Microsoft Patents Whacking Your Phone To Silence It
... is amazing.
"Microsoft's patent here seems obvious..."
Really? well, I don't know about the inner workings of all cell phones, but I've yet seen a model that I can silence with a single instant button touch or one that uses an accelerometer to transmit a single clear command to the phone. -- Others may come up with examples which is great. Third parties can now (or soon) file with the USPTO to put prior art not considered by the examiner into the official record. This is a very recent change and I don't recall the details. It may be active just for business patents right now, but eventually all patent apps will be included and this one likely won't be examined before that rule is opened to all patents. So prep your arguments now! In any case the mere existence of accelerometers probably would not constitute obviousness which seems to be the main point being made by most.
"...and should have never been granted"
Well, it hasn't. This is only an application published 18 months after filing. With the current backlog in the USPTO, it won't be examined for another 2 years.
Ask Slashdot: How Does Your Company Evaluate Your Performance?
..but leads to really bad behaviors in a static or shrinking organization.
The large company I work for has just scrapped it after about 10 yrs when HR finally heard the pleas of managers.
Survival when the org is static or shrinking includes understanding what is the "currency" of your manager and *all the other managers* who have teams that are pooled with yours. Get known as a high achiever not just with your manager but the others. At least in our company there would be an annual meeting of those managers at some point to work out the rankings in there respective organizations to have the parent org come out to the required distributions. Horse trading ensues. Being known by your manager's peers helps you in that meeting.
I am, at present, from the place of my birth ...
US East Coast to West Coast (or vice versa) transplants are not uncommon and will kick you over 11%
Microsoft, Google Sue Troll Who Sued 397 Companies
I'm late to the party, here, but the parent comment is *not* +5 Insightful, it's 0 Has no clue about the patent system. You cannot patent ideas. An idea must be reduced to practice in some novel way in order to considered for a patent. The problem is that the US Patent office started to hand out patents for computer software and business models. Computer software is rightly copyrighted, not patented. And patenting business models (which is patenting ideas -not inventions) is simply an atrocity that is eroding the societal benefits of the Patent System.
"the standard for giving a patent should be that no one else is likely to come up with that idea for the next 20 years assuming no patent system to motivate them."
This is wrong on so many levels it's not even worth addressing.
Will Patents Make NCAA Football Playoffs Impossible?
As exemplified by the summary, there's a pervasive misunderstanding on Slashdot on how patents work. Just because someone is able to patent one method in the field of X does *not* exclude others from practicing in the field of X.
Don't get me wrong - method patents like this stink worse than the NY Giant's defense in the 4th quarter, but they are generally pretty easy to avoid by simply doing one step differently. Rival companies do this all the time with ligit process patents.
What's the Solution To Intellectual Property?
"Shouldn't 'property' owner needs to pay 'property' tax?"
At least for patents, the property owner does pay a property tax. There are some fairly steep fees to keep a patent in force paid periodically through the life of the patent. If you don't pay the fee, it goes into the public domain.
A single country's fees aren't too bad, but enforcing a patent worldwide over the life of the patent can run you way north of $100,000. Many opt for the just the countries that will take the majority of the market: US, EP with UK, Germany, France, JP.