James Wodarski is a member at Mintz.
Jim is recognized as one of the World’s Leading IP Strategists by Intellectual Asset Magazine in its annual IAM 300 publication. In addition to being a seasoned trial lawyer who skillfully represents clients in federal and state courts nationwide, the U.S. International Trade Commission, and U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal, including the Federal Circuit. Jim leverages this intersection between his sophisticated commercial litigation background and intellectual property experience to advise clients on global licensing and enforcement strategies. Jim is a well-respected voice in the worldwide dialogue concerning standard essential patents (SEPs) and the rapidly evolving landscape of global competition and patent law that impacts SEP value and licensing opportunities.
Jim’s experience includes litigating patent, trade secrets, and trademark cases through trial and appeal. This experience spans a wide range of diverse technologies, from semiconductors, graphics processors, core processors, telecommunications infrastructure, advanced memory modules, quantum dots, LED lighting systems, and medical devices.
According to the editors of IAM Magazine in its “Patent 1000” publication, James Wodarski is “a leading light on SEPs” and “also brings the heat in ITC matters”.
A versatile trial lawyer, Jim has more than 25 years of complex civil litigation experience, and has represented clients in a broad spectrum of disputes, including complex business litigation, white collar crime, insurance coverage, federal securities actions, trademark ownership of mass media and literary titles, complex insurance coverage, and First Amendment issues. Before entering private practice, he also served as an assistant district attorney in Hampden Country, Massachusetts.
In a previous article, we laid out the basics of “patent pools”, which license patents that are declared essential for technology standards. A recent article published in the University of San Diego Law Review, titled Glory Days: Do the Anticompetitive Risks of Standards-Essential Patent Pools Outweigh Their Procompetitive Benefits? (Glory Days), criticized patent pools, alleging inefficiencies and anticompetitive risks of pools for standard essential patents (SEPs). While the authors make several rebuttable suggestions, the crux of the authors’ complaints about SEP patent pools is that SEP pools should bear all the burdens and expenses of verifying with a litigation-grade level of certainty that all patents in the pool are essential and valid before an implementer will even engage in a licensing discussion with the pool. This approach is not economically or practically realistic and is designed to justify hold out and provide cover for implementers to refuse to engage in licensing discussions.
Implementers of standard essential technology such as Long-Term Evolution (LTE) are constantly attempting to reduce costs for implementation. This behavior has led to certain inefficiencies in the marketplace, such as innovators not being compensated for their contributions to technological standards. The symbiotic relationship between innovators and implementers cannot continue where one side takes all the risk and the other side reaps all the reward. One construct put in place by innovators to extract compensation from the marketplace are patent pools that license patents that are declared essential for technology standards.