Larisa writes: Last week, a small, Bay Area audio-drama group received two distinct, cease-and-desist letters from the National Association of Realtors, demanding that they waive their First Amendment right to the fair nominative use of the word "Realtor," in their satirical, Silicon Valley haunted office story, "The [BLEEP] & the CEO" (a note to Slashdot community ghost-hunters: this ghost story was a work of *fiction*). Lacking the financial resources to defend their legal rights against a major national organization, the audi-drama group has been forced to capitulate. But this is simply one case in point.
Corporate bullying of this kind has apparently become so commonplace that it has prompted the United States Patent and Trademark Office to undertake a formal investigation of: “the extent to which small businesses may be harmed by litigation tactics by corporations attempting to enforce trademark rights beyond a reasonable interpretation of the scope of the rights granted to the trademark owner” The results of the study are to be presented to Congress, upon the study's completion. The United States Patent and Trademark Office’s “Request for Comments on Trademark Litigation Tactics” will be open until February 7, 2011. Comments can be submitted to TMFeedback@uspto.gov, with the subject line “Small Business Study.”
llamafirst writes: Guidewire Software released the Gosu programming language today for public availability. Gosu is a general-purpose programming language built on top of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). It is object-oriented, static typed, imperative, 100% Java compatible (use/extend Java types, implement Java interfaces, compile to Java bytecode), type inference (very readable code yet static typing!), in-line functions that you can pass as objects (closures / lambda expressions / blocks), enhancements (inject methods + properties, even on Java types!), simplified generics. Gosu has an extensible type system: type loaders dynamically inject types into the language and handle dynamic dispatch. Type loaders dynamically add types from XSDs so XML is easier, and same for consuming remote web services (SOAP WS-I). Guidewire Software's core business is big insurance software and includes Gosu in its products. So, Gosu is new to the public but billion-dollar companies worldwide use Gosu in production for critical systems right now. Gosu is provided via the Apache License v2.0. The language itself is not yet open source, although that is planned for a future community release. Read complete introduction to the Gosu language, compare to other langs, syntax diffs from Java.