Commenting on Patently-O (Add your Photo)

Patently-O comments include lots of good information, but any site with over 300,000 comments will have their share of problematic ones.  I’d like to refer everyone back toward my 2014 post: Moving Toward a Better Patently-O Ecosphere.

Tech Update: If you want to customize your commenting-photo, the process is to first create an account with WordPress ( and then go to to manage details.

Moving Toward a Better Patently-O Ecosphere

71 thoughts on “Commenting on Patently-O (Add your Photo)

  1. 9

    Unfortunately, if you want a useful comment section, there is no alternative to moderating. It’s a lot of work, but I have never seen anything else that was effective.

    If you have some sort of voting/score system, it helps point out which comments should be moderated, but someone still has to look at them and decide.

    Having certain words trigger moderating is worse than useless – frequent posters know which words to avoid while new or occasional posters don’t. This doesn’t result in increased quality of comments.

  2. 8

    Dennis, here is my suggestion. Set up a miscellaneous board (such as “matters not provided for”) which would have a link thereto always on your front page. People would be free (and encouraged) to post anything they wish there (including questions about patent law, golf tips, etc.), and any off-topic posts would be moved there. MM states below, “Here’s the deal: I’ll stop attacking Mango Hairball when he’s impeached.” Fine. Let him post his political rants there (or have them moved). If anon wants to continue his slugfests with Boundy or whoever else, he can do so there. In this way, you don’t have to worry about the censorship issue too much as moving posts is not as bad as deleting them. Only posts that have content related to the current topic will not be moved. I’ve seen other blogs handle this same problem in this manner and it seems to work pretty well.

    1. 8.2

      Please Pardon the Potential (re)Post:

      (or have them moved).

      One of my suggestions – some years back now….

  3. 7

    The “reality” that you want to paint me as being outside of is NOT a true picture of either my points or what [insert any court decision] stands for. Your “reply” here amounts to you NOT taking the point provided (still) and kicking up dust that is NOT a part of the point provided.

    Rinse, recycle, repeat every day, year after year, regardless of the topic. It doesn’t matter if you quote the guy directly and then respond directly. You’ll get the same “treatment.” And then he’ll imagine that he’s come up with some magical “devastating” “argument” and he’ll give it a name and just refer to that because explaining himself plainly is just too … risky. But it’s oh-so-“civilized”.

    1. 7.1

      Pure B$ Malcolm. When have I ever indicated that Marbury is improper law or that my positions even hint that I think that Marbury does not exist?

      Believing that even the judicial branch and the Supreme Court are NOT above the Constitution has zero nexus with the Marbury case.

  4. 6

    Boundy to “anon”: I gave you the courtesy of telling you that I would not converse further with you.

    That doesn’t work, David. “anon” will just invent “your side” of the conversation and converse with the imaginary you (and, yes, he will “win” the conversation — amazing!). We did this experiment a few years ago. I told Dennis it wouldn’t work, and it didn’t.

    If you care about the issues and you want a “civilized” discussion, then you have to engage. The biggest issue is that there is a small group of extreeeeeeemely “out there” and extremely loud patent maximalist types who get juiced up over at Big Jeans echo chamber and then they come here and spew nonsense and bile at these imaginary people who (they insist) want to “destroy the patent system” but who, in reality, simply don’t like software patents or who are not comfortable with an exponentially growing system being cheered on by people who admittedly are looking forward to a future where everyone who does business needs patent litigation insurance. Oh, and they’re also opposed to the Federal goverment and the Supreme Court. Very serious people!

    So, pick your sides and participate. But for cri pesakes stop whining like little babies. Pretty much all of you are grown men with money and decent jobs. Start acting like it for a change instead of acting like some a street beggar who never got a break.

  5. 5

    Are you rich entitled crybabies done whining yet?

    My goodness what pack of sniveling crybabies. And so many glibertarians among you! LOL. So much for “freedom.”

    Here’s the deal: I’ll stop attacking Mango Hairball when he’s impeached. I’ll continue to attack the r @ c ist party of rich g @ ping a holes who props him up long after that. End of deal. And if you can’t understand why I’m going to do that or why it’s important for everyone to do that — right now, more than ever — than go f ck yourself. It’s that simple.

    I’ll also repeat a basic truth that was proven long ago when Dennis and I first communicated about the “tone” in the comments: it doesn’t matter how I express my opinions. What matters is the viewpoint. The viewpoint alone and the (good, winning) arguments in support of them is what drives other commenters around the bend because those other commenters want to control the discourse here exactly as their fearless leader GQ controls the toxic discourse at his own sooper dOOper s h – tty patent blog.

    In other words, it’s perfectly acceptable to invoke all of the right wing’s favorite b0geyman to attack anyone who questions literally any decision or law which would make patents easier to obtain or enforce but if you turn the tables on them your views simply must be deleted/banned because “uncivilized” “l i a r.” That’s how it works.

    Meanwhile we’ve got several of Big Jeans sycophants crying up a river here every day because someone isn’t afraid to call a spade a spade (e.g., not afraid to state that “software is logic.”).

    If you people — and that includes you, Boundy — actually start participating instead of sitting on your hands when little “anon” and crew starts doing their circus act, then maybe I’ll start giving a flying f ck about what you think about “civility.”

    But we know that’s never going to happen. And that’s on you.

    1. 5.1

      No reply can be as damming as Malcolm’s own words.

      Who the F cares what the actual purpose of this site is. Malcolm has decided that he will do whatever he wants to do (and quite apparently – HOW he wants to do it – for eleven and a half years now).

      And best of all, “And that’s on you.

      1. 5.1.1

        Who the F cares what the actual purpose of this site is.

        Again, for anybody who has forgotten: when I was here trying to explain the facts and the law underlying the Prometheus case — a straightforward case that really could only come out one way if there was going to be any hope at all for our patent system — “anon” was posting under 20 pseudonyms a day trying to derail any and every discussion with an endless stream of insults. And Dennis outed him for doing that after he denied doing that.

        So go f ck yourself, “anon.” We all know what you want. The thing is you already got it over at Big Jeans place. But for some strange reason that’s not enough. Go figure.


          Your attempted spin / as inaccurate as it is / does not excuse the blight that is your actual trademark (and not just now with your current political 0bsess10ns, but the blight that goes back – objectively proven – for 11 and 1/2 years, WELL before I was ever around.


          I checked the Prometheus thread and didn’t see anything that you describe. Could you post a link to Dennis “outing” anyone?


            Prof Crouch let slip that I used a number of different monikers after Malcolm had whined incessantly about “sockpuppets.”

            To appease the Professor, I switched to a single moniker (of which I have been using but that single moniker for about five years now).

            But guess what? Guess who (despite the whining) has used the MOST sockpuppets (albeit over at PatentDocs) SINCE that decision to switch to a single moniker.

            Answer: none other than Malcolm himself.

            Further, my use of different monikers was largely a use of plays on words and was NOT used as Malcolm accuses – but HIS use was (and is) directly to the effect that he accuses others of.

            Does that surprise you? Does that surprise anyone? Malcolm’s number one meme has long been Accuse Others Of That Which Malcolm Does.

            So much so, in fact, that when I choose to “tag” the incidences of his actions with the acronym of this particular strain of blight, the editors here added the acronym to the George Carlin “naughty words” list – but did nothing about the underlying offensive behavior.

  6. 4

    I would insure that posters are not paid bloggers. K Street employs many paid bloggers and this blog has even had an advertisement for paid anti-patent bloggers.

    I think it is fine to have paid bloggers as long as they are identified as such. I would guess that at least some of the bloggers that post frequently on here are paid bloggers.

    1. 4.1

      Or, at the least, a lobbyist for a particular pharmaceutical corporation, hence a somewhat hypocritical anti-software/pro-diagnostic method position…

    2. 4.2

      If we were to put together a list of commenters to block, your name would go right below MM and anon.

      1. 4.2.1

        What a laugh. Thanks for that, Squirrel.

        But I’m not sure who your “we” is.

        Even the most egregious commenters here sometimes come out with a good point. What “we” readers need is a way to nurture this blog, this valuable resource, to improve its signal to noise ratio, to encourage notorious posters not to demean themselves and lower the tone.


          I was using the proverbial “we.” I was attempting to make a point that calls for censorship and banning have a way of turning on those who advocate for them. I have been in online communities that went down that path and it destroyed them.


            Maybe you should pay attention to what I have actually stated then (and some of the alternatives – like DISQUS flagged mere repeat arguments that are not actually engaging counterpoints presented being shunted to another part of the blog; or that the blog actually be constrained to – gasp – patent law issues).

            Your “proverbial” we incorrectly includes me where it should not.

      2. 4.2.2

        For one, your comment is not on point to what I said and instead is a personal attack. (You too Max.)

        Your comment makes me think that there has to be some kind of objective truth. What we see now is comments from the same people over and over again that simply misrepresent science or law. I think a lot of the comments are properly classified as propaganda.

        (And Ordinary, if you actually objectively looked through our exchanges you would see that you are the one that makes things personal.)


          If there is an objective truth, neither your nor I are in possession of it. Such is the nature of humanity. I, of course, dispute your characterization of the nature of our interactions. I admit that when you go on one of your Alex Jones-esque rants, I do tend to not take your comment very seriously.


            Objective truths like the Earth revolve around the Sun do exist. There are many such objective truths that are endless debated on here. For example, we constantly here that it is possible to have a new function without new structure. Etc.

            Also, I would note if you want to understand the problems on this blog just look at the fact that I posted a substantive comment and several people took the opportunity to personally attack me rather than discuss the substantive comment.

  7. 3

    The b#b00n’s promise to improve the civility of his posts lasted as long as I predicted.

    The volume of his own excrement that he flings around on this site has actually increased since the good professor’s request 3 years ago.

    And as I said 3 years ago he has noone to blame but himself.

    1. 3.1

      another (small) point is evident in AAA JJ’s comment.

      Note that certain words are (occasionally) added to the George Carlin-like “don’t say” list, and this list is rather easily circumvented. The problem is LESS then actual words, and any root cause analysis will quickly show the actual problem***.

      And yet, THAT actual problem is simply left untended to.

      ***There is nothing inherently wrong with sharp words and vigorous exchanges on disagreements with not just what the law actually is, but also what the law should be (at least it should be noted when one’s position is one or the other).

      1. 3.1.1

        Sounds like you’re saying our comments should meet kind of a Rule 11 standard. I’m good with that. Thing like:

        Commenters represent that the comment is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass . . .

        Comments are based on existing law or a nonfrivolous argument for extending, modifying, or reversing existing law or for establishing new law . . .

        Comments have evidentiary support or will likely have evidentiary support . . .


          I am saying:

          first and foremost, have one set of rules for everyone, applied objectively;

          secondly, sharpness – in and of itself – is NOT a reason to curb a post;

          thirdly, YES, it would be nice to have inte11ectual honesty be applied as a type of requirement. This third point should reflect that OFTEN there is an active attempt to obfuscate what the law currently is and override what IS with a narrative of what is merely felt as “what should be.” This forum, like it or not, is often overtaken as a propaganda stand, and actual dialogues are curbed, while certain editorial policies promote drive-by, internet-style-shout-downs of mere scripts that simply do not attempt to even bother incorporating counter points raised in (attempted) dialogues.

          There is plenty of room for comments that do NOT have (or will not likely have) evidentiary support, when such are admitted as such.


              Judges – and Justices – when they are out of line SHOULD be called out, David.

              Last time we started down this path I asked you for the words of your state attorney oath’s in order to show you exactly what an attorney swears to.

              You disappeared.

              My own advice IS being followed by me – even though you want to intimate otherwise.


                Anon —

                Please do not rewrite history. I didn’t disappear. I said quite plainly that your novel approach to Article III was, to use your words, of questionable “inte11ectual honesty” and “an active attempt to obfuscate what the law currently is and override what IS with a narrative of what is merely felt as ‘what should be.'”

                My attorney’s oath has nothing whatsoever to do with any relevant question. I won’t give you the fodder to thread-hijack with a line of poppycock.

                I gave you the courtesy of telling you that I would not converse further with you. There’s no apparent prospect for connecting you to the reality that prevails for the rest of the world. You’re not as bad as MM — you’re not overtly rude or hostile — but your diversion from reasoned discourse is, in my experience on this blog, third. I am not surprised that some of your comments end up caught in the gibberish filter. You need to figure out what you want to do about that.

                And I’ll leave it there again. No point in going further.

                1. David,
                  You asked me to read carefully – and I return the request.

                  You disappeared when I asked you to provide the words of your State attorney oaths.

                  The State attorney oath VERY MUCH has to do with a point that I was making. You want to intimate something (without ANY direct support), and yet refuse a simple request because YOU decide that there is no point to be made.

                  I am not the one diverting from reasoned discourse here.

                  Of course, YOU “feel” that there is no point in going further. Rather convenient of you, but rather unsatisfying as to the point that you just don’t want to face.

                  …rather like how you wanted to maintain that Void for Vagueness was limited to criminal law matters – AFTER you were “willing to give to me” a direct counterpoint that I presented from the Volokh blog.

                  But back to the actual point that I was making:
                  since your office is in Massachusetts, let’s take the Commonwealth’s attorney oath as an example:

                  I (repeat the name) solemnly swear that I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; I will not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any false, groundless or unlawful suit, nor give aid or consent to the same; I will delay no man for lucre or malice; but I will conduct myself in the office of an attorney within the courts according to the best of my knowledge and discretion, and with all good fidelity as well to the courts as my clients. So help me God.

                  link to

                  YOUR oath does NOT pledge to uphold the Constitution of the United States first and foremost, and in fact has you considering the court as a client.

                  Now let’s take New York:

                  I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the constitution of the United States, and the constitution of the State of New York, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of [attorney and counselor-at-law], according to the best of my ability.

                  link to

                  Do you notice the difference?

                  When you place one branch of the government above the law, above the Constitution, you necessarily degrade (or at least take a diminished role) in holding each and every branch accountable to the Constitution (and the inherent separation of powers therein).

                  You are, of course, free to do whatever you want to do – go further, follow, learn or otherwise.

                  You are not free though to make up facts and decide all on your own whether or not a point is to be had from the request to review and understand any one particular State attorney oath.

                2. Many have noted that Marbury is not the only possible interpretation of Article III, but it’s the one we have and that we all operate under. Until you get five justices to agree with you to overrule Marbury v. Madison, Marbury‘s principles of judicial review and statutory construction are as fixed as the definition of “meter” as “the length traveled by light in vacuo during a time interval of 1/299 792 458 of a second.” You don’t have to like the definition, but disagreeing with it is something that marks one as a fool who need not be taken seriously.

                  Until Marbury is overruled (or at least seriously challenged), when you write, acknowledge that your view is an outlier, based on one person’s disagreement with 200 years of constitutional law. And don’t insult those who accept the world as it is, and work within those rules.

                  And until you, anon, join the reality that the rest of us work in, no further comment.

                3. My position has nothing to do with not accepting Marbury.

                  You are not paying attention to what the duties of an attorney include (and the relative position that – even with Marbury – the Court is NOT ABOVE the Constitution.

                  Things like separation of powers and courts of limited jurisdiction apply to the Supreme Court no matter what they may want to say to the contrary.

                  The “reality” that you want to paint me as being outside of is NOT a true picture of either my points or what Marbury stands for.

                  Your “reply” here amounts to you NOT taking the point provided (still) and kicking up dust that is NOT a part of the point provided.

                4. Anon —

                  You write “even with Marbury – the Court is NOT ABOVE the Constitution.

                  Well actually, as a practical matter, it is. As long as Marbury is good law, then as a practical matter, the Court is the final arbiter of what the Constitution means . Once you accept that (and everyone else in the legal system does, for better and for worse), then the relevance of all your recent posts vanishes.

                  Read Marbury before posting again. It’s got its logical flaws–that’s not the point. The point is that the Supreme Court said so. That makes it “the law.” Just like the definition of the meter is what it is because the International Committee for Weights and Measures said so.

                  You can have all the opinions you want about whether it should not be so, but until you get your five votes (or an amendment with two-house supermajority and 38 states), it’s like complaining about the definition of the meter.

                  I’d violate my oath (and my clients would fire me in a heartbeat, and everyone else in the legal system would count me a nitwit) if I proceeded as you propose.

                5. That you believe (and apparently earnestly so) that the Supreme Court is itself above the law and not limited by the Constitution changes nothing about what Marbury actually holds and the fact that my position is just not in opposition to the Marbury case.

                6. Anon —

                  So I can be sure we’re talking about the same question, I believe the relevant question is —

                  Is the Supreme Court the last and final interpreter of federal legal texts?

                  There are procedures, of course, for amending. That’s not the question. Are we agreed that the Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter of what legal texts mean?

                  If you disagree, please explain and identify the alternative that you have in mind.

                7. My position is as already stated David.

                  It appears that you want to move the goalposts.

                  Gee, I wonder why….

      2. 3.1.2

        One of the biggest problems with the filter is that it works backwards: long time posters know what words are on the filter list and know how to replace letters so that their posts get through, while the list of words is broad enough that the filter stops honest discussion from new posters. So, as a result, the signal to noise ratio of the comments are worse than if the filter did not exist.

        One easy solution to that would be to make intentional circumvention of the filter through insertion of spaces or non-standard characters to be worthy of at least a temporary ban.

  8. 2

    I’m afraid there is no substitute for blocking, until [and if] they permanently change their behavior,* the few commentators that flood these comments with non-substantive and hostile remarks, personal attacks, or unrelated politics, and are incapable of appreciating that they have a problem. It seriously discourages useful substantive inputs or even innocent patent law questions from other blog readers, thus decreasing the very important educational value of this blog. Some of us have become inured to the mere “shoot the messenger” responses posing as commentary, and ignore them, but it undoubtedly discourages substantive inputs from others.

    *Or at least require these few blog abusers to use their real names in order to participate further.

    1. 2.1

      *Or at least require these few blog abusers to use their real names in order to participate further.

      As I mentioned to Perry Saidman on a recent design patents thread ( link to ) :

      Let’s NOT go the route of “out yourself or you have no value.”

      Pseudo and anonymous critical exchanges have a long and valued history in this country.

      Malcolm’s cowardice does NOT attach because of his pseudonymous nature.

      They attach because he does not fully engage and engage in an inte11ectually honest manner. Rather than engage in a dialogue, his modus operandi is to “engage” in a drive-by monologue style.

      It is less of what he says (although to a certain degree what he says IS nonsense) and more of HOW he says it (and how he continues to say it – eleven and half years running – on this forum.



      I know what you were doing.

      I was responding to what you were doing by drawing a distinction that it is NOT the pseudonymous – or anonymous nature that is offensive.

      You cloud the issue of what makes blight in this forum by trying to attach “name” to the exchange of ideas that the comment section is supposed to engender.

      As I said, I do not disagree with you that Malcolm is a coward.

      He most definitely is one.

      But he is a coward for HOW he acts – not that he acts in a pseudonymous nature. On occasion, there are people who confuse what brings value to a post and think that merely posting in their name is somehow “better.”

      Your very own posting Paul suffers from “fake umbrage” and accusations of personal attacks that simply are not true. You would have it such that NO disagreement were to be expressed.

      I certainly do not mind sharp dialogue. But the blight here is not sharpness per se. The blight is the level of mindlessness that some certain sAme ones employ in how they post, or – for example – the number of thread hijacks that occur (which include not only repeated NON-patent law hijacks, but defiant statements that such hijacks will proudly continue. Let’s NOT forget that this is a patent law forum. That, or just change the byline….

      1. 2.1.1

        Anon —

        Please read more carefully. Paul only proposed nonanonymity as an alternative when a commenter’s content is sufficiently poor quality for some sufficient time. I have no problem with anonymous postings that reflect neurons synapsed together.

        I think Paul’s two-stage approach makes a lot of sense. Imagine the threat of receiving a note from Dennis, “Your comments are not helpful. Further abuse will result in me removing the anonymity mask from all your posts.” Outing of past posts would be an even stronger deterrent than blocking, I would think.



          See my other posts: there is a clear lack of objectivity as editorially applied.

          Given that – and given that this lack has existed for at least eleven and half years, I say “No Thanks” to the threat of outing.

      2. 2.1.2

        You are correct that the problem is behavioral, not because of anonymity. I post on other sites where everyone has their real name. There are still some people that act like MM there. The problem with using real names is that the frustrating and annoying behaviors of the MM-type commenters then spill into your real life, with them attacking you as a person even more, rather than responding to your arguments or positions. The MM-type commenters are the reason we (others) want to stay anonymous.


          Thanks exer – that is actually an additional reason for anonymous (or pseudonymous) posting.

          But it is only one MORE reason. A study of this country and its relations with anonymous and pseudonymous writing reveal SEVERAL other reasons.

      3. 2.1.3

        If we were to put together a list of people to block, anon, you would go right below MM on that list. Be careful what you wish for.


          Too funny OSitA – you should pay better attention to what I actually write.

          As to “we,” as indicated above, exactly who is this “we,” and from where did you obtain your (apparent) anointed powers?


            I play plenty of attention to what you actually write, hence the nomination to put your name on the list (I actually don’t think you should be banned, but, for your and MM’s constant sniping back and forth, if anyone were to be banned, you should be one of them).

            As for my authority? I have the same authority as anyone else that nominates a name for banning.


              The question of authority was not for you in the singular but rather for you as this “spokesperson” of the putitive “we.”


              Further, you appear to confuse those who combat the Malcolm nonsense with the same level of the nonsense itself.

              That’s a fallacy.

              YOU may – as is your right – remain silent as Malcolm plies his propaganda incessantly. But clearly others – such as myself – my choose differently and may choose to point out his own inconsistencies and replacement of law with his feelings of law.

              That this happens on a repeat basis is not a negative to be reflected on me. It is a negative on the person employing the internet style “shout down” of repeating known fallacies.

              Ever hear of the great truth of propaganda: repeat a L I E often enough and it “becomes” the truth”…?

              It is not like this is by some mere random “some” ones that this propaganda trick is employed, but rather, it is a very select group of sAmeones.

      1. 2.2.1

        I support the comment from Paul Morgan. I too am inured to the noise, too often cacophonous, even approaching offensive. Reasonable people might disagree, however, on who to include on the list of culprits.

        For example, much of what MM punches in I enjoy. I’m glad we have somebody here who calls out those who are so one-eyed about the value of patents that they lose sight of more important things. I would not categorize MM/Ned dialogue as trolling or trash talking.

        The noise is acceptable because the overall quality of the blog is so high. I do know though that the noise deters occasional visitors. Some in the profession have decided not even to look at any comment thread.

        I have been here long enough to have been through several trials of automated “blocking” systems. They have shut out comments from me that I think would have been regarded by a human gate-keeper as unexceptionable and fit to let through. By the time the gate-keeper has belatedly let them through, they have lost their topicality. So, till now, I’m not a fan of automated filtering systems.

        But obviously, active human blocking is too time-consuming to be practicable. I like to use hyperbole to be provocative, to amuse myself getting revealing answers from people here who know more than I do.

        I have no career to build, no reputation to establish, no fortune to make, no agenda to push. I just call it as I see it. If the consequence from now on is a risk that Dennis might reveal my identity, I would probably stop posting here altogether.


          … on who to include on the list of culprits. For example, much of what MM punches in I enjoy.

          Truly bewildering, given that MM is easily THE most offensive person to ever post on this site.

          I have no [ ] no agenda to push.

          Not believable. In the least.


          …as for the characterization of Malcolm calling out the “one-eyed”….

          First, that assumes that those whom he calls out are somehow “wrong” (being one-eyed and all).

          Second, it grossly neglects the far more severe “one-eyed-ness” of Malcolm himself.

          Third, if you don’t want to consider Malcolm being “one-eyed,” then your option (given how very little legal content he actually supplies in most ANY conversation, as the saying goes: in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.




          I have no… agenda to push.

          To echo anon here, I find this implausible. I do not mean that as any sort of criticism. It is just that we all have agendas.

          That is why I find the criticism “you have an agenda” so puzzling. When considered as a cutting remark (which is how it always appears intended), it ranks up there with “you breathe during the day” or “your mother was a woman.”


            Greg, I see your point. No idea what my own “agenda” is, but if a viewpoint counts as an agenda then, sure, I’ve got one too.

            I will put it another way. I am an old age pensioner, free from any need to please or impress any other person. Contributing here brings me no pecuniary advantage.

            Compare that with those who post under their real name. Doing that is a way to benefit their careers, or their firm.


              Max, many working attorneys [even if they have time for blogs] would be concerned that a candid blog post under their own name might be disliked for some reason by a present or potential client. [However, that does not excuse the misuse of comment anonymity for a hostility outlet, with non-substantive personal attacks on other posters.] Posting under my real name only became practical after I fully retired. Formal legal articles I published in legal periodicals before I retired required internal reviews and disclaimers. Those articles made for some excellent professional contacts, but were not for any client development. Blog comments here should not be confused with the case notes published by major law firms on their own websites.
              As for my pointy-headed flying bug image on this blog, I rather like it. Anyone who actually cared to see a thumbnail photo of me could get it from a couple of my prior formal legal articles, or the AIPLA.


                Hmmmmh. Good points Paul. Set me thinking whether I should post under my real name. Two problems with that though. The main one is that I’m still “Of Counsel” to my firm. Second, the consequences of outing myself are beyond my imagination.

                Yeah, your bug is cute. I’m not averse either to mine either.

                I do admire those who post here under their real names. Good for you, sir!


              No idea what my own “agenda” is…

              Really? Once again, I mean this as no criticism, but if you were to ask me “what agenda is Max trying to advance?”, I would not have to think hard. I would say that there are two or three points of EPO law that you mean to convince us are clearly superior to their corresponding points in U.S. law, and which we would do well to follow here. As it happens, I agree with you on some of them, so I take no exception to your advancing this agenda, but it is clearly your agenda, in any event.


                Well yes, Greg, I suppose that’s part of my point of view. But it’s a wider thing than just the EPO.

                Prompted by your comment, and climbing up anon’s “ladder of abstraction”, I suppose my “agenda” is to render patent law (all over the world) so straightforward and fair that it enthuses engineers and scientists, who then turn into its strongest advocates. I’ve seen how that happens, with the ultra-simple EPC law of patentability, grafted on to fact-finding as it is done in patent litigation in England.

                1. I suppose my “agenda” is to render patent law (all over the world) so straightforward and fair that it enthuses engineers and scientists, who then turn into its strongest advocates.

                  Exactly. I heartily endorse that agenda. I consider a very worthwhile agenda. It is still, however, an agenda. As I say, we all have agendas.

                2. Love the “tip of the hat” to the Ladders of Abstraction, but I can take no credit whatsoever to that concept.

                  And what’s not to love about the “agenda/point of view” of mother and apple pie-like “straightforward and fair that it enthuses engineers and scientists, who then turn into its strongest advocates“…?

                  That too is my agenda.

                  Since we have the same (professed) agenda, then one must look at the details of our differences to see how the one rung may lead to such disparate lower rungs as you and I so often seem to have.

  9. 1


    You’ll note that I added my photo. It was not a straightforward thing, and I wish I could remember what back door I used ot get it there. If anyone else suceeds, please post a detailed “how to” because WordPress is not designed to make life easy for commenters (Disqus is much better at that).

    But Dennis’ post prompted me to look at link to and that in turn leads me to ask — in all but name, in 2014 Dennis promised to block MM.

    I think doing that — and being very public about it as a warning to others — would be a remarkable improvement.

    If MM were asked to defend by listing, let’s say 10, posts that manifest good faith, well-informed, move-the-conversation-forward-even-if-by-disagreeing, could he assemble 10? Not from the posts of his that are in any proximity to mine.

    1. 1.1

      Interestingly enough David, you mention both DISQUS and an ability to evaluate someone’s collection of posts.

      At some point between now and around that 2014 era, DISQUS was actually put in place here at Patently-O, and under normal security settings, one could view all the posts in a co-located manner made by any one poster.

      I note this, because when this feature was discovered – and brought up very much in the manner that you are indicating here and now, a very select few went into the control settings and changed their security level to a maximum setting.

      There was never a reasonable explanation given for making such a change, as the standard security setting was amply protective for most all ordinary occasions.

      The only possible use then was to hide (from casual observers) a clear view as to who exactly was posting what “content.”

      It also wasn’t too long afterwards that DISQUS itself (for reasons never revealed) was discontinued.

      As to some of the current editorial controls, I will note that there remains a decidedly NON-objective application of certain controls.

      Take for example, the Antigen thread. For many repeat posters, there is a quantity limit of posts one can make within a given time span. Mine is roughly 8 per 24 hours. On the Antigen thread, Malcolm posted 20 times in less than 9 hours.

      While that thread may be “more generous” given that that is an art that Malcolm professes to partake in, the larger quantity limit is not limited to such topic threads. Add into that that Malcolm’s posting style rarely actually engages in any meaningful repeated back and forth dialogues, and you may get the take away (expressed in the “ecosystem” thread) that there is the perception – if not the fact – of certain narrative favorings. At the very least, there certainly is NO set of single rules, objectively applied.

      And while that thread that you referenced was about ecosystems, that was at a time that I was being actively blocked (no matter the content). It was in another thread near that timeframe that I was able to share the research into the very earliest uses of comments and show that Malcolm’s “swagger” has been more or less exactly the same for what is now eleven and half years.

      You will have to pardon the snickers you here when the editors here say things that are simply not reflected in what is allowed, day in and day out.

      1. 1.1.1

        On the Antigen thread, Malcolm posted 20 times in less than 9 hours.

        Right. I re-posted two original comments on the decision (the first comments by anyone on the Internet regarding the decision, as far as I can tell) and then I posted follow-ups directly answering questions posed by other commenters. So what?


          So pay attention to the point already provided (the “rules” are simply not objectively and universally applied).

          You being the far worse poster (and having FAR more posts removed as having been found to be offensive – far more than all others combined) has the disproportionate ability to cut and paste your drive-by monologues.

          And yes, you do NOT engage and treat counter points presented in any sense of inte11ectual honesty.

          Take your number one meme of Accuse Others for example.

          You are fond of late of using the ad hominem of “gliberterian,” and yet YOU more than anyone exemplify the definition of “glib.”

          It’s as if you think that if you first Accuse Others, then somehow you won’t be “guilty of” what you are accusing others of.

          In many regards, your own criticisms (including political denigrations) reflect your very own nature, as displayed here these past eleven and a half years.

      2. 1.1.2

        Malcolm’s posting style rarely actually engages in any meaningful repeated back and forth dialogues

        Complete and utter horse sh i t.

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