Posts by Charles Duan:

“The granting of improper and illegal patents defeats every object and purpose of patent laws. It serves to mislead and deceive the public, and to subject them to the annoyance of unjust and invalid claims. It throws distrust and discredit upon patented property, and injures the salable value of meritorious inventions.”
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In my almost three years at Public Knowledge, I have never been so delighted as this morning when I saw an amicus curiae brief in the lawsuit over copyright in the constructed language Klingon – which opens by quoting a Klingon proverb, in Klingon script.
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For us over at Public Knowledge, the monkey selfie case has been more fun than a barrel of, well, monkeys. The case started when a Celebes crested macaque stole a camera from a traveling British photographer and, in the course of monkeying around with the camera, took a particularly attractive picture of itself. The photographer said that he owned the copyright in the photo; the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals responded with a lawsuit on behalf of the monkey, claiming that the monkey was the true owner of the copyright.
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Today is the release date of the new Star Wars sequel, and it’s also the due date for some amicus briefs in two big Supreme Court patent cases. And though the famed space opera has not much to do with patent law, the story of these two cases still shares a piece of the drama, the David versus Goliath battles, and the competing stories of power and force.
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So over at the Patent Reform Department of Public Knowledge, we’ve been busy with so many things this summer—the ClearCorrect v. ITC case, technology standards patents, Oracle v. Google (wait, that’s not really patents), writing science fiction—that we haven’t had much time to talk about what’s going on in Congress with patent reform. But trust me, there’s a lot going on over there too.
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Online electronics retailer Newegg is having a sale tomorrow to celebrate its victory in its patent lawsuit against TQP Development. I’ll let other articles explain the background of the case, but the basics are that Newegg was sued by TQP, whom Newegg calls a “patent troll,” over several patents on encryption technologies. Last week the judge finally declared those patents invalid.
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I don’t know about you, but I really love my computer. It stores all of my documents. It connects me to the world through the Internet. It reminds me about my appointments. It plays games and music. It does a million things at once, and barely ever complains, even when I toss it around on my couch or shove it into my messenger bag.
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If you’ve traveled internationally, you’ve probably had the fun and enjoyable experience of going through customs. The long lines, the drug-sniffing dogs, the agents searching your bags for fruits. It’s not terribly hard to find horror stories of going through customs. Now imagine that all your web page visits were subject to customs too.
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When was the last time that you wanted to learn about how some new technology works, and you went and read a patent? Not recently? Not ever? Not surprising. Patents are difficult documents to read—a survey found that 56% of nanotechnology scientists either don’t read them or have never found useful information in them.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Scientists and technologists write articles all the time that explain new inventions in clear, understandable ways. In fact, the patent law requires patents to be written in “full, clear, concise, and exact terms.” But as I’ll explain below, patent lawyers have strong motivations to actually make patents hard to read, keeping that knowledge from the public. Well, we’re called Public Knowledge, and we’re fighting that legal establishment and demanding clarity in patents, most recently in a filing submitted today to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

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This morning, Ars Technica is running a story on an odd press release by the company Personal Audio LLC. As has been widely reported, Personal Audio is a company whose business is solely to sue other companies over a series of patents purported to cover all podcasting. They brought a patent lawsuit against Adam Corolla’s podcast about a year ago, and in response Carolla raised over $450,000 to fight back.

Now, as Ars reports, Personal Audio is trying to play up a sob story, claiming that they tried to settle the lawsuit, but Corolla refused to accept the settlement, choosing instead to continue fighting. Personal Audio’s press release suggests that Corolla “continues to raise unneeded money” and suspects that he is continuing “a lawsuit that he no longer needs to defend” for publicity reasons, in a seeming attempt to drum up sympathy for a patent assertion entity.

But there is a very good reason why Adam Corolla is fighting a fight he’s already won. Because he hasn’t actually won yet.

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