Monday, September 17, 2012

Business Money Balances: Cash Flow Explained via Venture Capitalist (VC) Fred Wilson at AVC: Consuming and Producing Cash

Venture capitalist (VC) Fred Wilson at AVC
has a nicely written series on business
which we are going to reference
for the benefit of startups,
people interested in starting a business,
and for the general knowledge of anyone
who handles money.

Our first link was Accounting in general.
Our next link was to Business Income - The Profit and Loss Statement.
Our next link was to Business Capital - The Balance Sheet

This last link is to Business Money Balances - Cash Flow.
Cash flow tells you where you are consuming and producing cash.

We separate the links into separate postings
for the various elements intentionally,
since not everyone will be interested in all of them.

Crossposted at LawPundit.


Business Capital: The Balance Sheet of Assets and Liabilities Explained via Venture Capitalist (VC) Fred Wilson at AVC Using Google as an Example

Venture capitalist (VC) Fred Wilson at AVC
has a nicely written series on business
which we are going to reference
for the benefit of startups,
people interested in starting a business,
and for the general knowledge of anyone
who handles money.

Our first link was Accounting in general.
Our next link was to Business Income - The Profit and Loss Statement.

The new link is to Business Capital - The Balance Sheet
Again, Wilson uses a Google Balance Sheet to explain how it works.

In our next posting
we link to one more follow-up posting by Wilson at AVC.

We separate the links into separate postings
for the various elements intentionally,
since not everyone will be interested in all of them.

Crossposted at LawPundit.


Business Income: The Profit and Loss Statement via Venture Capitalist (VC) Fred Wilson at AVC Using Google as an Example

Venture capitalist (VC) Fred Wilson at AVC
has a nicely written series on business
which we are going to reference
for the benefit of startups,
people interested in starting a business,
and for the general knowledge of anyone
who handles money.

Our first link was Accounting in general.
The next link is to
Business Income - The Profit and Loss Statement.
Wilson uses a profit and loss statement
from the company Google
as his example for explaining what is going on.

See also our following posts
which have links
to follow-up postings
by Wilson at AVC.

Crossposted at LawPundit.


Accounting Basics for Everyone: Keeping Track of the Money? Business? Startup? Want to Start a Business? Keep Track of Finances?

Venture capitalist (VC) Fred Wilson at AVC
has a nicely written series on business
which we are going to reference
for the benefit of startups,
people interested in starting a business,
and for the general knowledge of anyone
who handles money.

Start at
Accounting.

See also our following posts
which have links
to follow-up postings
by Wilson at AVC.

Crossposted at LawPundit.


International Copyright Scope and Limits and the TPP Draft

Megan Geuss has the international copyright draft story for Ars Technica at Leaked: US proposal on copyright's limits.

The problem is that major "partners" in these kinds of negotiations tend to represent rightsholders and vested interests. There are always too few people involved who are actually looking for sensible intellectual property rights rules that take into account ALL the people's interests.


Twitter Acronyms and Language: Essential Guide from The Next Web

Twitter Symbols

@ - Twitter address symbol, e.g. @law_pundit
# - hashtag, groups all identically hashtagged Tweets by topic, e.g. #law or #patents
RT - retweet RT@law_pundit
MT - modified Tweet MT@law_pundit
DM - direct message (only between reciprocal followers)

Twitter Vocabulary


This. - Refers to a must-click like This. RT@law_pundit
OH - overheard e.g. OH at @law_pundit

There are more....

For the full article, see The Next Web at Our Guide to Twitter's Language


New Patent Law Rules of America Invents Act Go into Effect Today at the USPTO in the USA

Seven new rules go into effect today (actually, already on Sunday) for American patents covering: inventor's oath or declaration, preissuance submissions, supplemental examination, citation of patent owner claim scope statements, post grant review, inter partes review; and covered business method review.

The USPTO reports on the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act Implementation at MESSAGE FROM JANET GONGOLA, PATENT REFORM COORDINATOR: Happy Anniversary to the AIA.

See also the AIA Blog at the USPTO.

Scott Daniels has a report at the Reexamination Alert™ in Old Era of Post-Grant Examination Ended and New Era Began Sunday Morning.

See also Fish & Richardson for more information.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Infinity One "Wall" Bounce-Back from the Year 1993: Prior Art for the Obvious Non-Original Apple Bounce-Back Patent?

What is the prior art and how original (non-obvious) is the bounce-back rubber-band scrolling patent for which Apple is currently collecting billions of dollars and stopping the import and sale of competing products with similar functions throughout the world?

From INFINITY ONE: THE SECRET OF THE FIRST DISK
a role-playing game adventure by Andis Kaulins, 1993
(here in the Minoan Labyrinth of Crete)
The 1993 Infinity One Boing Bounce-Back


This is essentially an update from the last paragraphs of our previous LawPundit posting at The History of Electronic Display Organization Including Scrolling.

Take a look at the above video from the role-playing game Infinity One, a ca. 10 MB game that I -- an AMATUER programmer -- singly programmed and designed (also all the art) via STOS in the year 1993 for Atari ST and then in 1993-1994 converted to a Windows graphic version via Visual Basic, the version from which the video snip was made today (running in compatibility mode in Windows Vista). My interest at that time -- in my spare time, as a hobby and as leisure -- was merely to learn basic programming and see what I could do with those basics.

The 1993 Infinity One Bounce-Back
Prior Art for the Apple Bounce-Back Patent?

In software programming this 1993 game, upon reaching a limit -- here the wall - if the game character tries to go through the wall, much like extending text as an image beyond the edge of a display, the image is shaken and then returned to its original position, accompanied by a "boing" noise created by a chorus of helpers in those days.

What -- as a matter of basic software programming -- distinguishes the Apple bounce-back patent from the above animation that I created in Infinity One, where the active game display rectangle shakes or "bounces" as it were and returns to its original position? My bounce-back may be very short, but the principle is the same and the length of the bounce-back should be irrelevant for patenting.

The fact that Apple applies this basic software programming principle to text or to scrolling is irrelevant, because the software programming essentials are essentially the same in moving program data around in a software environment, whether one calls the data image, text or a scrolling list.

Why current patent grants and patent law cases regard the Apple bounce-back to be a non-obvious software programming innovation not anticipated by prior art is in my eyes a mystery.

Building billion-dollar fortunes on this kind of child's play is simply not the way the economy should be operating and not the way that intellectual property rights in our world should be distributed.

Be this all as it may, my purpose in throwing this animation into the discussion is to show how tenuous patent software grants are and why they should not be permitted. All of these things are simply applications of the state of the art, such that even I, as an amateur programmer, could "discover" them. Hence, for someone skilled in the art, all of these things are as obvious as they can be and no one should be given any monopolies, patent or otherwise, on them, thus hindering other software programmers and creating product monopolies that are harmful to the national and world economy.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Electronic Display Organization History Including Scrolling and Other Things

Douglas Engelbart, the man who invented the mouse, got nothing, while billions of dollars are being gifted to some company for banal bounce-back scrolling having next to nothing to do with the basic functions of a gadget and you wonder if the patent system is broken????

The History of Electronic Display Organization Including Scrolling

The Engadget article by Benjamin Weiss at Xerox Alto-Spot von 1972: "It's okay, we're only human" has an accompanying Xerox Parc video [embedded below], where the user at the start of the video scrolls his emails using an arrow cursor. It is very clear that Apple did not invent scrolling or anything else you see in that video. How much does that leave for Apple to invent that is not "obvious" or anticipated by "prior art"?


Steve Wozniak talks about Pirates of Silicon Valley
("truthful", with added drama, he says)



Jobs was a monopolist and worried about competition,
Woz said you won by better technology
see Woz at 7:17


see Woz at 7:17

Jobs envisioned the commercial future of personal computers,
but he was a tweaker, not an inventor.
Jobs saw where money was to be made
and hired the right people to tweak already existing inventions.

From the Wikipedia, we repeat below the largely undisputed facts -- materials in brackets added by LawPundit:

Apple Lisa
"[Starting in 1973 and][s]everal years prior to [Apple (founded in 1976) and the Apple Lisa 1978], research had been going on at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center to create a new way to organize everything on the screen, today known as the desktop. Steve Jobs visited Xerox PARC in 1979. He was excited by the revolutionary mouse-driven GUI of the Xerox Alto and was keen to use these ideas back at Apple. By late 1979, Jobs successfully negotiated with Xerox for his Lisa team to receive two demonstrations of ongoing research projects at Xerox PARC; when the Apple team saw the demonstration of the Alto computer they were able to see in action the basic elements of what constituted a workable GUI. A great deal of work was put into making the graphical interface into a mainstream commercial product by the Lisa team."
Xerox Alto
"The Xerox Alto was one of the first computers designed for individual use (though not as a home computer), making it arguably what is now called a personal computer. It was developed at Xerox PARC in 1973. It was the first computer to use the desktop metaphor and mouse-driven graphical user interface (GUI)."

EVERYTHING you see there was NOT invented by Apple. It is all PRIOR ART.

Take a look at the discussion about Apple scrolling at IXDA.org, especially the contributions of Larry Tessler, where he starts out as follows:
"The original Lisa and Mac vertical scroll arrows were at the top and bottom of the vertical scroll bar, and the up-pointing arrow moved the content down. I ran a user study in the early days of Lisa development that informed that design."
The entire discussion there shows that the details of "scrolling" were decisions based on how users wanted or would want scrolling to function. It was a user preference question. There was nothing there about patenting some sort of non-obvious patentable "invention" not anticipated by prior art, and the same is true for the current rubber-band scrolling bounce-back of text from the edge of a display. That kind of thing is nothing more than a child's play gimmick, having next to nothing to do with the basic functioning of any gadget.

Postscript to the above: Prior Art in Infinity One

As an AMATEUR programmer, in the role-playing game Infinity One, which I first programmed as a hobby in my spare time using STOS for Atari, a game which I subsequently converted to Microsoft Windows and put on the market in 1993, whenever a character tried to go through a wall as the "limit" of the player's progress on the game screen cut-out, I programmed the wall to "shake", accompanied by a "boing" sound.

That was not only easy child's play programming but also served as prior art for similar ideas on handling any limit of space on a display. The idea that doing virtually the same thing with a text list today brings a company billions of dollars in windfall profits is simply unfathomable to any sane individual.

Infinity One was registered as a Windows-Compatible program with Microsoft, who should thus have the source code in its archives. I can not imagine the source code of Apple being much different. It is simply animation in principle, moving bitmaps or other information data around. There are surely many games that did this before me, i.e. doing some kind of a bounce upon reaching limits of a predefined display section. Nothing new under the sun.


Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder of Apple, Questions Sense of Apple Litigation for Very Small Things that are Really Not That Innovative as German Court Reaches Another Terrible Patent Decision in the EU

Steve Wozniak was the tech inventor behind the founding of the Apple company while his mundane partner Steve Jobs understood how to sell technology to the uncritical masses, to steal from others usable technology that Apple itself did not have and to market and patent that technology as proprietary to the Apple firm.

"Woz" enters our "good guys" list for his recent statement -- via the BBC and Bloomberg -- that he personally hates the recent litigation on patents by Apple about "very small things" that he does not "really call that innovative".

See Apple’s Wozniak....

and Google Motorola....

The German court decision here is another terrible judicial decision in this field, greatly reducing respect for "the law" in general, a law which has become a blatant farce via woefully wrong patent laws and even worse patent law court decisions, making a mockery of the capitalist market system and employing preliminary injunctions as judicially misused weapons in cases where they are totally out of place for falsely patented innovations that are of marginal usefulness and which constitute miniscule elements of products.

As a judge, if we found in favor of Apple in any of these cases, we would enter 1 cent in damages TOTAL for these egregious, ludicrous cases, and let the world get on with its business....

Woz is quoted to say:
"“I wish everybody would just agree to exchange all the patents and everybody can build the best forms they want to use everybody’s technologies.” "
Right, Woz, but totally impossible, and that is why you had Jobs as a partner, who apparently proceeded from the premise that our world is a wicked place inhabited by many greedy and stupid people, and he knew how to use that to his advantage.

A quote - rightly or wrongly - attributed to Albert Einstein states:
“Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not yet completely sure about the universe.”
The patent world is a perfect example of the wisdom of that observation. It fits right in with the terrible events one is confronted with daily in the daily news -- human stupidity in action on a wide scale.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

German Court Gives Green Light for Germany's Ratification of ESM

We posted about this previously here at LawPundit, but Spiegel Online International now has the detailed story -- in English of course -- at German High Court OKs Permanent Bailout Fund with Reservations.

Ratification of European Stability Mechanism ESM by Germany Not Blocked by German Federal Constitutional Court, But With Some Conditions

As LawPundit predicted in its posting yesterday, the German Federal Constitutional Court ("the Court") today "reject[ed] calls to block the Eurozone rescue fund" (USA Today) (bailout of the weaker Eurozone economies) and ruled that Germany's ongoing process of ratification of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) was legally acceptable, provided that the German contribution to ESM did not exceed € 190 billion Euros (US $240 billion dollars) and provided that the flow of comprehensive information to the German Parliament was not hindered.

Read in English at the following link Extracts from the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court of 12 September 2012 including as below the "Judgment" (which is not a definitive "legally binding" text in its English translation but is given here for information):
"The Federal Constitutional Court – Second Senate – with the participation of

Judgment

The applications for the issue of a temporary injunction are refused with the proviso that the Treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism (Bundestag printed paper (Bundestagsdrucksache – BTDrucks) 17/9045, pages 6 ff.) may only be ratified if at the same time it is ensured under international law that
As detailed by Nicholas Kulish and Melissa Eddy at the New York Times at In Victory for Merkel, German Court Backs Euro Rescue Fund:
"The court was not formally ruling on the constitutionality of what is intended as a long-term fund to bail out countries in financial trouble, but on requests to block the German president from signing the bill into law.

The question before the court was whether the new fund would weaken the German Parliament’s right to control the spending of German taxpayers’ money."
Peter Carvill in a Special for USA Today wrote:
"The court ruled only against an injunction to stop the ratification of the treaty Wednesday, and will make its final ruling in December. Even so, it laid out its reasoning for allowing the ESM to move forward. "The relevant factor to accommodate the principles of democracy is whether the (lower house of parliament) remains the institution that makes independent decisions on revenue and expenditure," judges wrote. But "no permanent mechanisms may be created under international treaties that would equal accepting liability for decisions by other countries." "
In a decision that reminded this writer of the wisdom of Chief Justice Roberts ruling opinion in the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Obamacare, German Justice Andreas Vosskuhle, President of the German Federal Constitutional Court, emphasized the rule of law and explained the decision as holding that not the Constitutional Court but rather the directly elected political representatives of the people should decide the future of Europe as well as budgetary questions related to its financial future.

Justice Peter Huber of the German Court noted about ESM that the Eurozone rescue fund does not permit German taxpayer monies to be spent without their approval and "does not hand over rights of budgetary decisions to any other actors." That was a chief worry of the applicants who had asked for the temporary injunction.

The process of the ratification by Germany of the European Stability Mechanism can now continue.

Crossposted at LawPundit.


Apple Patents, USPTO, Federal Circuit and the Patentability of Finger Pinches, Taps and Scrolling

Just imagine if the makers of door handles and door knobs had been able to patent the hand motion required to open and close doors by them, or if producers of pens and pencils had been able to patent the various positions and motions of the hand in using a writing implement, and you should then be able to understand the perfidy and absurdity of the modern patents granted for finger pinches, finger taps or finger scrolling on electronic displays.

One of the major problems in U.S. patent law is that the people at the USPTO and the Federal Circuit apparently:
  • either misunderstand the statutory and case law limits of patentability,
  • or are so blindered by their technology backgrounds that they are unable to shake off a subconscious tech bias favoring patent applicants, no matter what they are trying to patent.
Let us quote a small "anecdote"....

In oral arguments to Carlsbad Tech., Inc. v. HIF Bio, Inc., Chief Justice Roberts in the course of discussion about the decisions of the circuit courts had a strong rebuke of the Federal Circuit which is probably unparalleled in American jurisprudence:
"Mr. Rhodes: I can't suggest what the Court might finally decide other than to say that -- that, again, the circuit courts of appeal have uniformly applied this....

Chief Justice Roberts: Well, they don't have a choice, right?

They can't say, I don't like the Supreme Court rule so I'm not going to apply it, other than the Federal Circuit.

[Laughter]"
As written at The Prior Art:
"This rebuke seems to indicate that as Roberts sees it, the Federal Circuit has a habit of blowing off Supreme Court precedent."
The "laughter" during oral argument in response to the Roberts' statement indicates that many in the court audience also appreciated what Roberts was talking about in pointing to a Federal Circuit that does not apply Supreme Court precedents the way they should be applied as a matter of law.

The Federal Circuit as a unique nation-wide court of appeals in patent matters has caused great harm to the U.S. legal system in recent years, leading to the increasingly heard complaint that "the patent system is broken".

That system is broken in part because the USPTO keeps granting patents for things that are properly not patentable and the Federal Circuit keeps affirming those clearly erroneous patent grants. Frankly, we think the size of the USPTO should be reduced to a tenth of its present size and the Federal Circuit should be disbanded. We would have fewer senseless patents, while the normal circuit courts would do a better job with patent appeals as a matter of law.

Good examples of wrongful patent grants by the USPTO are Apple patents for finger pinching, finger tapping and finger scrolling and bounce-backing, about which LawPundit has posted previously in terms of prior art and obviousness.

Apple patents for "finger pinch" and "finger tap" and "finger scroll" in our opinion also violate 35 U.S.C. § 101 as being unpatentable according to e.g. the March 20, 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., No. 10-1150 (2012), etc., according to which natural phenomena are not patentable. As written there:
"JUSTICE BREYER delivered the opinion of the Court.
Section 101 of the Patent Act defines patentable subject matter. It says:
"Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title." 35 U. S. C. §101.
The Court has long held that this provision contains an important implicit exception. "[L]aws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas" are not patentable. Diamond v. Diehr, 450 U. S. 175, 185 (1981); see also Bilski v. Kappos, 561 U. S. ___, ___ (2010) (slip op., at 5); Diamond v. Chakrabarty, 447 U. S. 303, 309 (1980); Le Roy v. Tatham, 14 How. 156, 175 (1853); O’Reilly v. Morse, 15 How. 62, 112–120 (1854); cf. Neilson v. Harford, Webster’s Patent Cases 295, 371 (1841) (English case discussing same)."
It is obvious to everyone that no patent applicant can go into the USPTO and try to patent finger pinching or finger tapping in general because these constitute human motion and thus are natural phenomena -- NOT invented by any human inventor. Whatever motion the human body is capable of, it is capable of, by nature, not by human invention.
  • Natural phenomena are not patentable.
  • Human motion is a natural phenomena, and thus is not patentable.
  • General human motion is not patentable. That is clear.
  • Specific human motion is not patentable, because what is true for the whole is true for the parts. You can not "rope off" a small section of human motion as a proprietary right.
  • Hence, specific human motion applied to some gadget or application is not patentable.
Whether you are patenting human motion large or small makes no difference, since you are still patenting human motion and THAT is forbidden because human motion is a natural phenomenon which no human inventor has invented.

Just because some company "picks" some human motion as its choice for the means to control or command a tool or machine in some manner does not make that selection "patentable". The "means" of control or command -- i.e. human motion -- are NEVER an invention. Selection of the means of human control is an option that can be freely chosen and used, based on the natural phenomena of human motion. That selection is NOT a protected invention.

A patent applicant may be able to obtain patents for capacitive or resistive "touch" screens as tools or machines -- they are of course human inventions -- but you can not patent any human motion by which such displays are to be commanded and controlled.

Similarly, if you patent a toothbrush or a hair dryer or razor, you can not obtain a patent for how the user is to brush his teeth with that toothbrush, hold and move the hair dryer when drying hair or circulate the electric razor on one's beard.

This is so simple that we simply do not understand how the modern legal and patent community have been unable to comprehend that electronic and other devices are no different. You can not patent human motion.

Sadly, this will remain a terribly confused area of law until the U.S. Supreme Court specifically declares that human motion -- as a natural phenomena -- is not patentable in any way, shape or form.

The Federal Circuit should be doing this -- but expecting the judges on that court to inject a dose of sanity into the patent world seems an illusory wish.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Software Patents? No Thank You. PONG "ball image" Bounce-Back and Apple "text list" Bounce-Back: Is There a Patentable Non-Obvious Difference Not Anticipated by Prior Art? Of Course Not.

We are strict opponents of patents for software and a "bounce-back" patent is one example of why software patents are absurd. (See our previous postings at PONG ! About that Ridiculously Granted Bounce-Back Scrolling Patent US 7469381 Which Is Anticipated by the Prior Art and Obviousness of the Old Atari Game of PONG and PONG Revisited: Atari Apple Sigma SLAC and Prior Art for Obvious Developments of the State of the Art in the Digital World.)

Let us assume YOU owned the "bounce-back" patent for an image moving on a display. Would it make any difference to YOU as the patent-holder what the "name" of the gadget using your "bounce-back" would be? Video game display, PC display, tablet display, pad display, phone display, touch display, etc.

ANY bounce-back use would be a clear patent infringement.

A display is a display. You move images or text or lists around on it. So if you had a bounce-back patent, it would obviously apply to ALL displays.

It is therefore incorrect to argue, as has been done, that the Apple "bounce-back" patent is somehow vastly different from the Atari PONG "bounce-back" because the gadget in one case is a video game and in the other case a so-called "touch" gadget. That is irrelevant. Both gadgets are controlled by hand, one indirectly, one more directly, but that would not much change the programming. You could have a modern touch-screen controlled PONG and use virtually the same bounce-back code as in the original machine.

WHERE is the NEW invention? that is the patent question.

Software programming code is written to move defined points on a display and anyone capable of software programming can move such points in myriad ways. The principle of moving points on a screen hitting a pre-defined point and then moving in a different direction was in use from almost the very origin of software programming. Where is the NEW non-obvious invention?

In KSR, the U.S. Supreme Court redefined the standard of "obviousness" in patent cases inter alia as follows:
"In KSR, the Supreme Court relied on the precedent in the Sakraida case regarding the issue of obviousness in cases of combinations or arrangements of prior art. Justice Kennedy wrote:
"[I]n Sakraida v. AG Pro, Inc., 425 U. S. 273 (1976), the Court derived from the precedents the conclusion that when a patent 'simply arranges old elements with each performing the same function it had been known to perform' and yields no more than one would expect from such an arrangement, the combination is obvious. Id., at 282. 
The principles underlying these cases are instructive when the question is whether a patent claiming the combination of elements of prior art is obvious. When a work is available in one field of endeavor, design incentives and other market forces can prompt variations of it, either in the same field or a different one. If a person of ordinary skill can implement a predictable variation, §103 likely bars its patentability. For the same reason, if a technique has been used to improve one device, and a person of ordinary skill in the art would recognize that it would improve similar devices in the same way, using the technique is obvious unless its actual application is beyond his or her skill. Sakraida and Anderson’s-Black Rock are illustrative—a court must ask whether the improvement is more than the predictable use of prior art elements according to their established functions.""
The Atari game PONG necessarily contains software code that controls the "bounce-back" feature of the image of the ball -- as defined by a set of coordinates -- and the Apple code controls the "bounce-back" feature of text lists -- as defined by similar set of coordinates. Big difference? Of course not. Both text lists and images -- and their locations -- are defined by software code -- and sections of that code are moved around.

Essentially, we know that the software code in each case -- even if we do not know any of the specific programming code in question -- must contain a routine that keeps track of where an image viz. text or list is located on a display and then define its movement in terms of certain x,y type parameters.

There is no unique combination here not obvious to anyone skilled in the art. It is merely a skillful application of prior art in an obvious combination.

NOT rightly patentable. In our opinion.


German Constitutional Court To Rule Wednesday On European Stability Mechanism ESM, the Eurozone Bailout Fund: Judges Reject Last Minute Attempt to Postpone Judicial Decision

Could Germany destroy the European Stability Mechanism, ESM, the bailout fund of the Eurozone? Theoretically yes, practically no.

As reported by the Deutsche Welle (short video in English)

at Germany rejects legal challenge to ESM ruling:
"Germany's Constitutional Court has rejected a last-minute bid to postpone its decision on the legality of the eurozone's bailout fund. The court will rule on the European Stability Mechanism as scheduled on Wednesday."
The likelihood that the court in Karlsruhe will overturn ESM is minimal.

Karin Matussek at Bloomberg News Business Week in
ESM Ruling Won't Be Delayed, Germany’s Top Court Says writes:
"German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble [a lawyer by training] told students last week he was confident the ESM would be approved....

"Europe won’t collapse on Sept. 12,” Franz Mayer, a law professor at Bielefeld...."

So far, the court has cleared each step of European integration....
"The bigger issue than the actual ruling is what extra language the court will add to the reasoning on where the limits are in the future," said Mayer." [material in brackets added by LawPundit]
Read the whole article here.


Samsung Reportedly to Sue Apple Because of Possible LTE Patent Infringement Via the iPhone 5

CNN Money writes that an iPhone5 from the "small" Apple is coming.
Who cares?

Anybody who buys Apple company products is gullibly subsidizing a monopolistic operation that is infringing upon the world's commercial freedoms through its declared "thermonuclear war" against Android, as abetted by a broken patent system and general cluelessness in the legal system.

But there is always a reckoning, and we read that
Samsung will reportedly sue Apple over LTE use on iPhone 5.

Samsung holds some patents in LTE, so that Apple could rightly face an import ban into the USA for iPhone5, which apparently uses LTE technology....
-- tit for tat -- justifiably so.

We have no reason to favor Android or Samsung or any other operating system or company, but the monopolistic practices followed by Apple have no excuse in our modern world. None.

Apple was doing well enough competing on the market on the basis of their products. Now they are trying to force the market to buy their products by keeping competitors out.

That strategy is not going to work, certainly not long-term.

People like myself will never buy Apple products, out of principle.
We are not in the habit of supporting tyrants.
Are you?
Maybe you need to think again.





Monday, September 10, 2012

ECB to Buy Short-Term Sovereign Bonds as Europe Acknowledges that EU and Euro Zone Nations Must Work Together to Compete with "Asia Cluster"


The European Central Bank in deciding to buy short-term sovereign bonds of European nations shows that Europe and the EU are acknowledging that individual nations in Europe must work together to arrive at workable solutions to financial problems in Europe and the Euro Zone.

See at CNBC Katy Barnato's article at Germany Cannot Be 'Leader of the World': Italy's Prodi.

Hat tip to CaryGEE.

We wrote about the necessity of bond sales in Europe last year at Billionaire George Soros Says Euro Bonds are the Solution to Europe's Financial Problems: A Spiegel Interview with the Financial Genius.




Saturday, September 08, 2012

Copyright Law Draft in Germany Proposes that News Aggregators Should Have to Pay a Royalty Fee for Use of News Snippets from Original News Publications

What usage of "original news" is permitted without liability for copyright infringement? This is an interesting question of copyright law in the Internet age that has come the forefront in new legislative developments in Germany.

Traditionally, one uses online snippets of news and other quotes from online news publications without paying the original news publisher any copyright royalties for such a use. We do this all the time on our blogs, linking of course to the original story, not only for purposes of attribution, but also to give the reader the opportunity to read the entire article that is referenced in a snippet. In doing so, we think we do news publishers a service by drawing new readers to them. As a blog, we certainly take no readers away from them.

However, in a new development whose full extent is uncertain, a new web copyright law in draft in Germany finds that German Lawmakers Propose Charging Fees to Aggregators Like Google.

According to the bill proposed in Germany, news aggregators and sites like Google News would have to pay original news publishers royalties for snippets taken from their publications.

Similarly, there is also a Google main menu "News" option for keyword search. Would that also be affected? Just what degree of "news use" is permitted without liability for copyright infringement?

Web activists and freedom of speech advocates have raised an outcry over the proposed German legislation, but we find it logical that publishers of original new material should obtain fees for substantial commercial use by news aggregator sites, whose pages are not only popular (taking readers away from original news publishers) but also take in considerable advertising revenue, revenue not shared with original news publishers.

Obviously, if publishers of original materials are not compensated, there may come a day down the road when there are few or no original news publishers left, since they will be unable to finance their operations adequately as news providers, as aggregators pull in all the revenues.

From the standpoint of copyright law, there is nothing wrong with having news aggregators and other online services having to pay a fee to original news publishers if such third parties use that original material to make a profit.

That has always been a standard approach to copyrights.

Of course, one must take care to insure by law that the use of news snippets by primarily non-profit sites such as blogs remains free of charge, otherwise there would indeed be an unanswerable chilling of freedom of speech.

Consider also the reverse situation of an original news publisher who uses snippets of text from original material posted to a blog. Should such a news publisher have to pay the blogger a token royalty? Absolutely!

As a practical matter, however, keeping track of specific use on a case by case basis would be a nightmare, and determining the amount of royalties per instance of use equally so, since any one newspaper article, news snippet, blog posting or text snippet citation is only a "very small item" in terms of its miniscule financial value to anyone.

Perhaps the solution is a blanket annual fee to be paid by news aggregators to the original news publishers whose publications they snippet for profit.


Thursday, September 06, 2012

Google Nexus 7 with Android 4.1, Jelly Bean, is Now Available in Europe

We got word via Google Play that the Google Nexus 7 powered by Android 4.1, Jelly Bean, is now available in Europe. The price is astonishingly low.

Google on the popular Android platform is offering eBooks, music, movies, TV shows, magazines and more than 600,000 Android apps and games.

The Music Manager can import an entire iTunes music library into the device.

Google Nexus 7 has Google Chrome built in as a browser, plus Gmail, YouTube in HD, etc.

See all the Features.


Goophone I5 Beats Apple iPhone 5 to the Punch As Chinese Learn Patent-Fast From Litigating Patent Trolling American Role Model that Patenting is the Road to Get Rich Quick

LOL.

At Bloomberg Businessweek, Dexter Roberts has the story in:

Enter Goophone I5, Looking a Lot Like Apple’s iPhone 5

Rather than cooperating in a friendly way with the Asian partners who are manufacturing all the electronics these days, the proprietary monopolistic approach of Apple in its "thermonuclear war" against Android has unforgivably chosen the path of senseless legal confrontation. It is a war Apple has no chance of winning down the road.

Once people start playing "the patent game", all kinds of new players enter the fray, and sometimes in the long-run, they will turn out to hold the better cards, especially if they control many of the natural and labor resources necessary for production of modern gadgets and devices.


New Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE and Kindle Fire HD Introduced: Amazon E-Readers Are Serious Competition for Readers, Pads and Tablets of Other Major Players

While some of the world has been battling windmills in a court of law in Cupertino, the rest of the world has been innovating, as more and more major players are getting into the highly profitable game of manufacturing and selling various kinds of electronic readers, tablets, pads, phones and small computers (essentially, they all have in common that they are means of communication utilizing digital displays of information).

At PCMag.com, Chloe Albanesius has the story that

Amazon Unveils $299, 8.9-Inch Kindle Fire HD, 4G LTE for $499.

Nokia Windows Phones Introduced: Lumia 920 Has Night Vision Photography, Wireless Charging and Augmented Reality But Do they Have the Coolness for the Public to Buy Them?

Gauging consumer tastes and choices in advance and selling the public what they do not yet "know" is not everyone's specialty.

There is no denying that the new Nokia Windows handsets present some outstanding features such as night vision photography, wireless charging and augmented reality, but will consumers buy them?

BBC News has the story and video at
Close-up look at Nokia's new Windows phones

USA Drops to Seventh in Global Competitiveness Behind FIVE European Nations and Singapore

The Spiegel Online has an article about the Global Competitiveness Index recently released by the World Economic Forum which shows that the USA has dropped to seventh in the rankings behind FIVE European nations and Singapore.

See Germany Overtakes US in Global Competitiveness - SPIEGEL ONLINE.

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is barking up the wrong tree by making criticism of Europe one of the pillars of his Presidential election campaign. The inequality of wealth and income in America are far greater than in Europe and that is the problem that a man like Romney should be focusing on.

Moreover, U.S. companies like Apple should be competing on the market, rather than trying stop-gap measures in the courts to maintain their market share, which is no competitive solution long-term.


Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Competitiveness in Europe Shows Widening Gap According to World Economic Forum Study

Stephen Castle has the story at the New York Times in
Competitiveness Gap Widening in Europe, Study Finds.

U.S. Patents Prior Art Obviousness: KSR : USPTO : Utility and Design : Form and Function : Look and Feel and What the Invention Does : The Ordinary Course Without Real Innovation is Not Patentable

Only an inventor knows how to borrow, and every man is or should be an inventor. — Ralph Waldo Emerson


Albert Einstein on Creativity linked from Brandautopsy.com "Borrowing Brilliance"

 Jenson: Albert Einstein Quotes - The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources. 

Utility Patents and Design Patents 

The United States Patent and Trademark Office, pursuant to U.S. federal laws and decisions of the courts, grants utility and design patents, defined by the USPTO at its website as follows:
"A utility patent may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, compositions of matter, or any new useful improvement thereof. A design patent may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture."
Essentially, an invention viz. discovery can thus be patented for its FORM (design, the way it looks and feels) and/or FUNCTION (what it does), given the legal limitations on "prior art" and "obviousness" found further below.

Pro-patent forces argue that "anything under the Sun that is made by man" can be patented, but that rose-colored rainbow standard meets inter alia the Biblically recorded reality barrier that "there is nothing new under the Sun":
"What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
      there is nothing new under the sun" - Ecclesiastes 1:9 NIV Bible

Patent terminology: Utility and Design, Function and Form

Place of
Application
Patent Parameter Patent
Parameter
At the
USPTO

Utility Design

Normal
Terminology
Normal
Terminology
In Arts &
Architecture
  Function Form
Laymen's
Language
What it
Does
How it Looks and Feels


What are the two basic requirements for patentability?
  • Nondisclosure in Prior Art
  • Not Obvious to a Phosita (a person of ordinary skill in the art)

Place of
Application
Commentary Patent Rule Patent Rule
At the
USPTO
The "business" of the USPTO is "patents" and who is going to sabotage their own business? The claimed invention can not be disclosed in prior art
The invention can not be
obvious to "a person having ordinary skill in the art", a so-called "phosita"

Normal
Terminology
Normal
Terminology
In the Arts &
Architecture
No comparable patents exist in art or in architecture and thus these disciplines are more creative Original Avant-garde

The blog The Prior Art referred a couple of years back to a wry comment made in oral arguments by United States Supreme Chief Justice Roberts about the U.S. Circuit Courts (including the Federal Circuit) being obligated to follow U.S. Supreme Court decisions:
"Chief Justice Roberts: Well, they don't have a choice, right? They can't say, I don't like the Supreme Court rule so I'm not going to apply it, other than the Federal Circuit.
(Laughter in the court.)
 
This rebuke seems to indicate that as Roberts sees it, the Federal Circuit has a habit of blowing off Supreme Court precedent."
The Stanford Technology Law Review has a note on
New Insights on the "Death” of Obviousness:
An Empirical Study of District Court Obviousness Opinions
"
by Sean M. McEldowney which concludes:
"On the surface, these results seem to support the notion that the Federal Circuit has effectively gutted the standard of obviousness.
"
[McEldowney then goes on to suggest it may not be so simple.... (but we suspect it IS that simple).] 2006 STAN. TECH. L. REV. 4 http://stlr.stanford.edu/STLR/Articles/06_STLR_4

The Federal Circuit in the USA is made up primarily of persons with technical degrees. This is a regrettable error in the make-up of this court, because their technology interests make them biased in favor of patents. The Federal Circuit has in fact been all but ignoring recent U.S. Supreme Court dictates, and have been getting reversed regulary for so ignoring them.

Those dictates are, here via the Wikipedia article on KSR v. Teleflex:
"Main article: KSR v. Teleflex

The Supreme Court reversed a decision by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit based on how the lower court defined the capabilities of a PHOSITA. KSR v. Teleflex was decided by a unanimous Supreme Court on April 30, 2007.

Importantly, Justice Kennedy's opinion stated, "A person of ordinary skill is also a person of ordinary creativity, not an automaton." Although the Court's opinion acknowledged other Federal Circuit cases that described a PHOSITA as having "common sense" and who could find motivation "implicitly in the prior art," Kennedy emphasized that his opinion was directed at correcting the "errors of law made by the Court of Appeals in this case" and does not necessarily overturn all other Federal Circuit precedent.

Once the PHOSITA is properly defined, KSR v. Teleflex described how obviousness should be determined:
In determining whether the subject matter of a patent claim is obvious, neither the particular motivation nor the avowed purpose of the patentee controls. What matters is the objective reach of the claim. If the claim extends to what is obvious, it is invalid under §103. One of the ways in which a patent's subject matter can be proved obvious is by noting that there existed at the time of invention a known problem for which there was an obvious solution encompassed by the patent's claims.
which was applied to the facts before the Court with the following:
The proper question to have asked was whether a pedal designer of ordinary skill, facing the wide range of needs created by developments in the field of endeavor, would have seen a benefit to upgrading Asano with a sensor."
What are the consequences of KSR?

At LawPundit we previously quoted the unanimous decision in KSR in an opinion written by Justice Kennedy:
"Often, it will be necessary for a court to look to interrelated teachings of multiple patents; the effects of demands known to the design community or present in the marketplace; and the background knowledge possessed by a person having ordinary skill in the art, all in order to determine whether there was an apparent reason to combine the known elements in the fashion claimed by the patent at issue. To facilitate review, this analysis should be made explicit.... As our precedents make clear, however, the analysis need not seek out precise teachings directed to the specific subject matter of the challenged claim, for a court can take account of the inferences and creative steps that a person of ordinary skill in the art would employ."

Kennedy hammers the new standard home with a clear rejection of the formalistic conceptions attaching to the previous "helpful insights" of the TSM test:

"Helpful insights ... need not become rigid and mandatory formulas; and when it is so applied, the TSM test is incompatible with our precedents. The obviousness analysis cannot be confined by a formalistic conception of the words teaching, suggestion, and motivation, or by overemphasis on the importance of published articles and the explicit content of issued patents. The diversity of inventive pursuits and of modern technology counsels against limiting the analysis in this way. In many fields it may be that there is little discussion of obvious techniques or combinations, and it often may be the case that market demand, rather than scientific literature, will drive design trends. Granting patent protection to advances that would occur in the ordinary course without real innovation retards progress and may, in the case of patents combining previously known elements, deprive prior inventions of their value or utility."
[emphasis added by LawPundit]
What are the consequences of KSR when properly applied in cases like Apple v. Samsung and to Apple's claims to exclusive proprietary patent rights in "bounce-back" software code applications or to various obvious "man-machine interactions" such as human touch controls of digital displays?

It is quite clear that the Supreme Court would throw those Apple patents out without blinking an eye as being no different in principle as a pedal designer of ordinary skill adding a sensor, i.e. a combination of previously known elements.

There is no inventive step in such compositions and no invention worthy of patent protection. The law can not permit a situation in which obvious developments in normal course of the state of the art become proprietary exclusive rights of greedy monopolistic companies who are just combining various features of prior art. However, that is a wisdom that the judges on the present Federal Circuit -- uniquely RESPONSIBLE for patent appeals -- are having difficulty understanding.


Place of
Application
KSR
Standard
KSR Standard
United States Supreme Court
Advances that would occur in the ordinary course without real innovation are obvious A phosita of ordinary skill has common sense, ordinary creativity and is not an automoton


Conclusion, Quo Vadis?


Maybe legislators in reforming patent law and judges in handling patent cases should heed the words of Henry Ford :

"I invented nothing new. I simply combined the inventions of others into a car. Had I worked fifty or ten or even five years before, I would have failed."

— Henry Ford

Modern smartphones or PC tablets or similar electronic gadgets are no different, being combinations of thousands of inventions and ideas of others to which no one should be able to claim any kind of proprietary exclusivity.

In fact, modern electronic devices trace their origins back to ancient writing shapes and surfaces as well as to the carving, wedging or stamping of iconic symbols into wood, stone, clay, or other earths or materials.

Today these data surfaces are called electronic displays and icons, but in fact, as far as invention is concerned, they are the same.

Transistors and microprocessors have enabled the micromanufacture of solid state elements that manifest more moder display possibilities in obvious utility and obvious design, all anticipated by prior art, long, long ago.

See also:

The Pinch Gesture as an Ancient Non-Patentable Natural Physical Historical and Technological Hand Mechanism With Prior Pinch Pot Art Galore as Obvious as the Hand in Front of Your Face : Our Modern Patent Systems are Operating in a Fantasy World

Samsung Digital Picture Frame 2006 is Clear Designer Prior Art to the Later "Design" of the iPhone and iPad

The Apple iPhone as a Design Copy of the First Pharaonic Cartouche of the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt: A Design in the Public Domain as Prior Art for 4500 Years

Ancient Rectangular Mirrors With Rounded Corners as Image Inventions Precede the iPad by Thousands of Years: Apple Did Not Invent These Basic Designs

Old California Speed Limit Sign is Virtually Identical in Design to Apple iPad

Massachusetts First Standardized License Plate 1957 as Nearly Identical Prior Art for the Apple Phone

Motor Vehicle Registration Plates - License Plates - As Your Most Obvious Prior Art for Text and Graphic Information Displays on Rectangular Surfaces with Rounded Edges Enclosed in Bezels

In the Year 2525 ... You Won't Be Able to Move a Finger Without Paying Apple LOL

U.S. Sales of Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Blocked by Preliminary Injunction Because of Patent Suit : Infringement Actions As THE Legal Weapon of Choice to Block Potential Competition

Minimalist Rounded Corner Design is Ubiquitous, So Why Should One Company be able to get ANY Rights to That Design










Patents and Prior Art for Obvious Developments of the State of the Art in the Digital World: Atari Apple Sigma SLAC and the First Small Computers

I am gratified to read at Forbes an article by Tim Worstall titled Did Steve Jobs Get That List Scrolling Bounce Back Patent From Atari? in which he refers to and quotes our posting at Lawpundit in PONG ! About that Ridiculously Granted Bounce-Back Scrolling Patent US 7469381 Which Is Anticipated by the Prior Art and Obviousness of the Old Atari Game of PONG.

As Worstall writes there:
"Now, of course I do not endorse this accusation of professional theft. I also don’t quite agree that bounce back is quite that simple. For of course we have the entire patent system of the United States of America telling us that the two are absolutely not the same thing. Bounce back in Pong is completely different from bounce back in list scrolling. Must be, otherwise no one could have a patent valid in 2012 for something that has been around since 1972. Well, unless the US patent system was definitively and entirely broken and it’s impossible to conceive of all those bright people in government using all our money to achieve something as ridiculous as that, isn’t it?

But let us just step over to that alternative world where this assertion is true, where bounce back is bounce back. How could Apple have got hold of it?

Hmm, so, where did Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak first work together? Oh, yes, that’s right, isn’t it? When they adapted Pong from a multi-user game into a single user one called “Breakout“. That was work they did for Atari, wasn’t it?

Hmm. How different that alternative reality is from the one that we live in. How much smaller the world of ideas about smartphones is. How much more prior art there is over there than there is here.

And where was it Steve Jobs was working when this bounce back patent was granted to Apple? He wasn’t at Atari any more, was he?"
I am thankful to Worstall for "understanding" the nature of the current general patent problem in its larger "alternative" dimensions. This is not a problem of Apple or Steve Jobs, it is a cancer of the entire patent system.

Before I started my first year at Stanford Law School in 1968, I drove to California some weeks early, and stayed with a friend, a Stanford Ph.D. candidate in computer science, one of the first PhDs in that field. He in fact subsequently became a Professor of Computer Science and it was through his connection to SLAC that I at that time saw some of the first graphic "bitmaps" ever of human faces made by computer Xs and Os on math paper (which was actually forbidden at SLAC by the powers that be, since valuable computer time was not be expended by computer operators on such foolish play -- but that is the way the computer "graphic" interface later found in Apple PCs actually began -- in the stealth of forbidden play).

SLAC, mentioned above, was then called the Stanford Linear Accelerator Laboratory but now carries the title of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

SLAC was put into operation in 1966 as the longest linear accelerator in the world -- a record it still holds, and it was essentially through SLAC discoveries that researchers were ultimately awarded three Nobel Prizes in Physics for:
The computational and computer-control needs of SLAC in the early years were a significant factor in driving the fledgling computer science industry, in leading to the development of personal computers, and in creating "Silicon Valley" at Stanford. Now, I am not an expert in computer science, so I will here quote one of those early experts:

Sam Howry for SLAC wrote TEN years prior to the founding of the Apple computer company as follows:
"Introduction

The introduction of hardware multilevel interrupts has made the small computer a suitable device for on line analysis and control of experiments in physics, and such systems have been developed in the past. However, until recently little attention has been given to the man-machine interface, that part of the system referred to as the command post. This paper describes an operational system at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) where this area has been more fully explored. [block print emphasis added by LawPundit]

A small on-line computer system has been developed at SLAC to monitor and control magnets and other equipment leading from the end of the accelerator to the experimental areas. The compact user language, easily grasped by the operators of the control room, provides a high degree of interaction with the environment. Internal computer time has been correlated with time of day so that the user has the capability in the language to synchronize events to a resolution of i/360 set over a 6 hour time interval. All input output including signals to and responses from the environment are completely multiprocessed, and two users may gain access on a time sharing basis.... [block print emphasis added by LawPundit]

Machine

The computer is an SDS 925, a 24 bit machine with a 1.75 psec memory cycle time, and 4K memory. There is a typewriter [LawPundit: now we use a keyboard] (teletype Model 351, card reader and punch, all on a single channel, and 16 levels of priority interrupts. [SDS link and block print emphasis added by LawPundit]



[above, you see the LawPundit clip of an original image in Howry's paper showing the finger-touch control of the "Tune Box", and below you see one illustration from the multitouch patent by Apple as found in Nilay Patel's article at The Verge in The 'broken patent system': how we got here and how to fix it.


]
System Configuration
... The tune box allows the operator to make a fine adjustment on magnet settings much as he would with a potentiometer.... Using the typewriter, he can specify the sensitivity of the lever.... Then by pushing the desired magnet buttons and  the lever, he can change the magnets independently or in concert. The RATE dial provides single step mode or 3 nominal rates of change....

User Language

... Language input may come from the typewriter, cards, or over the link from experimental area A. The typewriter/card channel and the link may be operating simultaneously.

The entities considered in this discussion of the language are: characters, words, clauses, instructions, and blocks. Universal delimiting characters are blanks and carriage returns. These two are functionally equivalent and may be used interchangeably to format the input copy. Words are then strings which contain no delimiters. A clause is a group of consecutive words, one of which identifies the clause.

The order of the clauses is irrelevent but within a clause position is important. Instructions consist of certain combinations of clauses.... [T]he final nature of the instruction is not decided until the terminating semicolon word. On receiving this the computer searches backwards ... for a meaningful instruction. If there is none, the indication is typed and the accumulated words are cleared out." [LawPundit note: we could call this the initial software programming "bounce back"]. Sam Howry, A Concise On Line Control System, SLAC, Stanford University, Stanford, California (work suported by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, submitted to 1967 Spring Joint Computer Conference, Atlantic City, New Jersey, April 1967). SLAC Publication SLAC-PUB-0248, SLAC Release Date: August 26, 1999, A Concise On Line Control System, Download File: SLAC-PUB-0248.PDF. [block print emphasis added by LawPundit]
As one can see from the above, Jobs and Wozniak in 1976 did not create the bandwagon of the "small computer" "man-machine" interface. Rather, they jumped on a bandwagon already well on its way.

To award one company monopolistic rights on developments clearly anticipated by prior art many years ago and obvious to boot, is simply absurd.





Patents and Damages in the USA: Jury Award in Apple v. Samsung Vastly Overstates Real Worth of Patents Involved According to Professor Love

Almost all Europeans in the legal profession raise their eyebrows in disbelief when they read about the ridiculously high damage awards issued in American courts. The Apple v. Samsung case in Cupertino is no exception.

Professor Brian J. Love of the Santa Clara University School of Law, who teaches courses in patent law and remedies, writes at the Los Angeles Times that the $1 billion jury award in the Apple Samsung trial is ludicrous by any standard of measure.

See Apple-Samsung patent fight: Fuzzy math - Los Angeles Times.

In other words, not only is patent law totally out of tune with the times, but damage awards are completely out of line with realities. After all, it is someone else's money, and that is way the money is handled in court -- without any sign of expected prudence. But in the end, WE, the consumers have to pay for these insanities, whether it be patents or credit derivatives. The result is that OUR money is being reshuffled into the pockets of monopolists and banks.

The only way for the broken patent system to be corrected is by Congressional legislation and/or a Supreme Court decision requiring or holding that anything that derives normally from the state of the art is OBVIOUS, and that damage awards for any patent infringement must consider awards in light of the total number of patents residing in any tech gadget, thus reducing patents to the actual value of the invention as it is incorporated into a tech gadget.


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