Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Re:overblown (Score 2) 272

The real issue here is stupid patents. People patenting round corners and touch to open and the wheel or whatever other stupidity the patent office lets pass by.

The real issue is stupid journalism that leads people to believe that the patent office is letting patents through on "round corners" and "touch to open" and "the wheel".

Comment Re:it's troll worthy. (Score 1) 147

They're claiming they invented GaN LED's.

Not at all. They even acknowledge in the background of the patent that GaN semiconductors were known. Rather, they're claiming "a method to prepare near-intrinsic monocrystalline GaN films and to selectively dope these films n- or p-type," an improvement on existing GaN technology.

What's next, you're going to look at Toyota's patent on the hybrid transmission in the Prius and say they're claiming they invented the automobile?

Comment Re:legit patent suit? (Score 1) 57

The observation that its both true that its hard to keep secrets and that society doesnt benefit from secrets is obvious. The justification for patents is that you no longer have to try to keep your manufacturing process a secret, that the government is willing to grant you exclusive rights to it for a limited time, but this service is in exchange for public publication of your process. You still have liberty and can choose not to patent your process, but then you run the risk of a competitor spying on you or independently coming up with it themselves.

This is completely true.

But what we have today is a situation where not only are manufacturing processes patented, but also features of the products that those processes make. One-click, rounded corners, and so on.

But this is false. Aside from the fact that you're referencing a design patent on aesthetic ornamentation, which is a different animal altogether (and more like trade dress), manufacturing processes were not the sole domain of the original patent act. Rather, as with the current 35 USC 101, the Patent Act of 1790 granted patents for any useful "art, manufacture, engine, machine, or device, or any improvement therein". Machines were absolutely patentable, even though once sold, they could be easily taken apart and reverse engineered, contrary to your statement here:

You see that the justification for manufacturing process patents doesnt justify these new types, for these new types cannot be kept secret and in fact are by definition only valuable when they arent a secret and are displayed openly as features of the product.

In fact, the very first patent, back in Florence in the 15th century, was for a low-draft merchant boat, not a manufacturing process.

Comment Re:Sigh (Score 1) 78

Of course, an argument can be made that the original inventor should be recompensed, and that's fair...to a point. To redress this perceived injustice: patents should expire after a reasonable time, and NOT be renewable beyond a limited extent (say one or two renewals).

Patents do expire after (what Congress has decided is) a reasonable time: twenty years from the date of filing of the application. They are not renewable, period. And they can even expire earlier, if you fail to pay maintenance fees.

Wow, I wasn't aware of the requirement for maintenance fees, very interesting. So essentially, these fees do pretty much as I described, with the exception that the last 'maintenance fee' paid in year 12 extends the patent eight years, instead of only four years for the previous 'maintenance' fees.

Am I correct in assuming that once it expires (for whatever reason), it then gets assigned to the public domain?

Mostly yes - slight change to what you described was that maintenance fees are based on filing date, so if you have a patent application pending for 10 years, you only pay the year 12 fee, and it expires 8 years later.

And yes, once it expires, it's public domain forever. Interestingly, though unsurprisingly, most software-related patents get abandoned without paying the 12 year fee. The fees are not static, but increase significantly, so for most companies, it's not worth it to pay that last extension, particularly in software where technology moves so quickly. So, allowing for the time from filing to grant, most software-related patents already only last around 4-5 years.

Ah, so let the patent term start from the day it's granted, not the day it's filed (I think that's how it works now, isn't it?) That seems fair to everyone. The key takeaway is that patent terms should be drastically shortened, so as not to stifle the very innovations they purport to protect...but OTOH, it doesn't look like the 'maintenance fees' implemented in 1980 are having much of an impact on the patent circus, either.

That is how it works - term starts from day of grant and lasts until it expires, either for non-payment of maintenance fees or the end of 20 years from the date of filing. Now, whether 20 years is too long is open to debate, but it's not like the lifetime+70 years of copyright. And the maintenance fees do have a significant impact - see above - although maybe they should be either increased or have an added increment or two... I agree, having the final fee at 12 years is odd... maybe there should be additional fees due at 15 years and 18 years. That would tend to make patents expire sooner, unless the patent owner really thinks they're valuable.

Comment Re:Continuation Patents are one broken thing (Score 1) 78

Back in 1996 you filed for a patent which issued in 2001 as U.S. patent 6,199,076. This actually sounds original for the time; it seems to be a system for providing hyperlinks that could be followed while listening to an audio program, along with a way to jump back to the previous program. Of course, we had those features already in web browsers; whether doing the same thing in an audio program was sufficiently innovative enough to deserve a patent is debatable (and presumably was debated a bit, since it took 5 years for the patent to be issued).

However, that patent in no way describes podcasting, which involves an ability to subscribe to a recurring series of audio programs, including ones not yet issued. That is instead covered by patent 8,112,504, which you filed in 2009 as a "continuation" of the much earlier patent application, one which had, in fact, already been issued as a complete patent for 8 years.

By definition, a continuation application is identical to the parent application, except for the claims. The specification and the figures must be word for word and line for line identical. The claims must also be supported by that specification and those figures. Accordingly, if the '504 continuation describes podcasting (which I'm not taking a position on), then by definition, the '076 patent describes podcasting.

The ability to go back and rewrite your old patent to include new features, and claim you invented them back when the old patent was filed (even if, as you noted, you're limited to collect damages on activity after the new version of the patent is issued) is one thing that is broken in the patent system. You basically saw something that people were doing, found an old patent which bore a little similarity, but which didn't have any claims against that activity you could enforce, and rewrote it so it covered the activity, after the fact. This should not be allowed.

It's not - if you rewrite any part of the specification, or add any "new features", then it's considered a continuation-in-part, not a continuation. A CIP application does not get the filing date of the parent application, so in this case, it would have a filing date of 2009. Anything that happened prior to that would be prior art against it.

But this wasn't a CIP. It's a continuation. It's identical to the parent application, and has that 1996 filing date.

Now I realize that there are legitimate reasons for continuations being considered a part of the original application. But you shouldn't be able to introduce new concepts outside the scope of the original patent application in a continuation. This sort of thing should either be rejected outright, or treated as a new application with priority date set to when the new concepts were first filed.

That's exactly how the system works. And this falls under your first sentence - a continuation that's part of the original application, lacking any new concepts.

Accordingly, going back to your original statement, since the system works exactly the way you say is proper, then nothing about continuation practice is broken.

Comment Re:Sigh (Score 2) 78

Of course, an argument can be made that the original inventor should be recompensed, and that's fair...to a point. To redress this perceived injustice: patents should expire after a reasonable time, and NOT be renewable beyond a limited extent (say one or two renewals).

Patents do expire after (what Congress has decided is) a reasonable time: twenty years from the date of filing of the application. They are not renewable, period. And they can even expire earlier, if you fail to pay maintenance fees.

So, for example, a filed patent would expire in two years, renewable to up to twice for a maximum length of six years.

The problem there (or rather, not a problem) is that patents aren't just registrations or rubber stamps. They get examined, and that takes time - currently, it's about 4-5 years from filing to granting. So, under your proposal, they could expire before they even make it through the queue to examination. That would be fine, if it was more like copyright and simply paying your $35 registration fee gets you registered, but is not fine with an examination system... and I think the latter is a better system.

And this would prevent these 'submarine' patents from almost a quarter-century ago from inhibiting current technology development.

17 years is a lot closer to a 5th of a century than a quarter-century. And the patent will expire in 3 years, long before it gets to a quarter century.

Comment Re:Circumspect... (Score 1) 78

The 'Why should I license your patent' question.

This one is unsatisfactory by necessity - your lawyer wouldn't appreciate your answering it.
Unfortunately, however, if your lawyer cannot give you (and thus: us) a good reason to license your patent, what chance does he have in the court of law?

He wasn't saying his lawyer "cannot give [him] a good reason to license [his] patent." The question was "how is your patent novel," and he was saying, "if I describe, off the cuff in a simplified way, how it's novel here, then that answer will be taken out of context and used against me in court as a not-off-the-cuff, exhaustive description of novelty of the patent." And he's right: even you just took his answer out of context, claiming he was saying that him and his lawyer can't give a good reason to license his patent, rather than won't.

Agree or disagree with his answers and business philosophy, but twisting and misquoting someone's words while demanding they answer your questions is not a great way to convince them to answer openly.

Comment Re:Guy deserves getting beaten (Score 2) 188

He makes it a spectacle, yes, but he has a very good point. We are constantly stalked by cameras and mobile phones. I think you need to get your priorities straight.

Except that's not the point he's making. The only point he is making is that when people are exposed to an overtly sociopathic personality they go heavily on the defense. I have no problem with being recorded. I don't have a problem with discrete recording devices. I do have a problem with someone coming up and sticking a camera in my face.

What if they're not invading your personal space, but stand 6 feet away with a camera? 10 feet? Is it "sticking something in your face" you're objecting to, or the camera? And if it's the camera, why don't you have a problem with being recorded or discrete recording devices?

None of this has anything to do with the act of recording or the camera itself. In his last movie it summed it up quite nicely when the fat guy turned around and said "You even look like an asshole". I don't think I've thought that of any shop owner with a CCTV system before.

On the contrary, I think the videos were summed up quite well by the exchange with the guy on the phone:
Guy on phone: "Excuse me, I'm having a private conversation."
Surveillance man: "No, you're not."

Comment Re:Innocent until blogged about (Score 1) 666

Okay, so at least now we have something to substantiate her claims. Shame this couldn't have been part of the summary.

I have no idea why I was modded down as a troll, all I did was point out that in the absence of evidence everyone is innocent until proven guilty and TFA contained no such evidence.

Victim testimony is evidence. It's evidence that the jury or other finder of fact can find credible or non-credible, but it is evidence, and absolutely admissible in court. Here, there's also physical evidence of both of their injuries (there are pictures linked elsewhere in this thread). He has not offered any alternate explanation, which is also evidence (see, for example, the concept of adoptive admissions).

Comment Re:Innocent until blogged about (Score 1) 666

That doesn't "substantiate her claims." That substantiates that one person was injured, and so was another. Could have been a fistfight, could have been anything. Still her word versus his as to the cause of the fight, unless there is visual/audio evidence or other witnesses.

We have her word of an attempted rape and a fight and hitting him with a coffee mug. We have his word of... "she's a liar". He hasn't offered any explanation, including even a "fistfight" as you suggest. So, right now, it's her word vs. his denial, but no alternate explanation.

Comment "Comprising" is open-ended (Score 1) 124

Email clients should not be covered by this claim, as email involves third and potentially fourth computers in between the first and second (Email servers). That claim is describing a peer to peer method of communication, as there are only two computers involved, and if you consider that the first computer may be a web server and the single application on the second computer a web browser, there would have been sufficient prior art in 1995 to invalidate that claim.

In patent law, the term "consisting of" is close-ended, while "comprising" is open-ended. So, a claim of "consisting of A, B, and C" would mean a combination of only A, B, and C; while a claim of "comprising A, B, and C" means A, B, C, and anything else. This particular claim uses comprising, and could have added computers (in italics) as:

1. A method of communicating between computers, comprising the steps of:
creating a message at a first computer, said message including a reference to a predetermined location;
transmitting, by the first computer, said message to a second location by transmitting the message to a third intermediate location with a third computer, said third computer transmitting the message to fourth intermediate location with a fourth computer, said fourth computer transmitting the message to the second location; and
receiving said message by a computer at the second location;
decoding said message by the computer at the second location by retrieving data from the predetermined location, automatically by a single application, without requiring user interaction, into the computer at the second location.

Since such a method involving the third and fourth computers would still meet each and every element of the patented claim, and the patented claim is open ended, it would still infringe.

Note - this is simply a description of how the law works. If you disagree with that, then your disagreement is with Congress and the courts, not me.

Comment Re:Sexual harassment rules complicate things (Score 1) 245

You do not ask females to go out to dinner to discuss their research. You do not invite (pester) females to visit your university, repeatedly. You do not discuss an abstruse academic point in a bar until late. You do not go to the golf course with a female co-worker (married or unmarried). You do nothing that could ever be misinterpreted, which often means you do nothing at all. This applies even if you are at a conference where the only opportunity to discuss things is late at night, or over dinner, or in a hotel room, or in a bar.

No, such rules don't apply to everyone - not all are not constrained by the same rules as you, and are freely able to do all such things. Maybe it's you?

Comment Re:How does it compare? (Score 1) 245

Which part was sexist? He is absolutely right. There is no valid basis for spousal support or community property.

The valid basis for both is contractual. You do believe in enforcement of contracts, yes? If you're opposed to spousal support or community property, then don't enter into a marriage contract with someone. Have some personal responsibility for a change, rather than whining that the government should release you from obligations you voluntarily entered into.

Comment Re:How does it compare? (Score 2) 245

Yes, it has been shown that women tend to spend more time having and raising children rather than developing expertise in a career. It has also been found that Women who don't follow that biological plan typically do better than men it is just much more rare.

That's not correct - multiple studies have found that men are offered higher salaries than women for the exact same job fresh out of school, while childbearing isn't even yet a gleam in their eyes. Rather, like yourself, employers assume that women will spend more time having and raising children, and therefore don't make equal offers to them initially, believing that they'd waste money training them. This leads to a self-fulfilling prophesy, where couples who want to have children will look at the incomes of the couples, and since she's earning less due to sexist policies, will decide that she should be the one to take time off to raise the sprog.

Comment With all due respect... (Score 1) 22

Mary-Claire King, a UW geneticist who was instrumental in identifying the breast cancer-causing genes at the heart of the court case, hailed the ruling...

... she doesn't seem to be listed on any of the patents that were at issue. She did work in the same field and is listed on other patents, but she doesn't appear to have any relationship to the patents involved in the court case.

Factually incorrect is par for the course for Slashdot, though.

Slashdot Top Deals

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.

Working...