Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Dr. Strangelove: still cause for worry

In February 2006, IPBiz noted a dumb comparison of NTP to Dr. Strangelove. Now we have another inappropriate discussion of Dr. Strangelove, based apparently only on knowledge of the title: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, as distinct from knowledge of the movie. This shorthand approach evokes the "dictionary approach to knowledge" of the Federal Circuit in Phillips, as recently demonstrated in the MIT scanner case.

Unlike the novel Red Alert by Peter George (upon which Strangelove is loosely based), the movie is a satire on the cold war. Further, unlike the one suggestion in the IP article that we stop worrying about the patent system and learn to live with it, in the movie Major "King" Kong (Slim Pickens) gets through the Soviet air defenses and drops a bomb. Kong's success activates the Soviet doomsday machine. As the doomsday machine is activated, Dr. Strangelove bolts out of his wheelchair shouting "Mein F├╝hrer, I can walk!", seconds before the movie ends with a barrage of nuclear explosions, set to the song "We'll Meet Again". The final message in Dr. Strangelove is not about stopping worrying and learning to live with the bomb. It is quite the opposite. The microcosm of the IP paper's misuse of Strangelove should serve as a message of the dangers of dictionary use which survive the Phillips case.

Aside from the bad discussion of Dr. Strangelove, the IP article cites only to Quillen and Webster's first paper, and resurrects the 97% patent grant rate delusion. Law school professors don't shepardize their sources. Law school professors are not "current" when they cite older papers, which have been both modified and criticized. Propagating bad information is worse than plagiarizing truthful information. May be the folks at Ohio University can take note.

***On plagiarism, taken from the Jackson Citizen Patriot***

Judge David Reader ordered Dickens (who skipped jury duty) to observe court proceedings for three days for skipping jury duty back in June. The judge also ordered Dickens to write a five-page paper on the history of jury service. Judge Reader wasn't amused when he discovered 20-year-old Dickens had plagiarized the paper.

"Really, what I was looking for, Mr. Dickens, was your own work," Reader told the young man in ordering him to rewrite the paper and spend a fourth day observing court.

The University of Kansas has subscribed to the program for years. But in a recent e-mail, university officials said the subscription would not be renewed after it expired October third because of copyright concerns and the $22,000 cost.


[IPBiz post 2001. The movie "2001" came out in 1968, 4 years after "Dr. Strangelove."]


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