September 2008

The Google Chrome Comic Book

by Lee Gesmer on September 15, 2008

The release of the Google Chrome web browser on September 2nd attracted a huge amount of publicity. The release of the browser was accompanied by a 38 page comic book, featuring cartoon figures of real-life Google employees, and explaining some of the features and technology associated with the browser. The comic book was illustrated by “cartoon theorist” Scott McLoud.

This is pretty cool stuff – hiring a top cartoonist to help you explain a new software product. Much better than a traditional technical manual!

A link to the comic book on scribd.com is below. (And here is a link to the comic on McLoud’s own web site, which might be easier to read online).

Read this document on Scribd: Google Chrome Comic BookRead the full article

White on White

by Lee Gesmer on September 9, 2008

Meta tags consist of words and phrases that are intended to describe the contents of a website. These descriptions are embedded within the website’s computer code. Although websites do not display their meta tags to visitors, Internet search engines utilize meta tags in various ways. First, when a computer user enters particular terms into an Internet search engine, the engine may rank a webpage that contains the search terms within its meta tags higher in the list of relevant results. Second, when a particular webpage is listed as a relevant search result, the search engine may use the meta tags to provide the searcher a brief description of the web page.

Brookfield Commc’ns, Inc. v. W. Coast Entm’t Corp., 174 F.3d 1036, 1045 (9th Cir. 1999)

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The First Circuit has affirmed a finding of trademark infringement based on the defendant’s use of meta tags to attract potential customers of the plaintiff using search engines to find the plaintiff’s web site.… Read the full article

We’ve been following the lower courts’ interpretation and application of eBay v. MercExchange since the case was decided by the Supreme Court in May 2006. In eBay the Court held that post-judgment injunctions were not “automatic” for successful patent plaintiffs, but rather that the trial court had to apply the traditional equitable test to determine whether an injunction or ongoing royalties were the appropriate remedy.

In June I gave a presentation at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education on developments in this area in the two years since the decision. (Warning – the Powerpoint won’t make a lot of sense without the voice-over, but it gives some idea of the landscape).

As I discussed then, a constellation of issues was forming around the question of how to assess future royalties if it is determined that this was the appropriate remedy after final judgment. By then, of course, the jury has gone home. Was it up to the judge to determine the royalty?… Read the full article

Cloud Computing – The "Next Big Thing"?

by Lee Gesmer on September 4, 2008

Here is a link to the slides used by Dr. Irving Wladawsky-Berger (Chairman Emeritus of the IBM Academy of Technology) in his talk entitled Cloud Computing and the Coming IT Cambrian Explosion. This was presented at Xconomy’s Cloud Computing event in Cambridge in June.

While there is no audio, I think the slides communicate the message loud and clear. A favorite expression of mine is “important if true.” On these predictions, I will say “important if prescient.”

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