I can't stand it any more - press release nonsense run amok!

Posted by Douglas Sorocco at April 20, 2005 07:22 PM

The patent posse has teased me about my rants and I promised to be good – well it lasted all of 7 days.

This press release takes the cake — it wins the prize.  It is the most overreaching bit of nonsense I have seen lately.  I am utterly flabbergasted by this one – didn’t their patent counsel spend any time with the marketing department?

What has me in this state — well, lets look at the headline first: “ Micro Tech files patent in 123 countries.”  So, after reading this headline my thought process goes something like this:

Wow.  That is a lot of countries.  Must have cost them a lot of money – they must be serious.  Wait a minute…. why would anyone file in that many countries.  It would cost something like $500,000 plus future prosecution and maintenance costs…. hmm… doesn’t make any sense… let’s read this a bit further.

And thereafter I proceed to find out “the rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey would say.

It turns out that Micro Tech has filed a single Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) patent application.  This is a single application that may eventually be filed and prosecuted in all 123 countries which are signatories of the PCT. 

So, while it is true that they may, at some future date to be determined, file 123 patent applications – they haven’t done so today.  They merely preserved their ability to do so in the future.  Is the press release a lie?  Not really — if you squint and balance on your left foot while whistling Eminem tunes you could say that it has some semblance of the truth to it. 

While I am sure that this company is hoping their press release will generate some buzz, it isn’t going to be the type of buzz they want.  Would it have been that hard to get it right?  Shouldn’t someone have been watching out for this type of thing?

I have a proposition:  to every company and individual out there, you should have patent related press releases proofed by your patent counsel for accuracy and completeness.  They should be willing to proof these for you for free.  It should be part of the service they are providing to you as part of their role as an embedded patent attorney.

If they won’t do it — let me know.  There are a couple of rethink’rs around that would be happy to help you out.

I promise to be good from now on – really — I do.

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