Today’s Software Patents Look a Lot Like Early Pharma Patents

The recent New York Times article on the high-tech industry argues that software patents and the current “smart phone war” are a disaster for innovation, and it backs this with quotes and cites from a horde of academics and judges, like Judge Richard Posner, that software patents are causing “chaos.” Judge Posner in particular has […]

Some Historical Perspective on Today’s High-Tech Patent Wars

The New York Times set hearts aflutter in the IP world yesterday with its hit piece on patents in the high-tech industry– I’m shocked, shocked to find the New York Times publishing biased articles on hot topics in politics and law — but Bloomberg also published an important article yesterday on the smart phone war, software […]

The “Patent Litigation Explosion” Canard

We often hear today that there’s an unprecedented “patent litigation explosion” that’s killing innovation. Last week, the New York Times plied this claim without abandon in its hit piece on high-tech patents.  It’s become so commonplace that this phrase garners over 1.3 million hits on Google. It’s especially common fare in discussions about the “smart […]

Lessons from Singapore on Patents

While the United States continues to weaken its patent laws, Singapore is taking a different path.  Singapore has just announced that it is developing a plan to be an Intellectual Property Hub, according to  They believe that intellectual property is a key part of the global economy and they want their country to be […]

The Problem With The Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade, and Sales Act

The bill H.R. 3059, titled the “Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade, and Sales” (PARTS) Act claims to reduce the cost of automotive repairs by limiting design patents for automotive parts to 30 months.  This bill pits automobile manufacturers against insurance companies and consumer groups.  The argument for the bill is that it would reduce the cost […]


Only 2% of Patents Ever Pay Off?

I often hear something like ‘only 2% of patents every pay off’ or are commercialized.  This comment is quoted as if it is gospel and often is said in a snide or cynical way.  This comment came to my mind as I was preparing a list of patents and associated products for one of my […]

This Is CNN: Abusing Copyright Law To End Embarrassment

Tax Day this year was a great day for old-fashioned patriotism, but a bad day for television journalism–exemplified by CNN “reporter” Susan Roesgen. When hundreds of thousands of protestors raised their voices in opposition to profligate government spending and high taxes, Roesgen’s rude, hectoring interview of a father in Chicago holding his two-year-old son became […]

Of Piracy and Politics

The Associated Press reported on January 11th what was otherwise an amusing episode in the saga of the Somalian pirate infestation off the east coast of Africa. “Five of the pirates who hijacked a Saudi supertanker drowned with their share of a $3 million ransom

PRO-IP, Rights, and the Roots of Copyright Opposition

President Bush recently signed into law the “PRO-IP” bill, an act for “Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property.” The purpose of the bill is to enhance remedies for violations of intellectual property laws. The law creates a copyright protection office in the executive branch of government and provides for more extreme penalties for pirates. […]

Conspiracy Theories: Was 9/11 An "Inside Job" and Other Stories

Conspiracy Theories: Was 9/11 An “Inside Job” and Other Stories

I was recently forced to break off an amicable correspondence of several years because of 9/11 conspiracy theories and this person’s acceptance of them. Our conversations became nothing but this person trying to convince me that the terrorist attacks of 9/11 were an “inside job” and that for me to contend otherwise was to show […]

A Conspiracy Theory: Bush Contracts

See if you can guess which stock I’m talking about. This stock topped out in early January at 75. It steadily declined all year, hitting bottom at 49 on Aug. 12. After that, it rallied magnificently. On Monday it was trading at 65. Then something very strange happened. Mid-day Monday this stock was attacked by […]

A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America

Some people believe in the lost continent of Atlantis and in unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Others worry about an 18th-century secret society called the Bavarian Illuminati or a mythical Zionist-Occupied Government secretly running the United States. What if these disparate elements shared beliefs, joined forces, won a much larger audience, broke out of their intellectual […]

The Legitimacy of Intellectual Property

Revolutionary technologies always disrupt society and one of America’s biggest “digital age” disruptions is occurring in the area of intellectual property (IP). Indeed, the digital revolution has re-ignited a heated debate over whether intellectual property is even property at all. The issue gained prominence a few years ago when five major record labels sued Napster, […]

Would-Be Intellectual Vandals Get Their Day in the Supreme Court

In 1998 Congress, pursuant to its Constitutional power to determine the duration of federal copyright protection, passed a law extending the term of that protection by 20 years. This law brought United States copyright protection in line with that already afforded in Europe. In addition, as the average life expectancy in the United States now […]

Liberal Conspiracy Theories: Bush and Enron

The U.N., the Trilateral Commission, the international conspiracy of Jewish bankers — these are the conspiracy theories for which right-wing nuts are infamous. But what about the conspiracy theories of the left? I’m sure you have heard of them: the Military-Industrial Complex, the “vast right-wing conspiracy,” and, of course, the international conspiracy of multinational conglomerates. […]

Music “Sharing” and Music Piracy: End Intellectual Theft

I’ve held my mouth shut for some time concerning Napster and file-sharing in general. Mostly because I did not wish to offend people close to me that are participating in this activity. I realize that this has been a mistake. As a music-lover, I completely understand the desire to listen to music for free. The […]

Conspiracy Theories

Q: What are your thoughts on assertions of a conspiracy by Republicans to steal the presidential election — made by Democrats and the mainstream media? It seems “conspiracy theories” abound today, by both the left and the right. What’s at the core of this mentality? A: Conspiracy theories almost always are arbitrary. Little or no […]

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