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2010考研英语试题阅读文章来源出处

来源::网络整理 | 作者:管理员 | 本文已影响

  2010年的第二篇文章选自于08年2月26号的《经济周刊》。这篇文章有关法律学,谈到了支付方式的专利权,专利权受到威胁以及专利权申请的法律重重障碍。

  原文如下:

  A Pending Threat to Patents

  A case before an appeals court could make it harder to win legal protection for business methods by Michael Orey

  Over the past decade, thousands of patents have been granted for what are called business methods. Amazon.com (AMZN) received one for its "one-click" online payment system. Merrill Lynch (MER) got legal protection for an asset allocation strategy. One inventor patented a technique for lifting a box。

  Now the nation's top patent court appears poised to scale back on business-method patents, which have been controversial ever since they were first authorized 10 years ago. In a move that has intellectual-property lawyers abuzz, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Feb. 15 said it would use a case pending before it to conduct a broad review of business-method patents. In re Bilski, as the case is known, is "a very big deal," says Dennis D. Crouch, a patent professor at the University of Missouri School of Law. It "has the potential to eliminate an entire class of patents."

  EXPLOSION IN FILINGS

  Curbs on business-method claims would be a dramatic about-face, because it was the Federal Circuit itself that ushered in such patents with its 1998 decision in the so-called State Street Bank (STT) case, approving a patent on a way of pooling mutual-fund assets. That ruling produced an explosion in business-method patent filings, initially by nascent Internet companies trying to stake out exclusive rights to specific types of online transactions. Later, more established companies raced to add such patents to their portfolios, if only as a defensive move against rivals that might beat them to the punch. In 2005, IBM (IBM) noted in a court filing that it had been issued more than 300 business-method patents, despite the fact that it questioned the legal basis for granting them. Similarly, some Wall Street investment firms armed themselves with patents for financial products, even as they took positions in court cases opposing the practice。

  The Bilski case involves a claimed patent on a method for hedging risk in the energy market. The Federal Circuit issued an unusual order stating that the case would be heard by all 12 of the court's judges, rather than a typical panel of three, and that one issue it wants to evaluate is whether it should "reconsider" its State Street Bank ruling。

  The Federal Circuit's action comes in the wake of a series of recent decisions by the Supreme Court that has narrowed the scope of protections for patent holders. Last April, for example, the justices signaled that too many patents were being upheld for "inventions" that are obvious. The judges on the Federal Circuit are "reacting to the anti-patent trend at the Supreme Court," says Harold C. Wegner, a patent attorney and professor at George Washington University Law School。

  第三篇文章是传播学的文章,这篇文章节选于07年2月份的《哈佛经济评价》(Harvard Business Review),讲述了究竟是什么样的人影响了社会潮流的研究,主要提供了两种观点,一种是影响力主宰潮流,另外是大众主宰潮流,文章的结构形式和我们以前考过的结构类型非常相似。

  原文如下:

  The Accidental Influentials

  In his best-selling book The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell argues that “social epidemics” are driven in large part by the actions of a tiny minority of special individuals, often called influentials, who are unusually informed, persuasive, or well connected. The idea is intuitively compelling – we think we see it happening all the time – but it doesn’t explain how ideas actually spread。

  The supposed importance of influentials derives from a plausible-sounding but largely untested theory called the “two-step flow of communication”: Information flows from the media to the influentials and from them to everyone else.Marketers have embraced the twostep flow because it suggests that if they can just find and influence the influentials, those select people will do most of the work for them. The theory also seems to explain the sudden and unexpected popularity of certain looks, brands, or neighborhoods. In many such cases, a cursory search for causes finds that some small group of people was wearing, promoting, or developing whatever it is before anyone else paid attention. Anecdotal evidence of this kind fits nicely with the idea that only certain special people can drive trends。

  In recent work, however, my colleague Peter Dodds and I have found that influentials have far less impact on social epidemics than is generally supposed. In fact, they don’t seem to be required at all。

  Our argument stems from a simple observation about social influence: With the exception of celebrities like Oprah Winfrey – whose outsize presence is primarily a function of media, not interpersonal, influence – even the most influential members of a population simply don’t interact with that many others. Yet it is precisely these noncelebrity influentials who, according to the two-step-flow theory, are supposed to drive social epidemics, by influencing their friends and colleagues directly. For a social epidemic to occur, however, each person so affected must then influence his or her own acquaintances, who must in turn influence theirs, and so on; and just how many others pay attention to each of these people has little to do with the initial influential. If people in the network just two degrees removed from the initial influential prove resistant, for example, the cascade of change won’t propagate very far or affect many people。


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