Howls Over Hearings: Part 1
Editor’s Note: As the February 6th Markman hearing between Acacia and the group of adult industry defendants opposing their patent claims nears, the industry boards will be heating up with armchair attorneys, serious students of the debate, and buffoons alike chiming in with their opinions on the matter. In this vast sea of opinion, certain posts stand out; shining the light of new perspective on the proceedings at hand. The following is one of them, taken from XBiz’ popular “Speak Your Mind” forum:
I know that it’s too late to stop the Markman hearing, and I understand the argument is not about prior art, but about the overly broad wording of Acacia’s DMT patent claim. However, now that Acacia has launched their attack on places of education, prayers-on-line, etc., what is the U.S. Congress doing about such patents being allowed?
I cannot see an up-swelling of public sympathy for the adult industry in this matter, even though some members of the judicial and political scene are no doubt great clients of ours based on past sex scandals that the press has broken. However, I can see a lot of public sympathy, and therefore votes, when the “God Squad” has to pay royalties for streaming a religious video, or the medical profession has to pay for a new life saving operation online, or online classes from places of learning that target minorities and socially disadvantaged people have to be cancelled due to a lack of adequate funding. These actions should have the press howling for blood, and any caring politician screaming for a review of the whole patent granting process.
In the United States, I took on the FDA: Not the smartest move financially or emotionally, but one that I eventually won, not by lawyers, nor commercial terms, but by two very helpful Senators demanding a change to the status of dietary supplements and their treatment by the FDA. I was very lucky, as the wheels for the 1994 DSHEA (Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act) were already turning; which was a major advantage for me personally as well as for the dietary supplement industry.
I even threatened a lawsuit against the LAPD in order to get them to retract a stupid statement blaming an herb for putting some kids in the hospital; since the product they mentioned did not even contain the herb in question, and the FDA labs confirmed our analysis on this matter.
So if someone says that voluntarily looking at adult entertainment twists your head, then make them prove it. At 18 years of age you can go to war, get shot at, and look at mutilated bodies – courtesy of a government trying to “protect you” from the harm that seeing a naked woman could cause you – now that’s a mind twister!
After the dietary supplements debacle, it took some time convincing our competitors to help get a financial “war chest” ready, and to prepare statements for the media, so that every time something stupid came out on the wires, a prepared reply was on the same wires. This was very effective, and that group also involved the Europeans. What started as a baby committee ended up under the wing of the AHPA (American Herbal Products Association).
Maybe it is a cultural thing, but I notice the U.S. does not use the mass media to their advantage the way we would in Australia and the South Pacific. The media are people too: Some drink, smoke, and f*** while others get fit, pray, and learn.
Some may do all of these things, but they all should have one thing in common – an eye for a good news story and the desire to highlight anything that is dramatically wrong.
Acacia is certainly not in the running for outstanding contributions to mankind awards, and their attempted broad impact on the status quo of Internet streaming technology should be causing more of a stir in the mainstream media.
I don't know if Acacia is being very smart by attacking other industries so that they can say “we didn't just pick on the adult industry,” or very bloody silly by saying that “we are so strong and powerful that we can charge for spiritual peace, education and improving the lives of disadvantaged people as well.” Are there any politicians doing a live Internet question and answer session? Does NASA infringe on Acacia‘s claim when they stream audio and video? I bet Acacia would like 2% of THEIR budget!