Welcome to another Blawg Review, hosted this week by the Patent Baristas. We’re always glad to have people over to visit so grab a cup of joe and we’ll see what’s been going on around the blogosphere.
It’s the Dog Days of Summer, the name for the most sultry period of summer from about July 3 to Aug. 11. As is typical here, it’s currently a sultry 95 degrees in beautiful, downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, with the humidity hovering somewhere near steam bath. Bear with us if we sometimes seem incoherent due to the heat.
This week we celebrate the slow life that comes with scorching weather. So, unload a few burdens, give yourself the luxury of slowing down and looking for that elusive cooling breeze.
Keep It Simple, Real Simple.
“Keep It Simple”
Y’all know it’s crazy
Drivin’ me insane
I don’t wanna be a superman
I just wanna’ go somewhere and use my hands And keep it simple, real simple
Without further ado, here is this week’s review, in no particular order:
Proving You Wrong
Scott Greenfield, over at Simple Justice, writes about the felonization of just about everything. Eddie Leroy Anderson, 68, and his son each plead guilty to a misdemeanor and got a year’s probation and a $1,500 penalty after trying to dig for arrowheads near a favorite campground of theirs (they didn’t actually find any). Unfortunately, they were on federal land and the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979, doesn’t require criminal intent and makes it a felony punishable by up to two years in prison to attempt to take artifacts off federal land without a permit. Harvey Silverglate, notorious civil rights lawyer, says we commit three felonies a day, If you don’t believe it, see the Wall Street Journal.
wiredGC has a post by John Wallbillich on 7 Rules in a series about Zen and the Art of Legal Pricing for those who are value-billing and want the quickest bang for the buck.
Gene Quinn at IP Watchdog laments the problem of the patent troll — one who is abusing the patent right by pressing specious claims in order to shake down a defendant for payment.
Law.com’s Legal Blog Watch longs for when flight plans were simpler and continued its series of Things You Can’t Do on a Plane (vol. 4).
Simple Justice ponders Kevin O’Keefe’s view of the inevitable, unconditional surrender to social media as our Overlord Kevin says: “You’re going to lose lawyers and other professionals to competitors. Per a study by American Express, 39 percent of younger workers won’t even consider working for a company that blocks Facebook. Facebook has become the communication tool of choice for many young professionals.”
Let Your Light Shine
Mark Bennett, at Defending People, gives a detailed and thoughtful response to the Department of Education’s “Dear Colleague Letter” stating that, under Title IX, “a school’s grievance procedures must use the preponderance of the evidence standard to resolve complaints of sex discrimination.” Sex discrimination, says the DOE, includes sexual violence.
The Volokh Conspiracy outlines the case of a woman being prosecuted for displaying plastic testicles on her car because South Carolina bans obscene or indecent bumper stickers and similar “device[s].”
zen habits points out that it is fairly simple how you can make a living doing something you’re passionate about. Do one thing really well. It’s really that simple. Narrow down what you do, and do it repeatedly. Learn, grow, improve, read, watch, do it some more. When you’re really good at that one thing, people will want to pay you for it, or to learn how you do it.
The Blawg Review editor is passionate about down-sizing. mnmlist shares that when we start out with something, we usually will try everything. But as we learn, we can pare down ideas that we find out don’t matter. We’re left with the essentials.
Head of Legal points out that the Culture, Media and Sport select committee will not be able to compel answers from Rupert and James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks. In a sense, no one can ever compel anyone to answer questions – even by the use of torture (a power not even Parliament claims for itself). The real question is, what sanctions will you take against a silent witness?
The UK law blog Charon QC shows us that that 70% of the population in Britain would welcome a return of the death penalty – the argument of the ‘executioneers’ is that Parliament must impose the will of the majority. To that, Charon simply says “5 million flies eat shit, but it does not follow that shit is good for us to eat” .
Dennis Crouch at Patently-O notes that over the past year-and-a-half, 52 utility patents have issued that each cite more than 2,500 references. It turns out that the vast majority of those patents are owned by one company – Personalized Media Communications. PMC needs to learn to simplify.
Jackie Wright Bonilla writes on the Personalized Medicine Bulletin that the Federal Circuit decided the “ACLU/Myriad” gene patenting case, formally known as Assn. Molec. Path. et al. v. USPTO et al. In a majority opinion by Judge Lourie, the court addressed the case on the merits, after finding that at least one plaintiff — out of a cast of thousands — had standing to sue.
Patent Docs‘ Kevin Noonan talks about the latest case in which the Federal Circuit assessed the scope of foreseeability for rebutting prosecution history estoppel, Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Paddock Laboratories, Inc., followed a trend started in Festo X and applied in several other doctrine of equivalents decisions by the Federal Circuit in the nine years since the Supreme Court established foreseeability as a basis for rebutting the presumption of prosecution history estoppel.
IPKat Jeremy Phillips walks us through the laborious court dealings of the Star Wars copyright litigation brought by Lucasfilm Ltd, Star Wars Production Ltd and Lucasfilm Entertainment Co Ltd against the evil empire consisting of the man who produced military uniforms for the Star Wars movie and the company he owned.
Seattle Copyright Watch likewise has a very detailed account of the Lucasfilm case and the right to keep others from making vacuum-molded plastic Stormtrooper helmets. Apparently, the defendant made versions of the Imperial Stormtrooper helmet and armor, some of which he sold in the U.S. at a price of between $8,000 and $30,000.
Walk Back In
In the legal credit crunch, babybarista wonders if various solicitors’ firms could begin selling off their future earnings to loan sharks.
Hugh McLeod, guest post on Copyblogger, thinks It’s the Simplicity, Stupid. Make it easy One thing he’s learned: “I cannot make my subscriber list tell their friends about the newsletter, no matter how hard I try to apply my Jedi mind tricks. All I can do is make it easy for them to share. All I can do is make it as friction-free as possible.”
HR Ninja Todd Bavol suggests keeping it simple when creating job titles in recruiting ads. When a UK company advertised for a “nail technician”, not surprisingly the employer found himself wading through dozens of applications from beauticians when what they were actually seeking was someone to sort nails (the metal variety!) on a building site.
The WSJ Law Blog gives some social media advice in Tweeting for Lawyers 101. A good rule of thumb for attorneys is that “if you can’t do it off-line, you can’t do it online.”
Lawyerist.com says that the next time you find yourself struggling to get things done, or taking too long to accomplish menial tasks, attack your distractions to simplify things and increase productivity. “I have not seen anyone effectively simultaneously use a laptop and a desktop, or a desktop and a iPad. If your desk is cluttered with four different pieces of technology, your mind will be just as cluttered.”
The Gender & Sexuality Law Blog notes that at the same time that “being tough on rape” seems a losing strategy for many prosecutors, they can’t be tough enough on human trafficking.
gapigvoid‘s Hugh Macleod writes about simpler times while watching Neil Armstrong stepping down the ladder of lunar landing module. “Watching that one small step on the static-ky, shaky black and white TV, with the tinfoil on the antenna to get a slightly better reception, I realized I had been inspired in small ways to live a life that would always push against the limits of my own fears.”
Eric Turkewitz of the New York Personal Injury Law Blog writes about Watching a massive Saturn V rocket blast off to the moon can leave quite an impression on an 11-year-old. “I think about that now as kids of the same age as I was back then are getting cell phones and iPads, texting, sexting, twittering and facebooking. Friends are now some type of amorphous concept as we live in the age of information overload.”
An Associate’s Mind thinks about how integrity is not that popular of word in the 21st century. “Look at the general mess available on TV: reality shows, celebrity divorces, and back-stabbing politicians. Integrity has seemingly faded from the daily lexicon. But for anyone looking to develop a reputation that matters, integrity is essential.”
The Men’s Divorce Blog writes about the fatherhood-gap. The marriage-gap works as follows: couples who are wealthier and better educated tend to marry later, and stay married longer. Couples who have less education and less professional success tend to not marry and to divorce more often. Because a fragmented family is more expensive to maintain than an intact one, they tend to then get poorer still. The married thus end up much wealthier than the unmarried and the gap between them is getting wider. The “Fatherhood-gap,” is a similar gap where Fathers from intact families are spending more time with their kids than their own fathers did. So those who have dads in the home are getting more time with those dads. Thus the gap in actual fathering time between those whose fathers live with them and those whose fathers don’t is getting wider.
With the Blawg Review editor heading to Greece soon it seems only natural to mention Koehler Law’s reminiscing about drinking Ouzo in Greece. “There, behind the door, was a vat that must have been three feet tall. When either Ouzo bottle was empty, the owner brought it back to the kitchen and re-filled it with the cheapest stuff he could buy.”
The Time Blawg educates us about the various forms of law blogging, including the ‘flawger’ — someone who flawgs (A legal blog without any substantive legal content that is created, monetized and promoted exclusively for profit.). Usually, a non-lawyer/social media law marketer, (but also a disbarred/suspended/unemployed/underemployed/retired/or failed lawyer who quit) who writes blawg posts about how to write blawg posts, SEO, ROI, iPads, cloud computing, top ten lists, and enjoys attending law marketing conferences and twittering about using #hashtags.
In a a guest post by Michael Samsel, SimplyForties has a thing or 2 to say about office chairs. “Sitting and working, hours on end, staring at the monitor, while minding the mouse and keyboard. As this has come to define the workaday world, office furniture manufacturers seized the opportunity, quite effectively I might add, to fill the void… offering you comfort and ergonomic correctness… in such a cool way as to become fashion. ”
At the SPC Blog, Jeremy Phillips explains why Brazil should be the next country to be included in the Bucknell Book, the new Oxford University Press publication, Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Chemical Inventions: World Protection and Exploitation, a massive two-volume work covering no fewer than 12 jurisdictions which is edited by Duncan Bucknell (for details click here).
Jeremy also looks at pharmaceutical repackaging cases in which one case holds never mind the technicalities as to whose name appears on the packaging — look at the reality. The trade mark owner’s interest in preserving the integrity of its trade marks is unaffected and the consumer is not threatened or misled, End of story.
If you’re passionate about downsizing but need a fixed address, you may consider the ”Keret House‘ the thinnest house in the world that will be built predominantly using a steel frame, plywood, and Styrofoam.
Think IP Strategy’s weekly selection of top Pharma & Biotech intellectual property news breaking in the blogosphere and internet includes corporate self-interest and strategic choices: Gilead licenses to Medicines Patent Pool (IP Watch) (KEI).
Spicy IP notes that the Indian Patent Act bars patents on traditional knowledge (TK), stated in very broad terms that any invention based on TK is not patentable. It appears to suggest that no patent shall be granted even if the patent application happens to be from the community owning the TK in question.
Dice noted that the law firm Proskauer has equipped more than 500 of its 700 attorneys with iPad 2’s. “At law firms, the technology spend ranks as the third-largest line item behind people and office space. Its place on the budget sheet, though, is well justified: Lawyers rely heavily on computers to deliver services that are at the core of a law firm’s business. All of this underscores the huge risk Proskauer took to adopt the newfangled iPad as a lawyer’s go-to computer.”
At Centsational Girl, Courtney Lake gives his monthly contribution on the topic of how to stage a simple and stylish brunch for your friends and family.
Keep It Simple
Profit and Laws shows why more lawyers don’t write books that try to explain the world of law to the rest of the world. And why writing it was such a challenge and why debating it is so delightful. Because law is complex and consequential and fascinating. Hard as you try to summarize and simplify, nuance gets lost in clarity. Lawyers love nuance and distrust clarity.
The EPO blog writes about the EPO’s invitation for an informal meeting with the heads of the US and Japanese Patent Offices to explore possible ways of moving towards international patent law harmonization.
Alan’s blog discusses John Maeda’s book, “The Laws of Simplicty,” which includes many gems not least those arising from Maeda’s roots in Japanese design culture, including aichaku, the “sense of attachment one can feel for an artifact” (p.69) and omakase meaning “I leave it to you”, which asks the sushi chef to create a meal especially for you (p.76).
China Law Blog discusses what you should be reading on China politics, China travel, China food, China this and China that. The quick answer is to look at the CLB blogroll. But that’s not all. “Just today I realized how much I enjoy and for how long I have enjoyed the Beijing Daze blog, and yet I have not once mentioned it on this blog. Until now. Beijing Daze describes itself as “ramblings and comments about Beijing Live Music Scene, Chinese Restaurants in Beijing as well as any weird and quirky cultural ditties that i might come across!” It is heavily skewed toward Beijing’s music scene.
Legal Rebels Patrick Lamb thinks some law firm leaders are hitting a mental wall when confronted with a chance to change. Lamb compares the situation with the Discovery Channel’s new show “Surviving the Cut.” The shows have tracked the training of Navy Seals, Green Berets, Army Rangers and other elite units. The training is designed to separate the über-elite from the mere elite. Some who do not make it are interviewed, and almost to a person, they describe the feeling of “hitting the wall” and being able to go no further. For some, the wall is physical. For many, it is mental. Is there a similar wall in law firms?
Next week, the ABA Journal is hosting Blawg Review #314. IP.com Blog plugs the 2011 ABA Annual Meeting and is headed to the world-class city of Toronto this summer! The Section of Intellectual Property Law will feature an international panel examining recent actions on ACTA.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s edition of Blawg Review. Nothing herein should be construed as an endorsement of any product or service. The decision on any inclusion (or not) in the review was completely arbitrary and capricious. Past performance does not guarantee future returns.
Thanks for dropping by and visiting our place. We’ll meet at your place next time. And we won’t ask you to wear a swimsuit.
Blawg Review has information about next week’s host, and instructions how to get your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues.