LawLawLaw 2010-01-29

Apple vs. Google, Bilski, Recession Ending?

Greetings,

Welcome to the latest installment of my LawLawLaw newsletter. 2010 is the 10th year of the newsletter, and for this issue, I’m going retro: plain text, no graphics. I’m also using MailChimp for delivery.

Why the name LawLawLaw? Originally, LawLawLaw mapped nicely onto intellectual property law’s three areas: patent law, trademark law, and copyright law. Plus I owned the lawlawlaw.com domain name, so it was an easy choice!

Over the years, LawLawLaw has morphed into my observations on trends in technology, IP law (trademarks, domain names, and patents), baseball (long story), and rock ‘n’ roll (longer story). I summarize stories from other sites and provide links. I’m good at spotting trends, connecting people on social networks, and a handful of other things.

I try to keep LawLawLaw short, relevant, and timely. It is published about quarterly. Feel free to forward this to anyone else who might be interested. Thanks!

Regards,
Erik

Clock Tower Law Group [trademarks | domain names | patents]
2 Clock Tower Place, Suite 255, Maynard, MA 01754-2545
website: http://www.clocktowerlaw.com
email: info@clocktowerlaw.com
phone: 978-823-0008
fax: 978-246-0256

—snip—

=================================================================
LawLawLaw 2010-01-29
Technology, Law, Baseball, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Etc.
=================================================================
http://www.lawlawlaw.com is a periodic publication of Clock Tower Law
Group. The opinions in LawLawLaw do not necessarily reflect the
opinions of Clock Tower Law Group, its employees, or the author.
Feel free to forward this to any colleague who might enjoy this
newsletter. Please direct content or subscription questions to
info@clocktowerlaw.com. Thanks!
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— TECHNOLOGY STUFF ——————————————–

Google launched at least three new products: court opinions on Google Scholar, tracking ordinary websites in Google Reader, and Google Public DNS. I prefer to rely on Google for those products that I pay for, such as Google Apps for business (which we use at my firm). I love Google Reader, but I’d feel better if I could pay for it, if there were a quid pro quo, and if there were a corresponding support phone number where I could reach humans. Google doesn’t have the best reputation for customer support, especially for free products.

* Google Scholar Adds Lots Of US Caselaw
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/11/finding-laws-that-govern-us.html

* Google Reader Tracks Feedless Websites
http://lifehacker.com/5456657/google-reader-gets-smart-tracks-updates-on-feedless-web-sites

* Google Launches Public DNS (8.8.8.8, 8.8.4.4)
http://gizmodo.com/5418210/google-continues-eating-the-internet-with-google-public-dns

Apple, on the other hand, has a great reputation for customer support. They launched the iPad and corresponding iBooks store this week. Perhaps you heard about it. I think the latter may be more significant than the former, as Apple breathes life into one segment of old media.

* Macro Chart Of Product Offerings From Google, Microsoft, Apple, And Yahoo
http://gizmodo.com/5455267/empire-building-visualizing-google-microsoft-apple-and-yahoo

Speaking of old media, Rupert Murdoch continues to be the poster child for Not Getting It as he tries to block Google and hide News Corp’s content behind a paywall. Yeah, that’ll work. And The New York Times has also boarded the failboat. See you online – not!

* Murdoch: Take Your Google Ball And Go Home
http://mashable.com/2009/11/24/murdoch/

* The New York Times Planning To Commit Suicide With Paywall
http://techdirt.com/articles/20100117/2309157783.shtml

— LAW STUFF —————————————————

Dan Wallach’s article on software in dangerous places reminded me of a 2002 MIT Technology Review article on why software is so bad. Manufacturers of software products, unlike manufacturers of other products, have long been given a Mulligan on product liability. Why is this so? Should it be so? I don’t belive it will always be so. As some point, non-negotiated shrinkwrap and clickwrap “licenses” will be a thing of the past and softawre makers won’t be able to dislciam all liability just because their EULAs claim to do so. Calling a dog a cat doesn’t make the dog meow.

* Software In Dangerous Places
http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/dwallach/software-dangerous-places

* Why Is Software So Bad?
http://www.erikjheels.com/?p=423

On 11/09/09, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Bilski case. Bilski involves business method patents and the court’s (still pending) ruling has the potential to bring massive change to patent law, including business method patents and software patents. Not all companies rely on intellectual property. Your company should be planning for the end of software patents. It should also be planning for the expansion of software patents. The ruling could go either way.

* Abandoning Software Patents?
http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2009/11/abandoning-software-patents.html

* Google Doesn’t Rely On Intellectual Property
http://techdirt.com/articles/20091110/0843176877.shtml

— BASEBALL STUFF ———————————————-

The 2009 season was one to forget. Some team from someplace won the World Series. The good news is that pitchers and catchers report in 17 days! Plus, the end of Bug Selig is in sight.

* Bud Selig To Step Down As MLB Commissioner In 2012
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4695595

* Martha Coakley Calls Schilling a Yankees Fan
http://www.survivinggrady.com/2010/01/martha-coakley-thinks-curt-schilling-is.html

— MUSIC STUFF ————————————————-

Rolling Stone continues to squander one of its biggest assets: five-star reviews. Here are the latest:

* Rolling Stone Announces More Five-Star Rated Albums And All I Got Was This Lousy Feed
http://www.erikjheels.com/?p=1173 (main article)
http://www.erikjheels.com/?p=1173&cpage=1#comment-369177 (latest five-star reviews)

Yes, all music is the same 12 notes (at least in most Western music). And all blog posts are the same 26 letters (at least in English).

* All Music Is The Same Four Chords
http://www.buzzfeed.com/lindseyweber/all-music-is-the-same-four-chords-ru/

* Or Perhaps The Five Chords Of Pachelbel’s Canon in D
http://techdirt.com/articles/20090118/1543483450.shtml

— RANDOM STUFF ————————————————

I remain cautiously optimistic about the economy. I believe that the rate of new startups is a leading indicator of the health of the economy. The trends for the last several months are encouraging:

* 900 #Startups Formed In Massachusetts In 12/2009
http://www.erikjheels.com/?p=2010

Other stuff for your reading and viewing pleasure:

* First Video Taken From A plane, Wilbur Wright, 1909
http://kottke.org/09/10/first-video-from-a-plane-1909

* The 2000s Decade (Whatever It’s Called) In Review
http://kottke.org/09/11/from-wassap-to-obama-a-decade-in-review

* Dilbert Comic 2009-11-17
Dogbert the CEO.
Dogbert: We’re going into the Internet news business.
Dilbert: We’re hiring reporters?
Dogbert: No, we’ll summarize stories from other sites and provide links.
Dilbert: So… we’ll be parasites?
Dogbert: Go buy a vinyl record, grandpa.
http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2009-11-17/

END

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