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*****  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).

-Keith



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:
>>http://www.bitlaw.com/patent/requirements.html
>>
>>Regards
>>Guy
>>
>>
>>Title: Method and apparatus for constructing a networking database and
>>system
>>
>>Abstract:
>>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:
>>http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/net
>>ahtml/search-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=ptxt&s1=6175831.WKU.&OS=PN/617
>>5831&RS=PN/6175831
>>
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>
>
> ****************************************************************
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>  Department of Sociology
>  Box 353340
>  University of Washington
>  Seattle, WA 98195-3340
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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]
Phone: (617) 258-0461
Fax:   (617) 253-2654
Web:   http://www.mysocialnetwork.net

_____________________________________________________________________
SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
network researchers (http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/). To unsubscribe, send
an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.