Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Some more primitive patents, and intel from Linuxgram

Look, I love scrutinizing pedantically software patents. There are many of them, so many stupid ones, and the pickings are aplenty. But to be fair to the software examining corps at the PTO, patent quality is a problem across the board. And it will remain a problem across the board until the PTO, Congress, ABA/AIPLA, and more importantly, corporate America, DECIDE TO TAKE PATENT QUALITY SERIOUSLY. And yes, ANY PATENT NOT USING THE JEPSON FORMAT SHOULD BE A PRIORI INVALID. At least 99% of everything is an improvement. So in this spirit, here are some more idiotic patents. "Decontaminate something, compare it to a control something" United States Patent 6,428,746 Filed: February 4, 2000 What is claimed is: 1. A method for determining an efficacy of a decontamination procedure, the method comprising the steps of: providing at least one test object and at least one control object; contaminating multiple sites on each of the at least one test object and the at least one control object with a known amount of an inoculum comprising organisms; performing the decontamination procedure on the at least one test object but not on the at least one control object; recovering the microorganisms from each of those respective contaminated sites on the at least one decontaminated test object and the at least one contaminated control object; comparing a number of microorganisms recovered from each respective site of the at least one decontaminated test object with a number of microorganisms recovered from each respective site of the at least one contaminated control object; and deeming the decontamination procedure effective when the number of microorganisms recovered from each site of the test object is at least approximately a 3 log reduction of the number of microorganisms recovered from each respective site of the control object. 2. The method of claim 1, wherein said at least one test object and said at least one control object are substantially identical prior to performing said method. 3. The method of claim 2, wherein said at least one test object and said at least one control object are surgical instruments. inoculum comprising organisms - at least say organisms comprising inoculum, but it can be construed rather literally, and self-limiting, while being vague - double disservice to one's self. The inoculum has no precedent here, and the way it reads, it is heretofore unclaimed inoculum that comprises organisms - which is not what they intended (in their ignorance). deeming - this is an arbitrarily ambiguous action - it never describes an action of a system or a group of users. The users rather carry our registering, associating, subscribing, but not deeming. Deeming belongs in Shakespeare. Patent a camera all over again Here is another gem. Note that some of the claims claim any camera made in the last one hundred years, or at least every disposable camera. U.S. Patent No. 6522835 9. A lens-fitted photographic film package comprising: a body; a lens element within said body; a film element housing; a detachable film cartridge within said film element housing; a film element within said detachable film cartridge; and a rear door attached to said body and enclosing said detachable film cartridge. This claim was allowed on the first action with no amendments and no prior art cited. Access-method-independent exchange using a communication primitive Finally, the latest patent to scare everyone on the Internet. Uh-Oh. Hold on to Your Wallet. Charlie's Back with More Proof that He Owns the Patent on Web Services By Maureen O'Gara of LinuxGram Charlie Northrup, the guy in New Jersey whose prior art on what looks to be Web services dates back to 1994 and appears to trump anybody else's IP, has gotten another patent. God knows it wasn't easy. The US Office of Patents and Trademarks pored over his application simply forever, comparing it to other like-minded patents. It found nothing that would disallow it, certainly nothing held by any member of W3C, and just granted the patent the other day. Patent number 6,546,413, which bears the title "Access Method Independent Exchange Using a Communication Primitive", expands on Charlie's key 5,850,518 patent, otherwise known simply as 518, filed when the World Wide Web was just a baby and nobody else was thinking much about Web services. It's the third extension Charlie has gotten. The other ones were patents number 6,397,254 and 6,421,705. To knock Charlie's patents out of the box, somebody would have to have filed for a Web services-resembling patent in late 1993. The new patent contains 40 claims that basically cover any service provider providing a service. It also throws users a few curves. Like 518, it is good as of December 12, 1994. The 518 patent is huge, rife with implications and could theoretically compromise any number of technologies depending on how it's, hum, interpreted. It's all about the automated discovery and connection of Web services though the word "Web" was never used in the filing since the Web didn't exist back then outside of research circles but 518 describes how to connect to a service using TCP/IP so it doesn't matter, it anticipates Web services. Naturally, it's no fun holding such cards without playing them. So Charlie is setting up an LLC, a limited liability partnership, that the patents will be transferred to. The lawyers should have the LLC up and running, so to speak, in the next few days. Charlie won't have all that much to do with it. It's not his sort of thing. He's going to keep to the technology side. The LLC may involve big-time business types and, of course, lawyers - maybe three firms worth of them eventually. It'll be up to the LLC to decide what to do with the IP, Charlie says, trying to keep the thing at arm's length. What that appears to mean is that the unnamed LLC will seek to license the stuff, which in turn may come down to suing people it thinks are infringing. Charlie doesn't like to talk in terms of suing people, but says it may be advantageous to Web services players such as IBM, Microsoft, BEA, Sun and the service providers to have a license. The service providers could be practically anybody but it looks like it may behoove financial institutions and folks trafficking in multimedia - broadcast, audio and video - to check things out. Charlie suggests that a license might also be helpful in mitigating the liabilities of companies being sued by other companies for some sort of Web services infringement. The LLC lawyers are starting to work on what are called "claim charts" that track alleged infringement. Licensing terms are still being thrashed out. Meanwhile, Charlie, who's got a little tiny company called Global Technologies Ltd, is productizing the IP under the code name DASCOA, short for Discovery and Connectivity Oriented Architecture, which is basically what it does using XML. Charlie says, "DASCOA is like a super-PTSN (Public Telephone Switched Network), but for software. It simplifies the writing of Web services considerably, and does not require SOAP, WSDL or other encumbered specifications" like the stuff the IBM-Microsoft-created WS-I Organization has dreamed up. Charlie is thinking of tying up with another company more skilled at marketing to get DASCOA to market. Reportedly the spec is written, the software's in the can, and the documentation is written, but needs some cleaning up before productization. Linuxgram is published weekly by G2 Computer Intelligence Inc. 323 Glen Cove Ave.; Sea Cliff, NY 11579 (c) Copyright 2003 G2 Computer Intelligence, Inc. Here it is: United States Patent 6,546,413 1. A method to selectively use an Application Process of a first computer, to access information, and to access and interact with Minor Services accessible to said Application Process, wherein the Application Process uses one or more operating system communication primitives for communication connectivity and synchronization, and wherein said Application Process is a service provider application process executing on a computer system, and wherein a user application process is executing on a user computer system, said service provider application process being accessible to said user application process using a communication primitive the method comprising a) selecting said Minor Services by chosen criteria; b) connecting the Application Process with said selected Minor Services when the Application Process requires interaction with said selected Minor Services; wherein: c) said service provider application process communicates a registration request to said user application process, d) said user application process communicates said communicated request to the user of said user application process, e) said user responsive to said requests, communicates registration information to said user application process, f) said user application process communicates said registration information to said service provider application process, and g) said service provider application process registers said registration information as an entry in a service directory accessible to said service application process. Access-method-independent exchange United States Patent 5,850,518 1. A method to selectively use an Application Process to both access information, and to access and interact with Minor Services that have not been referenced in the representation of the application program for the recorded Application Process comprising the steps: a) registering Minor Services and communication primitives; b) selecting said registered Minor Services and said registered communication primitives by chosen criteria; c) determining which selected Minor Services and communication primitives are presently loaded; d) loading said selected Minor Services and said selected communication primitives that are not already loaded; and e) connecting said Application Process with said loaded minor services using said loaded communication primitives, when the Application Process requires interaction with said selected Minor Services. minor services, communication primitives, without prior definition of such - is primitive

on budding opportunities

A can of Panama Gold - a beautiful piece of retro art as well

While analyzing the driving force of an invention, it is also interesting to delve into the macro-ish microcosm of the bud aficionados. I have seen patents and peripheral inventions for consuming them, such as unique bongs (all-glass microbubblers, multi-stage gas expanders, heat exchangers, smoke purifiers(?)) all-glass purpose-built carburetors - so many, in fact, that just posting GIF drawings of them I would exhaust the image capacity of my Blogger account.

I know first-hand from the inventors of the above, most of whom did not go through with applying for a patent on their ideas (and working models), that such masterpieces of combustion technology, gas thermodynamics and glass blowing are too sophisticated for plain old, humble (even though they may be Humboldt County), scrawny and stifled buds.

The buds deserving of the above high-tech masterpieces are the ones found at International Oddities. They offer buds that are works of art, besides masterpieces of agriculture, and leave one hoping that banzai trees were that gorgeous.

It is sufficient to look at their landing page - the names like Skyscraper, Panama Gold, Dro, Bahli, Herbal represent what must be Guinness record breakers in this mini-agriculture. For example, Herbal Black "O" produces "a soft black solid resin smoke - a very popular smoke in the 60's."

Krypto are impressively big buds, of "supreme quality and freshness - the impressive bright green buds are stunning and a pleasure to experience. The result of years of experiments and testing, this ultra potent product will have you marveling at the texture, taste, smell and smoke of this flagship herbal bud only available from International Oddities." Whoever tries Krypto, gets an opportunity to "blow a smoke ring to the stars with the Worlds most unique smoking experience". Sounds like if someone is a productive, healthy and a well-organized individual who knows how to control the effects of alcohols contained within said buds, it is that individual who would stand to derive harmless pleasure out of this unique experience.

Back in college I knew an A- student who studied pre-med biology, trumpet and piano at night through private lessons, volunteered at an English as a second language academy, and dabbled in glassblowing for art and his own bud enjoyment. This student appeared to have benefited from mind -opening and improvement potential that the bud alcohols offered. He never abused the substance. He is a leading neurologist(sic!) now. Go figure.

Regarding the International Oddities' legal disclaimer, I am impressed, as a paralegal -

By ordering any products offered by International Oddities Inc. (hereafter known as I.O.) I accept and agree to the following terms and conditions of sale. Our products are not to be sold or used by anyone under 18 years of age. Purchaser agrees that all smoking products acquired are for their own tobacco alternative use. That is to say that as an alternative to tobacco usage, I.O. Inc.™ smoking products have no other use intended or implied. Purchaser will abide by all laws and regulations in their governing state as they may relate to our products. I am in good health and have no medical or mental conditions. Understanding that these tobacco alternative products have no other use intended or implied, I do not intend to use any product for other than its intended purpose, and do not intend to use any product for any illegal purposes. User understands that these products are not intended for illegal use or in conjunction with any illegal substances. Our products do not contain marijuana, nor are they offered as legal marijuana, marijuana alternatives, legal highs, herbal highs or presented or labeled as such.

My college friend might have enjoyed this service.

Dumb blood group patent, and an idea as well

Are many software patents bad? Sure, and it is worth pounding the system to improve software patent quality, especially the handling of non-patent prior art. But the whole system needs pounding, massive pounding, not just software patents. Case in point - what follows is anonymous email from either a jealous patent lawyer, or a patent examiner unhappy with one of his colleagues. After the email is part of the patent in question. Actual correspondence between a USPTO examiner and a patent lawyer: Examiner: Does claim 1 of US-6,503,529-B1 read upon taking a vitamin pill? Practitioner: The effective filing date for the patent below was 1999. comments: Unfortunately, a best selling book came out in 1996 by Peter D'Adamo called "Eat for your Blood Type" which taught herbs and vitamin pills best for each blood type. Shockingly, this book (or some tiny portion thereof, maybe a photocopy of the cover), is "of record" in the file. I simply cannot believe that it does not anticipate. Supplements for Type A blood is discussed on pages 131-138, for instance. Yes, indeed it does read on taking a vitamin pill. The BEST you can say about the claim is that the inventor thought his invention was the LABELING of a bottle of pills, for a specific blood group. That is what was specifically claimed in the parent patent. However, the dumb-as.s attorney broadened that out to make it "formulated" for a specific blood group, which is infinitely broad and also indefinite. "Formulated.... for" is not defined in the spec. Of course, the dumber as.s examiner bought it. The Notice of Allowance count date for the patent was 25 March 2002, probably a "Count Monday", perhaps even at the end of some quarter. Production ueber alles. For your reference: United States Patent 6,503,529 Blood type methods and dietary supplements Abstract Dietary supplement compositions designed to be responsive to specific blood types, and thus most beneficial for people with specific antigenic blood types. Inventors: Fleischner; Albert M. (Westwood, NJ) Assignee: Goen Group, Inc. (Cedar Knolls, NJ) Filed: April 11, 2001 This application is a continuation of Ser. No. 09/468,819, filed on Dec. 22, 1999 now U.S. Pat. No. 6,291,533. Other References Metaform/MetaPlexx, Weider Nutrition International, Aug. 29, 1989.* Peter J. D'Adamo, Eat Right for Your Type (1996). Primary Examiner: Pryor; Alton Attorney, Agent or Firm: Pharmaceutical Patent Law LLC, Pohl; Mark Claims I claim: 1. A method to supplement the diet of a human of a specific antigen blood type with a specific dietary supplement for said specific blood type, wherein the method consists essentially of providing to said human said dietary supplement, said dietary supplement consisting essentially of a substance selected from the group consisting of a vitamin, a mineral, an herb and a botanical, and wherein said dietary supplement can be formulated as a pill, capsule, tablet or liquid for the antigen blood type of the human. 2. The method of claim 1, wherein said substance consists essentially of vitamin K, ginseng root and green tea leaf. comment: herb and a botanical in claim language means one and the same thing can be formulated - the implied existence of the fact is that it is NOT formulated, though it can be, see a post about claim language can be formulated as a pill - if I was an attorney for a second party, and I was good and picky, I would counter with the fact that formulated implies a makeup, not a final form. In this case, a pill specifies the claim into the direction that renders it non-legally binding, specific, and, therefore, does not preclude others to use the claim for their own benefit. essentially - a meaningless term in claim language. It might have been substantially, or generally (stretching it: maybe)

A history of artistic invention

INVENT - v.t. to originate or create as a product of one's own ingenuity, experimentation or contrivance; to produce or create with the imagination Around 6000 BCE, Mesopotamian artists invent "art pottery". Pottery itself is invented earlier by Neolithic farmers in villages along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Around 2500 BCE, Egyptian chemists invent the first "synthetic color pigment", Egyptian blue, a mixture of limestone (calcium oxide), malachite (copper oxide) and quartz (silica), carefully fired to a temperature of 800 to 900 degrees Celsius. Around 1500 BCE, Egyptian craftsmen invent "glass bottles", by attaching metal rods to silica paste cores and repeatedly dipping the cores into molten glass. Around 1200 BCE, the Phoenicians invent "Tyrian purple", an expensive dye made from a Mediterranean snail. Around 610 BCE, scupltors in Greece invent "free-standing human scultpure" known as kouroi for male figures and korai for female figures, which are used as religious votive offerings. Around 570 BCE, musicians in India invent "hollowed string instruments", specifically the vina which consists of two hollow gourds connected by strings and a bamboo reed. Around 450 BCE, Greek artists invent "chiaroscuro", three dimensional painting, by using highlighting and shadowing. In 105, Chinese court official Ts'ai Lun invents "paper". His paper is cheaper to produce than papyrus or parchment. In the mid-600s, Chinese artists in the Tang Dynasty invent "porcelain", a fired mixture of kaolin (a clay) and petuntse (a feldspar). It is not until 1708 that Europeans learn the secret of making porcelain, when the German chemist Friedrich Bottger in Meissen makes porcelain from clay and ground feldspar. In 855, European musicians invent "polyphonic music", music that combines several simultaneous voice parts. In 1022, Murasaki Shikibu (a young noblewoman in Kyoto, Japan) invents the first "(romance) novel", the story Genji the Shining One, with 1200 pages in the English translation. In 1041, the Chinese printer Pi Sheng invents "movable type", for printing, made with clay blocks. 400 years later in Germany, in 1454, Johannes Gutenberg invents metal movable type. Around 1360, Germans invent "stringed keyboard instruments", starting with the clavichord and harpsichord. German wiresmiths do so by pulling wire through steel plates. The keyed monochord, the forerunner of the clavichord, dates back to the 1100s. In 1437, English composer John Dunstable invents "counterpoint" for musical compositions. In 1470, Italian printer Nicolas Jenson invents the "Roman typeface", by adapting Roman script to typography. Today's very popular Times New Roman font is descended from Jenson's. In the 1480s, Leonardo da Vinci invents the technique of "sfumato" where shadows and objects in the distance are blurred to reflect atmospheric distortions, for example, his 1485 painting Virgin of the Rocks. In 1494, Venetian printer Aldus Manutius invents the "textbook", i.e, small printed books, octavo sized (6 by 9 inches), for students. In 1501, Manutius invents the "italic" typeface, a smaller typeface based on cursive script for his new smaller books. In 1578, English writer John Lyly invents "euphuism", in his book, Euphues, the Anatomy of Wit. The writing style of euphuism is characterized by extensive use of simile and illustration, balanced construction, alliteration and antithesis. In the 1610s, Italian artist Artemisia Gentileschi invents "feminist art", painting women who wreak violence against men who have wronged them, for example, her 1614-1620 painting 'Judith Slaying Holofernes'. Her style is motivated by her being raped, and then tortured in a trial to get her to recant, as well as being motivated by the work of Caravaggio. In 1657, Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac invents "science fiction" with his story Les Etats et empires de la lune about a trip to moon. One might also attribute this invention to the Greek satirist Lucian of Samosata, who in the year 125 wrote the story 'The True History' in which he describes a trip to the moon. In 1780, Spanish ballet dancer Sebastian Cerezo invents the "bolero", danced to guitar and castanets. In 1832, German musician and silversmith Theobald Boehm invents the "modern flute", the first to use mechanical levers as keys to allow for the control of multiple tone holes. In 1847, he develops an improved version which becomes the basis of modern flutes. In 1837, the German scientist Friedrich Froebel invents structured educational entertainment for children, i.e., "kindergarten". One student of Froebel's kindergartens was Piet Mondrian, who with Theo van Doesburg, started the De Stijl style of art in 1917. In 1841, the American painter John Rand invents "collapsible metal paint tubes", replacing pig bladders in which paint tended to dry out quickly. Pierre-Auguste Renoir remarked that "without paints in tubes, there would have been no Cezanne, no Monet, no Sisley or Pissarro, nothing of what the journalists were later to call Impressionism". In 1872, the photographers Eadweard Muybridge and Jules-Etienne Marey use multiple cameras to prepare photographs of moving objects, "serial photomontages", the precursors to motion pictures. In 1879, American author Ella Cheeber Thayer invents the idea of "online romance", in her book Wired Love: a romance of dots and dashes, a story about two American telegraph operators who conduct a romance using telegraph messages. In the 1880s, Argentinians invent the "tango", dance and music that is a mix of African, Indian and Spanish rhythms. The first forms of the tango dance are based on the "acting out" of the relationship between prostitutes and pimps. Around 1905, Buddy Bolden and Jelly Roll Morton combine ragtime, the blues, and spirituals to invent what is to become known as "jazz". In 1909, Italian poet Filippo Thommaso Marinetti invents "Futurism", in his manifesto Founding and Manifesto of Futurism, in which he encourages artists to celebrate "a new beauty, the beauty of speed". Futurist painters combined the bright colors of Fauvism with the fractured planes of Cubism to express mechanization, movement and propulsion. In 1920, Marcel Duchamp invents "intellectual property art" in his 1920 'Fresh Widow', a wooden window on which he painted the word "copyright" for an object that typically would be patentable. In 1932, Alexander Calder invents "mobiles", where he suspends sheets of metal painted black, white and primary colors, from wires and rods. His inspiration was seeing the colored rectangles covering the walls of Mondrian's studio. His art forms are named by Marcel DuChamp. In 1949, American painter Dan Robbins invents "paint-by-number kits". Robbins was inspired by Leonardo da Vinci's practice of assigning numbered sections of his paintings to apprentices. In 1966, Spanish author Julio Cortazar invents "hypertext" in his book 'Hopscotch'. His book has 155 chapters, with chapters 1 to 56 meant to be sequentially as in the normal fashion. However, at the end of each of these chapters is the number of an alternative chapter the reader can elect. For example, chapter 2 ends with a link to chapter 116, which itself has a link to chapter 3, giving the reader the choice of reading chapter 116 or not. Cortazar's book is cited by computer programmers creating the first computer-based hypertext systems. Cortazar, in his book, does not indicate if he was aware of Vannevar Bush's 1945 Atlantic Monthly articles on his proposed Memex information system which has an associative-indexing feature, hyperlinks. In 1968, the Plato's Stepchildren episode of the television show Star Trek invents "broadcast interracial sex" when Kirk(white) kisses Uhura (black). This kiss is more controversial than the first broadcast intercultural kiss in the 1950s on the show I Love Lucy. The kiss is less entertaining than a kiss on the cheek a few years later between Archie Bunker and Sammy Davis Jr. In 2000, artist Eduardo Kac invents "transgenic animal art" when he creates the 'GFP Bunny', a transgenic rabbit whose cells are augmented with the Green Flourescent Protein gene, which causes the rabbit to glow under a black light.