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Ask Slashdot: AT&T's Data Usage Definition Proprietary?

Compulawyer Unfair and Deceptive Business Practice (562 comments)

One of the cardinal rules of contracts is that words are given their ordinary plain meaning. This rule is applied within the context of the transaction. If words have a usual or customary meaning within a particular industry, then that meaning is attributed to the word used. If you want to depart from that rule, you have to provide a definition in the contract.

Hard drive manufacturers got into trouble with this principle when they quietly redefined a megabyte to be equal to 1,000,000 bytes instead of 2^20 bytes like everyone was used to.

If I had AT&T as my service provider, I would be complaining to the Federal Trade Commission alleging this as a violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act. I would also be complaining to my state's Attorney General alleging a violation of my state's consumer protection laws.

about 2 years ago
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Shake-up at Apple: Forstall Out; iOS Executive Fired For Maps Debacle?

Compulawyer It Says ... (487 comments)

...that Tim Cook has firmly taken the reins and is going to start running Apple the way he sees fit, with his team - not the team that was there when he took over.

about 2 years ago
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Eolas Sues Again: This Time, Facebook, Disney and Wal-Mart

Compulawyer Patents Don't Get Invalidated (97 comments)

Individual claims in each patent get invalidated. It is quite possible (and typical) for a patent to have some valid claims and some invalid claims. Typically this happens when broader claims are invalidated by prior art that was not located during examination.

more than 2 years ago
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Samsung: Android's Multitouch Not As Good As Apple's

Compulawyer Not a "bizarre counterpoint" (176 comments)

The argument is simple and straightforward: The device does not have an inferior solution. It uses OUR (Apple's) solution.

more than 2 years ago
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Bill Would Force Patent Trolls To Pay Defendants' Legal Bills

Compulawyer Re:Wrong Problem - More Unnecessary Legislation (167 comments)

Except that you have to make the initial investment, there is always a risk that you will lose, and there is always a risk that although you have been awarded costs, you will not actually be able to collect the money. Early settlement by taking a license provides financial certainty and eliminates the legal risk, which are two things that companies like a hack of a lot more than litigation.

more than 2 years ago
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Bill Would Force Patent Trolls To Pay Defendants' Legal Bills

Compulawyer Re:Wrong Problem - More Unnecessary Legislation (167 comments)

"Highly questionable" doesn't mean the claims are invalid (although they may be). In this context, highly questionable means that the claims either do not fully describe the product or process accused of infringement or can only be characterized as fully covering it through unreasonable ("imaginative") interpretations of the claim terms.

more than 2 years ago
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Bill Would Force Patent Trolls To Pay Defendants' Legal Bills

Compulawyer Re:Heh, the bill isn't bad (167 comments)

The cases interpreting Section 285 already do this. This legislation is unnecessary.

more than 2 years ago
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Bill Would Force Patent Trolls To Pay Defendants' Legal Bills

Compulawyer Wrong Problem - More Unnecessary Legislation (167 comments)

Section 285 of the Patent Act of 1952 (35 U.S.C. 285) already permits judges to declare patent cases to be "exceptional" and award appropriate relief. From the defendant's perspective, a case can be declared exceptional if the plaintiff cannot show that at least one claim of the patent in suit covers the device or process accused of infringing the patent. This section is regularly used by defendants to obtain attorneys fees and costs.

Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Section 1927 of Title 28 of the U.S. Code also provides bases for the same relief.

The problem with patent trolls is not the inability of defendants to get costs. It is that trolls often wage licensing campaigns by bringing highly questionable claims but set the costs of licenses below the cost to defend an action in court. Companies typically choose to go the economical route and take a license.

more than 2 years ago
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What Is Your Favorite Ancient Olympic Game?

Compulawyer Hydra Killing (207 comments)

They're delicious when deep fried in beer batter.

more than 2 years ago
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DirecTV CEO Scoffs At Competition From Apple TV

Compulawyer R10 Box (264 comments)

I have DirecTV and still have an R10 box. Two of them, in fact. One reason is that I own the box so I don't have to pay monthly rental fees (DTV gave it to me when I upgraded service). The main reason is because it has TiVo software. The DirecTV interface sucks! So -- what was that you said again, Mr. White?

more than 2 years ago
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FDA Cracking Down On X-ray Exposure For Kids

Compulawyer Surprise! Inconsistent Positions (138 comments)

Because we all know that all the agencies of the US Government work together seamlessly to develop and implement policy:

FDA: Protect the children from radiation

TSA: Protecting the public from terrorists requires us to irradiate the public

FDA: Radiation is bad

TSA: Radiation is good

FDA: Too much radiation for kids is bad

TSA: Radiation is harmless

FDA: Think of the children!

TSA: The children might be terrorists

Anyone else surprised?

more than 2 years ago
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Scientists Work Towards Naturally Caffeine-Free Coffee

Compulawyer STOP! (312 comments)

This is an abomination of nature. What's next -- beer that is fermented without alcohol production? This madness must end.

more than 2 years ago
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Sale Or License? Sister Sledge Sues Over ITunes

Compulawyer Re:I agree (257 comments)

Actually, courts are split on this. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has been consistently holding that licenses of copyrighted works are not sales and therefore not subject to the first sale doctrine. See Vernor v. Autodesk and Omega v. Costco (Omega deals with a license of copyrighted content and first sale but the content is not digital).

more than 2 years ago
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Fracture Putty Can Heal a Broken Bone In Days

Compulawyer Re:How "silly" is it, though? (236 comments)

Rickrolling is the G-rated version of linking every comment to goatse.cx. Then Slashdot started putting [realdomainname.tld] after every link.

Oh those goatse.cx linkers ... what will they think of next?

more than 2 years ago
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Why Politicians Should Never Make Laws About Technology

Compulawyer I've Been Saying This for YEARS (214 comments)

See my sig. Of course, no one ever listens to me.

more than 2 years ago
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In the simplistic left/right divide, I'd call myself

Compulawyer Re:I'm a (639 comments)

Almost. If it sort of looks like a duck and sort of quacks like a duck then it is sort of a duck.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Commissioner Stoll Steps Down from USPTO Post

Compulawyer Compulawyer writes  |  about 3 years ago

Compulawyer (318018) writes "After 29 years of service, Commissioner for Patents Robert Stoll is stepping down from his post at the USPTO. Commissioner Stoll began his career as a patent examiner and worked his way up the ranks over almost three decades."
Link to Original Source

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