Friday, April 17, 2009

Anti-patent diatribe on californiastemcellreport

The folks in California, like IBM's Kappos, have taken a schizophrenic view of patents: those of my competitor are bad, and mine are good. In a post titled New Stem Cell Patent Ruckus in California, Dave Jensen wrote of an issue involving Stem Cells Inc. of Palo Alto, Ca.:

The situation reminds us of a book, "Science Business," by Harvard business professor Gary Pisano, published a couple of years ago. He has studied and consulted with the biotech industry for decades and has written about its consistent lack of profits. He suggests that part of the problem lies in the "monetization of IP" and inappropriate application of high tech industry IP principles in the biotech industry.

In 2006, he said in an interview on the Harvard Business School web site:

"Science and business work differently. They have different cultures, values, and norms. For instance, science holds methods sacred; business cherishes results. Science should be about openness; business is about secrecy. Science demands validity; business requires utility. So, the tensions are deep.
"What has happened is that we have tried to mash these two worlds together in biotech and may not be doing either very well. Science could be suffering and business certainly is suffering. If you try to take something that is science, and then jam it into normal business institutions, it just doesn't work that well for either science or business."

LBE's comment-->

When one sees text -- Science should be about openness; business is about secrecy. --, one wonders if the author (or the person citing) understand what the word "patent" (as distinct from latent) means. Patents are about public disclosure, not about secrecy.
Patents co-exist with, and do not impede, scientific
publication. See
published in 8 JMRIPL 80 (2008). Journals like the Harvard Business Review teach things like "plagiarize with pride," a Hobbsian view of the world. From the April 2004 issue: Softball competitors like to think that their bright ideas are sacred. But hardball players know better. They're willing to steal any good idea Simpson's credibility on Bayh-Dole is suspect, because he has manifested a lack of understanding of facts in the area.

***To link this to another theme

The IAM blog has a post titled To get the press to take the IP world seriously, the IP world must take the press seriously which includes text:

If journalists do not get IP and report it badly - or not in the way IP professionals would like (sometimes the two are not the same) - I would argue that it is because those inside IP do not make it accessible enough.(...)To get journalists to take IP seriously, you need to explain it to them in a way that they will understand, find interesting and relevant to their readerships.

Long ago, LBE tried to publish in Harvard Business Review an article responsive to "plagiarize with pride." HBR wasn't interested. Long before LBE wrote JPTOS, pp. 743-746 (Sept. 2006), LBE contacted Eli Kintisch, but Kintisch said his article in the July 28, 2006 issue of Science was correct, even though it wasn't.

The issue is not about explaining "in a way they will understand"; the issue is about journalists who are already partisans.

***Comment to IAM-->

I believe that many comments in the above-thread are rather naive. Organizations like the "Coalition for Patent Fairness" have had a well-organized effort to place their viewpoint before the media, most particularly the business media. Their campaign, which is one of advocacy for their particular business interests, has been effective. Other IP stakeholders, with different business interests, have perhaps not been as effective in getting their story in the media. When one sees text

Journalists have a duty to research and understand the topics they cover. IP professionals have a duty to make sure this knowledge is accessible. While (most) IP professionals are not journalists, nor authors, we must apprise those that are of the undeniable entanglement of IP and business.

One might agree that journals do have a duty to report accurately and thoroughly. On the IP front, many journalists have failed in this regard. However, "IP professionals" have no duty to make knowledge accessible. Professionals in the employ of others have a fiduciary duty to their employers. Many IP professionals do write about IP, and, of these, some do write to advance the interests of their own sector, rather than of society as a whole. The same can be said of journalists. See for example:


Blogger Unknown said...

HI, sorry to bother again ,sorry not relevent to the post . still Edison . I see your point in the last respond post about E and I have not intent to struggling with Edison’s 223,898 and be blind to the whole system . But I am a history major, it bothered me not knowing the most possible fact . I just want to make clear the whole trial series.
So here comes some new questions , still very high school , but please help me out。

First, what are the patent applications involved in the Sawyer and Man vs. Edison patent office inference. According to the concerned 1881 litigation record from “Edison paper” , “This 198-page pamphlet contains testimony and exhibits on Edison's behalf. Edison lost the interference; a favorable ruling on appeal was overturned, and the application (Case 187) was not issued as a patent.” (
According to the record , the inference was initiated June and was about Edison’s paper carbon filament . As quoted content above , at least , it was not 223,898 involved in the Inference. However, limited material I have read all say there was only one inference between the two sides .
Then , I met the “Edison Trail “ in Edisonia , it has the recent discovery , and there are the
“Lamp No. 8 to. 10 - U.S. Patent Office Declaration of Interference, Sawyer and Man vs. Edison
Edison patent models with coiled filament made of bamboo, not carbonized, but rubbed with lamp black, made at Edison's laboratory in Menlo Park in 1881 for Edison's legal defense in the Patent Interference Declaration issued against the Sawyer and Man lamp by the Patent Commissioner on September 23, 1880.”
Can the two inferences I list above refers to the very same one , I can only thinks they were not…

Second , with all I have read in Internet , and as I said in the last two posts, I was told 223,898 was ended invalid in the inference, same name with the one in the first question , ended 1883 and ruled valid 1889. now I am wondering if I made mistakes , because I did not find the inference in which the 223,898 failed . all I am sure is 223,898 was involved in infringement litigations during 1885-1895 or so and found “ not guilty” in the supreme court . then , what exactly happened to the poor patent, if all the told zigzag were true , can you give me the specific information and I can check them out.

Third one , you must find annoying since I repeat the question again, am I right that Edison actually did not point out exactly what he carbonized to form the filament in the 223,898 specification ? the Chinese book I have says he used COTTON , and some call the 223,898 lamp “ tar-putty lamp “ , was tar-putty the carbonized material or combination of the “ tar and lampblack “ , my really problem here is , are the three saying refer to the same thing? Because I really do not know the jargon and they can be different expressions of the same thing.

2:28 AM  

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