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19 Apr 2011 11:23


Tech: Microsoft’s patent case hits an unsympathetic Supreme Court

  • It’s a bad thing not to give protection to an invention that deserves it; and it is just as bad a thing to give protection to an invention that doesn’t deserve it. Both can seriously harm the economy. What we’re trying to do is we’re trying to get a better tool, if possible, to separate the sheep from the goats.
  • Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer • Offering a very smart insight during yesterday’s arguments in the Microsoft/i4i patent case which has been floating around the ether for a couple of years. Microsoft’s pushing to make obvious patents a little less patentable, and they have a lot riding on the case. See, i4i owns a key patent involving custom XML in a document — something Microsoft used heavily in Word until the patent case came up. They could end up owing hundreds of millions otherwise. Other justices, particularly Antonin Scalia and Elena Kagan, weren’t so kind to Microsoft’s case. Fun fact: Chief Justice John Roberts recused himself from this case because he owns Microsoft stock. If the vote goes 4-4, the lower court ruling stands and Microsoft loses. source

23 Jan 2011 21:50


Politics: Supreme Court justices may skip this year’s State of the Union

  • last year Obama gave the Supreme Court a piece of his mind during his State of the Union speech, making the justices collectively uncomfortable as he ripped them for hurting campaign finance reform.
  • this year The big statement that the justices could make is whether or not to sit out. Samuel Alito is staying home. John Roberts is undecided but has questioned whether justices should attend anymore. source

21 Jan 2009 21:32


U.S.: No do-overs. Well, except for the presidential oath.

  • Can’t take chances, y’know. After a notably profound flub during Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration (on Chief Justice John Roberts’ part, by the way), the president didn’t take any chances, and went through the oath again today. Asked if he was ready, Obama said, “Yes, I am. And we’re going to do it very slowly.” There were no repeats of the flub. In case you were wondering, the flub did not affect Obama’s hold on the office. source

20 Jan 2009 15:04


U.S.: Who screwed up the oath, Obama or Roberts?

  • It was the Chief Justice. John Roberts, when saying the oath to Obama, reworded part of it on the fly, putting “faithfully” at the end of the clause rather than its traditional place in the middle. As a result, the oath will probably be remembered by millions as the time Barack Obama briefly stammered and asked for a re-do. (And what a way to remember it!) source