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Peer to Patent

There’s a good article in the Economist on the new scheme, Peer to Patent, recently adopted for a trial by the U.S. Patent Office and also placed under evaluation by Britain’s Intellectual Property Office and the European Patent Office. Devised by New York Law School faculty member Beth Simone Noveck (let’s hear it for law profs!), the process has the patent office submitting about 250 applications in various computer fields to the scrutiny of the public, the thought being that the relevant communities will know more than the patent examiners about such critical matters as “prior art.”

The relevant page . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Yahoo! Mash

Yahoo! have just started a new social networking tool called Mash. Thus far it is calmer and simpler than Facebook, MySpace and the lesser-known Ning.

From the Mash Blog:

We just started inviting our friends outside Yahoo! to join us in testing Mash: a new approach to online profiles. If you’ve used other online profiles before you’ll feel at home in Mash. But there are some new twists that make things a little interesting and, we think, a lot of fun.

1. You can make starter profiles for your friends. Think: “first round’s on me.”

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

Monday’s Child Is Full of …

That too, sometimes, maybe, but not today.

Today’s subject is obliquely about something that will enrapture the heart of every litigator with deep-pocket clients: e-mail management and the fees associated with litigation that has extensive e-mail discovery.

Today’s message is also an opportunity to let others do my thinking for me.

I’m going to quote from a recent study by a US vendor [MessageOne, Inc.] which is generally applicable to Canada, too, titled “Critical Email Management Problems“. The study is available on-line here, although you might have to join ZDNet (it’s free – it’s worth . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Technology

Portals Revisited

About eight years ago, I toured the country with a number of seminars conducted by the Delphi Group on corporate portals. Portals were quickly becoming an option for corporations (including law firms) and the market was raging with a number of portal vendors. Most of these are not around today as consolidation and evolution of the concept saw mergers in the industry, and many early entrants didn’t make it through the first few laps. But I was impressed then, and still am today, with the basic concept Delphi had developed and with their framework for thinking about and building portals. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

The Friday Fillip

Nothing remotely serious today. Which means a game.

Bloxorz is a game for those who like spatial puzzles. Essentially, you move a block around with the arrow keys until, by the right combination of flips and flops, you cause it to drop down the target hole. Make a mistake and your block falls off the edge of the universe. In case this all sounds way too simple for you, let me tell you that there are 35 stages you can be led through, involving hard bridges, soft bridges… But never fear, there are also highly detailed instructions — which some . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

UC-Irvine Law School Has No Dean (Anymore)

On Thursday, August 16, the Chancellor of the University of California at Irvine offered Duke University constitutional law scholar Erwin Chemerinsky the job of dean at UC-Irvine’s brand new law school. Less than a week later he called Chemerinsky to withdraw the offer. It seems that the short-term dean’s politics were too left for the regents of the university, something they seem to have discovered only after the reaction by some conservative elements (donors?) to an op-ed piece by Chemerinsky in the Los Angeles Times criticizing the Bush administration.The Washington Post has the story.

Who of any scholarly merit . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Miscellaneous

Praized Is Worth a Million Bucks!

We learn from Technaute that Praized, a Quebec web2.0 startup, just got an 1M$ investment from the canadian branch of Garage Technology Venture, the venture capital company behind Pandora. Knowing that Pandora is now unaccessible to canadians, lets hope the same will not happen to Praized… It should not be the case due to the type of application they are developping. Here is a quote from their website:

Praized Media is a startup company working on a web-based application that will enable you to find and discover local places and merchants with help from people you can

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Technology, Technology: Internet

Internet Use in Small Town and Rural Canada

According to a new study released in Statistics Canada’s Rural and Small Town Canada Analysis Bulletin, people living in rural and small town Canada have lower rates of Internet use than those people living in urban areas.

Highlights of the study:

  • In 2005, only 58% of people living in rural areas and small towns used the Internet, well below the national average.
  • The odds of a person living in a city using the Internet for personal, non-business reasons are about one-and-a-half times those of someone from a rural area or small town.
  • Geographic location has an independent influence on
. . . [more]
Posted in: Uncategorized

New Slaw Search Function – Again

You may have noticed that the Google Custom Search box is gone and a new search funtion is in its place. Searching in WordPress blogs has always been a problem, for some reason, and while Google Custom Search was better than the built-in WordPress search function, it had its serious limitations: it would show comments as XML, and it threw up a great many duplicates and category pages full of irrelevant posts.

I’m trying a plugin, Search Unleashed, that would seem to offer pretty much all we might want. It searches titles, post content, comments and authors of these. . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

Eagan’s Empire Rolls On

We missed last week’s news that Thomson is Acquiring Deloitte Tax LLP Property Tax Services, picking up another 420 employees in Scottsdale. The Scottsdale folks staff a national provider of property tax compliance outsourcing and consulting services. The official announcement declares that “This transaction will further enable us to fulfill Thomson Tax & Accounting’s overall growth strategy to serve our corporate tax clients with a full-range of technology, information and service solutions” .

Meanwhile back in Eagan, the consulting business goes from strength to strength, notwithstanding our scepticism about strategy. The Baker Robbins deal we discussed has two . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

More on Online Canadian Legislation

Further to my earlier rant and call to arms for Canadian law libraries to digitize historical Canadian federal and provincial legislation: Colleague and SLAW reader Neal Ferguson points out that the Revised Statutes of Canada, R.S.C. 1970, are actually available in very large files on the Internet Archive, available here. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Law Library of Congress World Law Bulletin 2000-2006 Now Online

The 2000-2006 issues of the World Law Bulletin, a publication of the Law Library of Congress in the U.S., have been posted on the Internet.

On the site of the Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy!

“The WORLD LAW BULLETIN is a monthly publication of the Directorate of Legal Research at the Law Library of Congress. The Bulletin, which is distributed to members of Congress and staff but not the public, provides updates on foreign law developments”.

“In May 2006, the Law Library began publishing the Global Legal Monitor, which partially replicates the contents of the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information