Posts with tag "patents"

Canada heads to the technological bush league

canadarm We have some of the smartest minds in the world working in all areas of computer technology. We were at one time a leader in broadband penetration and a beacon to countries with our hands off approach to the Internet. That is all changing and it boils down to, in my own personal opinion, to two things – the screwed up implementation of patents and copyright as well as federal government with no guts or foresight.

Already we are hamstrung by copyright laws that force services like Pandora and Hulu to deny us access to their services and why – because a dying entertainment industry is enforcing archaic copyright laws. To this end we have a government that is a major player in the secret backroom deals that are going into the implementation of ACTA – the next generation copyright laws that will apply worldwide.

From the Pipeline – 7.22.08

Well that was fun – our first power outage of the summer – not bad except it’s making me late getting this out by its usual time. So without any further ado here’s a few things that caught my eye in today’s FriendFeed pipeline.

The Death of Google’s Patents [nw] :: Patently – It looks like some serious changes within the US Patent Office could be spelling trouble for more than just Google patents

What Will We Do When Growth is No Longer the “In Thing” Anymore? (Web Startups) [nw] :: Charles Hudson – some very interesting thoughts about what’s next for the startup industry as it tries to move forward in the future

Don’t Talk to Cops, Part 1 [nw] :: YouTube – that is something I would never do no matter the reason – lawyer first cops second – no debate.

Beam Bed: Sleeping Encounters of the Third Kind [nw] :: Coolest Gadgets – very very cool .. and I want one

Briefly: Spammer gets four years in the can [nw] :: The Industry Standard – not long enough in my opinion

A right use of social networks

I give this one a vote of 4 I may not be a big proponent of all things Web 2.0 but a new pilot project that was announced by the US Patent Office is to me a perfect use of the social network concept. The project would see the posting of patent applications to the web and then allowing a community around the site to post comments and vote on the application; much like Digg.com.

In the Washington Post article about the announcement, David Kappos; vice president and assistant general counsel at IBM, said

For the first time in history, it allows the patent-office examiners to open up their cubicles and get access to a whole world of technical experts.

The idea that an over worked agency that is so important can now draw upon some of the best minds to help validate the ideas and concepts of presented patents is a great idea. As Mathew Ingram says in his post on the announcement

Perhaps because somewhere out there is a person who knows something about one of the patents the USPTO is looking at, and can help the office decide whether there is prior art, whether the invention is too obvious, etc.

To me this idea would be ripe for the full court social networking press. Everything from the current idea to a dedicated patent wiki to desktop widgets or even it’s own twitter. As much as we may decry patents and the trolls that come with them, they are the backbone of our innovations.

Patents at their best enable the brilliant minds to protect their ideas and foster the drive to innovate. At their worst they are used as weapons by the greedy and the trolls to beat innovation into submission and make a buck doing it.

With creating a community around the patent process one would hope that the bright light of truly concerned participant will shine a light on these trolls and send them back to the dark slimy caves that gave them birth.

The main concern; and to a certain extent fear, I have is that the system gets hijacked by the Digg type yahoos. However if the people involved carefully study the points where both systems like Digg.com and Wikipedia have failed and use them as learning points to create a better system then it may work out alright.