Old-timers like me will recall the old days when, to keep up to date about important developments like court decisions, the only choice was to subscribe to BNA’s PTCJ (Patent Trademark and Copyright Journal), a weekly print publication that at that time cost about $1000 per year. The average delay between an important event and a subscriber’s learning of the event was on the order of 7-10 days.
Nowadays of course we get our news via the Internet. But it is interesting to see the great variation in how long it takes for news of an important event to get around depending upon the particular distribution channel.
I’ll take as an example yesterday’s important Supreme Court decision in Samsung v. Apple. This is the first time in decades that the Supreme Court has taken up a design patent case, and the outcome is an important one for the world of design patents. (I blogged about the decision yesterday.)
The first place that this event got reported was the mailing list of the AIPLA Industrial Designs committee, at 9:34 AM Mountain Time. The poster was James Aquilina, vice-chair of that committee, and the result was that all of the members of that AIPLA committee learned of this development within minutes of the Supreme Court’s release of the decision.
The second place that this event got reported was the Industrial Designs listserv, at 10:46 AM Mountain Time. The poster was alert listserv member Margaret Polson, and the result was all of the members of that listserv learned of this development. (If you have not already done so, you should join the Industrial Designs listserv, which is free of charge.)
The third place that this event got reported was the Patentpractice listserv (sponsored by Washburn University School of Law), at 11:11 AM Mountain Time. The poster was alert listserv member Rick Neifeld, and the result was that all of the members of that listserv learned of this development.
James, Margaret and Rick were each filing US design patent applications for clients long before it was fashionable to do so. They scooped every mainstream publication including the New York Times and USA Today (mentioned below).
The fourth place that this event got reported was the email newsletter of the firm of McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP (“MBHB Snippets“). This was at 1:56 PM Mountain Time.
The fifth place that this got reported was the Ant-Like Persistence blog, in its industrial designs section, at 4:29 PM Mountain TIme. (If you’ve not already subscribed to that blog, now is the time to do so.)
The sixth place that this got reported was the email newsletter of the firm of Maier & Maier PLLC. This was at 4:53 PM Mountain Time.
By that point the news had reached the mainstream media, with articles in the New York Times, USA Today and elsewhere.