Interesting Reads: March 19, 2013

“How the America Invents Act will Change Patenting Forever.” Wired explains the switch from “first to invent” to “first to file” patenting, an important development for entrepreneurs and startups.

But is this change in the patent system, which took effect on March 16, 2013, a good idea? Law professor Richard Epstein argues no: “Just because the [America Invents Act] is a new piece of legislation does not mean that it is a good or useful piece of legislation. By the time the law is revealed to be the mess that it is, it will become so embedded in the legal order that it will be difficult to uproot it. Be prepared, therefore, to witness yet a further decline in the overall efficiency of the United States patent system, promoted by those whose stated intention was the opposite.” The End of Innovation? A new and unnecessary law restructures the U.S. patent system for the worse

Also at Wired: “Federal Judge Finds National Security Letters Unconstitutional, Bans Them.” This decision of a federal judge in California to limit secret national security letters that come with a gag order on the recipient will be appealed by the government, and the dispute will likely eventually wind its way up to the Supreme Court. As explained by Kim Zetter in Wired: “NSLs are written demands from the FBI that compel internet service providers, credit companies, financial institutions and others to hand over confidential records about their customers, such as subscriber information, phone numbers and e-mail addresses, websites visited and more. NSLs are a powerful tool because they do not require court approval, and they come with a built-in gag order, preventing recipients from disclosing to anyone that they have even received an NSL.”

“Thirty-Five Arguments Against Google Glass” at Reluctant Habits. A contrarian view on the Google Glass project. Or is that a luddite view?