Patently-O Bits and Bytes by Juvan Bonni

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13 thoughts on “Patently-O Bits and Bytes by Juvan Bonni

  1. 4

    “Ferrari Patents Novel Method for Making Turbocharged Engines Sound Better (Source: Car and Driver)”

    I was momentarily elated that a patented method was novel but, alas, it’s only an application.

  2. 2

    Great to see anon calling out Collins for using “big words”. I too have no idea what he means by “programmatic affordances”.

    But it is not necessary to resort to big words to confuse the reader. I’m still wondering what anon has in mind when he wrote to me yesterday about the “cusp of clarity”.

    I wonder, has anybody here ever heard of “Professor” Stanley Unwin? On the subject of clarity he is an expert, a pupil of Lewis Carroll, I believe. See what you think, for example here:

    link to

    The clip ends with the words “I couldn’t put it better myself. It explains everything. What did he say?”

    1. 2.1

      Still wondering?

      You called it “hoary,” the other adage that indicated the meaning: what happens to the horses, after being led to water, but refusing to drink.

      It’s not confusing (to anyone) how my words reflect your posting behavior. Even Confused (in his first time in an exchange with you) made note of it.

      1. 2.1.1

        Yes, anon, I am still wondering. What is your “Cusp of clarity”. The expression has a nice alliterative feel to it. Surely it must mean something, I thought.

        So I Googled it. I’m none the wiser though. Couldn’t find it.

        BTW, the hoary old “horses to water” saying is to the effect that you can give somebody an opportunity, but you cannot force them to do something. The point of the saying is not that the horse is “refusing” an opportunity, simply that it is disinclined to take up an opportunity generously made available to it. You see, you take it as a given that you “lead” readers to “water” but I don’t.

        The “cusp of clarity”. Tell me. What is it?


          And what happens to those poor horses, led so generously by others to that opportunity of water, when those horses refuse to take advantage of the water?

          THINK man – think.

          As to cusp of clarity – did you really have to Google that? Have you never had an ounce of creativity in your entire life?


          Cusp of clarity seems to have a meaning to me. Being on the cusp of something has a meaning and clarity has a meaning.

          Cusp: “at the point when something is about to change to something else.”

          Clarity: “the quality or state of being clear .”

          So I think it is safe to take the meaning that something is not clear but just about to turn clear.


            Thanks Night. Like: on the cusp of obviousness perhaps. The discontinuity, the watershed, when something obvious becomes something non-obvious? would that it were as simple as that.

            I just think that clarity is a value that approaches 100% without any cusp, but asyptotically. Any therefore the notion of a “crux” of clarity is an oxymoron. But perhaps this is something on which reasonable minds can differ. What do you say?


              I’d say that you need a reasonable mind to even begin to approach the adage of “reasonable minds can differ.”

              You haven’t shown that yet.


              I get your point Max. But you have to understand we Americans love to turn new phrases. See what sticks. If clarity is 100% percent, couldn’t we be at 90% clear and being on the cusp of 100%?

              I like the phrase as it gives an impression of movement.


                I like the phrase too. It sounds great. I wonder then; perhaps the anon used the phrase to express his disappointment that, just at the point when the thread in which he and I were so active was on the brink of delivering 100% clarity, it fizzled out.

                Could be. I have no idea. Still, it’s a nice fantasy, I give you that.

  3. 1


    Architectural patents are not limited to innovative construction technologies. Innovative dispositions of space – that is, novel arrangements of the programmatic spaces as represented in floor plans, sections, or their three-dimensional equivalents – can also be patented. They are functional technologies that “do” something, not simply copyrightable artistic works, because they have programmatic affordances: they allow some human behaviors and patterns of human activity to occur more easily than others.

    1. 1.1


      Forgot the lead in:

      examines patents on architectural designs issued over the last century and a half to flesh out the surprisingly expansive legal standard for what constitutes a patentable design at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

      Instead of the big words, Collins may want to focus on the basics.

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