Ronald J Riley’s Techdirt Profile


About Ronald J Riley

Ronald J Riley’s Comments comment rss

  • May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:43am

    Harmonize Patent & Copyright Terrns

    I have been suggesting for years that the term for patents and copyright be harmonized to twenty year terms.

    It is also interesting that large copyright interests are some of the most belligerent thieves of others inventions. There is more than a bit of irony in their hypocrisy.
  • Sep 28th, 2013 @ 4:34pm

    Re: Re: Democracy

    Obama has his head stuck so far up big corporate rectums he is oblivious to all else.
  • Sep 28th, 2013 @ 5:10am

    Violation of Oath

    "Oath of Office. Upon taking office, senators-elect must swear or affirm that they will "support and defend the Constitution."

    What do you call collusion among a group which is violating their oath?

    Aren't they some sort of traitors?
  • Oct 19th, 2012 @ 8:08am


    99.99% of programmers are drones who crank out repetitive code with slight variations day after day. They are not exact ally creative or inventive.

    Most programmers are not really trained as engineers. Because of this they are not able to to see the bigger picture that hardware and software can both be used to implement an invention and in many cases a software invention can be covered with hardware like claims. Before software became patentable, it was common to craft patent protection for such as a broad hardware claim and then argue doctrine of equivalents.

    I started programming around 1964 at General Motors Institute on a timeshare system in Algol (precursor to Basic). I was in 8th grade at that time. The next year I learned Fortran on an IIBM 1130.

    I used a minicomputer, Alpha 16 in 1972 to run an automated disco lighting system with a 12' x 60' sound modulated 105 channel dance floor. This was done with FFT. I started playing with the 4004 as soon as it was available.

    By the mid eighties I was using 6500 and 6800 family micros in multiprocessor configurations to run real time control systems.

    While my primary interest was hardware design, I quickly discovered that if I wanted to use microprocessors at that time that I had to write my own code.

    The end result is that I have extensive analog and digital engineering experience and also programming from raw machine code to over a score of high level languages and hundreds of dialects.

    The difference between that time and today is that specialization has left the software industry mostly devoid of people who have the kind of experience it takes to understand how software and hardware are often interchangeable and that inventions can be implemented both. It is ridiculous to argue that software should not be patentable.

    Ronald J. Riley,

    President - - RJR at
    Executive Director - - RJR at
    Senior Fellow -
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Michigan * Washington, DC
    Direct 810-597-0194 * 202-318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.
  • Oct 7th, 2012 @ 8:11pm

    Re: Re: About How Inventors Enforce Patents

    Everything in my experience is that money usually explains motivation. On other intellectual property issues Masnick roots for creators. a stand I agree with. It warms my heart to see authors and artists bypass traditional gatekeepers who are often taking nearly all the fruits of their labors.

    Yet when it comes to independent inventors he cheerfully promotes big big businesses lie that they are victims of trolls when in fact those companies are F-ing thieves who routinely steal others inventions. They are not upset about bad patents because bad patents usually are not litigated and when they are they end up invalidated. What they hate are good patents which cost them hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

    Masnick's position on patents, especially his condescending attitude and smart ass responses to any inventor who visits the forum and his business connections give very good reason to question motivation.
  • Oct 6th, 2012 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Re: Evidence?

    "The other 95% of the planet actually understands that not everything requires patents"
    "The US used to be a major leader of innovation and ideas."

    The US is still a leader in producing inventions but large transnational companies are trying to make sure that they are the only ones who get to milk the cow.

    Most of America's problems are related to crooked banking and transnational invention thieves.

    It is my hope that the public will eventually fix political corruption problems by tossing most incumbent politicians out and replacing them with independents. A combination of banking ripoffs of the public and allowing transnationals to steal inventions from small business is killing job creation, and that is likely to cause drastic political change.

    And yes, most everything is driven by profit for it is profit which allows us to have time and resources to be able to invent.

    Many cultures are so rigid that they pretty much kill the ability of their people to invent.
  • Oct 6th, 2012 @ 2:18pm


    I am a math and science type and probably Asperger. My strong suit was never literary skills.
  • Oct 6th, 2012 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Re: Evidence?

    It is called hell on earth. I had numerous large companies rip me off to the tune of about 40 million starting about 20 years ago. My rage has grown at the rate of compounded interest.
  • Oct 6th, 2012 @ 2:09pm

    About How Inventors Enforce Patents

    While some lawsuits are driven by the defendant being collectable, that is not always the case. Big companies, government agencies, political parties and others often sue with the intent to drive someone into bankruptcy.

    This was a common tactic with patents, where a big company tried to bankrupt the inventor. Our counter tactic was to first seek investors and then it evolved to promote contingency litigation. One problem with investors was that attorneys might be willing to take money for a case which they did not think they could win. Contingency was a much better approach where the attorneys front costs and their labor time and only get paid if they win the case.

    Because contingency litigators are risking between two and as much as fifty million dollars on a case they are unlikely to pursue weak cases. That means that most of the claims about trolls are utter BS. There is a real inventor behind these cases who is generally being ripped off by big companies.

    The downside of contingency litigation is atht it is rare for any inventor whose recovery is less than ten million dollars to have their day in court, When the adversaries are really big companies where the costs may be as high as fifty million the threshold is more like a hundred million or more.

    This means that big companies can and do steal less then ten million with nearly total impunity and that below a hundred million they have at least a 50% probability of getting away with such theft.

    By the way, Masnick's ex employer Intel is well known for their belligerent attitude towards inventors and the same is true for all of his clients which have been exposed from time to time.
  • Oct 6th, 2012 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Re: Evidence?

    Mike, There is no question that you do good work on First Amendment issues and like you have have problems with copyright, mainly the length of the term and industry's constant attempts to subvert fair use rights of those whom have purchased legitimate copies and also their interference in hardware features. I think that copyright should be limited to the same twenty year term as patents.

    But when you talk about patents you generally have your head stuck where daylight does not shine. One problem with your comments is that you do not seen to understand the difference between the way inventive startup companies use them and the way big business uses theirs. They really are very different animals. I have a news feed made up of inventors and attorneys where I often forward your posts. You are considered in the group to a buffoon or a paid blogger. Most of these professionals consider you to not be worth their time.

    "Facts: not one of RJR's strong suits."

    1) There is no proof that there was an invention. Such proof comes from successfully getting a patent which stands the test of time and is not invalidated. Then we would know that he invented something. As it stands, there is zero proof of inventorship.

    It is fair to say that the program was the first of its kind, but not to claim that there was an invention.

    2) You constantly quote writings of people who are known to be big company puppets while ignoring other people who are known for true expertise. One example would be that you have never cited material from professor Irving Kayton or Don Banner, both of whom knowledge was truly exceptional. Another example is Scott Keiff.

    One last thing, when it comes to facts you claimed to be an inventor and when I asked for documentation you dropped it cold. So put up or shut up.

    Personally I think that your expertise is similar to RIM,s and Apple's, lots of hype, at least as it relates to patents.

    Maybe you should consider doing an article about how big business is buying academics to push their agenda, or look into the issue of paid bloggers. One side effect of the decline in journalism is journalists writing on spec, usually for big business or they become paid bloggers whose job is promote an agenda.

    Transnational companies are stealing independent and small business inventions. AIA was written by them to facilitate such theft. They promptly transfer the inventions to places like China, and that means that jobs and prosperity which those inventions could have driven in America are gone.

    I understand that this will not have much effect on Masnick's business model which is to suck up to those companies, but it does have a huge and long term effect on small companies who need enhanced profits which patents produce to grow.
  • Oct 5th, 2012 @ 3:51pm


    Searching US Patents Text Collection...

    Results of Search in US Patents Text Collection db for:
    IN/Jacques AND IN/Mattheij: 0 patents.

    The question is did his work rise to the level of inventorship? Are these claims similar to Mike Masnick's?

    Coding software may rise to the level of producing an invention, but most programmers are not that creative. Combining others inventions may rise to the level of invention, but those that do usually are minor incremental advances and often low value.

    If he had produced an actual invention and he had taught the invention via a patent he might have had leverage and made money, but since he did not teach he finds himself in this situation.

    Attorneys do end up with all the money. Typically they receive 30% to 40% of the net after expenses are deducted. As a rule inventors see 40% to 50% of the gross judgement.

    It is a fact that inventors would not see any return without their patents and a few good attorneys in tow. It should not be this way, but that is the reality.

    Like many, perhaps most TechDIRT readers, big companies usually feel they have an inalienable right to take inventions.

    Producing inventions is expensive and time consuming, as in a decade or two. They often are the most expensive investment and asset an inventor owns. Their costs usually exceed the value of all the inventor's other assets.

    Ronald J. Riley,

    President - - RJR at
    Executive Director - - RJR at
    Senior Fellow -
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Michigan * Washington, DC
    Direct 810-597-0194 * 202-318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.
  • May 12th, 2012 @ 1:48pm

    Difference Between Twain and Masnick

    Mark Twain will be known for a very long time while TechDIRT Drivel will quickly fade into obscurity.
  • Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 11:59am

    Re: Weasel.

    "Marc Randazza makes me unkind to weasels in describing him."

    I actually agree with Mike Masnick that even today being publicly named is likely to have severe consequences for some people and while I am generally opposed to sealing court cases this is most certainly a case were it is warranted.

    I disagree with vivaelamor's assertion that Randazza is a weasel. Randazza has a long history of doing good works related to First Amendment issues. Even if that was not the case, all attorneys are hired mercenaries. Advocating for their client is the essence of what makes our legal system function. While it is far from perfect, as far as I can tell it works better than the systems which proceeded it and I see nothing which has the potential to do a better job.

    The single biggest problem with our legal system that it favors those with deep pockets. But that is also a problem with all aspects of human institutions.

    The solution is public policy which prevents wealth from becoming too concentrated, something which is undermining our whole society. It should not remove the incentive to work hard.

    At this point the only solution I see as being effective is to change to publicly funded elections and not allow with strict regulation and banning of large contributors.

    If every politician had to run their campaign on a fixed amount from the government it would level the playing field. Any candidate who was caught using other funds should be banned from holding any office for life.

    Politicians retirement and current income should be pegged and adjustable based on overall economic performance. This would encourage working towards long term prosperity rather than for short term gain.
  • Nov 1st, 2011 @ 5:18am

    Re: Re: BS Experts / Re: Wow.

    We have been addressing invention promotion fraud for well over a decade. There are several hundred web pages exposing various questionable companies and the people behind those companies at

    Historically, invention promoters fleece inventors for typically $10,000 to $50,000. The highest I have seen was about $300,000. The industry is raking in about $500 million a year.

    There are legitimate invention promotion companies but they do not advertise. Those who do advertise usually are at best worthless and at worst outright frauds.

    Up until about five years ago the biggest risk of becoming entangled with a promote was loss of money. But today there is a very slick promoter who appears to filing patents on other people's inventions. That promoter appears to be closely associated with the USPTO and David Kappos.

    Aspiring inventors should never disclose their inventions to others until they have at least a provisional patent application filed. Even then, disclosure is risky. There are far more hucksters and asset thieves then there are inventors and most inventors have minimal business experience, making them easy prey.

    Our nonprofit, provides extensive resources for aspiring inventors, including a list server where inventors can get one on one help. The list server is Inventors-L @ (Remove extra spaces in address). To join send a message to that address which includes your name, address, phone number and a brief description of what your interests are. Do not disclose your invention unless you have an issued patent.

    Ronald J. Riley,

    President - - RJR at

    Other Affiliations:
    Executive Director - - RJR at
    Senior Fellow -
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.
  • Oct 30th, 2011 @ 5:43pm

    BS Experts / Re: Wow.

    "Mike said "bullshit".

    "Mike's pissed."

    Actually, I think that Mike is an expert at BSing and that when he starts talking about BS we should all pay attention.

    After all, being an expert at BS is an essential skill for spinning PR and pushing big business propaganda.

    Ronald J. Riley,

    President - - RJR at

    Other Affiliations:
    Executive Director - - RJR at
    Senior Fellow -
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.
  • Oct 30th, 2011 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Got any solutions? Yelling "the patent system is broke!" isn't working.

    "Mike has basically nothing but a blog."

    And perhaps big corporate money for delivering PR (propaganda).

    Mike Masnick likes to talk about journalism. Journalists and PR flacks for the most part have the same training and yet there is no love loss between the two groups. Journalists on balance make the world a better place, while PR hacks are in my opinion ethically flawed on a fundamental level.

    The primary difference between journalists and PR hacks is that journalists believe in exposing the truth while PR hacks use the same skills to give cover to those of dubious repute.

    Inventors conceive of new useful things. Mike has claimed to be an inventor but has not been able to provide any proof.

    In a twisted sense his claim has some truth, he invents propaganda. This article is a good example of Mike Masnick's inventiveness.

    Look at the difference between what Jay Walker has accomplished and what Mike Masnick represents. Is it any wonder that Masnick is green with envy?

    Ronald J. Riley,

    President - - RJR at

    Other Affiliations:
    Executive Director - - RJR at
    Senior Fellow -
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.
  • Oct 30th, 2011 @ 11:27am

    Re: Since the CD rootkit fiasco

    I agree. When sales pitches arrive in my mailbox I scan them. When Sony is mentioned I scan over and delete because experience has taught me that Sony builds junk. Attractive on the outside but with serious flaws on the inside. When you add poor service and attitude on top of their design and quality problems and compound those issues with their high prices it is not prudent to buy Sony products.
  • Oct 29th, 2011 @ 3:04pm

    Dealing in Misappropiated Goods / wwRe: Re:

    Patents are routinely traded in whole or in part.

    The college student developer just learned a valuable lesson, not to deal in misappropriated goods.

    Ronald J. Riley,

    President - - RJR at

    Other Affiliations:
    Executive Director - - RJR at
    Senior Fellow -
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.
  • Oct 27th, 2011 @ 11:44am

    Inside Jobs & Censorship Shills.

    "Having less items on the shelf will also help theft protection."

    Most theft of physical products are inside jobs. This means that there will be fewer freelance thefts but larger inside thefts.

    "Mike could we get a filter for the comments in which people who rail against anything w/ absolutely no details, or information to back it up with? Also a filter for " has nothing to do w/ this blog post".

    Be careful what you ask for Eric.
  • Oct 27th, 2011 @ 6:20am

    Re: Re: SOLD OUT / Re:

    "It seems to me to be very clear what blogposts are advertorial in nature, and what blogposts aren't, which is a lot more transparant than your average newspaper."

    There is no doubt that someone is more transparent than they would like.

    Traditional journalism has been imploding for the last decade. While there have always been journalist , or should I say PR hacks posing as journalists for hire the general decline of journalism has driven many more people into the business.

    I have been involved in many businesses for over forty years now and my experience is that PR hacks have very flexible ethical standards. To put it bluntly the majority are whores and con artists. TechDIRT Drivel, it sure looks like a PR operation.

    Now I do think Mike has some merit, in that he does good First Amendment work. If only that was the case elsewhere.

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