Thursday assorted links


Duane is obviously voting for....

Prince will not be voting for anyone, just as (sigh alas alack) he won't be seeing H. Tubman on any $20 bill.

Fuckin a. First Bowie and now Prince?

Meanwhile Ted Nugent and Billy Ray Cyrus are just fine.

I'll take Ted Nugent over Prince, far better musician. David Bowie, was a nutjob but great musician. Tragic.

LOL of course you would. True discernment

Prince's musicianship on the Purple Rain album surprised me. The guy could shred on a guitar and wrote great riffs. It seems musically that was a dead end for him though, as his music went other directions after that.

#1 - New Zealand too inexpensive, not crowded enough.

#5 is very good but there's already been at least one earlier study done.

This 2013 study focuses on the role of phonemes in a name.

But it's not the one that I remember. I can't find it now, but it had a very wide graph with first names scattered about. The horizontal axis measured the left-vs-right orientation of people with that first name, and the vertical axis IIRC measured how common that name was. Maybe that was simply a graphically improved version of the same study, or maybe it was a different study; I can't find it now.

Names are a really complicated thing to study. You might think you are testing race or gender, but it turns out subjects are doing it based on the length of the name, or the age of people they know with that name.

#2: Nice publicity stunt, but the legal test for obviousness vs. inventiveness doesn't really work that way. An unread computer-generated recombination of known ideas in a pile of 2.5 million unread publications will not rise to the level of being within the common knowledge to a person of ordinary skill in the art to which the invention pertains. it's like trying to claim copyright over all future works in English by publishing 100 terabytes of randomly-generated text -- the signal-to-noise ratio is too low for it to be considered a meaningful expression.

That's really not true. Anything published anywhere is going to be considered valid prior art in the U.S. even if no one has ever seen it. Now it does have to be an enabling disclosure and it doesn't sound like these are, so in the end you might be right. Just throwing out an abstract idea without knowing how it might be accomplished is not patentable or prior art.

I agree that it's not patentable nor prior art. But it IS in the public domain. I look forward to seeing a legal test of this. Patents should protect genuine innovations.

There really is no legal test here. If someone publishes something that says "Genetically engineered rabbits shit mayonnaise" and then another person actually invents a way to genetically engineer rabbits to shit mayonnaise, the prior publication will not stop that invention from being patented even though it is in the public domain.

Besides what Picador says, which is true, the real problem with patent trolls is not invalidity but non-infringement. Usually patent troll claims are unduly broad, and they can be easily invalidated by the existing prior art. The problem is, being broad, they cover nearly everything under the sun, so you, as defendant, have to admit that you infringe. This is the problem--admission of infringement, since once you admit infringement, there's a chance an unsophisticated jury might side with the patentee (the troll) since lots of juries respect patents and don't understand invalidity defenses.

Also, just as an aside, what a lot of people call 'patent trolls' are really just inventors who came up with something that's obvious in hindsight. After all, a laser (invented by Gould et al) is nothing more than a maser, invented by Townes et al, is it not, with light instead of microwaves amplified? Electromagnetic energy is light and/or microwaves, so Gould was a patent troll, was he not? And actually, if you look at the Gould patent, it has elements of patent troll-ism in it (for one thing, the affidavit showing conception is suspicious--in my mind--being possibly forged or self-serving, and there are other trollish elements like the long delay in procuring it, not unlike the troll and MIT honored inventor Jerome Lemelson's purposeful delays in getting his trollish type patents)

Not in the world of software. X is a well known idea, X "on a computer" is new and novel. It's like the "between the sheets" joke but worth billions.

Recent case law has pretty much ended that

Yes, not as bad as the really bad old days.

Consider the patent which saw RIM have to pay out hundreds of millions to a patent troll. The patent basically read like "uh, somehow some text is sent from A to B".

Practically every smartphone in the market was using it. But RIM refused to back down to demands to de-encrypt communications so governments could invade the privacy of the users. Could that possibly be related?

You can't do this anymore. Case law has made it impossible to get an injunction, and very easy to invalidate overly broad patents.

A handful of egregious cases out there have lead the public to believe that anyone trying to enforce their IP is engaging in this type of behavior, when the reality is that many patents being asserted today were the result of real R&D that lead to a good invention.

What has happened is that the money in the technology business has consolidated power into Washington D.C., muddied the water on patent value and patent validity so that everything is subjective, and re-aligned the appeals court so that big judgements against tech just don't stick (unless the plaintiff is a well connected University).

The result is that technology companies can just take ideas and research results from others with no consequences, and innovation suffers. Hopefully everyone enjoys the next 15 waves of cellphone aps, because that is all we are going to get for a while.

It seems like something being lost in the haze here is that very small inventors are easily tarred as patent trolls if their inventions seem obvious in hindsight and are in the software and computer tech domain. Which makes it easy for large companies like Google/Alphabet to just steal their technology and mass produce it before they have a chance.

Also of interest: Tyrone - 70.6% Democrat, 29.4% Republican, median contribution $500.

Tyler is nearly the reverse: 61% Republican, 39% Democrat, median contribution $400.

*Bernie* leans Republican (51%). Let's see Hillary make something of that.

#3 This probably means not that Twits have any special insight, but that the market interprets whatever the Fed does through the currently predominant emotional mood.

2. Covered, at least in very broad outlines, in this story - -

'"That ended the legal principle that one does not copyright ideas but arrangements of words. The number of word arrangements is finite, but the number of ideas is much smaller. Certainly, they can be retold in endless ways-- West Side Story is a brilliant reworking of Romeo and Juliet. But it was only possible because Romeo and Juliet was in the public domain. Remember too that of the finite number of stories that can be told, a certain number will be bad stories.'

Your quote is exactly wrong. West Side Story does not depend on Romeo and Juliet being in the public domain. You can't copyright an idea.

Imagine if every novel, play, movie, etc. where the plot involved lovers whose families are feuding was considered a copyright violation.

Yeah. That's the basic problem with Shakespeare isn't it? His plots are such cliches.

Still, a Leftist author is wrong about intellectual property? Who would have guessed? IN passing, his Wiki write up is the most Stuff White People Like ever:

Robinson attended Catholic high school, spending his junior year in a seminary, followed by two years in a Catholic college, and five years[2] at the State University of New York at Stony Brook in the 1960s,[3] earning a Bachelor of Arts in English. While at Stony Brook, Spider earned a reputation as a great entertainer at campus coffeehouses and gatherings, strumming his guitar and singing in harmony with his female partner.[1] In his 20s, he "spent several years in the woods, deliberately trying to live without technology."[4] In 1971, just out of college, he got a night job guarding sewers in New York City.[5] He wrote his first published science fiction story, "The Guy with The Eyes", to get out of that job.[5] In 1975 he married Jeanne Robinson, a choreographer, dancer, and Sōtō Zen monk,[6] who co-wrote his Stardance Trilogy. They had a daughter, Terri Luanna da Silva, who once worked for Martha Stewart.[7]

Robinson has lived in Canada for nearly 40 years, primarily in the provinces of Nova Scotia and British Columbia. He formerly lived in "an upscale district of Vancouver for a decade,"[8] and has lived on Bowen Island since approximately 1999.[1] He became a Canadian citizen in 2002, retaining his American citizenship.

It is perfect. The only thing missing is that he coaches a girls' soccer team.

So Spider Robinson and Jeanne Robinson had a daughter and her name is Terri Luanna da Silva?? LOL

4. redundant

#2. I noticed at target the other day that Burts Bees is marketing a patent bib design for babies.
Yes. there are patents on bibs.

"In the United States, a design patent is a form of legal protection granted to the ornamental design of a functional item. Design patents are a type of industrial design right."

As opposed to a utility patent. I would presume utility patents on bibs are mined out .. though there is always X "connected to the Internet."

How many bib designs can there possibly be? How can any of them be non-obvious?

In the US a design patent is not about obviousness. It is what you use for an ornamental design. IANAL, but I think it is strong but the incredibly narrow. A patent on a roundish bib with a bunny does not apply to a roundish bib with a different bunny. It only prevents exact copies.

Utility patents are the ones with the obviousness ..

Technically, design patents are still subject to the novelty and non-obviousness requirements, but in practice the system operates as more of a registration system, with I think 97% of design patent applications being approved.

There are patents on everything

#5. So basically women and hipsters ironically named Dylan and Aaron, contribute Democrat.

So what's new here?

#2 Borges' Library of Babel has that covered, n'est pas?

Well, I wanted to link to an idea working in a similar direction, but it seems that TC has flagged any link to my blog to remove any references to it. Interestingly, this started the exact day after I called out EconLog for what I perceived as censorship and described the precise situation on my blog.

Well, actually it's hosted under a handful of different domains, but if he finds my blog so offensive that he will remove links to it, then I'm not go to go all E Harding about it.

Econlog just took down my comment as "ad hominem" because I criticized Thomas Szasz's conclusions as being based on theory and zero personal experience with seriously mentally ill patients. Lol wtf?

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