Sunday, April 19, 2009

The relationship between the IP world and the mainstream media

The IAM blog had a further post on the general topic of "journalism of patent matters." IPBiz agrees with the final paragraph:

There are a lot of similarities between the C-suite executive and the business journalist who do not "get" IP. They both need a narrative that resonates so that their interest can be sparked. However, there is one major difference. Ultimately, members of the board and other top-level officers are being negligent when they ignore their companies' IP positions, and it could well end up costing them and their companies' money. Journalists have no such concerns.

There are generally no consequences (economic or otherwise) to journalists who write inaccurate stories on intellectual property.

LBE commented:

The text -- in a way that will make your story more appealing to the editor than the one your colleague is putting together across the desk (essentially, that means convincing the editor your piece will resonate with the readership more than the other one), then you only have so much time to do the research and to find out what is what. -- illustrates why this is potentially a fruitless exercise. The objective of the journalist, ultimately to sell more copies of his "journal" and to get more exposure, is not aligned with the objective of the "IP professional" nor with the objective of some reader who wants the "truth" of the matter. The journalist will get more traction manufacturing a story exposing a "loophole" in the US patent law that enables introduction of new matter at a later date than by truthfully reporting the rather tedious workings of the patent office. Similarly, a story on how patents are blocking cures in the stem cell area will certainly resonate with the readership, even if ultimately not true. Going to the theme of how journalists have been "used" by partisans in the patent reform debate, the real issue was succinctly stated by Ted Kennedy: "it comes down to who has more lobbyists."

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