Monday, April 30, 2007

Court favors Microsoft in patent fight

By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court sided with Microsoft Corp. on Monday in a case that restricts the reach of U.S. patents overseas.

In a 7-1 decision, the court found that Microsoft is not liable in a patent dispute with AT&T.

The decision could impact other lawsuits against Microsoft and save the company billions because of the global scope of its operations.

AT&T had sued Microsoft, alleging computers running the Windows operating system infringe on an AT&T technology that compresses speech into computer code.

AT&T said it is entitled to damages for every Windows-based computer manufactured outside the United States which uses the digital speech coder system.

Microsoft acknowledged violations in the United States regarding the AT&T patent, while insisting the infringement should not be extended internationally.

AT&T said Microsoft ran afoul of a 1984 law making it patent infringement for a company to ship components of a patented product to a foreign country for assembly there.

Microsoft ships its Windows-operating system to foreign countries on master disks or via electronic transmissions. That data is copied by foreign companies which install it on the computers they manufacture.

"The presumption that United States law governs domestically but does not rule the world applies with particular force in patent law," Justice

Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in the majority opinion.

Neither Windows software nor a computer standing alone without Windows installed infringes AT&T's patent, Ginsburg added.

U.S. patent law is inapplicable to the export of blueprints and there is no reason to think that Congress intended "to place the information Microsoft dispatched from the United States in a separate category," Ginsburg wrote.

The Bush administration supported Microsoft in the case.

Microsoft and the Bush administration say computer code is not a component until it is copied onto a hard drive or installation disk.

Copying parts abroad for assembly and sale abroad is properly the subject of foreign law, the Justice Department solicitor general's office told the court.

In a separate unanimous ruling in this area, the justices said that a federal appeals court had gone too far in embracing a standard that has fueled an era of patent protection.

The court said a federal appeals court applied the standard in a manner that is too narrow and too rigid.

The case addresses one of the most basic issues in patent law: How to determine whether a product is obvious and therefore not worthy of a patent.

"Granting patent protection to advances that would occur in the ordinary course without real innovation retards progress and may ... deprive prior inventions of their value," wrote Justice

Anthony Kennedy.

In the case of KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the District of Columbia had upheld a patent for adjustable gas pedals. This court hears all appeals in the field of patents.

The legal test at issue in the Teleflex lawsuit has been criticized by the Bush administration as leading to an unwarranted extension of patent protection to claimed inventions that are obvious. Critics of the test say it results in less competition and stifles innovation. Proponents warned that throwing out the standard would upset decades of settled law.

To invalidate a patent, a challenger must show that all parts of a claimed invention were known previously. In addition, the challenger must show that there is a prior "teaching, suggestion or motivation" to combine these prior technologies to produce the invention.

"Helpful insights" that the standard provides "need not become rigid and mandatory formulas," Kennedy wrote.


The Microsoft case is Microsoft v. AT&T, 05-1056


On the Net:

Supreme Court:

Sunday, April 15, 2007

You Still Know You're a Tech Geek When...

You Still Know You're a Tech Geek When...
- When you convince yourself that Tetris really does improve eye-hand coordination.
- When the radio traffic reporter talks about a backup caused by a crash, and you correct her that a backup is good protection in case of a crash.
- When floppy drive applies more to your love life, and hard drive to your machines.
- When you call "*.*" star-dot-star.
- When you can do hexadecimal arithimatic in your head.
- When your wife goes to the market for some macintosh apples, and you correct her, "No, dear, it's 'Apple Macintosh'."
- When your wife says "If you don't turn off that stupid machine and come to bed, then I am going to divorce you!", and you chastise her for for omitting the else clause.

Microsoft Promotion Team Spams

I don't know the truthfullness of this email nor I like to verify, simply this sounds akward. You can also read previous such mail directly claming from Microsoft.
From: "microsoftlottery award" < >
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2007 09:43:13 +0000 

Microsoft Award Team
20 Craven Park, Harlesden London NW10 United Kingdom
Ref: BTD/968/05
atch: 409978E

Dear Winner,

The prestigious Microsoft and aol  has set out and sucessfully organised a Sweepstakes marking the  year 2007 anniversary we rolled out over US$ 4,419,864 for our end of year Anniversary Draws. Participants for the draws were randomly selected  and drawn from a wide range of web hosts which we enjoy their patronage. 

The selection was made through a computer draw system attaching personalised email addresses to ticket numbers. If you ignore this, you will regret it later. Microsoft and AOL are now the largest Internet companies and in an effort to make sure that Internet Explorer remains the most widely used program, Microsoft and AOL are running an e-mail beta test. 

Your email address as indicated was drawn and attached to ticket number 008795727498 with serial numbers BTD/9080648302/06 and drew the lucky numbers 14-21-25-39-40-47(20) which subsequently won you �1,350, 000.00 (One MillionThree Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great Britain Pounds)  as one of the 5 jackpot winners in this draw. You have therefore won the entire winning sum of �1,350,000.00 (One MillionThree Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great Britain Pounds) The draws registered as Draw number one was conducted in Brockley, London United Kingdom on the 7th of March,2007. These Draws are commemorative and as such special.                

Please be informed by this winning notification,to file your claims,you are to make contact with your designated agent who shall by duty guide you through the process to facilitate the release of your prize.To file for your claim Please Contact your delivery agency in the contact information below:

                             DELIVERY AGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION:

OFFICE ADDRESS: 60 Great Ormond Street London,WC1N 3HR United- Kingdom.
Tele: +44 7 031 948 758

Contact Person: Dictor Greg Thomas

You are advised to contact your fiduciary agent with the following details to avoid unnecessary delays and complications:

1)Full name:
3)Ticket Numbers:
4)Batch Number:
5)Serial Number:
6)Lucky Numbers: (as indicated in this winning Notification)
7)Phone numbers:
8)Amount won:

Our special thanks and gratitude to Bill Gates and his associates.We wish you the best of luck as you spend your good fortune in this season.

Note: You have One weeks from the date of this publication to claim your prize or you may forefeit your winnings.In compliance with the sponsoring bodies',you are to make a remittance of a part of your won fund,not lower than 10-percent, after receiving your allocation to a charity organisation.
Thank you for being part of our commemorative end of year Anniversary Draws.

Mrs. Bryan McDonald
Microsoft Promotion Team
Vice President

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Computer Power

The businessman dragged himself home and barely made it to his chair before he dropped, exhausted.
His sympathetic wife was right there with a tall cool drink and a comforting word.
"My, you look tired," she said. "You must have had a hard day today. What happened to make you so exhausted?"
"It was terrible," her husband said, "The computer broke down and all of us had to do our own thinking."

Friday, April 06, 2007

Using Microsoft Calculator to Surf the Net

You might not know this but there is a way you can browse the web thru one of the most unlikely of applications installed on your computer- the Microsoft Calculator!
Open your MS Calculator <got to run and type: calc or C:\WINDOWS\system32\calc.exe at my box>. Next, open help by pressing the F1 key. Now click the top-left corner icon of the help window once, this looks like a document with a question mark.
Select jump to URL. in the box that opens, type your address into the field, but remember to enter complete web address of the website or even the link to your local file on your computer. There have it- you can browse the Web from here!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Hybrid Cars - Positive Effect on the Environment

Car manufacturers tout their efficiency. Consumer advocates dispute claims of 60-plus miles per gallon gas efficiency. Amidst the controversy, environmentalists still claim, in the absence of anything better - that hybrid vehicles are still better for the environment than their traditional gas-guzzling counterparts.

Hybrids, known for the way they combine both gas and electric power to offer a cleaner ride, have come under fire in recent months for their inability to reach gas mileage milestones set by the manufacturers. Critics say that most fail to live up to claims of getting more than 60 miles to a single gallon of gas. Advocates argue that recent studies confirm the same is true for efficiency ratings set on traditional engines, still making hybrids the better deal environmentally.

Toyota Prius - Toyota's hybrid car

Touted as the gas-saver of the future when introduced in 1999, hybrids are known to use a fraction of the gas due to their ability to "share the burden", with their electric motors. Full hybrid vehicles allow the electric motor to work independently of the more traditional internal combustion engine, while driving at low speeds. This in turn saves gas, and stops harmful emissions from entering the atmosphere. During an idle stop, a full hybrid actually shuts itself off, letting the electric motor take over to eliminate unnecessary idling and emissions.

Consumers should be aware, however, that the mild hybrids focus remains on traditional gas consumption, with the electric motor only assisting the gas engine at high speeds when more power is needed, thus making the mild hybrid much less environmental friendly than its full hybrid counterpart.

Great for in town drivers, the full hybrid allows slow speeding drivers to virtually use only the electric motor, thus saving even more gas, and eliminating harmful emissions into the environment.

Despite any controversy surrounding today's hybrid vehicles, consumers seem eager to do what they can to decrease the harmful effects of emissions on the environment and save a few bucks at the pumps. Production of hybrid vehicles has tripled in the last four years, with production expected to double in 2007. The Yano Research Institute Ltd. estimates that by 2015, nearly 5.37 million hybrid vehicles will be on the global road, compared to less than one million last year.

Manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon, with Honda, Toyota, Ford, Lexus and Chevrolet, all offering their own hybrid varieties. Newer models sport higher-powered and faster models, even making hybrid SUV's and trucks available to the consumer. Of course, the heavier the vehicle, and the faster it rides, the more gas it is bound to use, despite the use and size of the internal electric motor.

Still, hybrids remain the most gas efficient and environmental friendly vehicles in mass production today.

Source: Submit Articles at

Subscribe to geeklog feed Bookmark and Share

Design by Free blogger template