Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Strange USPTO Behavior

Jamie Love of Knowledge Ecology International just posted that the USPTO blocks access to "political/activist groups" including the ACLU, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and a host of other organizations.  According to Mr. Love the dailykos.com and rushlimbaugh.com are blocked but alijazeera.org and the huffingtonpost.com are not.  His post provides a short list of some of the organizations blocked and not blocked.

I've seen Mr. Love speak about Intellectual Property issues several times.  He provides thoughtful discussion on important intellectual property issues even if you don't always agree with what he says. It's hard to fathom a reason why his organization would be blocked.

Here is a link to Mr. Love's post.

The basic question on USPTO blocking these organizations is why?  Why should anyone be blocked?  Who made this decision?  Was it a political decision?  Was some risk posed by allowing people in these organizations to have access to USPTO's site?

A tweet from Mr. Love reports that he got a call from USPTO saying the filter that blocked the "political/activist organizations" has been removed.  While this is the right thing to do, the question remains, why did they block the sites in the first place?