Bulletproof Teflon Patent Infringers

November 28, 2007

Imagine an entity that receives far more patents from the U.S. PTO than any related entity in the country. An entity that has generated at least $500 million in patent royalties over the last five years. One that often uses the courts, routinely alleging patent infringement as a plaintiff and settling against such giants as Genentech for $200 million, Monsanto for over $100 million, and Microsoft for $30 million settlement, to name but a few. And yet, this entity cannot itself be sued or pursued for patent infringement. Some would say this sounds like a typical “patent troll,” which does not actually make, use, or sell anything (and thus is not likely to be sued for patent infringement) but seeks only to “monetize” its patent portfolio by forcing legitimate practitioners of the technology to pay licensing fees. Read the rest of this entry »

RE: Long-Lost Musty Metaphors of Yesteryear

October 22, 2007

Today I reminded a colleague of the oft-quoted maxim in patent law that “a patent may not, like a ‘nose of wax,’ be twisted one way to avoid anticipation [finding of invalidity because something in the prior art already did what the patent describes] and another to find infringement.” He just looked at me blankly and asked “what in the world is a ‘nose of wax’?!?” and suggested that I must be making that up or misquoting something. Read the rest of this entry »

“Case of Incipient Verbal Diarrhea”

September 29, 2006

Witness depositions are often very dry affairs.  A lot of mundane questions about subtle details that may or may not make a difference at trial- they are often used for discovering information, gaining admissions, and testing theories. 

But sometimes they get very animated. For  an amusing look at one such deposition, take a look at this one in Texas. (We watched this recently at a NITA deposition training- it is quite an entertaining look at an example of "depositions gone wild":


(By the way, the witness is right, sometimes we lawyers DO get a "case of insipient verbal diarrhea". . .)

Surprises in East Texas

September 28, 2006

Most people seem to think Texas is an arid desert wasteland with tumbleweeds blowing in the dust amidst chirping crickets.  That’s why many are pleasantly surprised when they drive through the intensely forested and green rolling hills of East Texas. 

But that is not the only surprising thing in East Texas.

Read the rest of this entry »

Six Score and Ten Years Ago This Week

March 11, 2006

130 years ago this week, something happened that impacted the world in general, the direction of an important area of U.S. law, and the immediate temporal well-being of my family today.

Care to hazard a guess? (Hint: you’re probably going to be wrong.)

Read the rest of this entry »