Patent Law

Supreme Court Rules Against Patent Trolls

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On Thursday the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously decided that ideas themselves can not be patented. As Wired notes, the ruling is a major blow to patent trolls and "could prevent some of the most frivolous patent cases from moving forward."

Reason TV reported on the issues surrounding patent trolls back in 2013. "How Patent Trolls Kill Innovation" was originally released on Feb. 20, 2013 and the original writeup is below. 

"My statement to someone that is the victim of a patent troll lawsuit is that you are completely screwed," says Austin Meyer, who is himself the target of a so-called "patent troll" lawsuit. 

Meyer is a software developer and aviation enthusiast. His two passions intersected in the '90s when he created a flight simulator called X-Plane, which quickly grew in popularity, outlasting even the once-popular Microsoft Flight Simulator. As many software developers do, Meyer made his application available on mobile devices like the iPhone and Android. And this is where he first ran into trouble.

A company called Uniloc has sued Meyer for patent infringement over a patent called, "System and Method for Preventing Unauthorized Access to Electronic Data." When a computer runs a paid application, one way that developers can assure that a customer has actually purchased the application is by coding the application to match a license code with an encrypted database. This is a method that most paid applications on the Android market use. It's a method that Meyer argues has been in use since at least the late '80s. This is the idea that Uniloc claims to own.

"A patent troll is a company, a person… who owns patents, but doesn't make anything or sell anything," says Julie Samuels, an attorney and the Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Samuels says that patent trolls are a huge tax on innovation and add nothing valuable to the marketplace. A study out of Boston University estimates the direct economic damage that patent trolls cause to be around $29 billion a year, and this doesn't account for hush-hush, off-the-record settlements. But the bigger problem, says Samuels, is the patent system itself.

"You can't separate the problem with the patent troll from the problem with software patents," says Samuels. "There are hundreds of thousands of software patents floating around that are really broad, that are really vague … and a lot of them are bought up by patent trolls."

A Yale study found that the U.S. patent office is approving new software patents at an approximate rate of 40,000 a year. That's more than 100 new software patents every day. Tracking every software patent to make sure one is not in violation would be an utter impossibility without a full-time team of lawyers on staff.

Uniloc, which purchased the patent in question at a bankruptcy proceeding, declined an interview request for this piece. But on their website, they brag about a victory over software giant Microsoft resulting in $388 million in damages (though this amount was later lowered in an appeals court). Despite the enormous risk, and the enormous cost just to defend against a patent suit, Meyer is resolved to do so.

"I will not simply give somebody money that endorses the idea that they should sue people for doing something amazing," says Meyer. "It must be stopped at some point."

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  1. “the Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents”

    I like the sound of that.

  2. No more shriek?

    Oh, patent trolls. Never mind.

    1. Sheeky is still busy looking for his cut and paste talking point about how emails get lost from servers and all backukps because someone’s hard drive crashes. This is not a cover up because …. fake scandal!

    2. shriek isn’t a troll, it’s a sockpuppet. There’s a difference. And man oh man does it desperately want me to respond to it. It’s just so delicious how desperate it is.

    3. Oh, patent trolls. Never mind.

      Well, shriek is patently a troll…

  3. Tracking every software patent to make sure one is not in violation would be an utter impossibility without a full-time team of lawyers on staff.

    SEE?! JOBS!!

  4. OT: Oh, those sweet, naive yokeltarians. Don’t they know that the Christian Right doesn’t have cocktail parties?

    1. Considering the number of admitted Rand Paul fans here, I don’t think anyone’s going to disagree with the outreach idea. There’s definitely people to convert.

      The problem is that I don’t actually believe, based on what I’ve seen, that there is that much overlap between the religious right, writ large, and libertarians on economic issues, and that’s a dealkiller, given how little we’ll ever agree on the rest.

      So outreach is great, just don’t expect much out of it. You’ll just poach the most libertarian leaning 10%, at best.

      1. Considering the number of admitted Rand Paul fans here, I don’t think anyone’s going to disagree with the outreach idea. There’s definitely people to convert.

        The problem is that I don’t actually believe, based on what I’ve seen, that there is that much overlap between the religious right, writ large, and libertarians on economic issues, and that’s a dealkiller, given how little we’ll ever agree on the rest.

        The only ‘socially conservative’ idea on which Rand Paul believes government should get involved is abortion. Given that abortion is also the only socially conservative issue that you could argue is murder this strikes me as a socially conservative idea a libertarian could reasonably be expected to have.

        I’ve never heard him argue against gay marriage, in favor of harsher drug penalties against ‘thugs,’ or similar SoCon buggaboos. As a result, his social conservatism is really an internal thing that doesn’t effect his politics, which is why I like him despite some disagreements.

        The issue is social conservatives who try to force their conservative ideals on the rest of society which, unfortunately, seems to be the majority of them.

      2. Also, Jesus Christ Woods’ argument is stupid:

        Steve is a conservative, and although he loathes the establishment, his views are more conventional than those of my listeners. Since he is a media figure who is friendly to libertarians and does not distort what we’re saying, I think it’s healthy and normal to be on good terms with him.

        My program with Steve got some excellent feedback and one note of complaint. I told the person complaining: would you have complained if I had featured Ralph Nader? I doubt it. It is de rigueur among libertarians to “reach out” to progressives, even though progressives (in general) are far less obsessed with reaching out to us. The vast majority of the time, progressives slam the door in our faces and call us extremists. Not that I haven’t tried, mind you: my book with Murray Polner, very much a man of the left, is an example of what the two sides can accomplish together when they don’t demonize each other, or treat each other as categories instead of human beings.

        Seriously? Given all the complaints about Nader in this very comment section when Gillespie interviewed him, I feel like he would have gotten a hell of a lot more than one complaint if he’d done an interview with Nader. The fact that he only got one complaint is actually evidence that libertarians are more willing to engage with conservatives than progressives.

        1. It is de rigueur among libertarians to “reach out” to progressives

          In which parallel Earth is it “de rigueur” and what is Superman’s origin story there?

          1. Perhaps he’s referring to the “punchable face” type of “reaching out”.

          2. Probably the “Red Son” version.

            1. And yet, Luthor gets elected President in both timelines.

              1. Best. Fashion sense. Ever.

        2. The fact that he only got one complaint is actually evidence that libertarians are more willing to engage with conservatives than progressives.

          The more I think about the unwarranted sense of self-martyrdom in cav’s post, the more it rankles me. The Christian Right has had its hooks in the liberty movement for decades, and I’m not talking about your average Sunday church-goer. I mean the radical, bat-shit insane Christian Right. On Wood’s on blog is an ad for the Ron Paul Curriculum, which was devised and owned by Paul’s simpatico Gary North. North, the Rushdoony-ist Christian Reconstructionist who said “We must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.” The same North who dreams of establishing the death penalty for non-believers. My response to North and his ilk has always been that if they attempt such a thing, I shall aim two slugs to their chest and one to their brainpan, as many times as it takes.

          1. I remember being a Reconstructionist for about 3 months I think.

              1. a skeptical attitude toward modern unifying theologies, such as … the triple goddess paradigm (Maiden-Mother-Crone)

                Blasphemy!

                Seriously, HM, I continue to be impressed by your breadth of, um, knowledge.

                1. Yeah… let’s just say that your average Pagan Reconstructionist isn’t too fond of Wiccans.

                2. Everyone knows there are seven faces of god:

                  ? The Father: represents divine justice, and judges the souls of the dead.
                  ? The Mother: represents mercy, peace, fertility, and childbirth. She is sometimes referred to as “the strength of women”.
                  ? The Maiden: represents purity, love, and beauty.
                  ? The Crone: represents wisdom and foresight. She is represented carrying a lantern.
                  ? The Warrior: represents strength and courage in battle.
                  ? The Smith: represents creation and craftsmanship.
                  ? The Stranger: The Stranger represents death and the unknown. It is rarely prayed to.

              2. Umm, neither really (not sure if a serious question). I briefly bought into the Rushdoony/North argument.

                1. It wasn’t serious. But I’m, personally, glad that you briefly bought into it. I have no problem with spiritual arguments for liberty. I believe my own views on liberty and self-ownership are buttressed by my own spiritual beliefs (e.g., Lao Tzu); however, if your stated goal is to send me and my family to the gallows for being Buddhists, then I feel it necessary to state that we shall arm and defend our liberty and our lives.

                  1. It’s also an incredibly Orwellian use of the term ‘liberty’ to use it as a stopgap to the construction of a Christian theocratic state that massacres non-believers.

                    Not entirely sure someone who uses the word freedom in such a way actually understands the meaning of the word.

                    1. Wtf? Who other than the voices I your head are pursuing a Christian state that massacres the unbelievers? What the fuck is wrong with you Irish?

                    2. Wtf? Who other than the voices I your head are pursuing a Christian state that massacres the unbelievers? What the fuck is wrong with you Irish?

                      Uh…Gary North who we literally just quoted saying the following:

                      “We must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.”

                      And who HM noted has argued in favor of the death penalty for non-Christians.

                      Maybe you should read the whole thread?

                    3. Ok fair enough.

                    4. Wtf? Who other than the voices I your head are pursuing a Christian state that massacres the unbelievers?

                      North and his ilk are usually Preterists.

                      This means that they think Jesus’ promised return to earth already occurred back in A.D. 70, and that He expects his followers to set up God’s kingdom on earth.

                  2. Tao Te Ching FT, um, W!

                    1. Tao Te Ching FT, um, W!

                      I like the way you made that powerful statement, Rich.

                    2. Favorite Tao Te Ching chapter:

                      Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – chapter 38

                      A truly good man is not aware of his goodness,
                      And is therefore good.
                      A foolish man tries to be good,
                      And is therefore not good.

                      A truly good man does nothing,
                      Yet nothing is left undone.
                      A foolish man is always doing,
                      Yet much remains to be done

                      When a truly kind man does something, he leaves nothing undone.
                      When a just man does something, he leaves a great deal to be done.
                      When a disciplinarian does something and no one responds,
                      He rolls up his sleeves in an attempt to enforce order

                      Therefore when Tao is lost, there is goodness.
                      When goodness is lost, there is kindness.
                      When kindness is lost, there is justice.
                      When justice is lost, there is ritual.
                      Now ritual is the husk of faith and loyalty, the beginning of confusion.
                      Knowledge of the future is only a flowery trapping of the Tao.
                      It is the beginning of folly.

                      Therefore the truly great man dwells on what is real
                      and not what is on the surface,
                      On the fruit and not the flower,
                      Therefore accept the one and reject the other.

                    3. I’ve always liked that one too; the one that is most appropriate for this thread is chapter 60.

                    4. I’ve always liked that one too; the one that is most appropriate for this thread is chapter 60.

                      Care to expand? I ask because the subthread has wandered a bit. I see chapter 60 being relevant to a lot of “moral statists” that always seem to require ultraviolence to bring it into being, which seems to me to expose the moral bankruptcy of that “moral state” from inception.

                    5. Well, the way to cook a small fish is not to move it around or flip the pan a lot or the fish will fall apart. When the government doesn’t intervene a lot, letting the fish fry, kuei, which I would interpret as the inertia of precedence along with “sages” can’t harm the people because they don’t have the power to through the government.

                    6. Oh…and sages can equal “lawyers and judges”

                    7. “sages” can’t harm the people because they don’t have the power to through the government

                      Interesting take. I like it. I’ve thought of 60 as pointing to a people who live the Tao will be unmoved by the machinations of those who would exploit morality, tradition, etc. for their own power because a people living the Tao would be unfazed by the separations that are required for such ideas to take root. In a sense it reminds me of the writings of some of the Founding Fathers that touch frequently on the idea that a virtuous population was a requirement for the type of government they were crafting.

                  3. Yeah, my spiritual views (evangelical Christian) do influence my politics. However, I understand that one can interpret religion to fit most politics (my religious views have been mostly unchanged for 25 years but during that time I have migrated from very left to very right to somewhere on the conservative-libertarian borderland with a favorable view of anarchism).

                    For me, the breakdown in reconstructionism came with a consideration of how they wanted to apply biblical law. Certainly, one can theologically and philosophically dispense with the ceremonial aspects of the Mosaic Law. But, if you’re going to apply the death penalty for murder and adultery then you have to apply it for covetousness which means we’re all screwed.

                    Not long after that revelation, I also was exposed to teaching (which I now agree with) that the law (and the 10 commandments in particular) were given to demonstrate that man could NOT save himself rather than given as a true legal system (and, yes, that’s a very brief explanation).

                    1. Agree, Raven.

                      It baffles me to no end that there are Christians out there who want to go back to the Kingdom of Israel’s understanding of biblical law, which is not written about favorably in the OT and certainly not in the New.

                      BTW HM, I’d be right there with you handing out ammo if psychos like North ever came to power. Sic semper tyrannis, and all that.

              3. This type of Reconstructionist? Or this type?

                I am, and shall ever remain, unReconstructed.

          2. There’s also Rockwell and a whole host of former Ron Paul aids who are all members of the Christian Right to some extent.

          3. North, the Rushdoony-ist Christian Reconstructionist who said “We must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.”

            There’s also the more serious problem that North doesn’t like Dungeons & Dragons.

            1. The fact that on p. 16, the authors recommend reading Tolkein instead is so dense with irony that it created a neutron star.

              1. The original Jack Chick tract “Dark Dungeons” actually had a warning to avoid reading Tolkien and C.S. Lewis because their works could be found in occult bookstores.

                1. It’s odd that Chick would backtrack on Tolkien as Tolkien was unapologetically Roman Catholic.

                  1. Looking up Jack Chick, it appears he was a fundamental Baptist and hated Catholics about as much as he hated just about everything else.

                    1. From Wikipedia:

                      Six [Chick] comics present the testimony of anti-Catholic activist Alberto Rivera, who claimed that, as a Jesuit priest, he had become privy to many secrets about the Roman Catholic Church. Among Rivera’s claims: He credits Catholicism with founding the Islamic religion, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as the Jehovah’s Witnesses; starting the Holocaust; founding Communism, Nazism, and the Ku Klux Klan; starting the World Wars; masterminding the 1917 Russian Revolution, the Great Depression and the assassinations of U.S. Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy.

                    2. Now that is some quality crazy right there.

                    3. Diabolical!

                    4. We’ve been busy little beavers!

                    5. …and the assassinations of U.S. Presidents Lincoln…

                      Well, they can’t be all bad, then.

                    6. I could see founding Islam as a foil. At that point in time the church WAS the state, and as we all know war is the health of the state. You need something to point the mob at after all.

                      The rest of that is so out there, other conspiracy theorist probably point and laughter at it.

          4. I’m all for outreach to every corner of the political spectrum as long as we don’t ape their language and pretend to believe things we don’t in order to ingratiate ourselves with the right or left. But the idea that there is a massive collection of potential libertarians on the religious right doesn’t seem realistic. There are plenty of evangelical protestants who could be libertarians, but when your primary focus is seeing people in society adhere to your preferred values other than your own you’re not going to be libertarian for very long. Traditional religious values were doomed as soon as industrial culture (enabled by relatively free markets) led to mass urbanization. The only way for socially conservative values to be maintained now would be through an incredibly oppressive police state, worse than the one we have now. I might be cynical but I would wager that more than half of the people Woods (who I happen to like quite a bit, usually) is reaching out to value the idea of gay people not having sex with each other more than liberty.

            1. “Traditional religious values were doomed as soon as industrial culture (enabled by relatively free markets) led to mass urbanization”

              I would say that industrial culture (enabled by relatively free markets) are doomed as soon as people ditch traditional values.

              “value the idea of gay people not having sex with each other more than liberty.”

              Really? Right now they’re campaigning for the right of bakers not to be compelled to bake cakes for same-sex wedding ceremonies. The bleevers simply don’t have time to campaign for abolishing gay sex, they’re too hard-pressed defending themselves against the enemies they have in common with libertarians.

              1. Look, I am all for Christian bakers (or anyone else) refusing to do business with whomever they please for whatever reason. But, let’s say that the government enthusiastically enforced a number of socially conservative laws (outlawing porn, sodomy, premarital sex, etc.) how many of those Socons could possibly be persuaded that libertarianism is a good idea? How many of them would be willing to legalize prostitution right now? If they see an opportunity to use the state to lash out at groups they don’t like (gays, sex industry workers, promiscuous people) they will jump on it with the gusto that the proglodytes display in their efforts against religious people, gun owners, etc.

                1. But, let’s say that the government enthusiastically enforced a number of socially conservative laws (outlawing porn, sodomy, premarital sex, etc.)

                  The government is slowly building the legal infrastructure to basically outlaw that last one. It’s starting in colleges.

            2. Traditional religious values were doomed as soon as industrial culture (enabled by relatively free markets) led to mass urbanization

              It also depends by what you mean on “traditional.” Wesley built an entire religious movement primarily on outreach to those on the margins of industrial culture. Ditto the Welsh Revivals in the early 20th century. And, Finney had most of his success in the industrial regions of upstate NY.

              1. No one would dispute that in the short term the upheaval created by industrialization and urbanization invited successful missionary outreach. But, in the long term, most people weren’t going to adhere to the same religious norms when they had realistic options to do otherwise and the social pressures to conform, which were quite prevalent in the country disappeared.

                1. in the long term, most people weren’t going to adhere to the same religious norms when they had realistic options to do otherwise

                  Apparently lots of people continue to do so, and did so for a very long time after industrialization and urbanization.

                  Can’t say there are many new lessons to be learned by reading history, but in doing so I found this old chestnut confirmed time and again:

                  What has been is what will be,
                  and what has been done is what will be done,
                  and there is nothing new under the sun.

                  1. Yeah, lots of people do continue to nominally accept conservative Christian social values, but it is no longer a consensus. Even the majority of people who identify as some sort of Christian don’t live the sort of life that, say, Jack Chick would find acceptable.

  5. Coincidentally, I had dinner last night with an old friend who is a patent attorney and who was an engineer/code writer prior to law school. He felt that this Supreme Court decision was likely the beginning of the end for patent trolls.

    One interesting part of the discussion was my saying how good it was to hear that (my partnership has been through a patent troll suit in the past), as patent trolls are a big detriment to enterpreneurs and the economy in general. He disagreed, because his firm makes a lot of money from their work in these suits.

    I didn’t have the heart at that point to ask him about the benefits of broken windows, so the subject soon turned to the World Cup.

    1. Speaking of the WC – I didn’t watch the game but how bad was the Iranian non-penalty call?

      1. Just slightly less gruesome as the Brazil – Croatia call.

      2. Dreadful reffing here in Nigeria v Bosnia too.

  6. Well, it is sorta trollish, and I’m sure there was at least one drum-circle:

    “New agers, neo-pagans gather to greet solstice”
    […]
    “The sun rises as thousands of revelers gathered at the ancient stone circle Stonehenge, near Salisbury, England, to celebrate the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, Saturday, June 21, 2014.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/art…..569219.php

    1. Stonehenge! Where a man’s a man
      And the children dance to the Pipes of Pan.

      Where the dew drops cry and the cats meow
      I will take you there, I will show you how.

    2. And at least one hippie pounding on a trashcan.

    3. Dude, there are no naked hippy chicks at that link. You waste my time.

      1. Some skyclad wiccans for you.

  7. There is no such thing as a ‘patent troll’. Here Reason is just attacking the division of labor inherent to capitalism. Some people specialize in producing ideas. If you want to use those ideas, strike up a deal. Edison is a ‘patent troll’ by these standards.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/…..rolls.html

    Contra Reason’s assertion that patent trolls produce nothing of value, they defend inventor’s ideas from trespass by large companies. By incentivizing idea generation patent trolls aggregators add many billions to the economy.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/re…..nt-trolls/

    1. Edison is a ‘patent troll’ by these standards.

      Nikola Tesla agrees!

      I think the question is, say a person patents an idea, but doesn’t do anything with it due to lack of capital or whatever, so he or she just holds on to the patent. Then another person independently comes up with a similar idea and when they successfully bring it to market, the other person claims an IP violation. Should the work the second person’s did now belong to the first person because the results were similar?

      1. All property is intellectual property. If we look at your example from that correct perspective, then it’s the equivalent of me homesteading a bunch of vacant land and then someone coming upon it independently. Sorry, if you want to use it you must pay. Pay and I will play.

        1. that is a seriously flawed analogy.

    2. Lol.

    3. lolwut?

      “Patent aggregators” produce nothing of value and actively discourage the use of ideas for [i]anyone’s[/i] profit. Hell, they sue the inventors way more often than the scary corporashunz you’re referring to. And, quite frankly, citing Slate and Forbes does much more to discredit your argument than anything else.

      1. Suing the inventor? They bought his idea! And what the hell is wrong with Forbes? Stop attacking the source.

    4. The problem (well, a problem) with your argument is that the status quo is that you can successfully be assigned a patent without inventing anything.

      1. Now THAT is a problem.

        1. And that’s precisely what is going on here.

          Patent trolls patent “software” which entail fucking ridiculously nebulous and broad business or communication models and then sue anybody who does anything close, like they’ve done to Adam Carolla and other podcasters.

          Or patent an idea (like say, Arthur C. Clarke claiming he “invented ” the communication satellite) without actually developing any of the attendant technology and then suing people who actually build the thing. I know an “inventor” who does exactly that and has made a tidy living suing “mega-corps” (as he calls them) who actually create the usable shit without ever knowing he or his “idea” even existed.

          1. His patents issue without reduction to practice??!

            1. Uh, you do realize that filing a patent application counts as constructive reduction to practice, and that working models are no longer a requirement, yes?

              Among his exploits was suing Dogpile (remember that???) because he had filed a patent on his “invention” of the idea of metasearching. He didn’t ever write any code (I seriously doubt he could program a DVR). Aaron Flin apparently threw 6 figures at him to make him go away so as to facilitate the sale of Dogpile to Blucora.

              I know he also sued over search engines earlier, but he rarely talks about those, so he probably failed.

              Napster was also apparently one of his targets, though I have no idea how that went.

        2. Which you completely ignore.

    5. Also, your Forbes link doesn’t even claim to support your assertion that “patent aggregators add many billions to the economy”.

      1. Sorry, I should have said that the IP system-not trolls in particular-add trillions to the economy.

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/re…..economy-2/

    6. Patents are the hardest form of IP to defend, especially with the angle you’re playing.

      Copyright (and trademark, to a lesser intent) is predicated on the idea that infrigement is always willful (ie: no two people will go out and write the same paragraph independently, let alone the same book)

      Patent law, by design, encourages people to file broad and ill-defined claims, so that as many other creations as possible will end up being covered.

      I’m mildly pro-IP, and I think you can make a reasonable moral case for copyright, but patent law (especially in its current form), is nothing but busywork for lawyers.

      1. There is a new Hep C drug on the market. It cost billions to make and must cost a lot money to pay for itself and turn a profit. Without IP, it isn’t happening and these things aren’t getting made.

    7. The whole patent troll term is not people “who patent ideas and things” and then sue when somebody uses them.

      Patent trolls are those who patent something with the direct intent of suing people who develop similar ideas/products. Slate is disingenuous most of the time. And the “billions” they “add” to the economy is just the broken window fallacy.

      1. “Slate is disingenuous most of the time.”

        By most of the time I assume you mean only on days ending with Y.

    8. Horseshit. There is a whole class of patents that have been routinely granted by USPTO that are specious by there very nature: software (aka business process) patents.

      Now, if the applicant had to place a “bet” and was entitled to collect, with government enforcement, some fixed multiplier of that bet, I’d be all for these things. But 20 year monopolies are entirely asymmetrical reward for risk/effort incurred.

      1. IP should only apply to tangible ideas/innovations. Patenting a ‘business process’ is totally inappropriate.

        IP is no more an unjust ‘monopoly’ than my property deed is. The injustice is really the time limit. There can’t be one.

    9. That is patently silly.

  8. How porn creates the John: Porn, trafficking and the social construction of masculinity. With Gail Dines!

    The feminists are the only group that believes men are not born rapists, are not born johns, you are not born pimps or batterers…

    Uh…Gail. The only place I’ve ever heard anyone claim that men are all rapists is at feminist conferences.

    1. Men are not born rapists. They will just always become racists if feminists are not allowed to completely control their sexuality and lives.

      Yeah that sounds better Gail.

    2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-k-mjxnFmxo

      Where I first heard about Gail. Part one of two, the video includes a link to part two.

      I liked Penn’s take on Gail.

      Unfortunately, the good parts were blurred.

      1. Freeze at 3:05.

        Gallery of grade A fruitloops. Sick fucks.

        Seriously, what kind of person obsesses about what other people masturbate to? To the point of making up lies to justify using the force of law to stop those people from doing so?

    3. I liked the first 6 seconds of the video.

      1. I really enjoy Bullshit. Penn is a good man. I suspect Teller is too, but who knows?

        1. They locked down the thread last night because they thought you were dead. No more comments allowed.

          1. Oh, and I’m going to get wrecked tonight. Way more wrecked than you last night. I have to go to a richy rich dinner party in Beverly Park, and it’s my way of protesting

            1. Wow. They probably have more orphans than you. Have fun.

              I’m going fishing. And then I’m gonna drink my first beer in 11 weeks.

              1. I’m going fishing. For trouble. It’s all Jack & Cokes for me tonight!

              2. I’m going fishing. And then I’m gonna drink my first beer in 11 weeks.

                When I get outta rehab, that’s how I celebrate, too.

        2. Teller talks sometimes offstage when he isn’t doing his act. He’s very much in the same vein as Penn, from what I’ve seen.

          1. Teller is actually much more incisive and probably more reasonable than Penn is. He’s also apparently more talkative which is why part of the joke is that he doesn’t talk on stage.

            Here’s Teller talking.

            He comes off as very bookish and intelligent. I love Penn, but I think Teller’s probably the brighter of the two.

            1. I recall Penn saying that Teller is a lot more intellectual and radical than himself. Of the two, Teller is definitely the one I would want to chat with.

            2. He (Teller) is the silent half of Penn and Teller, and the most famous professional mute since Harpo Marx. He began performing illusions of magic when he was five, after sending for a magic kit he had seen advertised on Howdy Doody. Magic was his hobby all through high school and college, but then he settled down with what seemed to be a responsible career as a high school teacher.

              At the age of 27 Teller taught his last class, quitting to perform illusions on street corners, at renaissance fairs, and anywhere else there was a little money to be made. He gradually stopped speaking on stage when he noticed that the less he spoke, the more the audience seemed to pay attention.

            3. IN that video, skip to 44:23, and listen to Penn’s response about ‘spreading the word about atheism’.

              It’s what makes him one of the greatest (pop) libertarians of our time, and a perfect illustration as to why libertarians will never have any power whatsoever. And I speak of this as a feature, not as a bug.

              1. “Jillette is married to Emily Zolten and has a daughter named Moxie CrimeFighter Jillette”

                Awesome.

  9. I normally come out pretty strongly in favor of IP and copyrights/patents, but this is one of those situations where I’ve got to wonder if any possible threat of IP theft is peanuts compared to the horrible abuse of the patent/copyright system in place today.

    1. I’d like to see a modern take on trade secrets instead of patents. I suspect it would work out better.

      1. Trade secrets still exist.

        1. Yes, but they’re substantially weaker due to how much better we are at reverse engineering. It’d be interesting to see if that hole can be reasonably plugged.

  10. $24 Million Yacht devastated by fire in San Diego.

    Noteworthy because of this little gem in the article:
    “Police opened fire on the boat with high-powered rifles to blow out the windows so the water could be more effective.”

    Also FTA:
    “A witness told NBC 7 he and his crew were doing welding work on the yacht when it caught fire.”
    A witness, eh?!? Because he witnessed himself starting the fire?

  11. “A patent troll is a company, a person… who owns patents, but doesn’t make anything or sell anything,”

  12. Woman’s decomposed body found in the backseat of a car in a Walmart parking lot.

    It had been there 3 weeks.

    1. Good thing we have all this video surveillance!

    2. “If you smell something, say something.”

    3. “California lawmakers said to introduce legislation to make it illegal to putrefy in your own car.”

  13. God damn it Germany score one more time you fucks!

  14. In a Battle of the Trolls I declare EvH has triumphed over Bo Cara.

    The AP also incorrectly reported that Catholic teaching at the time was to deny baptism and Christian burial to the children of unwed mothers; although that may have occurred in practice at times it was not church teaching. In addition, in the June 3 story, the AP quoted a researcher who said she believed that most of the remains of children who died there were interred in a disused septic tank; the researcher has since clarified that without excavation and forensic analysis it is impossible to know how many sets of remains the tank contains, if any. The June 3 story also contained an incorrect reference to the year that the orphanage opened; it was 1925, not 1926.

  15. The Tea Party vs Democracy

    What I’d argue, rather, is that the Tea Party’s philosophy of government has embedded within it an aversion to basic democratic principles that goes far beyond a typical contempt for Washington, politicians and pundits. When Salam writes that Teatopia is founded on a commitment to a “robust federalism” intended to let “different states ? offer different visions of the good life” and allow citizens to “vote with their feet” by moving to whichever state best reflects their values, he’s not describing a common aversion to corruption or a distaste for political theater.

    He’s describing a childish and essentially anti-political belief that a return to an Articles of Confederation-style U.S. order ? in which each state is more of a sovereign unto itself than a member of a larger American whole ? will produce 50 mini-nations where everyone basically agrees.

    […]

    Yet even if it’s reasonable, at least on its own terms, the animating spirit of Teatopia is also, at its core, childish. It reflects a psychological makeup that privileges certainty, loathes ambiguity, celebrates purity and is awash with a mild but persistent sense of vulnerability and fear. Teatopia is a place where one never has to wonder about the veracity of her basic assumptions about what Salam calls “the good life.”

    1. I love that Salon thinks letting people have control in their local elections is anti-Democratic.

      It’s actually a far more direct democracy because the politicians are more responsive, less corrupted by the dictates of national party leadership, and there aren’t any entrenched bureaucracies making rules without public consent.

      Progressives don’t know what democracy means because they are fucking morons.

      Also:

      He’s describing a childish and essentially anti-political belief that a return to an Articles of Confederation-style U.S. order ? in which each state is more of a sovereign unto itself than a member of a larger American whole ? will produce 50 mini-nations where everyone basically agrees.

      No he’s not. The point is that people won’t agree but can choose to move to places that more closely reflect the way that they would like to live. You have to be an absolute idiot to think otherwise.

      Also, we don’t need to return to the articles of confederation to make such a country a reality. All we have to do is adhere to the constitution as written instead of ignoring the founding document of the country.

      1. The author is convinced that everything outside the State is anti-social and susceptible to the worst tendencies of mankind he projects onto conservatives and libertarians.

        Also, we don’t need to return to the articles of confederation to make such a country a reality. All we have to do is adhere to the constitution as written instead of ignoring the founding document of the country.

        Eh, killing the income tax would be great. Although haven’t the courts ruled that the 16th merely explicitly authorized what was already an implied power in Article I, Section 8?

        1. Not just outside the state, but outside the federal state as it currently exists. How the hell can a federalist program be “anti-political”? It’s just asking for politics to be more local, and it can allow for even greater political control (but at the more local level).

      2. “Progressives don’t know what democracy means because they are fucking morons.”

        They are not morons, at least not of the variety I think you mean. They are liars. The proggies are fascists, plain and simple. They love them some central planning and top men. They talk about democracy and tolerance, but what they dream of are re-education camps and dictats from a tyrant.

      3. Progressives don’t know what democracy means because they are fucking morons.

        Progressives know perfectly well what democracy is, but only give a shit about it when it is a convenient means to their ends. Reference Tony. He believes in democracy until he doesn’t believe in it, which is rather conveniently when it conflicts with his goals.

        I know what democracy is and it is anathema to liberty. Which is precisely why the Founders put so many fundamentally anti-democratic institutions (like Senate and Electoral College) and anti-democratic parliamentary rules and specific injunctions against the power of the State (ratification of Amendments, BoR) into the Constitution.

        Also, came back from another 3 week work trip to Venezuela on Thursday, did I miss anything good? Last time I missed Tulpa outing one of his sockpuppets.

        1. We want a report on how things are going in the people’s paradise. We heard there was a glorious shortage of drinking water down there.

          1. We want a report on how things are going in the people’s paradise. We heard there was a glorious shortage of drinking water down there.

            I spent all of my time in Lake Maracaibo on the rigs welding pipe. I did get to cross Urdaneta Bridge, which was unpleasant. The bridge is in every bit as shitty condition as the oil rigs and attendant pipelines in the lake are.

            Didn’t notice lack of drinking water, but being South America I only drank bottled and that was supplied gratis by my employer. There is a distinct lack of news, other than the state-owned networks and stations and they sound exactly like Radio Havana (like, no shitting, exactly the same). We didn’t have cable or satellite at any of the worksites or the barracks/hotel they had us living in. I heard rumors from some of the English-speaking Venezuelans we worked with that the internet was blocked except for people with special dispensation (i.e. propagandists), I couldn’t confirm though. I do know for certain that the Venezuelan government is jamming certain radio frequencies, and even entire bands (CB and Marine bands).

            I can confirm that toilet paper is definitely still in shortage because our employer actually had to fly it in for us (which they also did with the water, so that may be evidence of something).

            I was shocked at how quickly the Chavistas had devastated the nation on my last trip. I’m even more shocked that it gotten noticeably worse in just a few weeks.

            1. But everybody’s equal, right?

            2. One of the moments when I realized how fucking insane some libertarians are is when I saw Lew Rockwell talk about how we shouldn’t say bad things about Hugo Chavez.

              Bush Jong Il is off on a jaunt to Argentina in a week or two for some Latin America free trade [sic] summit in Buenos Aires. I expect some fun and games, since Hugo Chavez, my favorite South American anti-Yanqui caudillo, will also be in attendance. But if Bush cannot face Cindy Sheehan without fleeing to the hinterlands of a safe Air Force base in Colorado, I don’t suspect he will have the nerve to face Chavez either.

              Which is a pity. That could be fun to watch.

              Yeah, fuck you Venezuelans! Who cares how much a socialist destroys your lives, Lew Rockwell thinks it will be ‘fun’ to watch Hugo Chavez piss off George Bush!

              1. Y’know, to anyone who sincerely thinks that libertarians are smarter or in some sense better than their peers elsewhere, I’d suggest looking at Rockwell’s writing — really looking, and asking themselves, “Is this the creation of someone who thinks I’m an adult and writes to that level?” That paragraph, whatever one thinks of its political merits, is not in any way, shape, or form addressed to adults. It is, however, addressed to those who frequent the #1 libertarian site in America (and by extension, the rest of the world).

                Can’t say that the insanity is limited to Rockwell, either. Rockwell’s mentor, Rothbard, had this to say about the USSR’s foreign policy:

                the Soviet state qua state would devote itself to peaceful relations with all other countries, and would not attempt to export Communism through interstate warfare[…]

                the Soviets arrived early at what libertarians consider to be the only proper and principled foreign policy. As time went on, furthermore, this policy was reinforced by a “conservatism” that comes upon all movements after they have acquired and retained power for a length of time, in which the interests of keeping power over one’s nation-state begins to take more and more precedence over the initial ideal of world revolution. This increasing conservatism under Stalin and his successors strengthened and reinforced the nonaggressive, “peaceful-coexistence” policy.

                1. This increasing conservatism under Stalin and his successors strengthened and reinforced the nonaggressive, “peaceful-coexistence” policy.

                  Yeah, I’m sure the Czechs would have something to say about Stalin’s “nonaggression.”

                  Seriously though, Rothbardians are almost universally fuckwitted twatwaffles. I’m thankful that I wasn’t introduced to libertarianism through Rockwell.

                  1. I know next to nothing about Rockwell or Rothbard – so at least for one of us, they were not any kind of introduction to libertarianism.

                2. Holy fuck. When did he write that?

                  I’m sure it would have shocked Czechoslovakia to learn about what a peacenik country the USSR was.

                  Or Afghanistan.

                  The other great part about the Rockwell article is that he chides people for calling Chavez a communist because

                  Some folks cannot tell the difference between mere managerial elitism, socialism and communism, calling central bankers “communists” and thus spinning the word, which really defines a certain kind of revolutionary and statist, into meaninglessness.

                  This is a valid point, but it comes in the middle of an article that began with Lew Rockwell comparing George Bush to Kim Jong Il. When you start off with that kind of hyperbole, you can’t then criticize people for calling someone a communist when actually he’s a socialist.

                  1. Yeah, I’m sure the Czechs would have something to say about Stalin’s “nonaggression.”

                    I’m sure it would have shocked Czechoslovakia to learn about what a peacenik country the USSR was.

                    Apparently, Rothbard is claiming that the Soviets considered Czechoslovakia to be part of its “sphere”; a buffer zone to protect it from another disastrous invasion such as that conducted by the Nazis.

                    Quote: “Their only use of troops has been to defend their territory in the Communist bloc, rather than to extend it further. Thus, when Hungary threatened to leave the Soviet block in 1956, or Czechoslovakia in 1968, the Soviets intervened with troops ? reprehensibly, to be sure, but still acting in a conservative and defensive, rather than expansionist, manner. (The Soviets apparently gave considerable thought to invading Yugoslavia when Tito took that country out of the Soviet bloc, but were deterred by the formidable qualities for guerrilla fighting of the Yugoslav army.) In no case has Russia used troops to extend its bloc or to conquer more territories.”

                  2. This is a valid point, but it comes in the middle of an article that began with Lew Rockwell comparing George Bush to Kim Jong Il.

                    Or Charles H. Featherstone. One or the other. It doesn’t matter, really, I guess.

              2. I don’t think Rockwell would score very high on the libertarian purity test.

                1. I don’t think Rockwell would score very high on the libertarian purity test.

                  Since he categorizes himself as an “anarcho-capitalist”, I think he would agree with you.

              3. I saw Lew Rockwell talk about how we shouldn’t say bad things about Hugo Chavez.

                So, is “Charles H. Featherstone” one of Rockwell’s aliases?

    2. That is an impressively large straw man. Neil Howie would be horrified.

      I suspect Elias Isquith might not be being wholly honest with us.

    3. That is what you call ‘a whole crap-load of projection’, right there.

    4. The Achilles Heel of the left – they are clueless about us but we know a lot about them.

    5. It reflects a psychological makeup that privileges certainty, loathes ambiguity, celebrates purity and is awash with a mild but persistent sense of vulnerability and fear.

      GOT PROJECTION?

  16. WTF is up with the Supreme Court lately? It really bothers me that I have agreed with their last few decisions. Normally, I enjoy living in my smugness that they decided ‘wrongly.’ But when they decide as I do, what am I supposed to do when their decisions result in less-than-expected results? Please help…

    1. What you are experiencing is known as Libertarian Dissonance. It is a condition that liberty-minded individuals (rarely, and I do mean rarely) suffer from when known authoritarians diverge from their nature and opt for a freer policy or decision than they would normally. It’s like if Lucy suddenly decided to let Charlie Brown kick the football after all. The painful part of the condition is the sure knowledge that having allowed Charlie this one kick she will certainly be reverting back to her normal self forthwith, and is probably coming up behind him with a brick to make up for her earlier lapse. I recommend a 6 course rum treatment and a Bullshit marathon to at least enjoy the pleasant feeling part while it lasts, cuz you know it ain’t gonna.

    2. Just enjoy the moment while it lasts.

  17. The solution to patent trolls and the like, is to patent EVERYTHING? Every conceivable combination of all different things? All combinations and permutations. No, that would be too expensive; patents cost MONEY. But “defensive publications” cost very little, if published on the internet, and automatically generated by computer software. For an explanation of this, and samples, please see http://www.rocketslinger.com/N…..blication/ ?

  18. Dude can we jsut like roll with it already.

    http://www.WentAnon.tk

  19. “A patent troll is a company, a person… who owns patents, but doesn’t make anything or sell anything,”

    So someone who formulates and shows a likelihood of efficacy of stuff like new drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, pesticides, food additives, etc. in the hope of licensing the patent on it to a company that has or will have the resources to fully develop it for the market is a troll? Count me as a troll, then, for doing the research and getting one drug (method of use) and one cosmetic (composition of matter) patent in the hope of licensing them to firms. It would’ve been silly for me to try to go into the drug biz with my drug discovery. Eventually in desperation I got a load of my composition of matter made and tried to sell it to small finished-product formulators as a base, but that was a financial mistake.

    An article in The Freeman criticized automotive innovator Tucker for starting his own car mfg. co. instead of just licensing his innovations to established operators. There are many cases where it is profitable to have the invention of stuff & its mfg. in separate hands, and patent “trolling” of the type described above facilitates that division of labor.

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