Find out what's going on in today's competitive IP marketplace.

Contact us at to get more involved.

  • Katherine Hoffman joins Solomon Ward as partner

    The San Diego law firm Solomon Ward Seidenwurm & Smith recently added Katherine Hoffman as a partner.

  • TJSL to host patent law symposium

    Thomas Jefferson School of Law professor Randy Berholtz and a research team of intellectual property fellows will host a symposium for patent attorneys and students from 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m. on Friday, April 11 at TJSL.

  • USD to honor Gibson Dunn partner with alumni award

    Jeffrey T. Thomas, a partner in the Orange County office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, will be honored by the University of San Diego on April 26.

  • Federal Circuit judge speaks at PatCon4 on rise in IP issues

    There's nothing quite like having your work reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • Mintz Levin's Suarez to serve on IP Owners committee

    San Diego attorney Pedro Suarez has been invited to serve on the Intellectual Property Owners (IPO) Association’s software and business methods committee for the 2014-2015 term.

  • Concern expressed over latest push for patent reform

    Members of Congress are currently considering more than 10 patent reform bills, most of which are designed to address the so-called "patent troll" problem.

  • Ballard Spahr adds IP attorney

    Attorney Roberta A. Young has joined Ballard Spahr's intellectual property department as of counsel. She will be based in the firm's San Diego office.

  • Duane Morris promotes 2 IP associates to partner

    The law firm Duane Morris LLP has promoted associates Courtney L. Baird and Michelle Hon Donovan to the firm partnership.

  • Fish attorney receives AIPLA award

    San Diego attorney Kevin Kantharia has received the 2013 American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Robert C. Watson Award for his paper, “The Shrinking and Unpredictable Law of Willful Patent Infringement: Why the Federal Circuit Should Revisit En Banc the Issues in Bard Peripheral Vascular.”

  • Local attorney defends infringement claim; says reform needed

    Using a unique strategy, San Diego attorney Joe Leventhal helped his client,, prevail in a patent infringement case that he said shows that reform is still needed at the patent office.

  • High court looking at patent infringement suits

    The U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing a Federal Circuit decision that could redefine how certain patent infringement cases are litigated.

  • Gibson, Fogarty named Global Fellows by Fed Circuit Bar

    San Diego attorney and DLA Piper partner Erin P. Gibson has been named a 2013-2014 Global Fellow by the Federal Circuit Bar Association.

  • MoFo named 'powerhouse' litigation firm in new survey

    The law firm Morrison & Foerster has been ranked by general counsel and in-house litigation counsel as a “powerhouse” in intellectual property litigation, according to the latest survey by the BTI Consulting Group.

  • Duckor Spradling adds patent, employment attorneys

    The San Diego law firm Duckor Spradling Metzger & Wynne has added registered patent attorney Jonathan L. “Jay” Pettit and employment law associate Anne Wilson.

  • Former Birch Stewart attorney launches own IP firm

    Susan Gorman announced Tuesday she is launching Gorman IP Law, an intellectual property firm that "uses a proprietary strategic assessment process to help start-up and emerging companies leverage their intellectual property as a competitive tool."

  • Knobbe named to magazine's IP hot list

    Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP has been named to the National Law Journal's 2013 Intellectual Property Hot List, which recognizes 20 top firms that have demonstrated “creative, formidable talent in litigation, patent prosecution and deal-making.”

  • Patents, Copyrights Boost U.S. Economy With Jobs, Report Finds

    April 11 (Bloomberg) -- More than a quarter of all jobs in the U.S. are with companies that rely on patents, copyrights and trademarks to protect products from competition and promote investment, the Commerce Department said.

  • Qualcomm exec stresses need to properly value IP

    Any attempts to decrease the value of patents could be extremely harmful to the U.S. economy, Qualcomm's top legal adviser cautioned this week.

  • Natural Alternatives International settles patent cases

    Natural Alternatives International Inc. (Nasdaq: NAII), a maker of nutritional supplements, said it settled patent-infringement cases against BPI Sports LLC and Image Sports LLC.

  • Gordon & Rees adds IP team, opens Carlsbad office

    Intellectual property attorney Laurie Axford has rejoined Gordon & Rees LLP as a partner and will be a resident in the firm's newly opened office in Carlsbad.

  • Patent reform nearing reality

    The biggest legislative change to the U.S. patent system in more than 50 years is about to become a reality.

  • PacketVideo files patent infringement lawsuits against Spotify

    Spotify, the European music-streaming service that started in the United States two weeks ago, is already getting a taste of the U.S. legal system.

  • Authorities crack down on flea market fakes

    TRENTON, N.J. -- Used to be, if you wanted a knockoff handbag or fake fragrance, Lower Manhattan's Canal Street was a mecca.

  • Smart phone rivalry plays out in patent suits

    SEATTLE -- Competition among smart phone makers is heating up at retail, in advertising and, increasingly, in the courtroom as handset and software makers wield patent lawsuits to protect their turf and slow down their rivals.

  • Warming ties lead to right to claim priority to Taiwan, Chinese patent applications

    With increased trade and closer relations between Taiwan and the China, patent applicants in Taiwan, as of Nov. 22, 2010, can now claim priority to an earlier-filed Chinese patent application and vice versa. Claiming priority enables a later-filed application to be treated as if it was filed on the same date as the earlier application.

  • New Congress to tackle old problem: patent reform

    The new Republican majority in the House of Representatives likely won’t have any affect on patent reform legislation, San Diego intellectual property attorneys say.

  • Companies need to keep eye on Web to protect their brand

    Despite an increase in legal remedies, cybersquatters and other online infringers continue to proliferate, according to local legal analysts.

  • Sheppard Mullin adds pair of IP attorneys

    Attorneys Martin Bader and Inge Larish have joined Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton as special counsel in the firm's intellectual property practice group in San Diego.

  • Jones Day taps local partners for leadership roles

    San Diego's Anthony Insogna has been appointed co-chair of Jones Day's global intellectual property practice, the firm announced Tuesday.

  • Marshall Edwards to acquire intellectual property from Novogen

    Marshall Edwards Inc. (Nasdaq: MSHL), a San Diego-based oncology company focused on the clinical development of novel anti-cancer therapeutics, has reached an agreement to acquire Novogen Limited's (Nasdaq: NVGN) isoflavone-related intellectual property portfolio in a stock-based transaction.

  • Noted patent litigator joins Sheppard Mullin

    It's a reunion of sorts for San Diego patent litigator Stephen Korniczky, who re-teams with some former colleagues at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP.

  • Oracle says Google Android violates its Java patents

    Oracle Corp. filed a patent- and copyright-infringement lawsuit against Google Inc., claiming its Android software for mobile devices uses technology Oracle obtained in its January acquisition of Sun Microsystems Inc.

  • Higgs successfully defends client from patent claim

    Once a company files a patent infringement lawsuit, it's extremely difficult to get them to withdraw their complaint for no consideration.

  • Townsend's Jenkins elected VP of SDIPLA

    Townsend and Townsend and Crew partner Kenneth E. Jenkins has been elected vice president of the San Diego Intellectual Property Law Association (SDIPLA).

  • Microsoft's Ballmer says China piracy makes India a better bet

    Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) is less optimistic about China than India or Indonesia because of the country’s lack of progress in stamping out software piracy, Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer said.

  • Expert Insights: Intellectual property

    In an increasingly global and competitive market, intellectual property may be a business' most valuable asset. Today's executives must address the protection and most effective use of technology and intangible assets, patents, trademarks and copyrights. The Daily Transcript asked several attorneys specializing in IP law to answer questions about one of the fastest-growing practice areas.

  • Local lawyers take their practice to new level of ‘action’

    Shaun White, Tony Hawk and Kelly Slater are household names. Snowboarding and freestyle skiing are Olympic events.

  • Kappos runs patent office like business

    When he joined the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office as director last August, David Kappos brought with him an operational business philosophy culled during 25-plus years of working for IBM.

  • USD, Connect launch law clinic for technology startups

    The University of San Diego School of Law is teaming up with Connect to launch a new Technology Entrepreneurship Law Clinic.

  • Callaway loses bid for $246 million patent damages

    Callaway Golf Co. (NYSE: ELY), the maker of Big Bertha golf clubs, lost a bid for $246 million in patent- infringement damages from Fortune Brands' (NYSE: FO) Acushnet unit when a jury decided four Callaway golf ball patents aren’t valid.

  • Justice Dept. task force to combat IP theft

    Despite previous efforts, the piracy of U.S. movies, music and other products remains a serious problem, according to the federal government.

  • Patent term adjustment in the wake of Wyeth

    On Jan. 7, in Wyeth v. Kappos, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit confirmed that the U.S. Patent Office (PTO) has been improperly shortening the lives of patents by miscalculating patent term adjustment (PTA). While the court resolved the issue of PTA calculations going forward, it did not indicate whether to compensate patent owners for patent terms miscalculated over the last 10 years.

  • Kappos heading the PTO in the right direction

    The new head of the patent office is taking steps to reduce the backlog and improve the efficiency of the government agency, according to local intellectual property attorneys.

  • Change to 'count' system should help backlog at PTO

    In a small, but significant development, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office recently changed the way it measures the production of its examiners.

  • Lack of quality examiners at center of patent problems

    Many of the problems raised in the patent reform debate can be solved by improving the quality of patent examiners, according to a group of intellectual property professionals speaking at a Daily Transcript roundtable Tuesday.

  • Luce attorneys endorse proactive approach to IP protection

    When it comes to protecting intellectual property, you can't be timid, according to a pair of Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps attorneys.

  • Protecting IP critical for government contractors

    When developing technology for the government, companies should have a specific process for managing their intellectual property, keep good records and not be afraid to speak up, according to attorneys from Morrison & Foerster.

  • Foreign buyers hate fakes unless they're shopping

    Thousands of foreign buyers flock to this southern city at this time of year for China's biggest trade show. They search for factory owners who will make their products cheaply and won't rip off their clever designs.

  • USD School of Law unveils new Center on Intellectual Property Law and Markets

    University of San Diego School of Law has launched a new Center on Intellectual Property Law and Markets. The center will train students in the fundamentals of intellectual property laws and the ways clients use IP rights to compete in real-world markets. It will also provide a forum where lawyers, clients, judges and policymakers can share ideas about IP doctrines and policies.

  • Copyright 101

    Just what is a copyright?

  • Your company's intellectual property -- assets and risks

    Every company should make regular assessment of the value (legal and financial) of its intellectual property and the risk of infringement of other companies' IP. The assessment should also evaluate the effectiveness of the existing program to identify assets and risks and make recommendations for improvements. Time constraints apply to all forms of IP. The assessment will identify time critical filings and the systems in place to assure that dates are met.

  • Patent marking and the SaaS business model

    Many companies today have adopted the SaaS (software as a service) business model for deploying software to customers. In the SaaS model, software applications are hosted for customers who access the application across a network such as the Internet. The SaaS business model is attractive because it eliminates the need for customers to install the application on their hardware and reduces their overall IT burden by shifting software maintenance and version upgrades back to the software provider.

  • Federal Circuit's recent decision in TS Tech looms large for patent plaintiffs' bar

    The Federal Circuit ended the year by handing down a decision that has commanded the attention of the patent litigation bar. It was the second high-profile writ of mandamus ordering the Eastern District of Texas to grant a motion to transfer venue within the final three months of 2008. Many patent defendants hope that this newest decision is likely to cool the hotbed of patent litigation that is the Eastern District of Texas.

  • The demise of business method patents?

    Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina once said that "the goal is to transform data into information, and information into insight." But in the realm of so-called "business method patents," which disclose and claim new methods of doing business, what happens if data doesn't actually get transformed into anything? A key court recently held that such inventions cannot receive patent protection.

  • San Diego's newest IP firm stresses personal service

    A new intellectual property law firm has opened in San Diego, but it doesn't have any office space or a centralized mailing address.

  • IP due diligence: Even more critical in a troubled economy

    Pick up any newspaper or trade journal and you will see the news of mergers and acquisitions, particularly in biotechnology and high-technology industries where venture capital is tight and the IPO window has been closed for some time. Cash is king, and those who have it are looking to acquire companies with strong pipelines, intellectual property portfolios and/or strategic positioning. But just because a company can be acquired for less than it was worth a short time ago doesn't mean that thorough IP due diligence isn't necessary to avoid costly mistakes down the road.

  • New ruling beefs up attorney-client privilege in corporate context

    Imagine it: Your in-house intellectual property counsel instructs your senior engineering staff to design a product in a way that avoids infringing other companies' patents. The senior developers transmit those instructions, second-hand, to junior engineers carrying out the actual design. And those engineers exchange e-mails among themselves about how the design steers clear of the patents.

  • Name and trademark your product without spending a fortune in legal fees

    When giving a new product a name, you need to think about whether it is available and is not already being used by someone else (unless you like the idea of being named as a defendant in a trademark infringement lawsuit). You also need to select a name that is distinctive enough for you to register and protect, so that competitors won't be able to take a free ride on the goodwill you have built up by coming out with a product that has a confusingly similar name.

  • Using IP to protect your products and ideas

    Businesspeople often put intellectual property issues on the back burner. They know that these are important matters that need to be attended to someday, but someday never quite seems to come. This article provides a primer for the busy businessperson on trademarks and service marks, along with brief discussions of the other types of intellectual property and how they may affect businesses.

  • Recently renewed Patent Reform Act may be positive for medical device industry

    On Jan. 22, the Senate began its 2008 session by renewing its ongoing consideration of the Patent Reform Act, a bipartisan effort that may result in the most significant overhaul of the U.S. patent system, which has remained largely unchanged since 1952.

  • Protecting directors, officers from exposure to patent infringement damages

    Corporate officers and directors take note -- you may be held personally liable for inducing patent infringement, even when you are acting solely through a corporation. Although most patent infringement lawsuits do not name an individual officer or director as a defendant, the ability to pressure an officer or director with the threat of personal liability is a potential arrow in the patent owner's quiver (or a mosquito in the accused infringer's tent, depending upon your perspective).

  • IP protection for green branding: Obtaining trademarks for eco-labels

    As global warming becomes an increasingly popular topic, environmental considerations are playing a greater role in consumer purchasing decisions. Not surprisingly, it is becoming more common for businesses to highlight their eco-friendly practices to attract environmentally conscious consumers. As with any type of branding, intellectual property has an important role to play in protecting "green" brands.

  • Safety scares, rip-offs: China's rough capitalism daunts foreign buyers but still they come

    GUANGZHOU, China -- Ron Rust and Beve Kozub were poking around the toy booths at China's biggest trade fair two years ago when something caught their eye: pouty-faced baby dolls snuggling in light blue and pink fleece blankets, their eyes tightly shut or gazing with a newborn's woozy stare.

  • Sony BMG to start selling music downloads without copy protection

    TOKYO -- Sony BMG will start selling music downloads in the copy-protection-free MP3 format later this month in North America, as even the last holdout among the major record labels crumbled to the growing trend.

  • Intellectual property and technology standards

    San Diego's economy is driven in large part by technology, with the high-tech and biotech industries being the primary engine. The telecom industry alone is San Diego County's fourth largest industry sector when ranked by number of employees. The telecom industry contributed more than $11 billion to the local economy in 2004, and surely even more today.

  • Top innovators turn to Fish & Richardson

    Few firms can boast a client list like Fish & Richardson. For the last 130 years, Fish & Richardson has represented some of the greatest innovators in the world. From the great minds of Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and the Wright Brothers to today's companies such as Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and 3M Innovative Properties, Fish has been in the forefront of protecting cutting-edge technologies.

  • Be smart about entering a joint defense arrangement

    Your company and a dozen others were just sued for patent infringement. Having already received pitch packages from law firms throughout the country, you're ready to decide which firm to retain and whether to join a joint defense group.

  • Business method patents in danger?

    Can you really patent a crustless peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Or, more practically, can you really patent a tax strategy or method of arbitration?

  • Maximizing returns on your IP investment

    Intellectual property is often the most valuable asset of a technology startup. While limiting the upfront costs can be very important for small companies, choice of the proper strategy for preparing patent applications can significantly impact both the bottom line and the ultimate value of the company's IP portfolio.

  • The Coca-Cola caper: Lessons in protecting trade secrets

    Her name is Joya Williams. She was a secretary at The Coca-Cola Co. (Nasdaq: COKE). A jury of her peers recently found her guilty of conspiring to steal the 100-year-old but still super-secret formula for Coke and sell it to Pepsi. How was the would-be theft of the century averted? None other than a lawyer for Pepsi got wind of the deal and did the right thing. He told Coke.

  • Seagate ruling changes standard in law of willful patent infringement

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rewrote the law of willful patent infringement with its In re Seagate Technology LLC ruling. The court raised the bar on proving willful patent infringement, replacing the older "duty of due care" standard with a new required showing of "objective recklessness." This change in the law makes it more difficult for patent owners to obtain enhanced damages, and lowers the costs of defending against such claims. The court also ruled that the assertion of an advice-of-counsel defense to willful infringement does not waive attorney-client and work product privileges relating to trial counsel. Thus, a patent defendant is no longer faced with the threat of disclosing all privileged communications with its trial lawyers as the price for reliance on an opinion of non-infringement or patent invalidity by separate opinion counsel.

  • Trademark victory for eBay important legal ruling for famous brand owners

    A federal appeals court in Pasadena recently issued an important ruling on how similar trademarks need to be to prove trademark dilution, in a win for eBay Inc. against Orange County online perfume seller Inc.

  • Lawyers say patent reforms bad for San Diego

    Patent reform legislation working its way through Congress could adversely affect San Diego because the proposed changes will lower the value of individual patents, which will be particularly troublesome to biotech companies, according to attorneys specializing in patent prosecution and litigation.

  • Changes in patent system bane to local biotech, pharmaceutical companies

    The American patent system is being slowly, dramatically reshaped by a three-pronged

  • Heller Ehrman managing attorney offers take on law's importance in high-tech, biotech industries

    If you're looking for a detailed account of San Diego's biotech history, John Benassi is the person to ask.

  • Latham & Watkins partner among ranks of increasingly tech-savvy patent lawyers

    Intellectual property law not only requires attorneys to hold their own during a trial court, but also that they understand the products and clients they represent.

  • Inequitable conduct and IP due diligence: Potholes to miss

    It is increasingly understood that the seal of the U.S. government on a patent tells you only that a patent was issued after a process of review. Whether the patent has value requires a studied assessment of the patent's history, the field of art and relevant commercial embodiments and implementations.

  • IP experts agree quality patents needed, but disagree over best way to improve

    San Diego stands to benefit from the efforts of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Congress and the courts to improve the quality of patents, according to a recent roundtable hosted by The Daily Transcript.

  • Bringing counterfeiters to justice

    The Lanham Act defines the term "counterfeit" as a "spurious mark which is identical with, or substantially indistinguishable from, a registered mark." A "counterfeit mark" is defined as a counterfeit of a registered mark or a spurious designation that is identical with, or substantially indistinguishable from, a protected designation.

  • Adverse patent ruling could cost Genentech millions

    SAN FRANCISCO -- Federal regulators rejected a valuable Genentech Inc. (NYSE: DNA) patent that protects how it makes some biotechnology drugs, the company said last week.

  • Spurred by opportunity and necessity, generic drug makers take on brand name rivals

    WASHINGTON -- With the new Democratic Congress promising to lower health care costs, makers of inexpensive generic drugs sense a unique opportunity to level the playing field with their brand-name rivals.

  • Accused patent infringers: Who deserves the attorney-client privilege and who doesn't?

    Everyone of a certain -- how shall we shall this? -- "mature" age should remember the lines of Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant." In that classic Vietnam-era anti-war song, Guthrie describes his surprise when he discovers a prior conviction for mere littering relegates him to a rejected draft classification of "Group W" alongside "Mother-rapers" and "Father-stabbers." (For those who are age- or memory-deficient, you can find the lyrics at

  • U.S. trade officials prepared, then withdrew WTO case over copyright piracy

    WASHINGTON -- The U.S. government withheld a World Trade Organization complaint against China over video and music piracy last October because Beijing said it wanted more time to resolve the matter bilaterally, a U.S. trade official said last Thursday.

  • When in doubt, spell it out: Complying with a patentee's duty of disclosure

    U.S. patent laws require applicants and those involved with the filing and prosecution of a patent application disclose any information which may be material to patentability (i.e., whether a patent should be granted). Failure to disclose material information can result in a determination that the patent is invalid due to inequitable conduct.

  • How to decide whether to protect your idea as trade secret or patent

    An old Spanish proverb goes: "A secret between two is God's secret; between three is all mankind's."

  • The top 10 ways copyright law can ruin your transaction

    Many transactional lawyers who represent clients in entertainment, media or publishing deals have some working knowledge of copyright law. However, as they say, "a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing." Copyright law is full of exceptions and qualifiers, and many clients and lawyers have only broad understandings of the way copyright law works to protect the original expression of ideas. Copyright litigators see many deals go sideways because of client or attorney misunderstandings about copyright law. Here is our top 10 list.

  • Cyber security risks threaten companies' intellectual property

    Picture this: A 20-something employee at a digital media company uses his "free" time to log onto the popular Web communities or and proceeds to download or watch a streaming video posted by one of his friends.

  • Informatics Act would add layer of protection to U.S. patents

    Recently proposed legislation designed to add another layer of protection for U.S. patent holders could become a question of the government's ability -- or right -- to control information.



Intellectual Property Videos

Top Attorneys 2010: Michael Fuller

Aug. 11, 2010 -- Michael Fuller, a partner with Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear, talks about the latest issues in intellectual property law.

Archived Reports

Intellectual Property - 2014

Read about the latest patent law news in this Intellectual Property special report.

Intellectual Property - 2010

Read about the latest patent law news in this Intellectual Property special report.

Intellectual Property - 2009

Find out what's going on in today's competitive IP marketplace in this special report.

Intellectual Property - 2008

Find out how patent changes could affect local industries, and what leading companies are doing to protect and capitalize on their innovations and ideas.