Tag Archives: Attorney

East Texas Patent Litigation, Part 3: Essentials for Victory

Man in suit addressing jurors in courtroomIn this third and final part of my current series on East Texas patent litigation, I will discuss essentials for victory in Texas intellectual property (IP) trials, again, based on my exclusive interview with noted blogger and Texas lawyer Michael C. Smith. Contrary to popular impression, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of … Continue Reading

East Texas Patent Litigation, Part 2: How to Win!

Capitol Building, Austin-TexasIt takes skill to win a patent case. You must marshal the evidence so judge and jury will follow you to the right conclusion. See Abraham Lincoln School of Patent Litigation. Lincoln, born in Kentucky and called to the bar in Springfield, Illinois, knew how to try a case quickly. Juries could relate to him. He was real. Abraham … Continue Reading

Why patent defendants hate East Texas (Part 1)

Texas Law Legal System ConceptWhy do patent defendants say such bad things about the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas? I asked this question of Michael C. Smith, the noted lawyer and blogger from Marshall, Texas. To prime the pump, I noted Texas Monthly calls his hometown “the intellectual property equivalent of a speed trap, a … Continue Reading

3 criteria for @realDonaldTrump for new Director of Patent Office

US Capitol dome detail with flagThe President-Elect @realDonaldTrump and his transition team @transition2017 are working on appointments to his new Cabinet. One of the chairs is reserved for the new Secretary of Commerce. Following close on Commerce’s heels will be appointment of a new Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO … Continue Reading

How long should a patent claim be?

Hand Holding Wooden Folding  RulerHouse counsel for a large software company has written an open letter to me titled Pursuit of Extremely Short Patent Claims. He has thrown down the gauntlet in a public forum. Here’s what he said to me, followed by my response. … Continue Reading

Three Takeaways from Computer Chip Patent Wars

Circuit womanOn April 25, 1961, Robert Noyce, then of Fairchild, was issued U.S. Patent 2,981,877 for the first silicon-based integrated circuit. The earlier-filed patent application of Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments (TI) was still in the queue at the U.S. Patent Office. In the end, Intel would become Fairchild’s heir and boast annual sales of over $50 billion, leaving … Continue Reading

How to get lucky in basketball and in patent cases

Flaming basketballLuck, resources, or skill: Which factor is most important in basketball? In patent cases? In basketball, one counts on a bit of luck as the ball rolls around the rim. Talented players are the key resources. For skill, look at the coaches. In patent cases, judges and juries are drawn randomly. The top resources—and the biggest liabilities—in patent cases are the facts. The skill … Continue Reading

Billion Dollar Lego Patent

Lego logo on boxFifty-eight years ago today, Kirk Godtfred of Lego filed his patent application on the basic building block, literally, of Lego’s billion dollar private fortune. Now, here’s the thing: A patent filed 58 years ago is long expired. The then-standard-17-year term ended in 1978. So how is it that Lego is still the only game in town?… Continue Reading

Patent — Picture or 1,000 Words?

Rich Beem, Johnny Kilpatrick & Patco ReelIn a patent, which is better: A picture or 1,000 words? For patent purposes, it’s important to provide considerable detail in drawings and descriptions. Some foresight is required, because support is required as of the filing date for the originally filed claims and for amendments that may become desirable during prosecution. In this article, we will consider … Continue Reading

More Words, Less Patent Clarity

Absolute ClarityThe Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has announced that in her zeal to prevent substandard patents from issuing, she will insist on clarity of the record. Every word of every patent will have to be defined. And every word stated in the patent process—in the give and take (or “prosecution”) between applicant… Continue Reading

Some Kind of Patent Trial

Beem Goes to CourtPatent jury trials reached their zenith in the mid-1990s. The stakes remain high, though the drama has faded. Now, even if it’s called a trial, what you get is “some kind of hearing,” as Judge Henry Friendly once called it in his seminal lecture and law review article. Some kind of hearing: That’s all you can expect in … Continue Reading

Patent World Convenes at IPO in Chicago

This week the world of corporate intellectual property (IP) converged in Chicago for the Annual Meeting of the Intellectual Property Owners (IPO) Association. A record 1150 IP lawyers and patent and trademark attorneys attended from the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, Latin America,  Australia and Africa. See attached photo (from left to right): Ray Ricordati, Renata Righetti, Richard Beem, … Continue Reading

Samsung loses bid for rehearing in $500 MM patent award to Apple

In my recent blog post, I reported that Samsung, backed by Google and other tech giants, was seeking rehearing of the Federal Circuit’s decision affirming some $500 million in damages to be paid by Samsung to Apple for design patent infringement. Hundreds of breathless reporters wondered whether Samsung would succeed in… Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Judicial Clerkship Experience

It is a wonderful experience to serve as law clerk to a judge. It’s fun to meet other law clerks, judges, and members of the bar. Clerks get to know each other in a variety of ways, forming friendships that can last a lifetime. Here is a photo from Archives Courtesy of Federal Circuit Historical Society showing the law … Continue Reading

Why Samsung will pay half billion to Apple for design patent infringement

In a saga of epic proportions, sprawling across the globe, Apple and Samsung have been duking it out over smartphone design and features. That’s billion, with a “B” District Judge Lucy Koh of California entered judgment in favor of Apple to the tune of… Continue Reading

High Court Bites Spider-Man Patent

A patent endows its owner with “superpowers,” but “only for a limited time,” held the U.S. Supreme Court in Kimble v. Marvel (June 22, 2015). The time-honored formula for action is “ready, aim, fire!” Here, as in many less-than-perfect business/legal cases, the parties reversed the last two steps. To their credit and profit, at least … Continue Reading

Fear of Patents Incited by Lobbyists

Patent law promotes the progress of technology by rewarding inventors who patent their inventions. From the beginning, the Constitution empowered Congress to pass a Patent Act, and President George Washington called for it in his first State of the Union address. Congress acted affirmatively in 1790, with periodic updates ever since. As Abraham Lincoln said, the patent system adds … Continue Reading

Quick and Easy Intellectual Property (IP) Audit

To conduct a quick, easy, and effective intellectual property (IP) audit, start with the business, not with IP or legal considerations. IP has little value apart from the business. Legal issues have no meaning apart from the business. How does your company make money? Identify key products, revenues, and margins. Relationships. Customers. Key people. Market leadership. Competitors. Vulnerability. … Continue Reading

Patent System under Attack: Interview with USPTO Director Michelle Lee

This morning, my fellow leaders of the Chicago Intellectual Property Law Association (IPLAC) and I met with Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and several of her fellow USPTO executives, including the impressive Dr. Christal Sheppard, Director of the Detroit Office. Director Lee has excellent qualifications. Unfortunately, as discussed below, … Continue Reading
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