Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"Covered Business Methods" program, proposed as a strategy to hinder patent trolls, attracts criticism; but "post-grant" review is slow

There is a lot of discussion in the news now about patent reform bills before Congress, such as whether to treat “CBM” (the “Covered Business Methods" Program”) with a separate process.
The biggest concern seems to be that non-technology companies, especially supermarkets and restaurants, are being confronted with letters from supposed patent owners demanding payment for use of some technology, such as a scanner or item or price locator.  One obvious question is why the retailer didn’t get protection for use of the technology when purchasing or leasing the item from a vendor.  Why doesn’t the business get a “license” to use the product (the way you get a software license to use a copy of Microsoft Office)?
Timothy B. Lee reports on “The Switch” blog about an interview with Tim Malino of the Business Software Alliance (BSA – a pun – link here) about Bob Goodlatte’s proposed patent legislation here.  There is some discussion of the “post grant” review specified in the America Invents Act of 2011.   Lee has an earlier article dated Oct. 28 explaining CBM on the Switch Blog, and appearing on p. A12 of the Tuesday October 29, 2013 Washington Post. 
Grocers, especially smaller ones, say that frivolous patent litigation causes higher prices for consumers, and makes smaller retail outlets less able to compete on price. 

It’s interesting to me how much money in Washington is tied up in lobbyists, who make big money at this, to put their kids through college and the like.  The rest of us like to live in our intellectually perfect worlds or fairness and objectivity, until some rule caller badgers us about how to make real money.  We seem to come back to the “it’s free” problem.  

Monday, October 21, 2013

Chinese company asks me about my domain name; I may use it for my "DADT III" book

I have a couple of items to mention with respect to my own domain name “doaskdotell.com”. 
One idea is that I may use it as a publishing imprint for my “Do Ask Do Tell III” book which I expect to submit to a publishing support service in early November.  This will be a “print on demand” and eBook effort.  I had used the imprint “High Productivity Publishing” for my first print run of my own first DADT book in 1997, replaced by “print on demand” in 2000.  I had also used that for “our Fundamental Rights” in 1998.  I had used the abbreviation of “hppub” for a domain name until 2005, when I moved everything over to “doaskdotell”.  I started using Blogger in early 2006, but have never equated the blogs to domain names.   I will consider doing that soon in connection with the “DADT III” book.
The other development was that I was contacted by email recently about the possibility that a party would use the “doaskdotell” root in China with a tld of “cn”.  As far as I know, it is acceptable for different parties to use the same root name with a different tld, especially in different countries.   I am under the impression that “doaskdotell.com” has been blocked in China (although almost nowhere else) but I’ll have to look at Urchin again and see what is going on now.   (I used to get a lot of page requests from middle eastern countries, curiously).  I thought that the blogs were also blocked in China, but again I’ll have to review Analytics to see what is going on.  The domain name would be shown in Chinese (mandarin) script, and it is likely that a literal translation to words in English would not have the same cultural or political meaning as in the United States.  It would be interesting to know what the domain subject matter will be.  Will it just “sell something”? 
From time to time, I’ve seen that other parties have sometimes created a “doaskdotell.org” as a parked domain with links for quick revenue.  I’ve never paid much attention to the practice. 

Update: Oct. 29

I answered the email today.  I checked Urchin, and I do now have a small amount a traffic each week from China.

Notice that I plan to issue a third "Do Ask, Do Tell" book by the end of 2013.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Lodsys settles with Kaspersky for "nothing" in patent troll case

Electronic Frontier Foundation, in a story by Daniel Lazer, is reporting that Lodsys has settled for “nothing” with Internet security vendor Kaspersky Labs (a popular vendor with Geek Squad) in its patent troll suit.  Lodsys had “bought” patents from Intellectual Ventures, which Tech Dirt had written about in describing lobbying efforts here. The idea that Congress would be vulnerable to lobbying by trolls, or that people make a living lobbying on K Street for patent or perhaps copyright trolling, is atrocious. 
The EFF story is here. EFF emphasizes that Lodsys would do anything to avoid trial. 
How effective will efforts at the state level to counter the trolls be?