This despite the overwhelmingly supportive coverage that protecting intellectual property seems to attract. Dismissing the claim that IP rights are guaranteed under the Constitution as a "popular myth," Levine and Boldrin mince no words when it comes to their feelings about the benefits of eliminating government monopolies for ideas and products. The duo have a solution to the current economic downturn: "[W]e must start by dismantling the myth of intellectual property, and then search for a system of property rights capable of genuinely fostering innovation and productivity." If you'd like to learn more about why some would rather have no patent system at all rather than one that's lost its direction and has strayed far from its original intent, be sure to read the rest of The patent system: End it, don't mend it.
Environmental Leader: A new fast-track program at the USPTO aims to speed up "green" patents with a more favorable through-put speed. From U.S. Speeding Up ‘Green’ Patent Process come further details of this much-anticipated pilot program:
The new system is expected to take about 12 months off the process, according to the Wall Street Journal.
American competitiveness depends on innovation and innovation depends on creative Americans developing new technology,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said, in a press release.
By ensuring that many new products will receive patent protection more quickly, we can encourage our brightest innovators to invest needed resources in developing new technologies and help bring those technologies to market more quickly,” Locke added.
Great news for the tens of thousands of green patents caught up in the huge backlog at the USPTO and certainly a move that could encourage more cleantech companies to protect their IP with a patent.
CNet News: Michael Arrington must be fuming and/or getting ready to blow his top because Fusion Garage is already demoing the JooJoo touchpad computer (nee Crunchpad) to the press. Rafe Needleman offers his thoughts on this nascent, and expensive, dream product in his recent review, Hands on with the JooJoo. He writes:
Is the JooJoo a great device? Yes, it is. But at the $499 price point, we don't think it will be a success. It does less than a Netbook–it won't run productivity apps that aren't browser-based–and it's helpless when away from a Wi-Fi connection. It's a great computer for browsing the Web from the couch, but at its current price it's a luxury item, an indulgence. It's hard to justify its purchase in the way buyers can rationalize an iPhone or a Kindle. It's not a product we'd recommend to anyone who needs their computers for productivity. It's not a device for students, or workers, nor is it a good family room computer (the keyboard isn't good enough). You can get a capable laptop for $500 that does much more than the JooJoo.
Not very glowing but admittedly the JooJoo is a very focused piece of techware and the folks at Fusion Garage might also decide to offer third-party companies the option to brand the device, thereby subsidizing the high price. As an added bonus, the comment section that accompanies the piece is long and varied with many weighing in as to the validity of the device's pedigree given that up until a week ago it was called the Crunchpad before being summarily rebranded and removed from TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington's clutched hands.
TechDirt.com: Mike Masnick reports on one author's viewpoint concerning Amazon.com's Kindle book reader and Google Books and why they're the spawn of the devil. From Novelist And Poet Says Google Books And The Kindle Are 'Nazi' Technology:
The basic summary is that Nazis used "high tech" methods to more efficiently exterminate the Jews, and thus, pretty much any modern technology that hasn't been carefully reviewed to make sure it can only be used for good purposes, is a continuation of Nazi efforts.
One of my first thoughts is "How in the world can this guy get press when he's clearly not using the most cogent methods of arguing his point?" followed by "Quick, someone book a room at Bedlam!" Masnick sums up his opinion of Sherman Alexie's rant thusly: "Automatically assuming that all new high tech is a straight line from the Holocaust is just sickening and delusional beyond pretty much any level of standard luddism." I wonder if Mr. Alexie is living in Kazinsky Estates and if so, does he use a typewriter to pound out his anti-technology diatribes, or does he do so using a computer? Good times, people. You usually have to pay lots of money for this kind of entertainment.
IP Osgoode: Feminism and Intellectual Property Law. That's the topic of discussion for Munyonzwe Hamalengwa. Hamalengwa is a Ph.D candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School and is taking the Intellectual Property Theory course which explains the topical piece she offers up for your perusal, oh gentle reader. Here is a short excerpt from Hamalengwa's piece:
The assault of feminism, marxism, critical legal studies and critical race theorists on the supposed neutrality and objectivism of the western legal system has to some great extent engendered palpable paradigm shifts and intellectual understandings of the actual designs of the law and along the way, major reforms have occurred: women and black peoples’ evidence is accorded on the surface the same weight as that of the white men; anyone can serve on the jury and can vote and go to school and slavery is prohibited; women can enter into contracts and own property. But there are still major problems experienced by women, aboriginals and the developing world in gain fully equal recognition and status in the dispensation of intellectual property law. Feminism is perhaps the most potent intellectual current that is deconstructing this area of legal impairment.
She does make a good point. Women in many countries, including examples in our very own nation, are not afforded the same opportunities to protect their ideas and knowledge in a formalized manner that offers them remuneration for the same. And although the law is technically blind to the differences between the sexes when it comes to intellectual property protection, the stark reality is that until women hold positions of power that will enable them to help all applicants, regardless of gender, to seek protection for their IP, a huge inequity will continue to cripple the development of commerce and wealth generation.