7-2-16 Hodgepodge

Saturday, July 02, 2016

"Transparency" for Thee, but Not for Me

The Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property notes an interesting discrepancy between Google's advocacy of "transparency" on the part of the U.S. Patent Office and its actual practice:

The publication of patent applications provides two benefits to the innovation industries, especially given that the waiting time between filing of an application and issuance of the patent or a final rejection by an examiner can take years. First, earlier publication of applications provides notice to third parties that a patent may cover a technology they are considering adopting in their own commercial activities. Second, publication of patent applications expands the field of publicly-available prior art, which can be used to invalidate either other patent applications or already-issued patents themselves. Both of these goals produce better-quality patents and an efficiently-functioning innovation economy.
That noted, there are good reasons an inventor may wish not to publish an application. Despite its calls for "transparency" amid protests that the patent system is "broken," Google avails itself of the opportunity for secrecy much more often than the other top-ten patent recipients. I agree that this "speaks volumes" about Google.

Weekend Reading

"The challenged regulations, which are unsupported by any evidence, undermine liberty and autonomy and should be overturned." -- Amesh Adalja and Erin Culbertson, in "Supreme Court Should End Over-Regulation of Abortion Market" at The Hill

"[T]his little bit of insight can help reduce the captive listeners' exasperation by reminding us that, beneath the fragile veneer of 'knowing it all,' they actually feel like they don't know very much at all." -- Michael Hurd, in "The Psychology of Babbling Friends/Relatives" at The Delaware Wave

"Projection is the consequence of the refusal to be aware of reality and to be straightforward with oneself." -- Michael Hurd, in "Why People Project" at The Delaware Coast Press

"[L]ike the Chinese government, they threaten a few on the theory that everyone else will self-censor." -- Steve Simpson, in "How U.S. Attorneys General Are Like Chinese Censors" at The Federalist

A Little Euro 2016 Smack

I don't get to view many sporting events live, but I seem to get an inordinate share of upsets when I do. (My favorite was seeing Rice defeat Texas 19-17 in the one football game I attended during graduate school.) In any event, I watched Iceland dump England out of the European Championship 2-1. Given that England has a talent pool three orders of magnitude larger than Iceland's to draw on, this is arguably more embarrassing to the Three Lions than their 1950 World Cup defeat to the United States. In any event, I got a good laugh out of a riddle sent to me by Snedcat: "What's the difference between a tea bag and England?" The answer is here, but you do have enough information to guess.

-- CAV

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