Business Development Tips
Hindsight is 20-20; So Use It To Your Advantage
May 06, 2010 , Posted by Justin. 0 comments
Do you want to impress the partner you’re working for and win your client’s affections? I know you do; I would give my left pinky toe to get a glowing review from a partner who celebrates birthdays more than he/she compliments associates.
Business Development Tips
Business Development Checklist for Junior Associates
May 06, 2010 , Posted by Justin. 1 comments
Fall is approaching, the bar exam is underway and a brand new class of associates is about to start at firms all over the country. Business development is a skill you must focus on and master as early as possible in your career.
Business Development Tips
To Settle or Not to Settle
Jun 13, 2010 , Posted by Justin. 0 comments
I am a big proponent of settling cases and find that settlement is often more advantageous than long drawn out litigation even in strong cases where I know I can prevail.   Whether to accept a settlement offer can be a difficult decision and depends on the procedural posture of the case, the amount of the offer, and the strength of the plaintiff's case.   Usually, a defendant's initial offer reflects what the defense attorneys believe it will cost to defend the case.  Rather than pay their attorneys to defendant chase, the defendants in a rational world should be indifferent to paying them or paying the plaintiff's this cost as they will end up paying the amount either way.   
Intellectual Property
Beware of the Patent Trolls
Sep 19, 2010 , Posted by Justin. 0 comments
Beware of the patent trolls especially in the mobile space.  Many patent trolls like NTP, Inc., a patent holding company with no website or phone number, are aggressively ennforcing their patent rights to the point of getting an injunciton to shut down infringers who refuse to take a license.
 
The patent wars are in full throttle.   On March 2, 2010, Appple sued HTC (related to Google's Android-based devices,  for 20 patent infringements related to the iPhone's user interface, underlying architecture and hardware. 
 
"We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We've decided to do something about it," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."
 
But Apple has also been on the receiving end of patent infringements.   On May 7, 2010, Nokia sued Apple, alleging the iPad 3G and iPhone infringe five patents related "enhanced speech and data transmission, using positioning data in applications and innovations in antenna configurations that improve performance and save space, allowing smaller and more compact devices."
 
On July 9, 2010, NTP filed a patent infringement suit against Apple, Google, HTC, LG, Microsoft and Motorola for alleged violations of eight NTP patents for wireless email delivery.   In 2001, NTP filed a similar suit against Research in Motion, and in 2006, the suit was dismissed after RIM paid $612 million in a settlement. 
 
On August 13, 2010, Oracle sued Google for copyright and patent infringement over Android's use of Java technology.  A copy of the complaint can be read here.  
 
Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, decided that he wasn't going to sit by while other Internet companies used technology he alleges he created.  On August 27, 2010, Allen's patent research business--Interval--sued several major companies including AOL, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo, and YouTube.  The reason behind the lawsuits was mainly the violation of four patents, which are “Browser for use in navigating a body of information with particular application to browsing information represented by audiovisual data,” “Attention manager for occupying the peripheral attention of a person in the vicinity of a display device,” “Attention manager for occupying the peripheral attention of a person in the vicinity of a display device,” and “Alerting users to items of current interest.”
 
Who is the winner with all these patent wars?  The consumer because in order for companies to compete against other companies with patents, they need to innovate.  Innovation brings new products to market that are cheaper and enhance productivity.  But what about companies like NTP, Inc. that have no product--any argument can be made that they stifle competition because they simply try and extract lucrative licensing fees and settlements by suing.  While that may be true, patent holding companies have a legal right to accumulate patents and enforce them which is all part of a laissez-faire economy.   Other companies have the right to develop their own technology that won't infringe or to license existing technology.  Either way, the consumer wins.
 
 
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Recent Posts

  Be Wary of the Scam on Lawyers!, Posted on 11 Mar 15
 
  Beware of the Patent Trolls, Posted on 19 Sep 10
 
  To Settle or Not to Settle, Posted on 13 Jun 10