Sunday, December 29, 2019

HIPAA in the waiting room

The abbreviation/acronym for the "Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act" is HIPAA.

Imagine walking into a doctor's office and seeing HIPAA referenced as "HIPPA."

Then, on suggesting the office change the offending sign, being told that "HIPPA" was correct!

PHI is "individually identifiable health information transmitted or maintained by a covered entity or its business associates." Photography of other patients by someone in the waiting room may be deemed the creation individually identifiable health information, but it is not maintained by a covered entity. Photography of waiting rooms, unrelated to any patients, is likely not related to PHI or to HIPAA.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Civil War historian William S. McFeely died 11 December 2019

The Washington Post noted the death of William S. McFeely who was an undergraduate advisor to Henry Louis Gates Jr. at Yale University.
McFeely had a New Jersey connection (a graduate of Ramsey High School) and, of course, had a Civil War connection, through various books, including a biography of Ulysses S. Grant, of which the Washington Post wrote:

In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, the Grant biography received the Francis Parkman Prize, an annual award from the Society of American Historians for a historical study of exceptional literary merit.

Although not mentioned by the Washington Post, the McNeely biography was critical of Grant, especially as to his military abilities, which view was in contrast to earlier historians such as Bruce Catton.

James M. McPherson (Princeton University) in Civil War History, Volume 27, Number 4, December 1981, pp. 362-366, cataloged various factual errors of McFeely:

The large number of careless errors that have found their way into this book raise doubts
about McFeely's understanding of this history. Most of these errors,
standing alone, would be of small consequence and not worth mentioning,
but their cumulative impact is distressing: It is not true that by
August 10, 1861, Union forces "had yet to achieve a victory" (p. 88);
Sherman was not the senior general under Grant at Shiloh (p. Ill); Memphis
was captured by the Union river navy, not by General Pope's
army (p. 120); Sherman had four divisions, not three regiments, for his
attack on Chickasaw Bluffs (p. 125); this attack occurred on December
29, 1862, not New Year's Day (p. 126); after the failure of this attack,
Sherman and McClemand did not order their troops into winter
quarters, but took them up the Arkansas River to capture the fort at
Arkansas Post (p. 126); the final day of the battle of Gettysburg wasJuly 3,
not July 4 (p. 137); the statement that the capture of Vicksburg "was
not achieved through a battle at all" is false (p. 137); Burnside did not
replace Buell as commander of the Army of the Ohio (p. 147); it is not
true that "Grant never forgave Thomas for the fact that the men of the
Army of the Cumberland" carried the assault on Missionary Ridge (p. 148);
Jeb Stuart's cavalry was not at the James River at the beginning
of the battle of the Wilderness (p. 167); Upton's assault at Spotsylvania
on May 10 is confused with the gruesome day-long fighting at the
Bloody Angle on May 12 (p. 169); at the battle of the Crater, Burnside's
troops had to cut their way through abatis in front of their own lines, not
wire (p. 179); George Crook commanded the Eighth Corps at Fisher's
Hill, not the cavalry, and more than eight of his men were killed there
(p. 185); Joseph Johnston was not in command of Confederate forces in
Georgia during Sherman's march from Atlanta to the sea (p. 191); the
battle of Nashville was not the "last great battle" of the war (p. 195)—
both in terms of casualties and import, the fighting at Five Forks and
Petersburg on April 1-2, 1865, constituted a larger battle; there was no
"final assault on Richmond" (p. 214)—Confederate troops evacuated
the city and Union troops entered without resistance; Lee surrendered
approximately 27,000 men at Appomattox, not 8,000 (p. 220); the
Reconstruction Act of March 2, 1867, created five military districts for
ten southern states, not five states (p. 259); Oliver O. Howard was not
the highest-ranking general in the army in 1870 (p. 377); and Georges Clemenceau
did not cover the war, but rather Reconstruction, as a
reporter for a French newspaper (p. 464).

Ethan S. Rafuse, in Still a Mystery? General Grant and the Historians, 1981 to 2006
within The Journal of Military History, Vol. 71, No. 3 (Jul., 2007), pp. 849-874,

For the most part, ;historians] have portrayed
Grant as a great general and good man, dissenting strongly with the
highly negative portrayal of Grant contained in William S. McFeely's
1981 Pulitzer Prize-winning study. This essay traces the evolution
of Grant scholarship since 1981 (...)

Rafuse references a review by Current:

Richard N. Current advised readers of Reviews in American History to look elsewhere
for insights into Grant's generalship, as McFeely's work offered "nothing
about the genius of a Civil War general" and, in its accounts of Grant's
campaigns, gave readers "no indication that the man's presence made
any difference."

One surmises that MacKinlay Kantor (Pulitzer Prize winner for Andersonville) might have disagreed with
Grant as a fungible general. In If the South Had Won the Civil War, a 1961 alternate history book by Kantor,
the outcome of Vicksburg is reversed simply by having Grant die in a fall from a horse.

The Washington Post recounts an interesting exchange:

While teaching at Yale, Dr. McFeely often toured the South,
seeking to recruit promising African American students and professors.
In the classroom, he was sometimes challenged by students, Gates later recalled,
who questioned his authority to teach black history.

“At the end of each lecture,” Gates said in a 2013 forum at the Brookings Institution,
“somebody black would stand up and give him a hard time for being white.
And they would just be very abusive and very rude . . . how dare he teach this course?
And he said he was working hard to hire a black man, but until then, shut up and take your notes and pass your exam.”

link to Washington Post article:

Link to Kantor's "If the South..."

As a small comment, there has been some discussion of Grant at Paducah, Kentucky in December 1862 (specifically General Order No. 11 issued on December 17, 1862 ). Grant and Lew Wallace met in Paducah, KY.

As an undergraduate at Yale, Gates majored in history. His Ph.D. from Cambridge is in English literature [topic: the critical reception of black literature during the Enlightenment]


Monday, December 09, 2019

Oral argument in Thryv, Inc. v. Click-to-Call Technologies, LP on 9 December 2019

Mr. Charnes got the ball rolling with

The text of the America Invents Act, the statutory history, the statute's policy goals, and this Court's decision in Cuozzo all confirm that Section 314(d) precludes judicial review of the director's time-barred determination under section 315(b).

Justice Kavanaugh spoke of "shenanigans":

Cuozzo had a part that, of course, responded to concerns that have been raised, I --I think in the dissent, and says we --our interpretation does not enable the agency to act outside its statutory limits, for example; such shenanigans may be properly reviewable and focused really on the narrow issue before it. So how do we take into account that language from the decision?

Justice Gorsuch spoke of "killing patents":

But, Mr. Charnes, let's --let's --just to follow up on this, let's just hypothesize that someone has tried to undo this patent four times or maybe even more in a court of law, failed for various reasons every single time, and then comes to the director of patents, who has a political mission, perhaps, to kill patents, let's just say. And it is clearly time-barred under the statute. Let's just hypothesize that. And yet, the director goes ahead and does it anyway.

Under your submission to the Court, I believe you're saying that is a shenanigan this Court cannot review.

The word "only" gets explicated:

JUSTICE KAVANAUGH: I think you are saying it's wrong, to pick up on Justice Ginsburg's question, at least the use of the word "only."

MR. CHARNES: I --I think it's not a complete description. I think that's --let me, Justice Kavanaugh --I think it's not --that's not the only basis that this Court explained in Cuozzo. I think that's --that's a fair point.

Maeve Reston on Biden's "damn liar" retort to 83 year old Merle Gorman

Related to the recent post on IPBiz [
Biden boasting about his IQ again? Go back to April 3, 1987 in Claremont, New Hampshire
], IPBiz notes the recent post by
Maeve Reston of CNN titled
Analysis: What Biden's 'damn liar' exchange shows when it comes to his candidacy

Within Reston's analysis of the exchange between Biden and the 83 year old Merle Gorman, one finds Reston writing:

The mano-a-mano moment was reminiscent of Biden's exchange during his 1988 campaign with New Hampshire voter Frank Fahey
who asked Biden where he went to law school and what his class rank was.

"I think I probably have a much higher IQ than you do, I suspect. I went to law school on a full academic scholarship,"
the then-Delaware senator replied. "I'd be delighted to sit down and compare my IQ to yours if you'd like."

Of course the facts [fat?] were mis-stated by Biden in 1987, who did not go to Syracuse Law School on a full academic scholarship and graduated
well near the bottom of his law school class. And Biden separately received an "F" in one 1L course for plagiarism.

See for example, Michael Chapman's 2019 post titled Flashback: 'Biden Admits Plagiarizing in Law School,' 'Academic Claims Inaccurate' as well as various posts on IPBiz through the years.

The charge by the 83 year old was that Biden sent his "son over there, to get a job and work for a gas company, that he had no experience with gas, nothing."
The specific denial, related to the scope of the question, was basically no, I did not send my son over there. Whether Hunter Biden getting a high paying job at the
time Joe Biden was Vice-President might be construed to be "bad optics," even if Joe Biden decided to look the other way.

Perhaps Merle Gorman could have asked the question in a different way, limiting the issue to Hunter [last name] Biden getting big bucks at the same time
Joe [last name] Biden influenced US policy in the Ukraine.

Reston also wrote:

The exchange unfolded at a town hall in New Hampton, Iowa, on Thursday afternoon when Biden's 83-year-old adversary inaccurately accused of the former vice president of arranging a job for his son Hunter at a Ukraine oil company, thereby "selling access to the presidency," and punctuated his charges by asserting Biden was just "too old" to be commander in chief.

"You're a damn liar man," Biden said, addressing the allegation about Hunter with a flash of anger in his eyes. "That's not true and no one has ever said that."

He answered the man's attack on his age and his mental agility by showing the streak of unvarnished masculinity that has long been part of Biden's public persona.

"You want to check my shape -- let's do push-ups together man. Let's run, let's do whatever you want to do," Biden said.

repeating Biden's error of referencing the company as an oil company, when in fact as Gorman noted, it is a gas company.

Separately, one wonders "how macho" it is to challenge an 83 year old to do pushups, or compare IQs.

See also [On the Delaware bar matter]

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Biden boasting about his IQ again? Go back to April 3, 1987 in Claremont, New Hampshire

Joe Biden had a testy exchange with a voter in New Hampton, Iowa on 5 December 2019.
Joe Biden Challenges Iowa Man to a Push-Up Contest During Heated Exchange , including the text "You're too old to vote for me." See also Bloomberg:

NBC noted: Biden then directed the man's attention to the questions about his age, challenging him to do pushups, run or take an IQ test with him. LINK:

Local TV station WHO recounted the exchange in the following way:

After the man pushed back again, Biden replied, "You said I set up my son to work for an oil company, isn't that what you said? Get your words straight, Jack!"

The man, 83, also challenged Biden on his age, saying, "You're damn near as old as I am. You're too old. I'm 83 and I know damn well I don't have the mental faculties I did when I was 30 years old."

Biden replied by challenging the man to do push-ups or take an IQ test with him: "If you want to take my shape, let's do push-ups together, let's run, let's do whatever you want to do. Let's take an IQ test."

The terse exchange ended with the man saying he wouldn't vote for Biden, who replied that he knew he wouldn't. Biden called the voter "too old" to vote for him.

"Well, I knew you weren't, man. You think I thought you'd stand up and vote for me. You're too old to vote for me," said Biden.


[As one point, the 83 year old mentioned a gas company, not an "oil" company: The man accused Biden of sending his "son over there, to get a job and work for a gas company, that he had no experience with gas, nothing."]

Now, go back over 30 years to April 3, 1987 in Claremont, NH: in response to a question about his law school record from a man identified only as "Frank." Mr. Biden looked at his questioner and said: "I think I have a much higher I.Q. than you do."

See IPBiz post:
The "crass edge"?


Went to a garden party: does Joe Biden hide in your shoes?

Will there be a new hat inscribed "Too old to vote for Joe"?

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Judge CLEVENGER's dissent in Plastic Onium: The district court took its eye off the ball.

Judge Clevenger characterized the dispute differently from the majority (and the district court):

But by blessing the district court’s
analysis, the majority commits the same error. Both rely
on Donghee’s nomenclature—the fact that its cutting structure
is called a “die”—to find no infringement. That analysis elides the key factual dispute: Does Donghee’s accused
process have more than one die? The real dispute therefore
is not over an extruded parison and what it takes to create
one—in fact, the parties agree on that front—but is instead
over the term “die” and whether Donghee’s extrusion head
contains one. Plastic Omnium presented sufficient evidence to create a
material factual dispute over the structure of Donghee’s extrusion head, and I therefore
respectfully dissent from the majority’s decision.


The error that the district court committed, and that
the majority approves, stems from the assumption that the
relevant die for purposes of infringement is Donghee’s flat
die tool. Both rely on Donghee’s chosen nomenclature for
its cutting tool, i.e., “flat die tool,” to find that Donghee’s
process involves cutting molten plastic inside of a “die,” instead of
upon or after extrusion from the “die.” Because the
claims require cutting a parison, and a parison cannot be
cut before it is formed by being forced through a die, the
district court and the majority believe that there cannot exist the
claimed parison in Donghee’s process. But just because Donghee calls its cutting tool a “die” does not mean
it is the relevant die for purposes of the infringement analysis.


The district court took its eye off the ball.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

What does the Civil War battle of Shiloh teach us about trade deals with China? Likely not much.

In a post titled Trade warriors should heed bloody lessons of the Civil War , LEE SCHAFER begins

As the trade war with China continues with no real end in sight, those in charge of American trade policy might want to revisit the story of the American Civil War Battle of Shiloh.

The gist of Schafer's point:

That’s when the reality of the war finally sank in for Grant: There wasn’t going to be any one decisive action that could bring it to a quick close. As Grant later wrote in his memoirs, “I gave up all idea of saving the Union except by complete conquest.”

It would take years and many more horrific battles.

Now, try to think back to when the recent trade conflicts first really escalated. It was March 2018, and maybe the easiest thing to remember from that period is the president’s observation that “trade wars are good, and easy to win.”

Schafer notes:

The U.S. Army contingent that gathered there in 1862 was led by two of the most celebrated West Point graduates ever, Ulysses S. Grant and his right-hand guy, William T. Sherman.

Well, one needs to ask "how celebrated" Grant and Sherman were at the time of Shiloh.

Grant was fighting rumors of his drunkeness and Sherman had recently been labeled crazy. With his problems, Sherman had been removed from command of the Army of the Ohio and replaced by Don Carlos Buell, whose command comprised the re-enforcements mentioned by Schafer. Buell considered his command independent, and would spend the rest of his life taking credit for the victory at Shiloh. [The big loser of Shiloh, apart from those who lost their lives, was Lew Wallace, but his experience led to Ben-Hur.]

At the time of Shiloh, Grant was going after railroads, not armies, and was caught by surprise at Shiloh by Albert Sidney Johnston, who was the number two ranking general in the Confederate army (ahead of Lee). Johnston was killed in the battle, the highest ranking general officer killed during the Civil War. His death did not help the Confederates.

As to --Sherman had been dismissive of repeated reports of a nearby Confederate threat. --, Sherman's earlier removal had been in large part because he saw Confederate threats everywhere, and he was likely overcompenating at Shiloh by his previous "paranoia."

It's not clear that Grant, during the Civil War, felt that a big military victory would end things. Lee, on the other hand, prior to Gettysburg in the May June 1863 time, sold just such an idea to the Confederate leadership. And MacKinlay Kantor laid out just such a hypothetical ending to the Civil War, based on a Union loss at Vicksburg (through the death of Grant) and a Union disaster at Gettysburg.

More on Lew Wallace, Shiloh, and Cincinnati

Monday, December 02, 2019

From Coons and Stivers on patent reforms

From The Hill on 2 December 2019:

Our STRONGER Patents Act would restore much needed balance to the U.S. patent system
and predictability for American innovators and entrepreneurs. It would ensure that innovators
can focus on research and development rather than wasting resources re-litigating patents
that have already survived multiple rounds of scrutiny. It would require courts to recognize
the property rights established by our Founders while also empowering the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on frivolous infringement claims.


The theme of purloined parrots

A 1974 episode of McCloud, titled The Gang that Stole Manhattan has Larry Hagman playing a tv/movie detective named Larry Harris who fashions himself a useful assistant to McCloud in solving the case. The trivia section of IMDB for this episode notes:

At one point, Hagman says,"This reminds of an episode on my show,
'The Case of the Purloined Parrot'."

"The Case of the Purloined Parrot" was an episode of the Hanna-Barbara
cartoon starring cat & mouse detectives Snooper & Blabber (both voiced by Daws Butler)
that aired on NBC on February 8, 1960.

The Hanna-Barbera show Quick Draw McGraw included the Snooper/Blabber cartoon with Alfy Parrot as a parody on Alfred Hitchcock.

A 1957 episode of Perry Mason titled The Case of the Perjured Parrot could easily have been titled The Case of the Purloined Parrot, as the real parrot named Casanova was in fact stolen. And, no, no parrot committed perjury in the episode.

Also prior to the 1974 episode of McCloud was the 1967 episode of the Avengers titled The Bird Who Knew Too Much, with the title relating to two previous Hitchcock films. Therein, a blue and gold macaw named Captain Caruso [Crusoe?] is taught military secrets. See also: