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by Ken Lopez Founder/CEO A2L Consulting Since our founding 20 years ago, nearly half of our consulting work has involved patent litigation. Patent cases are uniquely suited to our brand of consulting, which relies on storytelling, persuasive demonstratives, and the simplification of complex materials for communication at trial. So it is with great pleasure that we release the 4th edition of our Patent Litigation Toolkit (download here). It seems obvious that our litigation consultants and litigation graphics consultants would routinely help patent litigators make their cases presentable and digestible for jurors. After all, these cases are often incredibly complex, involving issues of detailed mechanics, organic chemistry, and cutting-edge electronic technology. Less obvious perhaps, is the need for good storytelling. In fact, a lack of good storytelling is the undoing of many a patent case and patent litigator. After all, jurors will develop a story about your case whether you give them one or not. If you've done your trial preparation correctly, you will have offered one to them that they can believe in. This complimentary 270-page book is designed to help you with all of your patent litigation challenges - from storytelling to the simplification of complex material. I think you'll find articles like these very helpful:  5 Tips For Inter Partes Review Hearing Presentations at the PTO 11 Tips for Winning at Your Markman Hearings 16 PowerPoint Litigation Graphics You Won't Believe Are PowerPoint Introducing Mock Markman Hearings to Patent Litigation Trial Graphics in Patent Litigation - 11 Great Demonstrative Tips Explaining a Complicated Process Using Trial Graphics 10 Things Every Mock Jury Ever Has Said 5 Questions to Ask in Voir Dire . . . Always 5 Essential Elements of Storytelling and Persuasion 12 Worst PowerPoint Mistakes Litigators Make

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by Ryan H. Flax (Former) Managing Director, Litigation Consulting A2L Consulting Sometimes a trial graphic really does make the difference. We can’t say that in each case we’re involved in, a trial graphic likely won the case or played a major role in the win. We support some of the best lawyers in the country and they use the tools we provide to do what they do at trial. Usually we’re there to make sure they do the best they can do, but sometimes we provide that key image or animation (and the associated consulting input) that really clicks with a judge or jury and enables the win. Here’s a recent example. “Insert, Pivot, and Lock” This was a patent infringement case before the U.S. International Trade Commission concerning the connection mechanism between automobile windshield wiper blades and wiper arms – that little piece of plastic that might as well be a Rubik’s cube for most of us almost every time we need to change our wiper blades. Our client held several patents covering a very special wiper blade connector that was being ripped off by a competitor. To win at trial (final hearing at the ITC), we had to get the judge to agree to our way of understanding the rather verbose patent claim language covering what was a simple, although elegant, invention. Here’s an example of the claim language captured as an image from the patent: I’d say that this is a challenging read, whether you’re a judge, a patent attorney, or a fast food restaurant cashier. It’s pretty technically complex and rather long. Definitely “lawyery.” No doubt that it satisfies the legal requirements for claim language, but it almost takes one’s breath away. We needed to distill this language and the concepts behind it into something that was easily understandable, but we couldn’t be over-argumentative about it. Upon reading this claim language with the benefit of the rest of the patent’s disclosure and the reader’s own common sense, the invention had to seem simple (but elegant). With that understanding, how do you do it?

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  by Ryan H. Flax, Esq. (Former) Managing Director, Litigation Consulting A2L Consulting On May 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court released its opinion in Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc. (575 U.S. ____ (2015)) and it will significantly change patent litigation in the U.S.1 In Commil USA, the Court clarified when indirect patent infringement known as “inducement” occurs and how [not] to escape liability. As a bit of background, a patent can be infringed directly and indirectly. The Patent Act, at 35 U.S.C. § 271, makes it unlawful to make, use, sell, or offer to sell (in the U.S.) a patented thing or process without the patent holder’s permission. Part (a) of this section provides liability for direct infringement, that is, outright doing the thing that infringes a patent. Part (b) governs the first of two indirect infringements, induced infringement, and states “whoever actively induces infringement of a patent shall be liable as an infringer.” This is the focus of the Commil USA case. Part (c) of section 271 deals with the second of the indirect infringements (and interestingly, the one that was first statutorily identified), which is contributory infringement, which makes it an infringement to supply a non-staple, component for use in a patented thing or process.

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11 Tips for Winning at Your Markman Hearings

by Ryan H. Flax, Esq. (Former) Managing Director, Litigation Consulting A2L Consulting

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U.S. district court judges often lack the scientific or engineering background to fully understand the issues in highly technical patent cases without outside assistance. And ever since the Supreme Court’s Markman ruling in 1996 finding that claim construction – the interpretation of the words of a patent claim – is a task given over to the judge, it has been more important than ever for judges to get a solid working knowledge of the subject matter of a case. Judges now routinely convene so-called Markman hearings, also known as claim construction hearings, before trial to help them in their task of claim construction, which is at the core of many patent disputes. Many patent lawyers say the Markman hearing has become second in importance only to the trial itself. In a Markman hearing, judges must resolve all the disputes about the interpretation of a patent and must construe the claims for trial. The Markman hearing is therefore a key opportunity for both parties to guide the judge through the thicket of the evidence and to help him or her understand the case.

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As the Washington Business Journal recently wrote, the International Trade Commission (ITC), once an obscure federal agency, has become the epicenter of high-end international patent law in recent years. Its docket is rapidly growing, and its cases can be worth sums in the hundreds of millions or billions of dollars.

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