Swenson confirms no patent issued on 11/336,194
The provisional application was filed 1/05, by Patterson et al., same council; the utility patent was filed 1/06 by Gray, Plant et al., and published 7/06 and is currently awaiting examination.
Whether or not Swenson, Paul Tosto, or Bender's attorney would believe LBE (a registered patent attorney), one cannot easily contradict cold, hard facts that appear on the USPTO website. Thus, the nonsense that Herring and Curtiss tried against the Wright Brothers nearly 100 years ago won't fly in 2007. Separately, as much as Terri Somers (and others) want to forget the Loring patent application on embryonic stem cells, that sort of thing won't fly in 2007, either.
Finally, this mini-episode with the Swenson "patent" also illustrates why "rational ignorance" won't fly. There has to be one place people can seek in order to obtain "authoritative" information. Whether on procedural matters (as with the Swenson "patent") or on substantive matters (as in patent "quality"), one has to be able to believe the information (and decisions) of the USPTO are as good as can be obtained. If there is a prevalent belief that a patent is only "good" after it has been successfully litigated, we're all going to have big problems.