Shameful: WIPO Threatens Blogger With Criminal Charges For Accurately Reporting On WIPO Director's Alleged Misconduct

from the intellectual-property-and-censorship-again dept

Last fall we wrote about some surprising allegations that Francis Gurry, the director of WIPO (the World Intellectual Property Organization -- a part of the UN), had surreptitiously taken DNA samples from employees while trying to determine who had sent him anonymous letters. This is the same Gurry who was already involved in highly questionable scandals involving ignoring UN sanctions against both North Korea and Iran, to send them computers, which WIPO idiotically believed those countries would use to bolster their local patent systems. Because, when you think of Iran and North Korea, I'm sure you think about their patent systems.

There had been some public efforts by a few members of Congress to oppose Gurry's re-election to WIPO because of these infractions, but all that seemed for naught a couple months ago when Gurry was re-nominated. It's not final that he'll remain as director, but it's almost entirely assured. A few weeks ago, however, I saw that stories of the DNA collection had resurfaced, mainly in a blog post by noted patent lawyer and blogger Gene Quinn. While Quinn and I disagree about nearly everything patent related -- sometimes angrily -- his blog is still a worthwhile read, and this original story had caught my attention. Quinn had a copy of the "Report of Misconduct" filed by James Pooley, one of Gurry's deputies, going into much more detail on Gurry's actions with regards to the illegal DNA collection, and calling into serious question Gurry's ability to lead WIPO. You can read much more about Pooley's charges in a Fox News report. However, you can no longer read the report or Quinn's analysis of it because WIPO threatened Quinn with criminal charges for posting it.

I had actually opened Quinn's post -- and the files he posted -- back when he first put them up, but set them aside to revisit later, and like many stories I hope to get to, I never actually wrote about them. While I still had the tabs with the files opened, somewhere between then and when I restarted my browser, the files had actually gone away. The threat to Quinn, however, seems worse than the claims of DNA collection in the first place. Here is WIPO actively issuing bogus legal threats to censor someone performing journalistic endeavors reporting on factual information. Here's the letter that WIPO's lawyer sent Quinn:
I am writing to you in my capacity as Legal Counsel of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), in relation to a report and its accompanying exhibits (“WIPO Deputy Director General Alleges Gurry Misconduct”) that are posted on your website IP Watchdog.

I should like to express my grave concern over the contents of this report, which is both insulting and defamatory, as it contains false statements that harm WIPO and the reputation of WIPO’s Director General, Mr. Francis Gurry.

As at Friday, April 11, 2014, we have noticed that the Report itself has been removed from the website. We are, however, very concerned to see that the annexes to the Report (the so-called “exhibits”) are still posted on your website. As you will no doubt know, the said Report and its exhibits or annexes constitute defamatory material which, inter alia, suggest corruption, concern DNA allegations, and are a republication of rehashed allegations.

In addition, I should like to remind you that under Swiss law, the publication of such false and defamatory material could constitute a criminal offence. This is, of course, without prejudice to the laws of any jurisdiction to which you may be subject.

We hereby request that you immediately remove the Report and all its exhibits or annexes from the website.

We hereby further request that you publish an apology to the Director General of WIPO for the publication of false and defamatory material on the website.

Please be informed that if this request is not immediately acceded to, the Director General and WIPO will seek independent legal advise to bring defamation proceedings against you in any competent jurisdiction.

We thank you for your anticipated cooperation.

Sincerely,

Edward Kwakwa
Legal Counsel / World Intellectual Property Organization
This would be from the same Kwakwa who was also at the center of the computers-to-North Korea and Iran stories. Either way, the threats are ridiculous. First off, under the SPEECH Act, Quinn is completely protected from any defamation ruling for a variety of reasons. First, not only is it unclear if this was actually defamatory, merely republishing a report written by someone else is protected in the US under Section 230 of the CDA, and the SPEECH Act was written to make sure that Section 230 protections applied even against lawsuits filed in other countries for publications based in the US.

Second, it's quite incredible for Kwakwa to declare -- as fact -- that the content is defamatory (even suggesting that Quinn magically "knows" this is defamatory). Clearly Pooley and many others do not believe it is defamatory, and as far as I can tell, no court has ruled that the content is defamatory. And this isn't just some random person declaring that Gurry was involved in this: it's a guy who reports directly to Gurry. If it's defamatory, let Gurry take it to court and have it declared so. You don't just get to censor stuff based on one party's claim.

Third, as Intellectual Asset Magazine (linked above) notes, the whole thing -- intimidating a journalist with threats of criminal charges for merely reporting on a document that no one denied was, in fact, filed by WIPO deputy director James Pooley -- is insane:
As a journalist I find this utterly outrageous. I hope that other people do too. Quinn was not threatened with legal action for any allegations that he made, or for the slant on the story that he wrote around Pooley’s report and exhibits. Instead, he was threatened with legal action for providing a link to them.

Let’s remember, Pooley is Deputy Director of WIPO, he works with and reports to Gurry, and he has made very serious allegations. If that is not newsworthy, I do not know what is. Furthermore, as far as I know, these allegations have not been withdrawn – and certainly had not been when Kwakwa wrote the letter - neither has any investigation of them been reported, let alone concluded. Yet Kwakwa, WIPO’s legal counsel, has declared them “false and defamatory”. How does he know?
Quinn has chosen not to fight this, taking down his post and the associated documents, noting that while he believes in the First Amendment, he's currently recovering from hip replacement surgery and is in no condition to take on this sort of fight at the moment. I've seen at least two other reporters and bloggers who claim to have a copy of the report similarly refuse to post it, noting that it's not worth the legal fight.

And thus WIPO has effectively censored a report on misconduct by its Director General, filed by a senior deputy. To me that's just as, if not more, incriminating than the original charges of the DNA collection. The fact that WIPO believes this is appropriate screams of a coverup from an organization that has something to hide. Perhaps it's no surprise -- given how often we've seen copyright used for censorship -- to find out that the organization that pushes for greater copyright and patent maximalism around the world is also a fan of direct intimidation and censorship of journalists.

However, it should certainly call into serious question how WIPO functions, and whether Director Gurry is the sort of person who should be leading the organization when it appears to be doing all this under his watch.

Reader Comments (rss)

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    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), Apr 28th, 2014 @ 11:10am

    No problem here...

    since the threat contains the phrase "in any competent jurisdiction", I say let them try to find one..

     

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    Mason Wheeler (profile), Apr 28th, 2014 @ 11:12am

    This is the same Gurry who was already involved in highly questionable scandals involving ignoring UN sanctions against both North Korea and Iran, to send them computers, which WIPO idiotically believed those countries would use to bolster their local patent systems. Because, when you think of Iran and North Korea, I'm sure you think about their patent systems.


    I've always wondered what the big deal is about that. People who don't want rogue nations with nuclear programs to import computers don't understand computers, or Moore's Law.

    Here's a hint as to the scope of the problem: the one single computer I'm writing this response on right now has more processing power than every computer that had ever been used to run nuclear simulations at the end of the Cold War put together. If the governments of Iran or North Korea have one modern PC, there's really no point in denying them any more.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2014 @ 11:14am

    Sorry for OT comment, but can we please get the ads that kick you to to the App Store (iOS) to buy candy crush banned? Been getting a lot recently mike.

     

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    Mason Wheeler (profile), Apr 28th, 2014 @ 11:17am

    If it's defamatory, let Gurry take it to court and have it declared so. You don't just get to censor stuff based on one party's claim.


    ...unless the problem in question is copyright infringement and not defamation, in which case yes you do because the DMCA takedown system is a good idea that helps promote the progress of the Internet, right?

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Apr 28th, 2014 @ 11:30am

    Wonder if Popehat would be interested in reporting on this, and hosting the documents, it would be hilarious to watch them try the same bogus threats against that site.

     

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    Just Another Anonymous Troll, Apr 28th, 2014 @ 11:35am

    "any competent jurisdiction"
    Read: "any jurisdiction where we can easily convict you"

     

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    KJ (profile), Apr 28th, 2014 @ 11:36am

    If we follow the US' example, this is perfectly reasonable. Given that the US thinks its laws are valid world wide, it comes to reason that all of the worlds laws are valid in the US. Anything else is hypocritical, right?

    By that reasoning, Quinn has probably broken a criminal law _somewhere_, and given how the US is the first to demand extradition, I take it he will be put on the first plane to Switzerland by US officials? No?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2014 @ 11:55am

    Re:

    They are more afraid of them building Intelligence systems with these machines that can effectively combat military communications, targeting, and navigation systems on vehicles & weapons.

    Its all a ploy to keep the 3rd worlders in the 3rd world.

    No very fair, but we have a fear mongering government... you figure it out.

     

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    Gabriel J. Michael (profile), Apr 28th, 2014 @ 11:56am

    Going to have to disagree with you here, Mike

    I've met both James Pooley and Francis Gurry, and I suspect there is more going on here than meets the eye.

    First, I think it's important to understand that WIPO the organization is separate from WIPO member states. Gurry and Pooley are members of the WIPO Secretariat. Yes, they come from member states, but as members of the secretariat, they are first and foremost supposed to serve the institution. The institution exists to serve administrative and organizational needs of the member states. It is not supposed to take sides with member states.

    A lot of the problems we might have with "WIPO" are actually problems with WIPO's powerful member states - the United States, the European Union, Japan, etc. Remember, WIPO also produced the Development Agenda and the Marrakesh Treaty.

    In fact, a lot of US rightsholders organizations are unhappy with WIPO precisely because they think it is too biased towards developing countries (seeing as how the whole one-state one-vote deal doesn't allow the US to push its way around as easily).

    IMO that is why a number of Congress critters want Gurry out. Also relevant is the fact that Pooley is an Obama appointee to WIPO. Of course, it's not clear the U.S. would like any of the other DG candidates any better. And of course a scandal at a UN agency is always good fodder for Republicans.

    Sending computers to North Korea was pretty thick-headed from a PR perspective, if nothing else. But Iran is a different story. You have to remember that WIPO is UN agency. They don't have cause to treat Iran like a complete pariah just because the US does so. The same is true with Cuba.

    Re: the letter, honestly it sounds to be like nothing more than a typical nastygram.

     

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    zip, Apr 28th, 2014 @ 12:00pm

    WIPO the global bully

    Why does WIPO even need to exist? WIPO serves as the United States's truncheon, wielded to keep developing nations from repeating what the United States did a century or two ago when it was a developing nation.

    I wish the Ukraine conflict had happened a few years ago, before Russia gave in to pressure to accept WIPO to avoid US trade sanctions (which are being pressed forward now anyway).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2014 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Going to have to disagree with you here, Mike

    They don't have cause to treat Iran like a complete pariah just because the US does so.

    Because occupying embassies and holding accredited diplomats hostage is something the U.N. supports whole-heartedly.

    Good to know.

    We'll keep that in mind.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 28th, 2014 @ 12:11pm

    Re: WIPO the global bully

    This. The very existence of WIPO is problematic.

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Apr 28th, 2014 @ 12:18pm

    Re:

    Gotta disagree.

    Yes, it's true that computing power does increase, and a modern desktop has far more resources than room-sized equipment of the 1970s and 80s.

    However, when you come to modern simulation of nuclear weapons, it's not just about making any nuclear weapon. Anyone with a decent understanding of physics and access to the right equipment and material (HE uranium, plutonium or other fissile element) could make a crude weapon. What a supercomputer or even a large cluster of high end systems can do in simulation is make far more powerful weapons possible with even smaller amounts of the materials. Exactly the kind of small amounts of those materials you might expect those countries might be able to get access to under the wrong circumstances. One desktop PC wouldn't be able to handle those types of simulations, but a cluster of thousands might.

     

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    Gabriel J. Michael (profile), Apr 28th, 2014 @ 12:19pm

    Re: Re: Going to have to disagree with you here, Mike

    Well I guess since the U.S. shot down Iran Air Flight 655, the U.N. supports that too? Good to know. I'll keep that in mind.

     

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    John William Nelson (profile), Apr 28th, 2014 @ 12:20pm

    WIPO still shouldn't be bullying

    There may be more going on than meets the eye, but this bullying of bloggers is ridiculous and groundless under US law.

    The problem is if a blogger may have interactions with WIPO (such as a patent attorney) or otherwise be subject to non-US laws regarding defamation (assets or regular travel to Britain, for example, which has pro-Plaintiff defamation laws; or, apparently, Switzerland).

    But still, bullying to censor news is bad for democracy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2014 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re:

    Its all a ploy to keep the 3rd worlders in the 3rd world.

    Oh please. This embargo is specifically directed at North Korea and Iran. You can export as many computers as you want to other third world countries.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2014 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Going to have to disagree with you here, Mike

    Well I guess…

    Hamid Abutalebi.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2014 @ 12:50pm

    how about you printing the reports mike and seeing if he has the marbles to threaten you and techdirt. that would make an interesting story!

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Apr 28th, 2014 @ 1:02pm

    Like many good reports that go poof

    "I had actually opened Quinn's post -- and the files he posted -- back when he first put them up, but set them aside to revisit later"
    -
    File> Save As... or
    File> Save Page As...
    Three Horizontal Bars> Save Page As...
    -
    I save everything... Contrary to popular belief... The internet does forget.
    -
    Gene Quinn is a pussy. When is the right time to defend free speech? Boo hoo my hip surgery. Get some balls man.

     

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    Gabriel J. Michael (profile), Apr 28th, 2014 @ 1:07pm

    Re: WIPO the global bully

    WIPO serves as the United States's truncheon, wielded to keep developing nations from repeating what the United States did a century or two ago when it was a developing nation.

    The U.S. can do that just fine by itself, and it does it all the time through bilateral and regional free trade agreements. What do you think the TPP is all about? Or the Special 301 charade? Getting rid of WIPO would not reduce the U.S.'s ability to coerce on IP issues in the least.

    I would prefer more IP policymaking take place at WIPO - at least it would be relatively transparent and more balanced than what is currently going on in the TPP and elsewhere.

     

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    ethorad (profile), Apr 28th, 2014 @ 1:43pm

    Re:

    Or post them to wikileaks and let any news organisation take a crack at it - Popehat, Guardian, NYT, etc

     

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    art guerrilla (profile), Apr 28th, 2014 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    right, this is ALL about annoying punishments for the 'bad' guys, NOT any 'real' or 'practical' impediment to them developing nukes...
    (WHO are the 'bad guys' again, i can't seem to remember...)

     

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    art guerrilla (profile), Apr 28th, 2014 @ 1:48pm

    Re: Like many good reports that go poof

    haven't looked, and i know techdirtia is certainly aware of the resource, but: This is a Job for Wayback Machine ! ! !

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2014 @ 2:08pm

    Being a reader of Quinn's blog, I read and the Serious Misconduct Report with all the Annexed Documentation highlighting the collection of DNA of staff without their consent as well as the alleged corruption. The documents spoke for themsleves and it seemed that what was being asked was an investigation in wrongdoing. Only an investigation or some serious questionning by an quasi-judicial body can/could make a pronouncement on whether or not wrongdoing took place. What is shocking is that WIPO's member states, even in the face of alleged wrongdoing are willing to stand behind a person with a cloud of doubt hanging over his head. When the previous Director General (from Sudan) allegedly had an incorrect birthdate on record, several member states called for his removal and he did not finish his term. To give the current Ditector General (from Australia) a free pass on some very very very serious allegations is exactly what IAM ssays, "it stinks". In other words, beside some serious tone of discrimination/racism, member states are willing to support, worse, endorse, alleged criminal behaviour. Go figure! The sad part is that many developing countries do not even have the backbone to openly question such support. Yet there may be a surprise in the making - maybe Mr. Gurry will not get endorsed at the next General Assembly ... Who knows?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2014 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Like many good reports that go poof

    One trick which often works, if you have a browser which had visited the page but didn't visit it again after it disappeared: File > Offline Mode, then open the page. The offline mode gets the page from the cache without revalidating with the original server.

    I've used this trick once to recover and screenshot a page which had been deleted by a blogger.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Apr 28th, 2014 @ 3:54pm

    Re: Going to have to disagree with you here, Mike

    First, I think it's important to understand that WIPO the organization is separate from WIPO member states. Gurry and Pooley are members of the WIPO Secretariat. Yes, they come from member states, but as members of the secretariat, they are first and foremost supposed to serve the institution. The institution exists to serve administrative and organizational needs of the member states. It is not supposed to take sides with member states.

    A lot of the problems we might have with "WIPO" are actually problems with WIPO's powerful member states - the United States, the European Union, Japan, etc. Remember, WIPO also produced the Development Agenda and the Marrakesh Treaty.


    Agree with all that -- but don't see how it changes the very questionable behavior of sending that letter and trying to censor reporting.

     

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    art guerrilla (profile), Apr 28th, 2014 @ 5:16pm

    Re:

    whoa there kamper...
    you had some good stuff, but then ruined it by wondering why the players would want to keep him...
    i know NOTHING about the guy and the situation, but from a lifetime of experience, reading contemporary his story, etc, I KNOW that if he is kept around by the puppetmasters in spite of otherwise disqualifying factoids, that is because he serves their purposes quite well...
    um, what' that ? ? ?
    you *really* thought these public/gummint institutions are there to serve the purposes of the 99% ? ? ?
    silly wabbit ! ! !

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2014 @ 5:58pm

    I found some caches online on various search engines and this is what it has cached (just a snippet).

    "WIPO Deputy Director Alleges Gurry Misconduct - IP Watchdog

    The senior American official at WIPO, Deputy Director General Jim Pooley, has filed a Report of Misconduct addressed to the Chairs of the General Assemblies and the Coordination Committee, describing what he claims are serious violations of national and international law by Mr. Gurry. Thus, the plot thickens ahead of the vote on May 8, 2014… Frankly, I don’t know what to think about all of this, but it seems rather safe to say that internally WIPO is an extraordinary dysfunctional mess."

    The writing style seems about right ...

     

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    ysth (profile), Apr 28th, 2014 @ 7:41pm

    Under swiss law...

    Under Swiss law, your left pinkie could constitute a criminal offense.

    Such is the power of "could".

     

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    Guy, Apr 28th, 2014 @ 8:05pm

    Who has these documents?

    Who has these documents and why haven't they been posted anywhere? Someone must have gotten their hands on them before the legal threats.

     

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    Yet Another Anonymous Poster, Apr 29th, 2014 @ 5:43am

    Re:

    So "competent" means "corrupt" in this case.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2014 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re: WIPO the global bully

    I would prefer more IP policymaking take place at WIPO - at least it would be relatively transparent

    Since when unaccountable official bodies strive for more transparency? They never do; they rather claim omniscience.

     

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    Votre (profile), Apr 29th, 2014 @ 11:33am

    So...Popehat Signal request anybody?

     

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    Bergman (profile), Apr 29th, 2014 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Re:

    You mean the military systems that are so old that they can't even run Windows XP?

     

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    Entrepreneurman (profile), Apr 29th, 2014 @ 6:19pm

    Quinn has chosen not to fight?

    Re: "Quinn has chosen not to fight this, taking down his post and the associated documents, noting that while he believes in the First Amendment, he's currently recovering from hip replacement surgery and is in no condition to take on this sort of fight at the moment."

    First of all, I am totally against WIPO's actions to intimidate Gene Quinn and others from reporting on WIPO's scandals. However, isn't this the same Gene Quinn who angrily reacts whenever it's pointed out how biased and dismissive he his when others point out how much damage trademark and other IP bullies are inflicting on individuals and orgs too small or intimidated to fight back? Funny how he meekly reacts when the shoe is on the other foot.

    I realize hip replacement surgery is no picnic, but has Gene ceased all legal work because of it? Perhaps, but I'm guessing that hip replacement surgery or not, Gene would have folded instead of fighting. Because as an IP atty, he knows firsthand how unreasonably expensive and risky it is for individuals and small orgs to fight back against IP bullies.

    In other words, like many attys and critics of those trying to stop the proliferation of IP bullies, Gene appears to be a hypocrite. But hopefully this experience will change his and the opinions of others who protect and defend IP bullies.

    But as Upton Sinclair famously said: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it."

    Scott
    scott -at- bizstarz -dot- com

     

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    Entrepreneurman (profile), Apr 30th, 2014 @ 2:12am

    Re: Quinn has chosen not to fight?

    I'm not trying to pile on Gene, and hopefully his hip replacement recovery is going well. But I forgot to mention the obvious...if he's confident he did nothing wrong, and it appears that he didn't, then why doesn't Gene simply do what he'd certainly advise anyone else to do, and HIRE AN ATTORNEY?

    My guess is because like many attorneys, he can't afford to pay what he gladly charges others. Plus he knows that even if he prevailed, it's unlikely he'd get back his attorneys fees. In other words, he knows that typically the only one who "wins" these types of legal battles, are the attorneys, not the clients.

    Scott
    scott -at- bizstarz -dot- com

     

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    btr1701, Apr 30th, 2014 @ 12:43pm

    Re:

    +1!!! So annoying.

     

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    richard40 (profile), May 1st, 2014 @ 8:02am

    Re: Re:

    Since when should we be fair to a vicious terrorist gov like Iran or N Korea.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 3:12pm

    Havimg read the several posts on this issue and then the Part 2 interview of Managing Intellectual Property magazine, which includes FGurry's responss, We are ever more convinced that the changes being made to reform WIPO is geared to take IP to the benefit of the East and certainly not to developing countries.

    Russia, China, Korea, will most certainly make the most use of the IP system and including IP of others, especially the US. With Gurry paying lip service to the US and holdimg Africa and Latin America in comtempt, he will have the IP system flourish in the East. He has no worries other than to make this happen and is not concerned at all (none whatsoever) of what others think of him.

    On his re-election, if correctly understood, he recieved 46 votes out of 83, with the majority from Asia. No talk of criminal behaviour (DNA and procurement corruption) will sway Member States from confirming him. No matter if he has placed former girlfriends is pivitol positions, no matter that he has a very long list of contracts with 'acquaintances', no matter that they be all white Englishmen, etc.no matter that he gets a handful of staff to do his 'messy' work, which includes engaging some members states in the distasteful manipulation of the system, the system he speaks so proudly of is corrupt to the core.

    Can we PLEASE have the grand ol' USA please ensure that this person does not remain as DG for another 6years!!!!

    Chaos will follow his reign and it will ultimately kill true creation and innovation. Please ensure that Gurry does not get elected on the staff Council.

     

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    Entrepreneurman (profile), May 6th, 2014 @ 7:10pm

    Re: Re: Quinn has chosen not to fight?

    As good as this article is, it still misses the larger, more important societal issue: only deep-pocketed organizations and individuals can afford to hire IP attorneys and fight back against IP bullies.

    Gene's hip replacement may be a big deal, but that's not preventing him from fighting back. He immediately caved to WIPO's threats because he cannot afford to hire an attorney. But like other IP attorneys, Gene doesn't want others, especially his clients, to know that he cannot afford the same services he charges others huge sums for (he even refused to post my comments on his ipwatchdog.com article about his situation with WIPO).

    Gene continues to research and write lengthy ipwatchdog.com articles, so his hip replacement recovery obviously isn't preventing him for responding to WIPO's letter. Again, it's the absurdly high cost and risks that is preventing him from fighting back.

    Gene's unfortunate situation reminds me how hypocritical IP attorneys and bloggers were about the USPTO's report on trademark bullies a few years ago. Most, if not all, tried to whitewash the problem and actually claimed there are already sufficient legal remedies available to deal with IP bullies. Hmm, then why isn't Gene making use of any of these so-called legal remedies against WIPO? He isn't because they are woefully insufficient.

    So while I wish Gene well in his recovery and potential battle against WIPO, I also wish he had been more forthcoming about his reasons for immediately caving in to WIPO's demands.

    The best way to deal with IP bullies, is to come up with a solution that helps everyone deal with IP bullies, not just Gene because he blogs about IP law and so happens to know lots of IP attorneys who understandably want to help out one of their own.

    I also doubt that Gene or any other IP attorney will be able to credibly (or nicely) challenge my take on why IP Watchdog swiftly backed down to a letter from WIPO. But you are encouraged to do so if you can do so in a way that also helps others fight back against IP bullies.

    Scott
    scott -at- bizstarz -dot- com

    P.S. Keep up the good work techdirt!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2014 @ 2:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The bad guys? There's about 500 of them (give or take a dozen) sitting on Capitol Hill right now. There's a start for you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    Entrepreneurman (profile), May 8th, 2014 @ 5:47pm

    Re: Quinn has chosen not to fight?

    Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, not a single IP attorney has commented about the realities of why Gene, a highly experienced IP attorney, chose to immediately comply with WIPO's letter instead of fight back.

    The reason of course is that IP attorneys know how prohibitively expensive, risky, time-consuming, and emotionally draining it is to fight back against an IP bully - even if the facts are clearly in your favor. Plus, IP attorneys dream of landing these types of cases so they can have a cash cow of a client for many, many years. What better way to pay for their kids' law school tuition?

    My non-attorney guess is that it could easily cost more than $500,000 and several stressful years for Gene to fully fight this battle. Worse yet, even if he ultimately prevailed, it's unlikely he would ever be compensated for all that time and money. Ouch!

    But will any IP attorneys please estimate what you believe this case could have cost Gene had he been able to afford to fight back? Techdirt allows you to post as "Anonymous Coward," so hopefully at least one IP attorney will be noble enough to anonymously share their firsthand knowledge about the high costs of fighting back against IP bullies.

    Scott
    scott -at- bizstarz -dot- com

    P.S. It's also quite telling and disappointing that even an "IP watchdog" is unable to defend itself against an IP bully. And doesn't Gene's decision to flee instead of fight signal that all someone has to do to get him to immediately remove content they disagree with from ipwatchdog.com, is simply have a law firm send him a threatening cease-and-desist letter? Won't that have a serious chilling effect on ipwatchdog.com and similar websites and blogs?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    Entrepreneurman (profile), May 8th, 2014 @ 6:05pm

    Re: Quinn has chosen not to fight?

    Question for Gene Quinn:

    Would you agree to vigorously represent and defend me or someone else against WIPO, if we were willing to post James Pooley's "Report of Misconduct" on one of our websites?

    Scott
    scott -at- bizstarz -dot- com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    Entrepreneurman (profile), May 9th, 2014 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Quinn has chosen not to fight?

    Gene, all though it was implied, to be clear, would you be willing to provide "pro bono" representation? That way you could fight back and defend your work and reputation, prove your innocence, discourage future bullying attacks against yourself and ipwatchdog.com, showcase your legal skills, and defeat an IP bully - all at the same time and w/out having to risk your own (ass)ets! And if you prevail, you would likely get lots of well-deserved international attention, both in the media and in the legal community (and as a result, a ton of new clients). The headline could be "IP Watchdog Defeats IP Bully!"

    And if Gene is unwilling or unable to jump on this offer, are there ANY other IP attorneys out there who will? If not, why not? The best way to defeat and discourage IP bullying, is to stand up to it. So if no IP attorneys are willing to do that, then you should stop pretending you care about this problem and bellyaching about it. Because by refusing to do anything about it, you are knowingly condoning it.

    Scott
    scott -at- bizstarz -dot- com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Fidalla Ho, Jun 24th, 2014 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: Quinn has chosen not to fight?

    Is it just me or is "Entrepreneurman" simultaneously asking for pro-bono legal help AND gut checking every IP lawyer who may be reading this thread if they don't respond?

    Entrepreneurman, perhaps you should consider taking the red bull out of your your diet. 6 posts praising and slamming people at the same time is not an effective use of one's day.

    Something to consider anyway.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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