Saturday, November 10, 2007

Adam Jaffe checking out turnitin, but will he correct Innovation and Its Discontents?

IPBiz notes that Adam Jaffe, of Innovation and Its Discontents fame, is checking out turnitin software for use at Brandeis University to detect plagiarism. The Brandeis Hoot wrote:

Dean of Arts and Sciences Adam Jaffe set up a committee last year made up of faculty and LTS representatives to look into possible detection services., a Web service that compares submitted papers to texts from a series of databases, agreed to provide the University with free services for a full semester in order to run a pilot test.

The article quoted Jaffe: “I think that it’s a close call… there are some benefits, but also potentially some costs… it’s not something that’s inevitable, but also not a crazy idea.”

One recalls that in Innovation and Its Discontents, Jaffe was really foggy on the concept of prior art. At page 144 of Innovation and Its Discontents, one has the text:

Consider Patent No. 6,049,811, which is for a “Machine for Drafting a Patent Application and Process for Doing So.” Describes a computer that poses a series of questions to a potential patentee, asking him to describe his invention. The application for this patent cited as relevant prior art just one other patent and two published articles.

Greg Aharonian pointed out, a line of research at Hitachi anticipated this event by many years (165)

The text --Greg Aharonian pointed out, a line of research at Hitachi anticipated this event by many years-- is not plagiarism because it gives Greg credit. The trouble is the line of research at Hitachi DID NOT ANTICIPATE THE CLAIMS OF THE '811 PATENT.

As IPBiz has pointed out many times, saying wrong things is worse than improperly taking credit for right things.

IPBiz discussed the misanalysis of prior art as to the '811, and there is further commentary on IPFrontline.

Of IPBiz, see

Of IPFrontline, see


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