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    January 28, 2010  
 
PATENT LEADERS; HEALTHCARE REFORM

 
Eager to inherit some creative genius, we recently caught up with Robert Katz, chair of Banner & Witcoff’s design patents practice. For the seventh year in a row, his team has secured more design patents from the USPTO than any other firm in the country.
 
Robert Katz, chair of Banner & Witcoff’s design patents practice

The final tally, 890 design patents in 2009, exceeds the combined total of the next three highest firms. We presume its secret formula is patent pending, so we didn’t even bother asking. What we can tell you is that his team routinely locks up proprietary design rights for some of the world’s most cutting-edge companies, including: Microsoft, Nokia, and Nike.

 
Robert Katz, chair of Banner & Witcoff’s design patents practice

Rob, who got his start as a utility patent examiner at the USPTO, shows us a few of the gizmos, whose (yes, they have personalities) unique designs he’s helped protect. He tries to be ”as creative in protecting products as designers are in creating them,” a challenge made more complex by the skill and prevalence of counterfeiters; they try to rip-off designs on everything from computer software to cell phones to sneakers. Banner & Witcoff also enforces a large number of design patents. “Many infringers do not bother to deny infringement and settle relatively quickly,” says Rob, but some are uncooperative: “That’s when many design patentees are forced to litigate.”


   
Q:

What are your thoughts on healthcare reform?

   

Joel Michaels, McDermott Will & Emery.

“Scaling back health reform will be harder than it looks. Eliminating consideration of preexisting conditions, for example, doesn't work without requiring individuals to purchase insurance. The individual parts are so interdependent that dealing with only one feature can create other imbalances that are problematic.”

 

T.J. Sullivan, Drinker Biddle. It wasn't Harry and Louise turning the knife. It wasn't Rush, Sarah, or even Scott Brown. It was John Q. Public. The middle class never learned what we were going to gain, only what we would have to pay. We still can and should get insurance market reform, but not until the White House explains more effectively what it is and why we need it.”

 

Jorge Lopez Jr., Akin Gump. "Health reform in this Congress could be going the way of the failed efforts of the past. To rescue the legislation, the President will need to invest significant political capital.  It will be a heavy lift."

 

Bob Roth, Crowell & Moring. "Medicare and Medicaid provisions in the Health Reform bills challenge the Federal government to develop innovations that enhance quality and reduce costs, and reward the private sector for adopting and enhancing those innovations. The trillion dollar question: Can public and private sectors come together to find innovations that work?"

 
 

Working with the world's leading law firms, consulting firms, and financial services companies, Hellerman Baretz Communications creates PR-fueled business development campaigns that turn professionals' expertise into new business opportunities. See the latest research about the effectiveness of different business development activities, including PR campaigns, here.


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DLA'S NEW PARTNERS
 
DLA Piper's  Ed Scheideman (litigation and regulatory), Kim Pagotto (real estate) and Tom Zutic, (IPT/trademarks)

Yesterday, we met with three DLA Piper lawyers recently appointed to partner: Ed Scheideman (litigation and regulatory), Kim Pagotto (real estate) and Tom Zutic, (IPT/trademarks). Ed, the “spicy” one, says he’s working on a major litigation case for McCormick & Co. Kim, who says she does a lot of government leasing work, was eagerly anticipating last night’s State of the Union to see if POTUS would call for a spending freeze (unfortunately for building owners, he did). Tom, who tells us that Christie’s auction house is a major client (hence the dapper red pocket square), says that DLA’s trademark group plays a very competitive series of weekly tennis matches. We hear that every once in a while, just to please their venerable British client, they play on grass courts.

Please send story ideas to our legal reporter, Patrick Dowd patrick@bisnow.com
 
 
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