Please join me this Friday, January 23 at the Chicago Bar Association’s annual Practice Management and Legal Technology Conference. I will be presenting from 1:30-2:30 CT with Evan Brown of Internet Cases fame. We will be discussing the broad topic of using the internet and social media, in particular blogs, to network and develop your practice. The conference promises to be a great day of learning about new technologies from a wide array of experts. The cost is $99 dollars for CBA members and $199 for non-members both pay an extra $10 for registration at the event. Click here for more information on the seminar and registration forms.

Continue Reading CLE: Better Practice Management Through Technology

Making good on his promise to turn his IP Colloquium into National Public Radio for IP law, Doug Lichtman’s newest offering is an extended interview with Federal Circuit Chief Judge Michel. Click here to listen to Licthman’s interview, you can even apply for New York or California CLE credit after listening. Here are some of Judge Michel’s more interesting observations:
Petitions for rehearing are too often “shallow and weak.”
Votes denying en banc rehearings are often close, making the poor petitions for rehearing especially surprising and disappointing.
Parties interested in supporting cases with amicus briefs should consider filing briefs supporting rehearing petitions. An amicus brief that was both well researched and well written could play an important role in strengthening a case’s en banc potential and tipping close votes for rehearing.
In re Bilski did not answer all of the 101 questions because not all of the questions were raised in the case or ripe for consideration. It will take a series of 101 cases to flesh out the post-Bilski state of the law.
Judge Michel is hopeful that the new patent jury instructions — click here to read the Blog’s post about them — will help bring some clarity and continuity to, among other things, damages and obviousness instructions, although at the time of the interview it appeared that he had not seen the instructions yet.
The Doctrine of Equivalents has almost “dried up.”

Continue Reading Chief Judge Michel: The State of Patent Law

As I mentioned here, I recently gave a presentation for the National Constitution Center on settlement agreement best practices. I focused on the important principles of: knowing your client’s and opponent’s needs; generating trust between the parties during the negotiation and through any ongoing responsibilities pursuant to the agreement; bringing in experts on various topics; and making sure that your agreement and its terms had buy in from all relevant client stakeholders (not just legal, but accounting, media relations, tax and the appropriate C-level or business executives. You can see a copy of the slides here.
Mike Graham, the Seattle Trademark Lawyer, is presenting soon on a related topic, except he is looking at planning ahead for potential litigation in trademark licensing. It promises to be a very interesting presentation based on Graham’s initial notes — click here to read them. Just as litigators do well to bring in licensing experts to finalize settlement agreements, licensing attorneys do well to have a litigator’s perspective on their agreements.
[UPDATE:] I just learned that Seattle Trademark Lawyer (the blog, not Graham) turned two yesterday — click here to read Graham’s birthday post. Congratulations Mike. Two years of top quality content, and going strong. I started this blog a few months before Graham started STL. It is nice to see my contemporaries succeeding.

Continue Reading IP Licensing Best Practices

This Thursday, November 20 at noon central time, I am presenting a one hour program audio conference on drafting and negotiating effective settlements. The program is not IP-specific, but will be very useful for IP lawyers and litigants, as well as general commercial litigators. I will focus on knowing your needs and those of your opponents, using relationship building to create an effective agreement built for long-term success, and tips for writing long-lasting, realistic agreements that fit the needs of the parties and the realities of their business operations. Click here to read more about the presentation, and here to register for it. The program’s costs $199, although I understand you can invite as many people from your firm as you would like to participate on the call.
The program is being put on by the National Constitution Center, which hosts a regular series of CLE programs. For example, on Tuesday, November 25, the NCC is hosting a program entitled IP Issues In Business Transactions: What Every Lawyer Needs To Know. That program will be presented by Brian Kelly, a California-based IP licensing partner of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips.

Continue Reading CLE: Drafting & Negotiating Effective Settlement Agreements