Welcome to Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
More than likely, your big, new idea, innovation or invention could use a little legal intervention right about now.
Whether a startup or mature multi-national, the vagaries and nuances of protecting intellectual property are many times unknown, overlooked or, for whatever reason, just tossed onto the back burner to await attention at some later date.
No one has to be told that?s dangerous. Just look at Apple and Samsung slugging it out in court; and they are industry titans.
What about the rest of us?
It?s with great pleasure that the gang here at Robotics Business Review welcomes to our pages the highly esteemed law firm Finnegan, a leading authority and counsel on intellectual property law.
The anguish of patent litigation
Idea thieves are everywhere, especially in high tech.
Sometimes too, the fault is within us: inattention, laziness, ignorance of the law, etc.
The foreword to my book, Bright Boys: The Making of Information Technology (CRC Press: 2010), was written by Jay Forrester who had a terrible brush with the anguish of patent court.
Jay invented magnetic core memory (1951), which has been long-heralded as one of the key inventions in computing, but Jay dawdled on filing his patent.
He waited thirty days too long, during which time RCA?s Jan Rajchman, an equally gifted engineer, filed his patent for the same invention.
Five years later, Jay finally gets his patent (US2736880) only because Rajchman admitted that Jay had made prior discovery and was the first to put it to use. What was at stake?in addition to the patent? An initial $13M royalty payment as well as an ongoing $25M more in royalties, until Intel?s chip in 1971 finally supplanted core memory. That?s $38M in non-inflated dollars!
Today at 96-years old Jay still has bitter memories of that event.
Monthly, beginning here in March, the pages of Robotics Business Review will see the appearance of solid, trustworthy and actionable information on intellectual property protection from one of the largest, most trusted and foremost IP legal firms in the world.
Finnegan, with 350 lawyers in offices from the United States to Europe to Asia, and with 45 years of practice, has seen and experienced just about all there is in IP protections, and now will share some of that with us.
Finnegan says this of itself: ?Our practice includes all aspects of patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret law, including counseling, prosecution, licensing, and litigation. We also represent clients on IP issues related to international trade, portfolio management, the Internet, e-commerce, government contracts, antitrust, and unfair competition.?
Cool stuff! I think that we?d all be better off knowing one or two things a month from the above list.
Covering the legal bases of robotics
We?ve got a strong feeling that Finnegan on IP will be just as popular and as influential as our Robots and the Law column has been for the legal aspects and considerations of robots in the workplace; robots as co-workers, robots in our homes, our schools and on our roads; ethical issues touching on robotics; and robot liability and insurability.
Stalwart in supporting Robots and the Law from day one has been Littler Mendelson, P.C., specialists in employment and labor law, and Littler?s chairman, Garry Mathiason, a futurist on robotics as well as a frequent contributor to and champion of Robotics Business Review.
Praiseworthy as well for his deep dives and case studies on the legal IP front in our pages is Robotics Business Review?s great and good friend Andy Keisner, Esq. of Davis & Gilbert, LLC. Andy also sits on and reports to us from the American Bar Association?s Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Committee.
We?re indebted as well to the generosity of Ryan Calo, Esq., professor University of Washington School of Law, for allowing us to use any and all of his many writings on all things robotics and the law.
And, of course, continued thanks to the guardian editor of Robots and the Law, our own Emmet Cole, whose articles and editorship keep the column on an even keel covering all of the many, salient issues bubbling up in the revolution that is robotics.
We are very much looking forward to Finnegan?s monthly IP insights. We hope that you will enjoy, learn and profit from them along with us.
Feedback and questions are welcome.
If you want to learn more, click on over to the Finnegan website and kick their tires. They?d love to meet you.
Here?s an interesting look back at inventors and their inventions from forty years ago (1974) that still holds key insights. Written by Arthur Whale, one of the mid-twentieth century leaders of the patent community and former president of the American Intellectual Property Law Association:
Arthur Whale: The Inventor in a Changing World of Patents (1974)