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David Gelernter

Mirrors on the ceiling, pink champagne on ice.


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This could be outside Fairvale. The people visiting the city could be staying at the Bates Motel. It's a recurring nightmare for entrepreneurs all over; it could have been written by Josephy Stefano and Robert Bloch and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Nobody entering Tyler comes out the same. Tyler has become yet another Texas town where people are fleeced of their corporate investments. Casablanca's piano player Dooley Wilson is from Tyler as is lyricist Will Jennings. Tyler's in a dry county.

Tyler's also had its share of gory murders. Deanna Lanaey murdered two of her children and maimed another, claiming a higher power told her to do it. And in Texas of all places she was acquitted. David Arroyo murdered his ex-wife and wounded his son in front of the courthouse and was gunned down in the ensuing police chase. Schoolteacher Todd Henry was murdered when breaking up a schoolyard fight.

Tyler is close by to Marshall where most of the juicy patent lawsuits have taken place of late. The city council of Tyler have evidently understood patent lawsuits are good for the entire community. There have been an obscene number of cases held in Marshall, Texarkana, and Tyler.

Patent lawsuits are good business: they provide plaintiff-friendly juries that rule in their favour almost 80% of the time. 32 cases were filed in Marshall in 2002; by 2006 the number had risen to 234. Despite its meagre population, this area ranks #2 for the entire US lagging only behind the central district of California which has a huge population in comparison.

And now Apple wander into Tyler like a sweet young innocent Marion Crane. There might be no shower surprise but other things can happen that aren't much nicer.

David Gelernter

David Gelernter is a professor of computer science at Yale. He's a contributing editor to the Weekly Standard. He's a member of the National Council of Arts.

Gelernter introduced a 'Linda System' with tuple spaces in 1983. He claims he 'foresaw' the advent of the World Wide Web in 1991 (but of course had no part in its actual implementation by Tim Berners-Lee). He also claims he was the inspiration for the Java programming language. Gelernter also claims he forecast the introduction of 'less ugly computers' (but has not yet taken out a patent on the idea). He also writes a lot of 'L Ron Hubbard' type essays and fiction.

David Gelernter also has a patent portfolio.

Gelernter's Claims

So David Gelernter now has a patent lawsuit in scenic Tyler Texas. His abortive Mirror Worlds finally collapsed in 2004. But of course he didn't file the claims in the LLC's home state Connecticut. He took his plea for justice to Texas instead.

And he waited until his intended targets had made enough money off 'his' ideas.

Gelernter claims Apple have stolen his ideas for Time Machine, Spotlight, and Cover Flow. The Tyler court of course ruled in Gelernter's favour. And so Apple are now looking at damages of nearly $630 million.

Patents Kill

Patents kill, say Christian Engström and Rick Falkvinge, mostly because they do, albeit mostly in the pharma industry. But patents are always the weapons of useless parasitical companies that no longer (if they ever) can offer society anything useful.

David Gelernter might be the biggest parasite of all.

'Some dance to remember, some dance to forget.'
 - Don Felder, Glenn Frey, Don Henley

See Also
Rick Falkvinge: Om patent (del 1 av 3)
Rick Falkvinge: Om patent (del 2 av 3)
Rick Falkvinge: Om patent (del 3 av 3)
Christian Engström: Patent på mediciner dödar
TMO: Apple Appealing Mirror World Patent Judgement
Justia Dockets & Filings: Mirror Worlds LLC v Apple Inc
Michele Boldrin/David Levine: Against Intellectual Monopoly
Henrik Alexandersson: Patentfrågorna i ett vidare perspektiv
Flat Rock: David Gelernter: Après Spam: The Next Email Crisis
NZ Herald News: Apple to challenge 'Cover Flow' patent dispute

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