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 The claims and continuations rules should be withdrawn and this appeal mooted.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

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Why a GPS device that insults is not so patentable:

In the previous post I looked at the paragraph 101 patentability of the aesthetic patent invention: United States Patent Application 20080172175 Funny/humorous/abusive GPS system or navigation system Whatever its 101-"ness", does it have 102 problems based on a radio car talk show, as pointed out by patenting expert: Even if it does satisfy 101, it isn't novel. The Bob & Tom radio show has a comedy bit called The Nagigator" that appears on their album "Sideshow" that was released in November, 2004. The idea in the bit is replacing the nice navigation lady with the voice of your wife, telling you how stupid you are. Putting aside the obvious problems with this published application, what this gentleman in the '175 describes has already been disclosed on the radio nationwide at least three years before he filed his application.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

On the patentability of GPS systems that insult

According to the spirit of our patent law, all of the arts should be patentable, including music and books. I believe aesthetic effects are useful manufactures to satisfy 101. Case in point. The following utility patent application, the novelty is purely aesthetic.
United States Patent Application 20080172175 Funny/humorous/abusive GPS system or navigation system Abstract My invention is an added feature to the existing GPS systems or navigation systems. It can also be a stand alone GPS system as well. Currently the navigation systems politely give you directions to your desired destination. My invention will be an extra feature in voice generated directions or audio system, which if added to the existing GPS systems can be turned on or off at will. Depending on the mood of the driver or the passengers, this new feature will add a little spice in driving especially to new destinations. The system will behave like a normal human being and will be little unforgiving in case the driver has trouble following voice generated directions. The voice generated directions will be spiced up by adding funny phrases like "YOU SILLY" OR "YOU DUMMY" OR "YOU STUPID" etc. It will purely add a lot of fun and laughter in the vehicle for the driver and the passengers and driving can be a fun experience. In ABUSIVE GPS SYSTEM, meant only for adults, any kind of language or four-letter words or phrases can be programmed in the system. This will also add a lot of spice to the driving of vehicles.