Thursday, February 06, 2014

Lenovo Acquires Motorola from Google Pending OK by US Authorities: Anti-Android Patent Wars by Competitors May Have Suffered a Strong Blow

Iain Thomson at The Register headlines Hello Moto: Lenovo grabs Motorola biz for $3bn. But Google's KEEPING the patents with the interesting subtitle "The Chinese are coming and let a 1,000 lawsuits bloom".

The deal must still be approved by U.S. authorities.

The ill-advised patent-trolling anti-Android strategy of competitors has thus taken a severe blow since patent-trolling is not going to be very successful in China.

Rather, Lenovo will continue to move forward as a major force in the handset sector, especially for Android-powered smartphones, thus greatly strengthening the Android platform worldwide.

Competing companies would be well-advised to start concentrating on technological progress in their products rather than trying to litigate their way forward through the patent jungle at the cost of their competitors. That strategy -- so it seems to this observer -- is definitely not working long-term.

Product Liability, Consumer Protection and 3-D Printing: New Fields of Law and Legal Issues

Stanford Law Professor Nora Freeman Engstrom is featured by Clifton B. Parker at Stanford University News in 3-D printing creates product liability issues, Stanford scholar says, referring to her authored essay in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review at 3-D Printing and Product Liability: Identifying the Obstacles, 162 U. Pa. L. Rev. Online 35 (2013).

Crossposted at 3D Printing and More.

Who Owns the "Sky"? BSkyB Grants Microsoft Temporary Use of SkyDrive to Rebrand Following Sky Trademark Battle in the Britsh (Home) Court

Just for the record, we looked up the word SKY at the Online Etymological Dictionary and it traces its origin back to Indo-European terms meaning "cloud", so that the name SkyDrive as a "cloud" presence is fully in line with the meaning of the oldest used terms for the word "sky" and has NOTHING to do with satelite broadcasts by some British company.

Sadly, the Britrish court did not get it, opting to give the home field advantage to its home-based satelite broadcasting company.

Is trademark law a scam if people are able to appropriate from the public -- without ANY compensation to society -- commonly used words and the goodwill attached to them, to be used for monopolistic commercial exploitation?

Just look at Microsoft having to change its "cloud" presence name from SkyDrive to OneDrive because of a lost trademark battle with BSkyB (British Sky Broadcasting Group plc). See BSkyB grants Microsoft temporary use of SkyDrive name in trademark dispute, allows it time to rebrand cloud service

Why does Microsoft submit? Because it has enough of its own appropriated words -- with "Windows" being the most obvious. Windows are what we look through in our house. "GraphicalInterfaceOperatingSystem", a term that we googled today with no hits, is closer to what Microsoft actually meant.

IN any case, we do write inter alia about ancient astronomy,
i.e. the real "sky" much prior to BSkyB.

Just look up.

All the rest of these entities are imposters -- corporate pretenders to the real "sky", but created by well-meant but erroneous law.

Why corporations have been permitted to appropriate common generic words rather than naming their companies after their founders and/or what the companies do is a mystery to this writer. Certainly no one should be given legal "rights" to normal generic words in ANY language that have been appropriated from the people -- for no compensation whatsoever to society.

As for alleged trademark confusion, a ridiculous finding of the British court, we currently use SkyDrive and there is no doubt what we were using, i.e. a Microsoft product, that has nothing to do with BSkyB, which would better be named RupertsTabloids. That would be more accurate, and more honest. But honesty has nothing to do with the human world, and we can not change it.

Nor have we figured out a way to get competent judges into the courts. None.
We are stuck with what we have, as uninformed and behind the times as most of them are.

Satya Nadella as New CEO of Microsoft + 2013 Video Interview of Nadella at Stanford University at Accel Partners Symposium 2013 - theCUBE

The Official Microsoft Blog and the Wall Street Journal at Microsoft Prescription: More Bill Gates have the story of Microsoft's new CEO, Satya Nadella.

See also this 2013 Video interview of Satya Nadella at Stanford University at Accel Partners Symposium 2013 - theCUBE:

Microsoft SkyDrive Soon To Be Renamed OneDrive - Video

SkyDrive is to be renamed OneDrive
according to the Official Microsoft Blog
at Microsoft announces SkyDrive will soon be renamed OneDrive.
We post the video because we think the underlying music is cool.

Cisco Counterattacks Against Patent Trolling by the Rockstar Consortium (Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson, Sony)

Anyone who thinks that the patent trolling wars in the electronics and communications industries are not "big time", should just read this.

Joe Mullin has the story for Ars Technica at Cisco moves to fend off Rockstar patent assault on its customers.

The cause of all this is poor legislation in Congress, even worse application of patent laws by the USPTO, and rottenly bad jurisprudence in the courts.

Some people out there keep wishing these things away, but the problems will not be solved until the foolish granting of overly broad patents is massively curtailed and until existing patents are severely limited in the breadth of their scope.

Law Firms Warming Up to the Cloud According to Business of Law Blog at LexisNexis

Loretta Ruppert at the Business of Law Blog at LexisNexis presents:

Infographic: Law Firms are Warming Up to the Cloud.

MOOCs as the Next Big Development in Education?

Paul Maharg discusses his MOOC experience
(MOOC="Massive Open Online Course" (online education)).

Advertising Shifts from Declaratory Ads to Life Experience

Dave Wieneke at UsefulArts discusses
Zeno’s Marketing Paradox:
Native Advertising as a Ramp To Customer Experience

Ancient History: Some Good Books

A Don's Life, Times Literary Supplement,
one can find Some good books on ancient history.

The thing is to read those books for background,
and then read MY books to get the cutting edge.

Speech Engines: Search Result Bias and Google at The Laboratorium

David Lee at BBC News in Europe reports that Google to make 'significant' changes to avoid EU fine after being accused of giving favorable treatment to its own products in search results.

This ties in well to the alert by Law Prof James Grimmelmann at The Laboratorium of his coming publication Speech Engines in his posting on Speech Engines Goes Gold.

The Abstract to Speech Engines reads:
"Academic and regulatory debates about Google are dominated by two opposing theories of what search engines are and how law should treat them. Some describe search engines as passive, neutral conduits for websites’ speech; others describe them as active, opinionated editors: speakers in their own right. The conduit and editor theories give dramatically different policy prescriptions in areas ranging from antitrust to copyright. But they both systematically discount search users’ agency, regarding users merely as passive audiences.
A better theory is that search engines are not primarily conduits or editors, but advisors. They help users achieve their diverse and individualized information goals by sorting through the unimaginable scale and chaos of the Internet. Search users are active listeners, affirmatively seeking out the speech they wish to receive. Search engine law can help them by ensuring two things: access to high-quality search engines, and loyalty from those search engines.

The advisor theory yields fresh insights into long-running disputes about Google. It suggests, for example, a new approach to deciding when Google should be liable for giving a website the “wrong” ranking. Users’ goals are too subjective for there to be an absolute standard of correct and incorrect rankings; different search engines necessarily assess relevance differently. But users are also entitled to complain when a search engine deliberately misleads them about its own relevance assessments. The result is a sensible, workable compromise between the conduit and editor theories."
Take a look.

New York Times v. Sullivan and its Progeny at SCOTUSblog

SCOTUSblog presents:

Ask the authors: Conflict in the Court — an inside look at New York Times v. Sullivan and its progeny:
"[A] series of questions posed by Ronald Collins on the occasion of the publication of The Progeny: Justice William Brennan’s Fight to Save New York Times v. Sullivan (American Bar Association, 2014)."

Patent Transparency Correction Sought at the USPTO

Dennis Crouch at Patently-O
in Proposed Rules: Identify the True Owner on Pain of Abandonment
reports that the USPTO is seeking to redress some of the long-standing failings in patent transparency, writing:
"In one of her first acts as de facto USPTO Director, Michelle Lee has proposed a new set of rules associated with patent assignment recordation."

Biotech Patenting Conference in Munich, Germany in March, 2014

Patent Docs provides the details about
the C5 (UK) 26th Forum on Biotech Patenting
at the posting Biotech Patenting Conference.

"100 Works of Fiction You Might Enjoy" from the late Norman Geras of normblog

Norman Geras of normblog passed away recently (1943-2013)
but his
"100 Works of Fiction You Might Enjoy" lives on.

See A book list with a difference.

Libel and Defamation and the First Amendment: A Little Knowledge Can Be a Dangerous Thing

Ron Coleman at Likelihood of Confusion®
examines libel and defamation and the First Amendment in
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

American Law and Ancient Lawyers at the Legal History Blog

Bernard Hibbits at the Legal History Blog in Ancient Lawyers notes that:
"Only in the 20th century, when the underpinning of classical undergraduate education and classical languages was largely lost, even to the upper end of the bar, did "ancient lawyers" lose their fascination for the American legal mind."
so he is
"beginning an American law school course on the history of lawyering with "ancient lawyers....
because, quoting Cicero:
" "To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child." "

Law for the Protection of Literature and Authors in Israel Goes Into Effect Today, February 6, 2014

The IP Factor informs us in An Israeli Approach to Author’s Rights
that the Law for the Protection of Literature and Authors in Israel
(Temporary Provision), 5773-2013
will come into effect today, February 6, 2014.

The law severely restricts discounting and bundling,
which have greatly eroded retail book prices.


Intellectual Property Colloquium hosted by Professor Doug Lichtman of UCLA Law School hosts Two Senior Execs of Verizon

At the Intellectual Property Colloquium
Professor Doug Lichtman of UCLA Law School hosts two senior Verizon executives.

Joshua Rozenberg London School of Economics LSE Video -- Britain’s #1 Law Writer and Broadcaster Featured at Head of Legal

Joshua Rozenberg is Britain’s most prominent writer and broadcaster on law and related matters.

Rozenberg is featured in a posting by Carl Gardner at Head of Legal
that embeds a video of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), showing a conversation with Rozenberg as chaired by Professor Conor Gearty.

Fact Check Checks the President's State of the Union: How Many Million More Private Sector Jobs Have Been Created During the Obama Era?

At Facts of the Union, FactCheck checks the details of U.S. President Barack Obama's recent State of the Union message, focusing at the start on how many million more private sector jobs have been created in the Obama era.

One can quibble about the numbers, but the bottom line seems to be that it is in fact at least 4 million private sector jobs.

Jobs lost in the public sector can be attributed largely to government budget cuts. As headlined at MSN Money, Big government under Obama? Not so much.

M&A Practice and Recent Delaware Law Developments

Kerry E. Berchem of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation
focuses on
Top 5 Delaware Case Developments in 2013 for M&A Practitioners
"During 2013, in addition to the important changes to the Delaware General Corporation Law ... and the Limited Liability Company Act ... the Delaware courts issued a number of decisions that have a direct impact on the M&A practice...."

Patentable Subject Matter as Artifice and Action

Gerard Magliocca at Concurring Opinions cites to What is Technology? a paper by Emily Michiko Morris that interprets patentable subject matter as "artifice and action".

Joint Ventures, Manufacturing Agreements, IP and Just Generally Doing Business in China

Dan Harris at the China Law Blog covers China Law for Business, with recent postings on joint ventures, manufacturing agreements, IP and just generally doing business in China.

Lawyers on Demand as a Legal Trend of the Future

Charon QC has the story of "lawyers on demand" as a legal trend of the future

in The New World of Legal Work.

Federal Rules on Insider Trading Also Apply to Obscure Stocks

Generational Mobility, Social Mobility and Income Inequality Featured at the Becker-Posner Blog

The most recent postings at The Becker-Posner Blog deal with generational mobility, social mobility and income inequality in the United States.

Freedom of the Press: Harvard Law Review Symposium, February 15th, 2014, Celebrating New York Times v. Sullivan, Announced at Balkinization

At Balkinization, James Balkin has announced the upcoming Harvard Law Review Symposium on Freedom of the Press, February 15th, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of New York Times v. Sullivan.

Mistrial in Mega Patent Troll Court Battle Reported at Ars Technica

At Ars Technica, Joe Mullin reports that

Mega-patent-troll's first court battle ends in mega-mistrial.

European Economic Issues at A Fistful Of Euros: Germany, Italy, Ireland, Poland and the Ukraine

A Fistful Of Euros has recent postings on the economic situation in Germany, Italy, Ireland, Poland and the Ukraine.

Dropbox Tips for Lawyers from Advocate's Studio

Advocate's Studio has tips about Dropbox, which is popular among lawyers.

The ACLU Goes After Judges Who are Still Locking People Up for Being Poor

Many people in law still do not understand that putting people in jail is no solution for economic infractions, especially the non-payment of court fines, and often costs society more than brings in.

See the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) at:

Still Locking People Up for Being Poor? Really?! It's 2014

Legal Writing: Bryan A. Garner Takes Aim at the Necessity of Textual Citations

Is it true as written thousands of years ago, that:
"He (or she) who cites his (or her) source, brings deliverance to the world. - Mishnah, Avot. VI"
The discipline of "Law" has certainly taken that wisdom to heart historically, as Bryan A. Garner points out at the ABA Journal in:
Textual citations make legal writing onerous, for lawyers and nonlawyers alike.
Garner has previously also written generally that lawyers can't write.

Having for a number of years taught legal writing at the University of Trier, we were intrigued by Garner's point of view in this most recent posting, that:
"Legal writing is notoriously dull, slow, cumbersome, obtuse, roundabout and pedantic."
Q.E.D. ("with which, that to be proven, has been proven").

Conciseness was something we taught quite seriously, true to a quote sometimes attributed to Oliver Wendel Holmes, but much older than that, stating that "if one had more time, one would write less".

In spite of the general truth of Garner's critique of legal writing, a number of people trained in the law have in fact gone on to become very successful fiction writers.

The best known here in Germany is Bernhard Schlink
famed for The Reader, in German "Der Vorleser".

But need we say that the greatest English novelist of the Victorian period, Charles Dickens (Wikipedia):
"[W]orked at the law office of Ellis and Blackmore, attorneys, of Holborn Court, Gray's Inn, as a junior clerk from May 1827 to November 1828. Then, having learned Gurney's system of shorthand in his spare time, he left to become a freelance reporter. A distant relative, Thomas Charlton, was a freelance reporter at Doctors' Commons, and Dickens was able to share his box there to report the legal proceedings for nearly four years.[28][29] This education was to inform works such as Nicholas Nickleby, Dombey and Son, and especially Bleak House—whose vivid portrayal of the machinations and bureaucracy of the legal system did much to enlighten the general public and served as a vehicle for dissemination of Dickens's own views regarding, particularly, the heavy burden on the poor who were forced by circumstances to "go to law"."
Finding a better writer than Dickens in our modern age is surely a task of impossibility. So how did Dickens survive this substantial legal influence?

Well, maybe legal writing is better than its reputation, and it surely would "look" a lot better if "in text" citations were, as Garner suggests, banned to the footnote area of a page or publication:
"We’d all be better off if lawyers and judges would put bibliographic information in footnotes and also stop putting any discussion there."
Frankly, we agree, except that we would keep a simple name reference to cited cases in the text, with footnotes to the details.

Also true is that no essential discussion should be put into footnotes.

Anything truly material to, e.g. a judge's decision, should be found in the text of an opinion, and not in footnotes.

Doing otherwise is academic dilettantism, but then again, as written at Law and Letters by Belle Lettre in Electicism, Dilettantism, and Being a Fox Rather Than a Hedgehog:
"[I]sn't the legal academy supposed to be populated with hedgehogs rather than foxes? This dichotomy seems pretty apt in its description--there are far more specialists than Renaissance people."

Identifying the Oldest Law Firm in the United States

Charles DeLaFuente at the ABA Journal goes into the historical question of correctly identifying

the oldest law firm in the United States.

The White House Blog Has Recently Been Posting About the Importance of Education

Today we are going through our LawPundit blogroll to see what people are posting about.

Recent posts at The White House Blog relate to education, a topic of great importance to the American nation.

Take a look at some of the recent posts. e.g.:

Valerie Jarrett, Champion of African American History: Carter G. Woodson

First Lady Michelle Obama on being The First in her family to get a college education.

The ISandIS Network

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