Yesterday, the Federal Circuit handed down its anticipated en banc decision in Therasense, Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson & Co., increasing the standards for inequitable conduct. The 6-5 majority held that:
an omitted reference is material only if the claim or patent would not have issued, but for omission of the reference;
specific intent to deceive must be shown by clear and convincing evidence;
courts can no longer employ a “sliding scale” of intent and materiality, both must be showng by clear and convincing evidence; and
courts should apply equity to ensure that the remedy is not based upon conduct “immaterial to the issuance of the patent.”
Patent Docs has an excellent explanation of the opinion and the case background. And there is plenty of commentary about the opinion (see links below). My initial reaction was that the heightened standards will not actually reduce the number of inequitable conduct claims that are filed, although it may reduce the number of inequitable conduct findings.
So, while the overall outcomes may change, the general cost and complexity of patent litigation will likely remain the same. But when I said as much on Twitter (@rdd), I got an interesting reaction from what appears to be an anonymous patent lawyer. This anonymous person suggested that the heightened standard would actually embolden inventors and patent prosecutors to omit references and hide information from the Patent Office because they are now less likely to be charged with inequitable conduct. My inclination is to dismiss this theory based upon my operating presumption that most patent prosecutors, and most inventors, are, or at least intend to, zealously advocate for their clients, or themselves, within the Patent Office’s rules and the relevant ethics standards. Of course, I have seen exceptions, and they can be severe. But my experience is that those are the exceptions, not the rule. I am curious to hear what others think about this. Am I wrong?
Here is a round up of some of the blog posts about the decision:
Peter Zura’s 271 Patent Blog “rejoices” that the heightened standards give prosecutors added protection;
Life Sciences Law;
Orange Book Blog;
Patently-O ;
PharmaPatents; and
PLI Blog.

Continue Reading

This post comes more than a week after the Supreme Court decided Bilski. Last Monday when the decision came down I was struggling with what value I could add to the many reports that would fill the intellectual property blogosphere, and was leaning towards waiting a few days (which also allowed me to deal with various client commitments and new opportunities). Then a good friend praised me for being the lone IP blog who had not said a word about Bilski on the day of the decision, after receiving an email of the blog’s content for the day. That comment cemented it for me. I decided to give myself some time to think about the decision before posting here. Of course, that means that much of what can be said already has been. So, links to many excellent commentaries are below.
At its heart, the Bilski decision continues the Supreme Court’s patent law trend moving away from bright line rules and allowing the flexibility to adapt the law to future situations. The business method in Bilski was struck down, but the Court did not strike down all business methods. And the justices made clear that the machine-or-transformation test was not the only option for determining patentability, increasing the law’s flexibility even more. Having preserved at least some business methods, the Court obviously left software patents intact as well. So, Bilski was not the death of business methods or software. And just as after KSR (obviousness) and eBay (injunction standard), the decision injects uncertainty into the law that will take 18 – 24 months to sort out, first in the district courts and then more slowly in the Federal Circuit. The one thing you can be sure of is that you will see lots of Bilski-based motions over the next year. And I am sure I will be writing about Northern District Bilski decisions during that time.
Here is some of the commentary from across the blogosphere:
* 271 Patent Blog;
* Chisum’s Notes on Bilski;
* Filewrapper (noting that the Supreme Court issued grant, vacate and remand orders in two business method cases assuring we will get some realtively quick Federal Circuit guidance on the outlines of Bilski);
* IPWatchdog (arguing, among other things, that even in the post-Bilski world one could write claims that would capture Bilski innovation);
* New York Times Bits Blog (looking at the uncertainty the decision injects into litigation);
* Patent Docs (looking at Bilski’s impact upon biotech patents);
* Patently-O (and here, here, here and here); and
* WSJ Law Blog.

Continue Reading

The Supreme Court heard oral argument in the Bilski case Monday afternoon. Click here for a transcript of the arguments. Here are a few of the highlights from Bilski’s argument:
JUSTICE GINSBURG: But you say you would say tax avoidance methods are covered, just as the process here is covered. So an estate plan, tax avoidance, how to resist a corporate takeover, how to choose a jury, all of those are patentable?
MR. JAKES: They are eligible for patenting as processes, assuming they meet the other statutory requirements.
JUSTICE BREYER: So that would mean that every — every businessman — perhaps not every, but every successful businessman typically has something. His firm wouldn’t be successful if he didn’t have anything that others didn’t have. He thinks of a new way to organize. He thinks of a new thing to say on the telephone. He thinks of something. That’s how he made his money.
And your view would be — and it’s new, too, and it’s useful, made him a fortune — anything that helps any businessman succeed is patentable because we reduce it to a number of steps, explain it in general terms, file our application, granted?
MR. JAKES: It is potentially patentable, yes.
* * *
JUSTICE BREYER: So you are going to answer this question yes. You know, I have a great, wonderful, really original method of teaching antitrust law, and it kept 80 percent of the students awake. They learned things – (Laughter.)
JUSTICE BREYER: It was fabulous. And I could probably have reduced it to a set of steps and other teachers could have followed it. That you are going to say is patentable, too?
MR. JAKES: Potentially.
And here are some of the highlights from the government’s argument:
JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: No ruling in this case is going to change State Street. It wasn’t looking at process or the meaning of “process.” It was looking at something else.
* * *
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Mr. Stewart, I thought I understood your argument up until the very last footnote in your brief. And you say this is not –simply the method isn’t patentable because it doesn’t involve a machine. But then you say but it might be if you use a computer to identify the parties that you are setting a price between and if you used a microprocessor to calculate the price. That’s like saying if you use a typewriter to type out the — the process then it is patentable. I — I — it — that takes away everything that you spent 53 pages establishing.
* * *
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: But if you look at your footnote, that involves the most tangential and insignificant use of a machine. And yet you say that might be enough to take something from patentability to not patentable.
MR. STEWART: And all we’ve said is that it might be enough; that is, hard questions will arise down the road as to where do you draw the line, to what extent must the machine or the transformation be central —
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: So you think it’s a hard question. If you develop a process that says look to the historical averages of oil consumption over a certain period and divide it by 2, that process would not be patentable. But if you say use a calculator, then it — then it is?
MR. STEWART: I think if it’s simply using a calculator for its preexisting functionality to crunch numbers, very likely that would not be enough. But what we see in some analogous areas is that the computer will be programmed with new software, it will be given functionality it didn’t have before in order to allow it to perform a series of calculations, and that gets closer to the line. And again —
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Well, your footnote — I don’t mean to dwell on it — it says to identify counterparties to the transactions. So that if what you’re trying to get is the — the baker who sells bread, because you are going to hook him up with the grocer who sells, you know, in the grocery store, if you punched in in your search station, you know, give me all the bakers in Washington, that would make it patentable?
MR. STEWART: Again, we are — we are not saying it would be patent eligible. We would have to review those facts, and the PTO would have to review those facts in the context of an actual application.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is simply that we don’t want the Court, for instance, in the area of software innovations or medical diagnostic techniques to be trying to use this case as the vehicle for identifying the circumstances in which innovations of that sort would and would not be patent eligible, because the case really doesn’t present any — any question regarding those technologies. And therefore, we —
If those highlights, left you wanting more, check out the following posts that give some additional context to the cold transcript or read the tea leaves, as we all wait for a decision, likely this spring:
271 Patent Blog
IPWatchdog (and here)
Patent Docs
Patently-O (and here)
The Prior Art
WSJ Law Blog

Continue Reading

The Supreme Court hears oral argument today in Bilski v. Kappos. The Court will decide the proper test for Section 101 patentability and will either decide or at least significantly impact the patentability of software and business method patents. Here are the questions presented:
1. Whether the Federal Circuit erred by holding that a “process” must be tied to a particular machine or apparatus, or transform a particular article into a different state or thing (“machine-or-transformation” test), to be eligible for patenting under 35 U.S.C. § 101, despite this Court’s precedent declining to limit the broad statutory grant of patent eligibility for “any” new and useful process beyond excluding patents for “laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas.”
2. Whether the Federal Circuit’s “machine-or-transformation” test for patent eligibility, which effectively forecloses meaningful patent protection to many business methods, contradicts the clear Congressional intent that patents protect “method[s] of doing or conducting business.” 35 U.S.C. § 273.
For more on the history of both the Bilski case, check out my recent article with my colleague Mike Grill in the Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property. Patently-O has compiled the amicus briefs — click here for the briefs supporting Bilski or neither party, and here for the briefs supporting the government. The briefs supporting the government include a brief by a group of Internet Retailers that, I am proud to say, cites my law review article arguing for an even application of the Twombly pleading standard as to both patent plaintiffs and patent defendants — click here for the amicus brief and here for my article from the John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law.
Click here for the SCOTUSBlog’s preview of the argument. For post-argument CLE options, click here for a list of courses compiled by Patent Docs and here for information on a CLE from IPWatchdog’s Gene Quinn, who plans to attend oral arguments.

Continue Reading

Here are several stories and updates, as well as a new IP blog:
At Patently-O, Dennis Crouch covers the Federal Circuit decision in the appeal from the Northern District of Illinois case SourceOne Global Partners, LLC v. KGK Synergize, Inc. — Click here for Crouch’s post on the appeal and here for my post on the underlying decision.
The latest installment of Doug Lichtman’s IP Colloquium is available — click here to listen. Lichtman and his guests from Microsoft, Paramount Pictures and MySpace discuss the protection of content in the digital age. As always, it is an excellent listen and CLE credit is available.
Seattle Trademark Lawyer Michael Atkins has another great post up about Olympic trademarks, this time featuring an article that ran in the Chicago Tribune (here) and LA Times (here) quoting both Atkins and me.
California attorney and mediator Erica Bristol has started the IP Watchtower blog. The blog covers all facets of intellectual property and the initial posts suggest it will be a great read. I have added it to my feed reader.

Continue Reading

Congratulations to Sharon Barner, a Chicagoan and the head of Foley & Lardner’s IP practice. Barner has been nominated to become the next Deputy Director of the Patent & Trademark Office. Based upon reputation and my limited contact with Barner, including among others speaking on a panel at Northwestern with her, the administration made an excellent choice. For more on the nomination, check out Patently-O and Chicago Law.

Continue Reading

Here are several stories to start your Monday morning with that I was not able to get to last week because of client commitments and some new business opportunities:
The first round of Bilski briefing has been filed with the Supreme Court. Click here for links to the various amici briefs at Patently-O, and here for an analysis of Bilski’s opening brief at BlawgIT.
Victoria Pynchon has an important warning for IP litigators about understanding a client’s insurance coverage at her IP ADR Blog — click here to read the story and here to check out Pynchon’s husband’s new Catastrophic Insurance Coverage Blog. The blog appears to be a good read, but more importantly IP litigators should make sure that they investigate client’s insurance policies early in a case.
William Patry has a new copyright-related blog, Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars. It is a companion to his book of the same name, which is excellent. I had the privilege of receiving an advance copy, which I loved. I will post a review soon. For now though, click here for Patry’s first post on the new blog.
Finally, last Friday, as they were headed into the August recess the Senate confirmed David Kappos as the next Director of the PTO — click here for the PTO’s press release.

Continue Reading

** This post is cross-posted at Patently-O **
The Northern District of Illinois judges are currently considering public comments on a new set of proposed Local Patent Rules – click here to download a copy of the proposed rules. The Court expects to enact a finalized version of the proposed Patent Rules later this year. As currently written, the rules likely will have a significant impact on the way that patent cases are litigated in the Northern District, and may result in an influx of patent cases to the Northern District, which is already among the top five for patent cases. As a result, patent litigators throughout the country should keep an eye on the proposed Patent Rules as they progress through the Court’s committee. While the proposed Patent Rules resemble those of the other major patent districts such as the N.D. California and the E.D. Texas, they differ in two rather significant respects:
1. The proposed Patent Rules promote uniformity, not speed.
The proposed Patent Rules contemplate a trial approximately two years after a complaint is filed. During a public comment session, several Northern District judges pointedly stated that, in seeking to promulgate local patent rules, the Court does not want to become a “rocket docket” for patent cases. And the Court does not seek to become the busiest patent docket in the country. Instead, the aim of the local patent rules is simply to promote uniformity and best practices among the judges of the Northern District. The Northern District of Illinois is one of the largest districts in the country, and uniformity among the District’s judges would promote case management predictability for both the Court and the litigants. Each Northern District judge currently schedules patent cases based upon her own experience, with little uniformity among the judges. The proposed Patent Rules attempt to remedy that.
That said, the rules are optional, not mandatory–individual judges will be able to deviate from the proposed Patent Rules. But the proposed Patent Rules at least will provide a starting point for uniformity and a suggested framework for the judges who choose to adhere to them.
2. Defendant opens and closes Markman briefing late in fact discovery.
The biggest deviation from the Northern District of California and Eastern District of Texas patent rules occurs in the claim construction phase. Significantly, the proposed Patent Rules do not contemplate two rounds of simultaneous briefing, as has become commonplace in patent cases. Instead, the proposed Patent Rules provide for a single set of briefs: the accused infringer files the opening brief, the patent holder responds, and the accused infringer replies. Notably, the accused infringer–not the patent holder–submits the initial and final briefs. The accused infringer necessarily will not have the benefit of the patentee’s claim construction position at the outset of the briefing. The practical impact of having the accused infringer file the opening claim construction brief remains to be seen, although some practitioners view this provision as having the potential to greatly increase the number of patent cases filed in the Northern District.
At the public comment session held on March 23, the judges on the rules committee explained the rationale behind this provision. Concurrent briefing, they noted, wasted a lot of time. The parties’ opening briefs tend to be ships passing in the night–the parties often argue past each other, rendering the opening briefs incomprehensible, or they agree with each other, rendering those points moot. As a result, neither the disputed claims nor the parties’ positions are fully understood until the concurrent responsive briefs. The proposed Patent Rules contemplate streamlining the process by eliminating simultaneous briefs.
The judges also addressed their decision to have the accused infringer, rather than the patent holder, begin the briefing. The judges explained that the patent holder’s opening argument is often for the “ordinary” meaning of claim terms. As a result, when the patent holder opens the briefing, the accused infringer has no chance to address many of the patent holder’s arguments because the patent holder often does not make those arguments until the reply brief. So, the judges explained, the Court and the parties are better served by having the accused infringer open the briefing with the patent holder responding to the accused infringer’s claim construction arguments.
Interestingly, a comment was made at the session pointing out that the Court has not decided how to schedule briefing when both parties assert patents against each other, that is, when each party is a patent holder and each party is an accused infringer. A possible resolution would be to allow two sets of parallel briefs with the accused infringer for each set of patents opening the briefing for those patents.
Conclusion
The proposed Patent Rules notably differ from the rules of other courts in two significant respects: the new briefing schedule, and for the fact that they are not aimed at decreasing the time to trial or at significantly growing the Northern District of Illinois’s patent docket. Assuming that the Court institutes the proposed Patent Rules with the current claim construction briefing schedule, it will be very interesting to see whether and how the claim construction procedures impact both case outcomes and the number of patent filings in the Northern District of Illinois.
For those interested in the specifics of the proposed Patent Rules, here is a general outline of the timeline and procedure that the proposed Patent Rules outline:
A standard protective order in place from the beginning of the case, unless and until it is modified, to avoid discovery delays being blamed upon entry of a protective order;
Automatic document production requirements of plaintiff when initial disclosures are served and of defendant when initial noninfringement and invalidity contentions are served;
Plaintiff serves initial infringement contentions two weeks after initial disclosures and defendant respond with initial noninfringement and invalidity contentions two weeks after that, followed two weeks later by plaintiff’s response to the invalidity contentions;
Plaintiff files final infringement contentions twenty one weeks after its initial contentions and defendant responds four weeks later with final noninfringement, invalidity and unenforceability contentions (after the final contentions, leave of Court is required for any amendments);
No party can seek a stay pending reexam after serving its final contentions;
The claim construction process begins two weeks after defendant’s final invalidity contentions are served;
Defendant files an opening claim construction brief along with a joint appendix including the patents in suit and their prosecution histories consecutively paginated, plaintiff then files a responsive brief within four weeks, and defendant has two weeks to file a reply;
Fact discovery closes forty two days after the claim construction rulings, which triggers expert discovery followed by a dispositive motion deadline; and
A trial is contemplated approximately two years after the filing of the complaint.

Continue Reading

Welcome to the August 2009 Carnival of Trust. The Carnival of Trust is a monthly, traveling review of the last month’s best posts related to various aspects of trust in the business world. It is much like the weekly Blawg Reviews that I post links to and have hosted (click here and here), but those generally contain far more than ten links. My job this month was to pick those ten posts for you and provide an introduction to each post that makes you want to click through and read more. For my regular Chicago IP Litigation blog readers, this will be a slight departure from the case analysis format you have come to expect, but very similar to my earlier stints hosting the Carnival of Trust and Blawg Review.
It is the trust that matters, not the title.
At IP Think Tank, Duncan Bucknell added to the recent debate in the patent community about whether the IP function should move into the corporate C-level suite, adding a Chief Intellectual Property Office to the ranks of CEO, COO, CTO, CIO, CLO and CMO – click here and here to read Bucknell’s posts. Following up on comments by Microsoft’s Marshall Phelps and Rockwell Collins’ Bill Elkington, Bucknell explained that the issue is not the name, but in a company having an IP champion that earns the organization’s trust and respect, whatever title that person is given:
You have to build your own credibility within your organisation as someone who reliably gets the job done. As you build trust with those senior to you, then your (ongoing?) commitment to communicating the value that can be added using intellectual property will become more prominent.
Make some (achievable) promises and then deliver. The more that you do this, the more credibility will be given to the IP function, and the greater awareness those senior to you will have. Some would call such a person an ‘IP Evangelist’ – I would say that they are just doing their job. People executing on difficult tasks bit by bit has always been what success is about.
As usual, Bucknell’s analysis is excellent. A person’s respect within an organization is at least as important as their title.
Running an organization is all about building trust.
The patent community focused much of its attention this week on the confirmation hearings for David J. Kappos, nominee for Director of the US Patent & Trademark Office. Click here for Patentability’s summary of the hearing highlights and here for a copy of Kappos’s statement at Patently-O. The hearings were relatively short, likely because there appears to be widespread trust in Kappos’s background and abilities. And although much of the hearing focused on procedural patent office issues, Kappos showed he deserved that trust by focusing his statement on his plans to earn trust with all of the stakeholders in the patent world. He specifically addressed concerns that his corporate background could disadvantage individual inventors or academics:
I am mindful that the USPTO serves the interests of ALL innovators in this country, small and large, corporate and independent, academic and applied, and – most importantly — the public interest. While I have spent my career to date at a large corporate enterprise, I am familiar with the concerns and issues of all USPTO constituents – including small and independent inventors, the venture and start-up community, public interest groups, the patent bar and many others – and will reach out to all of them.
Kappos addressed his plans to build trust with his employees at the USPTO:
I am mindful of the incredible dedication of the thousands of USPTO employees, and the essential role they play to the success of the US innovation system. I will work every day with the USPTO employees and the unions that represent them to establish strong, positive relationships grounded in professional treatment for these workers producing work product based on professional judgment.
He addressed the need to build global trust and relationships:
I am acutely mindful that innovation today is global and that IP policy is of paramount importance, not only in our country, but also in the EU and Japan, in China, India, Brazil and many other developing countries. I will use my international experience and my understanding of global IP trends to help this Administration represent, advance, and protect the interests of American innovators in the global arena and to lead the world in developing strong, balanced, inclusive intellectual property systems that advance the well-being of all participants.
And he addressed the need to build trust with the Administration he seeks to join and the American people the Administration serves:
Finally, I am mindful that the office for which I am being considered, working as part of Secretary Locke’s team and within the Administration’s agenda, must be intensely focused on how to serve the American people at this time of economic uncertainty.
Gene Quinn provides proof that Kappos’s trust-building efforts worked in his IPWatchdog post about the hearings (click here to read the post):
In all, what Kappos said was certainly reassuring, and he should have absolutely no problem getting confirmed. If he does stay mindful of the needs of all those who use the USPTO, small, large and in between, and the interests of the diverse industries who sometimes need contradictory things in order to thrive, he will not only be a good leader, but he will be an exceptional leader and might really reform the Patent Office into the entity it can and should be in order to foster economic development and job creation in the US.
Walter Cronkite personified trust.
The passing of Walter Cronkite last month does not have much to do with intellectual property, but I could not do this month’s Carnival of Trust without mentioning Cronkite. To me and so many others, Walter Cronkite embodied trust. Cronkite was the person so many turned to in times of national tragedy, like war, and in times of national triumph, like the Apollo XI moon landing. Naturally, Cronkite’s passing caused numerous reviews of present-day news personalities and almost as many questions about whether times have changed so much that we cannot have another Cronkite. In the Chicago Reader blog, Whet Moser decries a poll that found the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart to be the most trusted newsperson on the air today – click here to read the post. Frankly, the poll does not appear to be scientific and, therefore, not very trustworthy. But I have trouble arguing with the results. I love news. Three newspapers are delivered to my door every morning, and I read each one. Okay, I at least skim each one. I grew up watching the nightly news, but I now finding myself turning to Stewart for news programming more frequently than I turn to Couric, Gibson or Williams. I like and even trust all three. But Stewart has built a more powerful trust with me by calling out the problems with the 24-hour news cycle and by making me laugh. Stewart has some obvious biases, but he makes sure they are obvious and he creates even more trust by poking fun at both sides of most issues. Truth and laughter are powerful trust builders.
Cronkite deserves more than one entry in this Carnival, and the second comes from the Carnival of Trust’s own Charles Green at his Trust Matters blog – click here to read the post. Green breaks down the components of The Most Trusted Man in America: 1) honesty; 2) selflessness; and 3) integrity. Green also explains that Cronkite’s calm, baritone voice reinforced each of the three characteristics. I could not agree more. Hearing Cronkite’s voice is an instant dose of trust.
For those not fortunate enough to develop their own “personal,” trust relationship with Cronkite through his news programming, check out this NPR obituary to get some measure of the man and his history.
Credentials can generate and regulate trust.
At the Mediation Channel, Diane Levin makes a strong argument that legal mediators need to develop an accreditation system – click here to read the post. And IP mediator Victoria Pynchon responds at her Settle It Now blog with her own arguments for credentialing mediators for the good of mediators, the mediating parties and society’s trust in the mediation system as a whole – click here to read the post.
How can companies build trust?
Building trust can be a slow and sometimes uncertain process. At his Touch Points blog, Steve Finikiotis cites a study suggesting that trust in corporation in the United States and other developed countries is at its lowest point ever – click here to read the post. In order to remedy the decreased trust, Finikiotis provides four trust building steps: 1)Focus on understanding and meeting customers’ preferences; 2) Under-promise and over-deliver; 3) Transparency; and 4) Encourage and foster feedback.
And although Finikiotis did not focus on this example, last month Amazon showed just how those steps do build trust. Amazon was accused of copyright infringement when a digital book seller used a self-service program to sell unauthorized copies of several books, including George Orwell’s 1984, to Amazon Kindle users. When Amazon learned of the alleged infringement, it erased the books from its customers Kindle accounts. As you might expect, there was a public outcry. Kindle users were upset to learn that books they purchased and felt they owned could be removed from their devices and accounts. And Amazon sprang into action following Finikiotis’s four steps:
Amazon listened to its customers’ frustration at having the books removed and the possibility of future removals;
Amazon replaced the books;
Amazon’s founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, issued the following very direct and honest apology:
This is an apology for the way we previously handled illegally sold copies of 1984 and other novels on Kindle. Our “solution” to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles. It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism we’ve received. We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission.
With deep apology to our customers,
Jeff Bezos
Founder & CEO
Amazon.com
4. Through its response and apology, Amazon fostered feedback.
Amazon turned a negative situation into a very positive one. As a Kindle owner (and lover), I was very happy with the response and it has made me an even more loyal Kindle customer. And others agree. For example, Amazon’s response helped convince PublicOrgTheory blog to go ahead with a Kindle purchase – click here to read the post. And In Propria Persona has qualms with copyright law, but saw the apology as good customer service and said it improves the likelihood of him purchasing a Kindle – click here to read the post. Finally, the Below the Line marketing blog says that “Amazon shows how to apologize,” and notes that customer comments on the Amazon site have been largely positive since the apology; proof that Finikiotis’s steps work. Nice job to both Finikiotis and Amazon.
And with that story of trust done well, thank you for reading, whether you are a regular reader of this blog or a Carnival of Trust groupie.

Continue Reading

Yesterday, President Obama announced his intent to nominate David J. Kappos as the next Director of the Patent and Trademark Office, also known as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property. Kappos is currently IBM’s Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, Intellectual Property. Kappos earned a degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California Davis and received his law degree from Berkley. Here is some of Kappos biography from President Obama’s press release on the pending nomination:
Mr. Kappos serves on the Board of Directors of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Intellectual Property Owners Association, and the International Intellectual Property Society. He is also the Vice President of the Intellectual Property Owners Association. He has held various previous leadership positions in intellectual property law associations in Asia and the U.S. He has spoken widely in Asia, Europe, and the U.S. on intellectual property topics. Mr. Kappos received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California Davis in 1983, and his law degree from the University of California Berkeley in 1990. He joined IBM in 1983 as a Development Engineer and has served as an Intellectual Property Law attorney in IBM’s Storage Division and Litigation group, as IP Law Counsel in IBM Software Group, as Assistant General Counsel in IBM Asia/Pacific, IBM Corporate Counsel and as Assistant General Counsel prior to his current position.
For initial reactions from the blogosphere, check out: ChipLaw; IPWatchdog; Patent Law Insights; and Patently-O.

Continue Reading