Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The stupid patent that could not survive EFF's own Halloween

Here is EFF’s Halloween patent, the “155 Patent”, indeed one of the “stupidest” on record.
Merely providing a printing service via a communications network claimed to be patentable, back around 1999. Here’s the EFF story by Vera Ranieri.
I can imagine right off how that could relate to print-on-demand book publishing, which I use.

If you stretch this far enough, my own making my older books free on PDF’s and allowing others to print them would seem to fall under it. 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Could patent trolls affect the development of artificial intelligence?

Jeremy Gillula and Daniel Nazer of Electronic Frontier Foundation have a major speculative “stupidest patent of the month” story on how patent trolling could affect artificial intelligence development, even by someone like Elon Musk.

The article notes patent applications by both Google and Microsoft that could be broad enough to stymy artificial intelligence.

It’s hard to get how a concept for automating something can become a patent without the very specific workable machinery to make it happen.

I could claim that “passive marketing” of my books and blogs through search engines without spending ad money is itself patentable, worth hiring a troll attorney, using my “Do Ask Do Tell” books.  (Combine that with Reid Ewing’s little film in 2012, “It’s Free”.) Sorry, I am a supporter of EFF. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Even email confirmation of orders attracts patent trolls

This “stupid patent of the month” that went after “Fairytale Brownies” harassed a company founded in 1992, suddenly and recently.  The EFF story is by Vera Rainier.  

The patent claimed to have invented a shipment notification email that includes PII. 

Trolls claim to have invented conceptual functionality, or what a workplace friend used to call “functionable”.

I’m reminded of the “brownies and elves” dichotomy in my own kindergarten in 1949.
I also wonder if Blogtyrant’s ideas on email lists could somehow stumble on a troll.  Maybe not in Australia. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Now inter-app permissions gets claimed by a patent troll

Electronic Frontier Foundation points out another “stupid patent of the month” this time, apparently from JP Morgan, about a mobile app merely asking permission to hook up with another app.
Electronic Frontier Foundation has a story by Daniel Nazer, Aug. 31, here

Since I am in the middle of a probable home sale and condo purchase, all cash, I’m attracting mail offering bridge loans.  One piece came from JP Morgan.   

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Podcasting saved from the patent trolls

Electronic Frontier Foundation reports that it has won a case against a company, Personal Audio, that had threatened podcasters with patent lawsuits. The ruling came from a 3-judge panel for the Federal Circuit in Washington.

EFF had raised money for “save our podcasters” litigation and showed that speakers had podcasted for years before the company applied for the patent.

That such a threat could have been made against ordinary podcasting is indeed shocking. 

Will it have to raise money to save Section 230 from the Backpage mess?

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

People are filing trademark applications for slurs with no commercial intent

Abbey White of Vox Media reports that people are filing trademark applications for symbols and “bad words” normally associated with racism or hate speech, after a US Supreme Court ruling in June regarding “The Slants”, story here June 20, new Vox story here.

The article says that it is not required that an approved mark go into immediate commercial use.  I had thought that this was required.  It would be a disturbing situation indeed if the ability to make money from a brand affected its approval in a contested case.  There is also a good question as to whether common words with political meaning (like my book series or something like Anderson Coopers “Keeping Them Honest”) ought to be recognized as a legitimate wordmark for trade, limiting who can use it to first-come or to the most economically powerful.  

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

KU law professor examines patent litigation according to "patent value"

I earned my M.A. in Mathematics from the University of Kansas in Lawrence in early 1968 (before entering the Army). 

Here’s a curious article by a patent law professor at KU seeming to counsel were patent holders can litigate, according to the value of their patents.  East Texas is most favorable to “high value” patents. I hope this isn’t an encouragement for deliberate patent trolling.