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Who Should See the Film 'Patent Absurdity'? - Pick Your Brain - Updated
Monday, May 24 2010 @ 06:20 PM EDT

I have a request from End Software Patents' Ciarán O'Riordan. He'd like your help.

He says VC good guy Brad Feld is interested in in mailing out copies of the film Patent Absurdity (Full title: Patent Absurdity: How software patents broke the system) to 200 people -- politicians, influential people in companies, policy setters at standards groups, and whoever will be influential in the debate the breaks out post-Bilski -- and he'd like to have some help from you coming up with a list of who best to send to.

If you have some ideas, please share them here and Ciarán can find them or go directly to his site and leave your thoughts there, or both. They've started on the list. I see Microsoft people on the list. Personally, I consider that a waste. Their business model is patents, and that won't change unless they think of an easier or better plan. And Gene Quinn has planted his flag firmly in favor of patents, so I wouldn't waste one there. Maybe people like that could instead get a card or something to point them to the online film.

I know who I'd *like* to send it to: all the justices on the US Supreme Court and all the judges at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. But that's just me. There's probably protocol involved. I doubt judges open packages from strangers, after all. But I will research what is possible there.

The main thing is for you to think about who needs help understanding why software developers are so, so opposed to software patents, almost to a man, people who may not know and are willing to consider the issue.

Here's Feld's blog, where he explains his plan and what gave him the idea:

Last week, Microsoft sued Salesforce.com claiming infringement of 9 software patents. This comes shortly after Nokia sued Apple who sued Nokia over software patents, and after Apple sued HTC who sued Apple over software patents.

As an example of the ridiculous nature of software patents, Microsoft’s claims cover user interface features, including a "system and method for providing and displaying a Web page having an embedded menu" and a "method and system for stacking toolbars in a computer display."

This explosion of litigation based on the patenting of software cannot be brushed-off as large corporations doing what they do, as almost every start-up software company is at some point being shaken down by software patent holders. It’s a massive tax on and retardant of innovation.

I’m promoting the film Patent Absurdity because I know it’s helping people understand the situation. It’s gratifying to hear that more than 100,000 people have now viewed the film since it was released a month ago. But are the right people seeing it?

I don’t know, so I’ve decided to send a DVD of the movie in the postal mail to 200 people who you think would most benefit our cause by seeing the movie and hearing the views of a few venture capitalists. My friends at the End Software Patents campaign have started the list and are asking for your help to identify those people that need to be made aware of how the patent system is failing us.

Watch the film, share it with friends, and take a look over the list of people who should watch this film.

So, your ideas, please, remembering that the amount is finite, and the hope is to reach those most likely to have influence as the discussion about software patents continues.

Update: The mailing was done on Sunday, June 6th, and you can find the letter and the list of recipients here. Here's the letter, and I think one of the best points he makes is that he is a venture capitalist working with startups who are finding patents a drag on innovation. This is the exact opposite of what judges and lawyers and the rest of us are so often told, that without patents no venture capitalist will fund a startup:

****************************

Dear XX

My name is Brad Feld and I’m a venture capitalist who has a popular web blog about innovation and investing in tech start-ups at www.feld.com.

I’m writing to you about a new documentary film "Patent Absurdity: how software patents broke the system", and including a DVD of that film with this letter. I hope you will spare 30 minutes to watch.

I selected you as one of two hundred influential people to receive this DVD because I wanted to make sure that the film is reaching the right people–people who can help inform the debate over the patenting of software. Specifically, I’m hoping the film will bring you to an understanding of why patents on software are a massive tax on and retardant of innovation in the US.

I’m including with this letter a full list of the 200 people who are receiving a copy of this film as well as publishing those names on-line at:
http://en.swpat.org/wiki/ Who_should_see_Patent_Absurdity.

Any day now the US Supreme Court will issue a ruling in a landmark case known popularly as "Bilski". This ruling is likely to have significant impact on the US economy and the prospects for the new innovative companies that I partner with and who create great new products and services.

Patents, as you are probably aware, are government granted monopolies that last 20 years. They allow the patent holder to restrict others from entering the market. Historically, patents have covered novel machines, processes for industrial manufacture, and pharmaceuticals. In more recent years, patents on software have been granted–hundreds of thousands of patents. These patents cover essential techniques in computer programming, and their existence is having a chilling effect on the startup companies that I work with. These start-ups are finding it increasingly difficult to make headway through this software patent thicket.

Here are some specific points I would like to bring to your attention about software patents:

* The financial cost of defending yourself against a software patent claim are impossible to overcome. Just to analyze whether the claims being made against you are justified will incur legal fees in excess of $50,000.00, and more than $1 million in legal fees before trial. Yet it costs the price of a postage stamp for a software patent holder to make a legal claim against you.

(http://www.wsgr.com/ PDFSearch/09202004_patentpirates.pdf)

* Economic research demonstrates that software patents are acting as a drag on the US economy.

(http://en.swpat.org/wiki/ Studies_on_economics_and_innovation)

* Programmers – those skilled in the art of writing software, would be expected to benefit from, and support the patenting of software. They do not. They uniformly despise them as a limitation on their art.

(http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/ indprop/comp/analyses_en.htm)

* Venture capitalist like me, who work with new innovative start-ups can testify that software patents have a chilling effect on the market.

(http://en.swpat.org/wiki/ Statements_from_venture_capitalists)

* With well over 200,000 software patents having been issued, non practicing entities and hedge funds are buying up tens of thousands of these trash patents and using them to extract hundreds of millions of dollars from US companies. This activity takes the form of a protection racket.

(http://www.techdirt.com/ articles/20100217/1853298215.shtml)

I would be happy to offer my time to answer any questions you might have about this film and what we can do to help end this software patent absurdity.

Yours sincerely,

Brad Feld


  


Who Should See the Film 'Patent Absurdity'? - Pick Your Brain - Updated | 196 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Who Should See the Film 'Patent Absurdity'? - Pick Your Brain
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2010 @ 06:59 PM EDT
President Barack Obama.

And a certain court in Germany....

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Monty Python Team may be interested...
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2010 @ 07:08 PM EDT
I'm sure they can take it from there.

bjd

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who Should See the Film 'Patent Absurdity'? - Pick Your Brain
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2010 @ 07:11 PM EDT
Those in a position to evaluate the system and make changes, send it to the
Judiciary and the lawmakers.

Sending it to people that cannot influence, or have already decided the issue is
a waste of time, money and effort.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who Should See the Film 'Patent Absurdity'? - Pick Your Brain
Authored by: rsteinmetz70112 on Monday, May 24 2010 @ 07:32 PM EDT
All Senators and Representatives, but that's more than 200 people and it would
probably be better to have a constituent send them.

Failing that the Senator and Representatives on the primary committees in each
house who have jurisdiction over patent matters.

That appears to be the Judiciary Committee in each house. The Senate used to
have a subcommittee on Intellectual Property, but it appears to no longer
exist.


---
Rsteinmetz - IANAL therefore my opinions are illegal.

"I could be wrong now, but I don't think so."
Randy Newman - The Title Theme from Monk

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who Should See the Film 'Patent Absurdity'? - Pick Your Brain
Authored by: hans on Monday, May 24 2010 @ 07:33 PM EDT
200 hardly seems like an adequate number.

Hans

[ Reply to This | # ]

Canadian Industry Minister Tony Clement should get a copy
Authored by: The Mad Hatter r on Monday, May 24 2010 @ 07:38 PM EDT


Tony's website is here, and his parliamentary listing is here.


---
Wayne

http://madhatter.ca/

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who Should See the Film 'Patent Absurdity'? - Pick Your Brain
Authored by: dacii on Monday, May 24 2010 @ 07:48 PM EDT
How about asking CNN or other major TV networks to play it to their viewers and
start a debate/investigation into the matter. CNN recently did a show on cyber
security. NPR might be another news agency to send it to for rebroadcast. The
more eyes and ears the better? I am sure you might catch the attension of quite
a few influential people.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who Should See the Film 'Patent Absurdity'? - Pick Your Brain
Authored by: StrangeAttractor on Monday, May 24 2010 @ 07:51 PM EDT
As an IEEE member, I was unhappy with the Amici Curiae submitted by IEEE-USA.
Perhaps the presidents of professional societies like IEEE, ACM, APS, AMS, SIAM,
etc. should get copies.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Would it be possible to send it as an Amici Curiae?
Authored by: tyche on Monday, May 24 2010 @ 09:08 PM EDT
A neat cover letter explaining that the enclosed disk explains the important
ramifications of patenting software and why it's not appropriate. Would that be
appropriate to the various courts?

Craig
Tyche

---
"The Truth shall Make Ye Fret"
"TRUTH", Terry Pratchett

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who Should See the Film 'Patent Absurdity'? - Pick Your Brain
Authored by: njt on Monday, May 24 2010 @ 09:42 PM EDT
I'd agree with PJ about the justices and judges needing to see this film.
Perhaps if it were sent by someone personally known to them, instead of a
stranger, it might have a better chance of being well-received... and it seems
possible that within the extended Groklaw readership there might be a person who
knows one of these figures.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who Should See the Film 'Patent Absurdity'? - Pick Your Brain
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2010 @ 10:06 PM EDT
"I know who I'd *like* to send it to: all the justices on the US Supreme
Court and all the judges at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. But
that's just me. There's probably protocol involved. I doubt judges open packages
from strangers, after all. But I will research what is possible there."

I have always wanted to know the etiquette of how to interact with supreme court
judges. They have such an impact on our lives, yet it isn't clear whether we
can let them know about the problems our society is facing, and whether they
bother to try to find out.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who Should See the Film 'Patent Absurdity'? - Pick Your Brain
Authored by: Davo.Sydney on Monday, May 24 2010 @ 10:42 PM EDT
May I suggest Law Professors that lecture on these topics. That way it has a
downstream effect as they may show or at least mention the video to their
students. Or from the other direction, student leaders who are an elected by the
students to represent the student body.

Also for distribution reasons place it on You Tube. That way other people can
embed the video onto their web pages...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2010 @ 10:52 PM EDT
End Softare Patents -> End Software Patents

[ Reply to This | # ]

Subtitles/Captioning
Authored by: qrider70 on Monday, May 24 2010 @ 11:02 PM EDT
As a Deaf reader, I would like to encourage them (and really any other
productions like these) to make subtitles or captioning an assumed part of the
video production process. In order for Deaf people to be informed consumers as a
part of this process, we need access to the information. I looked at the video,
but I have no idea what it said because I cannot hear.

Your forethought in this matter would empower Deaf people to also participate in
this process as equal citizens.

And, yes, I know that there are hearing people who are annoyed with captions and
subtitles. I know that for some, they are a distraction. I am very sorry about
that. But without them, I (and my fellow Deaf community members) are completely
left out of the discussion. If we have to make a choice between our active
participation versus your comfort, I'm sorry to say that our active
participation seems logically more important. :) I hope you understand. :)

Thanks!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who Should See the Film 'Patent Absurdity'? - Pick Your Brain
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2010 @ 11:03 PM EDT
If you want to get to policy makers on patents how about
David Kappos

Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United
States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections Thread - non-anonymous
Authored by: artp on Monday, May 24 2010 @ 11:08 PM EDT
"eror -> error"

or

s/eror/error

But thanks to the anonymous poster who provided a correction in the absence of a
canonical Correction thread. Registered members are falling down on the job.

---
Userfriendly on WGA server outage:
When you're chained to an oar you don't think you should go down when the galley
sinks ?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic Thread
Authored by: artp on Monday, May 24 2010 @ 11:10 PM EDT
For those with a roving mind.

---
Userfriendly on WGA server outage:
When you're chained to an oar you don't think you should go down when the galley
sinks ?

[ Reply to This | # ]

News Picks Thread
Authored by: artp on Monday, May 24 2010 @ 11:12 PM EDT
Remember that the article you are posting about will scroll off the side. Help
us find it more easily: Title, URL...



---
Userfriendly on WGA server outage:
When you're chained to an oar you don't think you should go down when the galley
sinks ?

[ Reply to This | # ]

How about Neelie Kroes?
Authored by: ilde on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 12:37 AM EDT
Back when she imposed Microsoft a fine of 899 million euros I believed she
really got it. Now I am no so sure.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who Should See the Film 'Patent Absurdity'? - Pick Your Brain
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 12:44 AM EDT
The chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary committees.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Don't waste the effort on
Authored by: IMANAL_TOO on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 01:17 AM EDT
In line with what PJ already said, don't waste your energy on lost causes. Send
it to the most immediately relevant cause for greatest effect. Don't think even
think of "in the long run".

What I believe matters the most now is the EU Commission case. And, in the EU,
send it to those groups which are already known to _hesitantly_ support the
cause. There is no need to send it to the most ardent supporters, unless you
know you have new arguments not heard before.

But, this request for help to Groklaw should be also sent to the most ardent
supporters inside the Commission who can help you identify the most relevant
targets on a personal basis.


Good Luck!!!





---
______
IMANAL


.

[ Reply to This | # ]

USPTO/EO
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 02:25 AM EDT
Relevant members of the Executive Committee of the United States Patent and
Trademark Office.

List here: http://www.uspto.gov/about/bios/index.jsp

[ Reply to This | # ]

IBM needs to see it real bad
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 02:28 AM EDT
International Bullying Machines tons of patents, aggressive conduct

[ Reply to This | # ]

The European Patent Office
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 02:55 AM EDT
http://www.epo.org/

Please?

--
JK Finn

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who Should See the Film 'Patent Absurdity'? - Pick Your Brain
Authored by: jrvalverde on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 03:22 AM EDT
Actually, the best suggestions to date have been to send it to Monty Python and public broadcast companies.

The point is that any political representative is not guaranteed to be there four years from now. Even so, if he's a supporter, he does not need it, if he's not, chances are he won't change unless his supporters (lobbies) do.

The opposite is true for private companies: CEOs may have a longer tenure but their power is highly limited by the interest of business, so unless you show them a convincing way of earning more money _and_ crushing their competitors they are unlikely to care.

That leaves little people. A person who may act directly may be good, but his/her impact will be small. It is better to address people who will influence other people and exploit a cascade/chain effect.

Among the mass media, most will side for anything remotely resembling protecting intellectual property. Unless you can convince them that it's in their best interest by showing how patenting a storyline/algorithm/idea would be detrimental... tricky as they may think it is a good idea also.

Finally, add on top that whoever gets it must have time and interest enough to see it. You might get a reporter to see it if it looks promising. A busy CEO or politician?

So, that leaves identifying a few opinion makers who may be convinced of the absurdity of patenting ideas *and* will not sit idle if they get convinced. Provided you can get them to see it.

---
Jose R. Valverde
EMBnet/CNB

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who Should See the Film 'Patent Absurdity'? - Pick Your Brain
Authored by: ThrPilgrim on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 04:08 AM EDT

Jeremy Paxman,
Newsnight
BBC Broadcasting Centre,
Wood Lane,
London

---
Beware of him who would deny you access to information for in his heart he considers himself your master.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who Should See the Film 'Patent Absurdity'? - Pick Your Brain
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 05:33 AM EDT
I think that the likelihood for judges to take their time to see it is limited.
They most likely have a great faith in case law and that the judicial system
eventually will get it right so they will probably not care to educate
themselves on the matter. After all they have friends of the court that will
alert of any good arguments.

A more reasonable target is major newspaper reporters and other media broadcast
companies. Reporters are by nature curious and every one of them can make a big
impact over time if they are aware this is a newsworthy issue.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who? All high school kids?
Authored by: Winter on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 05:40 AM EDT
High school children are bombarded with lies about copyrights and patents.

It is very common that schools tell children that FLOSS is illegal and you
cannot share, eg, OpenOffice.org.

It is also good to tell them BEFORE they enter company life that there are many
people out there who try to shut down independent research, thought, and the
free market economy.

There is a danger that they will come out of it with a feeling of "how can
I get a part of the deal". But that is with all education.

Rob


---
Some say the sun rises in the east, some say it rises in the west; the truth
lies probably somewhere in between.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why do I see an irony here?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 05:44 AM EDT
>... so I’ve decided to send a DVD of the movie in the postal mail...

OK so a home burned dvd wont have DRM or Region locking, but
it still uses the MPEG2 patents, and dvdnav. And this is an admission
that sending an .ogv would be a waste of time as 80% of recipients
would not be bothered downloading or installing an ogv player
from the disc even given full instructions.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who Should See the Film 'Patent Absurdity'? - Pick Your Brain
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 06:53 AM EDT
I think it is a great idea, assuming the recipients are not
jaded and are truly open-minded. I for one, and I do know
that I am not alone in this, would just toss it in the trash
unopened because it not something I ordered and therefore
considered as just another piece of junk-mail.

Saying that, I think you have to do a little research or
investigation. I know that congress critters have staffers
that read and screen all the mail before it gets to the
congress critter, if at all. I do not know what kind of
filters are used, i.e. "trash all that oppose my
viewpoint", "pass on only those that enclose campaing
contributions" etc. I believe that are series of filters
that it would have to pass through. Also, most congress
critters are to self-important to think for themselves
and so rely on senior staffers to explain, do research, and
task less senior staff to write position papers.

Congress has done a really good job of insulating itself
from the general citizens. I would think that enlisting
multiple paid lobbyists would be the most effective way to
deliver the message, but that most likely to too costly, money wise. May be if
you can find out who the senior
staff member is for each Senator, and get a copy to each
of them directly (that would be 100 copies), it might be
effective.

What you don't want is to have it be considered in the same
catagory as the movies by Michael Moore. I think his
movies are great, but I think the congress critters think
his stuff is a joke. A few may be swayed, but I often
think he is a distraction. Many people judge the message
by the messenger.

Good luck, and I mean that seriously. Software patents
are destroying the technical independance and freedom of
the citizens of this and every other country.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who Should See the Film 'Patent Absurdity'? - Pick Your Brain
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 08:30 AM EDT
CBS (especially the people in charge of finding stories for "60
Minutes", NBC (for Dateline), ABC (for "20/20" and potentially
"Nightline" or "The View").

Of course you'll probably have to give them a decent explanation as to why this
is important enough to be featured.

ZDNet (or some of the authors there) should at least be given an embeddable link
to the movie.

I agree with putting it on YouTube, and I would create a Facebook page for it
(along with a Twitter feed that links to it and includes quotes from the
movie).

The Wall Street Journal would be another good place to send it. Along with
that, the major newspapers in the US (New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago
Sun, Los Angeles Times, etc).

Have a great day:)
Patrick.

[ Reply to This | # ]

EEUPC, Antonio Tajani, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 08:41 AM EDT
Disclaimer: I'm not actually very familiar with the corridors of power in Brussels so this is the best I could find as an outsider, based on the ec.europa.eu website.
Antonio Tajani, EU Commissioner for industry and entrepreneurship:
Contact Tajani
(mind you seeing as he came from Forza Italia I don't know what his attitude is towards Big Business using patents)
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science:
Contact Geoghegan-Quinn
Further digging required: find the people responsible for the planned "European and European Union Patent's Court (EEUPC)", EPO article about it

[ Reply to This | # ]

Put it on line
Authored by: philc on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 10:32 AM EDT
A DVD is OK for some.

To get really broad viewing, put it up on the web for everyone to download and
see. Publish the URL far and wide.

The web is today's broadcast system. It is going to eclipse cable, satellite and
broadcast TV.

[ Reply to This | # ]

In IEEE: Richard H. Stern, Keith D. Grzelak
Authored by: leopardi on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 10:59 AM EDT

Richard H. Stern is author of the Micro Law column of IEEE Micro. See his web page.

Keith D. Grzelak is chair of the IEEE-USA Intellectual Property Committee. On the Committee web page, a response to my objections to their Bilski brief is still posted.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • thanks - Authored by: ciaran on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 01:47 PM EDT
The Intelectual Property Office of each major US university
Authored by: leopardi on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 11:15 AM EDT

Possibly the best way to pick *which* universities would be to check which universities have had the most software patents granted to them in say, the last 10 years or so. Or maybe this is obvious (MIT, Caltech, ... who??)

One example is the University of California.

[ Reply to This | # ]

A suggestion...
Authored by: kenryan on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 12:10 PM EDT
Governmental entities receive a large flow of material in the mail, and not all
of it is necessarily innocent. A letter that is plainly only a letter is not
much of an issue, but a package of any sort usually receives extra scrutiny
before being delivered.

My suggestion is, at least for mailing the DVD to government persons, use a
transparent or translucent envelope. Possibly as simple as a clear plastic DVD
case, taped closed with the mailing labels and postage on one side. The point
is so the contents can easily be identified.

This would make it trivial for security personnel to inspect the package,
minimizing its delay in delivery.

Just a thought ...

---
ken
(speaking only for myself, IANAL)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Put at least 5 prominent law school and economics Professors on the list.
Authored by: seanlynch on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 12:22 PM EDT

Choose some of the more 'activist' types, especially if they espouse conservative legal and economic views. The anti-patent and free software camp often gets wrongly painted with a socialist brush. The stance against government granted monopolies on ideas is a stance in support of the free market and against government interference.

Getting the message out in higher education will help build support in the next generation of leaders.

[ Reply to This | # ]

David Cameron and Nick Clegg
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 12:24 PM EDT
They probably are too busy to watch it, but maybe somebody in their parties
will.

The Tories said before the election that they were in favour of using more Free
Software. Let's see if that turns out to be true.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Trio from Fox
Authored by: TomWiles on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 12:37 PM EDT
You might try Glenn Beck, Hannity, and Bill Oreilly. All are at Fox News and if
one of them were to review it, exposure would be in the millions.

Tom

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who Should See the Film 'Patent Absurdity'? - Pick Your Brain
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 12:38 PM EDT
Harry Teague
U.S. Representative for the 2nd District of New Mexico
200 E. Broadway
Suite 200
Hobbs, NM 88240

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who Should See the Film 'Patent Absurdity'? - Pick Your Brain
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 12:43 PM EDT
Senators Orin Hatch and Patrick Leahy

[ Reply to This | # ]

President Lula of Brazil
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 02:03 PM EDT
He is:

Sympathetic.

Influential. May be able to influence ACTA as well as other countries in the
region.

An entertainer as well as a politician. This means he'll be of continuing
influence.

Karl O. Pinc <kop@meme.com>

[ Reply to This | # ]

Flash of Genius
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 02:48 PM EDT
While I agree that some reform needs to be taken on patents and copyrights, I
just can't buy into the entire concepts of removing all patents and copyrights.
If you want a perfect example, watch the true-story film, "Flash of
Genius," in which Robert Kearns, a home inventor, invented the intermittent
windshield wiper. He patented the invention then pitched it to the 3 big US
auto makers. They all rejected him, but after a couple of years, Ford came out
with their "new idea." They screwed him and ultimately, he won big
settlements in court from major auto firms. It's examples like these that I
can't stand to see an honest guys work stolen by big companies for their own
gain. What's the point of inventing?

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Who Should See the Film 'Patent Absurdity'? - Pick Your Brain
Authored by: PJ on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 03:50 PM EDT
I looked to see who Gene Quinn interviewed lately, and it makes a list that might be useful:

1. Francis Gurry, Director General of WIPO

WIPO is World Intellectual Property Organization, 34, chemin des Colombettes, CH-1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland but it might be wise to call and verify the mailing address for him personally.

2. Judge Randall Radar, the new chief judge at the Ct. of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He handled the Red Hat/IP Innovation patent infringement case. His law clerks are Adam Eltoukhy and Joss Nichols, and two of his Interns are Roozbeh Gorgin and Jennifer Volk. Interview.

3. Jim Greenwood, former Congressman and current President & CEO of BIO (Biotechnology Industry Organization) a lobby for biotech companies. Interview.

4. Dr. Gary Michelson ("billionaire inventor"). Interview on patent reform. He doesn't mean that the way you do. From the interview: " As many readers know, Dr. Michelson recently sent a letter to Congress, specifically addressed to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), who chair the Senate and House Committees responsible for moving forward with patent reform efforts. Specifically, Dr. Michelson supports S. 515 and wanted to make sure that the Congress heard from an actual inventor who greatly benefited from the US patent system. In my conversation with Dr. Michelson he explained to me that while he benefited greatly from the patent system he would have benefited even more if the system worked better. At this point Dr. Michelson “does not have a dog in the fight,” as he explained, because with the exception of a few lingering applications his patent portfolio has been fully acquired and he stands to gain no additional revenues. Nevertheless, Dr. Michelson, the quintessential successful American inventor, would like to see the US patent system improve for the benefit of all independent inventors, the American economy and to promote real job growth." Still, he said this: "Starting with the big picture first, Dr. Michelson explained that in his opinion Nathan Myhrvold, of Intellectual Ventures, is not promoting innovation. He candidly said that 'trolling is not in the public good.'"

He also mentions some folks who might get a film copy: "Dr. Michelson credits Louis Foreman, executive producer of Everyday Edisons and the publisher of Inventors Digest magazine, for bringing this home."

5. Doug Lichtman, law professor at UCLA, who does podcast IPColloquim. Here's the interview.

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Journalists
Authored by: jbb on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 04:16 PM EDT
Journalists because they are in a position to spread the word to many others. Unfortunately, IMO, there are very few real journalists left in the US who have a national audience. Two that come to mind are Amy Goodman and Glenn Greenwald (Watch out for nasty JavaScript).

---
You just can't win with DRM.

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Who Should See the Film 'Patent Absurdity'? - Pick Your Brain
Authored by: DrDoug on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 04:36 PM EDT
I would suggest Dr. Regina Dugan, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency) Director. DARPA funds a lot of high tech efforts (including software)
with both industry and academia. While the government typically retains
government use rights to this research, the companies doing the research are
generally free to file patents on the results of the research. Someone who is
more knowledgeable of the legal specifics might want to chime in.

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Does anyone remember the "computational mathematics" essay?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 05:22 PM EDT
Several months ago there was an outstanding essay posted here about the
mathematical basis of the often-stated assertion "all software is
math". The essay dealt with Turing-completeness, Kurt Godel's
incompleteness theorem, and related topics. The point was to explain why all
competent mathematicians and computer scientists consider all software to be
math, and hence the stuff of "discoveries" rather than
"inventions".

Problem is, I can't come up with a link.

I'm asking because my congressman is a former physics major (before going to law
school), and hence may be amenable to mathematic and scientific reasoning.

David Bruce

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What else should they see?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 26 2010 @ 01:54 PM EDT
As long as you are sending out DVDs, another video that should be widely exposed is I ntellectual Property in the Fashion Industry. It comes with a Creative Commons licence.

You may wish to visit the web site suggested by the video as well: Ready To Share.org

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Editorial Boards of Law School Journals
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 26 2010 @ 03:57 PM EDT
The law school journals seem to have a great deal of influence both with the
justices and legislators. A direct mailing to a judge or legislator is unlikely
to be of any benefit, but getting it to people that they respect is of immense
value. Law schools are likely a very good place to go with the video anyway.
Imagine what would happen if it was shown in every IP class in law schools
across the country...

-- Alma

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Who Should See the Film 'Patent Absurdity'? - Pick Your Brain
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 27 2010 @ 04:12 PM EDT
I went to patentabsurdity .com/watch.html to watch to video before seeing who I figured should see it. It does play in my browser (yes)(Google crome). but the sound does not seem to be connected to the video. I'm wondering if the video and sound track are out of sync. I did like the sound track, the video looked interesting too. However I got the feeling that there was two videos, that I wanted to watch, the sound which goes with the video that I watched and also I would like to see the video that went with the sound I heard.

Not sure, what is wrong with the stream I watched but I am not sure if everyone would be willing to overlook the problems.
I plead for a better video stream. (hopefully not everyone is seeing the problems I am)

a florida resident.

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Who Should See the Film 'Patent Absurdity'? - No one!
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, June 02 2010 @ 04:52 AM EDT
Einstein didn’t “just assign names to variables” like the guy in the movie with
the black board in the film said. The assertions of the movie in this regard are
absurd. Einstein made a profound new discovery. The world had survived for a
good 5000 years without access to that technique. It could have gone on for
another 20 having to pay Einstein a royalty for the privilege of taking
advantage of his hard work and genius.

If he had been able to get a patent related to E=mCC, it would have been
directed to a method of determining the energy releasable from an object. It
would not have covered squaring any number and multiplying it by another number.
It would have covered a method for determining the energy equivalent of a mass
by multiplying that mass by the speed of light squared.

The movie is silly, absurd and extremely one sided, no one should see it.

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