Anyone who has been reading IPWatchdog.com over the last several days knows that anti-patent advocates have been lambasting me for taking the position that patents are not evil and that more than a 0 year patent term is appropriate. This debate was progressing about as well as you could expect I suppose. I was making arguments and the anti-patent advocates were making fun of me and never addressing the points I raised, then accusing me of dodging them and being “eviscerated” by their arguments that lacked all substance. I feel confident that anyone who would read what went on would have to come to the conclusion that I was directly addressing the issues, defending my positions, providing counter-arguments to what they were raising, while at the same time old and tired non-responsive comments were posted. Everyone can see what happened for themselves, but there is one thing that I think deserves to be pointed out directly and not left to be unseen in a long and tedious diatribe of comments. When all else fails and the anti-patent advocates are boxed into a corner they simply lie about reality. And yes, I can prove that definitively.
Near the end of a long comment string associated with the article Responding to Critics: My View on Patents and Innovation, Stephan Kinsella posted the following comment:
The truth is that this is not at all accurate. I did offer this, specifically and repeatedly, and in private e-mail communications between myself and Kinsella. You can see the e-mail in which I offered this below (with e-mail addresses redacted and only my communication provided).
In fact, I offered this very type of “debate” over and over again, both in the e-mail above, in a blog post and throughout the comments to various posts on IPWatchdog.com. Now that Kinsella cannot hide from the offer any more he elected to either lie or be reckless with the truth, and call my arguments “fumbling,” which I suppose is intended to divert attention from his unwillingness to engage in a point by point discussion.
On top of this, Kinsella wrote this on his blog:
I did not mean to imply you had not offered to debate. Sure, you’ve offered to debate. No need to post old emails or hysterically accuse me of being a liar.
I am concerned that a debate with you would be a big waste of my and the audience’s time and simply make you look ridiculous; I have no desire for you to be embarrassed. But I’m still willing to do it, if someone can arrange it, and subject to suitable rules that keep you from evading questions, as you have repeatedly done in recent days in our written exchanges.
Isn’t this so typical. First he says he didn’t mean to imply I had not offered a debate, when that is not only what he “implied” but is exactly what he said! Then once again with the tired and ridiculous — I don’t want to debate you because I would embarrass you and I am to much of a gentleman to embarrass you. I think the right way to read this is that he is a coward. He then goes on to say that he will still do it if someone can arrange it so that I don’t evade his questions. That is laughably ridiculous. Everyone can see that he doesn’t want a debate with me and is coming up with all the school-yard excuses for disengagement. Does anyone really believe Kinsella wants a debate? I have asked over and over again for him to answer one question and he refused repeatedly, yet I am the one evading? How curious.
The central question in the debate is who will pay for innovation without a patent system, and Kinsella refuses to answer that question. He finally did give lip service by saying the innovator pays, of course. Really? No kidding? But why would an innovator pay for innovation when anyone can copy them and do so without having to recoup the cost of research, development and creating a market in the first place? The answer is no one would pay for innovation without exclusive rights, and everyone knows that. That is what investors require to provide funds, and why many good products never make it to market because once they do there will be knock-offs. For crying out loud the knock-off problem is addressed in international circles near the head of state level, and is why some countries are on US watch-lists. Knock-offs are the market rule when there is no exclusive rights, or no will to enforce global IP laws. That would be the market rule in the US without exclusive rights. We don’t need an experiment to tell us that, we just need to look at history and around the globe.
What I really want is some kind of even situation where folks can figure out for themselves who answers questions and who has the superior answer. That is why I proposed the answering of a series of common questions. The anti-patent crowd typically does not provide much more than conclusions and insults, and if they are forced to answer the same questions I answer it will be clear to everyone who is correct and who is wrong. This, of course, is why they don’t want to do this and instead think I should address their insults and conclusions. I won’t do that, although I would LOVE the opportunity to have a real debate with Kinsella or anyone, in real life or over the Internet. I know I will win, and I am not running away. I stand ready any time, any place and anywhere. No preconditions, no excuses.
So how many actually think Kinsella or others will go for this? They are boxing themselves in a corner for sure. It will be fun to watch the series of excuses that emerge now. I am all to happy to be embarrassed by Kinsella, and if that is what he thinks he can do then lets get it on.
So why am I doing this? Those with an anti-patent agenda lie, are reckless with the truth, mischaracterize facts and the law, and we are at a pivotal point right now where intellectual property rights are being assailed from all sides. Someone needs to stand up and point out that the emperor is not wearing any clothes. Those with an anti-patent agenda are trying to steal the debate without ever engaging on facts, history and reality. What I want to do is stand up and take them head on so that everyone can see them for what they are, which is aggrieved persons with an agenda. They are not on the side of right, and their positions are careless and destructive. So when you hear anti-patent rhetoric I want everyone to wonder in the back of their mind about this — if they are so right and so sure they would embarrass the competition, why won’t they engage in a debate? Kinda makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
So gather up your questions Kinsella, and I will answer them in 500 words. You answer them too and lets get started. Then I will provide my questions, and we can answer those as well. I suspect where this will break down is not in me refusing to answer. But time will tell. I suspect deafening silence.