Press Coverage of Intellectual Property Often Overlooks Companies’ Economic Bias

Two of the most experienced journalists covering the field of intellectual property say that the media does a poor job of depicting the issues that impact intellectual property, businesses and society, including serial theft of inventions and content.

Sue Deckecker, who covered IP for Bloomberg News  and BusinessWeek for 23 years, and Gene Quinn, publisher of IPWatchdog and a patent attorney and educator, appear on the latest episode of  the podcast, “Understanding IP Matters,” available here.

The title of the episode is “Beyond the Headlines: Two Veteran Reporters Confront IP Media Coverage.

Whether it is coverage of transactions, litigation or policy, the general media often get it wrong, say the IP media veterans, and much coverage is tainted with anti-IP bias, some of it more conscious than readers realize.

Excerpts from the podcast:

Decker: “I would also blame the big tech companies because they have spent so much time denigrating patents under what I refer to the George Carlin law of patents: ‘My stuff is stuff and your stuff is crap’.

“When I first started talking to Microsoft about patents, they were very, very down on patents. Patents are horrible; patents cause all such problems. Then they started obtaining patents and it became like a whole different attitude and changed.

“Google, which was founded on a patent, was like, ‘Oh, software? All software patents are horrible, except ours.’ When they make those announcements, they’re not making them from any deeply held belief, they’re making them from their economic viewpoint, which is important to understand. I think a lot of people don’t realize that.”

Quinn: “It’s critical, particularly in younger people. The reason I say that is because what you learn when you’re young then starts becoming ingrained in you, you know? The Napster generation just grew up with, ‘music is free’ myth.

The George Carlin law of patents: ‘My stuff
is stuff and your stuff is crap’

“No, music is not free! Somebody — a lot of somebodies — have spent a lot of time putting that together. In a former life, I was a co-owner of an independent record label, so I know everything that goes into it. It’s not just a person who wrote the music and the band who plays it. There’s a sound engineer and all of the marketing people, and then there’s the booking agents who book the band — you can go on and on and on and on and on.

“If you’re just stealing this, you are really disrupting an enormous amount of commerce and hurting jobs.”

For the full story by on IPWatchdog, go here; for the UIPM podcast page, with seasons 1 and 2, go here.

Image source: CIPU;

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