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 blogs are like all conversations, chatter and discussions, some more informative than others, some, are like utterances in a café or pub, made after some (too many) beers, not good enough to listen let alone read, some more meaningful, educational or even academic. Hal Wegner reprehends – rarely seen in his flow of emails on patent issues – on comments made in a patent blog. He writes:
“Amongst the members of the mainstream patent bar, the jury is still out as to the value of the many patent blogs as an enhancement to the profession. This is understandable, particularly in an older generation unfamiliar with the culture of blogging, where one bad blog infects their view as to all blogs. But, just as unfounded rumors published in The National Enquirer should not mean that The Washington Post or The New York Times is unreliable, the same holds true for the blogs. They should each be judged on their own merits. What is injurious to the credibility and value of some of even the most popular blogs is their too frequent repetition of comments from anonymous sources that impugn the integrity or motives of individuals. 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.”
Reputational Damage … to the Blogsters: it is one thing to be critical of issues and the positions or qualifications of public officials. By entering the public arena, a person leaves the friendly confines of “private citizen” to become a “public figure” who should have their positions and qualifications scrutinized.
Yet, it is always important to focus on the issues, the positions and qualifications, always from an informed basis, and not to smear the target as a person.”
So far Hal. Point made.