Gene Cavanaugh’s Techdirt Profile


About Gene Cavanaugh

Juris Doctor and registered patent attorney, specializing in small entity patenting (mostly Jepson patenting) and small entity trademarks. Skilled in large entity patenting, but avoid such work.
Former executive in several companies, with high marks for executive ability (but "too idealistic").
Semiconductor process and design expert.
My undergraduate degrees are in Math and EE (BS).
Also reasonably skilled in aerospace matters, but a long time ago.

Gene Cavanaugh’s Comments comment rss

  • May 3rd, 2016 @ 2:30pm

    Australian Patent Law

    As an intellectual property attorney, let me point out that the Supreme Court "Alice" decision arguably does away with both software and business method patents in the US.
    We still have to wait for further clarification, but the odds are that is what will be finally decided.

  • Apr 16th, 2016 @ 5:53pm

    (untitled comment)

    Don't see it that way (though I admit, that was my knee-jerk reaction). As explained elsewhere, there is State classification, where classification depends on State relations, and security classification, affecting our safety. Hillary, as Secretary of State, had the authority (as did the President) to classify/declassify State matters as they saw fit.
    Otherwise for security matters. So, Classification means whatever we intend it to mean.
    VERY logical to me.

    If you are saying this shows the evil of "W" and Cheney, there you get my complete agreement. Those people ignored what classification meant, and messed with documents that had nothing to do with the State, and involved our safety!

  • Apr 14th, 2016 @ 12:22pm

    Drunk RNC Convention

    Might be an improvement. Ko

  • Apr 12th, 2016 @ 10:58am

    (untitled comment)

    Count me in! I think Obama has been a great President, except for the fetish he has for "security" and "secrecy" - in those areas he gets a solid "F".

  • Apr 12th, 2016 @ 10:28am

    Clinton's emails"

    I am enormously disappointed with Techdirt, who I previously held out as a golden standard in reporting.

    Being a lawyer, and a lover of our Constitution, we have only to look at the ex post facto provisions of that Constitution to see that sending and receiving AFTER classified emails is NOT a criminal matter!

    I agree about whistleblowers, who are wrongfully pursued by the "wannabe" dictators in the Obama administration, but please - stop quoting Rupert Murdoch in his "hate Hillary" campaign - if Hillary can be shown to have sent/received classified documents AFTER they were classified, we have a whole new discussion (which doesn't exist at this time).

  • Apr 5th, 2016 @ 11:02am


    I find the quality of the exercise is at least as important as the quantity.
    Walking slowly, exercising with very light weights - I don't really see much benefit. Walking faster (like, trying to keep up with my oldest daughter), working out with weights that challenge me a bit, big benefit.
    I can almost make a chart of length of time versus quality of exercise for maximum benefit (at least, for me) and less time but more challenge (to a point) versus a long time but less challenge - same benefit.
    Be interested in seeing a controlled study about that.

  • Jan 13th, 2016 @ 7:19pm


    At one time, a very user-friendly company. Now, Project FI
    is looking better, for all its faults.

  • Oct 3rd, 2015 @ 12:18pm

    Experian breach

    Are you sure the hacker didn't get in through a "security"
    agency back door? That seems likely to me.

  • Sep 24th, 2015 @ 8:13am

    Clinton emails

    I am an independent, and have not decided who, or what party, I will vote for. However, I am an attorney, and love both the Constitution and fair play - in this case, fair play.

    Bush/Cheney regularly sent emails they KNEW were classified in private emails. Clinton sent unclassified (though I hear four were LATER classified - to embarrass her? Don't know) emails. No evidence yet she meant harm, or thought she was doing anything wrong - otherwise for Bush/Cheney. So she MAY be "unreliable" - THEY ARE!

    So, why is the "liberal" (aka Murdoch) press interested only in Clinton? Shouldn't we be outraged at Bush/Cheney? Also, they didn't tell anyone - it came out later; just as she didn't tell anyone - came out later; but they KNEW they were sending classified material - not yet determined for her.

    Is this what you call "fair and balanced?".

  • Jun 17th, 2015 @ 1:35pm

    Autonomous vehicles

    Let's suppose we find the car in a situation like this: a collision is unavoidable, and if the car swerves to the left, let's say, it will collide with a school bus. Let's say the car computes that several kids will likely be killed. If the car swerves to the right, the passenger will be killed.
    I don't think the manufacturer could decide how to program for that. In the absence of legislation, we would need a switch that let the passenger decide which thing to do.
    That would absolve the manufacturer, but then ....

  • Apr 15th, 2015 @ 11:45am

    On peer review

    You say perhaps AI will make it HARDER to detect shady papers? Why would we use it, then? Don't you mean "easier"?

  • Dec 20th, 2014 @ 12:16pm

    Sony attacks

    Real boon for the security people. Without any risk to the public, the North Korean operatives are flushed out into the open, and our security people have an opportunity to assess both their capabilities and at least a chance to identify their operatives.
    If I were still in security, I would be popping a bottle of champagne.

  • Jun 19th, 2014 @ 11:51am

    Shutting the NSA backdoors

    I tried, but the automated response "could not recognize my zip code", then hung up.

    I will continue trying.

  • Jun 13th, 2014 @ 7:43am

    Open WiFi is an invitation? Don't think so.

    You say: "The neighbors left their WiFi open, and thus, by default, it is sending out signals that effectively say "welcome, feel free to connect to this network."".

    By that reasoning, if I leave my lawn unguarded, I am saying "here, feel free to dig up my grass?" or if I leave my car outside unlocked with a package in it (admittedly stupid, but ...) I am saying "free package, everyone".

    Don't think so. I think taking what is not yours, whether the owner knows or not, or feels deprived or not, is, and should be, criminal.

  • May 28th, 2014 @ 10:46am

    broken patent system

    Not quite right - you buy patents now; and no money - no patent. Disgusting, and I AM a"patent" attorney (properly, IP attorney).

  • May 24th, 2014 @ 5:41pm

    Tweeting your vote

    As an attorney, and a precinct inspector in elections (note,
    we are paid, if you consider about $10/hour "being paid" - and that is for INSPECTORS! Hat tip to the election clerks; they are true patriotic Americans, IMO!) - I am torn. I am sure no laws would mean vote buying, with proof required before payment - not a good thing. But I am glad that people take voting seriously.
    I would think a Judge would dismiss a case in the absence of proof of abuse - but requiring them to go to court is, to me, abuse of the citizen.
    REAL problem - I would think the authorities would use a little judgement, if the system allows it.

  • May 15th, 2014 @ 8:33pm

    Great article, but ...

    "...not true, and possibly defamatory...". You say they cannot both be true at the same time.
    Wrong - they can be; in fact, untrue statements can make defamation more actionable.

  • Mar 6th, 2014 @ 10:21am

    Keith Alexander

    As a veteran who had considerable dealings with "career" military, I understand.
    The military is a dictatorship (unless you believe that before going into battle the soldiers vote on that). Further, for career military, dictatorship works very well, and the very idea of democratic rule is abhorrent.
    Our problem is that we need CIVILIAN leaders of these agencies, it is ridiculous to expect career military to support democratic principles.

  • Mar 6th, 2014 @ 10:02am

    More NSA FUD

    As an attorney (IP, but Constitutional Law was one of my favorite courses in law school) I would FAR rather risk another 9/11 than to give up my Constitutional rights!
    1. the NSA's trampling on the Constitution is NOT making us safer; and,
    2. they are taking away our rights anyway.

  • Jan 14th, 2014 @ 11:02am

    The military hates Snowden

    Mike doesn't sound like he has been in the military, or if there, didn't learn to understand the military mind.
    The military (ANY military) is a dictatorship, and survives by an "us against them" mentality, where "them" is anyone not in the military.
    They feel (deep down) that democracy is "weak" (as Hitler put it), and contemptible, and any "member of the family" who defects to democracy is "evil".

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