Friday, December 31, 2010

Lew Wallace, Ben Hur, and "Billy the Kid"

Former Union Civil War General Lew Wallace is mentioned in a New York Times article titled No Pardon for Billy the Kid:

Historical documents show that former Gov. Lew Wallace held out the possibility of a deal if the Kid would testify before a grand jury about a killing he had witnessed. Billy the Kid did testify, but the proposed pardon never happened, something the outlaw grumbled about as he managed to escape the law, get caught and then escape again, only to be gunned down in the dark by a frontier lawman in 1881.

Some historians suggest that Mr. Wallace never explicitly offered a pardon to the outlaw, who also went by the names Henry McCarty and William H. Bonney, and might have been trying to trick him. Shortly before Mr. Wallace left office, he told a newspaper: “I can’t see how a fellow like him should expect any clemency from me.”

The New York Times article omitted several items of relevance to Lew Wallace:

#1. The amnesty offer was made to many men involved in the Lincoln County War, and there were strong political issues involved.

#2. Wallace was a lawyer.

#3. Wallace, in his earlier career, had been tarnished by certain actions at Shiloh. Wallace felt he had been unjustly treated, and used his own life as a model for the title character in his novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1880) , which was written and published during his term as New Mexico governor (1878-1881).

[See wikipedia on Lew Wallace.]

Richardson sounded like a lawyer in the NYT text: But Mr. Richardson said he decided not to act “because of a lack of conclusiveness and the historical ambiguity as to why Gov. Wallace reneged on his promise.”

[Wikipedia notes: [Richardson] earned a Bachelor's degree at Tufts in 1970, majoring in French and political science and became a president and brother of Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He went on to earn a master's degree in international affairs from Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1971. ]

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Number 1 story for 2010 at The Scientist: Porn: Good for us?

Milton Diamond's story -- Porn: Good for us? -- was the number 1 story for 2010 at The Scientist.

The number 3 story was on citation impact factors.



The first claim of the published application SOCIAL NETWORKING IN SHOPPING ENVIRONMENTS states:

A method for providing social networking services in a shopping context, comprising:retrieving information identifying an article available for sale that is of interest to a user;receiving an input defining a request relative to the article, wherein the request requires a response from other users;providing the retrieved information and received request to a remote kiosk, wherein the kiosk is accessible to the other users and is within a maximum distance from the user.

The "summary of invention" includes the text:

[0004]This is directed to a system and method for providing social networking services in a shopping context in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. The social networking services provided can be used in other contexts, such as while traveling, out in the town, or other places that a user may go.

[0005]In a shopping environment, a user may identify one or more articles of interest. Before purchasing the articles, the user may wish to consult with friends or other people. To do so, the user can use a mobile device to transmit identifying information for the articles to mobile or other devices of the user's friends (e.g., some or all friends in an address book, or just friends located within a maximum distance of the user, for example in the same mall). The identifying information can include links to databases of the articles, images or photographs of the articles, location information for the friends to see the articles (e.g., identify a rack in a store where an article of clothing was found) or any other suitable information. The user's friends can review the identified articles, and provide comments for the user. For example, the user's friends can give a thumbs up/down, a star rating, a comment (e.g., text, audio or video), or any other type of comment.

[0006]In some embodiments, the user can receive recommendations of other articles to purchase instead of or in addition to the initially identified articles. For example, other users can provide identifying information for other articles available for purchase. As another example, other users can identify other articles already owned by the user that would go well with articles available for purchase (e.g., articles previously identified by the user, or articles identified by other users). The received recommendations can include comments to assist the user in determining whether to make a purchase. The recommendations provided by friends can include articles available in the store in which the user is shopping, in other stores (e.g., in the same complex or mall), online or from remote sources (e.g., links to an online store or to a catalog from which articles can be ordered) or from any other suitable source.

First named inventor: Stanley Ng

The prosecuting law firm: KRAMER LEVIN NAFTALIS & FRANKEL LLP

Emily M. Horvath and atorvastatin

RetractionWatch noted of a retraction of a third Horvath paper:

Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, an Elsevier title, has retracted another paper on which Horvath was an author, bringing to three the number of her articles tainted in the scandal. The paper, “A novel membrane-based anti-diabetic action of atorvastatin,” was published online in June 2008, and cited four times since

Previously, another journal (Endocrinology) had written:

Jeffrey Blaustein, editor in chief of Endocrinology, responded to The Scientist's question about how peer reviewer's at that journal could have missed Horvath's data manipulations and OKed the publication of the paper. In an email sent today, Blaustein wrote: "Without being specific about the particular situation about which you have written, the short answer to your general question of how reviewers/editors miss data manipulation is that while, reviewers/editors often catch plagiarism, instances of fabrication/data manipulation are unfortunately much more difficult to detect.

Link: PhD student admits misconduct - The Scientist - Magazine of the Life Sciences

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Apple sued over lack of privacy in iPhone

Talking about a California suit against Apple and others including makers of popular apps such as Textplus4, Paper Toss, Weather Channel,, Talking Tom Cat and Pumpkin Maker , a CNBC story ends:

The Unique Device ID that Apple assigns to its devices has become an attractive feature for third-party advertisers looking for a way to reliably track mobile device users' online activities, one of the lawsuits said.

"None of the defendants adequately informed plaintiffs of their practices, and none of the defendants obtained plaintiffs' consent to do so," one lawsuit alleged.

Usher copying Homer Simpson??

A piece in the Daily Mail titled Did Usher plagiarise Homer Simpson? R&B star accused of stealing Springfield star's song gives the background.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"Innovation is harmed by bad patents"

Kevin Kutz of Microsoft on i4i case: "This case is certainly about protecting innovation. Innovation is harmed by bad patents. When bad patents can't be challenged effectively, that's when innovation is significantly at risk."

Paul Allen refiles patent infringement case

AppleInsider notes:

Allen's suit accuses the defendants of violating the following four patents:

•United States Patent No. 6,263,507 issued for an invention entitled "Browser for Use in Navigating a Body of Information, With Particular Application to Browsing Information Represented By Audiovisual Data."

•United States Patent No. 6,034,652 issued for an invention entitled "Attention Manager for Occupying the Peripheral Attention of a Person in the Vicinity of a Display Device."

•United States Patent No. 6,788,314 issued for an invention entitled "Attention Manager for Occupying the Peripheral Attention of a Person in the Vicinity of a Display Device."

•United States Patent No. 6,757,682 issued for an invention entitled "Alerting Users to Items of Current Interest."

**See also

Monday, December 27, 2010

"This isn't a Third World country. This is New York City."

From a passenger trapped on the A train between Aqueduct and Rockaway Blvd. stations: "This isn't a Third World country. This is New York City."

Elsewhere: "It wasn't like the storm just snuck up on us," said David Kelley, 25, who tried unsuccessfully to get to his security job at Kennedy before being forced to turn around. "They were aware ... They need to have a backup plan.

One thinks of the current backlog of patent applications at the Patent Office. It wasn't like that backlog just snuck up on the USPTO. Patent Office management needed a backup plan. Now the Patent Office, metaphorically speaking, is the A Train, stuck in the snow. And, no, we're not a Third World country; just look like one.

**In passing

Is It Time to Leave Your Job?

It's hard to be thrilled with your job if the company you work for is struggling to succeed, or feels stuck and irrelevant.

Amazon's US 7,831,439 concerning "Aunt Mildred"

One Jeffrey P. Bezos is co-inventor of US 7,831,439 , titled System and method for converting gifts , which includes the text:

An example of such a rule is shown by rule 501 in FIG. 5. Rule 501 has been given the user-assigned name of "Convert all gifts from Aunt Mildred." For example, the user may specify such a rule because the user believes that this potential sender has different tastes than the user. To create the rule 501, the user may select menu item 436 ("Specific sender") and then provide additional information as prompted by rules engine 120. For example, the user may be asked to provide complete name and address information or other information that may be used to identify the person that is the subject of the gift conversion rule. For example, if the system 100 maintains account information for users that have previously made purchases, and if the account information for each such user has an associated visitor ID, then the name and address information may be used to determine the visitor ID (or "Sender ID" in FIG. 5) of the person that is the subject of the gift conversion rule. When an order is received for a gift for the user, the rules engine 120 may then determine whether the gift is from "Aunt Mildred" (e.g., based on Sender ID) and, if it is, a gift conversion is triggered. In another exemplary embodiment, the sender may be identified at the time the gift purchase is received by the system 100 by matching the information provided by the user with the billing information provided by the sender. In an exemplary embodiment, once the gift conversion is triggered, what happens as a result of the gift conversion is also configurable. For example, this information may be stored as part of rules stored in conversion rules database 136, as described in greater detail below in connection with FIGS. 4D-4G. In the example shown in FIG. 5, the action taken by the rules engine 120 is to convert the gift from Aunt Mildred to a gift certificate.

The first claim states:

A computer-implemented data processing system comprising: a memory that stores gift conversion rules; and a processor in communication with the memory that: generates a user interface configured to permit a gift sender to order a product as a gift for a gift recipient via a network service; and executes gift conversion logic that permits the gift recipient to specify the gift conversion rules, wherein the gift conversion rules specified by the gift recipient define a manner in which gifts purchased for the gift recipient may be automatically converted, wherein at least one gift conversion rule identifies the gift sender who has ordered a product as a gift for the gift recipient, such that whether the gift is converted is determined based at least in part on the identity of the gift sender specified in the at least one gift conversion rule.

The underlying application is 11/370,772 (March 8, 2006). There does not seem to be a corresponding published US application, and indeed there was a nonpublication request filed 8 March 2006. One will not be seeing this case outside of the US. There were several examiner interviews during prosecution and an RCE.

Gradient Enterprises sues Skype over US 7,669,207

TechCrunch reports Gradient Enterprises has sued Skype over US Patent 7,669,207 (inventor= Kristaps Johnson ), with first claim:

A method for detecting, reporting and responding to network node-level occurrences on a network-wide level, the method comprising:

providing a plurality of mobile agents, each of the mobile agents is hosted by one of a plurality of nodes in a network which each detect for one or more events;

designating one of the mobile agents hosted at one of the nodes as a controlling mobile agent;

designating another one of the mobile agents hosted at another one of the nodes as the controlling mobile agent when the one of the mobile agents previously designated as the controlling mobile agent is unavailable;

communicating network event information associated with an event detected at one or more of the nodes in the network to the controlling mobile agent; and

disseminating from the controlling mobile agent information describing the detected event to one or more other nodes.

Of Johnson:

I work privately and academically in computer science and mathematics, systems and theory: as a researcher for the Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science of the Univ. of Latvia, mainly in distributed theory and machine intelligence; for a small business, Gradient Inc, in security and distributed systems; and for the open source projects. On weekends, I work as a bouncer at a club in Riga.

See also Washington Post The Circuit: E-mail privacy, Expedia punishes American Airlines, Skype faces patent lawsuit which includes a rather unusual story about computer technician Leon Walker, currently charged under a state identity theft law for reading his wife's email, from which Walker learned his wife was having an affair with her ex-husband -- a man previously arrested for domestic violence. Walker then filed for emergency custody of his wife's young son.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

"60 Minutes Presents" on 26 December 2010 recycled from past episodes

There were three stories in the "special edition" of "60 Minutes" presented on December 26, 2010:

The segment titled The Great Migration was originally broadcast on October 4, 2009 . "Into the wild". The great migration. There's no guarantee it will be around forever. Millions of animals on migration. In late summer, in Kenya, wildebeests migrate. From Serengheti to Masai. Robin Reed of Colorado State University. Crocodiles in the Mara River.

The segment titled The Secret Language of Elephants was originally broadcast on 3 Jan. 2010. Elephant language. Elephant dictionary.

The third segment, about Scientist's Dino Findings Making Waves was originally broadcast Nov. 15, 2009. The movie Jurassic Park. Jack Horner is the real life Allan Grant.

CBS Sunday Morning on December 26, 2010

Sadly, KYW pre-empted "CBS Sunday Morning" for stories on the coming snowstorm/blizzard and a press conference from Michael Nutter, Philly mayor. Lots of Skype from Kate Bilo in the mobile weather lab. Nutter materialized at 9:19am. Expecting a major winter storm event. Declared a snow emergency for 2pm on Dec. 26. The emergency operation center to be activated at noon Dec. 26. Nutter noted, as best we know, the Eagles-Vikings game is still on. Can't park on snow emergency route after 2pm or your car "will be relocated." Philly residents have to clear sidewalks to at least 36" within 6 hours after the end of the storm. 215-232-1982 for the homeless outreach center. You can follow the emergency operation center on twitter. KYW cut Nutter off at 9:25am.

Viewers were retuned to Patel of Interfaith Youth Corps. "Religion as a force for good." Just ahead: holiday movies.

"Lost in Translation" began the segment "Room Service" on Chateau Marmont. "The Hollywood Hotel," the perfect place to hang-out and act out. The chateau is about discretion and privacy. "Welcome to the Hotel California" (Eagles). Sophia Coppola: Somewhere. Hotel started in 1929. Jim Belushi found dead in 1982 in a bungalow. Atmosphere like a stage set from a familiar old movie. Gothic-glamor. Led Zeppelin/motorcycle. Rough around the edges. Pole dancers from room service? Discrete hideaway with imperfect perfection.

"On her Toes" on Darci Kistler of New York City Ballet. Started ballet in elementary school. Joined NYC ballet at 16, picked by George Ballanchine. "Mr. B." Peter Martin. Baby Bunheads. Earlier in 2010, Darci gave her final performance at age 46.

David Edelstein said the best time to go to the movies is between Christmas and New Years. He did not like "Tron Legacy" or "little Fockers" (making asses of theselves). Previously, recommended The King's Speech and The Fighter.
Black Swan: Brilliantly made dumb movie. I love you Phillip Morris. Rabbit Hole. True Grit: happily defies categorization.

Pulse. 67% will NOT spend a vacation away from home this winter.

Time for looking back. Hail and Farewell. Dennis Hopper was first. Easy Rider. Don't Just Stand There; Kill Something.
Alexander Haig. Eric Segal/Love Story. Ted Sorenson (words written in partnership). Lena Horne. Fess Parker. Art Cloakie. Gumby. Louise Bougeois. Glen Bell. Jimmy Dean. Leslie Nielsen. Peter Graves. Vernon Baker (April 1945; 52 years later got Medal of Honor). Mit Gies (Diary of Anna Frank). 500 service members have died in 2010. Jeffrey Burbage (astronomer). Bill Powell, Jaime Escalante. Abbey Lincoln, Benjamin Hooks. Patricia Neal. Dick Francis. Garry Coleman. James MacArthur. Barbara Billingsley, Tom Bosley of Happy Days, Pernell Roberts, Stephen J. Cannell. George Blanda, Doothy Kamensheck (baseball), George Steinbrenner. Daniel Schorr, Harold Dow. Elizabeth Edwards. Jill Clayburgh, Robert Culp, Bob Guccione, Eddie Fisher, Marvin Isley, Dixie Cater, Ruc Mclanahan, Lyne Redgrave, Jean Simmons, Tony Curtis. Harvey Pekar, Stuart Udall, Dame Joan Sutherland. Don Meredith, Merlin Olsen, Bob Feller, Bobby Thomson, Blake Edwards, Robert Byrd, Ted Sevens, Charlie Wilson, Rich Holbooke, Teddy Pendergrass,, Chris Haney of trivial pursuit, Mitch Miller, John Wooen, Manute Bol, Bill Gordon (Arecibo), Kevin McCarthy (Body Snatchers), Fred Morrison (frisbee), Art Linkletter, J.D. Salinger, Solomon Burk (song),

Ben Stein, yellow tie, dark blue shirt. Season to clean out homes. Clean out resentments, grudges, anger. Give the gift of forgiveneess. Ben talked about being fired from a job he liked. Ben's weaknesses to be forgiven: Wild overeating, extravagent gestures. It will really make you feel like ho ho ho.

Pulse: 60% will NOT make New Year's Resolutions.

Punch bowl made of ice. Katie Lee on punch. Magic in a bowl. Tad Carducci. Lime sherbet. Punch is an English sailor's drink, derived from brandy. David Wondrich. He placed Irish whiskey into a punch. Punch gave us mixology, the cocktail. Punch came to the US as early as 1670. Champagne punches.

Bob Schieffer. Twas the day after Christmas. Next week: Paul Abdul.

Moment of Nature: Glacier National Park, Montana. Wolves and mountain goats and a moose and geese.

CBS notes the following stories:

COVER STORY: Photo Finish
After 75 years of color film supremacy, Kodachrome sadly fades away. Jim Axelrod shows us some final Kodachrome moments as the last lab developing the color film shuts its door.

CHATEAU MARMONT: Inside the famed Hollywood hotel, remembered for such guests as Marilyn Monroe and Johnny Depp, and made infamous as the place where John Belushi died of a drug overdose. The hotel now has top billing in Sophia Coppola's "Somewhere." Correspondent Bill Whitaker report.

DANCE: Darci Kistler, the last "Balanchine Ballerina," takes her final bows.

MOVIES: David Edelstein on holiday film fare.

HAIL AND FAREWELL: Charles Osgood pays tribute to those who have left us in 2010.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Issa's HR 628

The bill of Issa includes a comparison provision:

with respect to patent cases handled by the judges
designated pursuant to subsection (a)(1)(A) and judges not
so designated, a comparison between the 2 groups of judges
with respect to—
(i) the rate of reversal by the Court of Appeals
for the Federal Circuit, of such cases on the issues
of claim construction and substantive patent law; and
(ii) the period of time elapsed from the date on
which a case is filed to the date on which trial begins
or summary judgment is entered;
(D) a discussion of any evidence indicating that liti-
gants select certain of the judicial districts designated
under subsection (b) in an attempt to ensure a given out-
come; and

Message from 1863 delivered

From FoxNews:

A glass vial stopped with a cork during the Civil War has been opened, revealing a coded message to the desperate Confederate commander in Vicksburg on the day the Mississippi city fell to Union forces 147 years ago.

The FoxNews piece talks of Grant's earlier efforts at Vicksburg:

Grant was unsuccessful in defeating Pemberton's troops on two occasions, so the Union commander instead decided to encircle the city and block the flow of supplies or support. [from Wikipedia: When two major assaults (May 19 and May 22, 1863) against the Confederate fortifications were repulsed with heavy casualties, Grant decided to besiege the city beginning on May 25. ]


After a six-week siege, Pemberton relented. Vicksburg, so scarred by the experience, refused to celebrate July 4 for the next 80 years. [No Fourth of July till 1943? Wikipedia: Tradition holds that the Fourth of July holiday was not celebrated by Vicksburg until World War II, because of the surrender of the city on July 4]


"Vigenere cipher"

The Economics of Superstars

When Sherwin Rosen published The Economics of Superstars in 1981, inflation was a big deal, and appears in the first paragraph. Inflation is not such a big deal, but the topic of the article, the dominance of a few players in various industries (sports, music, academics) is still around.

Apple's 20100321253: a trademark as a patent claim element?

Claim 1 of Apple's published US application 20100321253 :

An electronic device with a logo antenna, comprising:a conductive housing wall;a dielectric logo structure in the conductive housing wall that serves as a dielectric antenna window for the logo antenna; and an antenna resonating element for the logo antenna that is mounted behind the dielectric logo structure, so that radio-frequency antenna signals pass from the antenna resonating element through the dielectric logo structure.

From the "summary":

[0006]A logo antenna may transmit and receive radio-frequency antenna signals through a dielectric window mounted in a housing wall. The logo antenna may have an antenna resonating element structure such as a patch antenna resonating element. The dielectric antenna window may serve as a logo. The dielectric antenna window may, for example, have the shape of a logo or may contain appropriate text or other visual logo attributes.

[0007]The logo antenna may be provided with a conductive antenna cavity. The cavity may have vertical sidewalls and a planar rear surface or may have other suitable cavity shapes. The antenna resonating element may be interposed between the dielectric antenna window and the antenna cavity. The antenna cavity may help isolate the logo antenna from the electronic components within the housing. With one suitable arrangement, the antenna cavity may be interposed between the antenna resonating element and the display, so that the rear wall of the antenna cavity lies parallel to the exposed planar face of the logo-shaped dielectric antenna window and the display.

For correspondence: Treyz Law Group

Kathleen McDonald O'Malley to CAFC

Wikipedia notes of Kathleen McDonald O'Malley :

O'Malley received a double A.B. from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio in 1979, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Her majors were honors history and economics; she graduated in both with distinction. She received a J.D. degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. (...) She was in private practice in Columbus, Ohio from 1983 to 1991, first with at Jones, Day, Reavis and Pogue, until 1985, and then with Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur, where she became a partner, with an emphasis was on complex corporate and commercial litigations, including intellectual property, securities fraud, trade secrets, shareholder's rights and large-scale coverage disputes.

From the Federal Judicial Center:

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U. S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Nominated by Barack Obama on March 10, 2010, to a seat vacated by Alvin A. Schall; Confirmed by the Senate on December 22, 2010,

Friday, December 24, 2010

Conan O'Brien apologizes for Palin shooting Rudolph sketch, sort of

Conan O'Brien is the son of Thomas O'Brien, a physician, epidemiologist, and professor of medicine at Harvard, and Ruth O'Brien (née Reardon), an attorney and partner at the Boston firm Ropes & Gray, and Conan is a graduate of Harvard.

On 24 Dec 2010, the Wall Street Journal Speakeasy noted:

Earlier this week, Conan O’Brien aired a comedy bit in which Sarah Palin shoots Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Funny stuff. The only problem: Jimmy Kimmel had done a similar sketch earlier in the month. O’Brien has now issued an apology. “We weren’t aware,” said O’Brien, before going on to make a joke about the whole affair.

In the world of copyright, independent creation is a defense; in the world of patent, independent creation is not a defense.

Back in 2004, the Harvard Business Review [HBR] brought us "plagiarize with pride,"
and a variety of Harvard professors have been caught plagiarizing. An attorney at Ropes & Gray got snagged copying for a patent application.

Past IPBiz posts:

Harvard Business Review article: Plagiarize with Pride

"Plagiarism Saves Time" out, but "Plagiarize with Pride" in

Ropes & Gray: copying patents legal and ethical?

Conan Apologizes For Swiping Segment From Kimmel:

Well, he sorta-apologizes, at least. Conan deflects blame for the incident, joking that the responsible staffer has been fired and re-hired by Kimmel.

Deadline lined up the offending Conan piece alongside Kimmel's recent clip of Palin shooting Rudolph, as well as Kimmel's claymation take on the same subject from 2008.

Hmm. Maybe Kimmel needs to apologize for recycling jokes.

If apologies are needed for joke-recycling, expect to hear a lot from Letterman.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Objectively ambiguous license agreement

In the Sanofi-Aventis case over generic oxaliplatin , the CAFC wrote:

We find that Section 3.5 of the license agreement is objectively ambiguous. See New Jersey, 194 F.3d at 430 (“[A] provision in a decree is ambiguous only when, from an objective standpoint, it is reasonably susceptible to at least two different interpretations.”). The language “decision(s) enjoining” in Section 3.5 is ambiguous as to whether a “decision” includes a consent judgment and injunction resulting from a settlement between parties or whether it requires an injunction issued by a court follow-ing a decision on the merits. The settlement agreement is not drafted to prevent sales by Sun whenever the defen-dants were barred from selling; Sanofi agrees, for exam-ple, that Sun could continue to sell if the defendants had agreed to cease sales without a court order. Thus, the disputed language is reasonably susceptible to two differ-ent interpretations.

The negotiation history further supports the objective ambiguity of the disputed language in the agreement. After negotiating the material terms of the license agree-ment, the parties drafted a term sheet memorializing the initial agreed-upon terms. The term sheet noted that Sun agreed to cease sales of generic oxaliplatin following a “final court decision” enjoining at-risk sales by the other defendants. Thereafter, the parties continued to negoti-ate the finer points of the final agreement. During negotiation of the final terms, however, the language changed
to require a “decision(s) enjoining” the other defendants before Sun was required to cease manufacture and sale of generic oxaliplatin. Compare J.A. 209 with J.A. 227–28. Sanofi’s arguments notwithstanding, the parties directly dispute the meaning and effect of the “decision(s) enjoin-ing” language in Section 3.5 of the license agreement. Sanofi argues that the language clearly includes consent judgments, while Sun argues that a consent judgment is not the result of judicial decision. One need not look beyond the parties’ diametrically opposite arguments to determine that the term “decision(s) enjoining” is ambiguous.

The conclusion:

A court errs when it enters a contested consent judgment despite repeated protests and disagreement over the interpretation and effect of material terms defining the obligations of a party. Material terms of a consent judgment that are objectively ambiguous and clearly contested prior to entry of the consent judgment require a determi-nation by the court as to the parties’ obligations under those terms before entry of that revised consent judg-ment. Because entry of the contested consent judgment was improper, we vacate the Consent Judgment and Order and resulting injunction. The district court is instructed to provide the parties an opportunity to conduct discovery and present their evidence as to the proper resolution of the ambiguous language in the license agreement that is incorporated into the parties’ original proposed Consent Judgment. We remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Invention sale date at issue in game show Million Dollar Money Drop

from tv yahoo about an event related to "inventions" on Million Dollar Money Drop:

In the "Drop" premiere episode Monday night, contestants Gabe Okoye and Brittany May decided to try their luck in the category "Inventions." Host Kevin Pollak asked them which product was first sold: the Macintosh computer, the Sony Walkman, or 3M's Post-It Notes. Okoye was confident that the answer was Post-Its. But was it?

The accepted correct answer was the Walkman (1979) beating out Post-it (1980).

But see text within the Financial Times post

which suggests a "first sale" date of a Post-It prior to 1980. [The question did not say "where" the first sale occurred or whether the product had to be on-sale globally, nationally, or in some geographic region.] The yahoo story noted: An unnamed rep for Fox says that producers contacted 3M to fact-check the question, and were told that Post-Its date from 1980, when they were first sold nationally.

Furthermore, for "use in commerce," trademarks can be helpful. Information provided to the United States Patent and Trademark Office [USPTO] by 3M indicates that the name "Post-It" was first used in commerce on September 25, 1974 (for both one and two-sided adhesive post-its.) From the USPTO:

#1. First use in commerce of "Post-it" stated to be 25 Sept 1974 (two-sided adhesive)

Word Mark POST-IT
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 73072879
Filing Date December 29, 1975
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Registration Number 1046353
Registration Date August 17, 1976

#2. First use in commerce of "Post-it" stated to be 25 Sept 1974. (single-sided adhesive)

Word Mark POST-IT
Goods and Services IC 016. US 037. G & S: Stationery Notes Containing Adhesive on One Side for Attachment to Surfaces. FIRST USE: 19740925. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19740925
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 73300787
Filing Date March 12, 1981
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition March 30, 1982
Registration Number 1198694
Registration Date June 22, 1982
Owner (REGISTRANT) Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company CORPORATION DELAWARE 3M Center St. Paul MINNESOTA 55144

Cephalon's gambit in pay-to-delay

Cephalon Wants FTC To Disclose Secret Drug-Industry Patent Deals

Cephalon, of Frazer, Pa., says that in the course of the FTC litigation the commission has cited conclusions from two reports it has issued on patent settlements, including one published in January, titled "Pay-For-Delay: How Drug Company Pay-Offs Cost Consumers Billions." The report estimated drug buyers would save about $3.5 billion annually if Congress banned pay-for-delay deals. The study was based on patent-settlement agreements filed with the FTC between 2004 and 2009.

In a court filing Wednesday, Cephalon asked a U.S. judge to either bar the FTC studies from being used in the case or to compel the FTC to turn over documents supporting the studies. The FTC has so far declined to take either step, according to Cephalon.

"Although Cephalon believes those studies are inadmissible and should not be relied upon in any filing or expert report, it is evident that the FTC and other plaintiffs will continue to do so," Cephalon wrote. Other plaintiffs in the case include health-benefit plans and wholesale drug purchasers.

Cephalon said it offered to withdraw its requests for the data if the FTC agreed not to rely on them in the litigation, but the FTC didn't accept the proposal.

In a letter to other drug makers and law firms Monday, the FTC said it may be required by the judge to disclose the confidential information they filed with the FTC. The FTC advised the parties they could seek protective orders to block the release.

The FTC objected to the release of the confidential agreements, saying they're irrelevant to the case and protected from disclosure by law. Cephalon has countered that the documents would only be disclosed to the judge and parties to the case for use in the litigation.

Licensing/standing issue in WiAV Solutions case

The issue in the case:

The sole issue presented by this appeal is whether
WiAV has constitutional standing to assert the Mind-
speed Patents against the Defendants. This is a question
of law that this court reviews de novo, applying Federal
Circuit precedent. Prima Tek II, L.L.C. v. A-Roo Co., 222
F.3d 1372, 1376 (Fed. Cir. 2000).

WiAV argues on appeal that, at the behest of the De-
fendants, the district court improperly fashioned a new
legal rule based on dicta in Textile Productions. Accord-
ing to WiAV, Textile Productions did not mention the type
of third-party licensing rights at issue, much less hold
that such rights prevent a party from being an exclusive
licensee of a patent. WiAV contends that this court has
never concluded that a party holding the exclusive rights
in a patent held by WiAV lacks constitutional standing,
even when those rights were subject to prior nonexclusive
licenses. WiAV asserts that under our precedent a party
is an exclusive licensee of a patent—and therefore has
constitutional standing to assert the patent—when it
holds any of the exclusionary rights in a patent.

One must observe footnote 1 of the decision:

An exclusive licensee generally must join the
patent owner to the suit to satisfy prudential standing
constraints, i.e., the “judicially self-imposed limits on the
exercise of federal jurisdiction.” Elk Grove Unified Sch.
Dist. v. Newdow, 542 U.S. 1, 11 (2004) (citation omitted).
See Indep. Wireless Tel. Co. v. Radio Corp. of Am., 269
U.S. 459, 468-69 (1926) (explaining that, subject to an
exception, an exclusive licensee must join the patent
owner to an infringement suit initiated by the licensee);
Prima Tek II, L.L.C. v. A-Roo Co., 222 F.3d 1372, 1377
(Fed. Cir. 2000) (characterizing the requirement that an
exclusive licensee add the patent owner to any patent
infringement suit brought by the licensee “as being pru-
dential rather than constitutional in nature”).

It is undisputed that WiAV addressed any prudential standing
concerns by adding Mindspeed to the suit as the “defen-
dant patent owner.”

The CAFC noted:

In sum, neither of these cases supports the proposi-
tion pressed by the Defendants on appeal: that for a
licensee to be an exclusive licensee of a patent, the licen-
see must be the only party with the ability to license the
patent. Indeed, this court has recently held otherwise.
See Alfred E. Mann Found. For Scientific Research v.
Cochlear Corp., 604 F.3d 1354 (Fed. Cir. 2010) (conclud-
ing that a licensee was an exclusive licensee of a patent
despite the licensor retaining the ability to license the
patent to settle lawsuits). As explained above, a licensee
is an exclusive licensee of a patent if it holds any of the
exclusionary rights that accompany a patent.

Because an exclusive licensee derives its standing
from the exclusionary rights it holds, it follows that its
standing will ordinarily be coterminous with those rights.
Depending on the scope of its exclusionary rights, an
exclusive licensee may have standing to sue some parties
and not others. For example, an exclusive licensee lacks
standing to sue a party for infringement if that party
holds a preexisting license under the patent to engage in
the allegedly infringing activity. Similarly, an exclusive
licensee lacks standing to sue a party who has the ability
to obtain such a license from another party with the right
In both of these scenarios, the exclusive
licensee does not have an exclusionary right with respect
to the alleged infringer and thus is not injured by that
alleged infringer. But if an exclusive licensee has the
right to exclude others from practicing a patent, and a
party accused of infringement does not possess, and is
incapable of obtaining, a license of those rights from any
other party, the exclusive licensee’s exclusionary right is
This court therefore holds that an exclusive licensee
does not lack constitutional standing to assert its rights
under the licensed patent merely because its license is
subject not only to rights in existence at the time of the
license but also to future licenses that may be granted
only to parties other than the accused. If the accused
neither possesses nor can obtain such a license, the exclu-
sive licensee’s exclusionary rights with respect to that
accused party are violated by any acts of infringement
that such party is alleged to have committed, and theinjury
predicate to constitutional standing is met.

to grant it.

Lazare Kaplan case on laser inscribing of diamonds

The decision in the Lazare Kaplan v. Photoscribe and GIA case was a mixed bag:

For the foregoing reasons, this court vacates the grant
of summary judgment of no literal infringement and the
verdict of non-infringement under the doctrine of equiva-
lents of claims 1 and 7 of ’351 Patent and remands for
further proceedings. We affirm the verdict of invalidity
and non-infringement of claim 18 of the ’351 Patent. We
also affirm the verdicts of non-infringement of claims 1,
24, 62, and 70 of the ’938 patent. Finally, this court
vacates the inequitable conduct findings, the exceptional case finding,
and the award of attorneys’ fees.

Of corroboration of testimony:

Generally, “[c]orroboration is required of any witness
whose testimony alone is asserted to invalidate a patent.”
TypeRight Keyboard Corp. v. Microsoft Corp., 374 F.3d
1151, 1159 (Fed. Cir. 2004) (citation omitted).


This court is not persuaded by Lazare’s argument that
corroboration is lacking. In support of Gresser’s testi-
mony, the Defendants introduced a 1980 contract between
Gresser’s company, Group II, and Lazare, under which
Group II agreed to create what became the Gresser ma-
chine. The contract explicitly specified that the machine
would include “a rigid base to support laser, scanner
optics, and object fixture with adequate protective covers.”
The Defendants also produced a 1982 manual for the
machine that describes its operation and illustrates its
structure. This documentary evidence, created around
the time the machine was developed, provides strong
support for Gresser’s testimony. Cf. Sandt Tech., Ltd. v.
Resco Metal & Plastics Corp., 264 F.3d 1344, 1350-51
(Fed. Cir. 2001) (“Documentary or physical evidence that
is made contemporaneously with the inventive process
provides the most reliable proof that the inventor’s testi-
mony has been corroborated.”).

The Juicy Whip case is cited:

Because the annotations were
added to the photograph during litigation, the annota-
tions are no more reliable than the oral testimony they
accompanied. See Juicy Whip, Inc. v. Orange Bang, Inc.,
292 F.3d 728, 743 (Fed. Cir. 2002).

Inequitable conduct comes up:

To prove inequitable conduct, an accused infringer
must present clear and convincing evidence that “the
applicant (1) made an affirmative misrepresentation of
material fact, failed to disclose material information, or
submitted false material information, and (2) intended to
deceive the [PTO].” Star Scientific, Inc. v. R.J. Reynolds
Tobacco Co., 537 F.3d 1357, 1365 (Fed. Cir. 2008) (quoting
Cargill, Inc. v. Canbra Foods, Ltd., 476 F.3d 1359, 1363
(Fed. Cir. 2007)).


This court agrees with Lazare. Even assuming that
information concerning the structure of the Gresser
machine was highly material to the prosecution of the
’351 Patent, the district court clearly erred by inferring
that Lazare’s counsel intended to deceive the PTO by
withholding the information. Counsel provided an expla-
nation for not disclosing the machine, and there is noth-
ing to suggest that the decision to withhold was an
attempt to conceal. At best, the failure to disclose what
was believed to be cumulative information was a mistake
or exercise of poor judgment that does not support an
inference of intent to deceive. See Abbott Labs. v. Sandoz,
Inc., 544 F.3d 1341, 1354 (Fed. Cir. 2008) (“Mistake or
negligence, even gross negligence, does not support a
ruling of inequitable conduct.”).


This court again agrees with Lazare. Here, too, even
if we assume that the declaration is highly material, the
district court committed clear error when it found that
Lazare intended to deceive the PTO by withholding the
declaration. The court rejected the attorneys’ explanation
for withholding the declaration because the court believed
that a reference that discloses a range that overlaps or
includes, but is not coextensive with, a claimed range
cannot teach the claimed range. This is simply incorrect;
a prior art reference that discloses a range that encom-
passes or overlaps a claimed range generally is sufficient
to establish a prima facie case of invalidity. See, e.g., In re
Peterson, 315 F.3d 1325, 1330 (Fed. Cir. 2003) (“We
therefore conclude that a prior art reference that discloses
a range encompassing a somewhat narrower claimed
range is sufficient to establish a prima facie case of obvi-
ousness.”); Ormco Corp. v. Align Tech., Inc., 463 F.3d
1299, 1311 (Fed. Cir. 2006) (“Where a claimed range
overlaps with a range disclosed in the prior art, there is a
presumption of obviousness.”). Although we give a court’s
credibility determinations considerable deference, a court
cannot, as was done here, “cloak the application of an
erroneous legal standard in the guise of a credibility
determination, and thereby shield it from appellate
review.” Andreu ex rel. v. Sec’y of Health & Human
Servs., 569 F.3d 1367, 1379 (Fed. Cir. 2009). When the
attorneys’ explanation for withholding the declaration is
considered, it is clear that intent to deceive is not the
single most reasonable inference that can be drawn from
the evidence. Therefore, the court clearly erred when it
determined that Lazare committed inequitable conduct
with respect to the ’938 Patent. See Scanner Techs. Corp.
v. ICOS Vision Sys. Corp. N.V., 528 F.3d 1365, 1376 (Fed.
Cir. 2008) (“Whenever evidence proffered to show either
materiality or intent is susceptible of multiple reasonable
inferences, a district court clearly errs in overlooking one
inference in favor of another equally reasonable infer-

Oiling Teflon pans?

An article on non stick frying pans at finance yahoo contains the following text:

So this is what I should have known. I should have “preseasoned” the pan by rinsing and drying it and rubbing it with a paper towel with a little oil on it. Pretty much any type of oil will do.

It’s a good idea to rub about a teaspoon of oil or butter on a cold pan each time you use it, Mr. Winter said, because despite the name nonstick, most of the cookware needs some kind of lubricant.

Wikipedia notes:

For some cooking preparations a non-stick frying pan is inappropriate, especially where the residue of browning, or sucs, is to be incorporated in a later step such as a pan sauce. Since little or no residue can stick to the surface, the sauce will fail for lack of its primary flavoring agent.

Non-stick frying pans featuring teflon coatings must never be heated above about 465 °F/240 °C, a temperature that easily can be reached in minutes.[3] At higher temperatures non-stick coatings decompose and give off toxic fumes.

VC investment in " clean tech " hitting a plateau?

A survey conducted by the National Venture Capital Association and Dow Jones VentureSource found less than half (38 percent) of VCs expect to increase investment in clean tech, signaling the field has hit a plateau.

Meanwhile, LS9 closed a Series D round on Dec. 21, led by investors at BlackRock, and including the company’s existing investors Khosla Ventures, Flagship Ventures and Lightspeed Ventures. See Reuters: Biofuel Startup LS9 Raises $30M, Led By BlackRock

Biofuels Digest noted:

What does that mean? In the near term, Elevance and LS9 are headed for Tractionville, leaving behind a lot of companies still in the Valley of Death, all of whom are looking at their magic bugs and catalysts right now to see how they can participate in the capital flows that are starting to rain down on companies that have renewable chemicals in their crosshairs.


“No one’s gonna drag you up, to get into the light where you belong,” go the lyrics to “The Sign”, Ace of Base’s monster pop hit from 1994, and it’s cautionary advice for the industry.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tracking devices for items in religious displays

The St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Church in Old Bridge, New Jersey installed GPS devices in Baby Jesus figures to forestall theft.

BrickHouse is offering free Jesus trackers to churches and religious communities across the country.

Patentable invention?

"Building a better battery"

Note the article by Yet-Ming Chiang titled "Building a Better Battery" in 330 Science 1485.

It includes the words "exceeding those possible with intercalation reactions."

Lamar Smith to create IP subcommittee

Incoming Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tx) will create a new subcommittee directed to intellectual property.

Tessera wins at CAFC

The punchline:

All other Respondents (collectively “Appellants”) now
appeal the Commission’s final determination, ruling that
Appellants directly infringe the asserted claims of the
’326 patent and contributorily infringe the asserted claims
of the ’419 patent. In re Certain Semiconductor Chips
With Minimized Chip Package Size and Products Contain-
ing Same, No. 337-TA-605, slip op. at 79 (Int’l Trade
Comm’n May 20, 2009) (Public Version) (“Final Determi-
nation”). Because the Commission’s decision is supported
by substantial evidence and is not contrary to law, this
court affirms.

CARTER G. PHILLIPS, Sidley Austin LLP of Washing-
ton, DC, argued for all appellants, and was on the losing

The issues before the CAFC:

On appeal, Appellants challenge two aspects of the
Commission’s determination of the meaning of the claims.
First, Appellants assert that all the asserted claims are
indefinite because the moveable limitation is insolubly
ambiguous. Second, Appellants object to the Commis-
sion’s construction of the claim limitation “downwardly
alongside.” Appellants also appeal the Commission’s
finding of both direct and contributory infringement,
asserting that Tessera failed to meet its burden to show
that the accused products practice the claimed movement.
Finally, Appellants contend that the asserted claims of
both the ’326 and ’419 patents are invalid and appeal the
Commission’s finding that they are not anticipated.

One of the technical issues was thermal expansion:

Moreover, the claims were intended to cover the use of
the invention with semiconductor packages made of a
number of materials, each having different coefficients of
thermal expansion and differing thermal expansion rates.
Interpreting the claimed term “movable” in terms of
appreciable relief of mechanical stress is as precise as
need be and “reasonably apprise[s] those skilled in the art
both of the utilization and scope of the invention.” Shat-
terproof Glass Corp. v. Libbey-Owens Ford Co., 758 F.2d
613, 624 (Fed. Cir. 1985) (internal quotations omitted).


Although determining whether claimed movement
was present in the accused packages required an expert
using detailed computer simulations, this alone does not
indicate that the claims are indefinite. The difficulty or
complexity of the infringement analysis does not necessar-
ily speak to whether a claim is definite or not. See
Datamize, 417 F.3d at 1354 (stating that “indefiniteness
does not depend on the difficulty experienced by a particu-
lar person in comparing the claims with the prior art or
the claims with allegedly infringing products or acts”);
SmithKline Beecham Corp. v. Apotex Corp., 403 F.3d
1331, 1340-41 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (“The test for indefinite-
ness does not depend on a potential infringer’s ability to
ascertain the nature of its own accused product to deter-
mine infringement, but instead on whether the claim
delineates to a skilled artisan the bounds of the inven-
tion.”). Appellants did not carry their burden of persuad-
ing the Commission, nor have they persuaded this court,
that the asserted claims of the ’326 and ’419 patents are
invalid for indefiniteness.

Of disclaimers:

any disclaimers specifically relating to the type of connec-
tion do not apply to the ’326 patent. See Saunders Group,
Inc. v. Comfortrac, Inc., 492 F.3d 1326, 1333 (Fed. Cir.
2007) (“When the purported disclaimers are directed to
specific claim terms that have been omitted or materially
altered in subsequent applications (rather than to the
invention itself), those disclaimers do not apply.”); see also
Ventana Med. Sys. v. Biogenex Labs., 473 F.3d 1173, 1182
(Fed. Cir. 2006) (“[T]he doctrine of prosecution disclaimer
generally does not apply when the claim term in the
descendant patent uses different language.”); Invitrogen
Corp. v. Clontech Labs., Inc., 429 F.3d 1052, 1078 (Fed.
Cir. 2005) (“[T]he prosecution of one claim term in a
parent application will generally not limit different cllanguage in a continuation application.”).

WikiLeaks on BP oil leak in Azerbaijan

One wonders if a different outcome might have arisen in the Gulf Coast oil leak at the Deepwater Horizon had information on the leak in Azerbaijan been fully publicized?


While the Gulf explosion created an ongoing political firestorm, the Azerbaijan leak remained almost forgotten until last week, when another leak - this time of diplomatic cables, released by WikiLeaks - showed just how close BP had come to a major disaster in the Caspian.

Disney's cake application, US 20100315491

Projector systems and methods for producing digitally augmented, interactive cakes and other Food Products


A method for digitally augmenting or enhancing a food product such as the surface or top of a cake or other edible object. The method includes generating an augmentation media file based on a projection surface of the food product such as a digital movie or image that is mapped to the 3D topography of projection surface and that is projected on the food product using a properly aligned projector. Interactivity is provided by having the method include determining a modification or change of the 3D topography of the projection surface and, based upon the modification, generating a modified augmentation media file and operating the projector to use the modified augmentation media file to project a modified projected image on the food product. The method further provides interactivity by detecting a user interaction with the projection surface and generating a modified augmentation media file based on this tracked interaction.

First claim: A method for augmenting a food product, comprising:providing a food product including a projection surface;generating an augmentation media file based on the projection surface;aligning a projector with the projector surface; andoperating the projector to use the augmentation media file to project a projected image on the projection surface.

Monday, December 20, 2010

"60 Minutes" does superior autobiographical memory

In a piece produced by Shari Finkelstein, Lesley Stahl had two segments to cover the concept of "superior autobiographical memory," wherein a person can remember events on basically every past day of one's life. James McGaugh of the University of California at Irvine has been studying the phenomenon. However, it was Lesley who introduced him to the capabilities of Taxi actress (and former UChicago student) Marilu Henner, and then got all five "memorists" together. Curiously, of the five, only Henner had been married.

Curiously, the ability to remember this detail may be linked to compulsive ["OCD"] behavior. These people also have large temporal lobes.

Although Professor McGaugh presented this information as a newly found discovery, one notes that the character "Monk" would seem to manifest these attributes. Specifically, in a Christmas episode of "Monk", the title character goes through events of various Christmas's past with complete recall, including one in which he was given a single walkie-talkie.

InsideHigherEd discusses AUTM survey on university patent licensing

See the story: Universities Gain from Licensing Activity.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

CBS Sunday Morning on December 19, 2010

Charles Osgood introduced the stories for December 19, 2010: Six days to go until Christmas morning. Wrapping is to presents what a cover is to a book. Erin Moriarty does the cover story for December 19 on dust jackets of books. The art of the book cover. Second, "batter up," on cookies, presented by Martha Teichner. When is a cookie, a jewel? Third, Harry Smith on Matt Damon. Are you uncomfortable being a leading man? A walk in the park with Matt Damon. Fourth, Bill Geist on "tis the season" on family Christmas card photos. Awkwardfamilyphotos website. Santa Claus makeover, holiday travel.

Headlines: The Senate voted to repeal don't ask, don't tell. Senate Republicans blocked a bill on immigrants getting citizenship. Victory for Amanda Knox. Blizzards in parts of Europe. Winter storm system causes flooding in California. Forecast: rain in the west; 30s in the east.

The first part of the substantive show was about S.2965, on the passage of the repeal don't ask, don't tell. Zoe Dunning was interviewed. Mike Almy of the Air Force. The vote was 65-31, with 8 Republicans including Susan Collins of Maine. Joe Lieberman called it one of his best days in the Senate. John McCain opposed. In a poll, 2/3 of US troops had indicated repeal wouldn't matter. 1300 gays had been ousted from the military since the Clinton times. Lt. Colonel Victor Farenbach.

The cover of the book can be as memorable as the book itself. Jamie Rabb of Grand Central Publishing was interviewed. A good cover tells you what kind of book it is.
Jackets on crime novels of dark. Different covers for "Twilight" were used in different parts of the world. "We do judge a book by its cover." It's a billboard, they are like carnival barkers." Mendelson on "The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo." What does the future hold for the book cover in an internet world. With ebooks, gone? In last year, sales of ebooks up 193%. In the beginning, in the 15th century, book covers were to protect the book. "Leaves of Grass" book cover was designed by Walt Whitman. in 1880's dust jacket. Example of "The Great Gatsby," with cover worth 8 times more. Chip Kidd did Jurassic Park cover. Remember what happened with Jaws. Toni Boyette, a book buyer, was interviewed: 50% I'm drawn to a book cover. Buying a book isn't just about reading it; it's about owning it. It speaks about who we are.

The Sunday Morning Almanac for December 19, 2010: The New York "Champs and Chumps" was first published by Robert Ripley on December 19 [1918]. Opened his museum at Chicago's Worlds Fair in 1933. Documented his travels on film. Died in 1949 at the age of 58. There is a Believe or Not Museum in New York City. World's largest collection of shrunken heads. Robert Ripley was born on Christmas Day in 1890. [Local Philly channel 3 overlayed a commercial on the presentation of the Almanac.]

"Tis the Season" with trips on travel. Music from Easy Rider. Robert Stack from Airplane. Every airplane is full and costs are up 59% from last year. Charging for checked luggage and fee for pillow. "Project Runway." 22 takeoffs per hour, but scheduled as many as 34 per hours. One airline wants to charge $34 for carryon. Tips: #1. Book on a Wednesday. #2. Get to airport early; place everything metal in your carryon (phones, etc.); dress after security. #3. Two types of bags: Carryon and lost. Thus, ship bags ahead before you yourself fly. Lots of travelers--43 million flying this holiday season.

Twas the night before Christmas, but Mo Rocca does a makeover for Santa. "in the nick of time." Santa as an account for FedEx. Paul Tronzer of FedEx. Move elv workshops near FedEx distribution centers. Gregory Moan of Popular Science writes about Santa. Dressed for success? Tim Gunn on outfits for Santa. A weighty issue. Dr. Travis Stork of The Drs. If you sit too long in one spot, risk of blood clots.

Martha Teichner on cookies followed immediately. Gourmet Magazine does a Christmas cookie each year, with the various cookies of Gourmet summarized in the Cookie Book. Cajun Macaroon in 1941. Honey cookie. Conde Nast closed Gourmet Magazine. In 1993, December was the cookie issue. Cookies glazed with Gran Marnier and dusted with edible gold. (Pande Peace). Candied orange peel. Ruth Reichel was editor in chief. Lavish,priceless jewelry. Cookies playing dressup. Delicious makebelieve. [It seemed like the special issue on cookies for December 1993 never published [?]]

Google offerred final word on words in the last week. Story by John Blackstone is a recycle of a story from CBS News. Copied 5.2 million books. Linguist Nundburg. Books Ngram viewer. The word teenager. Groovy. War, peace.

Train travel. North by Northwest. Then a picture of the Acela. 300 Amtrak trains crisscross America daily. Amtrak does not own much of the track; they have to pullover. The Amtrak's Acela can go 150 mph. but 86 mph between NYC and DC. Increase of 6% over 2009.

JibJab: Osgood dancing with Santa Claus. 2004: Bush v. Kerry race. Starring you videos. Year end review animation. World wide review previewed on Sunday Morning featuring Obama and Biden. In one scene, Obama and Biden exit a JetBlue plane on a chute.

Harry Smith does a Sunday profile on Matt Damon. The Bourne Ultimatum. Damon lives in New York. The Talented Mr. Ripley. Less self-interested than interesting. Character actor rather than leading man. If I have a good character to play that takes care of everything. The Departed. The best people who have directed movies in last 20 years have worked with Matt Damon. That's the horse you are betting on. Once you say "yes" everything you do in servie of the director. Damon didn't see True Grit. Adaptation of the book, not re-make the movie. 15,000 competed for Halley Steinfeld's part. 1988: Mystic Pizza. Now has done 50 films. All the Pretty Horses. Will Hunting in Good Will Hunting (1997). I'm a nobody with director approval. Dropped out of Harvard to pursue film career. Damon grew up in Cambridge. Likened Sarah Palin's VP run to a bad Disney movie. Living the life he dreamed of.

"Receiving the most Christmas cards." Faith Hoenstine. 26.10 on cards and postage. Mail volume is down.

Travel on buses. Dingy, noisy, crowded, uncomfortable. But times have changed. 750million trips per year. Megabus. Boltbus. LimoLiner. Switching to cruises. $299 for a seven night trip.

Bill Geist on Christmas pictures. Family Christmas card photo. Awkward family photos created by Mike Bender. Daughters matching outfits and father not wearing a shirt. Awkwardness generation gap. 80,000 submissions. Then, they did a book which became a best seller. A show at ABC that is being developed for next season. This is the true season of awkwardness: people forced to be together. My gosh he has hit upon something simple, but brilliant, like the pet rock.

[Next week on Sunday Morning: hail, and farewell.]

In 1944, Mel Torme did "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire," rendered by Gharles Osgood on December 19, 2010.

Moment of nature: Partridges on the desert near Beatty, Nevada, otherwise known for its turkey bingo. Some wild burros, too.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A different use for carbon nanotubes

from the internet:

Future airborne wind turbines could spin with greater gusto in the faster winds found at high altitudes, and send power back to Earth via nanotube tether cables. Swarms of energy-harvesting kites, whirling blimps or balloons could stay aloft for a year, and could be reeled in during storms or for maintenance.
This vision, outlined by a researcher at NASA, recently sparked the first federally funded research effort into airborne wind farms. In a bureaucratic infinite loop you just have to love, it’s a study of what it would take to actually study the value of these ideas.
NASA aerospace engineer Mark Moore says it’s worth examining how flying wind farms would work, and how tethered turbines would affect airspace, for instance. Each wind turbine could have a two-mile protected no-fly zone, causing headaches for airliners and unmanned aircraft of the future. But, while it could cause air traffic jams, an airborne farm would not take up any ground resources or cause any pollution, Moore points out.
Plus, wind is more consistent and its velocity is higher at higher altitudes, and the power goes up with the cube of that velocity. You can get between eight and 27 times the power production at 2,000 feet above ground, Moore says.
Offshore flying wind farms would present the fewest airspace problems, but then you would have to bring the energy from the ocean to power plants on land. In other words, it’s a big research problem. Several small companies are studying the concept, like the Italian startup TWIND, which proposes a pair of tethered balloons flying at 2,600 feet. Each balloon has a sail, creating an antagonistic relationship — the balloon with an open sail moves downwind and draws the other balloon upwind, and then the motion reverses. The sails’ movement is transmitted to the ground via the tether, and it can be used to spin a turbine to generate electricity.
But Moore says flying wind turbines involve so many factors — technology, geography, competition for airspace — that the federal government should assume a greater role.
“We’re trying to create a level playing field of understanding, where all of the concepts and approaches can be compared,” he said.
Moore will use $100,000 in federal funds to complete his pre-study study.

See post at idiyas,

The work of Mark Lemley discussed at Patently=O

Within the post titled The Federal Circuit's Use of Legal Scholarship at Patently-O, one finds several comments about Mark Lemley.

On the one hand:

Perhaps the study is missing one important factor - an impartial and objective critique of the quality of the available legal scholarship in the patent domain.

Not to be overly harsh, but if Lemley is held to be typical, the Federal Circuit is better off being less likely than other circuit courts of appeals to use legal scholarship in its decision making.

On the other:

Perhaps the study is missing one important factor - an impartial and objective critique of the quality of the available legal scholarship in the patent domain.

The problem here is that valuations of the quality of particular legal scholarship is highly subjective. For instance, your disdain for Lemley's work is your opinion, but it may not reflect an objective evaluation of his scholarship.

And of the "Ending Abuse" paper in BULR:

If the "legal scholarship" that's going to be cited by the Federal Circuit includes junk like Lemley/Moore's paper on continuation practice, or crapola like Lerner/Jaffe, that would be unfortunate. That stuff is not "legal scholarship." It's ignorance.

Prometheus STILL wins at CAFC after Supreme Court remand

Following remand from the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit still found that Prometheus won:

For the foregoing reasons, we reverse the judgment of
the district court and remand to the court with instruc-
tions to deny Mayo’s motion for summary judgment that
the asserted claims are invalid under § 101.

Of the earlier history, the CAFC noted:

Following our decision in Prometheus, the Supreme
Court issued a decision rejecting the machine-or-
transformation test as the sole, definitive test for deter-
mining the patent eligibility of a process under § 101.
Bilski, 130 S. Ct. at 3226-27. Instead, the Court declined
to adopt any categorical rules outside the well-established
exceptions for laws of nature, physical phenomena, and
abstract ideas, and resolved the case based on its deci-
sions in Gottschalk v. Benson, 409 U.S. 63 (1972), Parker
v. Flook, 437 U.S. 584 (1978), and Diamond v. Diehr, 450
U.S. 175 (1981), holding that Bilski’s claims to methods of
hedging risk are not patentable processes because they
attempt to patent abstract ideas. Id. at 3226, 3229-30.
The Court did not, however, reject the machine-or-
transformation test, but rather characterized the test as
“a useful and important clue, an investigative tool, for
determining whether some claimed inventions are
processes under § 101.” Id. at 3227.

The CAFC mentioned Bilkski, in turn quoting Diehr:

The Supreme Court has also established that while a
law of nature, natural phenomenon, or abstract idea
cannot be patented, “an application of a law of nature or
mathematical formula to a known structure or process
may well be deserving of patent protection.” Bilski, 130 S.
Ct. at 3230 (quoting Diehr, 450 U.S. at 188). In making
this determination, the Court has made clear that a claim
must be considered as a whole; it is “inappropriate to
dissect the claims into old and new elements and then to
ignore the presence of the old elements in the analysis.”
Id. (quoting Diehr, 450 U.S. at 188). Nonetheless, a
scientific principle cannot be made patentable by limiting
its use to a particular technological environment or by
adding insignificant post-solution activity. Diehr, 450
U.S. at 191-92.

Metabolite came up:

Mayo also asserts that the carefully
considered opinion of three Justices—allegedly cited
approvingly by five Justices in Bilski—rejected Prome-
theus’s machine-or-transformation argument for nearly
identical claims in Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings,
Inc. v. Metabolite Laboratories, Inc., 548 U.S. 124, 138-39
(2006), concluding that the claims do not cover a process
for transforming a bodily sample, but rather merely
instruct the user to obtain test results and think about
them. Finally, Mayo claims that the Supreme Court’s
decision to GVR our earlier decision in this case indicates
that a different analysis is required of us on remand.

The CAFC rejected Mayo's argument:

We disagree with Mayo. We do not think that either
the Supreme Court’s GVR Order or the Court’s Bilski
decision dictates a wholly different analysis or a different
result on remand. In our pre-Bilski decision in this case,
we held not only that Prometheus’s asserted claims recite
transformative “administering” and “determining” steps,
but also that Prometheus’s claims are drawn not to a law
of nature, but to a particular application of naturally
occurring correlations, and accordingly do not preempt all
uses of the recited correlations between metabolite levels
and drug efficacy or toxicity. The Supreme Court’s deci-
sion in Bilski did not undermine our preemption analysis
of Prometheus’s claims and it rejected the machine-or-
transformation test only as a definitive test. The Court
merely stated that “[t]he Court of Appeals incorrectly
concluded that this Court has endorsed the machine-or-
transformation test as the exclusive test.” 130 S. Ct. at
3226 (emphasis added). The Court stated that it had
previously noted in Benson, 409 U.S. at 70, that
“[t]ransformation and reduction of an article ‘to a differ-
ent state or thing’ is the clue to the patentability of a
process claim that does not include particular machines.”
Id. at 3227. Thus, the Court did not disavow the ma-
chine-or-transformation test. And, as applied to the
present claims, the “useful and important clue, an inves-
tigative tool,” leads to a clear and compelling conclusion,
viz., that the present claims pass muster under § 101.
They do not encompass laws of nature or preempt natural

Treatment, not correlation:

As discussed below,
the claims recite specific treatment steps, not just the
correlations themselves. And the steps involve a particu-
lar application of the natural correlations: the treatment
of a specific disease by administering specific drugs and
measuring specific metabolites. As such, and contrary to
Mayo’s assertions, the claims do not preempt all uses of
the natural correlations; they utilize them in a series of
specific steps. See Diehr, 450 U.S. at 187 (“Their process
admittedly employs a well-known mathematical equation,
but they do not seek to preempt the use of that equation.
Rather, they seek only to foreclose from others the use of
that equation in conjunction with all of the other steps in
their claimed process.”). The inventive nature of the
claimed methods stems not from preemption of all use of
these natural processes, but from the application of a
natural phenomenon in a series of steps comprising
particular methods of treatment. Other drugs might be
administered to optimize the therapeutic efficacy of the
claimed treatment.
We similarly reaffirm that the treatment methods
claimed in Prometheus’s patents in suit satisfy the trans-
formation prong of the machine-or-transformation test, as
they “transform an article into a different state or thing,”
and this transformation is “central to the purpose of the
claimed process.” See Bilski, 545 F.3d at 962. The trans-
formation is of the human body and of its components
following the administration of a specific class of drugs
and the various chemical and physical changes of the
drugs’ metabolites that enable their concentrations to be
determined. We thus have no need to separately deter-
mine whether the claims also satisfy the machine prong of
the test.

Who is guilty of espionage in the Wikileaks matter?

ABC News notes the all-encompassing reach of the US Espionage Act:

The World War I-era law is broadly written and criminalizes anyone who possesses or transmits any "information relating to the national defense" which an individual has "reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation."

If WikiLeaks, which allegedly did not steal the documents, is guilty of espionage for printing them, so too might be the New York Times, U.K.'s The Guardian, and Germany's Der Spiegel, which have replicated and disseminated the materials worldwide, some experts say.

Individual users of Twitter and Facebook and other social media who spread links to the documents far and wide, or even discussed the contents in public, could also technically be liable.

Mylan sued by Shionogi Pharma/CIMA over generic Orapred ODT®

A PR Newswire release confirms a Hatch-Waxman patent infringement suit against Mylan:

Mylan Inc. (Nasdaq: MYL) today confirmed that the company and its subsidiary Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. have been sued by Shionogi Pharma Inc. and CIMA LABS INC. in connection with the filing of an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Prednisolone Sodium Phosphate Orally Disintegrating Tablets, 10 mg, 15 mg and 30 mg. This product is the generic version of Orapred ODT®, a corticosteroid indicated as an anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressive agent for the treatment of certain endocrine conditions and for palliation of certain neoplastic conditions.

Detroit gets first satellite US Patent Office

An article in the Detroit Free Press begins:

The U.S. Patent and Trade Office is to open its first satellite office in Detroit in the summer and will hire 100 patent examiners to help reduce the agency's vast backlog of requests.

The article includes the text:

Because of research and development done by the auto industry, Michigan has more applicants than most other states, said Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who, along with the state's congressional delegation, lobbied for the office in Detroit.

IPBiz notes that the auto industry is not a leader in granted patents in the U.S., so that the text Because of research and development done by the auto industry, Michigan has more applicants than most other states might be questioned. The same questioning could be applied to the take of Michigan politicians:

"Michigan's selection for the first regional satellite patent office speaks to the wealth of engineering talent and innovation in our state," said U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said "it makes perfect sense" for Detroit to get the office because of the "groundbreaking research in areas such as agriculture, batteries and autos" being done in the state.

Within the story, one does find the following "wish" for an examination time: [Locke] said the Commerce Department wants to bring down the waiting time for a determination to about a year.

One recalls an earlier statement from the USPTO that they could not hire their way out of the backlog.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Corrupt network of insiders at some of the world's leading technology companies"

On 16 Dec 2010, certain"expert consultants" who had revealed secrets about Apple Inc.'s iPhone and other technology products to hedge funds were arrested. includes a quote:

The charges allege that a "corrupt network of insiders at some of the world's leading technology companies served as so-called 'consultants' who sold out their employers by stealing and then peddling their valuable inside information," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.

AppleInsider writes:

Walter Shimoon, senior director of business development at Flextronics, allegedly provided "highly confidential" sales forecasts and details for an unreleased iPhone during his time as a consultant for "expert-network" firm Primary Global. (...)

According to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, a government complaint filed with Shimoon's arrest included a transcript of a wire tap in which Shimoon allegedly said, "It’s a new category altogether. I believe it’s called K48 ... At Apple, you can get fired for saying K48 ... outside of a meeting that doesn’t have K48 people in it. That’s how crazy they are about it."

In a moment of unwitting precognition, he is also alleged to have told a witness cooperating with the investigation, "That would really suck if you recorded all the calls."

Expert-network firms charge a fee to investors for arranging "consulting sessions" between investors and employees of public companies for the purposes of market research, the Journal noted. (...)

Primary Global vice president and sales manager James Fleishman, who was also arrested Thursday, told one executive cooperating with the government, "whatever you're looking for, whether it is short term or long term, we'll have people."

Other consultants charged in the case include former employees at Dell, AMD and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. They were charged with "wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud," the Journal reports.

A different take on the event may be found at cryptome:

This news just came in. Apple's brazen manipulation of the press and even legal system is sickening beyond belief. Apparently they are arresting employees for "leaking" information about the iPad to Wall Street....against the backdrop of having stolen the WHOLE device...which they have used as a vehicle to fuel Apple's mammoth rise in share price since 2007.

David Perry on OnLive's US 7,849,491

Perry told Venture Beat: "We share OnLive's vision that streamed gaming is a key element of the future of the video game industry. We do not expect the general concept of remote gaming to be patentable, as many of us played remote games in the '70s, '80s and '90s."

On OnLive's US Patent US 7,849,491:

OnLive's US 7,849,491: a video game industry changer?

The question may not be about prior art in the '70s but rather about "high twitch" and the numeric limitations in claim 1 of the '491 patent.

Separately, from Mark Lemley on Facebook, and the like:

Mark Lemley of Stanford Law School and Durie Tangri concurred with Olin. As we move to a couple of platforms that you really have to be on in order to succeed on the Internet, the difficulty becomes you can suddenly just not be there anymore.

Blacklight to demo technology in 2011 [?]

PBT Consulting begins a post: Controversial firm BlackLight Power says it will show off how it can generate power with water and the equivalent of pocket change next year.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

OnLive's US 7,849,491 a video game industry changer?

Don Clark quotes Steve Perlman on US 7,849,491 [Apparatus and method for wireless video gaming ] : “This is an industry-changing patent."

The first claim:

A method of operating a video game box comprising:
downloading a software video game to a storage device via a wireless transceiver, the software video game being compliant with a game platform standard; running the software video game on a game card coupled to the video game box via an interface, the game card including a processor, a memory and a graphics engine, the game card providing a game platform compliant with the game platform standard, high twitch-action video game data being output through the interface; processing the high twitch-action video game data for output to a display device; compressing the high twitch-action video game data with a latency of less than approximately 80 ms, but greater than about 5 ms; wirelessly transmitting the compressed high twitch-action video game data to a remote player via the wireless transceiver during interactive play of the software video game, the remote player being located a distance beyond a transmission distance of the wireless transceiver.

The patent is within a family of applications:

This application is related to applications Ser. No. 10/315,694, filed Dec. 10, 2002, entitled, "ANTENNA ASSEMBLY FOR SATELLITE AND WIRELESS SERVICES"; now U.S. Pat. No. 7,493,078; Ser,No. 10/314,624, filed Dec. 10, 2002, entitled, "Wireless NETWORK PROVIDING DISTRIBUTED VIDEO/DATA SERVICES"; now U.S. Pat No. 7,684,752; and Ser. No. 10/315,788, filed Dec. 10, 2002, entitled, "MASS STORAGE REPOSITORY FOR A WIRELESS NETWORK", now U.S. Pat. No. 7,55,525; each of which is assigned to the assignee of the present application.

In Japan, dead things are alive, and live ones are extinct

An AP News story mentions that a Japanese salmon species [the black kokanee] thought to be extinct for 70 years is alive and well in a lake near Mount Fuji [ Lake Saiko ]. The real surprise is that 100,000 eggs were previously transported to Lake Saiko, and nobody (until 2010) apparently could find any kokanee. So, something that has been alive all along was considered extinct (dead).

In the realm of human life, Japan reports a huge number of people [40,000?] in Japan over the age of 100 or so years. In reality, most are mummies lying in the back rooms of their houses, and still drawing social security benefits for their relatives. This business was highlighted in a recent blog about the Nelson case, now pending at the US Supreme Court, wherein the UofChicago blogger brought up the Sogen Kato case in Japan:

Approximately thirty years ago, Sogen Kato became involved in an argument with his relatives, and then retreated into his bedroom to sleep. He never came out. Evidently none of the family members who shared his apartment went in to disturb him. This past July, after Kato ostensibly became Tokyo's oldest living man, Japanese government officials sought to contact him to congratulate him on his longevity. After being given the run-around by his nervous relatives as to his availability, government officials eventually showed up at Kato's apartment and discovered his mummified remains in the bedroom. His reprehensible relatives, who collected more than $100,000 in pension benefits in Kato's name during his "lifetime," are in very hot water.

**Of NASA v. Nelson, employerlawreport notes:

The Supreme Court will address the question whether NASA violated the plaintiffs’ constitutional right to informational privacy by (1) requiring the contract employee to answer whether he or she had received counseling or treatment for illegal drug use in the prior year and/or (2) asking the contract employees’ designated references for any adverse information bearing on their suitability to work at a federal facility.

Maybe the Japanese government needs rights to investigate the status of alleged 100 year olds. Maybe the USPTO needs more horsepower as to prior art, too.

Kodak, Shutterfly trade patent suits

In a story by Dow about patent infringement suits between Kodak and Shutterfly, one has the text:

The company [Kodak] has relied in large part on patent settlements for revenue in recent years as it waits for new business lines, such as inkjet printers, to gain traction. Kodak has suits pending against Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Research in Motion Ltd. (RIMM), and last winter scored significant royalty deals with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (SSNHY, 005930.SE) and LG Electronics Inc. (066570.SE) for its digital-camera technology.

In another sign of its woes, Kodak--a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average until 2004--will be removed from the Standard & Poor's 500 index at the end of trading Friday, in part due to its declining market capitalization. The company's market value is about $1.4 billion.

Looking back on access to US patents

It wasn't that long ago that the public did not have free access to the texts of US patents.

From an IPBiz post in May 2005:

Lest we forget, the USPTO opposed the idea of a database.
From the May 4, 1998 NYT -->

"The outcome with the Patent and Trademark Office was not as
successful," Mr. Malamud wrote in his letter. The agency, he said, refused to change its position.

Officials at the Patent and Trademark Office responded that the
agency was in a difficult position because it is self-financed and that making raw patent data available for wholesale public downloading would jeopardize the agency's existence.

Bruce Lehman, the Commissioner of the Patent and Trademark Office, said in a telephone interview that he did not have a philosophical quarrel with the idea
of making patent information more publicly available. He said his
agency had begun making some of its information available on its Web site. For example, it is now possible to retrieve the first page of any patent filed in the last 20 years and then request a paper copy of the entire patent document. [Weren't we lucky in 1998?]

*** Of the old IBM system-->

The issue, according to Mr. Malamud, is that Federal agencies have
been dragging their heels in an area that is vital to commerce and
technology innovation. He said that although I.B.M. has put patent data on line, its system is cumbersome and not widely used by competitors who fear that their searches might tip off I.B.M. to their current research.

"If you were an engineer at Sun Microsystems, you'd be crazy to do searches on the I.B.M. patent data base," he said.

***Separately, on proposals which correlate patents with innovation, from an IPBiz post in Sept. 2005:

In the last few months, there has been discussion of "number of patents" or "number of patents/employee" correlating with innovation. This is likely nonsense. Innovation is one thing; invention is another. Sometimes they are related; sometimes not.

From [cnet]:

Piling up patents, though, can have as much to do with business strategy as with inventing things.

Zuckerberg as "innovator of the year"

Bloomberg notes:

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook Inc., was named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” today for “creating a new system of exchanging information” and “changing how we all live our lives.”

An innovator is one who changes the way we live. That definitely happened here.

See also

Frenzy over Facebook's US 7,809,805

On invention vs. innovation

Invention vs. Innovation

When innovation is marketing based

Invention and innovation are not the same thing

"And outsourcing can often deliver real innovation, especially in economic development "

It takes more than patents for innovation to occur
An article by Tom Still correctly differentiates the act of "getting a patent" from the result of effecting change ("innovating")

At IPBiz in July 2007:

IPBiz notes that patents were NEVER (originally or otherwise) supposed to be for innovations. Patents are for disclosure of inventions that conform to the requirements of patent law. The difference between innovation and invention is discussed in many places, including at Getting the Patent Reform Wars on Track .

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Honda's 7,853,539 : Discriminating speech and non-speech

The first claim of Honda's '539 patent:

A computer implemented methodology for sound discrimination, comprising: receiving a training set of sound waveforms; generating a cortical representation of the training set; computing a matrix decomposition using the cortical representation of the training set including computing a singular value decomposition (SVD) using the cortical representation of the training set, wherein the SVD is the matrix decomposition; receiving a plurality of regularization parameters; computing coefficients for each regularization parameter using the matrix decomposition; computing a leave-one-out (LOO) error for each of the regularization parameters; and selecting the regularization parameter with the lowest LOO error.

US 7,853,249: choreographing movement

The first claim of US 7,853,249:

A method for choreographing and synchronizing movement of individuals for an event, which method comprises: providing each individual of a group with a wireless audio unit; and transmitting body movement instruction signals to the audio units of each individual of the group, wherein the audio units are configured to receive the signals and to play audio directions for each individual that correspond to choreographed and coordinated body movements to carry out the event.

Field of invention:

The invention generally relates to systems for machine control of human actions. In an implementation, the invention is a multimedia composition tool that utilizes software on a computer system to generate a series of scored commands on a timeline corresponding to a choreographed piece, and then transmits the commands to a group or groups of people who perform the piece.

Monday, December 13, 2010

"Strategic decision" as omnibus euphemism for screw-up

From the infamy or praise blog:

“Strategic decision” is the language that full-of-themselves lawyers hide behind when they realize that they’ve – to put it simply – royally screwed up, but don’t want to take the hit to their reputation. It’s also the language that courts use to coddle these lawyers. Anyone who’s ever honestly practiced criminal law and who puts the client’s interests before their own will see this for what it is: bullshit.

Elsewhere in the post is a commentary about lists:

when it comes to your reputation, fortune, and freedom, why would you rely primarily on one of the many lists of lawyers who are somehow "Best", "Super", or "Ones to Watch"?

IPBiz notes that one might ask the colleagues of William Hamman why they relied on the opinions of others as to his qualifications, which were in fact non-existent in the cardiology business?

Fenn obit in The Scientist mentions patent problems

The obit in The Scientist for Nobelist John Fenn:

Chemist John Fenn, who shared the 2002 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for vastly improving the ability of mass spectrometry to identify large proteins, passed away on Friday at the age of 93. As a Yale professor, Fenn developed a technique called electrospray ionization, in which a strong electric field is used to “unclump” bulky proteins, making them discernible as individual molecules in a mass spectrometer. His work netted him science’s highest honor, but according to the New York Times, legal wrangling over the patent rights cost Fenn $1 million in fines after he personally patented the process and licensed it to a company he co-founded—against Yale policy.

See IPBiz

Spicer sues Yale University over patent royalties

Electrospray mass spectrometry of John Fenn; Bayh-Dole dispute

**The obit for Fenn in Science did not mention the patent matter but did note the following:

"The problem with education today is that the material goes from the notebook of the Professor to the notebook of the student without going through the minds of either of them."

331 Science 160 (14 Jan 2011)


"Trademark" owner tarnishing product?

In the world of trademarks, the trademark owner generally works to maintain the high quality of the underlying product. The owner would not publicly suggest that the product is sub-par.

In the recent interchanges between Clippers owner Donald Sterling and player Baron Davis, one has the odd situation of an owner berating a product, with courtside comments like

“Why are you in the game?”

“You’re out of shape!”

The William Hamman fraud

According to an AP report, William Hamman shared millions in grants, had university and hospital posts, and bragged of work for prestigious medical groups BUT he had no medical residency, fellowship, doctoral degree or the 15 years of clinical experience he claimed. Hamman did medical school for a few years but withdrew and didn't graduate.

The AP story also had a quote from a doctor who gave Hamman a medical training contract:

"I was shocked to hear the news," said Dr. W. Douglas Weaver, who was president of the cardiology group when it gave Hamman a training contract for up to $250,000 plus travel a few years ago. "He was totally dedicated to what he was doing, and there is a real need for team-based education in medicine," said Weaver, a pilot himself from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

The nonexistent "15 years of experience" evokes the Ridings matter wherein the Trump organization was bamboozled.
See previous IPBiz post:
Resume of Trump's E.J. Ridings questioned
The Ridings fraud was exposed by Stephen Gandel of Money.

It's a strange world when news organizations conduct more due diligence than the people with money (and credibility) at stake.

Yes, medical journals did publish papers with Hamman as a co-author. From AP:

Journals that printed articles listing Hamman with M.D. and Ph.D. degrees are being contacted in case they want to correct the work. Beaumont removed him from a U.S. Department of Defense medical simulation contract that a physician at the hospital had obtained.

Hamman claimed degrees from the University of Wisconsin.

Part of the Hamman story evokes the Wheeler saga at Harvard:

It's easy for groups to assume someone else has vetted a popular speaker, said Dr. William O'Neill, a legendary cardiologist who spent 17 years at Beaumont before becoming an executive dean at the University of Miami in 2006.
"Somehow you've gotten the name or seen them in the literature," said O'Neill, who has helped with many conferences. When he heard that Mehta and others had been duped by Hamman's phony degrees, "I thought, `There but for the grace of God go I.'"
Hamman's ambition may have done him in. In checking a grant proposal he wanted to submit in late spring, the Beaumont staff discovered the lack of an M.D. degree, said spokeswoman Colette Stimmell. Hamman resigned June 15.

For some background on Adam Wheeler duping Harvard:

Adam Wheeler dupes Harvard

What Forbes needs to learn from Adam Wheeler