Have patents run their course?

When I was learning engineering, patents were a given. You’d work on a new product, innovate along the way, and then meet with a patent attorney to file for US and overseas patents. I have two patents myself. But now I’m asking: Are patents still useful to society? I have my doubts.

Have patents run their course?

I published an opinion piece in EE Times with this title.  Would we be better off if we got rid of patents, while keeping IP protections through trade secrets, trademarks, and copyrights?

You can read the whole thing, including reader comments, here:


By Larry DJ

What’s new at Autotestcon 2013

Autotestcon is an annual conference focused on testing of mil/aero systems.  This year it was held outside of Chicago in Schaumburg, Illinois.  However, like last year, many expected attendees from the Department of Defense and armed services were no-shows.  In the era of budget cuts and sequestration, traveling to conferences is strictly monitored, leaving the show without its major patrons.  Too bad for them, for they missed many of the new products unveiled at the show.  Luckily for you, I will report on them.

The report is in two parts.  In the first day of reporting I will cover vendors who have a significant VXI or AXIe offering, even if in addition to their PXI offering. Those vendors are Agilent, Elma, Hiller Measurements, Guzik, Bustec, VTI Instruments, Teradyne, and EADS.

The second day I focus on vendors who have PXI as their primary platform.  This includes National Instruments, Radx Technologies, Pickering, Marvin Test Solutions, Aeroflex, OpenATE, Adlink, and Chroma ATE.  Though not PXI, I also included new products from United Electronics Industries (UEI), and Eastern Optx.  I also do a synopsis of my presentation at the Modular Outlook panel discussion.

You can read the entire blog posts here:

Day 1

Day 2


By Larry DJ