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Re: yes, you need a tech background for patent litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know how hard it is to get patent litigation with a tech background (Computer Science + WE as an engineer) when one isn't patent-bar eligible? I'm basically a few science classes short of being patent bar eligible (plan to do these during 2 or 3L).

Do you have medianish (or better) grades from a top law school? If yes, then it will be easy for you to get a patent litigation job. Firms will love your tech background.

The lower down you go--both with respect to your grades and your school's reputation--the more important patent bar eligibility becomes.

Awesome! Thanks. School is one of the T6.

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Re: yes, you need a tech background for patent litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:47 pm

.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:03 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: yes, you need a tech background for patent litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:One guiding rule: Your firm is likely as good at patent work as the type of patents it defends clients against (and unless the world changes dramatically, your large law firm will likely do upwards of 80-90% defense work). The more complex the patent, the more hours a firm can bill.

I'm not sure that's right. To take a timely example, look at the Apple v. Samsung litigation. The patents at the heart of that litigation are relatively simple, yet the firms for both sides are billing massive hours. And the lead attorneys--Michael Jacobs of Mofo for Apple, Charlie Verhoeven of Quinn for Samsung--don't have science or engineering backgrounds.


Design patents.

Also I interviewed at Mofo and with Jacobs, they are looking for tech degrees specifically. Jacobs actually explained the importance of having tech people on the litigation side so they won't have to pull tech people from the pros. side.


Huh. My sense is that things are running in the opposite direction. Twenty years ago, patent litigation was handled mostly by a few boutiques that hired lawyers with engineering and science degrees. Now, the big trials are increasingly handled by general litigation firms with lawyers from a variety of backgrounds. If there's a trend here, it's towards more non-tech-bg attorneys on large patent cases.


But the associates doing the work for the lead partners have tech degrees. They are specifically looking for people with the right backgrounds. Look at the associates in Mofo's IP lit group.

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Re: yes, you need a tech background for patent litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:A tech degree is a requisite to get a patent litigation job at many top shops.


I agree. There are also many top shops that do not require a tech degree to become a patent litigator. That was my point, and that is why OP's blanket statement is wrong.

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Re: yes, you need a tech background for patent litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Huh. My sense is that things are running in the opposite direction. Twenty years ago, patent litigation was handled mostly by a few boutiques that hired lawyers with engineering and science degrees. Now, the big trials are increasingly handled by general litigation firms with lawyers from a variety of backgrounds. If there's a trend here, it's towards more non-tech-bg attorneys on large patent cases.


But the associates doing the work for the lead partners have tech degrees. They are specifically looking for people with the right backgrounds. Look at the associates in Mofo's IP lit group.


But look at the associates and partners working for Samsung at Quinn--most of them don't have tech degrees and backgrounds. Look, a tech bg is a plus for any aspiring patent litigator. But it's not nearly as crucial as you're making it sound. The SF Bay Area, for example, is full of patent litigators--including young patent litigators--without technical backgrounds. It's just not true that there is no "ladder to partnership" without a tech degree at most firms. Frankly, you sound like someone who interviewed at a few firms and who is now projecting your impressions on an entire practice area.

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Re: yes, you need a tech background for patent litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:But look at the associates and partners working for Samsung at Quinn--most of them don't have tech degrees and backgrounds.


Well, allow me to retort:

(1) Quinn specifically headhunts for EEs. See, e.g., http://abovethelaw.com/2007/07/an-updat ... e-degrees/

To quote Quinn's email to legal recruiters: "Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, LLP is looking for lateral patent litigation associates for immediate employment. A 40% placement fee will be paid to recruiting agencies who place candidates in any of our offices who meet all of the following requirements:
1. Must have a technical degree, i.e., an appropriate hard science undergraduate degree such as: computer science, electrical engineering, chemistry, biology, physics, etc."

(2) Quinn considered paying MORE to EEs some time ago, before that idea was quietly nixed due to resentment in the ranks:

http://abovethelaw.com/2007/07/quinn-em ... engineers/

To quote John Quinn, "the possible solution is to create a separate pay scale for attys with ee degrees–say 20k more than others in their class. they would continue to be considered on the same partnership track and by the same criteria as others. but as associates, they would be paid a little more than their contemporaries."

(3) Quinn lists its attorneys by technical background. Click on that option on their attorney listings (Additional options). Looks like they have about one billion attorneys with tech backgrounds.

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Re: yes, you need a tech background for patent litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
But look at the associates and partners working for Samsung at Quinn--most of them don't have tech degrees and backgrounds. Look, a tech bg is a plus for any aspiring patent litigator. But it's not nearly as crucial as you're making it sound. The SF Bay Area, for example, is full of patent litigators--including young patent litigators--without technical backgrounds. It's just not true that there is no "ladder to partnership" without a tech degree at most firms. Frankly, you sound like someone who interviewed at a few firms and who is now projecting your impressions on an entire practice area.


You are basing your argument on a design patent case -- which doesn't really lend itself to using a whole lot of technical personnel. Some cases/teams will be more technical and some will be less, there are of course some room for non tech patent litigators. But the truth is many firms are recruiting for tech bg because there are more law students with tech bg, so top firms are not forced to consider people without.

I am not the OP or any of the responders. The post you quoted was my first ITT.

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Re: yes, you need a tech background for patent litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:15 pm

The simple answer is "No, you don't need an EE (or a tech background), but you need to be able to read and understand a patent spec, prosecution history, and other tech literature." Tech backgrounds are highly preferred but not necessary. You don't need a tech degree to draft infringement contentions, depose an expert, or write claim construction briefing. The most effective markman briefing I've seen (and arguments I've heard) has been by people who don't have a degree in the field they are presenting. In my experience, people with a "relevant" background in the tech are more likely to assume their own conclusion in the briefing or at the hearing. The answers are so obvious to them based on their experience as an engineer or whatever they learned in their p-chem class that the warrants of the argument are forgotten. (i know you'll say, 'well, that's because they're right' .. but saying 'im right because im right' is not good advocacy). But you need to be able to read and understand the tech. Because of this, I think you [probably] need SOME tech background -- or at least a few years experience working with tech to develop a basic level of understanding.

The only other thing I want to mention is that i think the OP's focus on "troll busting" misses the mark. I agree that some utility patents are pretty simple to understand, but the fact of the matter is these type of patents are not limited to "trolls." I think a better measure of the quality of a firm's IP lit group is the number of competitor suits they handle. By competitor suit, i mean those where patents are asserted both ways -- these suits blow up, are resource sinks, and generally require a large group with some very smart and clever folks at the helm (i.e., very good attorneys).



Disclosure: I have a tech background but not one relevant to my practice.

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Re: yes, you need a tech background for patent litigation

Postby fatduck » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The only other thing I want to mention is that i think the OP's focus on "troll busting" misses the mark. I agree that some utility patents are pretty simple to understand, but the fact of the matter is these type of patents are not limited to "trolls." I think a better measure of the quality of a firm's IP lit group is the number of competitor suits they handle. By competitor suit, i mean those where patents are asserted both ways -- these suits blow up, are resource sinks, and generally require a large group with some very smart and clever folks at the helm (i.e., very good attorneys).

but that's exactly what he said

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Re: yes, you need a tech background for patent litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:39 pm

fatduck wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The only other thing I want to mention is that i think the OP's focus on "troll busting" misses the mark. I agree that some utility patents are pretty simple to understand, but the fact of the matter is these type of patents are not limited to "trolls." I think a better measure of the quality of a firm's IP lit group is the number of competitor suits they handle. By competitor suit, i mean those where patents are asserted both ways -- these suits blow up, are resource sinks, and generally require a large group with some very smart and clever folks at the helm (i.e., very good attorneys).

but that's exactly what he said




not exactly, but close. I take issue only with the term "troll" and the assumption that only "trolls" assert patents that are understandable to a non-techie. (unless thats how the author is defining "troll", but who knows).

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Re: yes, you need a tech background for patent litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
fatduck wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The only other thing I want to mention is that i think the OP's focus on "troll busting" misses the mark. I agree that some utility patents are pretty simple to understand, but the fact of the matter is these type of patents are not limited to "trolls." I think a better measure of the quality of a firm's IP lit group is the number of competitor suits they handle. By competitor suit, i mean those where patents are asserted both ways -- these suits blow up, are resource sinks, and generally require a large group with some very smart and clever folks at the helm (i.e., very good attorneys).

but that's exactly what he said




not exactly, but close. I take issue only with the term "troll" and the assumption that only "trolls" assert patents that are understandable to a non-techie. (unless thats how the author is defining "troll", but who knows).


Troll is a very broad and misunderstood word. What I'm really referring to are low-quality abstractions asserted against operating entities, generally brought by firms of lesser repute. These are shakedown operations aiming at a settlement before the patent gets invalidated under 101/2/3/12, which it almost always does outside a 100-mile radius of the louisiana/texas border.

These are nuisance suits brought against generally-large tech companies. These suits pose no existential or even product-line threat to these defendants, who just want to shake these fleas off their back. Sometimes, they settle. Usually, they hire a cheap patent litigation defense group to get rid of these. They don't need to hire very good patent litigators because these aren't very good patents.

Does that make more sense?

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Re: yes, you need a tech background for patent litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:53 pm

so with a non-tech background - what is the best way to market yourself to a firm's IP practice? Considering trademark and copyright are not the big earners in the practice area, do you talk about how into tech you are? Take classes in CS? Talk about your interest in trial litigation? How do you play the cards you are dealt?

I didn't have a degree in any hard science but I worked in the oil/gas industry churning scientific studies the company made into policy memos for people on the hill to lobby. I actually enjoyed learning the science and was surprise how much I could learn on wiki+youtubes+university lectures online. I was able to communicate the science pretty well so it was easily comprehendible for policy makers...

What else can I do though? I really enjoy the learning aspect of IP work - learning a clients tech or learning the product behind the CR or TM

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Re: yes, you need a tech background for patent litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:58 pm

.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: yes, you need a tech background for patent litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:so with a non-tech background - what is the best way to market yourself to a firm's IP practice? Considering trademark and copyright are not the big earners in the practice area, do you talk about how into tech you are? Take classes in CS? Talk about your interest in trial litigation? How do you play the cards you are dealt?

I didn't have a degree in any hard science but I worked in the oil/gas industry churning scientific studies the company made into policy memos for people on the hill to lobby. I actually enjoyed learning the science and was surprise how much I could learn on wiki+youtubes+university lectures online. I was able to communicate the science pretty well so it was easily comprehendible for policy makers...

What else can I do though? I really enjoy the learning aspect of IP work - learning a clients tech or learning the product behind the CR or TM

Just be a really good litigator. Write articles on patent law. Clerk in the Northern District of California or District or Delaware for a patent-savvy judge. If you really enjoy what you say you enjoy, go for it. You will have to rebut some presumptions, and that's the main difference.

A technically trained law student from a t14 school who did well in law school will enjoy certain tailwinds you won't. But just go on rebutting those presumptions within the IP lit group, and you'll be fine. And you can get along fine in a patent case if you really get into the nitty-gritty of a patent. If you can inspire confidence in yourself to depose an MIT-trained research scientist - who will talk down to you and is trained to hide the ball - you'll be OK I think. Most litigators are type-a jackasses who aren't short on confidence. But I read these deposition transcripts and as a tech-trained person I know the engineer's bluff when I see it. Many deposing attorneys just let the engineer lie circles around them and they don't know what questions to ask to home in on the issue. You can literally read pages after pages of deposition transcripts and tell yourself "that's bullshit" but you notice that the deposing attorney just moves on to the next topic.

Look, I could be off about some of this. Maybe I'm overstating the relevance. A lot of it has to do with confidence and competence. There's a huge difference between being exposed to engineering jargon and concepts for 4-6 years non-stop and being graded on very difficult curves in college and/or grad school; and then going into patent disputes/deposing experts/etc., versus being a very eager non-techie interested in patent litigation.

How do you overcome 4-6 years of experience in engineering theory? Some people are suggesting that the patents you work on aren't relevant to your tech background. Usually, those are the programmers talking - because most programmers aren't well-suited for a majority of what's being litigated out there. Most EEs I know are generally leveraging a lot of what they learned during litigation.



while i disagree with your cheap shot at EDTX in your above definition of patent troll (i'd agree with it 2-3 years ago ... maybe even 1 year ago, but from what I hear, the new judges out there have really changed things---that being said, if my client was sued there, i'd file a motion to transfer in a second), i do agree with this statement. I think the biggest advantage to having a relevant tech degree is in deposing the opponents infringement or validity expert. Generally these guys are VERY good and are slick -- they will run circles around an untrained attorney i.e., using synonymous terms that the attorney may not know, or just straight feeding BS.


As for the question -- there other thing worth mentioning, is getting into damages law. Again, this is tricky business -- but the law is in such flux that it's really anything goes. You definitely dont need a tech degree (or a phd in economics) to spot the BS in damages expert reports or depositions.

I think the moral of the story is: successful patent litigators without tech degrees are the exception, not the rule. While its possible to do well for yourself, you are at a huge disadvantage. Just like you can get lucky out of a T2 or lower ranked school and win the biglaw lotto, you can do well for yourself as a non-tech patent litigator.

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Re: yes, you need a tech background for patent litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:so with a non-tech background - what is the best way to market yourself to a firm's IP practice? Considering trademark and copyright are not the big earners in the practice area, do you talk about how into tech you are? Take classes in CS? Talk about your interest in trial litigation? How do you play the cards you are dealt?

I didn't have a degree in any hard science but I worked in the oil/gas industry churning scientific studies the company made into policy memos for people on the hill to lobby. I actually enjoyed learning the science and was surprise how much I could learn on wiki+youtubes+university lectures online. I was able to communicate the science pretty well so it was easily comprehendible for policy makers...

What else can I do though? I really enjoy the learning aspect of IP work - learning a clients tech or learning the product behind the CR or TM

Just be a really good litigator. Write articles on patent law. Clerk in the Northern District of California or District or Delaware for a patent-savvy judge. If you really enjoy what you say you enjoy, go for it. You will have to rebut some presumptions, and that's the main difference.

A technically trained law student from a t14 school who did well in law school will enjoy certain tailwinds you won't. But just go on rebutting those presumptions within the IP lit group, and you'll be fine. And you can get along fine in a patent case if you really get into the nitty-gritty of a patent. If you can inspire confidence in yourself to depose an MIT-trained research scientist - who will talk down to you and is trained to hide the ball - you'll be OK I think. Most litigators are type-a jackasses who aren't short on confidence. But I read these deposition transcripts and as a tech-trained person I know the engineer's bluff when I see it. Many deposing attorneys just let the engineer lie circles around them and they don't know what questions to ask to home in on the issue. You can literally read pages after pages of deposition transcripts and tell yourself "that's bullshit" but you notice that the deposing attorney just moves on to the next topic.

Look, I could be off about some of this. Maybe I'm overstating the relevance. A lot of it has to do with confidence and competence. There's a huge difference between being exposed to engineering jargon and concepts for 4-6 years non-stop and being graded on very difficult curves in college and/or grad school; and then going into patent disputes/deposing experts/etc., versus being a very eager non-techie interested in patent litigation.

How do you overcome 4-6 years of experience in engineering theory? Some people are suggesting that the patents you work on aren't relevant to your tech background. Usually, those are the programmers talking - because most programmers aren't well-suited for a majority of what's being litigated out there. Most EEs I know are generally leveraging a lot of what they learned during litigation.



while i disagree with your cheap shot at EDTX in your above definition of patent troll (i'd agree with it 2-3 years ago ... maybe even 1 year ago, but from what I hear, the new judges out there have really changed things---that being said, if my client was sued there, i'd file a motion to transfer in a second), i do agree with this statement. I think the biggest advantage to having a relevant tech degree is in deposing the opponents infringement or validity expert. Generally these guys are VERY good and are slick -- they will run circles around an untrained attorney i.e., using synonymous terms that the attorney may not know, or just straight feeding BS.


As for the question -- there other thing worth mentioning, is getting into damages law. Again, this is tricky business -- but the law is in such flux that it's really anything goes. You definitely dont need a tech degree (or a phd in economics) to spot the BS in damages expert reports or depositions.

I think the moral of the story is: successful patent litigators without tech degrees are the exception, not the rule. While its possible to do well for yourself, you are at a huge disadvantage. Just like you can get lucky out of a T2 or lower ranked school and win the biglaw lotto, you can do well for yourself as a non-tech patent litigator.


I get that you are at a disadvantage without a tech degree, but are there any skills or classes I should be taking to put myself in the best position possible to secure a gig with a firm's ip practice. I mean I love copyright and trademark law, but I'd assume that for many firms, that represents such a small piece of the IP pie, that being at least useful and helpful with patent litigation would pay off in the long run.

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Re: yes, you need a tech background for patent litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:so with a non-tech background - what is the best way to market yourself to a firm's IP practice? Considering trademark and copyright are not the big earners in the practice area, do you talk about how into tech you are? Take classes in CS? Talk about your interest in trial litigation? How do you play the cards you are dealt?

I didn't have a degree in any hard science but I worked in the oil/gas industry churning scientific studies the company made into policy memos for people on the hill to lobby. I actually enjoyed learning the science and was surprise how much I could learn on wiki+youtubes+university lectures online. I was able to communicate the science pretty well so it was easily comprehendible for policy makers...

What else can I do though? I really enjoy the learning aspect of IP work - learning a clients tech or learning the product behind the CR or TM

Just be a really good litigator. Write articles on patent law. Clerk in the Northern District of California or District or Delaware for a patent-savvy judge. If you really enjoy what you say you enjoy, go for it. You will have to rebut some presumptions, and that's the main difference.

A technically trained law student from a t14 school who did well in law school will enjoy certain tailwinds you won't. But just go on rebutting those presumptions within the IP lit group, and you'll be fine. And you can get along fine in a patent case if you really get into the nitty-gritty of a patent. If you can inspire confidence in yourself to depose an MIT-trained research scientist - who will talk down to you and is trained to hide the ball - you'll be OK I think. Most litigators are type-a jackasses who aren't short on confidence. But I read these deposition transcripts and as a tech-trained person I know the engineer's bluff when I see it. Many deposing attorneys just let the engineer lie circles around them and they don't know what questions to ask to home in on the issue. You can literally read pages after pages of deposition transcripts and tell yourself "that's bullshit" but you notice that the deposing attorney just moves on to the next topic.

Look, I could be off about some of this. Maybe I'm overstating the relevance. A lot of it has to do with confidence and competence. There's a huge difference between being exposed to engineering jargon and concepts for 4-6 years non-stop and being graded on very difficult curves in college and/or grad school; and then going into patent disputes/deposing experts/etc., versus being a very eager non-techie interested in patent litigation.

How do you overcome 4-6 years of experience in engineering theory? Some people are suggesting that the patents you work on aren't relevant to your tech background. Usually, those are the programmers talking - because most programmers aren't well-suited for a majority of what's being litigated out there. Most EEs I know are generally leveraging a lot of what they learned during litigation.



while i disagree with your cheap shot at EDTX in your above definition of patent troll (i'd agree with it 2-3 years ago ... maybe even 1 year ago, but from what I hear, the new judges out there have really changed things---that being said, if my client was sued there, i'd file a motion to transfer in a second), i do agree with this statement. I think the biggest advantage to having a relevant tech degree is in deposing the opponents infringement or validity expert. Generally these guys are VERY good and are slick -- they will run circles around an untrained attorney i.e., using synonymous terms that the attorney may not know, or just straight feeding BS.


As for the question -- there other thing worth mentioning, is getting into damages law. Again, this is tricky business -- but the law is in such flux that it's really anything goes. You definitely dont need a tech degree (or a phd in economics) to spot the BS in damages expert reports or depositions.

I think the moral of the story is: successful patent litigators without tech degrees are the exception, not the rule. While its possible to do well for yourself, you are at a huge disadvantage. Just like you can get lucky out of a T2 or lower ranked school and win the biglaw lotto, you can do well for yourself as a non-tech patent litigator.


I get that you are at a disadvantage without a tech degree, but are there any skills or classes I should be taking to put myself in the best position possible to secure a gig with a firm's ip practice. I mean I love copyright and trademark law, but I'd assume that for many firms, that represents such a small piece of the IP pie, that being at least useful and helpful with patent litigation would pay off in the long run.



pick a niche and get published in it. Other than that, clerk in an IP heavy docket.

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Re: yes, you need a tech background for patent litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:48 pm

copyright/trademark is not sustainable for a practice. soft ip doesn't have a big litigation marketplace.

having said that, there are very reputable trademark boutiques - just look em up on chambers. but its nowhere near the size of market for hard ip lit.

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Re: yes, you need a tech background for patent litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:while i disagree with your cheap shot at EDTX in your above definition of patent troll (i'd agree with it 2-3 years ago ... maybe even 1 year ago, but from what I hear, the new judges out there have really changed things---

who? Gilstrap? who else is a new judge there? and what has he changed?

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Re: yes, you need a tech background for patent litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:while i disagree with your cheap shot at EDTX in your above definition of patent troll (i'd agree with it 2-3 years ago ... maybe even 1 year ago, but from what I hear, the new judges out there have really changed things---

who? Gilstrap? who else is a new judge there? and what has he changed?



SICK NAME DROP, BRO. You win, you're smarter than me. My fault for realizing that your "100 miles from the lousiania/texas border" dig was about EDTX and not WDLA.

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Re: yes, you need a tech background for patent litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:47 am

I'm not sure why some people in this thread are being so hostile.

Here's my two cents/anecdote:
I've worked at Kirkland and I'm currently at a different firm in a well-regarded patent lit practice. I do not have a technical background. I've been on cases against firms like McKool, I've been a main contributor in Markman briefs, and done several other things mentioned on here that according to some would only go to someone with a technical background. Take my personal anecdote for what you will.

I also think the characterization of patent lit groups as either "troll busters" or big-time patent lit group is just wrong. It's not nearly that black and white. Yes, there are firms that get top work more often than not, and there are firms that only defend against trolls. But there are tons of firms in between. And its completely wrong to say that the top firms only look for people with tech backgrounds. Just go read bios at those firms. Outside of maybe Fish (and probably another firm or two), which tends to look just for engineer-types, those firms all have plenty of people without tech backgrounds with tons of responsibility. I've even had partners at Quinn and another firm say that they prefer people without tech backgrounds, as long as they have one with a tech background on their team.

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Re: yes, you need a tech background for patent litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm not sure why some people in this thread are being so hostile.

Here's my two cents/anecdote:
I've worked at Kirkland and I'm currently at a different firm in a well-regarded patent lit practice. I do not have a technical background. I've been on cases against firms like McKool, I've been a main contributor in Markman briefs, and done several other things mentioned on here that according to some would only go to someone with a technical background. Take my personal anecdote for what you will.

I also think the characterization of patent lit groups as either "troll busters" or big-time patent lit group is just wrong. It's not nearly that black and white. Yes, there are firms that get top work more often than not, and there are firms that only defend against trolls. But there are tons of firms in between. And its completely wrong to say that the top firms only look for people with tech backgrounds. Just go read bios at those firms. Outside of maybe Fish (and probably another firm or two), which tends to look just for engineer-types, those firms all have plenty of people without tech backgrounds with tons of responsibility. I've even had partners at Quinn and another firm say that they prefer people without tech backgrounds, as long as they have one with a tech background on their team.


Mind sharing why you left Kirkland? Burn out?

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Re: yes, you need a tech background for patent litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm not sure why some people in this thread are being so hostile.

Here's my two cents/anecdote:
I've worked at Kirkland and I'm currently at a different firm in a well-regarded patent lit practice. I do not have a technical background. I've been on cases against firms like McKool, I've been a main contributor in Markman briefs, and done several other things mentioned on here that according to some would only go to someone with a technical background. Take my personal anecdote for what you will.

I also think the characterization of patent lit groups as either "troll busters" or big-time patent lit group is just wrong. It's not nearly that black and white. Yes, there are firms that get top work more often than not, and there are firms that only defend against trolls. But there are tons of firms in between. And its completely wrong to say that the top firms only look for people with tech backgrounds. Just go read bios at those firms. Outside of maybe Fish (and probably another firm or two), which tends to look just for engineer-types, those firms all have plenty of people without tech backgrounds with tons of responsibility. I've even had partners at Quinn and another firm say that they prefer people without tech backgrounds, as long as they have one with a tech background on their team.


Mind sharing why you left Kirkland? Burn out?


It's true that you can rack up a ton of hours working there. I prefer a somewhat smaller group with still solid work- at a place like Kirkland, it's easy to spend most of your hours working on huge cases involving tons of people. While it's cool to be able to say you're on one of those cases, associates (younger ones especially) only get a small piece of the case and it's tough to get good experience early on in a group like that.

Edit: that said, it is a good firm that sometimes gets overly negative commentary on TLS.

Anonymous User
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Re: .

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:03 am

what's an example of such firm

Anonymous User
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Re: .

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:what's an example of such firm


Not sure what you're referring to.

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fatduck
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Re: .

Postby fatduck » Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:what's an example of such firm


Not sure what you're referring to.

"a somewhat smaller group with still solid work" i'm guessing




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