"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Privacy Law: European Commission Alleges Facebook Violation of EU Merger Guidelines in WhatsApp Acquisition: WhatsApp Data Collection by Facebook Not Legal in the EU: What about America and the FTC?

We posted our opinion already in August that the declared Facebook collection of WhatsApp data appeared to be illegal. See Facebook WhatsApp Privacy Invasion Promotes Anger and Likely Violates a 2012 Agreement with the FTC.

Already in September, Germany ordered Facebook to stop collecting WhatsApp user data as violating data protection laws. Facebook had to delete all WhatsApp data gathered by Facebook about German users up to that point.

In November 2016, Facebook had to stop collecting WhatsApp user data in Europe after pressure by governments.

Now, a December 20, 2016 press release from the European Commission of the European Union alleges that Facebook provided misleading information about its WhatsApp takeover.

As stated in that press release: "Facebook now has now until 31 January 2017 to respond to the Statement of Objections. If the Commission's preliminary concerns in this case were confirmed, the Commission could, impose a fine of up to 1% of Facebook's turnover (under Article 14(1) of the EU Merger Regulation)." [emphasis added] That's a lot of money, folks.

screenshot photograph clip by LawPundit

Meredith Ballard, Staff Writer at The Campbell Law Observer had a piece in October about WhatsApp’s legal challenges illustrate the stark difference in U.S. and EU internet privacy laws -- and we can second that ! -- where she wrote, inter alia:

"The legal disputes facing WhatsApp and Facebook arise at a time when privacy law in the United States is still developing.  Currently, the law in the European Union has a reputation for being more consumer-oriented, with greater monitoring and privacy protections for app users outside of the U.S. In the U.S., Internet companies, such as Facebook and Google, are overseen by the FTC."

The FTC has proven itself thus far to be a virtually do-nothing "paper tiger" in terms of enforcement. See Facebook’s Plan for WhatsApp to Get Close Look from FTC.

In our opinion, the clearly interlocking-endangered merger of Facebook and WhatsApp should never have been permitted because it was destined to lead to these kinds of nefarious privacy abuses.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Patent Wars Flare Up Again between Apple, Nokia and PAEs (Patent Assertion Entities)

Ashley Carman at the Verge has the story about the renewed patent wars involving Apple, Nokia and PAEs (Patent Assertion Entities) in Apple and Nokia are fighting about patents again.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Brexit is Likely Not a Legal EU Exit Without UK Parliament Approval as Required by British Constitutional Law Principles

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom began hearings on December 5, 2016 on an appeal from a High Court judgment that only Parliament could trigger Brexit.

We see "no legal exit" from the High Court's argumentation and judgment.

The BBC News earlier already reported on the judicial process to come at The 11 Supreme Court judges who could rule on UK's Brexit appeal [hat tip to CaryGEE] and more recently reported on the court's Brexit hearings under the misleading headline: Supreme Court Brexit case: 'No need' for MPs to get final say.

Well, the case is by no means decided yet and "need" has nothing to do with it. The correct headline should have been: Supreme Court Brexit case: Does UK constitutional law require Parliament to have the final say?

The Brexit case puts squarely to the test the system of checks and balances that define the separation of powers among the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.

What the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is now considering is an appeal from a High Court judgment of 3 November 2016 [The High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division, Divisional Court, Neutral Citation Number: [2016] EWHC 2768 (Admin), Case No: CO/3809/2016 and CO/3281/2016] which found that rights conferred by Parliament in 1972 were likely to be affected by Brexit and that only Parliament therefore had the authority to act on the matter of a UK withdrawal from the European Union.

The High Court judgment reads as follows (as excerpted by LawPundit):

"(7) Our decision on the legal question
[larger text as emphasis added by Law Pundit]

[Our] view is reinforced by reference to two constitutional principles.

(c) The principle that the Crown [LawPundit: "Crown" here means the executive branch of government] cannot use its prerogative powers to alter domestic law [block emphasis added by Law Pundit] 

First, the powerful constitutional principle that the Crown has no power to alter the law of the land by use of its prerogative powers is the product of an especially strong constitutional tradition in the United Kingdom.... It evolved through the long struggle ... to assert parliamentary sovereignty and constrain the Crown’s prerogative powers.... As Lord Browne-Wilkinson put it in  
R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex p. Fire Brigades Union [1995] 2 AC 513 at 552E:

"It is for Parliament, not the executive, to repeal legislation. The constitutional history of this country is the history of the prerogative powers of the Crown being made subject to the overriding powers of the democratically elected legislature as the sovereign body."

Parliament having taken the major step of switching on the direct effect of EU law in the national legal systems by passing the ECA 1972 as primary legislation, it is not plausible to suppose that it intended that the Crown should be able by its own unilateral action under its prerogative powers to switch it off again.

Moreover, the status of the ECA 1972 as a constitutional statute is such that Parliament is taken to have made it exempt from the operation of the usual doctrine of implied repeal by enactment of later inconsistent legislation: see Thoburn v Sunderland City Council, at [60]-[64], and section 2(4) of the ECA 1972. It can only be repealed in any respect if Parliament makes it especially clear in the later repealing legislation that this is what it wishes to do. Since in enacting the ECA 1972 as a statute of major constitutional importance Parliament has indicated that it should be exempt from casual implied repeal by Parliament itself, still less can it be thought to be likely that Parliament nonetheless intended that its legal effects could be removed by the Crown through the use of its prerogative powers.

(d) The Crown’s prerogative power operates only on the international plane [block emphasis added by Law Pundit]

The second principle is the well settled limitation on the constitutional understanding that the conduct of international relations is a matter for the Crown in the exercise of its prerogative powers.... It is precisely because the exercise of the Crown’s prerogative powers in the conduct of international relations has no effect in domestic law that the courts accept that this is a field of action left to the Crown and recognise the strength of the understanding that it is not readily to be inferred that Parliament intended to interfere with it. But the justification for a presumption of non-interference with the Crown’s prerogative in the conduct of international affairs is substantially undermined in a case such as this, where the Secretary of State is maintaining that he can through the exercise of the Crown’s prerogative bring about major changes in domestic law.

For this reason, it is our view that the decision in ex p. Rees-Mogg, on which the Secretary of State sought to place considerable weight, does not provide guidance in the present case....

In the very different context of the present case, the question is whether the Crown has power under its prerogative to withdraw from the relevant EU Treaties where such withdrawal will, on the Secretary of State’s argument, have a major effect on the content of domestic law. It is clear that the court in ex p Rees Mogg did not touch on that question.

(e) Our conclusion as to Parliament’s intention [block emphasis added by Law Pundit] 

Interpreting the ECA 1972 in the light of the constitutional background referred to above, we consider that it is clear that Parliament intended to legislate by that Act so as to introduce EU law into domestic law (and to create the category (ii) rights) in such a way that this could not be undone by exercise of Crown prerogative power. With the enactment of the ECA 1972, the Crown has no prerogative power to effect a withdrawal from the Community Treaties on whose continued existence the EU law rights introduced into domestic law depend (rights in categories (i) and (iii)) and on whose continued existence the wider rights of British citizens in category (ii) also depend. The Crown therefore has no prerogative power to effect a withdrawal from the relevant Treaties by giving notice under Article 50 of the TEU."

Is there a "legal exit" for "Brexit" other than through Parliament?
We think not.

In any case, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom will decide.

For Brexit supporters -- who may rightly worry that the court will determine that only Parliament can "trigger" Brexit -- they should note that it will be a decision not made by the European Union or by any outsiders, but rather very much by one of its own three principal institutions of constitutional democratic government. Take a look again at "home-based" Eleven Supreme Court Justices.

That is what checks and balances and the separation of powers is all about.

Ultimately, of course, the PEOPLE decide, but the legal processes in place that are required to be followed, must be followed.

A referendum can be an important indicator of the wishes of the people, but it has no force of law, and, indeed, is a only a momentary indicator of what people are thinking at the time of that referendum.

Given the many negative things that have happened to UK fortunes in the interim, especially on the financial side, it is indeed even likely that yet another referendum on the same question would currently probably give a different end result -- even if the vote were close.

There is good reason why democracy is based on representative government, i.e. people who are elected to serve for extended periods of time, rather than on having a direct popular vote on every governmental question. Representative government provides continuity of policy. Direct popular voting on every governmental question would be ephemeral and lead to boundless chaos.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Henry Kissinger on President-Elect Donald Trump at CBS Face the Nation and How it is Reported in the News Media

In our previous posting our topic was Newspapers, News Media and Biased Reporting : How Can We Get the Real Facts?

Let us now take a superb case of real NEWS in point: the December 18, 2016 CBS "Face the Nation" statements of foreign policy sage and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger about U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump.

What did Kissinger say?
THAT's the NEWS. What KISSINGER said, and not opinions about what he said.

Here is what we find Kissinger saying in the CBS Face the Nation transcript:
"Donald Trump is a phenomenon that foreign countries haven’t seen.

So it is a shocking experience to them that he came into office, at the same time, extraordinary opportunity. And I believe he has the possibility of going down in history as a very considerable president, because every country now has two things to consider, one, their perception that the previous president or the outgoing president basically withdrew America from international politics, so that they had to make their own assessment of their necessities, and, secondly, that here is a new president who is asking a lot of unfamiliar questions.

And because of the combination of the partial vacuum and the new questions, one could imagine that something remarkable and new emerges out of it. I’m not saying it will. I’m saying it’s an extraordinary opportunity.

I think he operates by a kind of instinct that is a different form of analysis as my more academic one, that he’s raised a number of issues that I think are important, very important and, if they’re addressed properly, could lead to -- could create results."
Now that is what KISSINGER said about Trump.
How has it been reported in the news media? Here are two contrary examples:
  • Reena Flores at CBS News on the other hand has a headline that shifts the reader's attention "politically" to another topic also touched upon by Kissinger. Her headline for a report on that very same CBS Face the Nation is: Henry Kissinger says "I hope we're doing some hacking" in Russia, which takes the entire CBS Face the Nation discussion of that topic out of context, because Kissinger states clearly that all governments are hacking and that the real issue is what they do with their so obtained information. Worse, the reporter moves Kissinger's statement about Trump as a phenomenon further down in the article and does not assign to it the importance it deserves as NEWS. The effect of this article on the reader is to obfuscate the actual things that KISSINGER says and to elevate a political view about Russia's hacking to the foreground. This CBS piece is thus NOT good NEWS reporting.
Here is the transcript of what Henry Kissinger actually said about hacking:
"Everybody has the hacking capability.

And probably every intelligence service is hacking in the territory of other countries. But who exactly does what, that would be a very sensitive piece of information. But it’s a very difficult to communicate about it, because nobody wants to admit the scope of what they’re doing.

And I don’t doubt that the Russians are hacking us. And I hope we’re doing some hacking there. Then what use you make, whether it’s a hostile use, that then becomes an international problem.
In any case, putting "hacking" in the foreground is simply a "political" choice.

Keep an eye on what other news media report about Kissinger's statements. One can quickly tell what "slant" on the news is important to a given reporter or newspaper or other media outlet, quite apart from reporting correctly the important things that a foreign policy expert such as Kissinger actually said, and quite apart from whether one agrees with Kissinger or not. The point is what did KISSINGER say. That's the "real" NEWS.

The lesson for newspapers and other news media is:

FIRST, report what the actual NEWS is. That is the main job of the news media.

LATER, one can offer one's own opinions about it.

That latter is the newspaper columnists "opinionating", nothing wrong with that, but that is not "the real NEWS".

Hat tip to CaryGEE for calling attention to Kissinger's statements.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Newspapers, News Media and Biased Reporting : How Can We Get the Real Facts?

What's the most neutral news/media outlet on earth?

Of course, there are none. All news is sifted and chosen for a story (or not) ....
Too often, what readers "want" to read prevails over what should be read.

One useful way to judge news stories that appear these days in mainstream media sources is to ask:

"Is this an overblown balloon to sell newspapers?"

Over the years, we have developed a habit of reading most mainstream news, science reports and similar publications with a grain of salt. What is touted as important news can often be nothing more than a whistle against the wind.

Mainstream media today often no longer deliver "the news that is fit to print" but rather they propagate their own brand of biased "slants" on the news, a completely different animal than neutral fact delivery.

One sees this currently in news reporting about U.S. President Elect Donald Trump, where often politically biased futuristic crystal ball tea-leaf reading prevails among many journalists, who know no more than anyone else about what Trump's Presidency will actually bring.

Contemporary news media do not just report that e.g. "this happened"; rather, mostly they report on what happened that "they think is important", and then "their take on that happening" and, usually prematurely, "here is what it means" -- conclusions, which, by later hindsight, can be totally false.

That results in widespread news unreliability and event vacuousness. The news media too often act like hired advocates for the political, economic, legal and social causes that they personally support, while they conversely oppose "news" that does not fit into their particular way of looking at the world. That "politically correct" approach to news quickly becomes "boring" and suspect to this observer. Tea-leaf reading in the news can leave the reader to emerge not knowing more than he or she did before, and one can even be badly misled.

In any case, since we are political centrists interested in unbiased presentations, the proliferation of biased, slanted news makes getting the "real facts" difficult.

Our own solution is to read as many different newspapers, news media reports and op-eds as possible about any subject that interests us, also from different countries and from varied points of view, in the hope that a broad selection of sources will provide a clearer picture of actual events. Indeed, it is then always amazing to see how greatly the media presentations of so-called "facts" can vary depending on the source, even among English-language media sources. We do not even go into the many foreign-language newspapers, where even greater variety of reporting will be found.


Newspapers are still a big deal but are losing ground to newer media.
See Journalism.org.

In terms of total coverage, Google News Aggregator is the biggest:
Google News Aggregator (World).

Newspapers have made it online too. For example, Amazon even features:
Newspapers on Kindle.

See a recent list of the Top 200 Newspapers in the World.

See a List of Newspapers in the United States
including  the Top 25 Newspapers in the USA by Weekday Circulation

A Selection of Some of the World's 
English-Language Newspapers and Media

New York Times (USA)
Washington Post (USA)
Seattle Times (USA)
Los Angeles Times (USA)
Chicago Tribune (USA)
USA Today (USA)
Bloomberg (USA)
Russia Today at RT.com (Russia)
The Korea Herald (South Korea)
Deutsche Welle (Germany)
Spiegel Online International (Germany)
FAZ - Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany, English description only) 
Die Zeit (Germany)
The Asahi Shimbun (Shimbun= News) (Japan)
The Jerusalem Post (Israel)
China Daily (China)
People's Daily (China)
The Globe and Mail (Canada)
LeMonde diplomatique (France)
The Times of India (India)
The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
BBC News (United Kingdom)
The Guardian (United Kingdom)
The Telegraph (United Kingdom)
The Daily Mail (United Kingdom)
The Independent (United Kingdom)
Financial Times (United Kingdom)
Sunday Times (South Africa)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Bowl Game Predictions 2016-2017 College Football FBS Season, by SportPundit

College Football Bowl Game Predictions 2016-2017 FBS Season, by SportPundit

Click on the name of a bowl for more information....

Below are our -- SportPundit -- predictions for the NCAA Division I FBS College Football Bowl Games to finish the 2016-2017 season. Our predictions are based primarily on our Pre-Bowl College Football Rankings and Ratings for FBS 2016-2017 by SportPundit. We also look at the USA Today Sagarin College Football 2016 Ratings, the Massey Ratings for 2016 NCAA I Football and the Dr. Kambour home field advantage calculations. We compose our schedule using ESPN, NCCA.com and other online sources.

Our system is based -- but not exclusively -- on net average yards per play stats, calibrated primarily by adjusting for schedule difficulty, i.e. the teams thus far played. Other adjustments are also made (*=adjustment) because the ypp system is not perfect, often exacerbating stats made against much weaker or much stronger teams, nor can schedule difficulty always be pinpointed with accuracy since many schedules include FCS teams.

Caveat emptor (Buyer beware): We make this material available in good fun out of interest for the sport of college football. Please do not rely on our material to place bets or wagers of any kind. No one knows the exact outcome of a game or a season before it is played and that is what makes it so interesting. We disclaim any and all liability for the consequences of anyone relying in any way upon our postings, analysis, links or reasoning - for which we make no warranty of accuracy. May the best team win.

For the bowl games we have taken opening lines and over/unders from Oddsshark and VegasInsider.com as well as their opening odds for games where those are posted later. All odds and stats are posted here by us WITHOUT ANY guarantee of accuracy, and without any liability on our part for our posted materials or links to 3rd party sites. We do our predictions for fun. If important for the reader, the reader must consult the original sites.

We write "were favored". The odds of the opening line are usually changed by the time we make our predictions. We do not compete against those changed odds. We use the CFPT prediction average as of the date that we find published.

Please note that some of our total offense and defense stats were already included prior to the Army-Navy game, whereas the majority were included after that game. Please check at cfbstats.com for the most up-to-date stats.

The number in parentheses next to a team name is the team ranking in the SportPundit Pre-Bowl Game Ratings and Rankings.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Army Navy Game 
(we always include this bowl-like game in our bowl predictions)

Army Black Knights (93) vs. Navy Midshipmen (47)
The Midshipmen were favored over the Black Knights by 10 points. The CFPT prediction average favored Navy by 15.87 points. The O/U (over/under) was 55.5 points.
Our Call: 31-24 for Navy. The Army-Navy Game is traditionally difficult to call and this year is typical. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Army 68th Navy 35th; total defense: Army 5th Navy 86th. Army is ranked 2nd in rushing offense and Navy 3rd in rushing offense, but in rushing defense, Army is ranked 19th and Navy 67th. However, Navy has played a much tougher schedule this season.
Result: Army upset Navy 21-17.
We did not get our predictions online on time prior to this game so that this result will not be included in our stats.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl
Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia 12:00 P.M. (noon)
North Carolina Central (NC Central) Eagles vs. Grambling State Tigers
NC Central is 9-2 this season, while Grambling State is 11-1.
Our Call: 34-27 for Grambling State.
Result: ??

Gildan New Mexico Bowl
University Stadium, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 2:00 P.M.
New Mexico Lobos (79) vs. UTSA Roadrunners (Texas San Antonio) (105)
The Lobos were favored over the Roadrunners by 7.5 points. The O/U (over/under) was 64 points.
Our Call: 38-27 for New Mexico. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): New Mexico 27th UTSA 97th; total defense: New Mexico 57th UTSA 58th. 
Result: ??

Las Vegas Bowl Presented by GEICO
Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada 3:30 P.M.
Houston Cougars (24) vs. San Diego State Aztecs (41)
The Cougars were favored over the Aztecs by 3 points. The O/U (over/under) was 60 points.
Our Call: 31-24 for Houston. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Houston 34th San Diego State 63rd; total defense: Houston 14th San Diego State 12th.
Result: ??

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl
Cramton Bowl, Montgomery, Alabama 5:30 P.M.
Appalachian State Mountaineers (59) vs. Toledo Rockets (49)
The Rockets were favored over the Mountaineers by 2.5 points. The O/U (over/under) was 56 points.
Our Call: 33-31 for Toledo. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Appalachian State 55th Toledo 4th; total defense: Appalachian State 15th Toledo 55th.
Result: ??

AutoNation Cure Bowl
Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida 5:30 P.M.
UCF (Central Florida) Knights (69) vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves (82)
The Knights were favored over the Red Wolves by 6.5 points. The O/U (over/under) was 49.5 points.
Our Call: 24-23 for UCF. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): UCF 107th Arkansas State 79th; total defense: UCF 49th Arkansas State 42nd.
Result: ??

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana 9:00 P.M.
Southern Mississippi Eagles (104) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (ULL) Ragin' Cajuns (114)
The Eagles were favored over the Ragin' Cajuns by 2 points. The O/U (over/under) was 57 points.
Our Call: 27-26 for Louisiana Lafayette. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Southern Miss 25th ULL 104th; total defense: Southern Miss 18th ULL 40th. The Eagles have some good stats not matched in the win-loss column. The Ragin' Cajuns recently beat Arkansas State, who we rank 82nd.
Result: ??

Monday, December 19, 2016

Miami Beach Bowl
Marlins Park, Miami, Florida 2:30 P.M.
Central Michigan Chippewas (90) vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (48)
The Golden Hurricane were favored over the Chippewas by 11 points. The O/U (over/under) was 67.5 points.
Our Call: 34-27 for Tulsa. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Central Michigan 74th Tulsa 6th; total defense: Central Michigan 43rd Tulsa 80th.
Result: ??

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Boca Raton Bowl
FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, Florida 7:00 P.M.
Memphis Tigers (50) vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (51)
The Hilltoppers were favored over the Tigers by 7 points. The O/U (over/under) was 77 points.
Our Call: 46-44 for Western Kentucky. We rank these teams 50th and 51st. Western Kentucky has won its last seven games, albeit against weak opposition. Memphis has played a much tougher schedule and closed the regular season with a 48-44 win over poll-ranked Houston, but lost in the season 59-30 to Tulsa, a team with a strong offense that we rank 48th. National rank total offense (cfbstats.com): Memphis 33rd Western Kentucky 7th; total defense: Memphis 90th Western Kentucky 37th.
Result: ??

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

San Diego County CU Poinsettia Bowl
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California 9:00 P.M.
BYU Cougars (42) vs. Wyoming Cowboys (67)
The Cougars were favored over the Cowboys by 7.5 points. The O/U (over/under) was 59 points.
Our Call: 34-27 for BYU. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): BYU 70th Wyoming 48th; total defense: BYU 32nd Wyoming 112th. Wyoming is weak against teams with a strong offense, which is not the case here.
Result: ??

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho 7:00 P.M.
Idaho Vandals (94) vs. Colorado State Rams (68)
The Rams were favored over the Vandals by 13 points. The O/U (over/under) was 64 points. We give a bit of a home advantage to Idaho.
Our Call: 38-27 for Colorado State. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Colorado State 38th Idaho 93rd; total defense: Colorado State 60th Idaho 66th.
Result: ??

Friday, December 23, 2016

Popeyes Bahamas Bowl
Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, Nassau, Bahamas 1:00 P.M.
Eastern Michigan Eagles (89) vs. Old Dominion Monarchs (77)
The Eagles were favored over the Monarchs by 1 point. [Note that the updated line on December 15 favored Old Dominion by 4 points] The O/U (over/under) was 64 points.
Our Call: 31-27 for Old Dominion. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Eastern Michigan 36th Old Dominion 52nd; total defense: Eastern Michigan 87th Old Dominion 44th.
Result: ??

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas 4:30 P.M.
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (61) vs. Navy Midshipmen (47)
The Midshipmen were favored over the Bulldogs by 5 points. [Note that the updated line on December 15 favored the Bulldogs by 4.5 points.] The O/U (over/under) was 68 points.
Our Call: 40-37 for Louisiana Tech. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Louisiana Tech 8th Navy 35th (3rd in rushing offense); total defense: Louisiana Tech 70th (30th in rushing defense) Navy 80th.
Result: ??

Dollar General Bowl
Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama 8:00 P.M.
Ohio Bobcats (84) vs. Troy Trojans (65)
The Trojans were favored over the Bobcats by 5 points. The O/U (over/under) was 49 points.
Our Call: 30-24 for Troy. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Ohio 78th Troy 49th; total defense: Ohio 31st Troy 32nd. Ohio can be unpredictable.
Result: ??

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Hawai'i Bowl
Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii 8:00 P.M.
Hawai'i Warriors (106) vs. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (MTSU) (76)
The ?? were favored over the ?? by ?? points. The O/U (over/under) was ?? points.
Our Call: 38-21 for Middle Tennessee. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Hawaii 88th MTSU 9th; total defense: Hawaii 104th MTSU 92nd.
Result: ??

Monday, December 26, 2016

St. Petersburg Bowl
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida 11:00 A.M.
Miami of Ohio RedHawks (85) vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs (58)
The Bulldogs were favored over the RedHawks by 11 points. The O/U (over/under) was 58 points.
Our Call: 38-28 for Mississippi State. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Miami of Ohio 108th Mississippi State 41st; total defense: Miami of Ohio 26th Mississippi State 110th. The red-hot RedHawks won six in a row after starting the season 0-6. It was a first in Division I football history.
Result: ??

Quick Lane Bowl
Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan 2:30 P.M.
Maryland Terrapins (70) vs. Boston College Eagles (83)
The Eagles were favored over the Terps by 2 points. [Note that the updated line on December 15 favored Maryland by 1 point.] The O/U (over/under) was 45 points.
Our Call: 24-20 for Maryland. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Maryland 94th Boston College 127th; total defense: Maryland 81st K 8th. A score of 3-2 would not surprise us.
Result: ??

Camping World Independence Bowl
Independence Stadium, Shreveport, Louisiana 5:00 P.M.
North Carolina State Wolfpack (NC State) (43) vs. Vanderbilt Commodores (74)
The Wolfpack were favored over the Commodores by 4 points. The O/U (over/under) was 42.5 points.
Our Call: 30-23 for N.C. State. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): NC State 62nd Vanderbilt 110th; total defense: NC State 28th Vanderbilt 64th. Vandy beat Mississippi 38-17 and Tennessee 45-34 to close out the regular season and become bowl eligible. (Tennessee and Mississippi rank 109th and 110th in total defense, which may explain the upsets in part). NC State in turn shocked North Carolina 28-21 in their season finale, also to become bowl eligible. NC State ranks 28th in total defense, so we do not expect a Vanderbilt upset.
Result: ??

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl
Cotton Bowl Stadium, Dallas, Texas 12:00 P.M. (Noon)
Army Black Knights (93) vs. North Texas Mean Green (119)
The Black Knights were favored over the Mean Green by 9 points. The O/U (over/under) was 49 points.
Our Call: 31-21 for Army.
National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Army 71st North Texas 118th; total defense: Army 4th North Texas 80th.
Result: ??

Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman
Navy-Marine Corps Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland 3:30 P.M.
Temple Owls (36) vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (66)
The Owls were favored over the Demon Deacons by 12 points. The O/U (over/under) was 42.5 points.
Our Call: 24-10 for Temple. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Temple 65th Wake Forest 125th; total defense: Temple 3rd Wake Forest 39th.
Result: ??

National Funding Holiday Bowl
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California 7:00 P.M.
Minnesota Golden Gophers (54) vs. Washington State Cougars (18)
The Cougars were favored over the Golden Gophers by 4.5 points. The O/U (over/under) was 60 points.
Our Call: 38-21 for Washington State. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Minnesota 106th Washington State 15th; total defense: Minnesota 23rd Washington State 69th.
Result: ??

Motel 6 Cactus Bowl
Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona 10:15 P.M.
Boise State Broncos (29) vs. Baylor Bears (63)
The Broncos were favored over the Bears by 9.5 points. The O/U (over/under) was 68 points.
Our Call: 34-30 for Boise State. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Boise State 20th Baylor 5th; total defense: Boise State 46th Baylor 83rd.
Result: ??

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York 2:00 P.M.
Pittsburgh Panthers (19) vs. Northwestern Wildcats (35)
The Panthers were favored over the Wildcats by 3.5 points. The O/U (over/under) was 68 points.
Our Call: 34-27 for Pittsburgh. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Pittsburgh 42nd Northwestern 77th; total defense: Pittsburgh 98th. Northwestern 59th.
Result: ??

Russell Athletic Bowl
Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida 5:30 P.M.
West Virginia Mountaineers (14) vs. Miami of Florida Hurricanes (26)
The game was seen as even, take your pick. [Note that the updated line on December 15 favored Miami of Florida by 3 points.] The O/U (over/under) was 56.5 points.
Our Call: 27-26 for Miami. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): West Virginia 12th Miami 54th; total defense: West Virginia 79th Miami 27th.
Result: ??

Foster Farms Bowl
Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California 8:30 P.M.
Indiana Hoosiers (45) vs. Utah Utes (37)
The Utes were favored over the Hoosiers by 6.5 points. The O/U (over/under) was 54 points.
Our Call: 30-27 for Indiana. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Indiana 53rd Utah 58th; total defense: Indiana 41st Utah 53rd.
Result: ??

AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl
NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas 9:00 P.M.
Texas A&M Aggies (20) vs. Kansas State Wildcats (30)
The Aggies were favored over the Wildcats by 2 points. The O/U (over/under) was 58 points.
Our Call: 31-27 for Texas A&M. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Texas A&M 29th Kansas State 84th; total defense: Texas A&M 91st Kansas State 51st.
Result: ??

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Birmingham Bowl
Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama 2:00 P.M.
South Florida Bulls (27) vs. South Carolina Gamecocks (60)
The Bulls were favored over the Gamecocks by 11 points. The O/U (over/under) was 63 points.
Our Call: 34-24 for South Florida. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): South Florida 10th South Carolina 117th; total defense: South Florida 120th South Carolina 62nd.
Result: ??

Belk Bowl
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina 5:30 P.M.
Arkansas Razorbacks (38) vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (25)
The Hokies were favored over the Razorbacks by 6 points. The O/U (over/under) was 62 points.
Our Call: 37-27 for Virginia Tech. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Arkansas 49th Virginia Tech 41st; total defense: Arkansas 75th Virginia Tech 19th.
Result: ??

Valero Alamo Bowl
Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas 9:00 P.M.
Oklahoma State Cowboys (28) vs. Colorado Buffaloes (15)
The Buffaloes were favored over the Cowboys by 2 points. The O/U (over/under) was 64 points.
Our Call: 33-27 for Colorado. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Oklahoma State 17th Colorado 43rd; total defense: Oklahoma State 108th Colorado 17th.
Result: ??

Friday, December 30, 2016

AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Liberty Bowl, Memphis, Tennessee 12:00 P.M. (Noon)
Georgia Bulldogs (33) vs. TCU (Texas Christian) Horned Frogs (40)
The Horned Frogs were favored over the Dawgs by 1.5 points. [Note that the updated line on December 15 favored Georgia by 1 point.] The O/U (over/under) was 49 points.
Our Call: 30-27 for Georgia. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Georgia 89th TCU 23rd; total defense: Georgia 16th TCU 74th.
Result: ??

Hyundai Sun Bowl
Sun Bowl Stadium, El Paso, Texas 2:00 P.M.
Stanford Cardinal (16) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (21)
The Tar Heels were favored over the Cardinal by 1 points. [Note that the updated line on December 15 favored the Cardinal by 3.5 points.] The O/U (over/under) was 54 points.
Our Call: 30-28 for Stanford. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Stanford 99th North Carolina 44th; total defense: Stanford 36th North Carolina 71st. As a Stanford Law School alumnus, we go with Stanford, but the Cardinal offense this year is far below par and the defense not as good as it has been.
Result: ??

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee 3:30 P.M.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (31) vs. Tennessee Volunteers (23)
The Vols were favored over the Huskers by 3 points. The O/U (over/under) was 61 points.
Our Call: 30-28 for Nebraska. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Nebraska 85th Tennessee 50th; total defense: Nebraska 21st Tennessee 109th. The Huskers with their less than average offense can consider themselves lucky to have drawn a team with a defense as weak as the Volunteers, which permitted underdog Vanderbilt to beat the Vols in the final game of the regular season. The Tennessee offense is better than average, while the Cornhuskers have had a good defense against weak opposition, but it was no match e.g. for the 21st-ranked offense of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Tennessee might have the more talented players, but as a Nebraska alum, we call it for the Huskers.
Result: ??

NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl
Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Arizona 5:30 P.M.
South Alabama Jaguars (98) vs. Air Force Falcons (64)
The Falcons were favored over the Jaguars by 15 points. The O/U (over/under) was 57.5 points.
Our Call: 38-24 for Air Force. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): South Alabama 73rd Air Force 36th; total defense: South Alabama 52nd Air Force 38th.
Result: ??

Capital One Orange Bowl
Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida 8:00 P.M.
Michigan Wolverines (3) vs. Florida State Seminoles (13)
The Wolverines were favored over the Seminoles by 7 points. The O/U (over/under) was 58 points.
Our Call: 33-24 for Michigan. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Michigan 46th Florida State 24th; total defense: Michigan 2nd Florida State 29th. We have a Michigan alum in the family and call it strong for Michigan.
Result: ??

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida 11 A.M.
LSU Tigers (9) vs. Louisville Cardinals (11)
The game was seen as even, take your pick.  [Note that the updated line on December 15 favored LSU by 3 points.] The O/U (over/under) was 59.5 points.
Our Call: 31-27 for LSU. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): LSU 60th Louisville 2nd; total defense: LSU 13th Louisville 11th.
Result: ??

TaxSlayer Bowl
EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Florida 11 A.M.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (32) vs. Kentucky Wildcats (57)
The Yellow Jackets were favored over the Wildcats by 5 points. The O/U (over/under) was 60 points.
Our Call: 34-27 for Georgia Tech. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Georgia Tech 82nd Kentucky 57th; total defense: Georgia Tech 63rd Kentucky 88th.
Result: ??

CFP College Football Playoff Semifinal Game
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl 
Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia, 3:00 P.M.
Washington Huskies (6) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (1)
The Crimson Tide were favored over the Huskies by 14 points. The O/U (over/under) was 58 points.
Our Call: 31-20 for Alabama. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Washington 22nd Alabama 26th; total defense: Washington 10th Alabama 1st.
Result: ??

CFP College Football Playoff Semifinal Game
PlayStation Fiesta Bowl
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona, 7:00 P.M.
Ohio State Buckeyes (2) vs. Clemson Tigers (4)
The Buckeyes were favored over the Tigers by 3 points. The O/U (over/under) was 61.5 points.
Our Call: 27-23 for Ohio State. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Ohio State 21st Clemson 13th; total defense: Ohio State 4th Clemson 9th.
Result: ??

Monday, January 2, 2017

Outback Bowl
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida 1:00 P.M.
Florida Gators (17) vs. Iowa Hawkeyes (22)
The Gators were favored over the Hawkeyes by 2 points. The O/U (over/under) was 40.5 points.
Our Call: 24-20 for Florida. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Florida 115th Iowa 120th; total defense: Florida 6th Iowa 24th.
Result: ??

Goodyear Cotton Bowl
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas 1:00 P.M.
Western Michigan Broncos (34) vs. Wisconsin Badgers (8)
The Badgers were favored over the Broncos by 7.5 points. The O/U (over/under) was 54 points.
Our Call: 35-24 for Wisconsin. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Western Michigan 16th Wisconsin 87th; total defense: Western Michigan 25th Wisconsin 7th.
Result: ??

103rd Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California 5:00 P.M.
USC (Southern Cal) Trojans (5) vs. Penn State Nittany Lions (7)
The Trojans were favored over the Nittany Lions by 7.5 points. The O/U (over/under) was 60 points.
Our Call: 31-27 for USC. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): USC 28th Penn State 56th; total defense: USC 30th Penn State 22nd.
Result: ??

Allstate Sugar Bowl
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana 8:30 P.M.
Auburn Tigers (12) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (10)
The Sooners were favored over the Tigers by 5 points. The O/U (over/under) was 64 points.
Our Call: 30-27 for Auburn. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): Auburn 38th Oklahoma 3rd; total defense: Auburn 20th Oklahoma 89th.
Result: ??

Monday, Jan. 9, 2017

CFP College Football Playoff
National Championship Game
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida 8:00 P.M.
Winner of Alabama vs. Washington Semifinal Game
Winner of Ohio State vs. Clemson Semifinal Game
The ?? were favored over the ?? by ?? points. The O/U (over/under) was ?? points.
Our Call: ?? for ??. National rank total offense (via cfbstats.com): ?? ??th ?? ??th; total defense: ?? ??th ?? ??th.
Result: ??

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Nature's CRISPR and the Absurdities of Modern Patents and Patent Law

What the CRISPR Patent Dispute is All About is discussed by Jacob S. Sherkow at the Guest Blog at the Scientific American. Take a look there at some of the absurd and shameful issues that dismal patent granting have generated.

And the answer, in our opinion ... is ... that none of the purported "inventions" in the CRISPR disputes are or should be patentable inventions, because nothing new has been invented per se.

CRISPR means "Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats" and they are there by NATURE, not by man-made creation.

As written at Gizmodo by Sarah Zhang in
Everything You Need to Know About CRISPR, the New Tool that Edits DNA:

"CRISPR is far better than older techniques for gene splicing and editing. And you know what? Scientists didn’t invent it."

That's right, it is a NATURAL gene mechanism, a product of nature that scientists are merely exploiting, that is all.
Patentable in any way, shape or form?
NO, not in our book.

Just read that whole Gizmodo article and now ask why anyone should be able to get any kind of patents on CRISPR, which scientists are EXPLOITING, not inventing.

Just imagine patents on the way you could cut cloth or anything else with scissors. Or imagine your local butcher being limited by patents on how to cut meat. Or ponder patents for the way in which loggers would be allowed to cut trees. That is the game being played in the biological sciences.

The whole CRISPR dispute is ridiculous and anathema to the human spirit ... materially greedy people and institutions battle increasingly over who gets the massive monies that very wrongly granted patent monopolies generate -- not just on splicing and editing genomes, but also on products with rounded corners, etc.

Patents these days are not a matter of rewarding inventors fairly, but rather mean primarily the grant of extensive monopolies to persons or institutions, whereby those patents then create vast accumulations of wealth far beyond the benefits that any development they made actually provides to society.

Indeed, almost all of these purported "inventions" are nothing more than obvious steps taken on the basis of the constantly expanding state of the art, especially in the biological sciences. OBVIOUS STEPS.

That is why often multiple people often perceive next step developments at nearly the same time, because they are researching in obvious directions, directions that are obvious given the state of the art.

And what is obvious is not patentable.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

First Sale and the Patent Exhaustion Doctrine in the Resale and Use of Printer Ink Cartridges

Let us ask this question -- in what dream world do some judges operate? especially at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (hereinafter "Federal Circuit").

If it were up to the Federal Circuit, no one could sell a refurbished "used car" because it would surely violate someone's patent rights.

These apparently incompetent judges must be kidding.

Let us preface this posting with a true story about the machinations of corporate profit-making "in the real world", a world seemingly unknown to the judges:
For many years there was a telecom monopoly in Germany that sold printer ink cartridges specially designed by a major printer manufacturing company for their '"proprietary" OEM-made hardware.

Only those special cartridges could be used in that telecom hardware.
One day a normal computer company -- no longer in existence -- discovered that these cartridges were -- with one exception -- in fact identical to equal-volume retail cartridges made by that same major printer manufacturing company -- but were being sold at FOUR TIMES the already VASTLY INFLATED price being charged by that major printer company for those retail cartridges.
Only a small intentionally placed plastic protrusion prevented the special and retail cartridges from being interchangeable.
As the computer company discovered, that protrusion could easily be filed away, leading to a 75% savings.
Massive amounts of profit have been made in past decades by virtually criminal tricks rampant in the printing industry and elsewhere -- by which consumers have been bilked out of billions, all because of inane patent law interpretation by clueless judges at courts such as the Federal Circuit, also overseas.

As written by Lorelei Laird at the ABA Journal in Can patent laws halt the reselling of used ink cartridges? Federal Circuit to consider:
"Print cartridges, not the printers themselves, are typically the source of printer companies’ profits. It shows in the prices. Consumer Reports magazine found in 2013 that you could buy 2,791 gallons of milk or 2,652 gallons of gasoline for the same price as a gallon of ink."
Printer ink is nowhere near that valuable. What printer companies have done is to manufacture their printers so that they only work with "proprietary" ink cartridges. These proprietary cartridges are patented by the USPTO and similar clueless patent bodies without critical review. Of course, these are not "inventions" or "designs" worthy of patent protection at all. Rather, such special cartridges have the sole purpose of preventing other companies from making ink cartridges that can be used in a given printer, so that proprietary ink cartridge prices can be hiked to astronomical -- monopoly -- levels.

Another major printer company now wants to stop the much cheaper use and resale of ink cartridges as a patent infringement of their -- surely wrongfully granted -- patents.

The clueless judges in the Federal Circuit have said this is OK.

Indeed, as written by Debra Cassens Weiss at the ABA Journal in Can company restrict reuse of its ink cartridges to bypass patent doctrine? SCOTUS to decide:
"The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ... ruled for Lexmark in its infringement suit against Impression Products for refurbishing and reselling Lexmark cartridges. The ABA Journal previewed the case here before the Federal Circuit ruled." [emphasis added]
Well, if you can't resell ink cartridges then you can hardly resell refurbished used cars, now can you, that are loaded with all kinds of patents -- many more patents than for ink cartridges. The argument that "first sale" applies only to copyrights and not to patents is thus rendered as absurd at is. Only the Federal Circuit would buy such nonsense.

It is the job of the U.S. Supreme Court to remove these absolutely ridiculous "windfall profit" patent-trolling schemes from the law and to clearly establish the first sale doctrine as applicable to patents.

It is not the job of the courts via patent law to serve as handmaidens to monopolies of hawkers of wares and thereby in effect to force consumers to buy specific products because they have no other options. Quite the contrary. Competition must rule the field and monopolies must be destroyed. That is capitalism. Monopolistic ink cartridges are not inventions or designs, rather, they are simply mockeries of the failings of the patent law system, and of its judges.

What about that Federal Circuit and its judges? What is their problem? If we go by U.S. Supreme Court reversal rates, The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (hereinafter "Federal Circuit") is arguably the worst federal Court of Appeals in the land, being the most reversed appeals court.  See Roy E. Hofer, Supreme Court Reversal Rates: Evaluating the Federal Courts of Appeals.

Three recent Federal Circuit decisions only confirm that bottom ranking.

Example 1. The Federal Circuit's calculation of patent infringement damages is contrary to both law and common sense. The U.S. Supreme Court just reversed them UNANIMOUSLY. See our previous posting.

Example 2. The Federal Circuit is a court that does not learn. The Federal Circuit in a bizarre series of events recently confirmed a verdict for damages and upheld absurd Apple patents for "slide-to-unlock", "spell correction" and "identifying items within text such as telephone numbers or dates".

Here is the bizarre series of events:

As reported by Professor Dennis Crouch, the Federal Circuit in a 3-judge panel initially decided the case [correctly] by throwing out a district court patent infringement damages verdict and invalidating two of three Apple patents and holding that the third patent was not infringed. See Federal Circuit: Apple’s Slide-to-Unlock Patent is Invalid.

That 3-judge panel decision was then reversed recently out of the blue by a surprise Federal Circuit en banc ruling, as reported by Crouch in It is Improper to Consider Extra-Record Claim Construction Evidence On Appeal. As Professor Crouch writes: "the en banc found that the original panel had improperly considered “extra-record extrinsic evidence to construe a patent claim term.”"

"Extrinsic evidence"? Surely that is a joke. That is how $100 million are treated at the Federal Circuit. Like a juggling act. Here today. Gone tomorrow. Here today. After all, it is not their money. It is like play money to them. That lack of judicial seriousness is apparent in their "inner-court-workings". We exclude Chief Judge Prost, Judge Dyk, and Judge Reyna from that statement. THEY seem to be the only ones on the ball at the Federal Circuit. See below. 

Professor Crouch discusses the MAJOR issue here -- in our opinion -- which is that something appears rotten internally at the Federal Circuit.

Crouch writes:

"The en banc opinion judgment here was [8-4 is struck out and replaced with 8-3] with Judge Moore authoring the 7-member majority opinion; Judge Hughes concurring in judgment but without authoring any opinion whatsoever; The original panel members, Chief Judge Prost, Judge Dyk, and Judge Reyna each dissented and each authored their own opinions; and Judge Taranto not participating.

Judge Dyk’s is the most interesting in the way that it reveals some inner-court-workings:
     For the first time in 26 years, this court has taken an obviousness case en banc. See In re Dillon, 919 F.2d 688 (Fed. Cir. 1990) (en banc). Remarkably, the majority has done so without further briefing and argument from the parties, amici, or the government, as has been our almost uniform practice in this court’s en banc decisions. . . .

    The present en banc decision will have a significant and immediate impact on the future resolution of obviousness issues. While purporting to apply established circuit law, the majority is in fact making significant changes to the law as articulated by the Supreme Court. Indeed, as Judge Reyna convincingly points out, it is difficult to understand how this case would satisfy the requirements for en banc review if the majority’s purpose were not to clarify the law.

    The majority states that it takes this case en banc to correct the original panel’s reliance on extra-record evidence. This could hardly be the reason the majority has granted en banc review, since the panel has continuingly expressed willingness, and indeed desire, to eliminate references to any extra-record evidence because of concerns raised in Apple’s petition for rehearing and because they were unnecessary to the panel opinion. . . . [T]he principles that the majority announces are inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s decisions in KSR, Graham v. John Deere, as well as earlier Supreme Court cases, and will make proof of obviousness far more difficult.
Judge’s Prost and Reyna also agreed that the majority’s application of the law in this case is inconsistent with Supreme Court precedent."

[Emphasis added above. We have left out the links, so please go to Crouch's Patently-O patent blog for the details]

Accordingly, also this en banc decision of the Federal Circuit would surely not pass Supreme Court scrutiny. Something appears to be amiss at the Federal Circuit. A power struggle? Outside influence?

Example 3. The third example is the Federal Circuit's recent absurd decision that the reuse or resale of lawfully purchased original ink cartridges violates patent law. See in this regard Debra Cassens Weiss at ABA Journal in Can company restrict reuse of its ink cartridges to bypass patent doctrine? SCOTUS to decide:
"The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to decide whether a company that sells its printer cartridges subject to a bar on their reuse or resale can invoke patent law against a company that violates the restriction.

At issue is whether the restrictions imposed by Lexmark International bypass the general rule that a patent holder’s rights extend only to the first sale of its product, SCOTUSblog reports. The general rule is known as the patent exhaustion doctrine."
Let's be frank. For years we have argued that the Federal Circuit should be disbanded by Congress.

The Federal Circuit causes far more harm than good to the nation -- it is the main cause of the incredibly costly patent wars -- and its establishment as the court of expertise for patents was a great mistake.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Supreme Court of the United States Unanimously Overturns Apple Patent Infringement Damage Award Against Samsung

We wrote about this Apple patent trolling case eons ago and of course are not surprised, as reported by Debra Cassens Weiss at ABA Journal, that SCOTUS overturns Apple's $399M award against Samsung for smartphone infringement.

The decision was UNANIMOUS in an opinion written by Justice Sotomayor.
Well done, Supremes!

Again, we were right all along on the patent issues, and the Federal Circuit, you guessed it, was wrong again.

See our postings at
Companies such as Apple will now increasingly have to return to the idea of making money by selling competitive wares rather than by trying to patent-litigate their arch competitors into oblivion or by trying to make massive amounts of money through windfall profts gained by patent trolling.

The "Cambridge" Gold Torc as a Possible Land Survey viz. Sky Measurement Ell of Ancient Britain

Via Archaeo-News at StonePages.com we have been alerted to a developing story of a fairly recent potentially significant find made in a plowed field in Cambridgeshire, England, United Kingdom.

See two reports at:
We refer to those two particular reports because each has a slightly different photograph of the torc, which was useful to us for counting "torc twists".

We reluctantly note as too often typical for mainstream Archaeology that the reports appear to focus predominantly on the 732 grams of almost pure gold that was made to use the torc ...
rather than on analytically important torc ESSENTIALS such as the LENGTH of the torc -- a measurement length nowhere to be found in sources thus far published, as far as we can tell.

Accordingly, we had to estimate its length ourselves by using the photographed gloved hands holding the gold torc as a guide, presuming a woman's hand/glove-length of about 6 modern inches and apparently about 7 such hand lengths in the round of the torc for a potential total of somewhere around 42 modern inches as the length of the twisted part of the torc.

The Guardian quotes Neil Wilkin, Bronze Age Europe Curator at the British Museum, as saying that "If you take callipers, and measure the gaps between the twists, they are absolutely spot on accurate."

WELL, then, why not then take those callipers folks, and count just how many such "spot on accurate" twists there are and what their total length might be. The gold torc in its bent shape may reflect its being carried at the "middle girth" of it's wearer, whoever he or she was. That kind of "spot on accuracy" in its twists would seem unusual for something intended only as a fertility belt

The Daily Mail writes that:

"The torc is thought to have been worn as a belt over clothing, as part of animal sacrifice or even by pregnant women in fertility ceremonies."

The fertility explanation caught our eye because we subsequently did go to the trouble to count the number of "twists" in the photographs available at the above sources -- a count nowhere found in any of the sources.

By our count there appear to be 270 twists.... Why such accurate twists?

That number of 270 could indeed have been intended as the simplified "round number" matching the human pregnancy period as calculated from ovulation to birth, which in modern times has been found to average ca. 268 days, i.e. the 270 days could have marked the human birth period (modernly often set at 280 days as measured, however, from the first day of the woman's last menstrual period, which does not necessarily coincide with the point of impregnation.)

The 270 twists -- assuming a six-inch gloved hand as noted above -- could perhaps make for a Cambridgeshire Gold Torc length of about 45 modern inches or about 55 megalithic inches.

The standard "ell" in England was 45 inches.

If the delayed mainstream measurements of the actual torc length actually mesh in any way with our cogitations -- regardless of any other calculational or "fertility" uses the gold torc may have had -- it seems a bit short for a "jump rope" -- then this torc may have been so created in gold to represent a "standard" ell in Ancient Britain, or, should the length of the gold torc be even longer than we have estimated, perhaps even something like the "King's ellwand" or an ancient British ell-version of a longer "royal cubit".

The standard "ell" in England was 45 inches. 

Under ELL in the Wikipedia we can read that:

"In England, the ell was usually 45 in (1.143 m), or a yard and a quarter. It was mainly used in the tailoring business but is now obsolete. Although the exact length was never defined in English law, standards were kept; the brass ell examined at the Exchequer by Graham in the 1740s had been in use "since the time of Queen Elizabeth".

The Viking ell was the measure from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger, about 18 inches. The Viking ell or primitive ell was used in Iceland up to the 13th century. By the 13th century, a law set the "stika" as equal to 2 ells which was the English ell of the time. An ell-wand or ellwand was a rod of length one ell used for official measurement. Edward I of England required that every town have one. In Scotland, the Belt of Orion was called "the King's Ellwand"."

It is therefore also possible that standard land survey measurement ells viz. "ellwands" in Ancient Britain, Scotland and Ireland had their astronomical comparables in terms of sky measurement "sticks" or "torcs".

We had hoped, for example, to find comprehensive mainstream archaeological measurements online of the width and height of the Avebury stones in order to see whether their dimensions correspond to some standard length of measure for measuring the distances between stars, but we have found nothing.

Looks like we will have to take another trip to the UK and see what we can do.