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Comment Clear case of copyright infringement (Score 5, Insightful) 494

Your game is a complete knock off of the original. From your website, it looks like you copied:
(1) the pac man character
(2) the ghosts
(3) the dots and power dots
(3) the style of the maze
This is clear case of copyright infringement.

You say that "no original artwork or sound has been copied", but this is clearly not true. If you draw it yourself to look like the original, it is still a copy. Instead of copying the original do something new. Change the characters. Put the bad guy box in a corner. Have the maze look different.

You clearly have trademark issues as well. "Pac" is distinctive so any name using "pac" will likely be a trademark infringement.

Comment Registered trademarks vs. common law trademarks (Score 3, Informative) 212

The original post confuses trademark law.

Under common law, all you have to do get trademark rights is to use a particular mark, although whether you can actually prevent any one else from using the mark depends on a lot of factors, e.g., your mark should be distinctive and you should be the first to use it for a particular type of product.

In addition to any common law rights, you can also get a federal trademark registration, which gives you the right to use the circle R symbol (note that it is against the law to use the circle R symbol unless you have a federal registration). Having a federal registration gives you some advantages over a common law trademark: (1) you get a presumption that you use the mark nationwide (as opposed to a particular geographic region), and (2) you can sue in federal court if someone infringes your trademark.

Even if you have a federal registration, you only have rights to a mark if you actually use it. If you get a federal registration on a mark, but stop using it, then that mark becomes available for someone else to use.

Trademark law is very different from patent/copyright law and serves a much clearer purpose -- people need to know the real source of the products they buy.

Comment try reading some research papers (Score 1) 279

You state that haven't even read a complete research paper. The best way to learn to write one is to read a bunch and emulate the ones that you like. This is also the best way to find a journal to which you should try to publish your paper.

Note that in reading research papers you just might find that someone else has already done what you yourself discovered. There are a lot of smart people out there.

Comment Re:major step in the WRONG direction (Score 1) 455

There are precisely 2 lunar points that have effectively 24/7 line-of-sight to the Earth - each pole.

The Moon is tidally locked with Earth. That means one entire face of the Moon always faces Earth, 24/7. And it's not hard to get communication on the far side. Just set up a repeater communication spacecraft circling the L2 (2nd Lagrange point) of the Earth-Moon system. That is the point behind the Moon where the combined gravitational force of the Earth and Moon balances the centripetal force of the satellite. It's technically unstable, but a spacecraft can loiter there for as long as it can maneuver (at least years). Because the Moon is between L2 and Earth, the spacecraft needs to circle L2 far enough away, that it has line of sight with Earth. It's not that hard. As a result, you can have nearly full coverage of the lunar surface without much effort.

Comment Re:News Flash: Apple limits app store! (Score 1) 664

Is it censorship to stop me from painting my slogan on the side of your car? Or your house?

Yes, yes it is. That doesn't mean it's wrong, and by extrapolation that doesn't mean the vast majority of censorship that happens on a daily basis is wrong, quite a lot of it is perfectly acceptable within the culture in which it exists. Here in the west, for instance, we're happy to prevent minors seeing 18 rated movies or buying pornography - that's one form of censorship which is generally seen as beneficial to society, others might be the use of racial slurs, or sexual harrasment. On a technical definition, both censorship, but most people are happy for them to be censored.

Are Apple censoring? Yes, in fact by their very own definition they are (objecting to it because of its content). Is that a bad thing? Well that's a slightly grey area, I'd probably come down on the side of no, since his works are still available through lots of other channels, even on the iPhone (via the web) - if he had a message which was of specific import to iPhone users and they were censoring him on the device most likely to get the message across, that would be different.

Comment Re:You can do both (Score 1) 266

You also don't need to file the patent before you publish in the US. You have one year from the day that you publish (or otherwise make it publicly known) to file the patent. After that, you lose the right to seek a patent. In other countries, you must file the patent before you publish.

Comment SportTracks (Score 1) 188

I use software called SportTracks ( that downloads data my Garmin GPS watch (and other devices too). The software is not open source but it is free and it is fantastic software -- much better than the software that comes with the watch. You can also write plugins for it. I haven't tried, but I'm pretty sure you could get any data you wanted out of the program.

PS. I have no affiliation with the company that makes the software. I'm just a very happy user of the software. I don't donate for free software very often but I did for this one.

Comment Re:It always starts out with good intentions (Score 1) 147

The original post says that Red Hat is getting the patent for "defensive" use. What this means is that if someone sues Red Hat for patent infringement, Red Hat could potentially countersue for infringement of its own patent. Having such defensive patents helps discourage other companies (e.g., Microsoft) from suing you. Unfortunately, it doesn't help against patent trolls because trolls don't actually do anything so you can't sue them for patent infringement.

If Red Hat only published its invention, it would prevent people from getting patents on that subject matter but it would not help Red Hat against patent infringement suits on different technology

Comment Re:Does it now count as prior art? (Score 2, Informative) 163

A patent doesn't give you the right to do anything. A patent only gives you the right to prevent other people from doing something. So getting a patent on this won't prevent other people for suing you for patent infringement. The patent could be useful from a defensive perspective. If you get sued by a competitor for patent infringement, then you could potentially countersue for infringement of your own patent. If you are sued by a troll, however, that won't help because trolls don't do anything and thus can't be sued for patent infringement.

Just publishing something makes it available as prior art and allows it to be used to prevent someone else from obtaining a patent. The prior art rules in the US are slightly different for publications and patents (look up 35 USC 102) but if there is any significant difference it probably wouldn't be worth the expense of obtaining the patent.

Comment Re:Federally Financed and School Resources (Score 1) 508

I don't think that is correct characterization of the Bayh-Dole Act (BDA). Before the BDA, the US govt could claim ownership of IP rights that were developed at universities with govt funds. After the BDA, the university gets to own the IP even if it was funded by the govt.

This has nothing to do with whether a student or a university owns the ideas created by a student. I imagine that universities make incoming students sign some kind of document that give the university over student inventions created using university resources.

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