U.S. Patent Office Opens Patent Examination Process
- By Peter Varhol
It looks like the process regarding patent application and approval are poised
for a big change. Peer-to-Patent, an initiative to obtain peer reviews of patents
before they are approved, began
Peer-to-Patent is a joint effort between New York Law School's Institute for
Information Law and Policy and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
As of last Friday, five applications (from HP, IBM, Intel and Red Hat) were
made available for public review on the Peer-to-Patent Web site at http://www.peertopatent.org/.
Today, patent applications are kept secret for a year or until they are approved,
whichever comes first. Peer-to-Patent will let individuals identify prior art
and assist in either validating or halting applications before they are approved.
This may be especially valuable in the software business, where patent applications
have exploded over the past decade.
Will peer review kill software patents? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ScriptLogic Introduces New Security Management Features
for Office SharePoint Server
Last week, ScriptLogic (http://www.scriptlogic.com)
to its Security Explorer product that address security challenges inherent
to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.
With Security Explorer 6.5 for SharePoint, you can explore a tree view of the
SharePoint site, set and search user permissions for SharePoint libraries and
files, and edit SharePoint permission levels and SharePoint groups.
Do you use SharePoint? How do you manage the security of your files? Tell me
your security stories at email@example.com.
Sony Blu-Ray DVD Format Wins Converts
In a battle reminiscent of the VHS vs. Betamax wars of the 1980s (yes, I was
there for those, too), the Sony Blu-ray high-definition DVD format has scored
a significant victory when Blockbuster Entertainment announced it would carry
primarily Blu-ray DVDs in its stores (some stores will still carry both
There's a clear demand for higher-definition DVDs, but many buyers are holding
off on purchasing new DVD players until they know whether Blu-ray or HD-DVD
will emerge as the format of choice (of course, the formats are incompatible).
Nevertheless, HD-DVD has a price advantage, costing perhaps half as much as
The winner of the high-definition DVD formats will have implications for all
of us, as PCs start to come with high-definition DVD drives and software gets
delivered on high-def discs.
Do you own a high-definition DVD player? (I confess that I don't.) Do you have
a format preference? Send me mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peter Varhol is the executive editor,
reviews of Redmond magazine and has more than 20 years of experience as a software
developer, software product manager and technology writer. He has graduate degrees
in computer science and mathematics, and has taught both subjects at the university