September 7 roundup


  • Patent marking suits:

    I am not convinced that these are a bad thing. If there is a product out there I want to copy and sell for less than the original, the first thing I would do is look for the patent number. If the product is patented, I might well stop there.

    Patents are there to protect the inventors. If those inventors abuse the law, they should be punished.

    I am unsure that $500 per violation, where the product costs $1 and 1,000,000 units are sold a year reflects good common sense, though. On the other hand, there needs to be a means for enforcement.

  • The patent marking law is a completely bogus excuse to allow rent seeking for a non-issue. All patents are on line and you can easily determine if a patent had expired in less then 10 minutes. There is no reason for a law like this.

  • Allan,
    You seem to become discouraged easily if finding a patent number on the bottom of something would stop your efforts. Bringing a new idea to productive fruition requires a bit more persistence then that.
    For starters one can search patent numbers ( in a matter of seconds. If the patent is valid then you will learn something of the technology, if the patent is out of date, then the idea is yours to use without royalty. It looks like a win either way.

  • ?Jury tells Ford to pay $131 million after minor league ballplayer crashes Explorer at 80 mph+ [WaPo]

    It sure looks like a case of driver falling asleep at the wheel.

  • Robozo,

    I don’t have an original thought in my head. Instead, I am efficient. I can make anything cheaper than you (especially since I don’t have R&D costs). But I respect patent rights, so I look.

    then again, I could spend the 5 seconds it would take to input the patent number on my I-phone…

  • If Cole wasn’t wearing his seat belt, how could the jury find Ford liable for making seat belts that aren’t effective in rollovers?

  • Weds. morning links…

    Above via Legal Ins. Not seen in MA.
    A deer hit my car
    Climate: New study slashes estimate of icecap loss
    Reason: The Ruling Class – Scenes from the class struggle on the American right
    Overlawyered: A round-up of legal craziness

  • >If Cole wasn’t wearing his seat belt, how could the jury find Ford liable >for making seat belts that aren’t effective in rollovers?

    Obviously the seat belts don’t automatically buckle themselves and/or prevent the car from operating if not buckled properly.