Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Royalty Trumps Facts

One maxim of law is that the Sovereign can do no wrong.

A corollary to that is that the King is above the "facts" (Royalty Trumps Facts).

We see that doctrine at work in the dissent by Thomas/Alito in Teva Pharmaceuticals v. Sandoz.

According to Thomas/Alito, when the government "issues" a patent it is more like a statute binding on all than a contract binding on just the one. Hence the rules for interpreting a statute, and not the rules used in contract law, apply. The words of the patent claim become the words of the King. The King is above the trifle of facts. And so therefore are the words and phrases found in a government issued patent claim.

Luckily, the majority in Teva v. Sandoz did not see it quite in this twisted way.

work still under way .... (the webmaster can do no wrong, a law of the web)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

On Fear Itself

Something to think about rather than to merely feel.

Fear itself.

Scientists tell us there is a small nut shaped region in the brain called the amygdala.

When that area gets activated, our higher levels of cognition are greatly degraded.

Fear. Fear itself lives in the amygdala.

We need to remain conscious of times when our fear centers are triggered and rational thought process is flushed down the toilet.

Terror. Terrorism.
That is definitely one event in which our rationality is severely crippled and we may do rash things.

Where else?
Where else do our minds go mad when in the fog of fear?

Try to think hard. This a patent blog.
Abstract ideas?
Father and SCOTUS know best?

Or are they ...
power-crazed abusive personalities?
(Whom we fear because they hold the gavel?)

Caption: "No. You may not have your software patent back."

Monday, January 5, 2015

Making Statistics A Lesser of the Damn Lies Series

Jan. 5 article: "Our System Is So Broken, Almost No Patented Discoveries Ever Get Used"

What was it that Mark Twain used to say?

Actually, the damned levels of untruthiness extend well below the mere "statistics" level.
There is also neuro-linguistic mind bending.

The Broken System article scares you of not being part of the collective "We" by arguing:

"We all know the patent system is broken."

Can you say "bah"?
... followed by a humbug?
WE all?
What do you mean by "we" kimosobee?

The article goes on to argue:

"As a result, most small and mid-sized firms instruct their employees not to read patents that might help improve their products and services. This deprives those firms from being able to build on the knowledge these patents contain and, in turn, help other companies improve their products and so on. This kind of behavior, though legally prudent, defeats the patent system’s whole purpose of technological disclosure and commercialization."

Wait a minute. Here's a thought: (D'oh)
What if the folk who wrote the patent try to commercialize it?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Last Air and Mind Bender of 2014

December 31, 2014, TITLE: "Software patents are a disaster. The courts finally did something about it"

"... This year, in a case called CLS Bank v. Alice, the Supreme Court rejected a patent that claimed the concept of using a computer to hedge against counterparty risk — the risk that one party to a contract will fail to pay up. The high court ruled that abstract concepts like hedging weren't eligible for patent protection, and merely implementing an abstract idea on a computer wasn't enough to turn it into a patentable invention."

Let's play a game called spot the lies and deceptions.

Give up?

OK then, let's first look at what the patent actually "claimed":

2The parties agree that claim 33 of the ’479 patent is representative of the method claims.
Claim 33 recites:

“A method of exchanging obligations as between parties, each party holding a credit record and a debit record with an exchange institution, the credit records and debit records for exchange of predetermined obligations, the method comprising the steps of:

(a) creating a shadow credit record and a shadow debit record for each stakeholder party to be held independently by a supervisory institution from the exchange institutions;

(b) obtaining from each exchange institution a start-of-day balance for each shadow credit record and shadow debit record;

(c) for every transaction resulting in an exchange obligation, the supervisory institution adjusting each respective party’s shadow credit record or shadow debit record, allowing only these transactions that do not result in the value of the shadow debit record being less than the value of the shadow credit record at any time, each said adjustment taking place in chronological order, and

(d) at the end-of-day, the supervisory institution instructing on[e] of the exchange institutions to exchange credits or debits to the credit record and debit record of the respective parties in accordance with the adjustments of the said permitted transactions, the credits and debits being irrevocable, time invariant obligations placed on the exchange institutions.”

App. 383–384.

SCOTUS counted just "one" party trying to escape obligation.
They counted one "a" computer.

Let's insist on a reality-based recount ...

Under the plain language of Claim 33 there are:
+2 stakeholder parties each holding a credit record and a debit record
+2 exchange institutions, one for each stakeholder
+1 supervisory institution
=5 parties (each optionally having its own "computer")

That of course raises a first question: When it comes to counting "computers", are the black robes of SCOTUS smarter than a first grader?