The software in your car

Readers may recall that some months ago I blogged that I had replaced the (incandescent) brake lights in my Subaru car with LEDs.  Readers will also recall that Volkswagen is in the news for having included software in the engine computer of some diesel cars that would detect when an emissions test was going on, and at such times would adjust the engine to greatly reduce the emissions.  All of this reminds me of the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) which generally forbids reverse engineering of software in consumer electronic products.  So how do my LED brake lights fit into this story? Continue reading “The software in your car”

Over-the-top entertainment redux

The last you heard from me about over-the-top entertainment was here (blog article) where I commented on the growing resolve at HBO that it might eventually be able to bypass its traditional distributiohbo-nownhbo-go mechanisms (cable TV companies and satellite TV companies) and distribute its programs straight to consumers.  This has now reached fruition.  Those who wish to be trendy, modern, and up-to-date will want to try out HBO Now as a successor to HBO Go. Continue reading “Over-the-top entertainment redux”

More DRM frustrations — Ultraviolet movies

Some months ago I griped about ham-fisted DRM systems from Amazon and Microsoft.  Now I will gripe about a ham-fisted DRM syuv-packagestem from Ultraviolet, the movie viewing system that supposedly lets me “watch it anywhere!” and supposedly lets me “instantly stream & download” to my “tablet”.  I finally got it to work, but only after about an hour and a half of struggle.  The advertising claim of “instantly” downloading was quite false. Continue reading “More DRM frustrations — Ultraviolet movies”

OTT (over-the-top) media programming is on the way

We will all be affected by the inevitable growth of OTT (over-the-top) distribution of entertainment, both as intellectual property practitioners serving clients and as consumers watching the stuff.189-17-s

A Nielsen report from May of 2014 says that in 2013 the average American household got 189 channels from their cable television or satellite television provider, and actually watched only 17 channels.  One way to look at this is that in 2013, the cable or satellite provider bundled about 112 channels that you didn’t want along with the 17 channels that you did want.

“Over-the-top” or OTT is the effort by some content providers to bypass the cable and satellite television providers and to reach consumers directly.  I’ll discuss some of the OTT initiatives.

Continue reading “OTT (over-the-top) media programming is on the way”

Most-read postings in “Ant-like Persistence” for 2014

The arrival of a new year prompts every blogger to look back to see which postings in the previous year reached a lot of eyeballs.

Well, by far the most-read posting for all of 2014 in Ant-like Persistence was “A little-known USPTO initiative to reduce the backlog“.  This posting, dating from early April of 2014, might be of great interest to patent practitioners who missed the original posting.

In second place was “USPTO is closed today, Monday, March 17“.  This was the posting that told readers that it was a snow day in Washington.  It meant that anything that needed to be filed in the USPTO on Monday March 17 could be postponed until Tuesday March 18 and still be timely.

The people who subscribe to this blog are likely to hear of such USPTO closings in the future.  So if you have not already done so, subscribe to the blog.  And if you have a friend or colleague who would like to hear about it when the USPTO has a snow day, encourage them to subscribe to the blog.


Dontcha just hate “see attached letter”?

There are a lot of annoying things about an email that says “see attached letter”.  I’ll basically just be ranting in this posting.  Feel free to skip it.

I should emphasize first that if somebody is paying my firm to do work, I will cheerfully receive any and all “attached letters” that they wish to send.  The non-US patent firm that has sent me dozens of patent applications to be filed in the US can send any email in whatever way they want to sent it.

What I am talking about is the non-US intellectual property firms, and the service providers (annuity services for example) that are receiving money from my firm.  These are the people I am complaining about when I say I am annoyed by an email that says “see attached letter”.

Why am I annoyed by this?

Continue reading “Dontcha just hate “see attached letter”?”

A blog with a name – “Ant-like Persistence”

About two months ago I launched this blog.  It took me a while, but now I have picked a name for the blog.  The alert reader will recall Learned Hand’s (perhaps backhanded) compliment to patent practitioners, citing their “ant-like persistence” (Lyon v. Boh, 1 F.2d 48, 50 (S.D.N.Y.1924).  With a nod to those patent practitioners who at the start of the twentieth century exhibited the ant-like persistence that inspired Learned Hand to write this colorful phrase, I hereby dub this the “Ant-like Persistence” blog.