Ashley C. Keller co-founded Gerchen Keller Capital and as Managing Director helped steer its growth to $1.3 billion in assets under management prior to its acquisition by Burford.
Mr. Keller is a former partner at Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP, The American Lawyer’s litigation boutique of the year, where he handled various trial and appellate matters involving multi-billion-dollar securities and patent cases, contractual disputes and mass-tort class actions. Before practicing, Mr. Keller was a law clerk for Judge Richard Posner at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy at the Supreme Court of the United States.
Most recently, Mr. Keller was an analyst at Alyeska Investment Group, a Chicago-based market neutral hedge fund, where he focused on investments in companies facing litigation and other complicated regulatory matters.
Mr. Keller graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and received an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a JD from the University of Chicago Law School, where he graduated first in his class.
Whether one celebrates or decries the PTAB, there can be little doubt that it has worked a profound effect on the value of American patents—and, concomitantly, on incentives to invest in research and development… Compared to their judicial counterparts, PTAB judges are biased in favor of invalidity. Personnel differences also explain a more disturbing phenomenon, mainly, that the Patent and Trademark Office seems to be at war with itself. Frequently, the PTAB invalidates claims based on prior art that examiners considered during initial prosecution. The only explanation for such discordant outcomes is that PTO examiners take a more pro-patent view of validity than the judges who make up the PTAB.
We believe that the fallout from the Court’s ruling last week will be less dire for patent owners than most commentators predict. The conventional wisdom is that TC Heartland will cause a mass exodus of patent filings from the Eastern District of Texas and other supposedly plaintiff-friendly venues to Delaware, the Northern District of California and, to a lesser extent, the other states. The assumption underlying this view is that all those plaintiffs will be forced to file in the state where the defendant is incorporated. Yet even post-TC Heartland, patent owners have options and can continue to be strategic about how and where they proceed.
Patent investors are no different than investors in any other asset class. They abhor uncertainty and charge a stiff premium for risk. In the wake of the AIA, the cloud of uncertainty hanging over patents is dark indeed. This uncertainty has depressed the value of patents and the returns to research and development, and may have broader ramifications that are yet to be seen… Like so much well-intended regulation, the AIA may have undermined the very system it was aimed at improving. While well capitalized players may be able to ride out the current storm—or even take advantage of it—many others have been irrevocably harmed by these changes.