Patent Law needs to be changed?

This article in NY Times was intriguing, so I thought I’d post an exercept of it here:

In Silicon Valley, Apple just won big against Samsung in the patent lawsuit of the year, after trading claims and counterclaims of pilfered product ideas. Across the country, in a federal court in Florida, an inventor named Mark Stadnyk is waging a different kind of patent warfare — an ambitious and perhaps quixotic legal foray.

Mr. Stadnyk, who holds a patent on a motorcycle windshield, is suing the United States government, aiming to head off a patent law that he says will favor big companies and hurt lone inventors like himself.

Represented by a prominent Washington lawyer, Mr. Stadnyk filed a suit last month that challenges the constitutionality of legislation that Congress passed last fall, the America Invents Act. Mr. Stadnyk and his lawyer — along with some academics, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists — assert that the legislation is a triumph of corporate lobbying power over the founders’ wishes, and that it threatens America’s stature as the world’s leading innovator.

The present system, one of the nation’s oldest patent principles and called “first to invent,” relies on lab notebooks, e-mails and early prototypes to establish the date of invention. The impending law would overturn that by awarding patents to the inventors who are “first to file” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Mr. Stadnyk, 48, a garage inventor who stumbled into the world of patents after he bought a powerful new motorcycle and wanted to avoid being battered by the wind when riding at 60 miles an hour, even with a windshield. He devised a system of brackets and gears to adjust the height and angle of the windshield and the gap between it and the motorcycle. With his system, he says, the rider feels a flutter of breeze instead of jolting winds and turbulence.

Mr. Stadnyk, who describes his invention style as “rough hacking with chunks of metal,” founded his company, MadStad Engineering, in 2006, and as sales picked up, he stopped working as a computer consultant to devote himself to the business.

Today, MadStad employs eight people, including Mr. Stadnyk and his wife, Patty. His adjustable windshield systems, priced from $100 to $320, are now used on dozens of makes and models of motorcycles, and are sold through dealers in Australia, Britain and Spain, as well as the United States. Yearly sales, he said, are more than $500,000 and growing briskly.

Mr. Stadnyk holds three patents, and he speaks of a patented idea as a uniquely human property right. “It came out of your mind,” he explained. “It’s not property you bought or inherited.”

Mr. Stadnyk became interested in the patent legislation as it proceeded. He says he studied the proposals and the law, read blogs and reached out to Washington lawyers and academics who raised the issue of its constitutionality. A grass-roots activist, he even made a couple of YouTube videos.

read more at NY Times….

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Charlie Sheen Cartoon

Thought this Charlie Sheen halloween cartoon was pretty hilarious. Sporty enough, so did he!
(Don’t forget to see the Halloween outcome of this cartoon)

Charlie Sheen Cartoon - Charlie Sheen for Halloween

Charlie Sheen Cartoon - Charlie Sheen for Halloween

The secret ingredient of Coca-Cola in pictures

Coca-Cola, the great producer of carbonated soft drinks simply known as Coke.
Yet what actually goes into Coke has always been a mystery. Until now:

The secret ingredient of Coca-Cola in pictures

The secret ingredient of Coca-Cola in pictures

Milking Michael Douglas through the media

Give it to useless media to milk Michael Douglas for his fight against cancer. Shameless shit!

Michael Douglas prepares to die vs feeling stronger every day

Michael Douglas prepares to die vs feeling stronger every day

Land a robot on the moon and win $30m

Dozens of entrepreneurs and space engineers will gather on the Isle of Man tomorrow to finalise plans for one of the world’s most technologically ambitious and financially lucrative competitions: the Lunar X prize.

Google Lunar X Prize

Google Lunar X Prize

The  $30m award, which is being backed by Google, will be given to the first company that builds a robot rover craft, lands it safely on the moon, and directs it on a journey of more than 500m across the lunar surface. In doing so, the competition organisers hope to galvanise the exploration of the moon by opening it up to private industry. A deadline of 2012 has been set for all attempts to win the full prize.

“Nasa currently puts the cost of landing a robot rover on the moon at more than US$1 billion,” said Julian Ranger, the UK financier who is raising cash for Astrobotic, one of the prize’s key competitors. “We believe we can get that cost down to less than US$50 million, a price tag that will transform lunar exploration and make the moon a target for all sorts of commercial operations,” he said.

Apart from being able to manoeuvre around the lunar surface, the little Astrobotic rover – which resembles a traffic cone on wheels – has been designed to carry people’s cremated ashes to the moon as well as a variety of small experiments. In addition, it is intended to land the probe near the 1969 landing site of Apollo 11 in the Sea of Tranquillity.

“Part of our business plan will be to get our rover to move round the site and take a 3D high-definition film of it,” said Ranger, a former engineer, software developer and self-confessed spaceflight fanatic who raised the initial investment that was needed to set up Astrobotic Technology.

“This [footage] would be shown on television around the world. If nothing else, it should prove to the doubters that the Apollo missions really took place.”

The Google Lunar X prize has been created following the success of the Ansari X prize. This was established in 1996 to inspire private investment in manned space travel and the US$10 million prize, backed by a number of US foundations, was won by aeronautical engineer Burt Rutan.

His SpaceShipOne craft was flown twice within a month to the edge of space in 2004. That technology is now being used to build Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic fleet of spaceships, which are scheduled to start carrying tourists to space by 2012. Tickets are priced at US$200,000 each.

One of the first customers to fly on the Virgin Galactic will be Ranger.

He said that Astrobotic Technology hopes to build its lander for US$15 million to US$20 million. The company is in negotiation with SpaceX – a private US launch company controlled by the software billionaire Elon Musk – which was recently awarded a US$1 billion contract by Nasa to ferry supplies to the International Space Station.

The deadline for a team to make an attempt to win the full US$20 million Lunar X prize has been set for December 2012. After that, the prize money will drop to US$15 million.

If no project has succeeded by December 2014, the competition will be scrapped – though there is a prospect of an extension, say the organisers. Bonus awards have been added to the prize.

If a rover cannot only travel half a kilometre over the lunar terrain, but survives the cold of a 14-day-long lunar night, an extra US$4 million will be awarded. Another bonus, of US$2 million, will be given if the craft is launched from Florida.

A total of 22 teams have put their names down as competitors for the prize.

Tony Blair sentenced to 17 years in jail, £40 million fine.

Yeah right!
So what is the purpose of this Iraq inquiry? To mock democracy? But even that is rather costly.
Anyway, no change will come from this. Why does media even cover this farce?

Tony Terror Blair, PM and British Millionaire

Tony Terror Blair, PM and British Millionaire

Meanwhile, some other religious terrorist named Osama bin Laden, a mass murderer who owns his fortunes to oil, makes public complaints about other people polluting and benefitting from, oil!
Stupidity has no limits.
Welcome to 2010!

Tablet launch, earnings mean big week for Apple

The company releases quarterly results on Monday, but Wall Street is waiting for Wednesday, when Apple could unveil a new tablet computer that investors hope will be as huge a phenomenon as its iconic iPod and iPhone.

The week could provide a pair of long-term catalysts for Apple’s stock. But the company’s shares often sell off right after major launches after months of rumor fuel big expectations.

Little is known about the device, despite a rabid fan following speculating on everything from the component makers to its shape and form. Industry watchers are bullish. They say Apple’s obsession to detail gives the so-called “iSlate” a big edge in a computer category that had been deemed a failure.

“If Apple is going to design a product, then it’s going to be the best design in the marketplace,” said Broadpoint Amtech analyst Brian Marshall. “To bet that it’s going to be a flop is a bad bet.”

Most analysts have not factored the tablet into estimates for fiscal 2010, but sell-siders have been busy lifting price targets on Apple’s stock in the past month.

To be sure, Apple is setting itself quite a task, one that has frustrated previous attempts: to sell consumers on the value of a device that sits somewhere between a full-sized laptop and a pocket cellphone.

The device is hyped as a do-everything, go-everywhere touchscreen media gadget that bridges the gap between smartphones, laptops and electronic readers. Magazine, book and newspaper publishers are reportedly talking with Apple about providing material.

“There’s a huge potential long-term story there for Apple,” said Atlantic Equities analyst James Cordwell. “Whether they get it right the first time, we’ll have to wait and see, but they have a pretty good track record.”

IF THE PRICE IS RIGHT

Wall Street will pay particular attention to the tablet’s price tag. If it is closer to $1,000 than $600, analysts say it will be tougher to convince consumers to buy.

Apple could offer it under carrier-subsidized plans — Verizon Wireless is frequently mentioned — which might help take the bite out of the purchase price.

Apple Q4 2009 Analyst Coverage, Steve Jobs

Analysts believe Apple will sell 2 million to 5 million tablets in the first year.

The device could add $1 per share to Apple’s non-GAAP earnings in the year, and generate $2.8 billion to $3.5 billion of revenue, with a $700 average selling price, said Cross research analyst Shannon Cross.

Its Monday earnings run-down will serve as a warm-up for the tablet launch. Strong iPhone sales and continued momentum from its Mac computers should fuel the results.

Given Apple’s recent tradition of shredding Wall Street’s estimates, investors will expect nothing less than a strong beat when it reports fiscal first-quarter results. The company is trading at around 27 times forward earnings.

Apple has bested Wall Street EPS targets by at least 15 percent in the past four quarters, and analyst sentiment on the company is trending upward, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters StarMine.

According to StarMine’s SmartEstimate, which places more weight on recent forecasts by top-rated analysts, Apple should post EPS of $2.11 a share on revenue of $12.16 billion

“It really boils down to one point, is their beat big enough?” said Jessup & Lamont analyst Kevin Dede. “If you’re long, just ride this one out, but if you’re a hedge fund, maybe you want to think twice.”

Apple’s shares have risen around 9 percent since mid-December when hype about the tablet quickened, and are trading a few dollars shy of an all-time high. It is now the fourth largest stock on the S&P500 index, outranking the likes of IBM and JPMorgan Chase.

Some investors will be reluctant to sell shares ahead of the tablet unveiling two days later, Dede said.

Apple is expected to report earnings of $2.06 a share on revenue of $12.05 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, with a gross margin of 35.7 percent.

Marshall, whose estimates are well above consensus, expects Apple to deliver a strong upside surprise.

“The beat is going to be significant enough that we’ll have a material earnings revisions for calendar year 2010,” Marshall said.

The iPhone should provide a boost for Apple in the holiday quarter, particularly internationally, he said. Marshal predicted that iPhone units sold will surpass the 9 million average estimate.

Analysts target Mac shipments of around 3 million for the quarter. Mac shipments in the United States jumped 31 percent in the quarter, according to research group IDC.