Saturday, June 8, 2013

White House going after Patent Trolls

If you are a ham or other hobbyist who produces a podcast, listen up. The White House says that its time to end what the legal world calls patent trolling. And it’s taking the first steps by issuing five executive actions and seven legislative recommendations designed to protect U.S. companies and their products from spurious litigation from Patent Assertion Entities that are more commonly called Patent Trolls. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Heather Embee, KB3TZD, reports:
According to the National Economic Council and the Council of Economic Advisers, Patent Trolls are entities that threaten to sue thousands of companies at once, without specific evidence of infringement against any of them. They may also create shell companies that make it difficult for defendants to know who is suing them and assert that their patents cover inventions not imagined at the time they were granted.

Information made public by the two councils say that suits brought by patent trolls have jumped by nearly 250% in just the last two years, rising from 29% of all infringement suits to 62% of all infringement suits. Estimates suggest that patent trolls may have threatened over 100,000 companies with patent infringement last year alone.

But it does not end there. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office says that there is yet another new aspect to this situation This is where Patent Trolls are increasingly targeting retailers, consumers and other end-users of products containing patented technology especially software.

Among the initial steps being taken by the Obama administration is having the Patent and Trademark Office begin a rule making to require patent applicants and owners to regularly update patent ownership information when they are involved in patent proceedings before that agency, specifically naming who controls the patent. Its also will give more training to its patent examiners on scrutiny of functional claims and develop strategies to improve claim clarity. This in areas where stakeholders remain concerned about patents with overly broad claims.

Possibly more important to all U.S, citizens is the White House statement that says end users should not be subject to lawsuits for simply using a product as it was intended. It says that citizens need an easier way to know their rights before entering into costly litigation or settlements with Patent Trolls.

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The A index [ LOW is GOOD ]

  • 1 to 6 is BEST
  • 7 to 9 is OK
  • 11 or more is BAD

Represents the overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Ap" if averaged from the Kp-Index) (an average of the eight 3-hour K-Indices) ('A' referring to amplitude) over a given 24 hour period, ranging (linearly) typically from 1-100 but theoretically up to 400.

A lower A-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Ap-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.

SFI index [ HIGH is GOOD ]

  • 70 NOT GOOD
  • 80 GOOD
  • 90 BETTER
  • 100+ BEST

The measure of total radio emissions from the sun at 10.7cm (2800 MHz), on a scale of 60 (no sunspots) to 300, generally corresponding to the sunspot level, but being too low in energy to cause ionization, not related to the ionization level of the Ionosphere.

Higher Solar Flux generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; Solar Flux rarely affects the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.

K index [ LOW is GOOD ]

  • 0 or 1 is BEST
  • 2 is OK
  • 3 or more is BAD
  • 5 is VERY VERY BAD

The overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Kp" if averaged over the planet) over the past 3 hours, measured by 13 magnetometers between 46 & 63 degrees of latitude, and ranging quasi-logarithmically from 0-9. Designed to detect solar particle radiation by its magnetic effect. A higher K-index generally means worse HF conditions.

A lower K-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Kp-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.

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