Ants & Rubber Tree Plants – Motions for Partial Summary Judgment of Noninfringement

My mother used to sing the song High Hopes – you know, the one about the ant trying to move the rubber tree plant?    Noninfringement summary judgment motions always remind me of that song because it’s often difficult to get those across the finish lines when the standard precludes granting the motion if there are genuine disputes of material fact. This order shows how parties on both sides address the all-important factual dispute question for these motions.

PLI Advanced Patent Litigation presentation – social media in jury selection

Had a great time yesterday with Suann Ingle presenting on the use of social media in jury selection as the snow began to fall in NYC.  I was the only person who seemed to enjoy it last night.

Which changed this morning when my flight back to Texas got cancelled, meaning I’ll spend my 22nd anniversary hanging out in LaGuardia, looking out the blue, blue skies – largely empty of airplanes.

But I have all my favorite toys with me, so it’s actually not a bad place to get work done.  And as we were planning to spend the weekend to Dallas anyway, I won’t even have to do the 2 1/2 hour extension to Marshall tonight.

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.

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.

SDNY Patent Docket Control Order Adopts EDTX Rules

Thanks to Alan Ratliff for flagging this docket control order from the Southern District of New York from earlier this year which adopted (pursuant to the parties’ joint proposal) the Eastern District of Texas’ patent local rules for infringement and invalidity contentions and claim construction disclosures. The only fly in the ointment is that I wonder if the parties now know that P.R. 4-3 is being substantively amended effective December 1, six weeks before the relevant due date in the case?

A Streetcar Named ….

It often happens when walking with a visiting lawyer or client to or from the federal courthouse in Marshall that I get a funny look when we cross the bricked-up tracks on the north side of the old courthouse.  “Why are there train tracks in the middle of the square?” I’ll get asked.  I explain that those aren’t train tracks.  They’re from the old streetcars that used to run from the Marshall train station south the few blocks to the square. At the courthouse they split and from there went out half a dozen blocks or so to the neighborhoods east and west of downtown.
The problem is that until today I’ve never been able to find a decent photo of the trolley cars.  But here they are in a “History From Our Files” from the Marshall paper this morning, shown looking north from the steps of the then-new county courthouse shortly after 1900.
The “telephone” building on the right is now Telegraph Park, but was still there when I was little – my grandmother clipped poodles in it.  And the block of buildings on the left were razed in the mid-70s.  The reason I know that is that my mother took me out of school to watch them being torn down.  Why that was a “take Michael out of school to watch” event I never understood. But then, it was also a family event to watch concrete being poured back then – my initials are still in the sidewalk next to my office from when the concrete was patched in 1971 in front of my grandfather’s store, and he insisted she bring me out so I could put my initials in.
But immediately behind those buildings under the arrow is what was then the Marshall “opera house” which I’ve written on previously . “Opera house” was the term used in rural Texas for the places where visiting troupes of actors, singers, musicians and other entertainers played at stops up and down the railroad lines.  For example the Sherman “opera house” is now our firm’s offices in Sherman, as the above post notes.  It looks a bit different now, as shown at the dedication of the Sherman courthouse for Judge Brown a few years back.  Candidly, I preferred its original appearance, shown at right when it was a third floor and two towers taller.
But I digress.  Patent practitioners will recognize the building being pointed out as Pazzeria by Pietro – which was formerly the Blue Frog restaurant.

Weblog update

I had a chance over the weekend to do some maintenance on the “back office” side of the weblog, and subscribers should see a few changes. I’ve gotten some bugs worked out of the renewal dates for individual and law firm/practice section subscribers, which in some cases weren’t being handled correctly.  In the course of doing that I discovered that some of the daily email subscribers had an expiration date, which wasn’t intended, so I’m correcting that as well.

The signup page here is where you can add and correct your subscription information.  If you’re renewing, the system will recognize you if you use the same email and password – which will save you from having to create a new account, which I know a few people have done.  Just email me if you need your information or have any other problems.

And as always, if you’re interested in hearing about particular types of cases, let me know.