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is a partner in Berger Singerman’s Fort Lauderdale office and a member of the Dispute Resolution Team. Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Intellectual Property Law, Geoff focuses his practice on intellectual property procurement and enforcement, business and technology law, and complex commercial litigation. He represents clients in connection with Federal and State intellectual property, technology, and complex commercial litigation matters, including bringing and defending claims of patent infringement, trademark infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and tortious interference. Geoff earned his J.D., from the University of Miami School of Law and his B.S., from the University of Florida.
For more information or to contact Geoff, please visit his Firm Profile Page.
At the onset of the U.S. COVID-19 pandemic in early March 2020, the legal community immediately became concerned about its economic prospects. Particularly in the intellectual property (IP) legal community, bad memories from the 2007-2009 mortgage crisis and Great Recession surfaced, and fears of losing clients, billable hours, and jobs mounted. However, due to a variety of factors, the legal market has been unexpectedly resilient and, in many ways, has thrived during these extremely uncertain times.
Let’s face it, intellectual property (IP) litigation is a very expensive and risky endeavor. For the accused infringer, the prospect of going to trial means high legal fees and, even worse, a substantial disruption to the business. Even in cases where an accused infringer has viable defenses, leaving a ruling in the hands of the judge or jury is nothing more than a Las Vegas roll-of-the-dice. Whether through informal settlement discussions, mediation, or court-mandated settlement conference, IP defense litigators must arm their clients with a bevy of effective, business-minded settlement strategies. Settling does not have to mean capitulating and paying the other side an arbitrary sum of money to go away. Instead, think of ways to put your client’s available settlement dollars to work. Here are a few practical concepts to set your client on a viable settlement path.
Text-based search engines, such as Google and Yahoo (remember Ask Jeeves?), were arguably the most important development leading to our now everyday reliance on the Internet. The concept is simple: type a word or string of words into that inviting text box and instruct your favorite search engine to scour the Internet. The search engine does its magic and quickly displays a list of results, typically hyperlinks to webpages containing information the search engine decided was most relevant to your search. As web technology has progressed, search engines have become smarter and more robust. All major search engines can now, in response to text input, spit out a combination of web pages, images, videos, new articles, and other types of files.Of course, IP owners and those interested in capitalizing on the IP rights of others have found many creative ways to leverage search engine technology to get their goods and services to the top of search engine result pages. These techniques have sparked an entire industry—search engine optimization—which has long been the subject of copyright and trademark litigation. Given that nearly all consumers now have camera-enabled mobile devices, search engine providers have invested heavily in “visual” search engine technology. Visual search engines run search queries on photograph or image input, instead of text input. For example, a tourist visiting the Washington Monument can snap a quick photo of the famous obelisk and upload it into the visual search engine. The visual search engine will then analyze (using, for example, AI or other complicated algorithms) various data points within the photograph to identify the target and then spit out relevant information such as the location, operating hours, history, nearby places of interest, and the like. Google (Google Lens), Microsoft (Bing Visual Search), and Pinterest are all leveraging this technology.Critically important for IP owners, visual search engines can be used by consumers to identify products and quickly comparison shop or identify related products. A golfer could snap a photograph of a golf shirt and ask the visual search engine to return results to find a better price on that shirt or to identify a matching hat or pair of pants. Similarly, a music listener could snap a photograph of an album cover and ask the visual search engine to return results for other music in the same genre that might be interesting to the listener. These are only a few examples of the powerful capabilities of visual search engine technology.