Tuesday, August 31, 2010

WaPo: Using Social Networking Tools for Personal Reasons

From Washington Post's Matt Vita to staff:

When using social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, My Space or Twitter
for reporting, we must protect our professional integrity. Washington Post
journalists should identify themselves as such.

We must be accurate in our reporting and transparent about our intentions when participating.


What you do on social networks should be presumed to be publicly available
to anyone, even if you have created a private account. It is possible to
use privacy controls online to limit access to sensitive information. But
such controls are only a deterrent, not an absolute insulator. Reality is
simple: If you don't want something to be found online, don't put it there

**Antecedent event.

Mike Wise's false tweet on Ben Roethlisberger.

**Think back to the "patent troll tracker."

Facebook's US 7,788,260

The first claim of Facebook's US Patent 7,788,260 states:

In a computer system for an online social network that includes a server computer and a database of registered users, a method for generating search results for display at a user computer in response to a search query transmitted to the server computer by a registered user from the user computer, the method being carried out by the computer system and comprising the steps of:

maintaining a database of registered users that stores for each registered user, a user ID of the registered user and an adjacency list that identifies other registered users who are directly related to the registered user within the online social network;
receiving a search query from the user computer;
retrieving records that are responsive to the search query; for each retrieved record,
determining a frequency of relevant clicks on a hyperlink associated with each retrieved record, wherein the relevant clicks are clicks by other registered users who are related within two or more degrees of separation to the registered user within the online social network;
sorting the retrieved records in the order of the frequency of relevant clicks associated with the retrieved records; and transmitting a search result page to the user computer for display at the user computer, wherein the search result page includes the sorted retrieved records and a visual tag next to at least one of the sorted retrieved records, wherein said visual tag is to be displayed next to a retrieved record if the frequency of relevant clicks associated with the retrieved record is greater than a predetermined minimum value, and wherein said visual tag is not to be displayed next to a retrieved record if the frequency of relevant clicks associated with the retrieved record is less than the predetermined minimum value.

From the "summary of invention":

The invention provides still another technique to improve the relevance of search results. According to an embodiment of the invention, search results, including sponsored links and algorithmic search results, are generated in response to a query, and are ranked based on the frequency of clicks on the search results by members of social network who are within a predetermined degree of separation from the member who submitted the query. The predetermined degree of separation is equal to one if the click activities of only the friends of the member who submitted the query are to be examined.

A search result may also be marked based on its click history. In one embodiment, a search result is marked with an image or a text string if there was a single click on the search result by a friend of the member who submitted the query. In other embodiments, the frequency of clicks by members of social network who are within a predetermined degree of separation from the member who submitted the query is examined. If such frequency exceeds a minimum value, the associated search result is marked with an image or a text string.

The Facebook patent is a cip of US 7,478,078 entitled "Method of Sharing Social Network Information with Existing User Databases."

Nick Saint writes:

We aren't aware of Facebook actually using that sort of technology, and, of course, it has since outsourced search to Microsoft. But Google has been experimenting with "social search" for a while now. The experiment isn't worth much right now, since Google doesn't have good data on its users' social connections, but if Google is able to change that with Me, Facebook might try to use this patent as a weapon.

Taser zaps Stinger in D. Az.

U.S. District Court Judge Mary H. Murguia in D. Arizona found Stinger's S-200 electronic control device [ECD] infringed Taser's patent.

En banc CAFC discusses "patent misuse" in Princo case

In an en banc group of ten CAFC judges, 6 votes rule and the beginning of the majority decision in Princo noted:

This case requires us to consider the scope of the doc-
trine of patent misuse. Patent misuse developed as a non-
statutory defense to claims of patent infringement. In the
licensing context, the doctrine limits a patentee’s right to
impose conditions on a licensee that exceed the scope of
the patent right. Because patent misuse is a judge-made
doctrine that is in derogation of statutory patent rights
against infringement, this court has not applied the
doctrine of patent misuse expansively. In this case, we
adhere to that approach, and we sustain the decision of
the International Trade Commission that the doctrine of
patent misuse does not bar the intervenor, U.S. Philips
Corporation, from enforcing its patent rights against the
appellants Princo Corporation and Princo America Corpo-
ration (collectively, “Princo”).

The case includes "industry standard" matters:

The standards that were
generated for CD-Rs and CD-RWs were collected in a
publication entitled “Recordable CD Standard,” informally known as the “Orange Book.”

There were two proposed standards, EACH covered by patents:

In the course of their work, the Sony and Philips
engineers had to address the problem of how to encode
position information in the disc so that a consumer’s CD
reader/writer could maintain proper positioning while
writing data to the disc. Philips and Sony proposed
different solutions to that problem. Philips’s solution was
to use an analog method of modulating the frequency of
the “groove” on the disc so as to add location codes to the
disc. One of Sony’s proposed solutions was to use a digital
method to encode location codes into the disc groove.
Philips’s approach was later set forth in two of the pat-
ents at issue in this case, referred to as the “Raaymakers
patents.” Sony’s approach was set forth in one of its own
patents, referred to as the “Lagadec patent.”
After reviewing the competing solutions, the Sony and
Philips engineers agreed that they would use the Raay-
makers approach to solving the problem, not the Lagadec
approach. The engineers from both companies agreed
that the Raaymakers approach “was simple and . . .
worked very well.” By contrast, as the Commission found
in the course of this litigation, the Lagadec approach was
“prone to error” and would have been “very difficult” to
implement. Philips and Sony therefore incorporated the
Raaymakers approach in the Orange Book as the standard
for manufacturing CD-R/RW discs.

The available patent license came in a bundled form,
and Princo talked about tying:

The administra-
tive law judge found, inter alia, that the package licensing
agreements offered by Philips constituted impermissible
tying arrangements because they forced manufacturers to
license extraneous patents in addition to the patents that
the manufacturers wanted to license
. That tying ar-
rangement, according to the administrative law judge,
rendered all of Philips’s patents in suit unenforceable.
The administrative law judge also held Philips’s patents
unenforceable based on price fixing, price discrimination,
and restraint of trade.

The CAFC rejected this theory in 2005:

Philips appealed to this court, and we reversed. U.S.
Philips Corp. v. Int’l Trade Comm’n (Philips I), 424 F.3d
1179 (Fed. Cir. 2005). We rejected the Commission’s
theory that Philips’s package licensing practice consti-
tuted patent misuse by improperly tying nonessential
patents to essential ones. We explained that Philips gave
its licensees the option of using any of the patents in the
package at the licensee’s option, and that Philips charged
a uniform fee to permit the manufacture of discs covered
by the patented technology regardless of which patents
the licensee used in its manufacturing process. Philips
did not require the licensee to use any particular technol-
ogy in any of the patents, including the patents that
Princo complained were “nonessential.” In effect, we
concluded, Philips was simply charging a fixed licensing
fee for licensees to manufacture discs under the Orange
Book standard.

Further, the patent misuse defense got no traction:

On remand, the Commission rejected Princo’s remain-
ing theories of patent misuse. The Commission first
rejected Princo’s argument that Philips committed patent
misuse by combining with its horizontal competitors to fix
the price of patent licenses in the relevant market, i.e.,
the market for licensing CD-R/RW patents. The Commis-
sion found that there was no evidence in the record that
the patents in the joint package licenses covered tech-
nologies that were close substitutes, or that the pool
licensors would have competed in the technology licensing
market absent the pooling arrangements. Consequently,
the Commission found that the joint package licenses had
not been shown to constitute horizontal price fixing.

But, on appeal to the CAFC:

On Princo’s appeal, a divided panel of this court ruled
against the Commission and Philips. Princo Corp. v. Int’l
Trade Comm’n, 563 F.3d 1301 (Fed. Cir. 2009).
the panel rejected several of Princo’s arguments, it va-
cated the Commission’s remedial orders and remanded
the case for further proceedings on one issue.
At the outset, the panel unanimously rejected Princo’s
argument that Philips had engaged in patent misuse
through improper “tying” by including the Lagadec patent
in the Orange Book license packages. The court noted
that while grouping patents together in package licenses
has anticompetitive potential, it “also has potential to
create substantial procompetitive efficiencies” such as
clearing possible blocking patents, integrating comple-
mentary technology, and avoiding litigation. 563 F.3d at

The crux of the last issue:

On one issue, however, the panel majority ruled
against Philips. The panel noted that Philips I did not
consider whether Philips and Sony agreed to suppress the
Lagadec technology and “whether an agreement that
would prevent the development of alternatives [to the
licensed technology] would constitute misuse under a
theory of elimination of competition or price fixing.” 563
F.3d at 1314. The panel then stated that, in contrast to
package licenses, “there are no benefits to be obtained
from an agreement between patent holders to forego
separate licensing of competing technologies,” and that
such agreements are “not within the rights granted to a
patent holder” and can constitute an antitrust violation.
Id. at 1315-16. The panel recognized that “the burden of
proving misuse, and the corresponding risk of having
made an insufficient record, lies with Princo.” Id. at 1321.
Nonetheless, the panel directed the Commission to reex-
amine the record to determine whether “Philips and Sony
agreed not to license Lagadec in a way that would allow a
competitor ‘to develop, use or license the [Lagadec] tech-
nology to create a competing product,’” i.e., a product that
would compete with the technology of the Raaymakers
patents, id. at 1313, and whether, if there was such an
agreement, the suppressed technology “could not have
been viable,” which would “negate a charge of misuse,” id.at 1318-19.

Of patent misuse:

Recognizing the narrow scope of the doctrine, we have
emphasized that the defense of patent misuse is not
available to a presumptive infringer simply because a
patentee engages in some kind of wrongful commercial
conduct, even conduct that may have anticompetitive
effects. See C.R. Bard, Inc. v. M3 Sys., Inc., 157 F.3d
1340, 1373 (Fed. Cir. 1998) (“Although the defense of
patent misuse . . . evolved to protect against ‘wrongful’
use of patents, the catalog of practices labelled ‘patent
misuse’ does not include a general notion of ‘wrongful’
use.”). Other courts have expressed the same view. See
Kolene Corp. v. Motor City Metal Treating, Inc., 440 F.2d
77, 84-85 (6th Cir. 1971) (There is no such thing as “mis-
use in the air. The misuse must be of the patent in suit.
An antitrust offense does not necessarily amount to
misuse merely because it involves patented products or
products which are the subject of a patented process.”
(citations omitted)); McCullough Tool Co. v. Well Surveys,
Inc., 395 F.2d 230, 238-39 (10th Cir. 1968) (the defense of
patent misuse has been allowed “only where there had
been a misuse of the patent in suit”).

The six CAFC judges noted:

In sum, this is not a case in which conditions have
been placed in patent licenses to require licensees to
agree to anticompetitive terms going beyond the scope of
the patent grant. Rather, in this case the assertion of
misuse arises not from the terms of the license itself but
rather from an alleged collateral agreement between Sony
and Philips. In that setting, the doctrine of patent misuse
does not immunize Princo against the legal effect of its acts of infringement.

Of "industry standards," -->

The absence of standards for new technology
can easily result in a “Tower of Babel” effect that in-
creases costs, reduces utility, and frustrates consumers.
As a leading treatise has noted, cooperation by competi-
tors in standard-setting “can provide procompetitive
benefits the market would not otherwise provide, by
allowing a number of different firms to produce and
market competing products compatible with a single
standard.” Herbert Hovenkamp et al., IP & Antitrust §
35.2b (2010). Those benefits include greater product
interoperability, including the promotion of price competi-
tion among interoperable products; positive network
effects, including an increase in the value of products as
interoperable products become more widely used; and
incentives to innovate by establishing a technical baseline
for further product improvements. See Patrick D. Curran,
Comment, Standard-Setting Organizations: Patents, Price
Fixing, and Per Se Legality, 70 U. Chi. L. Rev. 983, 985-90

CAFC blows Brooks Brothers away in qui tam ruling

In Stauffer v. Brooks Brothers, the CAFC reversed a decision of SD NY ["Because Stauffer
had standing to bring his claim, and
because the government had a right to intervene, we
reverse on both grounds." ], although
the case had a New Jersey flavor [RAYMOND E. STAUFFER, of Chatham, New Jersey, pro
se; STEPHEN L. BAKER, Baker & Rannells, PA, of Raritan,
New Jersey, argued for defendants-appellees.

The gist of the case:

Stauffer is a patent attorney who has purchased some
of the marked bow ties. Id. at 251. In December 2008,
Stauffer brought a qui tam action under 35 U.S.C. § 292
alleging that Brooks Brothers had falsely marked its bow

The CAFC dug into the history books to eviscerate arguments by Brooks Brothers:

Indeed, the Court in Vermont Agency recognized and
found conclusive the historical precedent of informer
statutes enacted by the First Congress, which assigned
certain sovereign interests of the United States to private
parties. Id. at 776–77. For example, the Court relied
upon statutes allowing an informer to sue for, and receive
half the fine for, failure to file a census return, carriage of
seamen without contract or illegal harboring of runaway
seamen, and unlicensed trading with Indian tribes
. Id. at
777 n.6. Those fines were not based on harms to the
United States’ proprietary interest, as the federal treas-
ury was not directly diminished because of the violations.
The fines were instead based only on harms to the sover-
eign interest of the United States, viz., the interest in
seeing the harms, as defined in the statutes, redressed.
One statute noted by the Court even allowed informers to
conduct a criminal prosecution and receive half the fine,
id., which would redress an injury that the Court explic-
itly found to be sovereign, id. at 771 (stating that a sover-
eign, as opposed to proprietary, injury “suffices to support
a criminal lawsuit”). Thus, under Vermont Agency, the
United States’ sovereign injury is sufficient to confer
standing upon it and therefore upon Stauffer, its implicit
partial assignee.3 We therefore take no view as to
whether section 292 addresses a proprietary or a sover-
eign injury of the United States, or both, as either one
would confer standing on the government, and therefore Stauffer.

Basically, anybody can sue under the false marking

Stauffer’s standing arises from his status as
“any person,” and he need not allege more for jurisdic-
tional purposes. The district court conflated its jurisdic-
tion with the merits of the case when it stated that
Stauffer had failed to sufficiently allege a “purpose of
deceiving the public.” Standing Op., 615 F. Supp. 2d at
254 n.5. Brooks Brothers similarly conflates jurisdiction
and merits in asserting that Stauffer must show that the
marking is fairly traceable to Brooks Brothers, rather
than to J.M.C. Bow, the third party Adjustolox manufac-
turer. Neither of those points is jurisdictional in nature,
nor do they fall under the standing inquiry. The standing
doctrine is intended to require that the plaintiff is a
proper person to bring the suit; it does not require that
the plaintiff properly allege all of the elements of his
claim. Thus, “standing does not depend on the merits of
the plaintiff’s contention that particular conduct is ille-
gal”; it instead requires a claim to an injury of a legally
cognizable right. 15 James Wm. Moore et al., Moore’s
Federal Practice—Civil ¶ 101.40[5][a]. By allowing any
person to sue, Congress granted individuals a legally
cognizable right to half of the penalty defined in section
Thus, Stauffer has sufficiently alleged (1) an
injury in fact to the United States that (2) is caused by
Brooks Brothers’ alleged conduct, attaching the markings
to its bow ties, and (3) is likely to be redressed, with a
statutory fine, by a favorable decision. See Lujan, 504
U.S. at 560–61.

NYT does bed bugs

DONALD G. McNEIL Jr. does a light piece on bed bugs in the August 30 NYT which includes a New Jersey connection:

The classic bedbug strain that all newly caught bugs are compared against is a colony originally from Fort Dix, N.J., that a researcher kept alive for 30 years by letting it feed on him.

Federal agencies did not come off well:

This month, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a joint statement on bedbug control. It was not, however, a declaration of war nor a plan of action. It was an acknowledgment that the problem is big, a reminder that federal agencies mostly give advice

The fact that the EPA is blocking Propoxur [ 2-isopropoxyphenyl N-methylcarbamate ] was not mentioned. Of the text:

“I’d like to take some of these groups and lock them in an apartment building full of bugs and see what they say then,” Dr. Potter said of environmentalists.

Perhaps one should do such to Lisa Jackson, head of the EPA.

Of precautions:

Many people are not alert enough. (Both Mr. Cooper and Dr. Goddard said they routinely pull apart beds and even headboards when they check into hotels. Dr. Goddard keeps his luggage in the bathroom. Mr. Cooper heat-treats his when he gets home.)

Of movie theaters:

However, he added, “I don’t even know what to say about them being in theaters. That’s kind of spooky.”

Wozniak is NOT against the idea of patent trolls

In an interview with Scarlet Fu on Bloomberg, Steve Wozniak (now of Fusion IO) makes clear that he is NOT against the idea of patent trolls. Futher, he noted that patents are at the heart of our innovation system. Of Paul Allen, Wozniak stated that Allen had a big impact on what Wozniak decided to invent.

In terms of "when" a lawsuit is filed, Wozniak noted that patents can become valuable at a later date, and that such patents should be respected.

In the short videoclip, Wozniak gives short, direct answers to questions, and doesn't opine on things outside his knowledge base. Although one suspects he would not be interested, Wozniak probably could do wonders as Director of the USPTO.

**Separately, see Larry Downes (UChicago Law, '93) on Paul Allen: When a Patent Troll is an Enigma :

Maybe Allen is not the world’s most famous patent troll. Maybe he’s out to become the world’s most famous patent reformer. Maybe he doesn’t want so much to win as to publicize how dangerous his patents are.

Perhaps in asserting these patents, with their potential to unsettle so much of what is taken as settled business practices in the digital economy, he hopes to force leading tech companies and Congress to acknowledge that the system is broken and fix it. If he wins, or even if he just wears down the other side, perhaps he’ll demand not financial tribute but actual reform of a system that gives patent holders like him the power to disrupt digital life.

UPDATE***In a display of tiresome predictability, Mike Masnick at TechDirt begins his post, Say It Ain't So, Woz: Steve Wozniak Says Patent Trolls Are Okay :

Via Joe Mullin, we learn the rather unfortunate news that, when asked about Paul Allen's decision to sue lots of big tech companies over questionable patents, Wozniak comes out in favor of "patent trolls" and patent holders suing companies who actually innovate.


So, wait, patents are the heart of the system, but there's a ton of ambiguity. Can someone ship Woz a copy of Bessen and Meurer's Patent Failure quickly, so he can learn about the stacks upon stacks of research that have shown that "ambiguity in the system" now costs society a hell of a lot more than any innovation created by it?

Bessen and Meurer's drivel might be suitable as fuel at Burning Man.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Salix settles with Novel over Moviprep

On August 30, Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. reached a settlement with Novel Laboratories over the patent of its bowel cleansing drug Moviprep.

Zhouzi literally hammered for his anti-plagiarism, anti-fraud stands

IPBiz has previously reported on the activities of Fang Zhouzi, who exposes science frauds. The Christian Science Monitor on August 30, 2010 communicated that Zhouzi was assaulted by two men as he walked to his Beijing home Sunday [August 29] evening; one sprayed a chemical in his face, the other beat him with a hammer.

Zhouzi had reported on the (former) president of Microsoft China, Tang Jun, who had listed his degree at Caltech as an achievement in a book recounting his success in business, but who later acknowledged that his PhD actually came from Pacific Western University in California. That institution was a diploma mill that sold academic credentials and required no classroom instruction. That incident has an eerie similarity to the Tran matter at California's CARB, although Tran still works there.

The CSM also noted: plagiarism accusations against an internationally respected political science scholar Wang Hui and the dismissal of a top professor of energy and power studies found guilty of over 30 cases of plagiarism, led the state-owned “China Daily” to editorialize last month that “it is by now evident that the nation needs better regulations to counter the practice in academia.”

What would the China Daily say about the Harvard Law School and SIU?

***Previous posts by IPBiz on Zhouzi:




New Zealand student appeals plagiarism finding

nzherald reports that Victoria University found that Brittany Bell deliberately tried to pass off as her own the work of others, including an award-winning Spanish architect, by using images from the internet. The decision was later upheld by the university's appeals committee and Bell is now appealing to the High Court in Wellington.

Part of the defense is that the majority of the images used were exterior views, but Bell's work was on interior design.
Hmmm, if you steal enough irrelevant stuff, that justifies stealing the relevant stuff???

Sunday, August 29, 2010

"One man can change the world"

AP goes after Glenn Beck's "One man can change the world. That man or woman is you. You make the difference." , as being derivatized from Barack Obama.

In turn, Tom Blumer goes after AP in AP Outrageously Asserts that Beck 'Borrowed' Obama's Lines. An issue is that, if the AP truly considered this matter "news," they might have documented what Obama text presented the lines: "One man can change the world. That man or woman is you. You make the difference." Such side-by-side comparison is the norm in accusations of plagiarism and the like, and is separately used in claim charts in patent law. Here, AP suggested the infraction but provided no documentation. Where's the beef?

Meanwhile, back at the academic ranch Professor Says Another Prof Plagiarized. [ "one professor claims another one plagiarized her book for a doctoral thesis, and that the plagiarism was so egregious that Ohio State University rescinded the second professor's degree. " ]

The Jumpers Orchestra does Duke Island on 29 Aug 2010

The Jumpers Orchestra did the last show of the Duke Island Summer Concert Series of 2010 on August 29. [Note the "TM" symbol which appears on their website.]

Katrina and the Waves are not on their artist roster, but they did "Walking on Sunshine."

**Kelly Carpenter was present



**A picture of Junior Walker's All-Stars at Duke Island, from 22 August 2010-->

Trademark issues with "Facebook"

Aaron Greenspan is thinking about opposing some published facebook trademark applications.

PCWorld noted:

Facebook already has bullied around a few companies over its names. Take for example PlaceBook. The travel site was forced to change its name to TripTrace after a legal threat from Facebook. TeachBook is also under fire, but that company is vowing to fight Facebook’s legal challenge in court.

Also, TechCrunch:

It is not just the word “book” at the end of a company or product name that Facebook might object to. If it has its way, the word “Face” at the beginning of a name might also bring out its lawyers. In fact, Facebook is currently trying to register the word “Face” as a trademark. (It already owns the trademark on “Facebook”). Facebook took over the trademark application for “Face” from a company in the UK called CIS Internet Limited, which operated a site called Faceparty.com. Presumably, Facebook bought the application sometime around November, 2008, which is when its lawyer started dealing with the USPTO.

"CBS Sunday Morning" on August 29, 2010: recycling again, but with a tip to Katrina

Harry Smith introduced a Martha Teichner story on farmers markets, illustrated with a visit to a Union Square market. The "google doodle" was introduced next. Third, a story on Kitty Kelley by Cynthia Bowers. Fourth, Seth Doane on tequila. Fifth, Smith acknowledged the fifth anniversary of Katrina.

Headlines: President Obama in New Orleans; rallys in DC on August 28, 2010; 7 Americans die in Afghanistan; hurricane Danielle; Tiger Woods not doing well Barclays' (which is being shown on CBS this afternoon). Weather: more heat and humidity.

The cover story was that on farmers markets: "Field of Greens." Vegetables grown on a roof in Brooklyn. US DoA shows 6100 farmers markets in existence. The US DOA itself has a farmers market on Fridays. The story switched to Madison, WISC, which has the biggest farmers market. Shopping at farmers markets isn't just fun; it's serious. Farmers markets are helping to keep farmers in business. Someone who sells veggies makes more, in growth per acre, than one who alternates soybeans/corn. CSA=community supported agriculture. Members come to the farm. The USA DoA is spending 5 million per year promoting markets, and even the White House has a market. A point about supplying fresh veggies to lower income people. The story did note that, in Washington, there is high cost, illustrated with milk and greens. In Union Square, markets on Wednesday, with 60,000 visitors. Tocqueville (restaurant) has a daily green menu, which was not exactly emphasized in a piece in nymag. A problem in the Teichner piece was an appearance of being a string of isolated facts and figures strung together.
The transcript for Field of Greens: The Growth in Farmers Markets

Almanac. August 29, 1915, Ingrid Bergman born in Stockholm. Casablanca: always have Paris. Gaslight. Notorious. Stromboli. Rossellini. Powerful influence for evil (Senator Johnson). Anastasia. Died on her 67th birthday.

Katrina remembrance by Harry Smith. If it was on, or near, the shore, it was destroyed.

Harry pointed out Glee is nominated for 19 Emmys and led into a story by Mo Rocca. "Show Choir". Pop culture crescendo. The Keynotes. Apart from Harry's introduction, this is a recycle of a story A Gleeful Song from December 6, 2009.

Similarly, google doodle [25 April 2010], Kitty Kelley [25 April 2010], and tequila [2 May 2010] are all recycles from previous episodes. Of an upcoming, NOT recycled story, the show announced it will be doing a piece on bed bugs next week.

Text from Andrew Healy. Spending money AFTER a disaster is better for a politicians, but is fifteen times more costly than preparing for a disaster in the first place. There's no glory in preventing a disaster. But politicians are only doing what you the voter trained them to do.

The "google doodle" piece did present a trademark question, in that conventional wisdom teaches NOT to alter one's logo.
However, the extraordinary strength of the "google" textual mark allows artistic variations. The earlier story was on April 25, 2010.

The moment of nature. Among the great blue herons in the Iroquois Refuge in western New York. [The Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge located in the rural towns of Alabama and Shelby mid-way between Rochester and Buffalo, NY.]

***footnotes, from eatmainefoods:

Watch CBS Sunday Morning at 9am. The segment "Fields of Green" about Farmers' Market will feature footage @ our market & Snell Family Farm!!

from facepinch, What's being written about cbs sunday morning in the United States right now?

Of "double dollars" at farmers markets in DC:

Even $16 in food stamps will stretch a little farther this summer thanks to Freshfarm farmers’ market’s “Double Dollars” program. We covered this program last summer and are pleased to report that this year it’s expanded from one to three farmers’ markets in the District (plus the Saturday market in Silver Spring):

200 Independence Avenue SW on Wednesdays from 2:30-6:30pm
810 Vermont Avenue, NW on Thursdays from 3-7pm
625 H Street NE on Saturdays from 9am-noon
Food stamp recipients who visit these markets can make up to a $10 charge on their EBT cards, and get twice the value of their charge in tokens to buy food at the market. (Several other markets take EBT cards and the $25 in “Get Fresh” checks provided to WIC and Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program recipients, but are not currently participating in double-dollar promotions. A new market at Howard University Hospital is also taking WIC and senior vouchers.)

Also on double dollars, Farmers markets’ pilot program targets food assistance recipients:

Sarah Smith, who runs the Skowhegan Farmers’ Market on Saturdays from May through October, said the programs answer a complaint she hears too often: that fresh food is too expensive for low-income families. More than half of Somerset County residents qualify for supplemental nutrition assistance programs, said Smith.

Under the Double Dollars program, people who receive government subsidies for food can redeem their vouchers at the farmers market for double their value up to $10 a week. (...)

The Skowhegan Farmers’ Market, founded in 1997, was one of the first in Maine to accept public benefit food stamp cards and W.I.C. vouchers, according to Smith. Since then, the use of public assistance money at the market has continued to grow. With many people expected to take advantage of the Double Dollars program, Smith said a welcome booth would be set up to help people shop.

“A lot of people are not familiar with farmers markets,” she said. “We want people to feel welcome. It’s a place for the consumer to rediscover the time-honored relationship between food grower and food consumer. Local food not only tastes better, but it’s more nutritious.”

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bed bugs and trademarks and brands

In the 1971 Kubrick movie "A Clockwork Orange," Catlady (played by Mirian Karlin ) refers to Alex DeLarge (played by Malcolm McDowell) as a slimy bed bug. Moments later Alex kills Catlady in a rather unpleasant way with a suggestively-shaped piece of artwork.

In the year 2010, a number of retail enterprises, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Victoria's Secret, and various movie theaters, have been infested by bed bugs. The presence of bed bugs can tarnish a company's brand. Who wants to go to a movie theater known for bed bugs? Will the consumer associate that brand with bed bugs more than with a good experience?

Advertising Age notes the importance of a prompt response to bed bug problems:

Eric Edge, global chief communications officer for Euro RSCG, said when a company is faced with the reality of infestation, speedy honesty is the only successful policy. "In today's age of social media, if you try to cover anything up, or spin or sugarcoat the situation, the public is going to see through it," Mr. Edge said. His agency closed the office down on a Friday in July to allow exterminators to treat the whole building over the weekend, and alerted all employees and the public about exactly what was happening, despite the "big, bad bedbug stigma."

The Christie/Schundler matter in New Jersey shows what happens when people try to spin or sugarcoat a bad incident.
"Let's go to the videotape": Christie dumps Schundler

There are business opportunities. Advertising Age notes:

Douglas Stern, managing partner of New Jersey-based Stern Environmental Group, started a new arm of his extermination business six months ago in response to the growing number of infestations; he calls it "bed-bug-prep concierge service," aimed at helping large-scale clients prepare infested furniture, large objects and spaces for extermination. He says he's worked with a number of clients whose high-profile infestations have made the news lately, and even more that haven't. "There's much more than you think," Mr. Stern said. "Just because [companies] haven't been in the news, doesn't mean they don't have a problem."

Mr. Waldorf, too, says the recent rash of infestations have been good for business, and notes that his clients pay for both his services and discretion. "There's a stigma, but there shouldn't be," he said. "It happens everywhere. The stigma should come from companies that do not take proactive action to deal with a situation."

**Some other IPBiz posts-->

The "top 15" U.S. cities for bedbugs

Bedbugs invade Times Square while EPA sleeps

Bed bugs shut down NJ movie theater on 25 Aug 2010


Friday, August 27, 2010

An inventor at the root of the New York mosque matter?

In previous posts, IPBiz has discussed "American Inventor" and similar television shows.

In 2006, one Francisco Patino was a contestant on "American Inventor," presenting a dual-passenger bicycle. Although encouraged by a guest appearance by Lance Armstrong, Patino didn't win.

However, watching the show was one Sharif el-Gamal, who viewed the program from a floor-model TV while shopping at a Sharper Image. Discussing this viewing, Sharif noted on 18 Aug 2010: "I saw him on TV and I like him."

The rest of the story was reported in the Daily News:

Gamal hired Patino and presented him with a map of the Financial District. The teen's orders were to scout out properties that might be suitable for an Islamic community center.

"I told him to go out and find available buildings for the project, and he did," Gamal said. "He's a phenomenal kid. ... He's a good one."

Patino compiled a list that came to include the old Burlington Coat Factory on Park Place. The owner said that by happy chance, it was being shown the following day.

See also

Mosque Developer Claims A Classic NYC Background including the text:

As El-Gamal tells it, he dispatched a young employee named Francisco Patino to scout possible locations. Patino, a former contestant on an ABC reality game show called "American Inventor," came back with a list that included a former Burlington Coat Factory warehouse empty since it was damaged in the 9/11 attacks. It took another four years to buy the property.

In passing, the Daily News did not like "American Inventor" back in 2006:


Lemley suggests Allen is a troll

A company of Paul Allen [Interval Licensing LLC ] sued Apple Inc., Google Inc. and nine other companies on Friday, August 27.
The suit is in WD Washington and the defendants are AOL, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo and YouTube.

An online.wsj story included quotes from Mark Lemley:

"It sounds like the classic patent troll case," said Mark Lemley, a Stanford Law School professor who specializes in intellectual property. "Troll" is a term often used to describe holders of patents who use their intellectual property primarily as fodder for filing infringement lawsuits.

Mr. Lemley, who isn't involved in Mr. Allen's suit but has represented Google and Netflix in other cases, said suits filed by holders of years-old patents over technology that's in widespread use can be difficult for a plaintiff to win.

The patents in question are 6,263,507, 6,034,652, 6,788,314 and 6,757,682.

See also
Patent lawsuit du jour: Paul Allen versus the world (but not Microsoft or Amazon)

"Let's go to the videotape": Christie dumps Schundler

In the patent biz, evidence of who did what when can be quite important.

A Newark Star-Ledger piece illustrates that videotape will beat human memory/spin in the evidence game:

On Wednesday [August 25], Christie publicly said Schundler had tried to give the correct information to a bungled question during the presentation, but video from the U.S. Department of Education released Thursday [August 26] proved that did not happen.

The bottom line:

Gov. Chris Christie fired state education commissioner Bret Schundler this morning [August 27] after Schundler refused to resign in the wake of the controversy over the state's loss of up to $400 million in federal school funding.

As they said on Mad Men: "The faintest ink is better than the best memory." That applies to record keeping in the patent biz.

***UPDATE. From the Newark Star-Ledger-->

Schundler admitted he might have made a slight blunder by telling the governor the conversation with the reviewer happened during the interview, on camera — when, in reality, he said it happened after the camera was turned off.
If New Jersey did produce the numbers on Aug. 11, according to Race to the Top rules, it would not have mattered. While the state could not have introduced new facts, the presentations are held so states can explain what they have written or point to data misplaced in other sections.

Schundler insisted he be fired rather than simply offer his resignation because, he said, he needed to file for unemployment benefits.
"I do have a mortgage to pay, and I do have a daughter who’s just started college," Schundler said.
Schundler and his wife have less than $5,000 in the bank, according to financial disclosures released Thursday by the State Ethics Commission. Over the last 12 months, Schundler reported making between $50,000 and $100,000 on each of his previous jobs as education commissioner and chief operating office of The King’s College, a Christian liberal arts school in New York City. He is not yet eligible for a pension.

However, even the unemployment question is in dispute.
The state Department of Labor late Friday said cabinet officials are "generally not eligible for unemployment benefits." Federal and state law say that positions are ineligible.

Bed bugs shut down NJ movie theater on 25 Aug 2010

nj.com notes that bedbugs were found in three of the Eatontown, NJ-Monmouth Mall movie theater's 15 auditoriums on August 25, 2010 and the theater closed down.

Meanwhile, in Somerville, Somerset County (adjacent to Bridgewater), nj.com noted:

According to director of Social Services E. Joseph Kunzmann, an employee found what was believe to be three bed bugs in the waiting area of their offices at 73 E. High St. earlier this month. Exterminators were called in, at which time Kunzmann said there was reason to believe there may have been bed bugs on the third floor of the building, though none were found.

They used to say "don't worry, they're still 90 miles away." Can't say that about bed bugs.

One can only wonder if Lisa Jackson of the EPA is awake.

Fast tracking of green patent apps not working well?

In a piece titled Green-tech patent program off target pace , Martin LaMonica begins:

A trial program meant to speed the pace of innovation in green technology hasn't unleashed the torrent of activity as hoped.
Launched in December, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Green Technology Pilot Program puts patent petitions related to environmental technologies at the front of the line for appraisal. The goal is to encourage economic activity in the sector

As of Thursday [26 August 2010], however, a USPTO representative said there have been 1,477 requests for accelerated status, well short of the pace first expected.

IPBiz notes that back in the beginning, one had:

However, petitions to make special under the Green Technology Pilot Program must be filed before December 8, 2010 and the USPTO will accept only the first 3,000 petitions, provided that the petitions meet several requirements, including:

The non-fee petition must be in a nonprovisional, non-reissue application that was filed on or before the date of the notice (December 8, 2009), and at least one day before a first office action is mailed (which may be a restriction requirement) or appears in thePatent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system. Continuing applications will not automatically be accorded special status based on papers filed with a petition in a parent application. Each continuing application must on its own meet all requirements for special status.
The petition to make special must be accompanied by a request for early publication in compliance with 37 CFR 1.219 and the publication fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.18(d).
The application must be classified in one of the may classes identified Section V of the Federal Register notice copied below.
The application must have no more than 3 independent claims and 20 total claims, or a preliminary amendment must be filed to reduce the number of claims at or below these thresholds. Applicants may file a preliminary amendment to cancel the excess claims and/or the multiple dependent claims at the time the petition to make special is filed.
The claims must be directed to a single invention and include a statement that if the USPTO determines that the claims are directed to multiple inventions, the applicant will agree to make an election without traverse in a telephonic interview, and elect an invention that meets the eligibility requirements
The claimed invention must materially enhance the quality of the environment or materially contribute to: (1) the discovery or development of renewable energy resources; (2) the more efficient utilization and conservation of energy resources; or (3) greenhouse gas emission reduction, and explain how this standard is met

And a post on 21 May 2010 noted:

In yet another attempt to expedite important patent applications through the examination process the United States Patent and Trademark Office announced earlier today that it is revising its Green Technology Pilot Program. The revision in the program will allow more categories of technology to be eligible for expedited processing under the USPTO green initiative, which allows for the expediting of patent applications through the examination process. Eligibility for the pilot program, which was designed to promote the development of green technologies, had previously been limited to applications within a select number of classifications, with only about one-third of applications for special status being granted.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A tale of two thefts

On 25 August 2010, there was a story on the internet about the theft in Madison, Wisconsin of a bag of one Myers family containing, among other things a wallet with cash, credit cards, hotel keys, rental car keys, and an iPad. The novelty of the story was that the bag was stolen while the Myers family was posing for a photo in front of the Wisconsin capitol, and the picture captured the thief in the act.

The story had a happy ending. News.yahoo reported: When I saw the guy with his hand in my bag, I ran back inside and found the Capitol Police. They were amazing. They immediately sent out a description of the thief using the photo I took. In a few minutes, one officer had found him still in the area. The thief had dumped some things from the bag in a nearby trash can — the flash for my camera, a small backpack of kids toys, a bag of cables, extra SD cards, my mini tripod — but still in my bag were my wallet with cash, credit cards, hotel keys, rental car keys, and my iPad.

Another theft, on August 26, 2010 in Hamilton Township, NJ, had a much different ending. Two people had brought a lawnmower in a truck to mow a lawn. They went into the house to get ready. When they returned a few minutes later, the mower was gone. The Hamilton Township police were called and stated a car would be sent over. After over an hour, no car, and the victims phoned the police and offered to drive to the Hamilton Police Headquarters to make a report. The victims went to the station, waited in line for a receptionist, and then were told to call on an internal phone. On the phone, they were told it would take 1 to 2 hours to make the report. There was so much "active crime" going on, that there were no police to take the report, or to do anything about the theft. Thefts that had already occurred were not a high priority. If the Hamilton approach had been applied in Madison, it is unlikely the information would have been timely received, and there would have been no internet sensation.

Toyota started with a patent, on looms!

from used car guide :

Toyota was actually the result of the Toyota Spinning and Weaving Company, set up by Sakichi Toyoda in 1918. He invented the first automatic loom, for which he sold the patent and gave the money to his son. His son, Kiichiro, invested it into automotive technology and in 1936 the Toyota AA hit the market, with the 100,000th vehicle being built 11 years later.

"Fantastic paper" with nothing new?

Mike Masnick at TechDirt starts out: Michael Scott points us to a fantastic draft paper by respected intellectual property lawyer/scholar Mark Lemley recapping the long history of content industries declaring that the sky is falling every time a new technology hits the scene.

But the second paragraph begins: There isn't necessarily anything new in the paper. Many of you probably know all of these stories, and they've been discussed at length over the years in posts and comments here on Techdirt.

Thus, in summary, the Lemley paper is "fantastic" because it agrees with Masnick, who already discussed the points before. The draft paper can't be very inventive if there is all this anticipatory prior art.

As to the "respected" part, from comments on Patently-O in August 2007:

Come on, according to the esteemed preeminent patent scholar Mark Lemley..."The idea that this would be any sort of significant restriction on patent owners is ludicrous to me. It will affect 10 applications a year, maybe 50, out of 450,000." And thanks Patent Prospector for pointing out once again that Professor Lemley is a fool or a tool...heck, he's both. http://www.patenthawk.com/blog/

Posted by: metoo | Aug 23, 2007 at 11:32 PM

Has this guy Lemley written/prosecuted any applications? His statement is pure bullshi*t! In the technological field I work in, which is not arcane in any respects, 35-40 claims at the time of filing would be common to capture all prospective commercial embodiments. Some of these pan out, some don't. But in this business you are damned if you do and especially damned if you don't. This claim number limitation has many liability issues attached!

Written description and the doctrine of equivalents?


Merely for contemplation:

Determining whether a patent application's written description is sufficient
to support its scope can be quite difficult. Some protection beyond the text of
its claims almost always must be given to the inventor in order for patents to
have value. Leeway is necessary to prevent copycats from avoiding
infringement liability by making only a slight, inconsequential change to the
invention specified in the application. A patent on a washing machine, for
example, would be of little value if an imitator could legally copy the patent
holder's design merely by adding a single bolt. This example illustrates the
doctrine of equivalents, which the courts evolved to make sure that
insubstantial differences would not allow copycats to escape an action for


The fact that no ESC patents have been issued since the ‘780 and
‘806 patents hints that their composition of matter claims are broad and that it
is hard to invent around them.303 If so, this situation would be undesirable on
policy grounds, for it could hinder downstream innovations. Yet law and
public policy are not the same. The ‘780 and ‘806 patents could have wide
scope as a matter of law, even if their scope were regrettable as a matter of


An important recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, however, creates
a research exception to patent infringement that could prove quite important
for stem cell research. Integra Lifesciences I, Ltd. (“Integra”) and the
Burnham Institute (“Burnham”) owned five patents relating to the tripeptide
sequence Arg-Gly-Asp, known in single-letter notation as the RGD peptide.
This peptide promotes cell adhesion. Meanwhile, Merck KGaA (“Merck”)
funded research on angiogenesis by Dr. David Cheresh at the Scripps
Research Institute (“Scripps”). Dr. Cheresh discovered that the RGD peptide
could inhibit angiogenesis and thereby shrink tumors. Eventually, Merck
shared the research with the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The NCI
sponsored clinical trials and filed an investigational new drug (IND)
application. Integra and Burnham sued Merck, Cheresh, and Scripps for patent

Writing for a unanimous Court in Merck KGaA v. Integra Lifesciences I,
Ltd., Justice Scalia held that the defendants’ use of the RGD peptide was
permissible under the Patent Act’s provision that it is not “an act of [patent]
infringement to . . . use . . . or import into the United States a potential
invention . . . solely for uses reasonably related to the development and
submission of information under a Federal law which regulates the . . . use . . .
of drugs.”308

PatentHawk flames Aharonian

The beginning of the Patent Prospector post recites:

From reading his newsletter, one gathers the decided impression that Greg Aharonian has the emotional stature of an infant. [I know I'll get comments from readers who will swear their infants are more mature than Greg. Point taken.] In his ranting newsletter, where screaming ALL CAPS and !!!!!!!! are the norm, Aharonian boiled over newly minted patent 7,779,753, which claims a tea ball on a serving string.

And, then, as the first comment, MaxDrei talks about the European "problem and solution" approach:

Then again, the EPO's "problem and Solution Approach " to obviousness gives a PTO Examiner an easy to use tool to incinerate this claim in less than 5 minutes, just like it did the claim in the KSR case.

Soooooo.... predictable.

Merely fyi:

Looking for commentary from Greg Aharonian

Glaskowsky and Aharonian missing prior art?

Blow to centralized EU patent?

Reuters/IDG notes

The European Court of Justice looks set to derail plans for a common patent system across the European Union. The court's Advocate General believes that a centralized patent is "incompatible with the treaties" that created the E.U., according to a leaked document.

A problem is language, with the English/German/French approach not looking good to speakers of other languages.
Nuala Moran notes:

The European Court of Justice is not bound to accept the Advocate General’s opinion. But even if it does not, this is yet another obstacle to be overcome in the process of setting up the European Patents Court, and by extension, the single EU patent. The Advocate General’s opinion will be seized on by countries including Spain, Italy and Poland, which are against the three languages proposal.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Otellini: "the next big thing will not be invented here"

Intel Chief Executive Officer Paul Otellini made some remarks at the Technology Policy Institute's Aspen Forum which corresponded to a warning to the administration officials and assorted Capitol Hill aides in the audience: unless government policies are altered, he predicted, "the next big thing will not be invented here. Jobs will not be created here."

"CBS Nightly News" does bed bugs on 25 August 2010

Katie Couric wasn't there, but "CBS Nightly News" with Jeff Glor did bed bugs after stories on Iraq, Yemen (David Martin), Elections (Nancy Cordes, Jeff Greenfield), Murder of Mexican migrants, Pakistan, and the Islamic Center in NYC, And after tainted eggs.

Jeff talked about the Terminix list of most infested cities and Cynthia Bowers (in Columbus) focused on Ohio. Bowers noted the ban of Propoxur by the EPA. Propoxur keeps killing up for five weeks, but the government ordered no more can be manufactured for inside use. Bad move by Lisa Jackson.

"I was stunned": Collins doing his best Captain Renault?

Mary Brophy Marcus in a USAToday article titled NIH scientists 'stunned' by judge's stem cell ruling tries to convey the message that Judge Lamberth's decision in Sherley v. Sebelius was an unexpected shocker:

"I was stunned, as was virtually everyone here at NIH," agency director Francis Collins said.

In a story filled with quotes by shocked scientists, Marcus's only attempt to discuss the ruling itself was in a single sentence:

The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth blocked Obama's executive stem cell order, saying it conflicted with a ban on using federal money to destroy embryos.

In fact, what happened in the ruling was quite foreseeable, and no one should have been stunned. Go backwards in time
to an article in the New York Times by SHERYL GAY STOLBERG in March 2009, titled: Obama Is Leaving Some Stem Cell Issues to Congress which included the text:

The ban, known as the Dickey-Wicker amendment, first became law in 1996, and has been renewed by Congress every year since. It specifically bans the use of tax dollars to create human embryos — a practice that is routine in private fertility clinics — or for research in which embryos are destroyed, discarded or knowingly subjected to risk of injury.

Keep in mind, the ban is on the use of "tax dollars" to support the act; it is not a ban on the act or on research on the act.
People can create or destroy embryos, and people can perform research thereon.

As to current expressions of shock, which should carry no more weight than that of Captain Renault in Casablanca, note well the text from the March 2009 article in the New York Times:

Mr. Obama has no power to overturn the Dickey-Wicker ban. Only Congress, which attaches the ban to appropriations bills, can overturn it. Mr. Obama has not taken a position on the ban and does not intend to, Melody C. Barnes, his chief domestic policy adviser, said Sunday. The president believes stem cell research “should be done in compliance with federal law,” she said, adding that Mr. Obama recognizes the divisiveness of the issue. “We are committed to pursuing stem cell research quite responsibly but we recognize there are a range of beliefs on this,” she said.

Obama punted, sort of, in 2009. Lamberth could not punt in 2010; he had to decide. Lamberth wrote in the decision:

This prohibition encompasses all “research in which” an embryo is destroyed, not just the “piece
of research” in which the embryo is destroyed. Had Congress intended to limit the Dickey-
Wicker to only those discrete acts that result in the destruction of an embryo, like the derivation
of ESCs, or to research on the embryo itself, Congress could have written the statute that way.
Congress, however, has not written the statute that way, and this Court is bound to apply the law
as it is written. Accordingly, this Court must “give effect to the unambiguously expressed intent
of Congress” to prohibit federal funding of research in which a human embryo is destroyed.
Chevron, 467 U.S. at 843.

The defendants attempt to assert that the word "research" was ambiguous was about as convincing as Clinton parsing the meaning of the word "is." The ball is now with Congress. If Congress says "it's ok," there is nothing Lamberth can do to change the will of Congress. If Congress does nothing, they have effectively spoken.

Mary Brophy Marcus wrote fluff instead of defining the issue.

See also

The meaning of research

Only in NJ: superintendent plagiarizes grad speech

Teaneck, New Jersey interim Superintendent of Schools A. Spencer "Skip" Denham presented a graduation speech to 2010 grads plagiarized from a 2008 speech by one John Warren. Here's what Denham had to say:

"The central portion of my graduation speech was focused on encouraging our graduating students to fondly remember the special times with their peers, their positive interactions with school staff members, their accomplishments in and outside the classroom, as they start their journey beyond high school," he said in an e-mail. "At the time, I should have credited Principal John Warren of Eynesbury Senior College. Regrettably, I did not do that. (...) While the ideas I spoke about are universal and have existed for ages, I did rely on the particular words of others without giving due credit. For that, I apologize."

The article on the incident from The Record contained a quote attributed to Bob Humble, the superintendent in Fairbanks, Ohio:

"We always tell people, if there's anything that I've done that could help you, go ahead and steal it.

Sort of reminds one of the words in the Harvard Business Review: plagiarize with pride.

There was also a matter of a "welcome back" letter by Denham, also copied, apparently from multiple sources. The article noted: Internet searches of the phrases contained within the letter turn up more than a dozen other messages from superintendents and other administrators that share the same wording, an indication that others have followed the same path. Sort of reminds one of the "burned my pajamas at age 8" essay.

Yes, the concept of "unintentional plagiarism" was here. From Humble: "I can tell you that nobody intentionally plagiarized someone else's welcome back letter."

Now, all we need is for Stanley Fish to rationalize this behavior in terms of contextual plagiarism.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Because they're worthless"

From the University of Chicago Magazine:

At an April "Future of Education" conference, United Technologies' general counsel Chester Paul Beach put the problem in stark terms: "We don't allow first- or second-year associates to work on any of our matters without special permission," Beach said at the conference, according to the legal blog Above The Law, "because they're worthless."

"CBS Nightly News" on August 24 highlights housing crisis

The lead story on "CBS Nightly News" on 24 August 2010 was on the housing crisis and began

The steep falloff in housing sales -- which reached a 15-year low in July -- highlights the degree to which the government has been propping up the housing market, and the two biggest pillars of that support system -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are facing a crisis.

Meanwhile, the WSJ ran a story Plunge in Home Sales Stokes Economy Fears which included

Sales of previously owned homes fell 27.2% from June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.83 million, the National Association of Realtors said 24 August 2010, the lowest level since the industry group started its tally in 1999.


The renewed worry about housing comes as economists downgrade their forecasts for the economy this year and early next year. Traditionally, the housing sector, along with purchases of durable goods such as furniture, would help pull the economy out of a recession as lower interest rates spurred higher demand. But this time, potential home buyers either don't have the jobs or savings to jump in or are wary of another decline in the market.

"Consumers and housing are in no position to lead us out," said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight. "We've gone through the inventory-cycle boost. The stimulus boost is fading. We're falling back on whatever underlying strength there is in the private sector, in exports and business-equipment spending, and there's not a lot."

Neither CBS nor the WSJ was talking about innovation leading us out of the current

Rambus to challenge IBM interference decision

From Reuters: In a lawsuit filed 23 August 2010 in federal court in San Jose, California, Rambus said the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office [USPTO] erred through a series of decisions in finding that a patent application assigned to IBM did not interfere with a Rambus patent obtained at the end of 2002.

Do gifts from pharma influence doctors?

According to a survey conducted by Consumer Reports National Research Center, 47 percent of respondents think gifts from pharma companies influence doctors to prescribe certain drugs. This does get into the reality that costs of marketing of drugs exceed costs of research and development. Apart from gifts is the issue of doctors signing on as authors of articles on drugs that were ghost-written by someone else.

The report by Steve Mitchell does conclude with a reference to generic drugs:

Overall, 27 percent failed to take a drug as prescribed, for example, by not getting a prescription filled (16 percent), taking an expired medication (12 percent), or sharing a prescription with someone else to save money (4 percent).

A better choice is asking your doctor or pharmacist if there's a less expensive generic version of your drug available, and 37 percent of those surveyed reported doing that.

It's a bit surprising that ONLY 37% asked about generics.

Certified Bed Bug Detection Dogs?

On 24 August 2010, CBS Radio (880) did a piece on Trace, a certified Bed Bug Detection Dog, of Top Dog Scent Detection services. For a website,

A certified Bed Bug Detection Dog, Trace is a 1-year old lab/pointer mix (as best we can tell, as all our dogs are rescues). Trained by Master Trainer Bill Whitstine of the Florida Canine Academy in Safety Harbor, FL., Trace graduated the program after completing more than 800 hours of bed bug scent detection. For more information on the Florida Canine Academy and Bill Whitstine’s accomplishments training scent detection dogs, please go to http://www.bedbugdog.com/.

If one isn't into dogs for bed bug detection, contemplate U.S. Patent 7591099 , which states

Bed bugs are small insects that feed solely on the blood of animals. The common bed bug, Cimex Lectularus, is the species of bed bug that has most adapted to living with humans. Bed bugs have lived with humans since ancient times, although many people living in the United States have never seen a bed bug. However, the increase of international travel in recent decades has contributed to the resurgence of bed bugs in the United States. There are many aspects of bed bugs that make it difficult to eradicate them once they have established a presence in a location. (...)

The tiny, mobile and secretive behavior of bed bugs makes it nearly impossible to prevent an infestation. However, the earliest possible detection can make it possible to eradicate the insects most easily. Devices and methods for the early detection of bed bugs are needed especially by those in the hospitality industries

An insect monitoring and trapping device is provided according to the invention. The device includes a corrugated layer for a first glueboard. The corrugated layer forms alternating ridges and grooves. The first glueboard is attached to the ridges of the corrugated layer, and is configured to immobilize insects.

An alternative embodiment of an insect monitoring and trapping device is provided according to the invention. The device includes a base and a lid for covering the base, and is constructed to provide a trap interior and an insect opening for insects to access the trap interior. The device includes a heating device provided within the trap interior for attracting insects, and an adhesive surface provided within the trap for trapping insects.

**Also from actionpestcontrol -->

The properly trained and certified detection dog is recognized in court as a "scientific instrument" (US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals)


Action Pest Control is certified by the Florida Canine Academy

The "top 15" U.S. cities for bedbugs

On 24 August 2010, Terminix released a list of the "top 15" cities for bedbugs. AP noted:

The Big Apple topped the list, followed by Philly and Detroit. Ohio has four cities in the top 15 -- Cincinnati is fourth, Columbus is seventh, Dayton is eighth and Cleveland is 14th.

You know bed bugs are big when Dave Letterman led off his routine on August 24 with a string of bed bug jokes, starting with applause or swatting bed bugs.

Ohio governor Strickland had tried to get some help. EPA head Lisa Jackson hasn't figured out the immensity of this problem.

CBS3 in Philadelphia covered the story of the bed bug city list on August 24, including a piece on bedbugcentral in Lawrenceville, NJ. New Jersey is located right between #1 and #2 on the Terminix list, and is a logical place for a bed bug program.

KYW3 even illustrated bed bug receptors to use on the legs of chairs, something not shown on some of the other stories. [CBS national news did a piece on Saturday, August 21.]

Yes, bedbuguniversity is right here in Lawrenceville, New Jersey:

Bed Bug University is ideal for the company that is just beginning to develop a bed bug program. The University is held in Lawrenceville, NJ and is an intensive 4 day course which includes extensive bed bug biology and behavior, explores the unique legal challenges of bed bugs, reviews all of the BedBug Central protocols and philosophies in detail along with the challenges bed bugs pose.

As to the confusion of the EPA:

EPA screws up on Propoxur

Jackson of the EPA, not Sherrod, should be given the boot. As to inventions, keep in mind that government regulatory agencies can stop useful inventions dead in their tracks.

Also on the Terminix bed bug list: Chicago, fifth; Denver, sixth; Washington, ninth; Los Angeles, 10th; Boston, 11th; Indianapolis, 12th; Louisville, 13th; and Minneapolis, 15th.

***However, there is a top-10 list from Orkin, with a different order:

1. Cincinnati, Ohio

#2. Columbus, Ohio

#3. Chicago, Illinois

#4. Denver, Colorado

#5. Detroit, Michigan

#6. Washington, D.C.

#7. New York, New York

#8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

#9. Dayton, Ohio

#10. Baltimore, Maryland

Either way you slice it, Ohio is not doing well as to bed bugs, and Jackson ought to listen Governor Strickland.

Text in the New York Daily News got to the core of the problem:

"There are people out there whose apartments are infested," Jeff Eisenberg added.

"They are walking around with bedbugs all day long. They go shopping. They go out eating. They go on the subway. And if you sit next to them you are screwed."

The meaning of research

The case Sherley v. Sebelius on federal funding of embryonic stem cells is getting some publicity.

One legal gambit in the case was the attempt by the defendants to enter into the "Chevron two step":

The defendants argued that the term “research” is ambiguous, and that, as a result, their interpretation of research
should be entitled to Chevron deference. See Chevron U.S.A., Inc., v. Natural Resources Defense
Counsel, Inc., 467 U.S. 837, 843 (1984).

The Court's answer:

Congress has spoken to the precise question at issue—whether federal funds may be used
for research in which an embryo is destroyed. The Dickey-Wicker Amendment provides that no
federal funds shall be used for “research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed,
discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed for research
on fetuses in utero under 45 C.F.R. § 46.204(b) and section 498(b) of the Public Health Service
Act (42 U.S.C. 289g(b)).” Pub. L. No. 111-8, § 509(a)(2). Thus, as demonstrated by the plain
language of the statute, the unambiguous intent of Congress is to prohibit the expenditure of
federal funds on “research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed.” Id.

Contrary to defendants’ argument, the term “research” as used in the Dickey-Wicker
Amendment has only one meaning, i.e., “a systematic investigation, including research
development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable
knowledge.” 45 C.F.R. § 46.102(d); see also Random House Dict. (listing the first definition of
research as “diligent and systematic inquiry or investigation into a subject in order to discover or
revise facts, theories, applications, etc.”). This is the most common definition of research, and
no other definition of research is supported by the language of the statute.
The language of the statute does not support defendants’ alternative definition of research
as “a piece of research.” (Def.’s Opp’n [22] at 31 (citing RANDOM HOUSE DICT. (2009).)
Indeed, the Dickey-Wicker Amendment does not contain any language to support such a limited
definition of research. Rather, the language of the statute reflects the unambiguous intent of
Congress to enact a broad prohibition of funding research in which a human embryo is destroyed.

The bottom line:

This prohibition encompasses all “research in which” an embryo is destroyed, not just the “piece
of research” in which the embryo is destroyed. Had Congress intended to limit the Dickey-
Wicker to only those discrete acts that result in the destruction of an embryo, like the derivation
of ESCs, or to research on the embryo itself, Congress could have written the statute that way.
Congress, however, has not written the statute that way, and this Court is bound to apply the law
as it is written. Accordingly, this Court must “give effect to the unambiguously expressed intent
of Congress” to prohibit federal funding of research in which a human embryo is destroyed.
Chevron, 467 U.S. at 843.

One must remember the basis for standing here concerned FUNDING.
Of irreparable injury, the Court noted:

Plaintiffs are researchers who work exclusively with ASCs. They seek funds for their
research projects from defendants and allege “that obtaining NIH funding is necessary for their
continued research.” (...)There is no after-the-fact remedy for this injury because the Court cannot
compensate plaintiffs for their lost opportunity to receive funds. See Bracco Diagnostics, Inc. v.
Shalala, 963 F. Supp. 20, 29 (D.D.C. 1997) (quoting Hoffman-Laroche Inc. v. Califano, 453 F.
Supp. 900, 903 (D.D.C. 1978) (stating that even if an injury is economic in nature, the injury may
be irreparable if “there is ‘no adequate compensatory or other corrective relief’ that can be
provided at a later date”). Accordingly, plaintiffs would suffer irreparable injury in the absence
of the injunction.

Yes, the status quo and private funding are mentioned:

The balance of hardships weighs in favor of an injunction. Defendants argue that two
interested parties would be injured if the Court issues an injunction: ESC researchers and
individuals who suffer from diseases that may be treatable in the future as a result of ESC
research. The Guidelines give ESC researchers, like plaintiffs, the opportunity to compete for
NIH funding. The injunction, however, would not seriously harm ESC researchers because the
injunction would simply preserve the status quo and would not interfere with their ability to
obtain private funding for their research.

And, just as californiastemcellreport didn't publish LBE's comment about the case, the
decision does not mention CIRM.

The Lamberth opinion does talk about speculative:

In addition, the harm to individuals who suffer from
diseases that one day may be treatable as a result of ESC research is speculative. It is not certain
whether ESC research will result in new and successful treatments for diseases such as
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

***An article by Carol Cratty of CNN titled Government will appeal injunction against stem cell funding has some problematic points:

--> Monday's ruling involved a lawsuit against the NIH filed by researchers opposed to use of embryonic stem cells, a group that seeks adoptive parents for human embryos created through in vitro fertilization, the nonprofit Christian Medical Association and others.

[The only plaintiffs in the case on 23 Aug 2010 were adult stem workers, who had standing because they were adversely affected as to funding]

-->In his ruling, Lamberth said he was granting the injunction because of the likelihood that the lawsuit will succeed.

[In the "conclusion," Lamberth wrote:

Plaintiffs have established that the preliminary injunction factors—the likelihood of
success on the merits, irreparable injury, the balance of hardships, and the public interest—weigh
in favor of a preliminary injunction. Accordingly, the Court will GRANT plaintiffs’ motion [3]
for a preliminary injunction.

Sloppy reporting by Cratty.


see Stem Cells Are Back! Is It All Semantics?

Man bites dog moment as newspaper takes from blog

In a post titled The Toronto Sun Steals From Blogs, the pensionplanpuppets blog goes through an incident wherein the Toronto Sun found a story on Tomas Kaberle's father on the blog and copied from it without attribution to the blog. There's also a translation issue involved. There's a lot of discussion about plagiarism.

A problem is that copyright infringement and plagiarism get conflated:

But was it plagiarism? Well, Doogie2K provided a helpful link to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Paris Text 1971):

(3) Translations, adaptations, arrangements of music and other alterations of a literary or artistic work shall be protected as original works without prejudice to the copyright in the original work.

Copyright infringement is copying without PERMISSION (with or without attribution) and plagiarism is copying without ATTRIBUTION (with or without permission).

The kernal of the issue is seen in a response of the newspaper to the blog:

Fuller credited the source magazine (Czech hockey magazine Hokej) for the quotes used in our article. While he read the translated article first on the pensionplanpuppets website, he checked the original article and quotes thorough Google Translate. Attributing quotes to another source is not plagiarism.

We gather information from a variety of sources, including blogs, tweet, etc. Newspapers are not websites. We don't credit links. The Czech magazine and it's [sic] writer are the originating source of the news and thus deserve credit - not you or your website.

Now, if you want to see a funny plagiarism story, view the IPBiz post

"This blatant rip-off is unacceptable, even for a blogger."

Link from fark-->

Helpful hint: when plagiarizing an article just go ahead and skip the last paragraph if it is a bio of the real author

Drug dealers entering the knock-off business?

From an article in the New York Times titled Inside the Knockoff-Tennis-Shoe Factory :

Dean Phillips, the chief of the F.B.I.’s Asian/African Criminal Enterprise Unit, describes counterfeiting as a “smart play” for criminals. The profits are high while the penalties are low. An Interpol analyst added: “If they get caught with a container of counterfeit sneakers, they lose their goods and get a mark on their customs records. But if they get caught with three kilos of coke, they’re going down for four to six years. That’s why you diversify.”

Of sports shoes, the article notes that a center for manufacturing knock off shoes is in Putian, Fujian, near Taiwan:Counterfeiters played a low-budget game of industrial espionage, bribing employees at the licensed factories to lift samples or copy blueprints. Shoes were even chucked over a factory wall, according to a worker at one of Nike’s Putian factories. It wasn’t unusual for counterfeit models to show up in stores before the real ones did.

Of course, in the United States, we have the Bimbo Bakeries/Hostess thing over the secrets to the nooks and crannies of Thomas' English Muffins.

VC are trying to leverage up and create an exit strategy

Of proposed IPOs by PetroAlgae and Gevo, BlueFire CEO Arnold Klann is quoted in Biofuels Digest:

“Its not what it cracked up to be,” he joked about being a public company CEO. “They’re trying to raise money, VC are trying to leverage up and create an exit strategy. But a lot of these technologies are hostage to the price of sugar.”

Of legal issues in cellulosic ethanol as seen by the Cellulosic Ethanol Alliance:

“It is hard to get 30 companies moving in one direction,” Klann noted, “but we are positioning to work on some legislative fixes, for example extending production credits because they expire on 12/31/2012 and there isn’t going to be a lot of production by them. Also, extending the investment tax credit to cellulosic biofuels. In our case, we can take some of the ITC because as part of our process, we create power in our system and can tap into the ITC for that.

“Also, we still don’t have a mandated marketplace, and even though the EPA has set a price of $1.56 per gallon for RINs, blenders can opt out because the EPA waives down the mandate. We think we might be able to do this via rule-making, because getting a bill passed in this environment might be difficult.

Of IPOs, from the old days of the internet boom,

Firms no longer needed strong financials and a solid history to go public. Instead, IPOs were done by smaller startups seeking to expand their business. There's nothing wrong with wanting to expand, but most of these firms had never made a profit and didn't plan on being profitable any time soon. Founded on venture capital funding, they spent like Texans trying to generate enough excitement to make it to the market before burning through all their cash. In cases like this, companies might be suspected of doing an IPO just to make the founders rich. In VC talk, this is known as an exit strategy, implying that there's no desire to stick around and create value for shareholders. The IPO then becomes the end of the road rather than the beginning.

In this kind of set-up, the VCs are not checking the patent portfolio, except as it might influence "excitement."


ARNOLD W. REITZE, JR., Biofuels - Snake Oil for the Twenty-First Century, 87 Or. L. Rev. 1183 with conclusion

Congress should slash its subsidies for corn-based ethanol and focus its efforts on research and development efforts to advance the technologies needed to reduce our need for foreign petroleum. We should be working to lower the costs of cellulosic ethanol production as well as working on promising alternative transportation energy sources including plug-in electric vehicles powered by electricity from wind or solar technologies. Energy derived from microbial energy conversion is another promising technology for the longer term that deserves more research and development effort. n460 Second, if we are to use ethanol, barriers to its importation of ethanol should be abolished in order to enhance the na-tion's fuel diversity, although policies concerning ethanol from all sources need to give serious scrutiny to its impact on the environment and food prices. Third, the government should not be working to build an ethanol infrastructure whose economic viability depends on government subsidies. We do not need another economic meltdown because massive amounts of capital were used to develop an industry that is not sustainable. Fourth, the EPA, DOE, DOT, and other relevant executive agencies should be tasked with developing a national fuel policy using a process that is open and transparent. This would include measures to reduce the distortion of the economic system caused by subsidies to the energy industry that would help place the alternative energy industry on a level playing field. A renewable fuels pro-gram should be an important part of a national energy policy, but it must be sustainable, and it should not be based on long-term government subsidies.

**Also 29 Energy L. J. 195

Monday, August 23, 2010

Webster tit-for-tat citation study criticized

The punchline by Philip Davis:

So there you have it. The simple association between reference length and citations is spurious, confounded by such other simple explanations such as the length of the paper and the section in which it was published. There may still be evidence of mutual citation gaming in science, although this study cannot validate these claims.

Of Webster's earlier study:


Davis illustrates the fallacy of correlation --> causation with an illustration of the correlation between ice cream sales and murder rate ["ice cream sales are highly correlated with the U.S. murder rate " ]

Judge Lamberth enjoins Obama stem cell guidelines on ESC

CNN reports:

A U.S. district judge granted a preliminary injunction [23 August 2010] to stop federal funding of embryonic stem cell research that he said destroys embryos, ruling it went against the will of Congress.
The ruling by Judge Royce C. Lamberth was a blow to the Obama administration, which last year issued guidelines to allow federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.
Lamberth's ruling said all embryonic stem cell research involves destroying embryos, which violates the Dickey-Wicker Amendment included in federal spending bills.
"The Dickey-Wicker Amendment unambiguously prohibits the use of federal funds for all research in which a human embryo is destroyed," Lamberth's ruling said. "It is not limited to prohibit federal funding of only the 'piece of research' in which an embryo is destroyed. Thus, if ESC [embryonic stem cell] research is research in which an embryo is destroyed, the guidelines, by funding ESC research, violate the Dickey-Wicker Amendment."

to californiastemcellreport-->

While Ric talks about the Republican federal government, note the decision by Judge Royce C. Lamberth blowing away via the Dickey-Wicker Amendment the Obama guidelines. As to iPS cells, they were developed outside the US without Federal funding and have a variety of patents covering use.

[As of midnight (Eastern) on Aug. 23, calstemsupport didn't publish my comment. Work on iPS cells evolved independently of CIRM and federal funding.]

On the intellectual property status of iPS, see previous IPBiz post

The patent world of iPS (stem cells): Yamanaka, Bayer, and iZumi

See also iZumi's plans to capitalize on iPS cells, Nature Biotechnology 27, 590 - 591 (2009)

[Not likely that this will be covered on californiastemcellreport]

Within coverage by the New York Times [U.S. Judge Rules Against Obama’s Stem Cell Policy ]:

Mr. Aden, the plaintiff’s lawyer, said Judge Lamberth would have to clarify whether President Bush’s rules were legal.

[of the previous standing issue]

But the Court of Appeals reversed that ruling last year, saying the two researchers could be harmed by the new policy since they worked exclusively with adult stem cells and would face increased competition for federal financing under the new policy. After the appeals court ruling, all but Dr. Sherley and Dr. Deisher were dropped as plaintiffs to the suit.

Yes, the opinion gets into Chevron deference:

Defendants argue that the Dickey-Wicker Amendment is ambiguous. Specifically, they
argue that the term “research” is ambiguous, and that, as a result, their interpretation of research
should be entitled to Chevron deference. See Chevron U.S.A., Inc., v. Natural Resources Defense
Counsel, Inc., 467 U.S. 837, 843 (1984). Defendants’ argument fails.

The Court elaborated:

Congress has spoken to the precise question at issue—whether federal funds may be used
for research in which an embryo is destroyed. The Dickey-Wicker Amendment provides that no
federal funds shall be used for “research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed,
discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed for research
on fetuses in utero under 45 C.F.R. § 46.204(b) and section 498(b) of the Public Health Service
Act (42 U.S.C. 289g(b)).” Pub. L. No. 111-8, § 509(a)(2). Thus, as demonstrated by the plain
language of the statute, the unambiguous intent of Congress is to prohibit the expenditure of
federal funds on “research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed.” Id.
Contrary to defendants’ argument, the term “research” as used in the Dickey-Wicker
Amendment has only one meaning, i.e., “a systematic investigation, including research
development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable
knowledge.” 45 C.F.R. § 46.102(d); see also Random House Dict. (listing the first definition of
research as “diligent and systematic inquiry or investigation into a subject in order to discover or
revise facts, theories, applications, etc.”).

Did the lack of software savvy patent attorneys cause a decline in patent quality?

The abstract for a paper by Clifford, Field and Cavicchi titled A Statistical Analysis of the Patent Bar: Where are the Software-Savvy Patent Attorneys? states:

Among the many factors that impact the declining quality of U.S. patents is the increasing disconnect between the technological education patent bar members have and the fields in which patents are being written. Based on an empirical study, the authors show that too few patent attorneys and agents have relevant experience in the most often patented areas today, such as computer science. An examination of the qualification practices of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) suggests that an institutional bias exists within the PTO that prevents software-savvy individuals from registering with the Office. The paper concludes with suggestions of how the identified problems can be corrected.

Footnote 2 purports to support the assertion of "declining quality of US patents":

See, e.g., Terry Carter, A Patent on Problems, A.B.A. J. (forthcoming Mar.
2010), available at http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/a_patent
_on_problems (“[T]he PTO has become a burial ground for potential.”);
Patently Ridiculous, N.Y. TIMES, Mar. 22, 2006, at A24, available at
http://www .nytimes.com/2006/03/22/opinion/22wed1.html (describing a patent
issued to protect a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and bemoaning the staffing problems at the PTO).

Note also footnote 6. In view of the fact that the very issue of "patent quality" has been debated, one finds
it interesting that the authors rely on an article in the New York Times on the long-ago eliminated "peanut butter and
jelly sandwich" patent to make their argument.

For a different view, see for example PATENT GRANT RATES AT THE UNITED STATES PATENT AND
, 4 CHI.-KENT J. INTELL. PROP. 108 (2004)

There are 3 factors identified by 2010 authors for the "declining quality", the first of which is inability to find prior art.
Yes, peer-to-patent shows up in footnote 5.

The third factor identified by the authors is actually the focus of the paper:

The third causative factor, and the primary
topic of this paper, is the increasingly inappropriate technical
credentials held by the parties responsible for drafting the vast
majority of patents: the patent attorney or agent (collectively
referred to as the “patent bar”).

The conclusion:

A failure to respond to the increasing
technological disconnect between the patent bar and the
technology underlying modern patents, however, will have an
overwhelming negative impact. Without change, the number of
inappropriate patents granted will continue to grow while novel
inventions will be lost in the noise of a nonfunctional system.

Should people with a BA/BS in computer sciences be allowed to sit for
the patent bar? Sure. Did the authors make a case for a large
fraction of inappropriate patents granted? No. Did the authors
prove that having bachelors level computer science people will
have a big impact? No.

**Actual citation for the 2010 article:
Clifford, Ralph D., Field, Thomas G. and Cavicchi, Jon R., A Statistical Analysis of the Patent Bar: Where are the Software-Savvy Patent Attorneys? (April 30, 2010). North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology, Vol. 11, p. 223, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1626348