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    Location: Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom

    I am the owner and managing director of Information Automation Limited (IAL), a company that specialises in research, consultancy and training for the information profession. We are particularly interested in all forms of electronic information resources (e-journals, e-books, etc) and I teach a course in electronic publishing at the Department of Information Studies in Aberystwyth. Drilling down still further(!), my interests centre on the quality and evaluation of electronic information, and in the thinking that underpins activities in library and information science.


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    Tuesday, June 10, 2008

    Patents; Google; and Re-inventions of wheels

    According to Edlyn Simmons (chapter on 'Patents' in Armstrong and Large, Manual of Online Search Strategies, Ashgate, 1992):
    In most countries, no patent is granted until the application has been examined to determine whether the claimed invention is new, useful and inventive.
    Which makes me wonder how - as reported in Lorcan Dempsey's Blog - Google can file a patent application for "what it calls a 'virtual bookshelf site'". As the posting points out there are over a dozen such sites, including LibraryThing (see left-hand column, here), and Google already has MyLibrary within Google Book Search.

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