Saturday, March 01, 2008

Raising the Bar : New Law Series Coming to TNT TV in 2008 : Created by Steven Bocho and Blawger and Author (Indefensible) David Feige

Indefensible is not only the blawg of David Feige but also the name of his book which we reviewed here on LawPundit, and where we prophetically wrote almost two years ago:

"This book has all the potential of being the prospective beginning of a new successful TV series on the American criminal justice system."

And, indeed, something like that has come to be, although the legal plot of the TV series is a bit different.

As written up at Screenhead, "Raising the Bar" is a new law series coming to TNT in 2008 as created by Steven Bocho and David Feige. This is a graphic we link from the Indefensible blog:



See David Feige's Indefensible blog and Indefensible book.

Happy Viewing!

Medvedev Projected Winner of March 2, 2008 Presidential Election in Russia

So, you have an opinion on Russia? How about United Russia?

United Russia is Russia's leading political party and it supports Dmitry Medvedev in tomorrow's Russian Presidential election.

News reports about that election can be found at Russian Elections News.

The election has been sized up as follows:

"In his first speech since he was endorsed, Medvedev announced that, as President, he would appoint Vladimir Putin to the post of prime minister to head the Russian government. Although constitutionally barred from a third consecutive presidential term, such a role would allow Putin to continue as a national leader[ (the constitution would also allow him to return to the presidency later if he so chose). Some analysts have been quick to point out that such a statement shows that Medvedev recognizes that he would only be a figurehead president. Putin has pledged that he would accept the position of prime minister should Medvedev be elected president. Although Putin has pledged not to change the distribution of authority between president and prime minister, many analysts are expecting a shift in the center of power from the presidency to the prime minister post should Putin assume the latter under a Medvedev presidency. Election posters have portrayed the pair side-by-side with the slogan "Together we will win" ("Вместе победим")."

Medvedev, according to current polls, should win about 73% of the vote. Liu Yifang writes inter alia at Xinhua.net:

"Under Putin's eight-year leadership, Russia has revitalized....


[Medvedev and Putin - photo Xinhua - see more photos here]

Putin is widely popular among the people.... Under Putin, real wages have tripled and unemployment has fallen sharply....

After long years of collaboration, Putin regarded Medvedev as an honest, efficient and mature statesman with modern and independent thinking -- the one that fits Putin's criteria. Putin said he didn't need to be "shamed or worried" about passing him the highest power of the state. "He will be a good president," Putin said.

Medvedev has promised to continue Putin's policies if he is elected president and he would appoint Putin prime minister, which has been accepted by the president."

Read more at Xinhua.net.

Russian Election News : Keep Up to Date at Russia Today

Keep up to date on the March 2 elections in Russia at Russia Today, where they write that today, the day before elections, is a day of silence with all electioneering prohibited:

"RT presents: Russia's Choice

With fewer than 24 hours left before the polling stations open, a so-called Day of Silence is in place across Russia with any further electioneering prohibited by law. Meanwhile, Russians from all walks of life continue to give RT their views on the country's future. Every hour until polling day, RT is broadcasting live interviews with Russia's most prominent politicians, opinion formers, celebrities and ordinary voters."

That page also has a great number of very interesting interview statements.

Federal Circuit to Review Business Method Patents for Future Viability : There is a Great Likelihood of a New Upcoming Legal Standard

Will State Street Bank be overruled or substantially limited in scope? Let's all hope so.

We have been criticizing business method patents for years... always one step ahead of developments.

From Ropes & Gray Alerts & Legal Updates:

"Full Federal Circuit to review business method patents

Patents for intangible mental processes to be evaluated....

On February 15, 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued an order that calls into question the continued viability of “business method” patents, and indeed invites new scrutiny as to what constitutes patentable subject matter in general. The order granted a hearing en banc for potential reconsideration of its controversial 1998 decision in State Street Bank & Trust Co. v. Signature Financial Group, Inc., which opened the door -- or, as some would say, kept the door open -- to business method patents....

Very rarely does the Federal Circuit take action on its own initiative for all of its judges to reconsider fundamental precepts of patent law. Thus, this announcement of the Federal Circuit suggests that a major shift in these patent law principles is possible in 2008. A new set of standards from the Federal Circuit could have a material impact on some businesses." [emphasis added by LawPundit]

Read the full article here.

Also posting on this topic:

The WSJ Law Blog, where Dan Slater writes:

"If you spot a patent partner doing backflips past your office this afternoon, turn to your office-mate and say, “Did you hear? The Federal Circuit decided to review business method patents!”"

The Patent Troll Tracker concludes:

"Now, we really will have the Federal Circuit focusing on business method patents, fair and square."

IPWatchdog opines:

"Could this signal the end to business method patents? The answer is probably not, but it could well signal the end to “pure” business method patents."

PatentlyO cites to Representative Claim 1 of the challenged business method patent and very correctly states:

"[T]his case looks problematic because of serious obviousness problems and lack of specificity in the claims. Thus, the court will have no sympathy for Bilski — making this the perfect test case for someone wanting to strink [shrink?] Section 101 coverage and eliminate business method patents." [material in brackets added by LawPundit]

There IS a word strink so we are careful here. Strink definitely looks patentable to us.

In any case, here is Representative Claim 1 from PatentlyO which definitely does NOT look patentable to us:

"1. A method for managing the consumption risk costs of a commodity sold by a commodity provider at a fixed price comprising the steps of:

(a) initiating a series of transactions between said commodity provider and consumers of said commodity wherein said consumers purchase said commodity at a fixed rate based upon historical averages, said fixed rate corresponding to a risk position of said consumer;


(b) identifying market participants for said commodity having a counter-risk position to said consumers; and


(c) initiating a series of transactions between said commodity provider and said market participants at a second fixed rate such that said series of market participant transactions balances the risk position of said series of consumer transactions.
"

Read more at PatentlyO.

It's nice to see that the judges in the Federal Circuit may finally be getting the message and be starting to understand the enormously serious problems involved in viewing this kind of garble as an "invention" worthy of government-financed patent monopoly protection.

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