the standards, but give this poor examiner a break, will you? He HAS to allow the patent UNLESS he comes up with a case to reject it. He HAS to do it. He HAS to. Suggesting bad faith or corruption as the cause of the examiner's allowance is obnoxious and naive.

The examiner did his research, and gave it his best shot. By amendment and argument, Amazon shot down his case. Nobody came to the rescue with any new art, and the examiner didn't find any. Indeed, despite the FAMOUSNESS of this battle, NOBODY has come up with any art to defeat the new claims or the old ones.

There are better battles to pitch than this one.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Judge Kozinski and Sex.com

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal has spoken again in the Saga of Cohen, Kremen and the sex.com domain name. In this new opinion, the Ninth Circuit socks it to NSI, stating that they are amenable to suit for conversion of the domain name "sex.com" as a result of their acceptance of an on-its-face incredible forged letter transferring the domain name to now-fugitive Cohen. This one may make a big difference, and lead to

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