Supreme Court lets stand order to remove Ten Commandments monument / The Christian Science Monitor – CSMonitor.com

Supreme Court lets stand order to remove Ten Commandments monument / The Christian Science Monitor – CSMonitor.com

“The US Supreme Court declined on Monday to take up a dispute over the placement of a Ten Commandments monument on the lawn outside a county courthouse in Oklahoma.

The justices dismissed the case in a one-line order without comment.

The action lets stand a ruling by a federal appeals court and clears the way for the display to be removed from public property….

A panel of the Tenth US Circuit Court of Appeals … ruled that the display was an endorsement of religion and thus violated the First Amendment’s prohibition on excessive church-state entanglement. “

The case is clear as a matter of law. If people would put up a monument which listed the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution, for example, that would be fine, but putting up religious rules on state property – from any religion – is a violation of the Constitutional requirement that Church and State be separate. See Separation of church and state in the United States.

Don’t Worry About the U.S. Economy, It is in the Right Hands: The Talents of the Jews and Jewish Contributions to the World

So, you worry about the U.S. economy? I don’t. The Obama Administration has seen to it that the best economic brains available – are available. Obama is a smart man. His economic team is very heavy on Jewish members.

The Tel Aviv Cluster by David Brooks at the New York Times focuses on some facts about the Jews that should be repeated regularly by mainstream media to its readers, rather than concentrating on political problems in the Middle East that are to a large part an indirect result of past failings by the West itself in permitting the Holocaust to happen and in not putting down their foot against totalitarianism when they should have done so, rather than waiting for the catastrophe of WWII to happen. We may, today, be in a similar situation.

Brooks states those facts about the Jews as follows:

“Jews are a famously accomplished group. They make up 0.2 percent of the world population, but 54 percent of the world chess champions, 27 percent of the Nobel physics laureates and 31 percent of the medicine laureates.

Jews make up 2 percent of the U.S. population, but 21 percent of the Ivy League student bodies, 26 percent of the Kennedy Center honorees, 37 percent of the Academy Award-winning directors, 38 percent of those on a recent Business Week list of leading philanthropists, 51 percent of the Pulitzer Prize winners for nonfiction….

The most resourceful Israelis are going into technology and commerce, not politics. This has had a desultory effect on the nation’s public life, but an invigorating one on its economy.

Tel Aviv has become one of the world’s foremost entrepreneurial hot spots. Israel has more high-tech start-ups per capita than any other nation on earth, by far. It leads the world in civilian research-and-development spending per capita. It ranks second behind the U.S. in the number of companies listed on the Nasdaq. Israel, with seven million people, attracts as much venture capital as France and Germany combined.”

I have often stated that half of anti-Semitism is rooted in ignorance, and the other half in envy, and that is still my opinion today. A man of equal intellect would tend to view the Jews as equals. I myself am not Jewish, but if other peoples on our planet had equal talents, the world would be a much more civilized place.

Where are the Graphic Images for U.S. Patent 7669123 ? Why is the Technology of Image Viewing at the USPTO Stuck in the Stone Age ?

If you have tried to view the USPTO online graphic images for U.S. Patent 7669123 without success, you most likely do not have a graphic viewer that can display TIFF files using ITU T.6 or CCITT Group 4 (G4) compression. Who does have such software? Practically no one.

One institution of domestic government that is sorely in need of implementation of the U.S. President Barack Obama campaign promise of “change” is the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) – an inexcusably antiquated operation that has literally been left in the proverbial dust of foreseeable innovation by the fast pace of the modern digital era.

To show just how backward the USPTO is, they are still unable to unify a patent into ONE document – even if split into multiple modules in the case of larger documents, preferring rather to stick to a hopelessly outdated format that keeps the text of the patent separate from the images that accompany the patent, making the viewing of patents an enormously outdated chore for anyone involved in the patent business. We face the same problem at Yahoo Groups too, as Yahoo is another outfit populated by Rip-Van-Winkles. The USPTO argument that their way is the “patent standard” around the world by no means exculpates the patent offices for this glitch but rather proves that those patent offices are all about 20 years behind the times.

Worse, in what amounts to a technological scandal, the special TIFF format used by the USPTO is not geared to normal state-of-the-art graphic viewing programs used by everyone – that would be too simple, so that the average user is forced to buy programs to view the special USPTO patent graphic format – there being only one, very poor, free viewing program (AlternaTIFF) and one cripple-ware program (interneTIFF) that did not install on our system at all. Are patents really “of, by and for the people”? Nah. Only for the select few.

Brian, commenting at Nipper’s The Invent Blog writes:

“I can’t understand why the USPTO uses a tiff format rather than a pdf format. I’ve gotten to where I rarely ever view images on the USPTO website anymore. Instead I either pull up the patent on Google’s patent search site or download the pdf from somewhere like pat2pdf.org.”

The user interface of AlternaTIFF is confined and cramped for some reason known only to its programmers to the left side of 1/3 of our 22-inch screen in a non-legible size and any sensible use of those images in magnification mode is an insult to digital intelligence.

Both of the aforementioned TIFF viewer programs are listed by the USPTO as having been tested on IE and Netscape, a browser discontinued two years ago, and AlternaTIFF has been tested on Opera. Someone might inform the USPTO that Mozilla Firefox is the second most popular browser in the world today and is regarded by many savvy observers to be the best browser available, used especially by the tech community in great numbers. That there are dozens of other browsers out there (Chrome, anyone?) using standard graphic programs and viewers with great success is a piece of information that someone should pass on to the USPTO as well. That an institution in America responsible for patents is itself a Model-T Ford as far as tech status is concerned merely verifies the incompetence that seems to run rampant in the top echelons of this institution.

As the USPTO itself writes:

“PTO’s full-page images, nearly four terabytes overall, are stored and delivered at full 300 dots per inch (d.p.i.) resolution in an image file format called “TIFF,” using CCITT Group 4 compression…. Unfortunately, due to the volume of the image data, available funding, and other technical considerations, PTO cannot convert these images to a format more popular on the Web either permanently or by converting on-the-fly as they are delivered. [ – comment by LawPundit: excuses, excuses. The USPTO is YEARS behind the times.]

As a result, you must install and use a browser plug-in…. An alternative method is to use third-party software or services to view these images either directly or after conversion to another format….

The plug-in you use cannot be just any TIFF image plug-in. It must be able to specifically display TIFF files using ITU T.6 or CCITT Group 4 (G4) compression.

The only free, unlimited time TIFF plug-ins offering full-size, unimpeded patent viewing and printing unimpeded by any advertising on Windows® x86 PCs of which we are aware are:

* AlternaTIFF: http://www.alternatiff.com/ (tested: IE, Netscape, Opera)
* interneTIFF: http://www.internetiff.com/ (tested: IE, Netscape)

For the Apple Macintosh®, Apple’s freely distributed Quicktime version 4.1 or later works with our images for pre-Safari Macintosh, but does not provide direct printing capability…. [LawPundit: Gee, our Quicktime is currently in version 7.]

For Linux®, a plug-in called “Plugger” works nicely with Netscape Communicator®….

PTO cannot and will not provide direct user support for TIFF image display or printing beyond the provision of hyperlinks to known suitable free TIFF browser plug-ins….

Full-page images can be accessed from each patent’s full-text display by clicking on the [Images] button at the top of the patent full-text display page. If you have a properly installed G4 TIFF image viewer or plug-in, this will bring up the full-page image of the first page of the patent along with navigation buttons for retrieving the other pages of the document. These buttons include buttons for the identifiable sections of each patent: Front Page, Drawings, Specifications, Claims, Certificates of Correction (if any), and Reexaminations (if any). [LawPundit comment: The forward and back arrows in the menu of AlternaTIFF do not to function in the version we got to run on our PC – you have to use the column menu left. A software interface out of the Stone Age.]

* Patent images must be retrieved from the database one page at a time. This is necessary since patents can be as long as 5,000 pages, and the resources required to allow downloading such “jumbo” patents are not available. Users employing third-party software which downloads multiple pages of a patent at once may find this practice subjects them to denial of access to the databases if they exceed PTO’s maximum allowable activity levels. [LawPundit, commenting while falling over laughing. A denial of access for using newer technology? Unbelievable. One page at a time for patents as long as 5000 pages? And these people claim to have the competence to issue patents? Not in our book.]

* Successful printing of patent images is entirely dependent on the user’s browser and image viewer software. PTO does not provide support for printing problems. We will suggest, however, based on our experience, that with most image viewers, images may best be printed using the plug-in’s print button rather than the browser’s print function.” [LawPundit comment: Based on what we see, the USPTO should not be giving anybody ANY advice, but should rather be opening their ears TO TAKE ADVICE from the literally millions of people on this planet who appear to be more savvy about these things than they are.]

If you, as a normal web user, now download AlternaTIFF, you can view patent images only after you have installed the program as an add-on in your browser. Then you can look at the images that accompany U.S. Patent 7669123 – one at a time of course – and in a format that will make your hair stand on end.

Do we need the USPTO? Not the one that presently exists.

Should the Patent System Be Totally Revamped? Yes, Of Course. Constitutions (and their provisions) are Like Restaurants : Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Should the world patent laws be changed in their foundation? Should we stop issuing patents for methods and for software? You better believe it.

In this regard, a posting by Mike Dorf is instructive. Our fundamental laws CAN be changed:

At Dorf on Law: Constitutions and Restaurants

Mike Dorf writes:

“[I]ssues of constitutional law are never fully settled, because they are always open to the possibility of re-examination.”

Is that true? And why is that important? Who says that it is desirable that an issue of constitutional law be fully settled? And if not fully settled, is the “possibility of re-examination” the actual reason for this uncertainty, or is the actual reason to be found in the adaptive purpose of constitutions – in their role as the foundations of government – and thus in their need to adjust their mandates to changing times. A good example here would be the U.S. Constitution and the constitutional extension of the right to vote to minorities and to women. Humans drive social change and man’s laws merely adjust to and reflect that change.

Further, Dorf writes:

“As Tom Ginsburg et al report in a recent paper, the average lifespan of a national constitution is 17 years. Constitutions, it seems, are like restaurants: Most new ones fail.”

Is there anything wrong with that argument? Is the average lifespan of constitutions really so short, or is the problem here that governments, especially in developing countries, are short-lived? Can a constitution really fail, or is the actual failure involved one of human application of constitutional dictates? Or is the failure of constitutions in fact to be traced to their failure to keep up with the times?

To what degree has the U.S. Constitution, for example, become out of date? especially on the example of its patent provision? Maybe we should strike that clause entirely as having very little relevance to the way that the economy of the modern world is or should be run.

Facebook Awarded a Patent on Social Network News Feeds : The USPTO is NUTS

CNN says it best:

“”Can I start screaming loudly about patent reform now?” tweeted Matt Galligan….”

IP Watchdog writes about the cause of the screaming which is that:

Facebook Gets US Patent on Social Network News Feeds | Patents & Patent Law

A patent on a “dynamic news feed”?

Yes, and your great-grandmother wears kryptonite green and lemon yellow polka dot Nikes with pink soles.

If there ever was proof that the entire busines of patents is just a scam of nearly criminal proportions, this is it.

Here is a sample of the invention in Patent No. 7,669,123, linked here from IP Watchdog:


Is the world mad? This patent madness MUST STOP.

Law Schools Use Twitter Because of the Immediacy of Message Delivery

How Law Schools are Using Twitter | Social Media Law Student

“Law schools are catching on. Like thousands of colleges and universities, law schools are now using Twitter to communicate with law students and the rest of the world.

The central advantage of using Twitter to communicate is the immediacy of the message delivery.”

China News: Web Inventor: China Will Relax Censorship | China Digital Times (CDT)

World Financial Crisis – The Worst is Over Says Blackstone’s Schwarzman

World Financial Crisis – The Worst is Over Says Blackstone’s Schwarzman

Jason Kelly writes:

“February 26, 2010 from Bloomberg — Blackstone Group Inc., the world’s biggest private-equity company, paid Chairman Stephen Schwarzman a salary of ….

Schwarzman, 63, told investors yesterday that “the worst is over” as markets stabilize and buyout managers are able to sell some assets and make deals.”

Did the Federal Circuit Misapply the Transformative Standard in Bilski in Prometheus Labs v. Mayo?

I had been meaning for quite some time to comment on what appears in this quarter to be a clearly erroneous holding on the law in the Federal Circuit’s ruling in the Prometheus case (Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. v. Mayo Collaborative Services), currently on petition for certiorari as follows:

No. 09-
In the Supreme Court of the United States

MAYO COLLABORATIVE SERVICES (D/B/AMAYO
MEDICAL LABORATORIES) ANDMAYO CLINIC
ROCHESTER,
Petitioners,
v.
PROMETHEUS LABORATORIES, INC.,
Respondent.
__________

Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the United
States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
__________

PETITION FOR A WRIT OF CERTIORARI
__________

JONATHAN E. SINGER
JOHN A. DRAGSETH
Fish & Richardson P.C.
3200 RBC Plaza
60 South 6th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 335-5070

EUGENE VOLOKH
405 Hilgard Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90095

STEPHEN M. SHAPIRO
Counsel of Record

TIMOTHY S. BISHOP
JEFFREYW. SARLES
Mayer Brown LLP
71 South Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 782-0600

Counsel for Petitioners

QUESTION PRESENTED

The Federal Circuit, reversing the district court, upheld Prometheus’s patent claims covering a process for correlating the level of certain chemicals in a patient’s blood with the patient’s health. By those claims, Prometheus seeks to monopolize the use of blood tests in the research, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, such that a physician violates the patent merely by thinking about the correlation between the test results and the patient’s health or treatment. This Court granted certiorari to determine whether basic scientific relationships may be monopolized in this way in Laboratory Corp. of Am. Holdings v. Metabolite Labs., Inc., 548 U.S. 124, 135 (2006) (“LabCorp”), but dismissed the writ for lack of adequate issue preservation. Dissenting from dismissal, Justices Breyer, Stevens, and Souter explained that such patents are invalid under this Court’s precedents, and that resolving the issue presented in LabCorp was of great importance to innovative scientific inquiry and effective medical research and treatment.

The question presented is as follows:

Whether 35 U.S.C. § 101 is satisfied by a patent claim that covers observed correlations between patient test results and patient health, so that the claim effectively preempts all uses of these naturally occurring correlations.

Eugene Vokokh writes at the Volokh Conspiracy:

As we argue in the petition,

Prometheus’s claims … attempt to exclude the public from using the results of basic human metabolic testing in the research, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. They do so by claiming protection for the process of recognizing a correlation between the level of certain chemicals in the patient’s blood and the patient’s health…. [T]he claims are silent as to what should be done with such correlations and as a result purport to cover and thus preempt all possible uses of the biological correlations….

Prometheus’s broad patent claims attempt to turn a physician’s thought processes into infringement…. Importantly, Prometheus’s claims do not recite what is to be done once the physician recognizes the correlation [based on blood test results]. As a result, the claims cover and preempt all such uses. They begin and end with observation of the test results. What the physician might do with that observation is irrelevant because simply thinking about the subject suffices to infringe the patent. As Prometheus’s expert testified, if the physician reads an email with the test results, it would not matter if she “crumples it up, throws it away, reads it, acts on it, doesn’t act on it, any assumptions you want to come up with.” The physician infringes the moment she recognizes the correlation.

As previously noted, I wanted to comment this case already before the petition for certiorari, but I did not get to it. However, I was once again jogged into action recently when I ran across the following posting by Eric W. Guttag at CAFC: Method for Calibrating Drug Dosage Is Transformative | IPWatchdog.com | Patents & Patent Law where he writes inter alia:

“In reversing the district court’s ruling in Prometheus, Judge Lourie, writing for the Federal Circuit panel, was faced with the unenviable task of trying to reconcile the “natural phenomena” prohibition with the Bilski “machine or transformation” test. First, Judge Lourie concluded that the “administering” and “determining” steps of the patented drug dosage calibration method were “transformative.” Specifically, the “transformation is of the human body following administration of a drug and the various chemical and physical changes of the drug’s metabolites that enable their concentrations to be determined….

With all due respect, Judge Lourie’s opinion in Prometheus is clear evidence of how tortuous it is to apply the Bilski “machine or transformation” test objectively to drug dosage calibration methods like those in Prometheus. In fact, the earlier non-precedential 2008 per curiam decision in Classen Immunotherapies, Inc. v. Biogen Idec presaged how arbitrary the Bilski test can be when applied to such drug/medical dosage calibration techniques. Classen, which came out not long after Bilski, is astounding for its brevity (one paragraph of 69 words), or as Kevin Noonan poignantly observed, the claimed method for essentially calibrating an immunization schedule for a treatment group, relative to a control group, was longer than the opinion by 20 words. But more significantly and as I commented when it came out, Classen is ghastly for completely failing to explain how this “new” Bilski test was applied to the claimed immunization schedule calibration method. And while Prometheus does far more than Classen to explain how Bilski should be applied to such drug/medical dosage calibration methods, I still see much “straining” in Judge Lourie’s opinion in trying to reconcile the “natural phenomena” prohibition with the “machine or transformation” test.”

Read Guttag’s full posting here.

We agree that the Federal Circuit opinion is “strained”, to put it mildly. Judge Lourie’s patent decisions do not bear the good seal of the future in our book.

Guttag’s reasoning reminded us of the core logic in Lab Corp v. Metabolite Labs, where certiorari was dismissed as improvidently granted. The Fire of Genius wrote about that:

“Reviewing LabCorp’s brief on the merits, as well as a number of amicus briefs, Crouch reported in December 2005 that “[a]ccording to LabCorp, the claim involves ‘no actual invention beyond the scientific discovery it recites.’ The claimed correlation is a scientific principle or law of nature, and its discovery alone cannot be patentable,” according to LabCorp.”

In view of the upcoming Supreme Court decision in the Bilski case, it is most certainly instructive to look at the Federal Circuit’s confused decision in Prometheus, where the holding, to again quote Guttag, was as follows:

[T]hat the “administering” and “determining” steps of the patented drug dosage calibration method were “transformative.” Specifically, the “transformation is of the human body following administration of a drug and the various chemical and physical changes of the drug’s metabolites that enable their concentrations to be determined….

EVERY legitimate medication or diagnostic test – patentable or not – will in some manner affect the human body, so that the impact of any medication or diagnostic test on the human body is, in our view, NOT the transformative element required by Bilski. All medicines and diagnostic tests by their very nature are intended to cause changes or measure changes in the human body, but the human body is not thereby “transformed” but remains the fundamental human body that it is. Standard blood tests are not a “transformation”. Nor can it be that any medication or test is transformative simply because the patent claimant claims that it affects the human body.

Rather, the medication or the diagnostic test must itself involve a physical transformation of the invention vis-a-vis prior art. A needle that takes human blood for blood testing can be improved in form and function – THAT is an invention, but such a needle can not claim a monopoly on blood-taking. Similarly, a well-calibrated thermometer can be improved in its physical technology to measure the not always constant human temperature by various means and at various locations on or in the body, but it can not thereby claim a monopoly on calibrated thermometers to measure human temperature or reserve certain areas of the body as monopoly zones. Similarly, radioisotopes or – less effective – dyes are injected into the human body as aids in finding lymph nodes nearest to tumors, but no one should be able to claim an exclusive monopoly on using these methods for diagnosis. Particularly the latter example is closely analogous to Prometheus because the injected material is used for diagnosis and the human body is “affected”, i.e. “marked”, by the injection. That is not the transformation that Bilski is talking about.

On petition for certiorari, Mayo correctly asks the Supreme Court, as noted at Patently-O:

Whether 35 U.S.C. § 101 is satisfied by a patent claim that covers observed correlations between patient test results and patient health, so that the claim effectively preempts all uses of these naturally occurring correlations.”

Obviously, the answer is no, and we hope that the SCOTUS is wise enough to so find.

As the Federal Circuit wrote – without, however, holding accordingly – this is an attempt to patent methods – rather than a physically transformed invention:

“Prometheus is the sole and exclusive licensee of the ’623 patent and the ’302 patent. The patents claim methods for calibrating the proper dosage of thiopurine drugs….”

Naturally occurring correlations viz. processes in the human body – if the Supreme Court of the U.S. (SCOTUS) correctly decides the matter – can never serve as the basis for a transformative patent claim. Otherwise, this would grant ANY medication or diagnostic test monopoly rights on the respective affected naturally occurring correlation in the human body that is being medicated or diagnosed, and no other medication or diagnostic test would be able to impact or test those correlations or processes without violating somebody’s patent.

Medical devices or diagnostic test kits that test naturally occurring correlations or processes can be patented, but the correlations or processes themselves can not be subject to patentable monopoly claims. That seems so elementary as to defy legal rebuttal.

As the – wrongly over-ruled District Court – had already correctly decided (we quote from the Federal Circuit opinion):

“The court stated that the inventors did not “invent” the claimed correlation; rather, “6-TG and 6-MMP are products of the natural metabolizing of thiopurine drugs, and the inventors merely observed the relationship between these naturally produced metabolites and therapeutic efficacy and toxicity.” Invalidity Opinion, 2008 WL 878910, at *7.”

Hence, the Prometheus case must be reversed and the Bilski standard must be clarified to point out that the transformative test must apply to the physical invention – here a diagnostic test – itself, not to its impact on human beings. Nearly EVERYTHING we make impacts human beings, one way or another. That is not the transformation Bilski is talking about.

In the instant case, Invention A – let us say Test Kit A – can test the metabolites X and Y and Invention B – a completely different Test Kit B – can test the metabolites X and Y, but Invention A can not bar any other inventions that test metabolites X and Y just because they test them. Rather, the physical test kit itself – if it is an invention – must be infringed for patent infringement to be present. Conversely, Test Kit B, if later in time to Test Kit A, must involve a physical transformation – which it does in this case – as the Mayo Kit – as opposed to previously existing Prometheus Kit – is intended to use different – and we presume, improved – calibration levels to determine toxicity. That’s progress. As the Federal Circuit wrote:

“Prometheus marketed a PROMETHEUS Thiopurine Metabolites test (formerly known as the PRO-PredictRx® Metabolites test) that used the technology covered by the patents in suit. Mayo Collaborative Services and Mayo Clinic Rochester (together, “Mayo”) formerly purchased and used Prometheus’s test, but in 2004, Mayo announced that it intended to begin using internally at its clinics and selling to other hospitals its 2008-1403 own test. Mayo’s test measured the same metabolites as Prometheus’s test, but Mayo’s test used different levels to determine toxicity of 6-TG and 6-MMP…. Mayo rescinded its announcement shortly after the lawsuit was filed and still has not launched its test.”

As it stands, there is no transformative difference between the Prometheus calibration test and the hedge fund method that was found non-patentable in Bilski. Prometheus is not trying to get a monopoly on an invented medical device or to protect a patent on a particular invented Test Kit – it is trying to get a monopoly on a diagnostic method and is trying to prevent others from using that method anywhere, in any way and in any form, to the detriment of the health of everyone, and only for the sake of their own pocketbook.

REVERSED.

LawBrain – A Collaborative Forum for Legal Knowledge

LawBrain:

“LawBrain is a project of FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business, that is the world’s leading provider of online legal information and Internet marketing solutions for law firms. LawBrain was launched in December 2009 as a collaborative forum to pool legal knowledge and create an interactive online space for discussion of legal topics and terms.”

European Commission – Education & Training – External Programmes and Policies – Study In Europe

Want to study in Europe? This website can help.

European Commission – Education & Training – External Programmes and Policies – Study In Europe

“There are more than four thousand higher education institutions in Europe, from top-level research establishments to small, teaching-focused colleges. Europe itself is no less diverse, extending from the Arctic Circle to the coast of Africa, where tiny principalities sit side-by-side with many of the world’s leading economies.

A fascinating destination, but which country should you go to? Which university should you choose? What do you need before you leave? What will happen when you arrive? These are just some of the questions you’re probably asking yourself already.

Study in Europe is here to help. We provide up-to-date information on thirty-two European countries, their universities and what it takes to live and study in them.

Use Study in Europe to find the university that suits you best. A well-informed decision will make your time abroad even more valuable.”

Cross-country study: Economic policy challenges in the Baltics – ECFIN – European Commission

Cross-country study: Economic policy challenges in the Baltics – ECFIN – European Commission pdf [2 MB]

(European Economy. Occasional Papers. 58. February 2010. Brussels. Internet only. 106pp. Tab. Graph. Ann. Bibliogr. Free.)
KC-AH-10-058-EN-C ISBN: 978-92-79-15024-1 ISSN: 1725-3187

Summary for non-specialists pdf [70 KB]

“The study reviews the process of economic transformation in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from the early years of these countries’ regained independence to the current downturn. In particular, the study examines macroeconomic and budgetary developments and policy, real and financial integration with the rest of the EU and medium-term challenges to optimise growth prospects. The emphasis lies on inferring policy lessons for small open economies undergoing rapid real and financial convergence, including the positive contribution which pursuing prudent policies over the medium term can make, also at a time of a crisis.”

doi:10.2765/39481″

ePractice.eu : eGovernment and eInclusion in Europe

Here is a useful site for government facts and doings in Europe: ePractice.eu.

ePractice.eu is a portal created by the European Commission which offers a new service for the professional community of eGovernment, eInclusion and eHealth practitioners. It is an interactive initiative that empowers its users to discuss and influence open government, policy-making and the way in which public administrations operate and deliver services.

ePractice.eu involves practitioners from all 27 Member States, EU-member candidate states and EFTA countries. Practitioners from other countries outside the EU are also welcome to join.”

They have a very useful set of factsheets at “An overview of the eGovernment and eInclusion situation in Europe“:

“The ePractice eGovernment and eInclusion factsheets aim to provide an overall picture of the situation and progress of eGovernment and eInclusion in 34 European countries: EU Member States, EU Candidate countries and EFTA countries. Local editions of the ePractice eGovernment factsheets are being produced in cooperation with local organizations. Print copies of the ePractice eGovernment factsheets are available upon request and stock availability. For more information about print copies please contact idabc@ec.europa.eu”

Xerox Files Patent Suit Against Google and Yahoo for Various Alleged Search Method Infringements while Congress Twiddles and Bilski Festers at SCOTUS

And now comes Xerox, the xeroxing document company,
who we all know invented “search”.
Hah!
You have to love the absurdity of the U.S. patent system – CHAOS.

Thomas Claburn at InformationWeek, February 23, 2010, reports that Xerox [has filed a] Patent Suit Against Google [and] Yahoo claiming triple damages – of course – and claiming that various elements of Google and Yahoo search violate Xerox patents on methods and apparatus for integrating information and knowledge.

But what else can we rightly expect, given the state of the current patent law?

As Claburn notes at the end of his article in connection with this suit:

“The most recent proposed legislation, the Patent Reform Act of 2009, has been sitting in committee in the Senate for almost a year.”

And we ask of the U.S. Supreme Court – will their upcoming now long-festering decision in Bilski put an END to the PATENT MADNESS?

We doubt it.

Take a look at this Federal Circuit decision from February 25, 2010 (yesterday) in which many brilliant human legal minds – perhaps we exaggerate – are involved in supremely important cogitation on the crucial patent invention (?) of “static” prices not found (?) in prior art – that’s what the jury determined folks – surely experts on the matter, we presume, but fear not, for the dynamic “re-centering” of “price levels”, such as could not be disabled by the user, was declared as a significant “non-static” element of the exculpated non-infringing competition, who were thus dynamically “in motion”. That’s what the courts found, more or less, broadly described, tongue-in-cheek.

What sane man would believe that the USPTO ever issued a patent for essentially that?
Static prices in any inventive context as an “invention”….?

Not in our world, but perhaps we do not live in the same world as the USPTO?

You see, we view the world like this. Prices can be either static or dynamic in ANY context and any invention or method can USE that non-inventive phenomenon to their advantage or disadvantage, but they can not INVENT that phenomenon in the context of any method. Prices are not a transformed element and can not be used as a material basis for obtaining a patent. Why do legislators and courts not understand the difference?

Progress on Patent Reform in the European Union (EU)

James DeGiulio writes at Patent Docs in Europe Takes Step Closer to Single EU Patent and Patent Court that:

“On December 4, 2009, the European Competitiveness Council unanimously adopted a legislative package designed to create a single EU patent and EU patent court….

The reform proposal still needs to undergo an official review by the European Council and the European Parliament … [and] the European Court of Justice has yet to deliver an opinion on the compatibility of the patent court and draft agreement with EU treaties. This opinion is expected at the earliest by summer 2010.”

Also in the EU, the wheels of patent legislation turn slowly.