Truthiness Confuses U.S. Patent System - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
2/17/2006
04:53 PM
Commentary
Commentary
Commentary
50%
50%

Truthiness Confuses U.S. Patent System

Go beyond the headlines, and listen to what the parties say in patent infringement cases, and you might come to this conclusion: there's a whole lot of truthiness being bandied about.

Go beyond the headlines, and listen to what the parties say in patent infringement cases, and you might come to this conclusion: there's a whole lot of truthiness being bandied about.Truthiness is a term popularized by comedian Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report, the nightly mock pundit cable TV show on Comedy Central. Truthiness, as defined in Wikipedia, is the quality by which a person purports to know something emotionally or instinctively, without regard to evidence or to what the person might conclude from intellectual examination. Truthiness means that perception, not fact, is what's real to those advocating a position.

Isn't that the case in patent infringement suits? NTP claims its patents on wireless E-mail are novel and nonobvious, two requirements needed to get a patent. BlackBerry's operator Research In Motion says those patent claims are spurious. Is the truth with one side, and truthiness on the other?

I'm not taking sides, but Forgent Networks' contention that a company it acquired a few years back invented JPEG compression technology is irrelevant. It holds the patent to prove it despite claims from scores of others who argue they developed the technologies independently. Damn the facts on either side! Truth or truthiness, in our society a patent trumps facts. And, that's the honest truthiness.

* * *

Please read Patently Absurd, my story on patent reform. Also, click here to listen to a podcast on the Ethics Of Patent Enforcement.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
10 Cyberattacks on the Rise During the Pandemic
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  6/24/2020
News
IT Trade Shows Go Virtual: Your 2020 List of Events
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/29/2020
Commentary
Study: Cloud Migration Gaining Momentum
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  6/22/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Key to Cloud Success: The Right Management
This IT Trend highlights some of the steps IT teams can take to keep their cloud environments running in a safe, efficient manner.
Slideshows
Flash Poll