I’m enjoying SMU law prof David Taylor’s new blog on the Federal Circuit, FedCircuitBlog which provides coverage of the goings-on at Lafayette Square.

Professor Taylor is the Robert G. Storey Distinguished Faculty Fellow, Co-Director of the Tsai Center for Law, Science and Innovation and Associate Professor of Law at SMU’s Dedman School of Law in Dallas. He’s a familiar case to Texas patent practitioners – he even brought his patent law class to Marshall last year to see how the local court works.

So congratulations Professor Taylor on the new adventure, and I look forward to reading your forthcoming posts.

M/Y Galactica Star

The MV Galactica Star

I rarely have to correct David Coale’s excellent 600 Camp, but he did miss something today in discussing United States v. The M/Y Galactica Star, No. 18-20781 (5th Cir. Oct. 1, 2019).

Not the M/Y Galactica Star

He correctly noted that the MV Galactica Star is not the Battlestar Galactica, which is of course obvious since one is a motor yacht and the other isn’t. He failed to avoid confusion by noting that it is also not the Rising Star, which was another ship in the ragtag fleet that accompanied the Galactica after the Battle of Cimtar and destruction of the Twelve Colonies.

Also not the MV Galactica Star

Lest you think this is an unnecessary point to make, I remind you that the case deals with a Nigerian official with large sums of money and an appellant named LightRay, so a Battlestar Galactica reference may not actually the weirdest thing.

So say we all.

Dallas Bar IP Section 25th Anniversary Party

I had a great time at the “strolling dinner” at the Belo last night celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Dallas Bar’s IP Section

The event was also a reception for the Federal Circuit judges (Prost, C.J., Hughes & Wallach) that are in town hearing arguments at SMU and Texas A&M law schools yesterday and today. C.J. Prost is speaking at Baylor Law later today, so I’m on the road to Waco this afternoon for that.

The IP Section also awarded scholarships to local law school students at the reception, and adorable little chocolates by Kate Weisner to the rest of us. And let me just say again – the “strolling dinner” arrangement, with multiple food stations but no set seating made for a very enjoyable event where everyone could catch up with many, many people throughout the course of the evening.

Congratulations to the Section for turning 25 – our firm was honored to be a sponsor.

New awning at the Hub

I didn’t have time this afternoon to come up with a crossreference to a case, but I wanted to post a picture of our pretty new awning at our firm’s office at the Hub in Marshall.

Hub – 1910s

It replaces our 2010 one, which had dark green stripes to match the facade color we started with in 2010. As I have mellowed, so has the Hub and what was once kelly green is now light olive.

Hub – 2010s

East Texas Pro Bono IP Workshop – USPTO/SBOT IP Law Section

Across the street from the Old Stone Fort on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus in Nacogdoches, Texas sits the brand-new Cole STEM center. I am fortunate to be spending the day in this beautiful facility at the pro bono intellectual property workshop for East Texas inventors and entrepreneurs that’s being jointly presented by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the State Bar of Texas IP Section.

The pro bono program is designed to provide basic information on securing patent and trademark rights, and includes both substantive presentations, small group meetings to focus on specific topics, and short one-on-one consultations with intellectual property lawyers.

The program just kicked off with introductions from Joe Cleveland for the Section and Jacob Choi for the USPTO before starting with an IP overview by Dr. Shubha Ghosh, which is what’s happening now.

We’ll cover IP generally, and patent law and patent prosecution basics first, then move into trademarks, and PTO systems (remote filing and prior raft searching). We’ll then have breakouts by IP type including software, mechanical/electrical and consumer products.

After that, we’ll have one-on-one sessions with the IP lawyers in attendance, which is why I and a number of other Texas IP practitioners are present – to answer attendees’ questions about the system and the process. (I even brought my patents for show and tell).

The IP Section and the USPTO have successfully presented this program to underserved communities across Texas in Corpus Christi, the Rio Grande Valley, Fort Worth, El Paso and Waco. A pro bono tour to Lubbock is scheduled for spring 2020.

Joe Cleveland, chair of pro bono tour, tells me that without exception, every lawyer who has participated in the program has greatly enjoyed the opportunity to give back to our community in such a unique and significant way, and although it’s only 9 am I can understand why.

Riding the Rails

Marshall Depot & Ginocchio Hotel (now a restaurant)

I had a hearing in a patent case in Dallas Monday morning after Sunday’s afternoon’s game, which gave me an excuse to ride the train home to Marshall Monday afternoon.

The time was same as a drive (including a stop for dinner), but I had time to work, nap, read, and tell my companions in the dining car more than they wanted to know about Marshall’s train history. (They were nice enough to make sure I got off at my stop).

Disappointingly, we didn’t stop at Buc-ee’s. Amtrak needs to look into that.

State Bar of Texas Intellectual Property Law Section TIPSheet – Fall 2019

I am pleased to report that the September issue of the State Bar of Texas Intellectual Property Law Section’s quarterly TIPSheet newsletter is out. It’s the first since I assumed the duties of editing it, and I’ve enjoyed the process and look forward to getting to work on the December issue. Don’t worry – no bad jokes or arcane historical references. (Yet).

In addition to Section news and information, it features a substantive article on tomorrow’s Pro Bono IP Workshop in Nacogdoches, which I’ll be attending to fetch drinks for the real patent lawyers, as well as one on recent amendments to the Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA)—also known as the Texas anti-SLAPP statute.

Section members get an email with a link to the individual articles and sections – the link below is the entire newsletter in one file. I hope you enjoy it.


I’ve gotten a couple of calls from subscribers who ran into a link that wasn’t functioning when trying to renew their subscriptions. Just go to the signup link at the top right of the site https://edtexweblog.com/signup.php and click on “individual” “government attorney” or “email only” as applicable. Let me know at michaelsmith@siebman.com if you still have problems.