Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A year after Alice's Restaurant, some companies still want to patent math (AP material, of course)


Electronic Frontier Foundation has an article looking at the patent world “post” Alice v. CLS Bank, in a post by Vera Ranieri June 23, here. The “BSA”, which does not stand for Boy Scouts of America, wants to keep the right to software patents based on mathematical algorithms, but EFF maintains that patentability is not necessary for innovation.

You would wonder if this ruling could affect something like quantum computing, which is based on mathematical derivations, and maybe the next major step in super-fast processing (now of great interest to the NSA). 


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Washington Redskins football team back in court over loss of trademark registration


The Washington Redskins football team are asking a federal judge in Alexandria to overturn a ruling by the US Patent and Trademark Office to invalidate a registration of the team’s trademark, which is viewed as offensive.  Lawyers for Native Americans claim that the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing states to invalidate certain license plate logos would apply. The Redskins still make a free speech claim. CBS radio has a story here
     
The name was adopted in 1933, ten years before the USPTO opened.
  
I still think the team could focus on winning more easily if it changed the name to something like Warriors, and got this behind.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Facebook objects to another company that appends a networking facility with "....book".


Ruth Simon has an important story in the Wall Street Journal Thursday June 11, 2015, Money and Tech, p. B5, “Established firms fight startups on names; Well-known companies like Facebook claim that similar monikers could weaken their brands”, link here. The biggest example was an objection that Facebook filed with USPTO on “Designerbook,” with a product intended for engineering students.
  
The objection sounds frivolous and is disturbing.  Designerbook apparently included a limited-scope “social networking” app that, when combined with the word “book”, would mimic the concept of the naming of “Facebook” (which at one time might have been called something else, like Facemash). I've never heard of a trademark dispute over "parallel construction" of a wordmark name before. Maybe there is a legitimate parallel with the "...for Dummies" book series.  

 

Thursday, June 04, 2015

My "Do Ask, Do Tell" title catches on in a research paper at NIH (regarding questions in a study assessing healthcare of LGBT persons)


In a story that is loosely related to the issue of domain name and possible trademark implications of my own “Do Ask, Do Tell” named series, I noticed that the US National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health used the phrase to introduce a study on information gathering to assess healthcare of LGBT persons.  The paper is here.  The questions are called “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” (or “SOCI”).  
 
I have created a #Doaskdotell hashtag om Twitter for my books.