The New “Reality”

Years ago, on Capitol Hill truth was reality. Twenty years ago, as press communications devolved into sound bites and headline-hunting, “perception” became the new “reality.” Keen DC observers noted then that “whatever wasn’t covered by the press didn’t happen” (even if it did happen). That sad state of affairs next morphed into the notion that if some action was mentioned to the press, it happened (even though it hadn’t happened). But we are now immersed in a new DC era of “alternative facts ” where truth is not reality, mere perception is no longer reality, and DECEPTION has become the new “reality.”

One of this new era’s congressional manifestations is the availability of hearings “witnesses” whose authenticity as a witness is acquired solely by their willingness to “testify” to whatever message a Committee Chair wants to put on the public record. Special interests seeking to deceive the public use them to widen their appearance of support. In the IPWatchdog post (linked below) Steve Brachmann looked behind the Oz-like “curtain” of testimony offered at a recent Darrell Issa hearing designed to revive the faltering patent troll narrative. His report is instructive.

As Steve explains in his excellent post, such testimony was recently deployed to promote big tech’s version of patent reform. Were it not for the impressive testimony of former Federal Circuit Chief Judge Paul Michel; Representative Issa might have gotten away with an unbalanced hearing witness list that included a spokesman for a small company named “Map box.” Fortunately for pro-patent advocates once Judge Michel testified the hearings lop-sided testimonial gravitas was apparent. This post is worth reading because it explains the “ploys are us” manipulations that have characterized the mega techs’ congressional crusade to statutorily further validate their efficient infringement business model by using the troll narrative to enact their comprehensive revision of patent enforcement litigation.

Why are these people giving testimony to Congress on patent reform?
By Steve Brachmann on Jul 30, 2017, 08:45 am
Why does Mapbox’s viewpoint on patent litigation echo in the halls of Congress given the fact that it doesn’t appear that it has faced abusive patent litigation? In fact, it almost looks like there is no merit to Lee’s statement that “Mapbox has had multiple experiences with patent trolls: non-practicing entities who file meritless lawsuits that are cheaper to settle than to defend.” Mapbox certainly hasn’t had multiple experiences with lawsuits… The one patent case Mapbox has faced as a defendant was filed last December by Shipping & Transit LLC, a company which itself has been very litigious against alleged patent infringement having been listed as a plaintiff in 172 patent suits. The one Shipping & Transit suit filed against Mapbox terminated in 92 days and had a total of nine docket items, and the original complaint is all of six pages long.

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