Sunday, June 14, 2009

On blogging dynamics and blog sources

Intertwined with a recent story on the BPAI was a story about sources for blogs and decisions to use those sources.

**May 21 post on IPWatchDog Is the Patent Office Really Muzzling Dissent?

Today I read on Patently O that the Board of Patent Appeals and Interfences is shutting down dissent in favor of efficiency. The source of the anonymous tip contacted me about two weeks ago with the same tip and I followed up and talked to many in the patent community and no one seemed to think that was what the Patent Office was doing at all. I then heard back from the anonymous source on May 16, 2009, inquiring why I had not run with the story and whether he should take this “smoking gun” elsewhere. I expressed my concerns that the literal meaning of the memo does not suggest that the BPAI is putting a muzzle on dissents or concurrences, or even mandating that the Board simply affirm patent examiners. I did point out that if this is the perception on the Board that perception would be important because as we all know, perception becomes reality. It would seem that the decision was made by this anonymous source to go elsewhere in hopes of outing the Patent Office.

**June 12 post on IPWatchDog:

As readers of are probably aware, about three weeks ago I wrote an article questioning whether Patently-O was correct when they ran with a story under the sensational heading “BPAI Shuts Down Concurrences In Favor of Efficiency.” I was offered the story by an allegedly anonymous Patent Office employee. I check with my various sources and everyone concluded that it was a non-story and potentially inflammatory for no good reason. We all know that the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) is overwhelmed with work, by some reports they are on pace to perhaps see a 300% increase in appeals during fiscal year 2009. With that kind of increase it is obvious that procedural improvements must be put in place, otherwise the appellate docket would do to those cases on appeal what is happening to many applicants, particularly those who have an invention in class 705. I decided to contact the Patent Office and try and speak to someone at the BPAI, which I had been told would be acceptable through certain back channels. After agreeing initially to an interview today, the Office of Public Affairs abruptly informed me that they decided to decline an interview. Not being a journalist I am not 100% sure how to characterize this. I don’t think it is that the BPAI “could not be reached,” or was “unavailable to comment.” I suspect in journalism speak the way to characterize this is as “the PTO declined to comment.”

**Separately, on the problem of increasing appeals at the BPAI, see Appeal of Appeal

**Separately, as readers of IPBiz know, IPWatchDog did not include IPBiz in its voting selections for "most popular patent blogs". [IP Estonia was included.] Back in 1860, many Southern states refused to include Abraham Lincoln on the ballot. See also IPBiz post-->

On peer nominations in popularity contests

**Separately, of dissents by Judge Newman later vindicated by the Supreme Court, LBE's favorite is Nelson v. Adams, with its footnote to Alice in Wonderland:

The path of this case reminds me a bit of Nelson v. Adams. Therein, the defendant lost at the CAFC, in spite of some severe due process issues. Judge Newman strenuously dissented. The Supreme Court took the case, and voted 9-0 Judge Newman's way, with an interesting footnote about "Alice in Wonderland."


On blawgsearch in June 2009, IPBiz was ranked #22 of 226 law blogs (#3 in IP law blogs)


A May 5 post on ipeg titled Patent Blogs, chatter, or do better? begins:

Patent blogs are now all over, on the right side of our blog you can find some of the best, we believe. Not every blog is as interesting, informative or even complete. BUT does not mention IPBiz!

IPEG gets to the point-->

It is particularly damaging to credibility to post comments of a highly negative nature with no basis in fact, sometimes as part of a scatological rant.

Equating Possible Nominee to Bernie Madoff; patents as “crap…”: A case in point is a recent post on a blog that prominently quotes a rant about a possible nominee for the position of PTO Director, comparing him to Bernie Madoff:

“Might as well as make Bernie Madoff head of the SEC as part of his upcoming jail-time work-release program. … Last week [the possible nominee's company] was issued its usual batch of patents, many of which are crap-crappy patents whose sole value is to clog the PTO’s patent examination pipelines to the detriment of everyone else.”

IPEG rambles on to a distinction between public figure and private citizen, but neglected to point out that this possible PTO Director has made many public statements and has admitted his company shows a schizophrenic behavior to patents. And has gotten caught twice on patent applications for queuing up in line for an airplane toilet, applications of the type this person has publicly criticized (provided they are made by others).

Sorry ipeg, you're not credible on this one.


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