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  • Sep 12th, 2014 @ 3:55am

    likelihood of confusion

    They really should have known better.

    The defense based on the idea that the hiker logo is very small compared to the Bent Paddle logo is a weak defense. The idea seems to be "Since hiker is small and paddle is big, the consumer would reason that it's a Bent Paddle beer, not a Long Trail beer."

    But you could easily shoot back with "Because they are on the same can, consumers are just as likely to think that Bent Paddle beer itself is made by Long Trail." Or they might think "Long Trail beers are made by Bent Paddle."

  • Jul 19th, 2014 @ 4:52am

    (untitled comment)

    But according to WMS Gaming, a computer that has been programmed to perform some new task becomes a new machine, apparently in much the same way that a player piano loaded with "The Entertaininer" is different machine from a player piano loaded with "Moonlight Sonata."

    There is some logic to this. Even a computer is a set of smaller machines that cooperate to do something. Even a single one of the millions of FETs in a computer is really a "current controlling machine." The dashed box that defines the machine can be very small or very large, and is to some extent arbitrary.

  • Jul 19th, 2014 @ 4:39am

    Re: Binary Code

    First of all, binary code has nothing to do with numbers. It has to do with states. Whether combinations of states have meaning is a matter of convention. By way of analogy, the English alphabet is really a 26-ary code.

    Asking if a binary code is a "description, explanation, or illustration is like asking if a set of letters amounts to a "description, explanation, or illustration." Maybe it does or maybe it is pure gibberish.

  • Jul 19th, 2014 @ 4:25am

    (untitled comment)

    Part of the ongoing move to privatization. Taking care of prisoners has already been privatized. Why not collecting the people to put into the prisons in the first place? There is an opportunity here for some serious vertical integration.

  • Nov 13th, 2013 @ 4:29am

    ADA should require lyric sites

    Lyric sites actually perform a useful service for people who don't have really sharp hearing.They enable them to fully enjoy the music in a way that is on par with those that are not similarly disabled. Not everyone has the cognitive power to extract the words of a fast moving rap in real time.

    Perhaps proprietors of lyric sites should spin their offerings this way. It would be a PR disaster for a music publisher to try to shut down a site that is only purporting to provide services to the hearing-impaired community.

  • Apr 3rd, 2011 @ 3:22am

    Scarcity of production or distribution

    The supply of content from a given creator remains finite. It is its distribution that has become easier. Since the original argument to the copyright commission presupposed infinite supply, it has no real relevance here.

    Furthermore, the original argument was a rebuttal of the idea of perpetual copyright, not copyright of a finite term.

  • Apr 2nd, 2011 @ 3:15am

    (untitled comment)

    Is the supply of content really unlimited? A given author can only produce so much in one lifetime. How is this conceptually any different from the earth having only so much oil?

  • Feb 1st, 2011 @ 3:03am

    (untitled comment)

    You don't need an amendment about business method patents. For one thing, nobody seems able to define them clearly. Most such patents are obvious anyway. If an examiner can't knock them out on obviousness grounds alone he really shouldn't be an examiner.

    In your strawman, the examiner could just say "burgers are prior art, most people like to sell stuff to make money, therefore it would have been obvious to sell the burgers."

    If you already have a patent on the burger, a claim that adds the extra step of selling your burger makes no difference because by definition, you already have the right to exclude others from making, using, and selling your burger.

  • Dec 31st, 2010 @ 3:48am

    amygdalia - fear - social

    Wait, isn't the amygdala associated with feelings of fear? Does that mean people who are more sociable are more fearful? But many unsociable people complain they are "afraid" of striking up a conversation. Very strange.

  • Aug 11th, 2010 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Oh, OK.

    They pretty much have to or the client will be very mad. A TM going generic is bad news, although it's good in a way because it means you must have been pretty successfull

  • Aug 11th, 2010 @ 3:08am

    why trademark matters

    "The domain itself is still unique and the brand is still unique. So does the trademark really even matter?"

    A trademark would matter. If you had one one "", you could block a confusingly similar mark like "".

  • Aug 11th, 2010 @ 3:06am


    What are you talking about? Generic trademarks aren't enforceable. What's absurd about that?

  • Aug 11th, 2010 @ 3:04am


    " Why does it matter if someone with a clearly inferior product calls theirs kleenex too?"

    It matters because after awhile, people start thinking anything labelled "kleenex" is inferior. When they see your superior kleenex, they think "ugh, I remember last time I blew my nose with that stuff...".

  • Jul 22nd, 2010 @ 3:39am

    Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

    So how do you feel about the FCPA? That's the one that says if a US corporation bribes a foreign official in a foreign country, it's punishable in the US, even though the actual bribery took place outside the US, and even though that country may not have had a law against it. Would you vote to repeal based on your reasons above?

  • Jul 22nd, 2010 @ 3:32am

    Re: Things All Depend

    I don't think so. In Article VI, treaties stand on equal footing with the constitution. The purpose of mentioning treaties in Article VI is so a state can't just say "Hey, this treaty conflicts with my state law, so I'm ignoring it".

  • Jul 22nd, 2010 @ 3:27am

    belt and suspenders

    Actually I think courts are not supposed to enforce things that are unconstitutional anyway, but the defendant still has to go through the trouble of proving that a particular law is unconstitutional (and face the risk of failing to do so). The statute removes this burden so the defendant doesn't have to do all that.

  • Jul 16th, 2010 @ 4:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: libel v malpractice

    "Yes, because that's what it's all about - suing for $$$"

    You say that with such disparagement. But what else can you do? The dual social goals is to discourage carelessness and to try to put the victim in a position he would have been had the carelessness not occurred. Since you can't rewind time, the best you can do is give the victim $$$. If you have any other ideas on how to achieve these two goals, the world would like to hear them.

    Public humiliation only achieves the first goal, but not the second. (On the other hand, neither do $$$, but it's the best anyone has come up with).

  • Jul 15th, 2010 @ 5:19pm

    on the alleged subsidy for unlimited travel

    Actually, blue, it is not the monthly travel that is unlimited, it is the number of times you can enter and exit the subway in one month. Since travel itself takes time, the amount you can travel per month cannot be infinite.

    It's not altogether clear that New Yorkers are necessarily subsidizing your travel at some point. I think it would depend on the mean cost per subway stop, the number of stops you traverse, and the cost of your ticket. If you use up your 90 rides by going only one or two stops, you may actually be subsidizing riders who buy one ticket and spend all day on the subway.

  • Jul 15th, 2010 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But you're using MTA for *business* travel.

    "In the US, citizens own the roads"

    Really? I guess if a citizen has an ownership interest in a road as tenants-in-common he should be able to sell that ownership interest to someone else.

    Does anyone want to buy my ownership interest in the Brooklyn Bridge??

  • Jul 15th, 2010 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re: libel v malpractice

    Usually, malpractice suits are tried before a jury, not in arbitration. I don't see why it isn't an option. It is not unusual for a jury to find negligence if the facts are compelling.

    It's possible for a patient to willingly waive the right to a jury trial in favor of arbitration. But they would have to be stupid to do that.

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