Saturday, August 15, 2009

In a Sikahema move, R. Ebert labels A. White a troll

In the movie review business, a contrarian can be labelled a “troll,” an Internet term for someone whose intent is to provoke others. In the patent law business, to some corporate infringers, a troll can include a patent holder, who does not make product, who sues an infringer, who does.

Likely, a side impact of the lawsuit is to "provoke" the accused infringer. [In passing, although Peter Detkin of Intel tried to take credit for coining the name "patent troll," that assertion is mere urban legend, as the use goes back to at least 1994 if not 1993. (see wikipedia on patent trolls AND below)]

The linked story describes how Roger Ebert, famous movie critic and graduate of the University of Illinois, labelled Armond White, another movie critic, a troll.

But wait, there was a Sikahema here. As described in the post Ebert Calls New York Press Critic Armond White a Troll:

Enter Ebert, who has become the de facto champion of criticism by being the most famous critic alive. He wrote a blog post titled “In Defense of Armond White” on Thursday night. In it Ebert explained how the Tomatometer isn’t a measure of quality (and he’s right), but that White shouldn’t be taken to task for having a passionate opinion or for upsetting the sanctity of the 100% score. However, White invoking the foreign film You, the Living prompted a “WTF?” from the 67-year-old writer. Ebert concluded the entry by writing, “Armond White was pretty much on the money.”

Well, until this morning when Ebert updated his post withdrawing his defense. Someone pointed out White’s voting history, causing Ebert to rethink his stance. Here’s a quote from the blog post, “It is baffling to me that a critic could praise Transformers 2 but not Synecdoche, NY. Or Death Race but not There Will be Blood. I am forced to conclude that White is, as charged, a troll. A smart and knowing one, but a troll. My defense of his specific review of “District 9″ still stands.”

Elsewhere in the post by Leins:

What’s worse is he rarely backs up these arguments with anything substantial, instead resorting to seemingly random art house comparisons and bitter insults.

Well, they ARE movies (not patents), and perhaps Iron Man speaks more to an “infantilized culture” than to anything substantial.

**Of Intel

Intel folks did NOT invent the term "patent troll"

The original patent troll returns[Paula N. Chavez of Intellectual Property Videos, LLC]

Detkin's false claim about "patent trolls" is not the only tricky business concerning Intel and patents.

From a comment to the USPTO on the rules on continuing application practice:

[list of numerous Intel continuing applications]

Separately, the Merritt article suggested that continuing application process might be
misused to wear down examiners, a suggestion that has appeared before. Merritt quoted
David Simon: With continuations, people are "basically refiling the same application
over and over again," said David Simon, chief patent counsel at Intel Corp. "If you are
not happy, you can just come back again, and the patent office can never be sure when
they are finished with a case. In some instances, examiners just give up." One notes that
Intel is no stranger to continuation practice, as the following (partial) list of patents
assigned to Intel illustrates:

See also

EE Times on Patent Reform


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