Insomnia Log

This is what keeps me awake at night???

Who needs sleep? (well you’re never gonna get it)
Who needs sleep? (tell me what’s that for)
Who needs sleep? (be happy with what you’re getting,
There’s a guy who’s been awake since the second world war)

-- words and music by Steven Page & Ed Robertson

Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States

Everything you need to know about me can be found in my posts

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Patent Reform is Bust for Brainy Boulderites

Last year Boulder was judged the brainiest city by, but lumped in with 20th place Denver in Forbes' list of innovative cities.

Now we're seventh on the Insomnia Log Patent Friendly Cities list. Boulder area residents were issued 834 patents per 100,000 residents from 2006 through 2010, and only six other metro regions did better.

President Obama just signed a patent reform law, the first major overhaul of our patent system in 60 years, and there was hardly a peep from local inventors.

The most debated part of the new law converts the U.S. from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file system. Previously, you could get a patent if you could prove that you invented something first, even if someone else beat you to the Patent and Trademark Office. No more.

Supporters, including many of the biggest technology companies, say this will simplify things, eliminating contests over who actually owns an invention. A class of procedures is eliminated from the PTO. This should reduce legal costs, and help reduce the multi-year backlog of patent applications.

Many small inventors are not so thrilled. They fear big companies with teams of lawyers will file applications faster, and earn patents even when they weren't the first to come up with an idea.


Correction: In this essay, I said that, "Under the new law the PTO gets to keep all of its fees, rather than having them siphoned into the general fund." In fact, that provision was deleted during congressional negotiations.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Patent Friendly Cities

These are the top 20 metropolitan areas in the US, based on the number of patents granted to residents per capita. This is based on the first named inventor on patents granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office from 2006 through 2010.
1San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA2,202
2Corvallis, OR1,586
3Burlington-South Burlington, VT992
4Rochester, MN962
5Boise City-Nampa, ID906
6Bremerton-Silverdale, WA841
7Boulder, CO834
8Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA758
9Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX597
10Ann Arbor, MI591
11Fort Collins-Loveland, CO591
12San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA564
13Rochester, NY496
14Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, NY463
15Ithaca, NY458
16Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA427
17Raleigh-Cary, NC423
18Trenton-Ewing, NJ423
19Durham-Chapel Hill, NC390
20Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH374

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Still fearful after all these years

Raise your hand if you remember where you were 10 years ago today.

I'll bet almost all of you remember it like yesterday. I sure do. Watching thousands of people murdered on live television is not something you can easily forget.

It was a time of strong emotion: confusion, fear, grief, anger. We mourned together as one country, and we plotted our revenge together.

But it has not been satisfying, nor have we obtained closure. We attacked two countries, but saw mostly quagmire. The economy has never regained its pre-attack strength. The unity after the attack was quickly replaced by the bitterest partisan bickering this country has seen in a long time. Even the taking down of the 9/11 mastermind, Osama bin Laden, didn't generate more than a momentary sense of satisfaction.

Thirty-two years ago, a President gave a speech in which he talked about our country's malaise. The voters hated him for it, choosing to fire Carter and bring in the optimist Reagan. But today, politicians are competing not to deny the malaise but to pin it on the other guy.

What happened to us 10 years ago? Why can't we get out of this funk? Did we take a bite of the apple, lose our innocence, and get tossed out of the garden? Or are we suffering from PTSD and showing symptoms of depression that just won't disappear?

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