HBR on the Wrong Patent Reform

Patent Reform

The Harvard Business Review has a curious article this week by Paul R. Michel: Big Tech Has a Patent Violation Problem. The thrust of it is that we should not reform patent law to make it easier to invalidate patents because:

"If they succeed in weakening America’s intellectual property system, it could be devastating for thousands of small, innovative startups — with disastrous consequences for the economy as a whole."

Sounds bad, and attacking big tech is a great way to make you look like a populist. But as a small, innovative startup founder and worker I know that this is exactly the wrong way round. Google etc can easily afford to fend off patent litigation and deal with the consequences when a lawsuit occasionally breaks the wrong way. A fine after all is just a price. It's the startups that can't afford to fight off an infringement lawsuit, or pay to file a patent for every other line of code on the off chance that it could become a weapon one day.

So who is Paul R. Michel? HBR says:

"Paul R. Michel (Ret.) served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit from 1988 to his retirement in 2010, and as its chief judge from 2004 to 2010."

But fails to disclose that he's currently listed as a member of the Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation and:

"Judge Michel also consults for law firms and their clients in intellectual property litigations, conducting moot courts, mock trials, case evaluations, editing briefs, advising on strategy and providing mediation and arbitration services."

Which doesn't mean that he shouldn't express his opinion in HBR but does color that opinion a little in my view. If nothing else the current system is an all you can eat buffet for IP lawyers.

HBR: please feel free to run this as a counter-argument, the best way to fix the patent system is to stop examining them altogether as I proposed nearly twelve years ago.

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Book reviews for July 2022

Eyes of the Void (The Final Architecture #2) by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Eyes of the Void (The Final Architecture #2) by Adrian Tchaikovsky



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Links for July 2022

Updated on Friday, July 29, 2022

One O'clock Gun

One O'clock Gun

Super slow motion video of the One O'clock Gun firing at Edinburgh Castle. This is a 105mm field gun fired startlingly over Edinburgh every day except Sundays, Good Friday and Christmas Day.

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Sunset #10

Snowdonia Milky Way Time Lapse

Snowdonia Milky Way Time Lapse

Completing a Llanbedr trilogy, a 4k timelapse of the Milky Way near Snowdonia National Park in Wales.

Snowdonia has a great reputation for dark skies. Unfortunately I'm only here around a full (super!) moon and in July when it's only dark for about 2 minutes. Given all that, some pretty impressive views after the moon sets. Shot over three nights on an A7C with the 20mm 1.8 G. Post processed in LRTimelapse and Lightroom.

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SONY ILCE-7C 20mm f1.8 10.0s ISO1600

Meteor photographed looking South-West from Llanbedr in Wales. 10 second exposure.

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ISS over Wales

Updated on Monday, July 11, 2022

ISS over Wales

The International Space Station over Llanbedr in Wales. Three stacked ten second exposures.

Updated 2022-07-11 09:05:

ISS over Wales

Same garden in Llanbedr, same space station, different night.

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Waterloo Sunsets

Waterloo Sunsets

Timelapse of three sunsets over Waterloo Station in London. Shot over Pride Weekend 2022 - you can see a huge rainbow flag on one building and if you look closely the rainbow flashing in sequence on One Canada Square in Canary Wharf. Good views of the Shard and Boomerang and the best part of the Walkie Talkie.

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Changing of the Password