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Comment Re:Marshall, TX (Score 2, Informative) 227

The CAFC (Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit) is apparantly getting a bit fed up with the EDTX Court. In In Re Hoffman-Laroche (, they slapped them around for not transferring the case to a District (EDNC) which actually had a "meaningful local interest" in the dispute. Here's a quote which hints at their annoyance (plus the fact that it's kind of a slap in the face to highlight a spelling/grammar error when quoting from a lower Court's opinion).

The Eastern District of North Carolina's interest in this matter is self-evident. Meanwhile, it is undisputed that this case has no relevant factual connection to the Eastern District of Texas. The district court ignored this significant contrast, reasoning that "where a number of private interest factors weigh heavily in one direction, that venue has a slightly greater local interest," but "[w]here, however, the factors do not weigh heavily in one direction of [sic] the other, no one venue has more or less a meaningful connection to the case than any other." By relying exclusively on how other forum non conveniens factors weigh, rather than assessing the locale's connection to the cause of action, the district court essentially rendered this factor meaningless. Therefore, because the Eastern District of North Carolina has a meaningful local interest in adjudicating the dispute and no meaningful connection exists with the Eastern District of Texas, this factor also favors transfer.

        and this one

Meanwhile, there appears to be no connection between this case and the Eastern District of Texas except that in anticipation of this litigation, Novartis' counsel in California converted into electronic format 75,000 pages of documents demonstrating conception and reduction to practice and transferred them to the offices of its litigation counsel in Texas. But, if not for this litigation, it appears that the documents would have remained a source of proof in California. Thus, the assertion that these documents are "Texas" documents is a fiction which appears to be have been created to manipulate the propriety of venue.
This type of tactic was clearly counseled against in Van Dusen v. Barrack, 376 U.S. 612 (1964). There, the Supreme Court explained that Section 1404(a) "should be construed to prevent parties who are opposed to a change of venue from defeating a transfer which, but for their own deliberate acts or omissions, would be proper, convenient and just." Id. at 625. A plaintiff's attempts to manipulate venue in anticipation of litigation or a motion to transfer falls squarely within these prohibited activities. The district court's contrary position here has no legally rational basis and prevents 1404(a) from carrying "out its design to protect litigants, witnesses and the public against unnecessary inconvenience and expense.

Add to this decision (handed down 12/2), the even more recent decision H-P v. Acceleron (12/4, Fed. Cir.) which makes it easier to file for a declaratory judgment of non-infringement (in your choice of Court) if you are -ahem- "threatened" by a patent troll, and it seems that the Fed Circuit it trying rein in what may be considered a rogue court. Note that these decisions don't really concern EDTX's disposition of the cases, but the question "WTF is this case doing in Marshall, Texas?"

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 291

I've had cause to use some iron (not nearly that big, but a 100+ node HADOOP cluster and the aforementioned 16 core video remixer) at work myself. But the GP was using that as a reference for a modern pc for use in displaying a browser, and it is completely inappropriate to assume that the average high end user is going to have a $10000-$20000 machine sitting on their desk.

Comment Re:I, for one... (Score 1) 177

Solar = Nuclear

"Really there are only two sources of energy here on earth:


Even geothermal is powered by the heat of the earth's core, which is itself powered by radioactivity. (I guess one could argue that the radioactive elements were formed in a star, making them solar as well, but that's a bit too far for me.)"

Comment Summary Wrong, Title Wrong (Score 2, Insightful) 116

Typical. kdawson hasn't a clue about Intellectual Property issues, yet posts constantly and inaccurately about them.

Firstly, the lawyer did not "sue" to get a patent. The application was (appropriately) rejected by the patent examiner. The applicant appealed the rejection to the PTO Board of Appeals and the rejection was upheld. The applicant then appealed that rejection to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), which applied Bilski to uphold the rejection again. Despite the fact that a court was involved, this was not a "lawsuit."

Rather than appealling to the CAFC, the applicant could have filed a civil action against the Commissioner of Patents in the DC Circuit Court. This would be considered a lawsuit.

The only story here should be that the Patent system worked.

And please, please, STOP posting articles with headlines announcing that somebody "won" a patent. Patents are issued or allowed.

Comment Re:Rational (Score 1) 807

"Beer is doable, but not all that easy to make at home. You have to build at least a minimal apparatus, and you have to employ some fairly stringent (for a home environment) anti-contamination protocols. It takes time, and the end result usually ends up tasting a little better than horse piss."

Horse piss?? "build"? Extract brewing is very easy, and with Star-san even the aseptic technique is a breeze. You don't have to "build" anything, and can get by with purchasing about 25 bucks worth of gear for a basic setup. And frankly, unless you do something very stupid, the worst home brew will be better than almost anything you can buy. And there are probably over a million homebrewers in the U.S.

Stop by and I'll give you a bottle or two my my "Black Hole Porter" which I'm bottling tonight.

Comment Re:Doesn't maintaining patents cost money? (Score 1) 99

Yes and no. Large companies generally use both in-house and outside patent counsel. The outside attorneys are retained for opinion work while the inside attorneys draft and prosecute the applications (speaking generally). IBM has something like 200 internal patent attorneys (from a quick search of the USPTO attorney/agent roster). Figure an average cost of 200k/year (salaries, benefits, overhead cost) per lawyer, and 10 patent applications per year, and the 20k/year/application might be just about right.

Then there are the costs of foreign applications. Every patent (application) is evaluated for potential importance, and a corresponding level of foreign filing is determined. Even a small breadth of foreign filing is expensive, and a large foreign filing can cost upwards of 100k or more.

And once again, the headline is moronic. How does IBM "win" patents? In a poker game?



Submission + - St. Paul considers fiber optic network (

theorem4 writes: "St. Paul city council is considering the idea to build a fiber optic network. While Minneapolis already has Wi-Fi, a fiber optic network would "turn St. Paul into America's most connected city." The two broadband providers, Qwest and Comcast, oppose the plan, using the $200 million price tag as their argument. "In general, we don't think it is appropriate for the government to use taxpayer dollars to offer or subsidize a service in competition with private-sector alternatives, and high-speed Internet service is a particularly competitive and robust market in most areas," Comcast spokeswoman Mary Beth Schubert said."

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