Musings on PLI, Judge Rader & Steve Wozniak

By Gene Quinn
March 18, 2009

I am writing this post live from downtown Chicago at John Marshall Law School. I am in town this week for my bi-annual trip to the Windy City to teach the PLI Patent Bar Review Course. So far the weather here in Chicago is not what we typically experience for this time of year. It is warm and pleasant, although I hear cooler weather is on the way. In any event, I am sitting in the back of the classroom at the moment with John White at the podium. When I will actually be able to post this article is uncertain. I have my trusty Verizon Wireless Broadband Internet Card plugged in, but if you also have Verizon and are in Chicago or come here often you know that Verizon just doesn’t provide much of a signal in Chicago. Technology is wonderful when it works!

I am not writing to give a personal update on where in the world is Gene Quinn, although the foregoing paragraph did let me give a shameless plug for the PLI Patent Bar Review Course, and since the PLI Patent Bar Review Course sponsors this blog forgive me from an occasional shameless plug for the PLI Patent Bar Review Course. OK… enough with that, at least for now.

While I am here in Chicago and suffering from Internet access withdrawal I really can’t do much research or keep up to date with the latest happenings in the patent world, so I need to write about something else. I just hope that the Federal Circuit doesn’t issue its much anticipated decision in the GlaxoSmithKline and Tafas challenge to the Patent Office claims and continuations rules. It always seems that when I am on the road and suffering from little or no real Internet access is when something really important happens. So in a Murphy’s Law kind of way I am sort of assuming that the decision will come out this week. I have no inside information on the timing, but I do expect we are going to get a decision sometime soon. I can’t wait to see what Judge Rader writes about the examination support document just being “extra information” or “additional documentation,” as was urged by the government throughout the legal challenge. I suspect this case will give Judge Rader the opportunity to go off about inequitable conduct and explain that the examination support document is really the rope that will hang the applicant in the event the patent becomes commercially relevant. I am also hoping Judge Rader might take the opportunity to pontificate a bit about the development of inequitable conduct law and how some panels seem to be ignoring the Kingsdown case and ruling that negligence can lead to inequitable conduct.

Continuing along with this rambling stream of consciousness, did you see Dancing with the Stars last night? I don’t really watch the show usually, but it happened to be on in the bar last night as I ate a late meal at the hotel. Belinda Carlisle was sent home in the first elimination week, which is perhaps a little surprising having grown up in the 80s and knowing that Dancing with the Stars is all about popularity. What was even more surprising, however, was that Steve Wozniak was in the bottom two, meaning that he was only ahead of Belinda Carlisle in the voting. I had thought that Wozniak was going to win this contest going away, regardless of whether he can actually dance. How is it possible that the father of the personal computer could wind up in the bottom two in the first elimination week? This is practically an outrage!

It is virtually impossible to overstate the importance of what Steve Wozniak accomplished in the brief time he was the brain behind the Apple machine. Wozniak was a pioneer of the first magnitude, and when it was announced that Woz would Dance with the Stars I figured that in a popularity contest like Dancing with the Stars he would easily come out on top. With all the other pop-icons of yesterday on the show I figured they would split the pop-vote and the geek and techie vote would all go straight to Wozniak. Is it possible that there are no geeks or techies watching Dancing with the Stars? I would have to say that the only reasonable explanation for such a poor performance by Wozniak is the fact that this contest doesn’t appeal to computer savvy folks. What a shame.

With all the Wozniak has done for personal computing and for the last generation of technology the least we can do is tune into Dancing with the Stars long enough to figure out how to cast a vote for Steve Wozniak, right? So geeks, techies and computer aficionados, your mission if you choose to accept it is to unite and vote for Steve Wozniak!


About the Author

Eugene R. Quinn, Jr.
President & Founder of IPWatchdog, Inc.
US Patent Attorney (Reg. No. 44,294)

B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Rutgers University
J.D., Franklin Pierce Law Center
L.L.M. in Intellectual Property, Franklin Pierce Law Center
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Gene is a US Patent Attorney, Law Professor and the founder of IPWatchdog.com. He teaches patent bar review courses and is a member of the Board of Directors of the United Inventors Association. Gene has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the LA Times, CNN Money and various other newspapers and magazines worldwide

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and President & CEO ofIPWatchdog, Inc.. Gene founded IPWatchdog.com in 1999. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and Of Counsel to the law firm of Berenato & White, LLC. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

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There are currently 1 Comment comments.

  1. Rob Suarez March 18, 2009 10:15 pm

    Dancing With the Stars???? All of us real techie-geeks are fretting over the SciFi channel changing to The SyPhy channel… now, THAT’s a travesty! (Oh and yes… the PLI Pat Bar course rocks!)