Monday, June 18, 2007

Student accuses prof of plagiarism AND files patent application

Unusual plagiarism stories continue. The PioneerPress reports on a charge of plagiarism by a student at the online Capella University against a professor (Sharon Bender, who happens to be in New Jersey).

Paul Tosto wrote: Bender said none of the allegations is true. "I stuck my neck out at the university ... to absolutely help her" finish her doctorate, Bender said.

"She's using the slides that I created," Bender added. "All she did was move words around. She plagiarized the template that I produced."

The terminology that Swenson claims Bender took from her is found regularly in the "performance-improvement field," Bender added. "I kept on saying to her: 'This stuff is not new; it's how we do it. We have to be on the same page.' She went off and did her own thing on it."

Capella's written guidelines to students on academic honesty warn that "not giving proper credit to your sources is considered plagiarism, which can have serious consequences, including suspension or even expulsion from the university," while plagiarism can be avoided by "properly acknowledging your sources."

IPBiz notes that the Capella University definition of plagiarism allows for self-plagiarism.

IPBiz notes that there is a patent angle to this plagiarism story. Tosto wrote:

Swenson said she can prove the ideas were hers first. She applied for a patent on The Power Chip model while writing her thesis, and a basic patent was granted in July.

Bender said she is challenging the patent.

Sadly, Tosto does not understand the meaning of granting a patent. Mary Swenson filed an application (11/336194) on January 20, 2006 which application (Psychological development system) was published on July 20, 2006 (20060160053) but which (to date) has not been granted. There are two claims in the published application:

1. A psychological development system comprising triangulation, categorization and interpretation.

2. A psychological development system comprising evaluating at least three things in at least three ways in at least three levels that is repeated at least three times.

This is not a typical patent application. But it does mention Venn diagrams. It even mentions the word "sandwich" (but it is not directed to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (Smucker)): The cipher is analogous to Einstein's universal sandwich of matter, space and time. These things are accomplished in the realms of the personal, professional and public arenas. We use the tri-research approach and strategy in the application process of triangulation, griding and recycling. These operational constructs are used in the three PPP realms and consist of the basic principles of Life (quantitative), Love (qualitative) and Joy (mixed or quasitative). It includes 5 response (anger, angst, anxiety, apathy and action) or the fight, flee, freeze, fry, and figure spectrum in the 3 key critical areas of functioning. This formula is completed by the analysis and development of varying tools that are employed to evaluate and by which to derive meaning so the creation of new insights and applications can be manifested. The application mentions Bill Gates and Mary Kay Ask.


Blogger Mary Swenson said...

Patent application was filed 1/05 not 2006. Provisional was then filed 1/06 and a utility patent was granted 7/06. Patent attorney Michael Bondi filed the document through Gray, Plant, Mooty et al., Please note date correction.

5:03 AM  
Blogger Lawrence B. Ebert said...

As noted elsewhere on IPBiz, the comment by May Swenson is inaccurate. The nonprovisional application was filed in 2006, and NO patent has been granted on the nonprovisional.

That said, the more interesting aspect of this story is that the original article by Paul Tosto is no longer on the internet, although comments made because of the article still exist. This reminds IPBiz of the Vai Sikahema piece "Rutgers is Wrong," which disappeared, even though comments about this "Vai's View" remain.

So, when njacademiclibrarian tells you to click here, you won't find anything "here."

7:48 AM  

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