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False Narrative Credibility For Sale?

In the wake of yet another “academic” pushing a false narrative without proper facts, comes a story about Google attempting to influence academic publishing through payments of as much as $400,000 USD per article. These types of stories are typically filled with meaningless platitudes like “There are lots of patents floating around that don’t represent bona fide inventions” and are otherwise utterly devoid of facts. In fact, as my personal takedown of Associate Professor Kominers (read it in full over at IPWire) explains at the outset:

This opening statement makes clear his intentions—to distort facts and present an ideological agenda, rather than engage in serious debate—but otherwise serves no purpose. This concept is never revisited in his article, nor does he ever clarify his understanding of “lots of patents” and “bona fide inventions.” Truth be told, as the US Patent system approaches the 10 million mark in a numbering scheme that started (re-started, technically) at #1 in 1836, even a small percentage of patents representing non “bona fide inventions” would add up to a big number. Thus, Kominers starts off saying precisely nothing while immediately biasing an unfamiliar audience to distrust the patent system.

If Google pays academics for self-serving “research,” then other powerful business interests likely do as well, providing yet another motivation for attention-seekers to wade out of their depth, passing off the reputation of their respective organizations as their own. Whether for fame or for money, this practice is embarrassing and shameful. It continues, however, because the false narrative unfortunately carries much farther than the (boring) fact-based deconstructions that follow …

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