I am very grateful for all the positive feedback that I receive for this Blog. But it goes without saying that sometimes a party or a representative is just not happy to see details about her/his case on the internet.
I feel that mostly the mere fact that I got hold of this further information is what concerns people:
Has the other party leaked the information?
Does that guy have some other secret channels?
I am not doing any magic here, and there is no conspiracy ongoing. The truth is much more simple. Actually, I am using Google (guess what!) and patent databases (e.g. Espacenet). Sometimes I just cannot avoid to stumble upon the relevant facts. And, frankly, sometimes I do my stuff with quite some persistence. One of the first things that I have learned in my training as a patent attorney is that the mentality of a truffle pig is extremely helpful. But that’s it.
I did my homework on how to deal with anonymisation already in the early days of this Blog (see here), and my aim is to consistently run this Blog in accordance with some basic rules:
- Be truthful and honest.
- Don’t be a spokesman for anybody.
- Correct mistakes, and make it known when you do so.
- Identify when you report about a case you are / your firm is involved in.
- Do factual and legal research to a reasonable extent in order to be on solid ground when publishing something.
- Present the information you have in a way that leaves as little doubt as reasonably possible about the technical and factual background of the case at hand to allow for a more thorough understanding of the decision.
- Encourage people to form their own opinion, e.g. by enabling review of primary sources of information.
- Don’t bore people. Present the information in an entertaining and appealing way. It’s a Blog, finally.
And, last but not least, I do surely respect people’s private life and the right to self-determination about personal information. I have no sensational interests at all. I am particularly cautious with identifying natural persons, and even more so when they are defendants in summary proceedings. When my reporting is identifying, the public interest in that information in my personal judgment outweighs the interests worthy of protection of the persons involved.
Some final notes:
- I am a human. If you are concerned about anything that you come across on my Blog, it might be a good idea to just give me a call to talk it over. A kind Email would be fine, too. I will never refuse to spend a second thought on what I have published.
- On the other hand, I might appear a little stubborn if you just send me a registered letter setting a time limit to comply with your takedown requests. Threat of legal action will likely be counter-productive, too.
- I will correct errors, and I am grateful if you inform me of any errors that you feel should be corrected. But I will never accept pushy requests to reformulate things to twist the message for the benefit of the one or the other party.
- I have no reason to believe that a party has an issue with certain information being published on my Blog if she/he (or a representative) has already published or enabled publication of the same information elsewhere.
- Take good care of what you or your (client’s) representative files with the EPO or other major IP offices. The file wrapper are public, and I do find a wealth of valuable information there.
BE ON THE KNOW