Thursday, July 17, 2008

On the importance of turbocompressors

Once I had to write a patent on a high tech, high-octane gasoline which was about 30 numbers above Turbo Blue, the usual mainstay of all dragracers, motorcycle aficionados and derivatives thereof. I remember that most engines, no matter how souped up or customized could take a gulp of energy-packed aromatic hydrocarbon, high-entropy fuel. Only few of turbochargers survived the racetrack test. Guys who usually like to refer to turbochargers as angry snails were the guys whose engine blew up first. When someone's engine is turbocharged, the turbocharger becomes the real heart of the heart of the car. It is of utmost importance that the engine is matched to the turbocharger. The most delusional, if I can say that, were VW and Audi owners who wanted to tinker with their street-legal cars and somehow give themselves more horsepower for passing everyone else during an ego trip while returning from a hockey game. The utterly important part of turbocharging these German automobiles is making sure that their engines receive the genuine, native turbochargers. In US these state-of the-art turbocompressors can be obtained from this vw turbocharger outlet. They have an extensive selection of turbochargers for almost any make of VW and Audi. If you own one, that's where you are better off ordering.


Globe and Mail ( reports that the Canadian Supreme Court has ruled 5-4 that the Harvard oncomouse cannot be patented. The majority decision written by Justice Michel Bastarache says: "The Canadian federal Patent Act] in its current form fails to address many of the unique concerns that are raised by the patenting of higher life forms.", and that the oncomouse does not fit the definition of invention written into the federal Patent Act in the 19th century. Activists are happy - the industry unhappy - with the decision. I guess we are to think that the oncomouse is all things but it is not a result of a technical process.

TrendMicro - Barracuda: fang and claw

For your fun with IP, another case of patent hypocrisy. Network World magazine has an article on the patent squabble between TrendMicro and Barracuda. Barracuda is asking for help in busting the evil Trendmicro virus scanning patents, but begs the OS community not to bust the slimy firewall patents that Barracuda bought from IBM. All you need is some junk food and a yellow soft drink (or a sushi lunch) to enjoy the laughs. As usual, the three patents Barracuda bought from IBM are the usual crap IBM filings - little to no non-patent prior art for post-2000 filings in areas where there is tons of prior art - more examples of the "high quality" patents issuing under the current USPTO czar Dudas. We need to reform the judicial system so that, in some cases, both sides lose.

Presidential candidates on intellectual property: BARACK OBAMA

Having looked into John McCain's IP platform, Obama's platform can be glimpsed at, which contains the following: REFORM THE PATENT SYSTEM: A system that produces timely, high-quality patents is essential for global competitiveness in the 21st century. By improving predictability and clarity in our patent system, we will help foster an environment that encourages innovation. So far, trite babble - timely, high-quality patents -no patent can be timely enough, due to the the IP explosion, the inefficacy of the globalized IP database and patent approval agencies. Giving the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) the resources to improve patent quality and opening up the patent process to citizen review will reduce the uncertainty and wasteful litigation that is currently a significant drag on innovation. peer review is a sub-optimal logistic solution to the problem of prior art handling at the Patent Office. That Obama starts off his solutions with something that most experts in prior art handling dismiss, is an indication that Obama is not challenging his academic advisors, but rather cutting-and-pasting what they are supplying him. Not a good sign for serious reform. With better informational resources, the Patent and Trademark Office could offer patent applicants who know they have significant inventions the option of a rigorous and public peer review that would produce a 'gold-plated' patent much less vulnerable to court challenge. Three sentences of solutions (these two, and one more), and Obama wastes them on public peer review to provide the PTO with more prior art. Nothing about stiffening Rule 56 so that applicants are required to do more searching, nothing about supplying examiners with better internal resources and tools to do better searches, etc. He is not being serious about patent reform. Where dubious patents are being asserted, the PTO could conduct low-cost, timely administrative proceedings to determine patent validity. I think he is referring to post-grant review. He is being silly here - timely administrative proceedings - that would be a first. And there were many legitimate complaints about post-grant review, which is why Congress couldn't find consensus in this year's patent reform bill. As president, Barack Obama will ensure that our patent laws protect legitimate rights while not stifling innovation and collaboration. three sentences of mostly rejected solutions to some of the PTO's problems. Nothing about healing examiner/management relations - something you think a Democrat would easily embrace and is a big problem at the PTO. Nothing about reforming PTO management, such as prohibiting future illegal appointments. Nothing about independent reviews of PTO performance in areas of quality and timeliness, etc. In short, Obama's position on patent reform is election-year pablum - sounds good while being of little promise to the future. Obama should find new advisors on patent policy, if this is the academic crap they are currently advising him with. I can't believe any practicing patent lawyers would suggest such ineffectual solutions.

Presidential candidates on intellectual property: JOHN MCCAIN

There is nothing on the John McCain website regarding patents. Using the search query: returned three items, only one of which is a speech of McCain's that has any relevance to patents, in which he briefly mention patents in ways that Democrats usually argue. 1) On April 28, 2008, McCain gave a talk at the Miami's Children Hospital, mostly on health care issues. At one point, he spoke as follows: "Pharmaceutical companies must worry less about squeezing additional profits from old medicines by copying the last successful drug and insisting on additional patent protections and focus more on new and innovative medicine." Something Ted Kennedy would say. Other than that, there is nothing on the Web site of McCain's presidential campaign dealing with patent policy. While I don't like Obama's ideas, at least he has something. McCain's apathy is somewhat confirmed by other accounts. For example, a May 29th blog on a talk McCain gave at the digital conference "D" ( the blogger printed a response of McCain's to a question on patents asked by Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal: "... However, when Mossberg said that many people think that U.S. patent law is allowing companies to patent existing ideas, and asked McCain if this was a problem on his radar screen, McCain gave such a firm "No!" that it prompted audience laughter. 'I want to focus on the big things.', he said." With this attitude, forget about any serious patent reform under McCain. Indeed, I am not sure if McCain really understands the economics of innovation (or economics in general). His one technology solution for the energy crisis is a $300 million dollar prize for a breakthrough in battery technology at least an order of magnitude better than what is available now: "I further propose we inspire the ingenuity and resolve of the American people.", Mr. McCain said, "by offering a $300 million prize for the development of a battery package that has the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars." However, as many blogs pointed out, this is an idiotic idea. One blog about this is at: llion-challenge-is-interesting.html Why is this an idiotic idea? Anyone smart enough to invent such a battery (which is an incredibly complex problem to solve - billions have already been thrown at it) - anyone that smart is going to be smart enough to realize that a patent on such a battery would be worth BILLIONS and BILLIONS of dollars. So unless the prize includes retention of patent rights, this is an idiotic innovation idea of McCain's. It will take at least a hundred million dollars to solve this problem. With that level of money, IP lawyers will be involved. And any IP lawyer who doesn't advise his clients to file lots of patent applications on such breakthrough battery technology should be disbarred. Who's advising McCain to spout this nonsense? One advisor is lawyer Ed Reines of Weil Gotshal, who generally holds the public in contempt when it comes to patent policy (only lawyers and judges can talk about such issues), law professor Michael Abramowicz who apparently recently proposed an auction system for extending patent terms (which is an interesting idea, but mostly a secondary problem compared to bigger problems plaguing the patent system), and law professor Eugene Volokh, who has never heard of Due Process constitutional law (IP law suffers bigtime from Due Process vagueness, apparently beyond the notice of Volokh), and some other lawyers. With McCain's attitudes, they are wasting their time.