***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/ *****
I would agree that INSNA should be proactive in this area. I recently
discovered a series of patents on social networks that cover wireless
computer systems that connect people through any degree of separation,
genealogy, or by social similarity (US Patent# 6539232 and 6542749). The
network concepts are incredibly basic, but I must admit I was very
impressed by how thorough and well written these patents are, would not
be surprised if they are INSNA members (if not they should be).
Martina Morris wrote:
> ***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/ *****
> It would be a very good idea for INSNA to do this. Patenting has also
> shown up among social network analysts involved in management consulting.
> You wouldn't think that network analytic strategies for improving
> corporate culture would be patentable, but that's the claim.
> And we thought the physicists were imperialists...
> On Mon, 1 Dec 2003, Guy Hagen wrote:
>>***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/ *****
>>To follow up on Stan Wasserman's post about the NYTimes article, I've pulled
>>up the patent title and abstract referenced by the article.
>>My original fear was that someone managed to patent published social network
>>analysis algorithms or indices. Although this isn't the case, I still find
>>it somewhat troubling - from the core claims as I understand them, the
>>patent is for (a) a database of emails/communication, and (b) a method of
>>making connections among database entities with a geodesic distance of 2+.
>>Patents generally are not issued in cases where the technology is not
>>replicable, are easily reverse engineered, based on technology known to the
>>public, or are obvious /general knowledge. Would it be worthwhile for INSNA
>>to send a letter to the US Patent Office offering expertise in what is "not
>>obvious" regarding network science? "Obviousness" is apparently one of the
>>trickiest issues that patent examiners face.
>>Here's a good web primer for the subject of patent requirements:
>>Title: Method and apparatus for constructing a networking database and
>>A networking database containing a plurality of records for different
>>individuals in which individuals are connected to one another in the
>>database by defined relationships. Each individual has the opportunity to
>>define the relationship which may be confirmed or denied. E-mail messaging
>>and interactive communication between individuals and a database service
>>provider provide a method of constructing the database. The method
>>includes having a registered individual identify further individuals and
>>define therewith a relationship. The further individuals then, in turn,
>>establish their own defined relationships with still other individuals.
>>The defined relationships are mutually defined.
>>Link to online patent:
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> Blumstein-Jordan Professor of Sociology and Statistics
> Department of Sociology
> Box 353340
> University of Washington
> Seattle, WA 98195-3340
> Office: (206) 685-3402
> Dept Office: (206) 543-5882
> Fax: (206) 543-2516
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Keith N. Hampton, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Technology, Urban and Community Sociology
Class of ‘43 Career Development Professorship
Associate Housemaster, Sidney-Pacific Graduate Residence
Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 9-522
Cambridge, MA 02139 USA
Email: [log in to unmask]
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SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
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an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.