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Phillips Claim Construction: Changed Methodology but Unchanged Results
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| Mangosoft’s patent covers a networked virtual memory system. The virtual
| memory is formed by pooling storage capacity on the local networked computers
| (nodes) rather than relying on a primary server. Oracle’s Real Application
| Clusters do something similar – but use a cluster of memory devices (akin to
| a RAID).
| The appeal focuses on the definition of a “local” storage device. The CAFC
| agreed with the district court that the “local” limitation requires that the
| storage device be individually linked to a computer to form a network node.
Ideas Are Everywhere... So Why Do We Limit Them?
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| Gladwell uses this to talk up what Myhrvold is doing, suggesting that
| Intellectual Ventures is really about continuing that process, getting those
| ideas out there -- but he misses the much bigger point: if these ideas are
| the natural progression, almost guaranteed to be discovered by someone sooner
| or later, why do we give a monopoly on these ideas to a single discoverer?
| Myhrvold's whole business model is about monopolizing all of these ideas and
| charging others (who may have discovered them totally independently) to
| actually do something with them. Yet, if Gladwell's premise is correct (and
| there's plenty of evidence included in the article), then Myhrvold's efforts
| shouldn't be seen as a big deal. After all, if it wasn't Myhrvold and his
| friends doing it, others would very likely come up with the same thing sooner
| or later.
| This is especially highlighted in one anecdote in the article, of Myhrvold
| holding a dinner with a bunch of smart people... and an attorney. The group
| spent dinner talking about a bunch of different random ideas, with no real
| goal or purpose -- just "chewing the rag" as one participant put it. But the
| next day the attorney approached them with a typewritten description of 36
| different inventions that were potentially patentable out of the dinner. When
| a random "chewing the rag" conversation turns up 36 monopolies, something is
| wrong. Those aren't inventions that deserve a monopoly.
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