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Posts Tagged ‘ interview ’

An Exclusive Interview with Bernard Knight

Posted: Sunday, Jan 19, 2014 @ 9:05 am | Written by Gene Quinn | Comments Off
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Posted in: Attorneys, Gene Quinn, Interviews & Conversations, IP News, Articles, Patents, USPTO

Bernard Knight, known throughout the industry simply as “Bernie,” was an important part of “Team Kappos” during what many are already referring to as the “Golden Years” of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Knight has a resume full of government service, rising through the ranks to become Acting General Counsel of the Treasury Department, and then General Counsel of the United States Patent and Trademark Office during the Kappos era. That means that he was one of core group of leaders tasked with creating and then implementing the rules of practice necessitated by passage of the America Invents Act (AIA).

In September 2013, Knight left the United States Patent and Trademark Office. I bumped into him shortly thereafter and he agreed to go back on the record with me for an interview, which took place on December 16, 2013. To read my first interview with Knight please see Exclusive Interview: USPTO Attorneys Bernie Knight & Ray Chen.

Knight is now a partner in the Washington, DC, offices of McDermott, Will & Emory, where he focuses his practice on complex patent litigation matters. Knight advises clients on intellectual property cases before the United States Supreme Court, as well as engaging in oversight on patent and trademark cases before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the district courts.

There was nothing off the table, so to speak, in this interview. We discuss how and why he choose McDermott, as well as what it was like working for David Kappos and working with Judge Ray Chen when he was Solicitor at the USPTO. We also discuss the future of the Patent Office, the appointment of Michelle Lee to be Deputy Director of the USPTO, substantively what the USPTO was trying to do with respect to post grant procedures, the new ethical rules applicable to Patent Attorneys and Agents, and a variety of other issues.

Exclusive with Ray Niro: The Man They Call the Patent Troll

Posted: Tuesday, Jul 23, 2013 @ 8:00 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 24 comments
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Posted in: Gene Quinn, Interviews & Conversations, IP News, Articles, Patent Troll Basics, Patent Trolls

Ray Niro

On July 1, 2013, I spoke on the record with Ray Niro, who is one of the most well known patent litigators in the United States. Throughout his career he has been a champion for the inventor who was facing long odds due to widespread patent infringement. So loathed was Niro, he was the one who was originally referred to as the “patent troll” by the media due to his representing innovators against giant technology companies. Of course, if you are going to call Ray Niro a patent troll you might want to also point out that he is extraordinarily successful, which means he has been very good at proving that large corporations have infringed valid patents, sometimes on fundamentally important innovations.

What follows is the final segment of my interview with the man they call the patent troll, Ray Niro. To read part 1 see In Defense of Innovators: An Exclusive Interview with Ray Niro.

In Defense of Innovators: An Exclusive Interview with Ray Niro

Posted: Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 @ 8:00 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 7 comments
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Posted in: Gene Quinn, Interviews & Conversations, IP News, Articles, Patent Litigation, Patent Troll Basics, Patent Trolls, Patents

Ray Niro

I have been writing about patent infringement litigation abuses for quite a while, and Chief Judge Rader of the Federal Circuit has this spring in a variety of fora openly discussed the problems he sees. But at the beginning of June 2013 the anti was raised significantly in the ongoing discussion of litigation abuses in the patent arena. The White House chimed in, which you might be inclined to think would be an important development. Sadly the President getting involved in the discussion had more to do with grandstanding and perhaps political payback to investors in his two Presidential campaigns.

With all fuss about non-practising entities, or patent trolls as they are so frequently called, I thought who better to reach out to than Ray Niro. I floated the idea that he should consider either writing an op-ed article for publication on, or perhaps we do another on the record interview. I first interviewed Ray in the Spring of 2012. See An Interview with Ray Niro, Mr. Patent LitigationRay’s response was that he would be willing to do both. This lead to Ray writing two articles in recent weeks: Why Bash Individual Inventor Owned Companies? and Déjà vu: Targeting Inventors as the New Boogie Man.

On July 1, 2013, we did speak on the record again. What follows is that interview with Ray Niro, the man for whom the media coined the term “patent troll.” Ray unapologetically, and unsurprisingly, comes out in defense of American inventors and those who engage in the hard work that is research and development of new and wonderful innovations. He pulls no punches and in part 1 of our interview he calls out Cisco, a strong critic of non-practicing entities, as a hypocrite for doing the very thing that they rail against.

Patented Wake Board Made in America by Inventor Company

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 3, 2013 @ 12:47 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 2 comments
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Posted in: Gene Quinn, Interviews & Conversations, Invention Marketing, Inventors Information, IP News, Articles, Licensing, Patents

On May 31, 2013, I spoke with Glen Duff, a client of mine who is the inventor of an exceptionally easy to use wake board. In part 1 of our interview, which kicked off our Fun in the Sun Summer 2013 series, we discussed how the patented Zup™ Board is the best selling product that Overton’s has ever seen in their 37 year history, as well as the importance of an inventor’s perseverance, bringing on industry experts to advise and engaging in a project you are passionate about.

In part 2, which is the final segment, Glen talks about how the patented Zup™ wake board is being made in America, which at a time when so many larger operations are moving offshore and outsourcing jobs is really quite refreshing. While there is a certain allure to selling products made in America, Glen explains that there is also a very real business reason as well. It is quite difficult to reliably enforce high quality standards when manufacturing is overseas.

We also discuss how Glen views himself as his competition as he continues to engage in research and development for improvements and future products, and how great it is to be able to put on a pair of shorts and jump on a boat as part of R&D efforts. I also ask him if he could go back in time to give himself advise based on what he knows now, what advise would he give? This leads us into an interesting discussion relating to the relative merits of licensing versus manufacturing and distributing yourself.

Fun in the Sun Patent Style – A Conversation with Wake Board Innovator Glen Duff

Posted: Monday, Jul 1, 2013 @ 8:45 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 2 comments
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Posted in: Gene Quinn, Interviews & Conversations, Inventors Information, IP News, Articles, Patents

July is the first full month of summer and to kick summer off we will be profiling some fun summer innovations as part of our Summer 2013 series.

Up first is a very special invention for me. The inventor is Glen Duff, who has been a client of mine for the last 5 years. Over the past year we were able to get Glen and his team their first patent on the Zup™ Board. See U.S. Patent No. 8292681, titled Water recreation device.

The Zup™ is perhaps the most cool and innovative wake board you have ever seen. There are a number of other patent applications pending, trademark applications pending and ongoing research and development for future products. The Zup™ is special because literally anyone can ride the board and participate in the fun. I knew that Glen was onto something when he showed me a video of an early prototype in use years ago. There was a giant fellow — 6’8″ and easily 290 pounds — who managed to get up on the board with ease. I thought to myself, “that shouldn’t happen!” Being a big guy myself I understand how difficult, if not nearly impossible, it is to get up on a traditional wake board. In that same video I also saw an elderly grandmother get up on the board. Neither size nor upper body strength mattered. It was then I knew Glen had something special.

Glen will easily be one of my most successful clients ever when all is said and done and we are telling our stories at our retirement parties. An inventor on several patents prior to his entry into the wake board market, Glen has simply done everything right along the way. He has listened to advice and has surrounded himself with an all-star advisory group of industry insiders who are very optimistic about the likely future success. Thus, this is a story of growing success, but also one of perseverance and commitment. It illustrates the importance of moving forward with a patent position to secure rights that can be build upon, and how critical it is to surround yourself with people knowledgeable about the industry. As Glen explains below in our interview he managed to connect with several key industry leaders who helped open doors for the Zup™ and who are on his advisory board.

It Takes a Village to Kill a Patent Troll – Part 2 with Rachael Lamkin

Posted: Sunday, Jun 23, 2013 @ 8:30 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 3 comments
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Posted in: Gene Quinn, Interviews & Conversations, IP News, Articles, Patent Litigation, Patent Trolls, Patents

Rachael Lamkin

On May 10, 2013, I had a conversation with patent litigator Rachael Lamkin, who is known to many on Twitter as @Rachael_IP.

In part 1 of the interview we discussed the definition of a patent troll, a pro bono program to help those facing patent troll lawsuits and more. We left off discussing how defendants really need to make patent trolls spend money rather than cave. We pick up our conversation discussing woefully inadequate patent infringement complaints.

QUINN: I agree and I think that Judge Rader is trying to do something to address this problem. I asked him at the AUTM Conference, you know, we’ve got this problem with these complaints that are just — they’re terrible. I mean, maybe they satisfy the Federal rules of procedure.

LAMKIN: Laughter.

A Patent Troll Conversation – One on One with Rachael Lamkin

Posted: Friday, Jun 21, 2013 @ 10:54 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 6 comments
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Posted in: Guest Contributors, Interviews & Conversations, IP News, Articles, Patent Litigation, Patent Troll Basics, Patent Trolls, Patents

Rachael Lamkin

Rachael Lamkin is a patent litigator who recently became Associate General Counsel at Blue Ocean Enterprises, Inc. I have known Rachael virtually for several years, communicating with her both via e-mail and via Twitter (she is @Rachael_IP on Twitter).

Occasionally I have tried to convince her to go on the record with me so we could have a more in depth conversation for publication. After an exchange about six weeks ago relating to patent trolls and the definition of a patent troll I proposed the idea of an on the record conversation about patent trolls, which Rachael accepted. On May 10, 2013, we had the following conversation.

During our conversation we discussed our various definitions for a patent troll, the difficulty of coordinating a joint defense in a patent infringement case, potential solutions and a program that she is involved with called Troll Bono, which is a pro-bono effort to assist companies and individuals who are facing troll lawsuits.

A Patent Conversation with Steve Kunin

Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 @ 9:30 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 3 comments
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Posted in: AIPLA, Gene Quinn, Interviews & Conversations, IP News, Articles, Patents

Steve Kunin

Steve Kunin is the head of Oblon Spivak’s Post Grant Patent Proceedings practice group, and is also on the firm’s Management Committee. He is also a friend. For several years now I’ve been getting together with Steve for lunch periodically to talk about a variety of patent issues. I have long wished that the tape recorder were running. Like me, he loves talking patents, law and policy. I floated the idea of an on the record conversation and he agreed. Between our individual travel schedules we managed to meet up with my iPhone recorder running on May 6, 2013, in a conference room at Oblon Spivak in Alexandria, Virginia.

Kunin is not your typical attorney and brings a unique perspective to virtually any conversation on patents. For over three decades he was a career employee of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, rising to the level of Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, which is a particularly important position within the USPTO, and one that put him on the front lines of patent examination policy for a decade.

As we ate lunch after the interview Kunin told me that he thought I might ask about the difference between working for government and private practice and what lessons he has learned in each role. Sadly, that is an excellent line of questioning that I didn’t consider. We did, however, talk about numerous, hard-hitting issues ranging from secret prior art, to the estoppel provisions associated with post grant procedures, to the Economic Espionage Act, to Metallizing Engineering, to the Supreme Court, the Washington Nationals, upcoming summer blockbuster movies and much more. We also discussed the algorithm cases at the Federal Circuit and whether the patent system is really broken, but our interview was several days before the Federal Circuit’s “decision” in CLS Bank v. Alice Corp.