On October 10, 1999, I remember sitting at my desk in my apartment in Winter Park, Florida. I had just starting teaching as a full time law school professor several months earlier. So many things have changed since then. I’ve moved all over the country, I’ve traveled all over the country, I’ve gotten married, we navigated the near collapse of the U.S. economy and like so many, the near collapse of our personal economy. My mother passed in 2012, which was undoubtedly the lowest moment in my entire life. A year later my father-in-law also passed. While there have no doubt been trying times, we have shared many great moments personally, and with those in our community who have become our friends. But since October 10, 1999, the one constant for me has been IPWatchdog.com, which went live for the first time 15 years ago today.
It has been an honor and privilege to get to know so many wonderful people in our industry over the last 15 years, to talk to many industry leaders on the record, and to in some small way continue to push the debate forward with respect to how critically important patents are to businesses and the U.S. economy. Of course, without readers none of this would be possible. So thank you so very much for continuing to come back day after day, week after week, month after month!
In the early days of IPWatchdog, through 2008 I was not only the primary author, but our only author. Then in 2008, Renee Quinn wrote a couple of articles, and then John White wrote his first article for us. Then by the middle of 2009 we started searching out more guest contributors and have never looked back. To date we have published 905 articles written by guest contributors. Today I probably write less than 40 percent of what we publish, although I certainly still love stirring the pot with commentaries on patents, innovation and the business of patents. Notwithstanding, increasingly my role is Editor-in-Chief, soliciting experts to write substantive articles and working with them to tailor the articles for our audience.
We have developed an outstanding list of guest contributors, including freelance tech journalist Steven Brachmann who now writes a dozen articles a month for us. We also are happy to have Joe Allen and Dr. Kristina Lybecker as monthly columnists. Attorneys Eric Guttag, Steven Moore, Ray Millien and Joe Root have also been frequent contributors as well. So too has patent agent and inventor Mark Nowotarski, who will have another series starting soon.
We have also been luck to have guest contributions from David Kappos (here and here), Chief Judge Paul Michel (here), IBM Chief Patent Counsel Manny Schecter (here, here and here), Professor Mark Lemley (here and here), Bob Stoll (here and here), author David Kline (here, here, here, here, here and here), Erik Iverson (here), Bernie Cassidy (here, here, here and here), Ron Katznelson (here, here, here and here), Tracy Gene-Durkin (articles listed here) , Scott Daniels (articles listed here), and the man who received the first ever software patent, Martin Goetz. There have been so many more attorneys and experts who have contributed to making IPWatchdog.com what it is today. Thank you to everyone.
One of the mainstays over the years has been our interviews. We have interviewed a whose-who of the United States Patent and Trademark Office: David Kappos (former USPTO Director), Teresa Rea (former USPTO Deputy Director), Margaret Focarino (Commissioner for Patents), Deborah Cohn (Commissioner for Trademarks), Peter Pappas (former USPTO Chief of Staff), Bernie Knight (former USPTO General Counsel), Ray Chen (former USPTO Solicitor General and now CAFC Judge), Bob Stoll (former Commissioner for Patents), Nick Godici (former Acting Director of the USPTO), Chief Judge James Smith and Vice-Chief Judge James Moore of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and Todd Dickinson (former USPTO Director). We also conducted an exclusive Exit Interview with David Kappos, as he was poised to leave the USPTO.
We have also featured interviews with Supreme Court super-advocate and former Solicitor General Seth Waxman, the man they call the patent troll, Ray Niro, and Attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies, perhaps most famous for arguing opposite sides in Gore v. Bush. We have published exclusive interviews with U.S. Senator Birch Bayh (ret.), Gary Locke (former Commerce Secretary), Congressman Jason Chafetz, Chief Judge Randall Rader (CAFC, now retired), Chief Judge Paul Michel (CAFC, retired), Hall of Fame inventor Dr. Gary Michelson, top CAFC appellate advocate Don Dunner (Finnegan), IBM Chief Patent Counsel, Manny Schecter, and Judge Richard Linn (CAFC).
We have also chatted with author, inventor and inventor coach Stephen Key, as well as Erik Iverson, who is Executive VP for Business Development and External Affairs at the Infectious Disease Research Institute, former Congressman and current BIO CEO Jim Greenwood, Professor Mark Lemley and software experts Bob Zeidman and Eric Gould Bear.
We have also been honored to be recognized as as one of the top 100 legal blogs by the American Bar Association for 5 years in a row. For 3 of the last 4 years (2010, 2012, 2013) we were recognized as the top intellectual property law blog according to the ABA. In January 2014 we were also honored to be inducted into the ABA Blawg Hall of Fame.
It has been quite a ride, and I’m sure I’ve left some important things out. This didn’t start out to be a history of IPWatchdog.com, but there have been so many people who have helped make this all possible. Thank you all!
Finally, I want to thank our sponsors and advertisers. Increasingly over the years IPWatchdog.com has become a full-time job (and then some). Without the support of our sponsors and advertisers it just wouldn’t be possible to spend the time day in and day out. So please take a look at the services and products our sponsors and advertisers offer because without them none of this could have happened.
Over the years we have been through a number of different designs for IPWatchdog over the years, and soon we will have a new website design with better navigation. Thanks again for all the support and for reading IPWatchdog.com. Here is to another 15 years and more!