03/20/2019

C. MARSHALL DANN 1974-1977

C. Marshall Dann was born in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, on March 27, 1915. His father was an engineer with Westinghouse Electric Corp. He received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Delaware, and a law degree from Georgetown University.

He spent 36 years with E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., at the time the world’s largest chemical company. He started as a research chemist in Wilmington, Delaware, and was named as the inventor in a U.S. patent. He decided to take advantage of a DuPont program in Washington, D.C., that allowed employees to work in the company’s Washington office as patent apprentices while attending law school. Many large companies ran apprentice programs during that era. After law school he returned to Wilmington and rose to the position of chief patent counsel of the company, managing more than 100 patent lawyers. 

03/18/2019

The Effects of AI Technology on Personal Injury Litigation

 

By: Rae Steinbach

 

The history of artificial intelligence dates back to the 1950s, but it has been taking on a larger role in our personal and business lives in more recent years. Machine learning and other AI technologies have taken 450% more jobs since just 2013, and that trend is only going to continue.

 

While many people anticipated the gradual introduction of artificial intelligence into lower-skilled jobs, fewer expected the technology to apply to more complex settings such as the law. Personal injury lawyers and their area of practice have already been profoundly affected by the rise of AI, substantially increasing client access to legal resources.

 

Streamlining Claims with Artificial Intelligence

 

Compared to the current timeline involved in processing insurance claims, artificial intelligence promises a significant upgrade. Using AI software, claim processing time could be reduced to as little as five seconds. Efficiency is further aided by chatbots which can respond to simple customer inquiries.

 

The Limits of AI

 

While insurance companies obviously see significant potential in the integration of artificial intelligence, there may also be some cases in which the human element is needed. Personal injury lawyers will need to take on challenges made by plaintiffs who believe artificial intelligence made the incorrect decision.

 

It’s also difficult to determine whether an algorithm will be able to capture everything relevant to the outcome of a claim. Much of the responsibility will rest with lawyers, as they will need to learn which types of cases are likely to be missed by prevailing AI technology.

03/13/2019

ROBERT GOTTSCHALK 1972-1973

Robert Gottschalk was born on January 10, 1911, in New York City. He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from McGill University and a law degree from St. Lawrence University. Gottschalk practiced with law firms and was a patent counsel with companies including Corn Products Inc. and GAF Corp. He spoke and wrote frequently about patent law.

In May 1970 Gottschalk moved to Washington, D.C., to become deputy commissioner of patents. The position he took had for many years been called First Assistant Commissioner in the statute, but in 1969 the Patent Office expanded the duties for the position and adopted the deputy title by executive action. The statute was later amended to use the deputy title as well.

After his predecessor resigned, Gottschalk served as acting commissioner for several months, after which President Richard Nixon appointed him commissioner of patents. He took the oath of office on January 7, 1972.

03/06/2019

WILLIAM E. SCHUYLER JR. 1969-1971

William E. Schuyler Jr. was born on February 3, 1914, in Washington, D.C., and resided in the Washington area for his entire career. His mother operated a patent information business. He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Catholic University and a law degree from Georgetown University. 

He was a law firm partner and litigator who represented clients in district court patent infringement trials throughout the United States. He argued many appeals in regional Courts of Appeals in the era before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit was established. He taught a law school course in patent litigation for more than 20 years.

President Richard Nixon appointed Schuyler commissioner of patents, and he took the oath of office on May 7, 1969.

03/04/2019

Unitary Patents & Unified Patent Court: The Start of a new Epoch in the European Patent System?

Markus Nolff

Since signing the Treaty of Rome in 1957, creating the European Economic Community, a community patent was thought to be necessary to further the goal of forming and furthering a single, common market. After various failed attempts within the last fifty years, the so-called “unitary patent” is on the brink of becoming reality. The unitary patent will be of a unitary character, granted and administered centrally at the European Patent Office, with unitary effect throughout almost the entire European Union. Start of availability of the unitary patent is linked to the establishment of a Unified Patent Court which will have exclusive judicial competence regarding any action, including infringement and revocation, concerning the unitary patent. The unitary patent in combination with the Unified Patent Court is expected to considerable ease the effort and cost for acquisition, maintenance, and enforcement of patent protection, thereby further incentivizing research and development. However, enactment has been held up by a pending constitutional complaint before the German Federal Constitutional Court and is now also complicated by the upcoming Brexit. It is currently unclear whether and when the relevant treaty might enter into force.

02/27/2019

EDWARD J. BRENNER 1964-1969

Edward J. Brenner was born in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, on June 26, 1923. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering and a law degree from the University of Wisconsin. 

He served in the U.S. Army and was a member of the radiological safety team for the Bikini Atoll nuclear bomb tests. He was an engineer and patent attorney with Standard Oil of New Jersey’s Esso Research and Engineering Co., where he became assistant director of the legal division.

President Lyndon Johnson appointed Brenner commissioner of patents, and he took the oath of office on March 11, 1964.

02/25/2019

Why Patent Ownership Disputes Can Make or Break Consumer Product Launches

By Bradley J. Van Pelt

In the race to produce the latest and greatest consumer products, companies working with outside consultants and manufacturers must establish clear lines indicating who are the actual patent owners and inventors of the products’ designs and concepts. If those lines of patent ownership and invention are vague or your ideas get exposed publicly before patent filings, the product launch could become mired in litigation, possibly causing the product to fail completely. Also, as companies move manufacturing out of China due to the tariff situation, they should consider how their IP will be protected as they evaluate other manufacturing sites around the globe.

1) What are the biggest risks for companies working with outside consultants and manufacturers during the development of a consumer product?

When developing or finalizing product design with an outside consultant or manufacturer (vendor) who may help in the development of the commercial product, it may become unclear who invented each aspect of the design. It is very important to file for patent protection before the company developing the product enters into any discussions with vendors.

If an application has not been filed before vendor involvement and if a vendor contributes to the invention, it may partially belong to the vendor unless there is an agreement that requires the vendor to assign the rights back your company. Without such an agreement and/or prior patent protection, the vendor may claim that the product concept is theirs and try to sell it to other customers.

Also, when vendors are helping other competitors solve similar problems or manufacture a similar product, your ideas may leak intentionally or inadvertently into your competitors’ products. For example, while visiting the vendor, a competitor may happen to see your product sample that you are developing with the vendor’s help. That competitor may then launch a product very similar to yours before you get the chance to publicize, officially launch, or file for patent protection for your product.

02/20/2019

DAVID L. LADD 1961-1963

David L. Ladd was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, on September 18, 1926. He attended Kenyon College for a year before serving in the U.S. Army. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago, attended Illinois Institute of Technology, and returned to the University of Chicago to earn his law degree. After graduation he practiced patent, trademark, and copyright law in Chicago for about eight years.

President John Kennedy appointed Ladd commissioner of patents, and he took office on April 17, 1961. At 34, he was the second youngest person to hold the position. The youngest was William Bishop, who was appointed at age 31 in 1859.

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