The New 'Star Trek' TV Series Just Debuted, And Viewers Have Strong Opinions

The hotly anticipated Star Trek: Discovery kicked off on Sunday night with a two-episode premiere. The show’s very presence has been divisive for fans, some of whom took issue with the diverse casting of the lead roles, with Michelle Yeoh playing the Starship captain and Sonequa Martin-Green as her first officer. There was also the whole confusing about people paying “extra” for Netflix or CBS All Access to get to the show, though people do pay “extra” for HBO and basically most of the channels on television.

But the response from fans has been largely positive. Many are thrilled to see some diversity on their screens and exploring space:

Others think it just looks gorgeous:

But some people are still resistant to change, or are withholding judgement for the full series to come out:

But everyone should be able to admit that the producers understand their audience on a couple important levels, at least:

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Eric Trump Says Strong Women Like His Sister Don't 'Allow' Themselves To Be Sexually Harassed

Its been pretty easy for me to stay politically neutral this election cycle because I’m voting for the Giant Meteor to come in and do what’s right.  Some folks think I have a pretty negative outlook on things, but I digress.

You see, when Donald Trump was asked what would happen if his daughter. Ivanka Trump, found herself being sexually harassed in the workplace, his response was:

“I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case.”

You heard right, folks!  When it comes to sexual harassment, if the lewd comments and uninvited advances make the victim uncomfortable, then they should be the ones to leave.  

Surely though, his son, who is much younger and more connected to the favorite Trump daughter, would take a different stance on the topic.  

When a CBS host asked Eric if he thought that bringing the harassment to the attention of human resources was a better answer, he and his haircut answered

And yet somehow, Eric manage to make things worse

“Ivanka is a strong, powerful woman. She wouldn’t allow herself to be objected to it. And by the way, you should certainly take it up with human resources. And I think she definitely would, as a strong person. At the same time, I don’t think she would allow herself to be subjected to it.”

It’s like the old saying goes; From a bad crow, a bad egg.  I’m sure someone in the campaign is going to ‘clarify’ this faux pas in the next day or two since the premise behind being sexually harassed has someone saying or doing something without permission to begin with.  Blaming the victim is obviously not the answer to sexual harassment in the workplace.  Not by a long shot.

People tweeted their disgust the blatant victim-blaming the Trumps have pushed

 Waiting to hear how we’ve all taken his quoted answer out of context.

(h/t wp)

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Strong Patents Can Foil Litigation

Some 100 patent lawsuits reach the courtroom every year and around 40 percent of them result in patents being invalidated. Not only do these cases drain hundreds of millions of dollars from the economy, but they cost the litigants quite a bit, too–more than a million dollars a pop, on average.

Needless to say, most innovators–save for, maybe, patent trolls–would like to avoid becoming a data point for those statistics. One way to do that is by making your patent application as strong as possible.

At one time, innovators could be confident they had a strong patent if the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved it. While USPTO approval is still a strong endorsement of a patent, with patent approval times averaging more than 32 months and an application backlog of 750,000, the quality of patent review at the office has slipped in recent years.

“With the USPTO approving tons of bad patents, and the courts all too often siding with the patent holder and expanding what’s patentable, combined with people who have done nothing getting hundreds of millions just for holding a piece of paper, is it really any surprise that the incentive structure would push people to file for as many bogus patents as possible, in hopes of getting them through the obviously questionable process?” ragged one blogger.

According to federal law, to qualify for a patent an invention should be novel, non-obvious and have utility. In addition, the patent application should disclose enough detail to allow a person skilled in the applicant’s field to build the invention.

Determining if an invention is novel and non-obvious is done through what’s called “prior art.” Prior art is documentation that the claims in a patent application were disclosed prior to its filing.

Although a survey of prior art is essential for creating a strong patent. Not only does it ensure that the claims in a patent are indeed novel and non-obvious, but it can help inventors remove ambiguity from their claims. Vaguely worded claims that are too abstract and broad in scope are lightening rods for litigators.

“Obvious patents, another type of low-quality patent, are a problem because large numbers of obvious patents make clearance difficult and costly, leading indirectly to litigation,” wrote James Bessen and Michael James Meur in Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk. Patent, published in 2008 by Princeton University Press.

“Patents that are of low quality because they are vaguely worded, overly abstract, of uncertain scope, or that contain strategically hidden claims can also directly induce litigation,” the authors added.

By and large, constructing claims narrowly creates stronger patents. They can help insulate a patent from litigation and prevent it from stepping on existing patents or what’s already in the public domain.

Litigation can be a daunting prospect for an inventor. As academics Bronwyn H. Hall, Stuart J. H. Graham, Dietmar Harhoff, and David C. Mowery observed in their journal article entitled Prospects for Improving U.S. Patent Quality via Post-grant Opposition:

“Uncertainty about the validity of a patent has several potential costs: such uncertainty may cause the patent holder to under invest in the technology, it could reduce investment by potential competitors in competing technical advances, and it may lead to costly litigation after both the holder and potential competitors have sunk sizable investments.”

Nevertheless, with diligence and attention to detail, the uncertainty cast on the patent process by litigation, although never eliminated, can be ameliorated.

John P. Mello Jr. is a practicing attorney for patent protection. For more information on Patent Litigation you can visit General Patent at http://www.generalpatent.com

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