Patent Litigation

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Kafkaesquire
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Patent Litigation

Postby Kafkaesquire » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:03 pm

If you're out there, tell us what it's like.

Edit (I guess I should start the conversation):

I am shooting for patent litigation all the way. My current pursuit is a chemical engineering degree. I just want to get it over with and gun for patent litigation while going to the best law school that I can get into. I like my major, and I think I will pretty much enjoy whatever I do after undergrad.

I am more interested in the lifestyle of patent litigators. I would just like to see this area be represented on TLS, because I have a hard time finding related anecdotes.
Last edited by Kafkaesquire on Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dood
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Re: Patent Litigation

Postby dood » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:14 pm

Kafkaesquire wrote:If you're out there, tell us what it's like.


sucks the life out of u, just like any other type of big firm lit practice.

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Kafkaesquire
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Re: Patent Litigation

Postby Kafkaesquire » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:27 pm

dood wrote:sucks the life out of u, just like any other type of big firm lit practice.


I've heard over-generalizations about being a trial lawyer before. That's not what I'm really here to discuss. I'm looking for specific anecdotes from people who have been a patent litigator before, both for myself and for others who are interested in hearing about it from the perspective of those practicing, not the perspective of the onlookers.

So, if you have practiced as a patent litigator before, could you please be more specific.

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dood
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Re: Patent Litigation

Postby dood » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:34 pm

Kafkaesquire wrote:
dood wrote:sucks the life out of u, just like any other type of big firm lit practice.


I've heard over-generalizations about being a trial lawyer before. That's not what I'm really here to discuss. I'm looking for specific anecdotes from people who have been a patent litigator before, both for myself and for others who are interested in hearing about it from the perspective of those practicing, not the perspective of the onlookers.

So, if you have practiced as a patent litigator before, could you please be more specific.


sure pal, im a first year associate at a big firm doing pat lit. specifics:

i woke up today at 10am, got a bagel, answered some emails, doing doc review/browsing the internets from home the rest of the day. tomorrow im going in to the office bc i have a meeting in the AM, then moar doc review. every night i stop working around 7pm, go to gym, lift heavy metal objects to improve my physical appearance.

some nights i go to happy hour with friends from law school or from my firm. other nights i might hang out with my GF, when i had one. i go golfing on the weekends, again with bros from law school or the firm.

the week before a depo/hearing/trial/etc - i work my ass off, pretty much 9am to 2-3am. a prescription for addy helps me turn in immaculate work product and i get good reviews/feedback. i do alot of pro bono shit too cause i like helping others out.

wut else u need to know?

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dood
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Re: Patent Litigation

Postby dood » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:40 pm

sorry let me elaborate on my original point. i have 3 really good bros from law school. we are all junior associates doing litigation, only me patent litigation. our lives are pretty much the same. there is nothing different about patent lit LIFESTYLE than any other litigation LIFESTYLE.

yes, many procedural differences in patent law ITSELF, i.e. patent lit only happens in fed courts, markman hearings, etc. but as far as LIFESTYLE - that is entirely the same as every other junior associate at a medium to large sized firm doing litigation.

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Kafkaesquire
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Re: Patent Litigation

Postby Kafkaesquire » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:42 pm

dood wrote:
Kafkaesquire wrote:
dood wrote:sucks the life out of u, just like any other type of big firm lit practice.


I've heard over-generalizations about being a trial lawyer before. That's not what I'm really here to discuss. I'm looking for specific anecdotes from people who have been a patent litigator before, both for myself and for others who are interested in hearing about it from the perspective of those practicing, not the perspective of the onlookers.

So, if you have practiced as a patent litigator before, could you please be more specific.


sure pal, im a first year associate at a big firm doing pat lit. specifics:

i woke up today at 10am, got a bagel, answered some emails, doing doc review/browsing the internets from home the rest of the day. tomorrow im going in to the office bc i have a meeting in the AM, then moar doc review. every night i stop working around 7pm, go to gym, lift heavy metal objects to improve my physical appearance.

some nights i go to happy hour with friends from law school or from my firm. other nights i might hang out with my GF, when i had one. i go golfing on the weekends, again with bros from law school or the firm.

the week before a depo/hearing/trial/etc - i work my ass off, pretty much 9am to 2-3am. a prescription for addy helps me turn in immaculate work product and i get good reviews/feedback. i do alot of pro bono shit too cause i like helping others out.

wut else u need to know?


Okay. Well thanks for taking the time to reply with a little more elaboration. I have some other curiosities about your personal life, such as where are the chicks who can handle a patent litigator's lifestyle, and is it really so bad to be on Adderall all the time (because it works very well for what you've described it being used for). But those are inappropriate and you don't have to answer them on here. You could just PM me.

eric922
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Re: Patent Litigation

Postby eric922 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:45 pm

dood wrote:
Kafkaesquire wrote:
dood wrote:sucks the life out of u, just like any other type of big firm lit practice.


I've heard over-generalizations about being a trial lawyer before. That's not what I'm really here to discuss. I'm looking for specific anecdotes from people who have been a patent litigator before, both for myself and for others who are interested in hearing about it from the perspective of those practicing, not the perspective of the onlookers.

So, if you have practiced as a patent litigator before, could you please be more specific.


sure pal, im a first year associate at a big firm doing pat lit. specifics:

i woke up today at 10am, got a bagel, answered some emails, doing doc review/browsing the internets from home the rest of the day. tomorrow im going in to the office bc i have a meeting in the AM, then moar doc review. every night i stop working around 7pm, go to gym, lift heavy metal objects to improve my physical appearance.

some nights i go to happy hour with friends from law school or from my firm. other nights i might hang out with my GF, when i had one. i go golfing on the weekends, again with bros from law school or the firm.

the week before a depo/hearing/trial/etc - i work my ass off, pretty much 9am to 2-3am. a prescription for addy helps me turn in immaculate work product and i get good reviews/feedback. i do alot of pro bono shit too cause i like helping others out.

wut else u need to know?

Those hours don't sound too bad. The week before trials sounds brutal, but I imagine its the same before deadlines in a lot of professions.

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dood
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Re: Patent Litigation

Postby dood » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:50 pm

eric922 wrote:Those hours don't sound too bad. The week before trials sounds brutal, but I imagine its the same before deadlines in a lot of professions.


yeah you are 100% correct. most people who complain about big law hours just havent been in a real profession before. but if you did banking/consulting/maybe serious engineering, etc - its about the same. and of course there are slackers who work even less.

ampm
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Re: Patent Litigation

Postby ampm » Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:27 am

dood wrote:
eric922 wrote:Those hours don't sound too bad. The week before trials sounds brutal, but I imagine its the same before deadlines in a lot of professions.


yeah you are 100% correct. most people who complain about big law hours just havent been in a real profession before. but if you did banking/consulting/maybe serious engineering, etc - its about the same. and of course there are slackers who work even less.


Curious about this as well. Weighing the option currently whether or not patent lit or patent pros interests me.

What was your undergrad degree in? What are trials like? Don't know if I have the 'courtroom presence' that people talk about that is needed for lit. though haha

Anonymous Associate
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Re: Patent Litigation

Postby Anonymous Associate » Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:56 pm

I am also a first year patent litigation associate. I don't see the lifestyle being much more different than other litigators either, but the work you do can be. If there is something more specific you are wondering about, just ask.

ampm
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Re: Patent Litigation

Postby ampm » Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:08 pm

Anonymous Associate wrote:I am also a first year patent litigation associate. I don't see the lifestyle being much more different than other litigators either, but the work you do can be. If there is something more specific you are wondering about, just ask.


Could you elaborate a bit on what patent trials are like? What sort of work specifically do you do as a patent lit? Is it the case that people with technical degrees are preferred in patent lit?

Anonymous Associate
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Re: Patent Litigation

Postby Anonymous Associate » Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:16 pm

ampm wrote:
Anonymous Associate wrote:I am also a first year patent litigation associate. I don't see the lifestyle being much more different than other litigators either, but the work you do can be. If there is something more specific you are wondering about, just ask.


Could you elaborate a bit on what patent trials are like? What sort of work specifically do you do as a patent lit? Is it the case that people with technical degrees are preferred in patent lit?


Patent trials go the same way that any other trial would - opening, plaintiff presents evidence, defendant present evidence, closing. The order can be mixed up a bit with burdens of proof. Experts are heavily involved and you spent a lot of time trying to get the jury to understand what is going on (particularly if you are defendants).

I have done a lot of variety. I have taken part in discovery (getting documents from client and to opposing counsel, etc), claim construction, invalidity analysis, depositions, summary judgment, trial, post-trial. These things involve stuff like research, writing briefs, working with witnesses, etc.

The trend at my firm seems to be to have at least one person with a technical background on each case. For hiring, it's easier to get hired with a technical background, but once you are here, there is plenty of patent lit work for the interested associates. Patent cases require a lot of non-technical stuff as well.

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Kafkaesquire
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Re: Patent Litigation

Postby Kafkaesquire » Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:57 pm

Anonymous Associate wrote:I am also a first year patent litigation associate. I don't see the lifestyle being much more different than other litigators either, but the work you do can be. If there is something more specific you are wondering about, just ask.


When beginning a career in patent litigation, does one’s engineering discipline necessarily play a role in the type of cases he/she may participate in?

Anonymous Associate
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Re: Patent Litigation

Postby Anonymous Associate » Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:24 pm

Kafkaesquire wrote:
Anonymous Associate wrote:I am also a first year patent litigation associate. I don't see the lifestyle being much more different than other litigators either, but the work you do can be. If there is something more specific you are wondering about, just ask.


When beginning a career in patent litigation, does one’s engineering discipline necessarily play a role in the type of cases he/she may participate in?


I made an effort to join a case in my technical background, and one that is not in my technical background, so that I could get experience doing both technical work (expert reports, infringement analysis, etc) and non-technical work (discovery, damages, etc). I like that blend, and would recommend it if you can swing it.

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MormonChristian
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Re: Patent Litigation

Postby MormonChristian » Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:14 pm

Anonymous Associate wrote:
The trend at my firm seems to be to have at least one person with a technical background on each case. For hiring, it's easier to get hired with a technical background, but once you are here, there is plenty of patent lit work for the interested associates. Patent cases require a lot of non-technical stuff as well.


Is it true technical background people can't write?

I had a federal judge complain to me that patent people can't write or speak so that non-technical people can understand. She told a group of us future patent lawyers to never work alone.

Any thoughts?

Anonymous Associate
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Re: Patent Litigation

Postby Anonymous Associate » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:47 pm

MormonChristian wrote:
Anonymous Associate wrote:
The trend at my firm seems to be to have at least one person with a technical background on each case. For hiring, it's easier to get hired with a technical background, but once you are here, there is plenty of patent lit work for the interested associates. Patent cases require a lot of non-technical stuff as well.


Is it true technical background people can't write?

I had a federal judge complain to me that patent people can't write or speak so that non-technical people can understand. She told a group of us future patent lawyers to never work alone.

Any thoughts?


I don't think it is generally true at all. As with any area of litigation, you have to write a ton of briefs and it is the job of the technical people to put together tutorials, declarations, and trial presentations to aid the judge and jury in understanding. If it is true for a particular person, they will struggle to be a successful patent (or any other kind of) litigator.

Technical people, particularly those that have worked in industry and/or went to graduate school, have probably done a good deal of technical writing. Technical writing and brief writing are incredibly similar, which I found surprising (and refreshing from stuff I had to write in law school).

senorhosh
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Re: Patent Litigation

Postby senorhosh » Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:47 pm

How hot is patent lit right now? Are median t14s who would have otherwise gotten 0-2 offers still getting a handful from IP like the past couple years?


Im a chem major with one year industry experience. How competitive am i for patent lit?
Sorry to hijack, but seems like there are more knowlegeable responses in this thread

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Kafkaesquire
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Re: Patent Litigation

Postby Kafkaesquire » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:16 am

MormonChristian wrote:
Anonymous Associate wrote:Is it true technical background people can't write?


Let me tell you what I've gathered from my engineering experience.

There are many people who have no innate affinity with the written word who also flock to science and engineering. There is no hope for these people. This situation is, however, a stereotype.

You've heard "technical background people can't write"? I've heard black guys can't swim. I've heard women can't do math.

supra135
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Re: Patent Litigation

Postby supra135 » Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:58 pm

I am a law student with an EE background and I am trying to decide between patent pros and lit. I know a fair amount about prosecution but I figured any information from someone who works in the litigation side would be helpful. As a patent litigator do you generally work with a team of associates doing doc review? Or is the day to day lifestyle more of a solo operation?

Would you say the work is stimulating for the mind or is it more of a mind numbing search through mostly irrelevant documents?

Any help is appreciated. Thanks guys

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alphasteve
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Re: Patent Litigation

Postby alphasteve » Mon Aug 04, 2014 3:57 pm

supra135 wrote:I am a law student with an EE background and I am trying to decide between patent pros and lit. I know a fair amount about prosecution but I figured any information from someone who works in the litigation side would be helpful. As a patent litigator do you generally work with a team of associates doing doc review? Or is the day to day lifestyle more of a solo operation?

Would you say the work is stimulating for the mind or is it more of a mind numbing search through mostly irrelevant documents?

Any help is appreciated. Thanks guys

I am a 2nd year doing patent litigation - I think we do less doc review than most firms generally. Which makes sense, we operate in a strict liability world for direct infringement. We do not get hard drives full of emails between people trying to deduce wtf happened. We produce technical documents and damage documents. Occasionally, you will see email documents coming through regarding either prior art or determining whether there was prior knowledge of patents/inducement, etc but, on the whole, it's not as much.

In my practice, the younger associates handle a lot of day-to-day and, given the number of troll suits, have a larger docket of work. Thus, we bounce between matters more than general lit - to the extent we are "on the team." General lit, from what I can tell, may be staffed on 1-2 big matters, and then do lots of research projects.

/rambling answer

supra135
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Re: Patent Litigation

Postby supra135 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:59 am

alphasteve wrote:
supra135 wrote:I am a law student with an EE background and I am trying to decide between patent pros and lit. I know a fair amount about prosecution but I figured any information from someone who works in the litigation side would be helpful. As a patent litigator do you generally work with a team of associates doing doc review? Or is the day to day lifestyle more of a solo operation?

Would you say the work is stimulating for the mind or is it more of a mind numbing search through mostly irrelevant documents?

Any help is appreciated. Thanks guys

I am a 2nd year doing patent litigation - I think we do less doc review than most firms generally. Which makes sense, we operate in a strict liability world for direct infringement. We do not get hard drives full of emails between people trying to deduce wtf happened. We produce technical documents and damage documents. Occasionally, you will see email documents coming through regarding either prior art or determining whether there was prior knowledge of patents/inducement, etc but, on the whole, it's not as much.

In my practice, the younger associates handle a lot of day-to-day and, given the number of troll suits, have a larger docket of work. Thus, we bounce between matters more than general lit - to the extent we are "on the team." General lit, from what I can tell, may be staffed on 1-2 big matters, and then do lots of research projects.

/rambling answer


Thanks for the info. Focusing on the troll suits you talked about, is it safe to assume that some of the day to day work is more busy work, versus being engaging? How many years would you say it takes until you are staffed on a couple specific matters to see through?

Also, how is the lifestyle and relationship with the other associates when the work day is over?

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Patent Litigation

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:12 pm

senorhosh wrote:How hot is patent lit right now? Are median t14s who would have otherwise gotten 0-2 offers still getting a handful from IP like the past couple years?


Im a chem major with one year industry experience. How competitive am i for patent lit?
Sorry to hijack, but seems like there are more knowlegeable responses in this thread


not as hot as it used to be

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alphasteve
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Re: Patent Litigation

Postby alphasteve » Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:00 pm

supra135 wrote:
Thanks for the info. Focusing on the troll suits you talked about, is it safe to assume that some of the day to day work is more busy work, versus being engaging? How many years would you say it takes until you are staffed on a couple specific matters to see through?

Also, how is the lifestyle and relationship with the other associates when the work day is over?

It depends on what you mean by busy work. Written discovery feels like busy work to me, and maybe the occasional doc review or letter practice. At least in our group, we are staffed on matters that we see through to the end (whatever that end is) right away. The benefit of my practice, at least in my group, though is that when I have to do research, it's "Prepare a draft of this motion/response" not "I need research on X for this motion/response" where someone else is writing it.

I enjoy the associates I work with a ton.

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alphasteve
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Re: Patent Litigation

Postby alphasteve » Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:02 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
senorhosh wrote:How hot is patent lit right now? Are median t14s who would have otherwise gotten 0-2 offers still getting a handful from IP like the past couple years?


Im a chem major with one year industry experience. How competitive am i for patent lit?
Sorry to hijack, but seems like there are more knowlegeable responses in this thread


not as hot as it used to be

Ehh.. I don't know about that. It's still pretty fucking hot, especially when you see the additional work in post-grant review proceedings. It's opened up a ton of additional work - many defendants are essentially front-loading their invalidity case and hoping for a stay of the litigation. I think filings are still up, as well.

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lacrossebrother
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Re: Patent Litigation

Postby lacrossebrother » Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:42 am

I'm confused by the doc review/strict liability thing with regards to willfulness. Why doesn't that basically make your job the same as any case with scienter involved?




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