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Another new Microsoft 'propaganda' site for intellectual monopoly:

Microsoft’s 4th EU SME Day | Programme

,----[ Quote ]
| Fighting for Europe’s Community Patent
| The European Commission is again gearing up to launch support for a community
| patent. Association of Comeptitive Technologies (ACT) to explore where
| entrepreneurs can directly communicate to policy makers why a community
| patent must succeeed and what it should look like.


Also noteworthy:

Tort reform

,----[ Quote ]
| First of all, let’s take the calendar date issue. What happens is a small
| calendar pops up and you then choose a date. If Alcatel-Lucent patented this
| interface, I suppose I should have done the same back in 1987 when I wrote a
| similar interface for a custom application I was contracted to design. The
| point is, it’s a CALENDAR! Who owns the patent (or worse, the copyright) on
| the Gregorian calendar, or the method in which it is used? What about the
| algorithm used to calculate dates, Easter, leap years, or Daylight Savings
| Time? It’s not that I’m a huge fan of Microsoft or an opponent of
| Alcatel-Lucent; I’m neither. But to see items like this make me wonder where
| the patent issue stops.


How Software Patents' Fuzzy Boundaries Create Unnecessary Litigation

,----[ Quote ]
| James Bessen and Michael Meurer, authors of an important new book on the
| patent system, have a great post on the problems created specifically by
| software patents...
| [...]
| Bessen and Meurer don't offer a strong recommendation on the best way to
| solve the problems with software patents, but they tentatively endorse
| a "subject matter test" -- that is, reinstating the ban on software
| patents -- as one part of a solution to the problem.


Lawyers rejoice....

Sony, Sanyo, Others Settle LED Patent Complaint

,----[ Quote ]
| Four consumer electronics companies, including Sony and Sanyo Electric, have
| settled a complaint that they were infringing a patent on semiconductors
| related to LEDs and laser diodes used in products such as mobile phones,
| billboards, Blu-ray disc players and data storage devices, according to
| lawyers for the patent holder.



Ideas Are Everywhere... So Why Do We Limit Them?

,----[ Quote ]
| Gladwell uses this to talk up what Myhrvold is doing, suggesting that
| Intellectual Ventures is really about continuing that process, getting those
| ideas out there -- but he misses the much bigger point: if these ideas are
| the natural progression, almost guaranteed to be discovered by someone sooner
| or later, why do we give a monopoly on these ideas to a single discoverer?
| Myhrvold's whole business model is about monopolizing all of these ideas and
| charging others (who may have discovered them totally independently) to
| actually do something with them. Yet, if Gladwell's premise is correct (and
| there's plenty of evidence included in the article), then Myhrvold's efforts
| shouldn't be seen as a big deal. After all, if it wasn't Myhrvold and his
| friends doing it, others would very likely come up with the same thing sooner
| or later.
| This is especially highlighted in one anecdote in the article, of Myhrvold
| holding a dinner with a bunch of smart people... and an attorney. The group
| spent dinner talking about a bunch of different random ideas, with no real
| goal or purpose -- just "chewing the rag" as one participant put it. But the
| next day the attorney approached them with a typewritten description of 36
| different inventions that were potentially patentable out of the dinner. When
| a random "chewing the rag" conversation turns up 36 monopolies, something is
| wrong. Those aren't inventions that deserve a monopoly.

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