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

  • 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".

  • Dec 31st, 2013 @ 9:44am

    NSA exploits

    NO ONE seems to understand the real threat here! These things continue to grow! Once the NSA achieves a certain level, someone with a yen for a promotion will push it to the next level, and the ultimate level?


    This has been the unvarying pattern of such things!

  • Dec 24th, 2013 @ 9:52am

    IP not important to US businesses

    As an IP attorney, I generally agree with this post. I do only small entity IP, since large entity IP is so abused I would feel unpatriotic doing it.
    When a client comes to me for IP work, I ask them to consider whether or not they actually NEED it.
    Obviously, if they have some sort of product that they can be sure other people will want to copy, they may need a patent.
    Also, obviously, if they have worked hard to build a good reputation, and the unscrupulous will want to unload junk using the good will they laboriously built up, they will need a trademark.
    I don't see, and have never seen, the need for copyright, but that could happen in some cases.
    But, by and large, most people DON'T need IP, and may be wasting their money in getting it.

  • Nov 28th, 2013 @ 9:44am

    Beastie Boys and Goldieblox

    Sounds like the Beastie Boys are ashamed of the song, and would rather be anonymous.

  • Nov 28th, 2013 @ 9:01am

    Well, there's that, but then ....

    We have to remember, Obama is part black (I think I am also, and it affects how - I think - honkies see me. Just putting the shoe on the other foot, colorless folk. Do the obvious, don't get mad, get even, like the House does).
    So, ALL the politicians from the Bible Belt, as well as several other States, are going to attack him however they can, and I think he is "gun-shy".

  • Nov 15th, 2013 @ 12:48pm

    Don't need a patent

    Let's not start with a faulty assumption, and move from that to the "logical" conclusion.
    Patent trolls threaten our innovation, and in essence, our economy. The effects are totally negative.
    However, especially with small startups, the threat of theft of an idea is substantial.
    FORMERLY patents didn't protect much - companies could "show" that they "had the idea"; and even "published", to defeat a patent. NOW we have "first to file", and the protection for a startup is SUBSTANTIAL!

  • Nov 9th, 2013 @ 2:27pm

    More NSA FUD

    First, admins often need access to other systems to get their work done, and the work is made difficult by denying it.

    Second, the NSA has a history of making up stories in which they try to show they are reliable defenders rather than fascist scavengers. One way would be to say "it's not us, it's them", in this case admins merely doing their job.

    To me, this story is bogus, with the express purpose of making Snowden look like he was doing illicit things, and the NSA being virtuous victims. I think they are throwing innocent people under the bus, to make themselves look good.

  • Nov 1st, 2013 @ 6:31pm

    Salt and calories

    Two problems with this:

    1. Comparing recommended salt between nations where very hard physical work is the norm (and salt needs, due to sweat, etc., are very high) to the average American is naive. It is like saying apples are "similar" to oranges.

    2. Alcohol does NOT result in fat, just fast-burning calories. True, if you eat and drink, you tend to use the alcohol calories and store the food calories, but then, if you live in space, breathing is a problem.

  • Oct 24th, 2013 @ 11:14am

    Bitcoin question

    Or maybe the bank merely wanted to know if it belonged in their business branch or their personal accounts branch - or is that to sinister to consider :0!

  • Sep 10th, 2013 @ 1:19pm

    Yelp suit

    If they can't stop this sort of thing, you won't be able to trust their reviews.

    I sincerely hope they prevail.

  • Jun 7th, 2013 @ 4:20pm

    Over simplifying again.

    There is validity to the argument that violent video games (or violent books) may promote actual violence. There is also validity to the argument that they should be allowable anyway. However, taking an extreme position on either side tends to invalidate an argument, whether for or against.

    We need a "fair and balanced" approach (no, not the Fox news "fair and balanced", which meant "extreme").

  • Jun 7th, 2013 @ 4:16pm

    Over simplifying again.

  • Jun 7th, 2013 @ 4:14pm

    Patent trolls and "exceptional" cases.

    Well written, and a serious problem.

    However, confusing "exceptional" as used by the courts, as opposed with common understanding, is not helpful. There is a very great difference, and such cases would be "exceptional", even if "everyone does it".

  • Jun 6th, 2013 @ 4:00pm

    Don't need patents?

    Actually, when this first came up, I was persuaded. However, I checked on it further.
    It strongly depends on WHAT is patented. If it is for the things the opposition homes in on, true. But that is like saying some pottery doesn't need firing in a kiln. VERY true, but very misleading.
    There are industries and products where a patent (or trademark, etc.) needs the protection offered.
    I talked to a client today. He made it clear that for most of the products his company works with, they MUST have patent protection, otherwise they will do a pass on the product - and he emphasized that comes from experience.

  • May 26th, 2013 @ 9:55am

    Over-zealous attorneys

    As a practicing attorney, I can see both sides. I have a major client who was shocked when I started involving them. They were even more shocked when I showed them how to improve their legal position while dramatically reducing the legal expense they incur (including to me).

    But, hey, that is part of it! Like a doctor, who advises his/her patients to adopt a healthy life style, stop smoking, etc. - hey, they make more money from SICK people - all attorneys, IMO, should work with clients to HELP them be successful, not maximize income!

    I will accept only small entities - the reason? The large entity IP world is dominated by trolls and other evils, and that is not why I became an attorney!

    It all comes down to personal responsibility - so here I am, a "conservative liberal"? But that is the way I see it. As I tell my clients "stay out of court! Use your business skills to avoid litigation!"

  • May 16th, 2013 @ 4:38pm

    Patenting abuse, and the Supreme Court

    Right. Worst Supreme Court EVER. The only one to elect a President, and abusive to our system.

  • May 16th, 2013 @ 4:32pm

    Wiretapping the press

    Totally agree. No excuse. I hope Holder will admit wrong, and fix the problem, but I am afraid he won't.

    There are many things I like about Obama, but this sort of thing I DON'T like. I should not be tolerated!

  • May 16th, 2013 @ 4:27pm

    IRS targets Tea Party

    It's all in how you read it.

    I read it as: the IRS looks for trends, and the Tea Party VERY much want to mask who funds them - the best way is to get tax-exempt status, so all Tea Party groups tried.

    The IRS saw this trend, and realizing the Tea Party was FAR more likely to try to get tax-exempt status than anyone else, targeted them - but only because they knew that was where they were most likely to find a problem, not political.

    The Tea Party, and Republicans generally, see a "liberal plot". To me, a little stupid, but then, trying to get rid of the deficit without fairly taxing the 2% with 74% of the total wealth is even more stupid.

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