Nobody likes “patent trolls,” even if they’re not quite sure what they are.
It’s a term without clear definition and yet it’s being used to push Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court right now to curb abusive litigation without damaging a centuries-old system designed to promote advances in science and industry.
On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments over whether a company named Alice Corp can own an “invention” for escrow accounts. While the idea of escrow has been around for centuries, Alice Corp has a patent that describes the concept of using a computer to implement it.
Reading the merits briefs of Alice Corp., CLS Bank and many amici induces the strange feeling that there are multiple, parallel universes operating, and it is hard to know which one you are in. Are you in a universe in which Alice’s claims are for a software invention or a business method?
In relation to the VentureBeat article that was recently published, I am sharing a letter that I wrote to the BPPE department and the Lieutenant Governor’s office. Please feel free to copy this letter and send it on to the DCA.
July 15, 2013 was a sad day indeed for all of us involved in recommender systems. John T. Riedl, one of the seminal pioneers of the field, passed away after a prolonged illness. John was an innovator not only in the academic study of Computer Science, but also in its industrial application, and in his concern for its social consequences.
After working at RichRelevance for five years, Albert Sunwoo left in 2012 looking for something new and different. Though he loved the culture and work ethic, he was curious to see what else was out there. Stops at two other organizations during this hiatus proved to him that what we have here is not easily found and that the grass is not always greener. Watch his story…