Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I am here with Paul Warndorf attending the NTMA (National Tooling and Machining Association) Conference at The Broadmoor in CO Springs.
We are showing off MTConnect and talking about [MC]2 MTConnect Connecting Manufacturing Conference.
I called npg and said, "is the weather always this crappy here?" :-) Having dinner with Neil and Beth tonight at The Broadmoor. Below is my cottage below the street light and the snow capped mountains in the background.
Photo npg took at the front of The Broadmoor.
Posted by Photons and Electrons at 2:02 PM
I wear three hats in my professional life:
- Director for the Office of Strategic Innovation for The Association For Manufacturing Technology - AMT
- President and Chairman of the Board for the MTConnect Institute
- CEO/CTO of my own company - Virtual Photons Electrons
A very disturbing trend of late is the increase in what are called NPEs or Non Practicing Entities or Patent Trolls. Wikipedia defines a patent troll as:
Patent troll is a pejorative term used for a person or company that enforces its patents against one or more alleged infringers in a manner considered by the target or observers as unduly aggressive or opportunistic, often with no intention to manufacture or market the patented invention.Here is another snippet from Wikipedia:
Patent troll "companies have no interest in using the patents... but instead hope to reap large sums of money from the lawsuits themselves." This gives them an advantage over manufacturers since they are relatively immune to the typical defensive tactic large entities use against small patent plaintiffs, because the cost of litigation tends to fall more heavily on an accused infringer than on a plaintiff with a contingency-fee lawyer, and because trolls have an almost-unrestricted ability to choose their preferred plaintiff-friendly forums, most prominently the Eastern District of Texas.There are few things that are more innovation killing and job-killing than patent trolls.
Here is some interesting insight (various snippets - please read entire post at Freakonomics.com) from the smart folks over at Freakonomics.com on patent trolls:
The PTO receives over 520,000 patent applications a year. That’s about 1,425 applications a day. The agency’s approximately 6,500 patent examiners are overburdened; on average each patent gets only about 16 hours of review. Virtually all experts agree that this is nowhere near enough time to properly assess a patent. More fundamentally, patent examiners are rewarded for processing applications – and the easiest way to clear a file is to approve a patent. The PTO’s examiners don’t get paid to say no. They’re incentivized to approve.snip...
But there’s a third, more interesting reason so many people seek patents that have a high probability of being found invalid. As it turns out, invalid patents may be worthless as innovations, but they can be very nice bargaining chips.
Any patent the PTO grants enjoys a legal presumption of validity. To overturn this presumption, defendants in a patent infringement case must prove the patent’s invalidity by a high standard of “clear and convincing evidence.” It takes a lot of lawyer fees to do that. And the result is that defendants often pay rather than fight, even when they think they could ultimately have the patent invalidated. More than 97% of patent infringement suits are settled before trial.
The patent system exists to encourage people to invent – to add, in Abraham Lincoln’s words, “the fuel of interest to the fire of genius.” But as this post suggests, there’s a dark side to the patent system. Just as good patents advance innovation, bad patents retard it. And even bad patents can be valuable to a patent troll. Every penny that goes to license an invalid patent, or settle a meritless lawsuit, is a tax on innovators.
There are some groups that are looking out for what is best for the United States of America and one of these groups is the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF). Something EFF is doing that I absolutely is EFF's Patent Busting Project! As EFF describes this Patent Busting Project:
An EFF Initiative To Protect Innovation and Free ExpressionGo get those damn patent trolls and PLEASE HELP EFF so we can save the United States of America for those true innovators who are the real job creators and not the bottom feeders of society like patent trolls!
Tired of bogus software patents? So are we! To combat these annoying and often dangerous legal weapons, EFF has launched the Patent Busting Project to take down some of worst offenders.
We need your help! Take a look at the Top Ten Most Wanted culprits on our list, and let us know if you have any leads on technology that predates them (called "prior art") that we can use to challenge their validity. Click on a patent to find out more.
Posted by Photons and Electrons at 1:17 PM
I enjoyed this article at SD Times by Alex Handy titled:
"The future of Java
But the biggest news of all at the show was by far the well-laid plans for Java SE 8 and beyond. With JavaFX making it into the mix, and dozens of major features already being laid out for the next release, Java is back on track and advancing again, and in a much more open fashion.
Indeed, the JCP is in the midst of reforms that will require all working groups to have open mailing lists and to make their test code available to others interested in the process. Why, the JCP may even be tackling that nasty TCK issue sometime next year, but we'll see if that really happens.
In the meantime, you'd better study up on functional languages, as Java will be moving closer to them thanks to closures in OpenJDK 8. And for those of you in the Java EE world, Java EE 7 is expected to include provisioning features to make automatic scalability even easier.
And finally, for Java ME users, we learned that the future of that platform will be more strongly tied to the mainline Java SE releases. Instead of a separate executive committee and distribution, Java ME will now be a subset of Java SE, and all Java governance decisions at the JCP will flow from a single executive committee. Java ME and SE are, effectively, being merged. "
Another technology that seemingly got lost in the Oracle/Sun shuffle, JavaFX is the long-awaited UI scripting layer for Java. It's targeted as an RIA development platform and includes many features that are still only dreamed of in standard Java, such as built-in media streaming support and links into graphics accelerators.
But for users, JavaFX is probably the best thing to happen to Java since SWT. It's a flashier, snazzier interface layer for Java applications, which have always lacked a bit of panache when compared to native applications. And for the zealots among you, JavaFX will soon be open-source technology as well when it's pushed into the OpenJDK 8 specification. If all goes well, JavaFX 3.0 will be part of OpenJDK 8 and Java SE 8."
Posted by Photons and Electrons at 1:00 AM