Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Here's all you ever wanted to know about provisional patent applications:

Provisional Patent Application is a part of §111 of US Patent Law. When you are not ready to have a patent attorney process your invention data into an application, but you are pressed by other factors to get some kind of legal footing, then the provisional filing is your option. A provisional application is a simple, inexpensive patent application ($110 for a small entity as of today) that will not be examined. Claim language in a provisional application is NOT required by USPTO, but it is recommended by other offices -a precautionary measure in case of an unforeseen litigation. The greatest advantage in filing a provisional is the right to claim an invention's priority date, and the status of a PATENT PENDING.

I get a shvoong for high tech spectacles

Dealing with intellectual property, and especially with aerospace technology, I am so used to exotic metal technology that I realize my life is least involved with titanium. Now I have to face the reality of having to wear glasses, and might as well have the ones made of titanium. The metal is unique for having a memory structure. The shape it was formed or stamped into a final product would always be the form it will return to, regardless of how bent. I launched a pedantic, rocket-science-like search for a pair of specs. I found several at Zenni Optical's Holiday frames. The one I picked is this one: space-age, defense industry-grade titanium frame and glasses It is a 3739 Pure Titanium Half Rim Frame, with 1.56 index lens weighing only 21 grams, which impresses me as quite durable, all for only $39.95. All that is needed is a current eyeglass prescription. The procedure has been made very simple, I would have to copy from my prescription the standard data such as OD/OS, the Sph (focal plane), Cyl and Axis data regarding astigmatism, any additional data, whether the glasses are single vision distance glasses, or single vision reading lens, the Pupillary Distance, and the Prescription and Lens Type. I see that the Holiday Frames page has tons of frames to pick from. Plastic or Acetate, Stainless Steel, Memory Titanium, Acetate or Mixed Material, Sunshade Models, Pure Titanium, Aluminum Alloy, Rimless, Variable Dimension Frames, Children's Frames, Leading Edge Designs, Women's Fashion Frames with sparkling crystals, or argyle, or stained glass pattern, Men's Classic Goggles, what have you. I think these site has started a pro-customer revolution.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Claim Language is from Mars, 1

We never say "a hot pot for placing on said magical pad". "Placing" is a very vague verb. It has become to be used as a noun, wherein the patent has no use for such a noun, i. e., a step of placing. Therefore, these formulaic norms are used: X is for disposing on/juxtaposing with Y = X for placing on Y this norm hold true for temporarily, or intermittently placing of X on Y However, when X is placed and affixed on Y permanently during manufacture, for example, then the formulaic norm is: X is disposed on Y=X is part of B

British Debt Calculator may save us from the financial crisis

Considering the latest financial crisis, the personal finances bode ill for most of the average public. I know people who are still relying on revolving their credit card debt, skimming pathetic grand or two through mortgage refinancing (lucky few), and performing incredible juggling acts with the seemingly straightforward debit cards. What I see and cannot help, since I am into patent law, is that sooner or later, the credit partying comes to an end. The debt owed gets handed over to a chain of financial companies, who start loading up the debtor's answering machine. Some of the debt gets bought by a packaged collection companies, who pretend to be the law, and demand that you start using their payment coupons, and then, through a carrot and stick tactic, manage to dangle an offer for a debtors' credit card. Soon the point of sale terminals start declining debit cards, personal checks, and the cold hard reality starts to kick in. Debt Advice sites, like, provides hope as well as incredible avenues of action for anyone burdened with debt in UK, and loads of interesting solutions for those in other countries, especially in USA. Many people here in US do not suspect that they can hammer out an IVA-type of agreement (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) with a collection department of any company. Letter Of Apology, Court Order, Freezing Interim Judgement they all can be studied in detail and with step by step advice, all laid out in front of you, can forestall the most uncomfortable events in one's financial life. Their Debt Repayment Calculator is sheer fun.

Avoid Lamborghini at all cost

Beware of making claim which is dependent on a component, workpiece or a system that is necessarily located outside the US (i. e. its national boundary) as it may limit infringement: it would make very easy for a US party to actually avoid using this foreign component and exploit your patent to the fullest, unpunished. Preferably claim this type from perspective of US component. Thus if you are have a patent being written on a system that uses a Lamborghini car (to test motor oil, tire endurance, or moonshine gasohol, better avoid claiming the use of this particular car, and instead, claim a car powered by an engine having at least 6 cylinders, having aerodynamic outer dimensions generally patterned after modernistic perceptions of Italian Renaissance, and capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 2 seconds.

This is the way to get ready for the Superbowl Sunday

For someone who likes winters sports there seems to be nothing that could mar a nice weekend of outdoor fun. But it happens, a lot, here in the Midwest, with frequent power outages due to ice storms, fallen branches, an odd thunderstorm or just the old infrastructure crumbling and rusting. I visited my friend Vidal, and found that he has a high tech power management built into his house that is based around his own diesel Power Generator sitting inside an inconspicuous shed in his backyard. The power system is also coupled to a power line carrier digital system, which is better than Bluetooth and WiFi, and works when the electric company supply is down. O looked into it and realized that as far as my knowledge of things electrical, I can have a power generator installed by a qualified professional, and I can take it from there. I think I would choose one of Natural Gas Generators , since it running around the town looking for Diesel is to tally unknown for me. I would need a plentiful supply, since sometimes outages last for at least 4-6 hours, and I would go for a generator that would support all of my house appliances, including the gas-fired furnace and two fridges. I also understand power transmission well enough to appreciate and recommend strongly that a gas generator be always used with a Generator Transfer Switch , which deals with the often ignored topic of the switching process. How would the switchover happen? It should not cause a destruction of the appliances that have to be powered. Once the electrical company is working on restoring power, the generator should be isolated from the rest of the grid so as not to shock the company employees working on power lines that they assume are not live. I think my house of 2500 square feet would need at least a 150 amp switch and a 60 kW generator ( - sounds industrial, however, why not err on the safe side?

Sunday, December 21, 2008


On the Kappos bit, however - granted that the past behavior is that of a quisling, could there not be a scintilla of benefit to bringing in the management style of IBM? Regardless of IBM's manipulating the (Patent) system to their own ends, IBM has had one of the most ruthless, effective and fair management styles. At least it did have, in earlier times (which was pre-PC and women executives, when it was mandatory to wear dark suits, ties and laundered shirts - professionally laundered, not in the home washer). This discipline, which surpassed the military of then (and assuredly the military of now, that permits work clothes and tiger suits off-base and battle-rank is worn openly) was the epitome of equality in the one most important aspect: The higher one rose in IBM, the tougher it got. A single grievance by client or employee resulted in immediate reallocation of your resources until a hearing was held. If you were exonerated, the employee was terminated and you were free to pick up the pieces. At the PTO, the situation is ack-basswards: The main pressure is put on the lower ranks, with the incentive to rise being exponential increases in pay and bonuses with far, far less responsibilities - not to mention the relief from escaping the production system used as a cattle-prod on examiners. A common refrain of managers is that they are "constrained" by HR and OPM (from doing their jobs). On more than one occasion, I have been told that an examiner cannot be reassigned because the person is of a protected persuasion and a) the manager/supervisor/director fears scrutiny, or b) the manager/supervisor/director is being already scrutinized or c) the employee has a civil rights appeal pending. In short, the unprotected lower class is overworked and under-supervised, the "protected" lower class is under-worked and under-supervised, the middle management is overpaid, underworked and inexperienced. While the customers - the US Citizens and the Country - are abused and neglected. So, bring in a lackey of IBM. Perhaps some of the discipline from the old school will rub off. It might sound tough, but it was a hell of a lot easier to work in a system where your supervisor was paid twice your salary - because they worked twice as hard - rather than the upside-down world of today's PTO.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Patents, The $50 Billion Fraud and Globalism

Business Week columnist Michael Mandel has an excellent article just published about how the last ten years of American and global finance was built much on lies. The article is at: "Madoff and the Global Economy: The world was told the U.S. was a low-risk, high-return investment. But like the Wall Street trader's victims, we are learning the truth." The article is at: Why was the U.S. not a low-risk, high return investment economy? "First, the U.S. economy was supposed to be on the cutting edge of innovation. Innovation through technological change, by nature, is a very risky activity. Sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn't. If the investment in innovation pays off, the economy booms, as it did during the second half of the 1990s. But innovation has fallen short in recent years. Biotech and nanotech still have not come to fruition, and alternative energy is moving slowly. As a result, the U.S. economy as fallen short of expectations. The income isn't there, and the debt just piles up." Important to this is the ability for investors, domestic and foreign, to be able to recognize real innovation. While real innovation is measured much by commercial success (a reason the secondary factors of Graham should be the primary factors), one measure of real innovation is the association of the innovation with a quality patent, a vital role of the Patent Office in the national economy. The patent indicates that the inventor thinks there is enough commercial potential to more than cover the costs of patent prosecution and litigation (a useful sign to an investor). A high quality patent lessens the risk of the litigation on the side of the inventor (which is why large companies like IBM encourage the PTO to issue tons of crappy patents - it hurts IBM's competitors more than it hurts IBM). High quality patents help minimize the risk for investors in investing in recent innovation. (And to correct Michael, there wasn't much real innovation in the second half of the 1990s, if you look at those patents. The Internet bubble was driven as much by the arbitraging of personal information about consumers and their spending habits, as opposed any great advances in computing technology). But that association (innovation and quality patent) simply isn't happening. I ask, when the average patent issues, can the average investor really say that the patent is novel, unobvious and fully enabled? No, they can't. Sure many patents do have reasonable quality, but many don't - enough of a parity that without paying a lot of money for a validity opinion, the average investor has to guess which patent is high quality. PTO management's solution: reject everything, which while killing the crap, also kills patents that protect real innovation. For this reason alone, much of current PTO mismanagement has to be swept out by the next PTO Director. And that the PTO Board of Appeals has to distort engineering principles to help PTO management reject everything is reason enough for the next PTO Director to do a sweeping overhaul of the Board. Small companies with real innovation are being hurt in two big ways. First, they are running out of money in this economic climate to pay to fight idiotic rejections and other games being played with appeals. They are being forced to abandon their patent applications. Second, assume they survive an increasingly expensive examination process while doing what it takes to obtain a high quality patent (starting with good searching), their quality patent gets lost in the noise of all of the crappy patents being issued, in most cases, to big companies such as IBM that flood the PTO with uninnovative patent applications. So if all of the politicians in this country, starting with President Obama, really believe their mindless chanting about how technology and innovation is going to save the U.S. economy, they better start paying attention to the incompetence and corruption at one of the chokepoints in innovation commercialization - at the Patent Office. As one of the worst PTO Directors in recent times, Bruce Lehman (so horrible of a PTO Director that Congress passed a law requiring the PTO Director to be competent in patent and trademark law, which Lehman wasn't) once said: "Issused patents should be checks in the banks, not licenses to sue." Checks in the bank, as in the issuance of a high quality patent should lead to investment dollars for those patentees seeking such support. A high quality issued patent is an information signal to the investment markets. It should be relatively easy for investors to detect such signals. But right now, the signal/noise ratio is too high. Because of incompetent PTO management. Which betrays the investing public. This country can't afford to play politics with the appointment of the next PTO director - no legislative aides, no academics, and no one whose experience is at companies that have undermined the patent system. Also, someone suggested to me that the next PTO Director must be someone who publicly opposed the continuation rules package, and/or publicly opposed the PTO in Bilski.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Recommended reading (Part 2) in all fields of interest

This is part 2 of the recommended list I scanned from a book. Excellent reading, great cure for mouse potato lifestyle. THE HERBAL OR GENERAL HISTORY OF PLANTS, John Gerard. Classic descriptions of about 2,850 plants-with over 2,700 illustrations-includes Latin and English names, physical descriptions, varieties, time and place of growth, more. 2,706 illustrations. 1,678pp. DOROTHY AND THE WIZARD IN OZ, L. Frank Baum. Dorothy and the Wizard visit the center of the Earth, where people are vegetables, glass houses grow and Oz characters reappear. Classic sequel to Wizard of Oz. 256pp. SONGS OF EXPERIENCE: Facsimile Reproduction with 26 Plates in Full Color, William Blake. This facsimile of Blake's original "Illuminated Book" reproduces 26 full-color plates from a rare 1826 edition. Includes "The Tyger," "London," "Holy Thursday," and other immortal poems. 26 color plates. Printed text of poems. 48pp SONGS OF INNOCENCE, William Blake. The first and most popular of Blake's famous "Illuminated Books," in a facsimile edition reproducing all 31 brightly colored plates. Additional printed text of each poem. 64pp. PRECIOUS STONES, Max Bauer. Classic, thorough study of diamonds, rubies, emeralds, garnets, etc.: physical character, occurrence, properties, use, similar topics. 20 plates, 8 in color. 94 figures. 659pp. ENCYCLOPEDIA OF VICTORIAN NEEDLEWORK, S. F. A. Caulfeild and Blanche Saward. Full, precise descriptions of stitches, techniques for dozens of needlecrafts-most exhaustive reference of its kind. Over 800 figures. Total of 679pp Two volumes. THE MARVELOUS LAND OF OZ, L. Frank Baum. Second Oz book, the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman are back with hero named Tip, Oz magic. 136 illustrations. 287pp. WILD FOWL DECOYS, Joel Barber. Basic book on the subject, by foremost authority and collector. Reveals history of decoy making and rigging, place in American culture, different kinds of decoys, how to make them, and how to use them. 140 plates. 156pp HISTORY OF LACE, Mrs. Bury Palliser. Definitive, profusely illustrated chronicle of lace from earliest times to late 19th century. Laces of Italy, Greece, England, France, Belgium, etc. Landmark of needlework scholarship. 266 illustrations. ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO SHAKER FURNITURE, Robert Meader. All furniture and appurtenances, with much on unknown local styles. 235 photos. 146pp. WHALE SHIPS AND WHALING: A Pictorial Survey, George Francis Dow. Over 200 vintage engravings, drawings, photographs of barks, brigs, cutters, other vessels. Also harpoons, lances, whaling guns, many other artifacts. Comprehensive text by foremost authority. 207 black-and-white illustrations. 288pp. THE BERTRAMS, Anthony Trollope. Powerful portrayal of blind self-will and thwarted ambition includes one of Trollope's most heartrending love stories. 497pp. ADVENTURES WITH A HAND LENS, Richard Headstrom. Clearly written guide to observing and studying flowers and grasses, fish scales, moth and insect wings, egg cases, buds, feathers, seeds, leaf scars, moss, molds, ferns, common crystals, etc.-all with an ordinary, inexpensive magnifying glass. 209 exact line drawings aid in your discoveries. 220pp. RODIN ON ART AND ARTISTS, Auguste Rodin. Great sculptor's candid, wide-ranging comments on meaning of art; great artists; relation of sculpture to poetry, painting, music; philosophy of life, more. 76 superb black-and-white illustrations of Rodin's sculpture, drawings and prints. 119pp. FIFTY CLASSIC FRENCH FILMS, 1912-1982: A Pictorial Record, Anthony Slide. Memorable stills from Grand Illusion, Beauty and the Beast, Hiroshima, Mon Amour, many more. Credits, plot synopses, reviews, etc. 160pp. THE PRINCIPLES OF PSYCHOLOGY, William James. Famous long course complete, unabridged. Stream of thought, time perception, memory, experimental methods; great work decades ahead of its time. 94 figures. 1,391pp. BODIES IN A BOOKSHOP, R. T. Campbell. Challenging mystery of blackmail and murder with ingenious plot and superbly drawn characters. In the best tradition of British suspense fiction. 192pp. CALLAS: PORTRAIT OF A PRIMA DONNA, George Jellinek. Renowned commentator on the musical scene chronicles incredible career and life of the most controversial, fascinating, influential operatic personality of our time. 64 black and-white photographs. 416pp. GEOMETRY, RELATIVITY AND THE FOURTH DIMENSION, Rudolph Rucker. Exposition of fourth dimension, concepts of relativity as Flatland characters continue adventures. Popular, easily followed yet accurate, profound. 141 illustrations. 133pp. HOUSEHOLD STORIES BY THE BROTHERS GRIMM, with pictures by Walter Crane. 53 classic stories-Rumpelstiltskin, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, the Fisherman and his Wife, Snow White, Tom Thumb, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and so much more-lavishly illustrated with original 19th century drawings. 114 illustrations. 269pp. SUNDIALS, Albert Waugh. Far and away the best, most thorough coverage of ideas, mathematics concerned, types, construction, adjusting anywhere. Over 100 illustrations. 230pp. PICTURE HISTORY OF THE NORMANDIE: With 190 Illustrations, Frank O. Braynard. Full story of legendary French ocean liner: Art Deco interiors, design innovations, furnishings, celebrities, maiden voyage, tragic fire, much more. Extensive text. 144pp. THE FIRST AMERICAN COOKBOOK: A Facsimile of "American Cookery," 1796, Amelia Simmons. Facsimile of the first American-written cookbook published in the United States contains authentic recipes for colonial favorites pumpkin pudding, winter squash pudding, spruce beer, Indian slapjacks, and more. Introductory Essay and Glossary of colonial cooking terms. 80pp. 101 PUZZLES IN THOUGHT AND LOGIC, C. R. Wylie, Jr. Solve murders and robberies, find out which fishermen are liars, how a blind man could possibly identify a color-purely by your own reasoning 107pp. THE BOOK OF WORLD-FAMOUS MUSIC-CLASSICAL, POPULAR AND FOLK, James J. Fuld. Revised and enlarged republication of landmark work in musico-bibliography. Full information about nearly 1,000 songs and compositions including first lines of music and lyrics. New supplement. Index. 800pp. ANTHROPOLOGY AND MODERN LIFE, Franz Boas. Great anthropologist's classic treatise on race and culture. Introduction by Ruth Bunzel. Only inexpensive paperback edition. 255pp. THE TALE OF PETER RABBIT, Beatrix Potter. The inimitable Peter's terrifying adventure in Mr. McGregor's garden, with all 27 wonderful, full-color Potter illustrations. 55pp. THREE PROPHETIC SCIENCE FICTION NOVELS, H. G. Wells. When the Sleeper Wakes, A Story of the Days to Come and The Time Machine (full version). 335pp. APICIUS COOKERY AND DINING IN IMPERIAL ROME, edited and translated by Joseph Dommers Vehling. Oldest known cookbook in existence offers readers a clear picture of what foods Romans ate, how they prepared them, etc. 49 illustrations. 301pp. SHAKESPEARE LEXICON AND QUOTATION DICTIONARY, Alexander Schmidt. Full definitions, locations, shades of meaning of every word in plays and poems. More than 50,000 exact quotations. 1,485pp. THE WORLD'S GREAT SPEECHES, edited by Lewis Copeland and Lawrence W. Lamm. Vast collection of 278 speeches from Greeks to 1970. Powerful and effective models; unique look at history. 842pp. THE BLUE FAIRY BOOK, Andrew Lang. The first, most famous collection, with many familiar tales: Little Red Riding Hood, Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp, Puss in Boots, Sleeping Beauty, Hansel and Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin; 37 in all. 138 illustrations. 390pp. THE STORY OF THE CHAMPIONS OF THE ROUND TABLE, Howard Pyle. Sir Launcelot, Sir Tristram and Sir Percival in spirited adventures of love and triumph retold in Pyle's inimitable style. 50 drawings, 31 full-page. xviii + 329pp. AUDUBON AND HIS JOURNALS, Maria Audubon. Unmatched two-volume portrait of the great artist, naturalist and author contains his journals, an excellent biography by his granddaughter, expert annotations by the noted ornithologist, Dr. Elliott Coues, and 37 superb illustrations. Total of 1,200pp. GREAT DINOSAUR HUNTERS AND THEIR DISCOVERIES, Edwin H. Colbert. Fascinating, lavishly illustrated chronicle of dinosaur research, 1820's to 1960. Achievements of Cope, Marsh, Brown, Buckland, Mantell, Huxley, many others. 384pp. THE TASTEMAKERS, Russell Lynes. Informal, illustrated social history of American taste 1850's-1950's. First popularized categories Highbrow, Lowbrow, Middlebrow. 129 illustrations. New (1979) afterword. 384pp. DOUBLE CROSS PURPOSES, Ronald A. Knox. A treasure hunt in the Scottish Highlands, an old map, unidentified corpse, surprise discoveries keep reader guessing in this cleverly intricate tale of financial skullduggery. 2 black-and-white maps. 320pp. AUTHENTIC VICTORIAN DECORATION AND ORNAMENTATION IN FULL COLOR: 46 Plates from "Studies in Design," Christopher Dresser. Superb full-color lithographs reproduced from rare original portfolio of a major Victorian designer. 48pp. PRIMITIVE ART, Franz Boas. Remains the best text ever prepared on subject, thoroughly discussing Indian, African, Asian, Australian, and, especially, Northern American primitive art. Over 950 illustrations show ceramics, masks, totem poles, weapons, textiles, paintings, much more. 376pp.

Beyond Angry Snails

I have been thinking of supercharging my 1992 Chevy Caprice, which is in mint condition and sitting in my parents' garage. I remember that I always wanted a pair of angry snails turbo-whining under the hood of a car that really deserved them. But now I am still harboring dreams from the days when as a part of a Ford customer program, I have test driven Thunderbird SC, a supercharged sport coupe, and was relatively free of worries and the necessary science that turbocharger requires. I think my Chevy can be souped up with a Buick or Pontiac supercharger. The car really asks for it. In addition to a Dural straight flow radiator, I have installed oil and trans fluid coolers with thermostats which have semi auto option, for those oil-frying traffic jams during Midwest summers.They are working fine. I have also installed peroxide injection, which sometimes I use with methanol, or mixtures of t-Butanol and Butyl ethers. These chemicals, however, need a better compression management though. I have also installed a tuned dual exhaust which was really designed for super high output engines. Hence, the most logical solution is to supercharge. I know of an online supercharger outlet that has professionals, high quality parts and also a learning center. Their prices, I keep finding out, are very reasonable. It looks like somebody can even get a Mercedes supercharger there. All of their parts come with a full 1 Year Warranty unless an even longer warranty is noted. This is a good place to get a supercharger.

Is there a trivial patent, especially if filed in October 2002, and citing no non-patent prior art?

Which, amateur, naive, pro-se patent applicant would seek such a patent? Automated docketing system U.S. Patent 7,369,701 (Issued May 2008, CON from Oct 2002) Inventor: Patent Lawyer Steven Lundberg Abstract: The present invention includes a method for docketing an action or event, such as an action or event defined in a form received from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The method includes scanning the form having written information thereon, the written information comprising a date and indicia defining a docket event, to obtain a scanned image. The indicia on the form defining a docketing event includes a title such as, "Office Action", "Notice of Allowance", "Notice of Missing Parts" and so forth. The date on the form includes, in many embodiments, "Date Mailed". The method also includes processing the scanned image with character recognition logic and identifying the indicia defining the docket event or action and the date on the image.
NO NON-PATENT PRIOR ART IS CITED. So let me be blunt - any named-partner patent lawyer who submits a patent application of his own and allows it to issue with no non-patent prior art citations should be disbarred by the PTO Office of Enrollment and Discipline. It is a contempt for the system, and deceit on the Patent Office, to think that such inventions have no non-patent prior art of relevance. To do so is just plain unethical. And it makes you wonder if his firm advises their clients to play the same pathetic prior art submission games. But he does have gravitas, so I suppose that excuses his behavior.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Recommended reading in all fields of interest

I found and scanned this list in the back of a Dover book from 1980's or 70's. Slowly, I am reading my way through it, finding the books to be priceless and enjoyable. DRAWINGS OF REMBRANDT, edited by Seymour Slive. Updated Lippmann, Hofstede de Groot edition, with definitive scholarly apparatus. All portraits, biblical sketches, landscapes, nudes. Oriental figures, classical studies, together with selection of work by followers. 550 illustrations. Total of 630ppTwo-vol. set GHOST AND HORROR STORIES OF AMBROSE BIERCE, Ambrose Bierce. 24 tales vividly imagined, strangely prophetic, and decades ahead of their time in technical skill: "The Damned Thing," "An Inhabitant of Carcosa," "The Eyes of the Panther," "Moxon's Master," and 20 more. 199pp ETHICAL WRITINGS OF MAIMONIDES, Maimonides. Most significant ethical works of great medieval sage, newly translated for utmost precision, readability. Laws Concerning Character Traits, Eight Chapters, more. 192pp. THE EXPLORATION OF THE COLORADO RIVER AND ITS CANYONS, J. W. Powell. Full text of Powell's I,000-mile expedition down the fabled Colorado in 1869. Superb account of terrain, geology, vegetation, Indians, famine, mutiny, treacherous rapids, mighty canyons, during exploration of last unknown part of continental U.S. 400pp. HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY, Julian Marfas. Clearest one-volume history on the market. Every major philosopher and dozens of others, to Existentialism and later. 505pp. ALL ABOUT LIGHTNING, Martin A. Uman. Highly readable non-technical survey of nature and causes of lightning, thunderstorms, ball lightning, St. Elmo's Fire, much more. Illustrated. 192pp. SAILING ALONE AROUND THE WORLD, Captain Joshua Slocum. First man to sail around the world, alone, in small boat. One of great feats of seamanship told in delightful manner. 67 illustrations. 294pp. LETTERS AND NOTES ON THE MANNERS, CUSTOMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS, George Catlin. Classic account of life among Plains Indians: ceremonies, hunt, warfare, etc. 312 plates. 572pp. of text. ALASKA: The Harriman Expedition, 1899, John Burroughs, John Muir, et al. Informative, engrossing accounts of two-month, 9,000-mile expedition. Native peoples, wildlife, forests, geography, salmon industry, glaciers, more. Profusely illustrated. 240 black-and-white line drawings. 124 black-and-white photographs. 3 maps. Index. 576pp. THE BOOK OF BEASTS: Being a Translation from a Latin Bestiary of the Twelfth Century, T. H. White. Wonderful catalog real and fanciful beasts: manticore, griffin, phoenix, amphivius, jaculus, many more. White's witty erudite commentary on scientific, historical aspects. Fascinating glimpse of medieval mind. Illustrated. 296pp. FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT: ARCHITECTURE AND NATURE With 160 Illustrations, Donald Hoffmann. Profusely illustrated study of influence of nature-especially prairie-on Wright's designs for Fallingwater, Robie House, Guggenheim Museum, other masterpieces. 96pp. FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT'S FALLINGWATER, Donald Hoffmann. Wright's famous waterfall house: planning and construction of organic idea. History of site, owners, Wright's personal involvement. Photographs of various stages of building. Preface by Edgar Kaufmann, Jr. 100 illustrations. 112pp. 9' YEARS WITH FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT: Apprentice to Genius, Edgar Tafel. Insightful memoir by a former apprentice presents a revealing portrait of Wright the man, the inspired teacher, the greatest American architect. 372 black-and-white illustrations. Preface. Index. vi + 228pp THE STORY OF KING ARTHUR AND HIS KNIGHTS, Howard Pyle. Enchanting version of King Arthur fable has delighted generations with imaginative narratives of exciting adventures and unforgettable illustrations by the author. 41 illustrations. xviii + 313pp. THE GODS OF THE EGYPTIANS, E. A. Wallis Budge. Thorough coverage of numerous gods of ancient Egypt by foremost Egyptologist. Information on evolution of cults, rites and gods; the cult of Osiris; the Book of the Dead and its rites; the sacred animals and birds; Heaven and Hell; and more. 956pp. A THEOLOGICO-POLITICAL TREATISE, Benedict Spinoza. Also contains unfinished Political Treatise. Great classic on religious liberty, theory of government on common consent. R. Elwes translation. Total of 421pp. INCIDENTS OF TRAVEL IN CENTRAL AMERICA, CHIAPAS, AND YUCATAN, John L. Stephens. Almost single-handed discovery of Maya culture; exploration of ruined cities, monuments, temples; customs of Indians. 115 drawings. 892pp. LOS CAPRICHOS, Francisco Goya. 80 plates of wild, grotesque monsters and caricatures. Prado manuscript included. 183pp. AUTOBIOGRAPHY: The Story of My Experiments with Truth, Mohandas K. Gandhi. Not hagiography, but Gandhi in his own words. Boyhood, legal studies, purification, the growth of the Satyagraha (nonviolent protest) movement. Critical, inspiring work of the man who freed India. 480pp. ILLUSTRATED DICTIONARY OF HISTORIC ARCHITECTURE, edited by Cyril M. Harris. Extraordinary compendium of clear, concise definitions for over 5,000 important architectural terms complemented by over 2,000 line drawings. Covers full spectrum of architecture from ancient ruins to 20th-century Modernism. Preface. 592pp. THE LESSON OF JAPANESE ARCHITECTURE: 165 Photographs, Jiro Harada. Memorable gallery of 165 photographs taken in the 1930's of exquisite Japanese homes of the well-to-do and historic buildings. 13 line diagrams. 192pp. THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF CHARLES DARWIN AND SELECTED LETTERS, edited by Francis Darwin. The fascinating life of eccentric genius composed of an intimate memoir by Darwin (intended for his children); commentary by his son, Francis; hundreds of fragments from notebooks, journals, papers; and letters to and from Lyell, Hooker, Huxley, Wallace and Henslow. xi + 365pp WONDERS OF THE SKY: Observing Rainbows, Comets, Eclipses, the Stars and Other Phenomena, Fred Schaaf. Charming, easy-to-read poetic guide to all manner of celestial events visible to the naked eye. Mock suns, glories, Belt of Venus, more. Illustrated. 299pp. BURNHAM'S CELESTIAL HANDBOOK, Robert Burnham, Jr. Thorough guide to the stars beyond our solar system. Exhaustive treatment. Alphabetical by constellation: Andromeda to Getus in Vol. 1; Chamaeleon to Orion in Vol. 2; and Pavo to Vulpecula in Vol. 3. Hundreds of illustrations. Index in Vol. 3. 2,OOO pp. STAR NAMES: Their Lore and Meaning, Richard Hinckley Allen. Fascinating history of names various cultures have given to constellations and literary and folkloristic uses that have been made of stars. Indexes to subjects. Arabic and Greek names. Biblical references. Bibliography. 563pp. THIRTY YEARS THAT SHOOK PHYSICS: The Story of Quantum Theory. George Gamow. Lucid, accessible introduction to influential theory of energy and matter. Careful explanations of Dirac's anti-particles, Bohr's model of the atom, much more. 12 plates. Numerous drawings. 240pp. CHINESE DOMESTIC FURNITURE IN PHOTOGRAPHS AND MEASURED DRAWINGS, Gustav Ecke. A rare volume, now affordably priced for antique collectors, furniture buffs and art historians. Detailed review of styles ranging from early Shang to late Ming. Unabridged republication. 161 black-and-white drawings, photos. Total of 224pp. VINCENT VAN GOGH: A Biography, Julius Meier-Graefe. Dynamic, penetrating study of artist's life, relationship with brother, Theo, painting techniques. travels, more. Readable, engrossing. 160pp. HOW TO WRITE, Gertrude Stein. Gertrude Stein claimed anyone could understand her unconventional writing-here are clues to help. Fascinating improvisations, language experiments, explanations illuminate Stein's craft and the art of writing. Total of 414pp. ADVENTURES AT SEA IN THE GREAT AGE OF SAIL: Five Firsthand Narratives, edited by Elliot Snow. Rare true accounts of exploration, whaling, shipwreck, fierce natives, trade, shipboard life, more. 33 illustrations. Introduction. 353pp. can you recommend a good book?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The explanation for the ridiculous patents

Check out the Excrement Patents tag. There are lots more such patent applications. I guess it is extra money for the PTO to waste. Now, you are thinking, what is the harm that people file such silliness, such silliness will never issue?" Oh, you poor, naive fools: GENERAL CONCEPT: scan incoming documents into a relational database, identifying relevant fields AS TRIVIAL A CONCEPT AS IT GETS SLIGHTLY MORE SPECIFIC CONCEPT: scan incoming documents with printed dates and form identifications, and load date/form data into appropriate fields of relational database AS TRIVIAL A CONCEPT AS IT GETS SLIGHTLY MORE SPECIFIC CONCEPT: scan incoming PTO Office Actions with dates and document types ("notice of allowance", "missing documents") and load into the relational database inside a docketing system.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

To patent submarine patenting:

I have critiqued silly and ridiculous patents in the previous and other posts, but here is the attempt to patent submarine patents, filed by someone who knows nothing about jurisdiction (out of pity, the PTO should return his application fee): Submarine patents U.S. Patent Application 20080221912 David James Harris, of Great Britain 1. A method of seeking patent protection for an invention, comprising: a) filing a first European Patent Application for the invention at a first date; b) filing a second European Patent Application for the invention at a second date not more than one month later; characterised in that the second European Patent Application is a divisional European Patent Application claiming the filing date of the first European patent application.
David, my boy, a patent issued in the United States is completely useless for a method performed completely outside the United States. Now, I can understand a pro se inventor filing such wackiness, but I am shocked that a US law firm is helping a foreign inventor file such excrement:
Computer system for distributing a validation instruction message U.S. Patent Application 20080201334 Justin Ryan Simpson (Legal Rep: Brooks Kushman) Claim 1: 1. A computer system for distributing a validation instruction message, the computer system being adapted to communicate with an interface, a specification database and a plurality of European agent computers, the interface including: a European patent identifier receiver adapted to receive a European patent identifier; and a country selection receiver adapted to receive a country selection, and the specification database being adapted to store a plurality of European patent specifications, wherein, when the computer system receives a European patent identifier and a country selection, the computer system is adapted to: (a) obtain, from the specification database, a European patent specification corresponding to the European patent identifier; and (b) provide the European patent specification and the validation instruction message to a European agent computer corresponding to the country selection.
Justin, more than likely, someone is going to implement this computer system outside the United States, making your U.S. patent (if it issues) completely useless. Such as implementing this system in Europe, where sadly because the EPO and courts love to betray science, engineering, semantics and law with their silly "technical effect" drooling, the European sibling of this patent application will never issue.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Application For The Method of Patenting Paralegal Process:

This is the classic attempt at dealing with the European fetish for the pompousness of using the characterized by vs. the good old American said: System for facilitating the preparation of a patent application with an automatically variable omnibus form paragraph U.S. Patent Application 20080256428 Milton; Harold W. DICKINSON WRIGHT PLLC Claim 1: A method of preparing a patent application including DESCRIPTION and CLAIMS sections by using a computer program comprising the steps of: presenting an omnibus form paragraph preceding the CLAIMS section, drafting a claim in the CLAIMS section including at least one key, storing a key explanation describing the use the key, characterized by scanning the claims for the key, automatically inserting the key explanation in the omnibus form paragraph in response to the presence of the key in the claim. 3. A method as set forth in claim 1 further including storing "characterized by" as the key. 5. A method as set forth in claim 1 further including storing "said" as the key.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Patent claims don't have to be easy and readable

If you are second-guessing n examiner or a prospective buyer, or a competitor, don't act on the naive urge to write out and describe claim components in an impressive language. Claiming, according to the US Patent Law, has NO enablement requirement OR readability requirement. A claim might read like this: 2. The cryopump as in claim 1, wherein said fluid conduit is fluidly connected to said group of manifolds and operatively communicating with said variably-opening orifices. None of the components are described in a technical, enabling manner, but the description is maximally encompassing the scope of the invention regarding the component of the device claimed in claim 1. Thus, do not limit a claim in order to make it more readable to an average person. The claims are for attorneys and other people who enjoy reading contract documents. Only enhance readability if it will not unnecessarily limit the claim.

Rangefinder Season

You know that I love high tech serving people in more ways than just showing them cute pictures on their mobile phones. I really love high tech optics, when they help me bird watch or hunt. I stumbled on great Nikon Hunting Christmas Promotion deals for Nikon Sport Optics at, all offering a rare opportunity holiday promotion that comes with a unique show from Lee& Tiffany Lakosky. The first thing I found is my favorite, a rangefinder. It is a ProStaff 550 Rangefinder that comes with its own DVD manual discussing hints and techniques for using the Nikon BDC reticle, which I am not yet familiar with. The rangefinder is a part of the Nikon’s Ultimate Hunter’s Package that is put together for increasing one's long-range shooting skills. The package also contains a ProStaff rifle scope. I found that this deal for this holiday season offers great prices on various, hi-tech Nikon riflescopes, such as ProStaff Riflescopes, Nikon Monarch Rifle Scopes, Buckmasters and Omega Riflescopes. The promotion also has what many of my friends might be looking for - high-quality, rugged binoculars, and Nikon, as I see in their information, has got great prices on all the ATB Binoculars and a surprise gift. A Nikon Pro Gear Gift Card that is worth $25 and $50 value, by the way, comes free with the purchase of Nikon Monarch Binoculars, Trailblazer Binoculars, Nikon Action 10x50 Binoculars and ANY Nikon ATB Binoculars. I think it might be more fun buying the gear and keeping it in a pristine condition in my library till I get the chance to use it next hunting season.

On Festo and "Means"

In patenting, Festo is a doctrine of equivalence: if a patent claims a, b, c - this can sometimes also include c (broad claiming). But since the actual Festo, if one starts off broad and narrow, then one cannot claim broader (doctrine of equivalence) again.

Means + Function is no-no in patent claims. The combination refers to a too general component expressed functionally (which begs for a method claim language: a module for cooling), as opposed to structurally (what it is, i.e., a cooling module, and not only what it does). See the Patent Writing:Claims tag for similar topics.

Wind Turbines, Oil Rigs and Curious George

Now that Dubya is packing up and about to be moving out of the White House, the media and the web are awash with negative gloating and mindless euphoria. The US economy has grown in all directions possible, major fiscal indicators have been on a roller coaster ride, the real estate market is pathetic, nobody has health insurance, and the layoffs seem to be the talk of every neighborhood bar. In tough times like these it makes sense to browse for some viral videos. The Good Bye Curious George is probably the best anti bush video that captures the spirit of the nation, of our mood and that of the outgoing neopresident. The video is simple, yet a cut above amateur animation. The unexpected zoom-in on the card mix up involving the bank rescue plan (why should the taxpayer rescue banks, the bastion of capitalism, when the essence of capitalism is the survival of the fittest? Let the weakling bank disappear), the Lincoln's name mixup which is so typical of the Bush presidency steeped in bumbling and word-mincing. It reminds us of George W. Bush's the "Mission Accomplished" bravado speech aboard an aircraft carrier after the Iraq invasion ring so fresh and simplistically premature. The nuclear option scenario is also credibly hilarious, because the nuclear solution has been contemplated regarding Iran. It goes hand in hand with the paradigm we know since childhood: The Curious George wants to know, what would happen if the Red Nuclear Button is pushed? The video does not deal with a nuke scare, rather, the video keeps on portraying the bumbling petrodollar utilitarianism of Dubya's business dreams. No matter the wreck he causes us, there is always the petrodollar lining to it for him, but desolation and smoke for us. Give an Oscar to the cartoon's creator(s) for being the most unique funny video addressing such a character in US history, the rigmarole he is leaving behind and the snafus he has not (lucky you and me) have the chance to execute. The video has a tastefully light finish, wherein Dubya the Curious George Cowboy rides into the sunset, which seems to be after the nuclear war-like destruction with the oil rigs in the background, while wind turbines telescope out of the ground and start spinning while the sky turns jubilant with an Obama-esque rainbow. Therapeutically pleasing. I think lame duck is an understatement. The video offers us comedy relief while reliving the last eight years of the mess.

Halliburton applies for the method of troll patenting

It was UC Berkley, among others. Then, Microsoft. President Obama better sign a decree that makes it a criminal offense for anyone in the patent world to use the word troll. It is a meaningless term that becomes more and more pointless each day, due in part to the following absurd wackiness applied (and breezed through by the US Patent law) for by Halliburton Energy Services:
Patent acquisition and assertion by a (non-inventor) first party against a second party U.S. Patent Application 20080270152 Claim 1: A method for a non-inventor first party to acquire and assert a patent property against a second party, the method including the first party performing the following acts: obtaining an equity interest in the patent property; writing a claim within the scope of the patent property, the claim being written to cover a product of the second party, where the product includes a secret aspect, the secret aspect including an unobservable aspect, where writing the claim includes performing research using a computer to convert the unobservable aspect to an observable aspect; filing the claim with a patent office; offering a license of the patent property to the second party after the patent property issues as a patent with the claim; and attempting to obtain a monetary settlement from the second party based on the assertion of infringement of the claim. Patent property - both novel and vague term. Aspect is already used in the claim within a different aspect. I guess Dick Cheney needs novel and non-obvious ways to make business off government contracts.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

More on the USPTO v. Tafas & GSK Appeal

USPTO v. Tafas & GSK Appeal - Dec. 5, 2008 14 November 2008 By Gene Quinn The United States Patent & Trademark Office appeal of the Tafas and GlaxoSmithKline case regarding the claims and continuations rules that were famously enjoined by Judge Cacheris of the Eastern District of Virginia is set for oral arguments on Friday, December 5, 2008, at 10am. I will be in attendance at the hearing and blogging immediately thereafter with my thoughts on the hearing, providing my perspective and insights, that is assuming there is an oral argument that day at all. I know it is scheduled for then, but let me be perfectly open and honest about my intentions. I want to see the Patent Office and/or the Department of Justice step in and do the right thing and withdraw the rules and moot the appeal. That is the only responsible thing to do and the fact that those making the decision to move forward with this case have not seen fit to save themselves this embarrassment demonstrates that they are out of touch and simply don't care what damage will be done to not only the Patent Office but all Administrative Agencies. It is irresponsible and reckless to do anything other than withdraw the rules, and we all need to do whatever we can to bring pressure to bear in the coming weeks to get our government to do what is obviously the right. The fact that this case has gone this far is an unfortunate testament to the fact that the Patent Office and the Department of Justice are hell-bent on forcing the Federal Circuit to issue a decision that is going to be nearly ruinous for all of the agencies of the Federal government. How is it possible that a lame duck administration at the tail end of its time in office can continue to push and appeal a case where the outcome is so certain? This is going to be a disaster for all agencies, and a decision that should be made by the next leaders of the Patent Office and the Department of Justice. The claims and continuations rules should be withdrawn and this appeal mooted. That is the only responsible thing to do, so please Mr. Dudas, on the way out do the right thing here and don't risk the decision of the Eastern District of Virginia being ratified by a Court of Appeals and thus becoming precedent that will allow for the challenge of virtually any administrative rulemaking decision. On Tuesday, August 19, 2008, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a decision in Cooper v. Dudas, which makes it clear what the outcome of the PTO appeal of the GSK & Tafas case will be. As I pointed out in my post titled Trouble Ahead for the PTO, the Cooper v. Dudas case, although a win for the PTO, laid the foundation for the Federal Circuit to ratify the decision of Judge Cacheris lock, stock and barrel. In this decision the Federal Circuit explained that the PTO does not have the authority to make substantive rules, explained that substantive rules are those that effect a change in existing law or policy that will affect individual rights and obligations. The Federal Circuit went on to explain that in the Cooper v. Dudas case the PTO was fine because they were merely setting a working definition of an ambiguous term used in a statute. That is hardly the case in the Tafas & GSK appeal. The statute is clear, inventors have the right to file as many claims as they want and file as many continuations as they want. There is nothing in the language of the statute that supports any limitation, and what the Patent Office tried to do clearly and unambiguously was affecting substantive rights. Changing rules in the middle of an application process cannot be characterized any other way. You had the right to do something yesterday, no right to do it today. That is a change, and it impacted a lot of pending applications. It should not come as a surprise to anyone that the Federal Circuit might signal in decisions leading up to an important case which way they are leaning. They do this all the time. In fact, if the Patent Office and the Department of Justice actually force the Federal Circuit to issue a decision you can expect that the decision will cite the Cooper v. Dudas opinion liberally. They have inched the law closer to where it needs to be to support what it is that they are about to do without it being viewed as a shift in the law. It is rare that the Federal Circuit so abruptly changes course like they did in Bilski without moving that direction slowly. So I predict that if the Federal Circuit issues a decision it will be to affirm Judge Cacheris. Now why would the Patent Office and/or the Department of Justice want a Court of Appeals to affirm a decision that is such an indictment of Patent Office rulemaking? I have no idea. It is reckless and is something that should be stopped. Someone in the government, whether in the DOJ, Department of Commerce or Congress, needs to step in and be the voice of reason. We all know there are a lot of needless and irrational challenges to actions taken by Administrative Agencies, and while this is not one of those meritless situations, an indictment of rulemaking that will flow from a Federal Circuit decision will do nothing more than embolden challenges and flood the court system with cases that will for years require district courts and the regional Courts of Appeals to set the appropriate balance. The only way that will happen is by further indictment of the Patent Office as judge after judge explains just how bad the Patent Office rulemaking was and that in whatever case is before them the clear disregard for the law shown by the Patent Office is not what is at issue. When the Federal Circuit ultimately issues its decision after the new PTO administration is in place the claims and continuations rules will be once and for all thrown out and there will be no doubt left that the Patent Office did not have the authority to directly contradict the patent laws enacted by Congress. The truth is that the Patent Office tried to do something they didn't have the right to do and they were challenged, thankfully, by Dr. Tafas and GlaxoSmithKline and the many amici who filed briefs explaining exactly how and why the rules were bad and not supported by the law. Why do our lame duck political leaders want to turn a clearly bad decision to act contrary to the overwhelming weight of public comment and contrary to the Patent Act itself into a miserable precedent that will undoubtedly embolden legions of challenges to legitimately rulemaking? Because if you continue down that path this is exactly what will happen, and someone needs to point that out to our leaders and get them to accept reality. About the Author: Gene Quinn is a US patent attorney and the founder of, and is the Editor and chief contributor to the PLI Patent Practice Center and is on the PLI Patent Bar Review faculty.

This library has all the port numbers and error codes

Years ago I never had much time to optimize my PC, and was using Outlook a lot, which meant that every single chain email opened a browser or a slideshow, left my PC running slow, acting funny, not to mention countless blue screens of death, most of them mincing no words by Justify Fulldisplaying an X code and informing me of a fatal exception. Most friends and techies advised to defrag or reformat. I could not spend more time on down time. As a result, I was forced to learn things on my own - using a file search I found a Windows error code lists, and network port numbers. My situation turned out to be the code corresponding to too many processes running in the background. Thanks to all those slideshows and sites offering free screensavers running new screensaver available updates. It turns out that when Windows crashes, it is still capable to report on why it crashed. For example, the code 0x8 means not enough memory. No need to defrag or reformat. There are codes caused by too many files open, by applications not functioning correctly, or software unable to access data on the computer. A simple tweak can prevent the situation of reformatting PC or buying a totally new one. For example error 109 means that data pipe has been ended, through whatever reason. A pipe is a section of shared memory that processes use for communication. The process that creates a pipe is the pipe server. A process that connects to a pipe is a pipe client. One process writes information to the pipe, then the other process reads the information from the pipe. Problems associated with this messages can be fixed with a Windows update or a patch. I also learned to control my own ports. When I was on only one web site, and my open port list showed port 80 used, I felt safe. Once, with my browser closed, the port 44744 was open, and I learned that it was a typical port used to set up a back door attack on unsuspecting peoples’ PCs. There are ports for Outlook, FTP, time synchronization, multi-terminal network connection, remote desktop, and others. More than 50,000 of them. Just running a check on any of your open ports will set your mind at ease, or point you in the right direction to lock up your PC from arrogant people and web sites. Now there is a site that has it all in one place, error codes and port numbers lists. There are three tabs (and no video clips, animated menus and similar bells and whistles to confuse your issues): Home, Errors and Port. The site is Microsoft Gold-Certified, they have been featured in Washington Post, Yahoo, USA Today and This is the source of the real, bottom-line information.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Presentation details severe confidence crisis at the European Patent Office

What follows is the text of a presentation detailing the crisis conditions at the European Patent Office, with both management and examiners being increasingly miserable. The same memo could be written about the U.S. Patent Office. Look folks, I do not make this stuff up - I can't afford to drink that much Beaujolais to do so. We have massive engineering workflow institutions (PTO, EPO) on the verge of collapse. Is the IP world totally devoid of leadership for someone to step forward and .... lead? We face a perfect storm of troubles: - incompetent people appointed to high management positions - lack of accountability quality, imposed costs/fees, and productivity - legislatures ignoring their oversight role while getting milking the system for lobbyist dollars - courts blatant with their contempt for science, technology and semantics in their decisions - "professional" bodies (AIPLA/IPO/AIPPI/ABA) devoid of leadership The result: despite the outright lies of Jon Dudas and his foreign counterparts - patent quality continues to drop, patent fees continue to rise, patent pendency continues to rise, and more. The next head of the PTO has to be a true, competent, professional leader. Or let's just take 35 USC off the books. So as you read what follows, ask yourself: where has been any leadership in the IP world that we have arrived at management memos as below? This is the text of a presentation given by a management representative, not from a Union representative. You be the judge: The EPO as an organisation has moved from duality to crisis. We will explain how and why and will describe the steps that are necessary to reconstruct a common culture and a positive social partnership. A dual organisation. The sociological analysis based on the results of the human capital survey of 2006 had shown that the EPO was a dual organisation; a dysfunctional system that finds its equilibrium in the creation of two separate universes; - the "executive management universe" focused on a defensible production level, defensible backlogs, and a defensible financial situation, and - the "operational universe" focused on staff autonomy, intellectual content of the work and existing working conditions (Salary, benefits and job security) These focus points are essential to maintain a balance. A change in one or more of these conditions would jeopardize the status quo. This is exactly what has happened. Change of the conditions of the duality. Management expressed strong concerns about the production level, strong concerns about the increasing backlogs and strong concerns about the financial situation. On the operational side, one felt some pressure on the autonomy (more control tools, micromanagement, lack of trust), some fear concerning the intellectual content of the work (e.g., the possible mutual recognition with other players having a lower quality or the delegation of activities to national Offices) and a high level of fear concerning working conditions (the pension system revision being often considered as the first step to multiple changes of the working conditions.). With the disappearance of all conditions necessary to maintain the equilibrium of the duality, the EPO could only slip into crisis. Characteristics of the crisis. Work is valued but the organisation is not trusted. The work as such is a source of positive feelings. Experienced as interesting, rich and motivating it is considered as a service of quality for others. But the organisation (including all actors from management to staff representation and union representatives) is the subject of negative feelings and perceptions. Contradictory information influenced by clearly opposed point of views harm the capacity of the people to understand issues properly. Consequently they loose their common references and don't know "who" or "what" to trust anymore. Negative collective perception of change. The crisis is a disturbance of the capacity to perceive reality. All actors have a subjective perception of how the world works. Because of the differences between these subjective perceptions, change is collectively seen as a source of disorder and contradiction. At an individual level the organisation is perceived as a threat. At an individual level, change is perceived as elusive, irrational and distressing. It is felt to be change for change's sake or even worse, for individual and personal benefits and careers. The lack of a clean break with the past and the absence of future perspectives create a psychological confusion that express itself either as a complete lack of interest in the change process or as clear opposition to it. Mutual "demonisation" of the actors. For all actors, the system has become threatening and impossible to master. The energy of frustration is diverted to an excessive personalisation of collective problems. Opposed actors become mutual "scapegoats". For the Union, the executive management is the only source of problems and has all possible flaws. For the executive management the union is the major threat to the good functioning of the organisation. The actors are totally dominated by these negative emotions. "Lies", "incompetence", "hidden agenda"; are words that are becoming common in the organisation vocabulary. Incapacity to imagine the future. The individual and collective capacity to dissociate oneself from the present in order to imagine the future is "anaesthetised" by the crisis. Fatalism is omnipresent and one can easily observe a clear absence of real alternative thinking about the functioning of the organisation. How to come out of the crisis? Shared values have disappeared and constructive communication has become impossible. Reason and common sense have been replaced by negative emotions and systemic distrust. Attempts to communicate and to explain methodically turn into conflict. Every action (even the most positive) is interpreted through the filter of negativism and transformed into a potential threat. Subjectivity dominates and everything consolidates the negative perception. "The more you try, the worse it becomes". The problem seems therefore quite unsolvable and can only be addressed through radical and unusual ACTIONS supported by formal AND informal steps framed to transform the system. Step 1: Take the pressure off by acknowledging the crisis. First the intangible but enormous fear and pressure felt by almost everyone has to disappear. The only way to do it is to say "STOP", make a step backward and get a common acknowledgement of the crisis by all actors. Only the President can initiate this. In the present atmosphere, a declaration of intent will not be sufficient. The current global scepticism would transform it in "one more useless speech". It has to come with an important decision that would show an indisputable determination to REALLY tackle the crisis. For example, put the SRP on hold and revise it in the frame of step 2 would be a major sign. Step 2: Back to the essentials Once people agree about the crisis it will be necessary to go back to what could be called "the essentials". What are we? What is our purpose? Why do we exist? What does society expect from us? Through the crisis the very identity of the organisation has been lost and the essentials have to be reintroduced as a foundation for the reconstruction of a common culture which is the first step of the re-appropriation process. We need to be professional, proud and ambitious together. We need to reconcile quality of product and quality of process; how can we apply the EPC, maintain and even increase the quality while reducing the backlogs? How can we show and increase the importance of our role for the future of Europe? These questions should now be asked and answered by each and every one of us. Step 3: Redesign a vision for the future based on these essentials. When the two first steps are done, the presentation of an inspirational image of the future will be the way to move forward as a united Organisation. But this vision of the future (and this does not refer to "The vision" formal tool designed professionally as part of a process) has to be based on the rediscovered essentials defined by all actors of the Organisation. Obviously the President of the Office will have to become the "Champion" defending this vision, the Champion of our Quality and the first representative of the EPO's significance for the future of Europe. Conclusion These three necessary steps will not be easily implemented. It will require courage, imagination, a good understanding of the crisis, commitment, lots of perseverance and possibly the capacity to act against one's own current conviction for a higher purpose. But unless it is done, the Office, lost in its identity crisis, won't get a chance to move forward taking thereby the risk to leave its future in someone else's hands.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Notable paragraphs of the US Patent Law

These paragraphs are most often cited by the USPTO examiners, and patent agents struggling with pushing inventions through the institution's paper jam: US Patent Act Title 35 of the United States Code §100, Definitions: Process means process, art and method, and includes a new use of a known process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or material. §101, Patentable inventions: Any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefore… §102, Novelty: 1. Not previously known, used, patented, printed, publicly used, sold. 2. Invention was not patented, used, printed one year prior to date of application. §103, Non-Obviousness: 1. Not patentable if at time of prior art invention, the subject matter as a whole would have been obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art. §111, Application: 1. Specification: 2. Drawing: §112, Specification: Written description: manner and process of making and using invention – full, clear, concise and exact so as to ENABLE a person skilled in the art to make and use the same. Claims: One or more claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter which the applicant regards as his invention – independent, dependent or multiple dependent form. Claims may be MEANS or STEPS for performing a specified functions, and may not be enabling (but supported by spec). §271, Infringement: Making, using, offering, selling any patented invention infringes the patent. NOT if it is changed by subsequent processes.

Luminox, and A Clip-On Weather Station

I was looking for hi-tech watches, and found Luminox on Sierra Adventure Gear. I chose one from the cornucopia of Luminox line which includes EVO Navy SEAL, Field Chrono, SEAL Dive Watch, Titanium Dive, Night View and Quandrum. This one looks cool: It is Luminox Yachting, with blue dial, and steel bracelet. Esthetically hefty, while practical. I love gadgets, but don't write about them much here. They are all mostly a recycled audio-video toys. Searching through the site's menu of Bags & Backpacks, Camping Gear, Electronics, Emergency Kits, Flashlights, Headlamps, Knives, Multipurpose Tools, Optics, Outdoor Navigation, Safety & First Aid, Sleeping Gear, Sunglasses, Tents and Watches, I looked for a utilitarian gadgets, like a personal, portable, laptop- and key chain-friendly weather analytical device. The kind I could also set on my desk at the office or home and keep track of humidity, since I am sensitive to dry air. I have humidifiers everywhere I work. Finally I have found this ultimate gadget. It is the Brunton ADC-PRO, which is a personal Atmospheric Data Center, performing all the function I have been looking for and more:
  • Basic weather conditions
  • Forecasts
  • Calculates relative air density, heat index, & more
  • Infrared data port transfers info to your computer
  • Weatherproof
  • Submersible for measuring water flow
  • Barometer
  • Altimeter
  • Wind speed & wind chill
  • Temperature
  • Time and date
Here's what I have read up on the company. The D.W. Brunton started in 1894, when avid outdoorsman and geologist turned inventor. Brunton began to design equipment for outdoor professionals. His innovative approach called for lightweight gear with maximum durability. This ingenuity catapulted his unique products to the forefront of American outdoor equipment. The company bearing his name still develops products using that same philosophy. Their headquarters is in the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming, and I found out that they live the outdoor lifestyle and apply their experience in the business. They have been developing and producing innovative backpacking and camping equipment, optics, and are pioneering a new category called personal power, which includes power storage devices and flexible solar panels (patents?) for adventurers. Times maybe hard, but life, work, and play is always more fun when you spend time outside and use quality equipment. That's why I ordered it from

Friday, November 14, 2008

Device claims: configured vs. able

In previous posts like this I discuss the importance of handcrafting claim language, down to carefully picking verbs and nouns that clinch the spirit of the invention while reserving the maximum territory of the art.

An important difference exists between method and device claims. Method or system claims vary in their language, too: in a system claim, components of the system are designed, i.e., configured; whereas in a device claim a component is designed to perform a unique function, i. e., to enable, or to be capable of - better yet - to enable a function.

In device claims use configured to and never able to.

Thus, the language for a valve: a control device for enabling fluid communication between said electric mechanism and said collector upon demand. More to follow.

Annoying phone calls get a web 2.0 treatment

Our office used to get plenty of annoying spam calls which were just the regular type of elevator music. We didn't know or had the time to do anything about them. A paralegal once did a reverse search and discovered that the calls originated from the central switchboard of a Florida motel. The problem with the annoying phone calls gets addressed by the latest in web 2.0 ideas too. There is now the Harassing Caller Report site that pools the harassing call victims' reports. All is needed to report a phone number is the ability to leave a comment, just like while commenting on a blog or a forum post, and the report will be appended to the list under the phone number. Sometimes it is also to get some relief, because comments under a phone number may reveal that it is only a non-English speaking person having an innocent issue with the language. It seems like the site management has some ideas up ahead. It would be nice to know if they will become a sort of a consumer advocate service that can perform quick, automatic investigation and reporting to the FCC. The is intuitively formatted and is easy to use. Useful resource.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Microsoft gets awarded yet another excrement patent

Case in point - one of the revolting pieces of fecal patents just issued recently to Microsoft. It demonstrates yet again the contempt of large companies do to any prior art searching, the love of large companies to flood the PTO with crap applications to choke the system while whining about others who do the same [now known as Chandlerism], and once again, it demonstrates the PTO'S COMPLETE AND TOTAL MISMANAGEMENT OF PRIOR ART SEARCHING AND RESOURCES. When Jon Dudas told Congress that most, if not all, measures of quality at the PTO are their highest in 25 years, he deliberately LIED to Congress. Whoever is paying Dudas to wreck the PTO is getting their monies worth. The patent. The USPTO belched/oozed/barfed out U.S. patent 7,437,290 to Microsoft: Automatic censorship of audio data for broadcast U.S. Patent 7,437,290 MICROSOFT (filed October 2004, issued October 2008) Despicable claim language aside, this patent is a method for detecting undesired speech in broadcasts, censoring (deleting, bleeping) the undeisred speech and updating probability tables for the presence of the recognized speech. COMPLETELY UNINNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY. The claim is attached below. So how much tremendous amounts of prior art, with Bill Gates' billions to sustain decent prior art searching (NOT - a lesson well learned by its stepchild Intellectual Ventures) - how much prior art is associated with this patent? NEXT TO FREAKING NOTHING. The patent cites two prior patents, and one non-patent prior art published too late: 7,139,031 Automated language filter for TV receiver 6,337,947 Method and apparatus for customized editing of video and/or audio signals Seide et al, "Vocabulary-Independent Search in Spontaneous Speech", IEEE International Conference on ASSP, May 2004 Such pathetic prior art submissions should a priori be automatic proof of intent to deceive the Patent Office. Just how pathetic is this patent? Once again, let me do a 15-minute-Jon-Dudas-High-Quality-Patent-Bust. Thebust relies on five patents that were published by the time the examinershould have been doing ANY searching, four of which were published at the
time Microsoft filed they patent, had they wanted to do any searching: Publ. Date. Number Title ----- --------- --------------------------------------------------------- 1993 5,199,077 Wordspotting for voice editing and indexing 2004 6,829,582 Controlled access to audio signals based on objectionable audio content detected via sound recognition 2000 6,166,780 Automated language filter 1999 5,870,708 Method of and apparatus for scanning for and replacing words on video cassettes 1994 5,369,440 System and method for automatically controlling the audio output of a television So let's look at this prior art, which neither Microsoft nor the PTO did, to see how crappy Microsoft's patent is. The first patent, dating back to 1993 (eleven years before Microsoft filed) is a foundational patent on pattern recognition systems (in this case, Hidden Markov Models) to learn to recognize and delete segments of speech, which includes questionable segments of speech that are being broadcasted: _________________________________________________________________ United States Patent 5,199,077 Wordspotting for voice editing and indexing Abstract A technique for wordspotting based on hidden Markov models (HMM's). The technique allows a speaker to specify keywords dynamically and to train the associated HMM's via a single repetition of a keyword. Non-keyword speech is modeled using an HMM trained from a prerecorded sample of continuous speech. The wordspotter is intended for interactive applications, such as the editing of voice mail or mixed-media documents, and for keyword indexing in single-speaker audio or video recordings. From the SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION: An important application for the wordspotting system of the invention is not only indexing of recorded speech, but especially for interactive voice editing of recorded speech, such as voice mail, dictation, or audio documentation. Wordspotting can be employed by the user to enable editing operations by locating specific words in the recorded speech for deletion, substitution, or insertion. It will also ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ enable efficient and automatic means of indexing into long audio documents. The system, while restricted to a single speaker, or pairs of speakers is not restricted in vocabulary size. _________________________________________________________________ One application of this patent is to use the Hidden Markov Models on recorded speech THAT IS BROADCASTED, using the detections to delete specific words, i.e., Microsoft's patent. Almost complete anticipation, especially when obviously combined with the following patent: _________________________________________________________________ United States Patent 5,369,440 System and method for automatically controlling the audio output of a television Abstract A system and method for automatically controlling the audio output from a television so as to avoid listening to undesired material includes a microphone for converting the audio output from the television into audio signals, an audio amplifier for amplifying the audio signals from the microphone, a waveform pattern comparator, a waveform digitizer and recorder, a speech recognition unit, an external device controller, a computer and an input/output device. In setting up the system for subsequent use, waveform patterns of audio signals corresponding to material being outputted from the television which the listener considers undesirable are digitized by the waveform digitizer and recorder and then stored in the waveform pattern comparator. In addition, digital signals corresponding to key words in undesired material are entered into the computer through the input/output device and then transferred from the computer to the speech recognition unit. Once the system has been loaded with the undesired material, waveform pattern comparator continually digitizes and compares the audio signal output from the audio amplifier with the stored data. At the same time, the speech recognition unit compares the audio signal output with the stored key words. When the undesired material is detected an indicator signal is sent to the external device controller which outputs a control signal which is applied to the television to make some adjustment to either the sound or the channel to avoid listening to the undesired material. _________________________________________________________________ So two patents, published in 1993 and 1994, TEN YEARS BEFORE MICROSOFT FILED THEIR PIECE OF CRAP, completely anticipate Microsoft's supposed invention. Just to have fun, I found three more patents, also so much on point to be powerful prior art. _________________________________________________________________ United States Patent 6,166,780 Automated language filter Abstract A method and apparatus for analyzing the closed captioned aspect of a video signal for specific undesirable words or phrases and then muting the audio portion of those words or phrases while not affecting the video portion therein while simultaneously modifying the closed captioned signal in order to display only acceptable words or phrases. _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ United States Patent 6,829,582 Controlled access to audio signals based on objectionable audio content detected via sound recognition Abstract An apparatus, program product, and method restrict access to objectionable audio content in an audio or audio/video transmission using sound recognition. Sound recognition may be performed, for example, to detect and control access to objectionable non-spoken audio content, e.g., by detecting violent sounds such as screams, explosions, gun shots, sirens, punches, kicks and/or other non-spoken content such as sexually-suggestive sounds. In addition, occurrences of objectionable audio content detected in an audio transmission may be tracked so that access to the audio transmission may be controlled responsive to the identification of multiple occurrences of objectionable audio content. Furthermore, access control over detected objectionable audio content in an audio transmission may result in inhibition of access to a program associated with the audio transmission. _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ United States Patent 5,870,708 Method of and apparatus for scanning for and replacing words on video cassettes Abstract A scanning apparatus for scanning a video recording for objectionable content is disclosed that includes an audio processor for analyzing the recording and recognizing the objectionable audio, and audio control gate for manipulating the objectionable audio. The scanning apparatus also includes an amplifier that amplifies the signal and converters to convert the signal from analog to digital format prior to analysis and digital to analog format after analysis. The method of scanning the video recording for objectionable content includes the steps of analyzing the recording and manipulating the recording. The method first includes the steps of amplifying the recording signal, separating the audio portion of the recording from the composite recording, digitizing the portions of the recording, and storing the composite portion of the recording in a loop while analysis is performed on the audio portion of the recording. _________________________________________________________________ So five patents I found in 15 minutes completely invalidate Microsoft's crappily issued patent. And this doesn't rely on even more patents, and even much more non-patent prior art that is available, had anyone bother to do any searching (apparently a firable offense at Microsoft). 15 minutes neither Microsoft nor the PTO spent doing a similar search. Because to big companies like Microsoft, and big liars like Jon Dudas, patent quality is still a big freaking joke. So when con artists like IBM lie about the need for public peer review of patents, while remaining silent about the incompetence of PTO management with regards to prior art handling, it is just con artists cheating. And when liars like Jon Dudas chandleristically whine that the PTO needs more prior art, it is a big freaking lie because the PTO still is unable to make use of all of the patent prior art it has complete access to, let alone non-patent prior art. All of these people are liars, especially since it takes longer for them to write their liars about prior art that it does for me to find the prior art. ========== Automatic censorship of audio data for broadcast Microsoft U.S. Patent 7,437,290 1. A method for automatically censoring audio data, comprising the steps of: (a) automatically processing the audio data to detect any undesired speech that may be included therein, by comparison to undesired speech data, by performing the following steps; comparing words in the audio data against words comprising the undesired speech, to identify potential matches; dynamically varying a probability threshold dependent upon at least one criterion; and based upon a probability of a potential match and the probability threshold, determining whether any undesired speech is included in the audio data; (b) for each occurrence of undesired speech that is automatically detected, altering the undesired speech detected in the audio data, producing censored audio data in which the undesired speech is substantially no longer perceivable by a listening audience; and (c) dynamically adjusting the probability threshold based upon a frequency with which undesired speech by a specific speaker is detected in the audio data, so that as the occurrences of undesired speech that are detected increase, the probability threshold is reduced