Wednesday, 25 February 2004
IP practitioners and the public interest
This past month — my first as an IP attorney — has uncovered many wonderful things for me. The most wonderful has been the attitude of several attorneys that it has been my pleasure to work with. Although none of them have ever (to my knowledge) been an activist or "copyfighter," they seem genuinely concerned for the public interest in the area of IP law.
Like all good patent litigators, they avidly watch the Federal Circuit for interesting decisions. However, these folks occassionally cheer when the court limits the scope of patent law in ways that limit the rights of patent holders and expand the public domain. They cheer notwithstanding that such decisions may ultimately mean less money in their own pockets. When I described the size of statutory damges authorized by the Copyright Act, one partner refused to believe me until I showed him a copy of § 504. Even then, his reaction was, "Hmmm...what did Disney pay to get that?"
There are many good reasons why I chose to join this firm.