This is Brian Galvin's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Brian Galvin's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Brian Galvin
Silverdale, Washington
Long-time Tech Executive, Inventor, Independent Patent Agent, and Patent Litigation Consultant
Interests: Patent Law, technology, history, classical music, ideas, fundamental physics
Recent Activity
[NOTE: I originally posted this in early 2009 elsewhere, but I think it's still relevant and I'd like to make it available to readers on this blog.] Whenever I visit Silicon Valley, I always make it a point to visit the Stanford University Bookstore to buy a book (or usually several). I do the same for my alma mater, Harvard, but fate has decreed that I seldom go to Boston these days. Recently I bought a book, which I am reading in occasional bursts as the mood strikes. It is called Making Silicon Valley, with the subtitle Innovation and the Growth of High Tech, 1930-1970, by Christophe Lécuyer. I thoroughly enjoyed the early chapters, which chronicle the events leading up to World War II that ended up being crucial to the emergence of the electronics business in Silicon Valley. There are several names which are familiar, but which today we... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2012 at The Patents++™ Blog
By Dennis Crouch via www.patentlyo.com A good idea from Dennis Crouch—stop forcing software patents to be written as if they were NOT software patents. But Dennis also says, "We need to have the courts take a stand and deliver the law in a way that is clear and precise. Finally answer the question 'Is software patentable'?" I commented on Dennis' blog, but basically I think the notion that software is different than, say, firmware is wrong headed and dangerous. Software lies behind much of our economic growth in the last 30 years, and the really big players would like nothing more than to eviscerate the patent system—or at least software patents—to prevent losing their iron grip on the marketplace. Continue reading
Reblogged Oct 9, 2012 at The Patents++™ Blog
I believe the courts, and Congress, have taken that stand (although certainly not clearly). The Supremes have avoided saying "software is not patentable" several times when they discussed the subject. Congress could have taken it off the table in AIA but didn't. The Supreme Court has said "anything under the sun invented by man" is patent-eligible, and software is clearly that. The idea that "software is just math" is no different than saying "a numeric coprocessor made of known circuit components is just math", or "a camshaft that converts angular motion into translational motion is also just math". And there are plenty of European software patents anyway. But I think your point is more that the shrouds obscuring software patents should be removed by making it possible to claim what is actually invented rather than some abstraction driven by unclear court cases? If so, I heartily agree! Most of the market cap of the biggest non-resource extracting companies in the country comes from intangibles (software, trademarks, expressive works)—just compare (for one example) the market caps of all the telecom equipment vendors against those of Google, AT&T, Microsoft, Apple, Verizon, and the like. All of the equipment manufacturers taken together don't add up to the market cap of $100B, yet the carriers collectively (and globally) are probably pushing $1T and the top tech companies collectively are closer to $2T (but want patents eviscerated, since they already have their market dominance). To imagine that somehow software is at an unprotectable level of abstraction, especially given the silliness of the notion that copyright protects software (ALL of the important software patents are for inventions, not expressive content), would be to undermine one of the few engines of growth in our economy, and one of the few areas where the US remains highly competitive. Even financial services are really just software; the only real difference is that the big firms managed to buy the CBM elements of AIA, while the tech giants did not manage to kill off their lesser companions (yet; they'll keep trying).
1 reply
For three decades, Mr. Phillips had focused on writing software to allow computers to understand human speech. In 2006, he had co-founded a voice recognition company, and eventually executives at Apple, Google and elsewhere proposed partnerships. Mr. Phillips’s technology was even integrated into Siri itself before the digital assistant was absorbed into the iPhone. via www.nytimes.com Following on a long stream of public denunciations of the patent system, the NY Times this evening published an article discussing the offensive (dual meaning intended) use of patents by technology companies. I have several issues with the piece: 1. They cite uncritically one of the worst pieces of scholarship I have ever read, by Bessen and Meurer (it gets quoted a lot, evidently by people who either didn't read it or simply don't like patents and so simply see it as support). B&M make simplistic arguments alleging for example that patent lawsuits cost... Continue reading
Reblogged Oct 7, 2012 at The Patents++™ Blog
Ned, Thanks for your reply; I hadn't seen the discussion you refer to, but am glad to hear the prevailing opinion (especially at PTO and Federal Circuit) is to avoid applying new law to "old" patents. It makes sense, and would result in denial of SNQ if that was the only basis for a reexam or supplemental exam request, if the PTO maintains that perspective—which is good!
1 reply
By Dennis Crouch via www.patentlyo.com I have been working on a series of blog posts resulting from the several major events in patent law in the last two months. But since I am also swamped and haven't gotten it done yet, I figured I should dive in. Dennis Crouch points out one of many interesting new aspects of patent practice in the PTO. As he notes, there has been a lot of discussion about the use of Supplemental Examination to cure alleged inequitable conduct. Dennis makes the point that the new (since 9/16/12) Supplemental Examination is likely to replace patent owner-request reexaminations. The post and its discussion are well worth a read. Continue reading
Reblogged Oct 3, 2012 at The Patents++™ Blog
Brian Galvin is now following Dennis Crouch
Oct 3, 2012
Brian Galvin is now following Ned Heller
Oct 3, 2012
Ned, One example that comes readily to mind of "new information" relevant to §101 would be a new Supreme Court §101 opinion that might tend to raise doubt about the validity of an existing patent. Submitting that opinion as a document with a supplemental reexamination request would seem to be a useful technique, particularly given the number of §101 issues seen by SCOTUS recently. Thoughts?
1 reply
Technology start-ups and big companies work together all the time — refining ideas, seeking mutual advantage and accelerating the pace of development of new products and services. But these odd-couple relationships can be fraught with peril. via www.nytimes.com This story, from the New York Times, is an important case study... Continue reading
Reblogged Jul 19, 2010 at Brian Galvin's Third Act
The Federal Circuit today release its opinion in In re Giacomini, clarifying the status of provisional patent applications as prior art under 35 USC §102(e). Giacomini's patent application was held unpatentable because it was anticipated by a provisional patent application filed by another. The issue was whether the critical date... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2010 at Brian Galvin's Third Act
[NOTE: I originally posted this in early 2009 here, but I think it's still relevant and I'd like to make it available to readers on this blog.] Whenever I visit Silicon Valley, I always make it a point to visit the Stanford University Bookstore to buy a book (or usually... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2010 at Brian Galvin's Third Act
This latest in what I hope will be a useful series on problem solving/inventing/innovating/troubleshooting (series intro is here) tackles an issue that is familiar to just about everyone. This is the issue of “blinders”. We all have likely heard stories which include the phrase “he had blinders on and couldn’t... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2010 at Brian Galvin's Third Act
Patent holder's demand: stop discussing my patent via www.boingboing.net This is an excellent post that discusses what can happen when patents are abused (just because I like patents doesn't mean I can't see the dark side!). Cory Doctorow makes some excellent points near the end on the limits of what... Continue reading
Reblogged Jul 11, 2010 at Brian Galvin's Third Act
My friend Sawyer was as disappointed in the outcome of Bilski as he was in the ending to LOST. In fact, he asked if I’d change his pseudonym to Joseph Adama of Caprica but I vetoed this over extreme nerdiness. Nonetheless Sawyer let loose on Bilski and helps clarify both... Continue reading
Reblogged Jul 11, 2010 at Brian Galvin's Third Act
When I went to the Navy’s nuclear power training school WAY back when (in the dark ages), we started in week one with a crash course on reactor plant systems. Basically by Friday afternoon we have to be able to draw every system in the reactor plant (basic drawings) and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2010 at Brian Galvin's Third Act
This article in last week's Nature discusses the lack of openness in two sciences, biology and astronomy, specifically highlighting the reluctance of researchers to use blogs to share data and ideas interactively in between formal paper publications. This may be a good example of an unquestioning faith in openness for... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2010 at Brian Galvin's Third Act
8 July 2010 via www.nature.com This editor's summary of an article published today in Nature (the full article is excellent, but requires a subscription) describes an experimental result that, if verified independently, adds yet another wrench into the gears of fundamental physics. Randolf Pohl and collaborators seem to have measured... Continue reading
Reblogged Jul 7, 2010 at Brian Galvin's Third Act
I first posted a series of Problem Solving tips at the request of a friend back in early 2009. I am going to re-post them here over the next day, and then add more tips here for the first time. I hope you find these useful. I imagine this first... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2010 at Brian Galvin's Third Act
One of the great things about market economies is that they allow for specialization. Given that people who can focus on what they are really good at tend to be happy, productive members of the body economic, specialization can be a very good thing. No one debates this. But the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2010 at Brian Galvin's Third Act
A lot has been happening over the last few years in the fields of inequitable conduct and willful infringement in patent law. Generally, the trend has been to make it more challenging for alleged infringers to assert an inequitable conduct defense, and at the same time more challenging for patentees... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2010 at Brian Galvin's Third Act
[NOTE: I first posted this here about eighteen months ago.] Quite often, people ask me why patents are important. Sometimes this is because they are still trying to figure out why I made such a dramatic career turn (from CTO to solo patent agent, which definitely is not a normal... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2010 at Brian Galvin's Third Act
I year and a half ago I wrote one of my typically long posts on "Bad Logic Abounds Concerning Software Patents" (link here). I have recently been thinking a lot about this topic, and reading quite a bit on it as well. The reason is simple. I feel I have... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2010 at Brian Galvin's Third Act
One week ago today, in a flurry of important cases on the last day of the 2010 term, the Supreme Court decided the Bilski patent case. Much has already been written about the decision, which had been eagerly awaited by everyone involved in patents, and particularly for those strongly for... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2010 at Brian Galvin's Third Act
Today was recital day for my fourteen year old son. In a ritual of the ages, he and other students gathered together to play their more recently-learned pieces and, hopefully, to show off their progress a bit. For me it was a special recital day, for this was the year... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2010 at Brian Galvin's Third Act