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Comment Re:The article you linked quotes exactly what I sa (Score 1) 150

Oh, a little clarification on the US Supreme Court and US law.

The Supreme Court handed down some good, but somewhat murky, rulings a few decades ago. Since then the lower courts have gone batshit insane throwing out all limitations on patentability.

Part of the reason is that many court cases involving a megacorp on one side demanding they be given a patent on X, and on the other side is some lawyer from the patent office arguing X isn't a valid invention. And of course the army of megacorp lawyers tends to steamroll the patent office lawyer, establishing some new tidbit of twisted precedence. Case, after case, after case, they steadily pushed the line (and the rules) off into the Twilight Zone.

Oh, and the corporations are free to file their case in any US district they want. So they ALL file in the same district... the Eastern District of Texas. That district has a well deserved reputation for judges having the most extreme ideology, granting and uphold anything that has the word "patent" scribbled on it in crayon.

In the last few years the Supreme Court has taken notice and started issuing some harsh smackdowns against the nutty logic of the lower courts. Unfortunately the Supreme Court has been issuing "narrow" rulings, basically they've stated that X Y and Z are insane interpretations of patent law, they've said invalid patents are being granted, but haven't clarified which or how many invalid patents are being granted, and basically all the Supreme Court said is "Yo, you're fucking up, go back and follow our old rulings on patents". Except the lower courts have spent the last few decades becoming experts in how to actively not understand those Supreme Court rulings.

So, the current general practice of US patent law is that they still accept insane patents from Twilight Zone, but the judges know most of the basis for doing so has been struck down, and the judges are arguing with each other in utter confusion desperately trying to figure out some coherent set of logic and rules.

And a major problem is that any sane set of rules, anything coherent with the old Supreme Court rules, is basically going to invalidate over a HUNDRED THOUSAND existing patents. Many of the district judges are dead set on the mindset that those patents are valid, and the more reasonable judges are insecure at the prospect of making a "radical" ruling that would create chaos by invalidating vast numbers of existing patents.

Ummm... this post was supposed to be a "small note" explaining the Supreme Court quote from my other post, and why we're in a mess despite having that obvious-solution quote. I guess I got carried away. Chuckle.


Comment Re:The article you linked quotes exactly what I sa (Score 1) 150

My perspective on computer programs is that they're always implementations of some kind of algorithm

Agreed :)

And you'll probably appreciate this U.S. Supreme Court quote:
[this] Court explained the correct procedure for analyzing a patent claim employing a mathematical algorithm. Under this procedure, the algorithm is treated for 101 purposes as though it were a familiar part of the prior art; the claim is then examined to determine whether it discloses 'some other inventive concept.'

It just seems so intuitive and obvious to me that it's hard to understand how anyone can read it differently.

Yep and yep. It has been a long and painful wrapping my head around the language and logic they use. Unfortunately being able to read it has pretty much only accomplished one-way communication so far. Every time I discuss it with a software-patent advocate I can't seem to get them to wrap their head around the (obvious to us) point that certain patent-claims disclose nothing more than new-math, and that a new math equation or new math function or new math algorithm isn't an invention.

Hell, the New Zealand law was uncommonly easy to understand. In a lot of these cases they state "Software, as such, is not patentable", without the extra explanation given in this law. Now, I'm sure you look at that and think it says software isn't patentable. But in their language "software, as such" means "software that doesn't do anything". You see, you're not claiming a patent on the software (as such), you're claiming a patent on software that does something.... you're claiming what the software does. And what the software does isn't "software as such".

Laws that loudly and pointlessly proclaim they exclude patents on "software-that-does-nothing". If you ever see "as such", that's what it means.

Yeah. Painful.


Comment Re:The article you linked quotes exactly what I sa (Score 1) 150

That's what this law says, so I think it's a victory for common sense.

No. Common sense says that new-poetry is not an invention, new-movie-plots are not an invention, and new-math is not an invention. A survey of programmers found 94% of programmers saying it's not an invention. And pardon my America-centric reference here, but the U.S. Supreme Court said it's not an invention:

[this] Court explained the correct procedure for analyzing a patent claim employing a mathematical algorithm. Under this procedure, the algorithm is treated for 101 purposes as though it were a familiar part of the prior art; the claim is then examined to determine whether it discloses "some other inventive concept."

Software is nothing more than a particular form of written-out algorithm. "New software" is nothing more than a written out "new math algorithm". All software is required to be treated as familiar prior art. You can certainly list software inside or in conjunction with an invention, the presence of software obviously doesn't remove patentability, but software itself cannot be an invention. "new math" cannot provide the requisite novelty or non-obviousness. Describing a new math algorithm isn't an invention, you only have an invention if you disclose "some other inventive concept" beyond the (presumed familiar prior art) software.


Comment Re:Hey (Score 1) 535

"True Christians are the ones who believe in God and mock and attack anyone who says otherwise."

I would posit that neither the above nor the sentence of which it is a parody are correct. Fundamentalist atheists and theists are definitely the problem, but I wouldn't define either group as "the true group."

Comment Re:a sampling of responses (Score 1) 57

Alexis Parrish: My name is Alexis Parrish And I need to get my own patent please have someone. Contact me at
alexisparrish28@gmail.com... US should come up with its own distinct logo that must be present
somewhere on every item traded ;)

Ooooh...... was this supposed to be a thread for posting fake responses? Sorry, my bad.



Down the Road, But In the Works: 3-D Video Calls From Skype 97

An anonymous reader notes that Skype is reportedly working on a 3D version of its messaging application. As reported by the BBC, an unnamed senior executive says that rumors to this effect are true. However, don't get too worked up about sending your avatar to school or to work just yet: Microsoft's corporate vice-president for Skype, Mark Gillett, says that "the capture devices are not yet there. As we work with that kind of technology you have to add multiple cameras to your computer, precisely calibrate them and point them at the right angle. ... We have it in the lab, we know how to make it work and we're looking at the ecosystem of devices and their capability to support it in order to make a decision when we might think about bringing something like that to market." Also at SlashBI.

Comment Re:Waste of resources (Score 1) 242

Yep. You got it.

A few years ago I developed a state of the art obfuscation system for JavaScript. It goes far beyond what you might normally see (renaming variables, etc) and is used for anti-spam purposes. I expected the obfuscation to get cracked by spammers eventually as anyone who had succeeded could have directly profited off that success, but in fact although there were many attempts over the years none were successful. When done well, software obfuscation is a powerful tool. It has a bad rap because so many people do it badly - there is precious little information out there about how to build really good obfuscations, so you get a lot of wheel reinvention.

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