“Pruning” Type Motions to Dismiss

One of the commonly cited uses for a motion to dismiss to to identify and cut out of a case claims or defenses which don’t have support, either in the law or in the facts of the case.  Such motions serve the useful purpose of pruning cases back to what’s actually at issue, although I have an editorial comment on that below.

But as with any pruning job, there’s a line between cutting off the dead wood and cutting out causes of action that are still at least potentially live.  This recent EDTX case illustrates where this line is with respect to pleaded claims.

Patent Lawyer Flash Mob

There was a priceless moment this morning at the ILT IP seminar in Plano.  The Dallas Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division was presenting a Jeopardy! Trivia game on IP trivia, but unlike the one I did last month, theirs was live and the different rows were competing against each other.

One of the questions asked a very technical question about a rule in IP, and no one got it precisely right.  The presenter put up the answer, which was lengthy and detailed, and the entire room of patent lawyers, seemingly as one, went into claim drafting mode and concluded that the answer was in fact correctly worded, and explained to its collective self why.

It then went on to the next question as if nothing had happened.

Anti-SLAPP Presentation Interrupts Trade Secrets Presentation

Just witnessed one of the more brilliant presentation tactics I’ve ever seen.  Paul Storm was just up talking about a case involving trade secrets, and as soon as he mentioned a particular party, his co-panelist Mike Karson stopped him, and took over the podium to begin explaining the effect that an Anti-SLAPP motion could have interrupting a case (as he did Paul’s presentation). Brilliant.  Just brilliant.

ILT IP Law Conference; PLI Advanced Patent Litigation Seminar; 22nd Anniversary

It’s one of those weeks when I use all of my packing pouches swapping out clothes as I go from city to city attending and presenting at IP seminars, and fortunately getting in a little family time as well.

I’m spending the first two days in Plano at the Institute for Law & Technology’s 56th Annual Conference on Intellectual Property Law.  I cochaired the conference the past two years so it’s a pleasure this year to sit back and enjoy what is one of the preeminent IP conferences in the country.  EDTX judges Rodney Gilstrap and Amos Mazzant will be joined by new WDTX-Waco Judge Alan Albright for the lunch judges panel later today, and I’m looking forward to that.

Then it’s off to New York to speak again this year at
PLI’s Advanced Patent Litigation course on ethical issues in jury selection, focusing on the challenges raised by social media with Suann Ingle.

The reward for a busy week is a couple of days back in Dallas with Jamie celebrating our 22nd anniversary Friday by playing foodie all weekend. As you can tell in the picture with our Baylor Bear from last year, she’s aged a bit better than me.