Seminar Will Outline DefensesAgainst 'Patent Trolls'

Saturday, October 1, 2005 - 01:00

On an ever-increasing basis, companies operating in the United States market have found themselves the target of "junk patents," or patents asserted by so-called "patent trolls" having no business operations at all apart from patent assertion and litigation. These "trolls" are viewed by many as manipulating the U.S. litigation system by misusing the threat of significant litigation expenses and damages to extract an in terrorem settlement based purely on the defendant's desire to avoid litigation costs or excessive jury awards, and not on the merits.

This issue will be examined this month in a CLE seminar titled Protecting Your Company Against the Growing Menace of "Junk Patent" Assertion.

The program, sponsored by the Greater New York Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel America (NY ACCA), will take place on Wednesday, October 26 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the offices of Baker Botts, L.L.P., 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 44th Floor, New York City. Registration will begin at 8 a.m.

The program will be conducted by Robert C. Scheinfeld, head of Baker Botts' New York IP Section, who has extensive experience in confronting patent assertion companies. He will be joined on the panel by David T. Cunningham, senior patent counsel for Hitachi America, Ltd., who will provide corporate IP counsel's perspective on recent developments in large-scale assertion of patents by holding companies and others commonly characterized as "trolls."

The program is intended to provide a primer for corporate counsel who are (or inevitably soon will be) confronting patent trolls and their junk patent portfolios, and will include a discussion of typical troll tactics in selecting, targeting, and trying to extract a settlement from targeted defendants, as well as the implications for a firm's business and legal strategy. Short-term and long-term defensive and counter-offensive strategies that may be used to minimize the negative effects of the junk patent boom on companies also will be discussed.

There is no registration fee for the seminar. For details on available CLE credits, see the Bulletin Board on The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel website at www.metrocorpcounsel.com.

To register for the program, call Toni Gilbert at (212) 408-2619 or email toni.gilbert@bakerbotts.com.