Islam: Political or Religious?

April 11, 2013

Like Muslims pushing for sharia law in the U.S., the courts seem to want to have it both ways when it suits them, via Islam: Political or Religious? | Blog – American Freedom Law Center.

Yesterday, AFLC filed a notice of appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in response to the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board’s (TTAB) affirmance of the denial of the “Stop Islamisation of America” or “SIOA” trademark application, which was sought by anti-sharia advocates Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer and their organization, the Freedom Defense Initiative (FDI). In a nutshell, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) rejected the application, ruling that the trademark disparaged Muslims and linked them to terrorism. (You can read the whole story here.)

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals is a highly-specialized federal court in Washington, D.C., that was established to hear, among others, patent/trademark appeals. At this point, it is difficult to determine how the Federal Circuit will treat this case. Generally, the TTAB, which is the last administrative appeal at the USPTO, rubber stamps the director, but in our case, the briefs and oral argument were so one-sided in our favor that there was hope for a favorable ruling. However, that did not happen, but it was no surprise: most judges are quite hostile when these types of cases are argued. Moreover, and perhaps surprisingly, the most hostile judges are typically Republican appointees. For example, in AFLC’s victories in the lower federal courts in New York and Detroit, the judges were liberal appointees, and they ruled on the side of granting First Amendment protection to our clients’ speech. In this case, given the law at work, it should be an easy victory for our clients. But, we shall wait and see.
To explain further, in one case where AFLC had won in the trial court after a full evidentiary hearing at which the transit authority admitted during cross examination that our clients’ advertisement did not convey an impermissible “political” message, a three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit comprised of 2/3 George W. Bush appointees reversed, holding that the advertisement, “Fatwa on your head? Leaving Islam? Contact,” was not a permissible “religious” ad but, instead, was impermissibly “political” (the rules were meant to preclude political campaign ads from Detroit/Dearborn buses — not what we call in the law “political speech,” which of course is the most protected of all speech under the First Amendment) because “Fatwa” and sharia are political not religious matters. It was a remarkable and somewhat startling admission.
So, in the Sixth Circuit, sharia is now political, and to the USPTO, it is religious. In sum, the federal courts are a laboratory of the studied application of incoherence where words carry no meaning but are used arbitrarily to protect the politically correct mantra that Muslims and Islam constitute a special class that stands above criticism that is otherwise protected speech under the First Amendment.  In short, blasphemy laws are alive and well—we just don’t want to admit it.

Google: Microsoft wields patents when its products fail

November 7, 2011
This is exactly what Mark Cuban was talking about. jobs are being lost because patent law is messed up.

( Claims overbroad patents could stifle innovation: Tim Porter, Google’s patent counsel, suggested in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle that the current system of patent registration for software was partly to blame for the storm of lawsuits by Microsoft and others regarding the Android operating system. Porter said that current patent law allows Microsoft to use the large patent portfolio it has acquired over the years to get revenue from other companies “when their products stop succeeding in the marketplace, when they get marginalized, as is happening now with Android.” Industry research shows Android leading the Windows Phone platform by a wide margin. Porter said that the patent office has been too lenient since the 1990s, awarding software patents for broad, vague or unoriginal ideas. He pointed to a decision by the US Supreme Court in 2007 that should have reinvigorated an “obviousness” standard first spelled out in a 1952 law. In that ruling, the court asserted that an invention could not be patented if it would be considered “obvious” by a person having ordinary skill in the art. The court said that giving such dubious claims patent protection would stifle innovation. However, since the ruling the number of software patents granted and the number of lawsuits have both increased dramatically.Ironically, in 1991 Bill Gates wrote of his concerns about the very tactics that Microsoft is using today. Gates predicted that if the practice of software patenting became widespread, “some large company will patent some obvious thing,” and “take as much of our profits as they want.” [via Ars Technica]

If you want to see more jobs created – change patent laws says Mark Cuban

August 7, 2011
…an explosive legal problem…
Mark Cuban has to dance to make jobs…

Major tech companies are  buying big collections of patents not because they want to own the intellectual property but rather because they want the ability to respond to patent lawsuits with a lawsuit of their own. It’s like playing a game of thermo nuclear war. If all sides have “nuclear patents” they can respond to patent litigation with equal force. In other words, if you have enough “nucleur patents” no one will sue you for patent infringement because you have enough power to respond in kind. Its crazy and costing this country jobs.
Google just spent $900mm buying a patent collection. Other big companies are spending the same way.  That is money that for many companies would have  gone to job creation.
We need to face the facts, patent law is killing job creation.

so what is the other argument? without these patents the big companies would just take shit that was developed for years by the little guy. This would kill innovation… (though one could make a cynical argument that there is nothing new under the sun and that ideas like say a smart phone for example is simply too vague to protect. When innovation comes like for example when the car first started, there was no single person who created the concept. It took Henry Ford to develop a system of manufacturing, but he by no means came up with the idea of a car).  Is there a happy balance? would legislation denying large companies from monopolizing ideas be possible? ( I don’t have enough knowledge into intellectual property law to comment… but I will be thinking about it.)  Certainly I’d like to see laws created that would allow intelligent discression from judges, but then again… I don’t have a lot of confidence in judges to hold that kind of power… so there must not be power held by one single person to keep patent ownership in check.  There must be checks and balances in the system.  There has to be oversight… and then again the parties must also be able to work together.  Certainly if a large company owns an idea pertaining to Apples then it becomes questionable as to intent if they start buying into markets that they have no interest in like Chickens.  Mass Stock patent buying must be stopped.