Driving Diversity with Elaine Spector | Episode 24

Join Harrity’s Elaine Spector as she shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in her weekly vlog, ‘Driving Diversity.’

EPISODE TWENTY FOUR | DIVERSITY METRICS

To learn more about Harrity’s diversity efforts, visit harrityllp.com/diversity. For more diversity resources, including all Driving Diversity episodes, check out The Diversity Channel.

 

New Clause 8 Episode: Josh Landau – On Lobbying for Weaker Patent Rights and ‘Making a PB&J Sandwich’

Eli Mazour‘s Clause 8 Podcast, The Voice of IP, has returned for Season 2, featuring all new exclusive interviews with the intellectual property community’s biggest names.

 


 

 

The first episode of this season of Clause 8 featured the most recent USPTO Director – Andrei Iancu – discussing his efforts to strengthen America’s patent system over the last three years. One of the most publicly vocal opponents of those efforts was Josh Landau, patent counsel at the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA). Now that those views are in ascendancy in the Biden administration and Congress, it made sense to finish this season by talking to Josh.

This is an incredibly insightful episode exploring first hand how the patent process helps innovative individuals and small companies bring their ideas to fruition. Listen here!


On today’s podcast:

  • The role of the CCIA in the patent debate
  • The failure of Section 101 legislation in the last Congress
  • The “patent quality” problem
  • How the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) operates
  • Patent policy advocacy on Capitol Hill
  • Patent policy in Trump v Biden administration
  • Is the patent system unfair to patent owners in any way?
  • Why do different patent attorneys have such different views of the patent system?
  • US inventors
  • The “peanut butter and jelly sandwich” patent

 

You can subscribe and listen to the full episode on your favorite podcasting app and learn more at voiceofIP.com. All Season 2 episodes are available now!

 

Driving Diversity with Elaine Spector | Episode 22

Join Harrity’s Elaine Spector as she shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in her weekly vlog, ‘Driving Diversity.’

EPISODE TWENTY TWO | PRIDE MONTH

To learn more about Harrity’s diversity efforts, visit harrityllp.com/diversity. For more diversity resources, including all Driving Diversity episodes, check out The Diversity Channel.

 

New Clause 8 Episode – Mark Han: Applying Lessons from Intellectual Ventures to Helping Innovative Doctors

Eli Mazour‘s Clause 8 Podcast, The Voice of IP, has returned for Season 2, featuring all new exclusive interviews with the intellectual property community’s biggest names.

 


 

 

Don’t miss this latest episode of Clause 8 with President and Chief Legal Officer of IntuitiveX, Mark Han, about the new business model IntuitiveX created to help innovators in the medical field.

Mark cut his teeth working for the largest and most notorious “patent troll” Intellectual Ventures (IV).  During the episode, Mark talks about what he learned from that experience and why he’s now excited to be in the business of bringing new products to market and building  new companies at IntuitiveX.

This is an incredibly insightful episode exploring first hand how the patent process helps innovative individuals and small companies bring their ideas to fruition. Listen here!


On today’s podcast:

  • Intellectual Ventures
  • How to identify and acquire valuable portfolios
  • The “patent troll” narrative
  • How IntuitiveX is advancing medical innovations
  • What IntuitiveX looks for in innovators and their inventions
  • Taking Amplify Surgical from idea to market

 

You can subscribe and listen to the full episode on your favorite podcasting app and learn more at voiceofIP.com. New episodes drop every Tuesday!

 

New Clause 8 Episode: AIPF’s President Chris Agrawal on Growing $1 Billion Portfolio & Succeeding in IP Field

Eli Mazour‘s Clause 8 Podcast, The Voice of IP, has returned for Season 2, featuring all new exclusive interviews with the intellectual property community’s biggest names.

 


 

 

 

Chris Agrawal is President of the Association of Intellectual Property Firms. He’s also the reason Eli got into patent law in the first place. If you’re a startup founder worrying you’re already behind on building a portfolio of patents, or you’re wondering how to scale your patent program, listen here!

 

You can subscribe and listen to the full episode on your favorite podcasting app and learn more at voiceofIP.com. New episodes drop every Tuesday!

 

Driving Diversity with Elaine Spector | Episode 21

Join Harrity’s Elaine Spector as she shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in her weekly vlog, ‘Driving Diversity.’

EPISODE TWENTY ONE | FLORIDA CLE REGULATIONS CONTINUED


To learn more about Harrity’s diversity efforts, visit harrityllp.com/diversity. For more diversity resources, including all Driving Diversity episodes, check out The Diversity Channel.

 

Driving Diversity with Elaine Spector | Episode 20

Join Harrity’s Elaine Spector as she shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in her weekly vlog, ‘Driving Diversity.’

EPISODE TWENTY | THE IDEA ACT


To learn more about Harrity’s diversity efforts, visit harrityllp.com/diversity. For more diversity resources, including all Driving Diversity episodes, check out The Diversity Channel.

 

Driving Diversity with Elaine Spector | Episode 19

Join Harrity’s Elaine Spector as she shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in her weekly vlog, ‘Driving Diversity.’

EPISODE NINETEEN | ARE CLE PROGRAMS DISCRIMINATORY? 

To learn more about Harrity’s diversity efforts, visit harrityllp.com/diversity. For more diversity resources, including all Driving Diversity episodes, check out The Diversity Channel.

 

New Clause 8 Episode: Judge Alan Albright On Becoming the Go-To Judge for Patent Cases

Eli Mazour‘s Clause 8 Podcast, The Voice of IP, has returned for Season 2, featuring all new exclusive interviews with the intellectual property community’s biggest names.

 


 

 

If you’ve ever wondered how and why Judge Alan D Albright of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas became America’s go-to judge for patent cases, you don’t want to miss this episode of Clause 8. Listen here!

Judge Albright is as transparent in this episode as he is in the courtroom. So if you’re wondering how to make your case more efficient, how you can clerk for him, or why it’s easier to predict where to be struck by lightning than how to become a district court judge, don’t miss him on this week’s Clause 8.

On this podcast:

  • Judge Albright’s love for patent cases & why it’s not really work for him
  • Plan to handle growing docket of patent cases
  • Getting into patent law as the youngest magistrate judge in history
  • Why many district court judges aren’t interested in handling patent cases and how it impacts their resolution
  • Example set by Judge John Ward and Eastern District of Texas
  • Why patent owners deserve a jury trial
  • Picking effective patent litigation counsel
  • Discovery disputes
  • Approach to attorneys filing transfer motions
  • Advice to trial attorneys for preparing and being effective
  • Navigating Federal Circuit decisions and focusing on being a good trial judge
  • Following press coverage & commitment to transparency
  • Clerking for Judge Alan Albright
  • Why you shouldn’t – or possibly should – wear python boots to the courthouse

You can subscribe and listen to the full episode on your favorite podcasting app and learn more at voiceofIP.com. New episodes will drop every Tuesday!

 

John Harrity Shares Survival Story to Raise CPR Awareness

Virginia Lawyer Saved by CPR Shares Story to Raise Awareness

By Diane Bernard

FAIRFAX, Va. – A lawyer in Fairfax had a sudden heart attack and was saved by a friend’s knowledge of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Next week is National CPR and Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) Awareness Week, and now he’s challenging folks to join a fundraiser to support research for these life-saving procedures.

In 2016, John Harrity was a healthy, 49-year-old athlete who followed a strict diet and had no family history of heart disease. Playing in a weekly basketball game, he felt like he couldn’t breathe and suddenly fainted. Harrity had what he described as one of the worst types of cardiac arrest – a so-called “widow-maker.”

“Luckily, that night my friend called 911 immediately, and within seconds of me hitting the ground, they were performing CPR – and that saved my life,” he said. “I mean, it is the reason that I am here today.”

Harrity encouraged people to watch the American Heart Association’s Hands-Only CPR video to learn how to help in a heart-attack emergency. Another way is to participate in the upcoming Washington, D.C., “Lawyers Have Heart” 10-K race. The free event is open to everyone and will be held online the weekend of June 11. More information is online at lawyershaveheartdc.org.

Federal data show heart disease remains the number one killer in the nation and the second-leading cause of death in Virginia. Harrity pointed to his own experience as evidence the chances of survival are double or triple if CPR is performed immediately after cardiac arrest. He noted the urgency behind learning the life-saving technique.

“Seventy percent of out-of-the-hospital cardiac arrests happen in the home,” he said, “and only about 46% of people who experience an out-of-the-hospital cardiac arrest receive that immediate help that’s needed, including that CPR.”

More than 350,000 Americans have a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting each year, and about 90% of those are fatal, according to the American Heart Association.

Click HERE to listen to the newscast on Public News Service.

Join us for the 31st Annual Lawyers Have Heart free virtual event in support of the American Heart Association, the largest organization dedicated to educating the community on heart disease & CPR. Register here.

New Clause 8 Episode: Professor Stephen Yelderman – A Personal View of How the Supreme Court Approaches IP

Eli Mazour‘s Clause 8 Podcast, The Voice of IP, has returned for Season 2, featuring all new exclusive interviews with the intellectual property community’s biggest names.

 


In today’s incredibly candid episode, Prof. Stephen Yelderman shares stories about his journey into patent law, why he chose to become a patent agent, meeting Justice Amy Coney Barrett, clerking at the Supreme Court, and the creative ways companies try to influence the Supreme Court. Listen here!

Prof. Yelderman insights are not to be missed by anyone who is interested in having a better understanding of how the Supreme Court approaches IP issues, how the patent system truly works, and how to succeed in the legal field.

“A piece of advice I have is when an opportunity comes, say yes to it because you oftentimes don’t have good visibility to all the doors that will open down the road.”

On the episode:

  • From engineering at Stanford to patent law to clerking at the Supreme Court
  • Perspective about the patent examination process from working as a patent agent in Silicon Valley
  • Academic consensus that leans into an anti-patent direction
  • Misguided thinking about “patent quality”
  • Different approaches to anticipation and obviousness during USPTO examination, PTAB proceedings, and district court litigation
  • Meeting and working with ACB before she joined the Supreme Court
  • The one patent case ACB decided before joining the Supreme Court that cited one of Prof. Yelderman’s articles
  • How and why the Supreme Court approaches IP cases differently from other case
  • Impact of Breyer and Kennedy
  • Gorsuch’s correct approach to patent cases & the one case he got wrong
  • Why Gorsuch’s concerns regarding the PTAB are likely to be the future consensus
  • Efforts to influence Supreme Court & impact of atmospherics on the justices’ decisions regarding patent cases

You can subscribe and listen to the full episode on your favorite podcasting app and learn more at voiceofIP.com. New episodes will drop every Tuesday!

 

Harrity Named Washington Business Journal’s #2 Best Place to Work

Harrity & Harrity has been named the #2 Best Place to Work by Washington Business Journal and Quantum Workplace for organizations with 50-249 employees. The rankings are based off of results of surveys given to employees at hundreds of companies headquartered in the Greater Washington Region.

Congratulations to all of those at the firm who make this a wonderful place to be!

Click HERE to learn more.

 

New Clause 8 Episode: Andrei Iancu – From Communist Romania to USPTO Director

Eli Mazour‘s Clause 8 Podcast, The Voice of IP, has returned for Season 2, featuring all new exclusive interviews with the intellectual property community’s biggest names.

 


 

If you’re keen to follow in Andrei Iancu’s footsteps, to be a future director of the USPTO, or to find out how to communicate with the new director, check out this latest episode of the Clause 8 podcast.

On the episode:

  • From communist Romania to USPTO
  • How the IP system has dealt with the pandemic
  • How patent policy develops in an administration
  • The two jobs of the PTO director
  • The best way to communicate with a USPTO Director
  • Response to those who think Iancu did too much, too quickly
  • What makes employees successful at the USPTO
  • Andrei’s advice to younger patent attorneys

You can subscribe and listen to the full episode on your favorite podcasting app and learn more at voiceofIP.com. New episodes will drop every Tuesday!

 

Image Rights: Alexandria, VA – January 5, 2018: Portrait of Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). (Photo by Jay Premack/USPTO) 

 

Clause 8 Podcast is Back!

Eli Mazour‘s Clause 8 Podcast, The Voice of IP, has returned for Season 2, featuring all new exclusive interviews with the intellectual property community’s biggest names.

In the latest episode, Eli sits down for an interesting conversation with former USPTO Director, Andrei Iancu. Listen here!

You can subscribe and listen to the full episode on your favorite podcasting app and learn more at voiceofIP.com. New episodes will drop every Tuesday! You won’t want to miss next week’s guest!

 

Driving Diversity with Elaine Spector | Episode 16

Join Harrity’s Elaine Spector as she shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in her weekly vlog, ‘Driving Diversity.’

EPISODE SIXTEEN | BLACK INVENTORS

To learn more about Harrity’s diversity efforts, visit harrityllp.com/diversity. For more diversity resources, including all Driving Diversity episodes, check out The Diversity Channel.

 

Driving Diversity with Elaine Spector | Episode 15

Join Harrity’s Elaine Spector as she shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in her weekly vlog, ‘Driving Diversity.’

 

EPISODE FIFTEEN | DIVERSE INVENTORS

 

To learn more about Harrity’s diversity efforts, visit harrityllp.com/diversity. For more diversity resources, including all Driving Diversity episodes, check out The Diversity Channel.

 

Driving Diversity with Elaine Spector | Episode 14

Join Harrity’s Elaine Spector as she shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in her weekly vlog, ‘Driving Diversity.’

 

EPISODE FOURTEEN | CATEGORY B DEGREES

 

To learn more about Harrity’s diversity efforts, visit harrityllp.com/diversity. For more diversity resources, including all Driving Diversity episodes, check out The Diversity Channel.

 

Driving Diversity with Elaine Spector | Episode 13.5

Join Harrity’s Elaine Spector as she shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in her weekly vlog, ‘Driving Diversity.’

 

EPISODE THIRTEEN 1/2 | OUTSIDE COUNSEL REQUIREMENTS

 

To learn more about Harrity’s diversity efforts, visit harrityllp.com/diversity. For more diversity resources, including all Driving Diversity episodes, check out The Diversity Channel.

 

Harrity Named in Top 10 for Patent Bots Quality Scores

Harrity & Harrity has been named in the Top 10 for Patent Bots Quality Scores for the second consecutive year. Harrity received top scores in the following categories:

#2 of Firms with 500+ Patents Issued (96.2)
#1 Tech Center 2100 (100.0)
#1 Tech Center 2400 (99.5)
#1 Tech Center 3600 (99.5)
#3 Tech Center 2600 (99.6)
#6 Overall (96.2)

Click HERE to learn more.

 

Driving Diversity with Elaine Spector | Episode 13

Join Harrity’s Elaine Spector as she shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in her weekly vlog, ‘Driving Diversity.’

 

EPISODE THIRTEEN | DESIGN PATENTS

 

To learn more about Harrity’s diversity efforts, visit harrityllp.com/diversity. For more diversity resources, including all Driving Diversity episodes, check out The Diversity Channel.

 

Driving Diversity with Elaine Spector | Episode 12

Join Harrity’s Elaine Spector as she shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in her weekly vlog, ‘Driving Diversity.’

 

EPISODE TWELVE | PATENT BAR ELIGIBILITY

 

To learn more about Harrity’s diversity efforts, visit harrityllp.com/diversity. For more diversity resources, including all Driving Diversity episodes, check out The Diversity Channel.

 

Harrity Analytics Provides Patent Data on Medical Diagnostics for IAM

Harrity Analytics provides patent data relating to medical diagnostics for IAM to gain an understanding of how Mayo vs Prometheus has impacted applications and grants.

“Analysis of patent data hints that the Supreme Court’s Mayo decision may not have had a big impact on medical diagnostics patenting rates, but change in filing behaviours could be delayed…”

Read the full article by Bridget Diakun here

Looking for specific patent data? Harrity Analytics is available for custom projects! Click here to get started.

 

Driving Diversity with Elaine Spector | Episode 11

Join Harrity’s Elaine Spector as she shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in her weekly vlog, ‘Driving Diversity.’

 

EPISODE ELEVEN | INTERSECTIONALITY

 

To learn more about Harrity’s diversity efforts, visit harrityllp.com/diversity. For more diversity resources, including all Driving Diversity episodes, check out The Diversity Channel.

 

Why Continuing Remote Work Options After the Pandemic Will Support a More Diverse and Inclusive Work Culture

Why Continuing Remote Work Options After the Pandemic Will Support a More Diverse and Inclusive Work Culture

By Elaine Spector

Women have been advocating for change with regard to work/life flexibility for years.  For decades, choices for women starting a family while working in a law firm setting have been limited: either return to work full-time to stay on the partnership track or return to work part-time and be put on the dreaded “mommy track.” Women in partner roles would often return to work within days of giving birth.  That is just how things have always been, the model many women had no choice but to follow.  So, it is no surprise that many women, myself included, defaulted to the “mommy track,” or worse yet, left the practice of law entirely.

In addition to a lack of flexibility regarding part-time work, law firms have been reluctant to allow flexibility with regard to remote work.  Often, law firms equate lawyers who want to work remotely with a lack of commitment. As such, if a law firm actually agreed to a remote work arrangement, the lawyer working remotely would be taken off the partnership track.

While the pandemic has been a struggle across the world, a lot of women are quietly cheering from their homes.  Finally, our employers are forced to allow us to work remotely, and now they see that we can work well at home.  In fact, for some of us, working at home is where we shine. We are happy, less stressed, and feel some sense of control and balance.  At least, that is the way I feel.

I began working remotely a few years before the pandemic hit.  My firm allows for any lawyer at the firm, regardless of the numbers of hours they work or whether they show the requisite face time in the office, to make partner.  And I did.  Remotely.  Working part-time hours.  Many of my female colleagues at other firms have reached out to me to ask, “How can we keep the remote work going?”  “How do we continue to develop relationships and culture within our firm?” and “Can someone make partner while working remotely?”

As offices begin opening back up, I encourage law firms to look at this time as an opportunity to re-evaluate their outdated policies regarding remote work.  Despite the physical separation, you can build a firm culture focused on nurturing relationships.  Relationship building is the core of culture, inclusion, and ultimately, success at your firm.  Here are five tips to improve your firm culture while working remotely.

  1. Assign each lawyer in leadership an associate or member of support staff to meet with weekly.

It is critical to continue to build relationships in the remote work environment.  How do we replicate water cooler conversations?  One way is to require leadership to meet weekly or biweekly with both lawyers and support staff via a video call.  This type of face-to-face interaction is so much more engaging than a telephone call, as we have all experienced over the past year.  When holding the call, talk about your life to whatever extent you feel comfortable sharing, just as you would at the water cooler.  Set up a rotation within the firm, so that leadership is meeting with different individuals throughout the year and be sure to mix it up from those who typically work closely together.  This personal connection, untied to any pressing work matters, will transform your internal relationships.

  1. Hold monthly firm-wide meetings.

Get in the habit of holding monthly firm meetings, which include both lawyers and support staff.  The firm meeting is a great place to talk about your shared vision, to highlight people who have done exceptional work that particular month, and to address any issues that might need attention.  The firm meeting is also an opportunity to get to know each other.  Have a few employees present about their families/backgrounds, or cultural holidays and celebrations.  The days of keeping your family and work life separate are over!  An appropriate overlap, where employees feel the firm knows what is important to them, will make everyone feel more comfortable and supported in the workplace.

  1. Form firm committees that meet regularly.

A game changer at our firm was when one of my colleagues suggested forming committees focused on firm goals, such as diversity, employee relations, recruiting, automation, and new client development.  These committees perform optimally when the majority employees of the firm participate in at least one committee.  It is important to firm culture and work satisfaction that everyone at your firm has a voice, which also inspires innovation and progress.  The committee work furthers important objectives at your firm, while forging important relationships among your employees as they work together to create and implement new initiatives and reach common goals.

  1. Start a Book Club.

A virtual book club is yet another way to build relationships among employees of your firm.  The topics can range from fiction, to self-help, to business-oriented books.  A book club allows support and professional staff yet another way to get to know each other on a personal level, which is important for firm culture.  Participants can grow better through sharing their perceptions of what was read and have a better sense of camaraderie.  When employees feel seen and valued, the work environment becomes so much more effective and fulfilling.

  1. Talk to your staff virtually.

It is important to replicate face-to-face meetings as much as we can.  These interactions are crucial to developing meaningful relationships.  Face-to-face meetings allow you to see expressions on your colleagues’ faces and talk on a more personal level to allow for a more understanding culture.  Make it a policy at your firm, that when you would ordinarily walk into someone’s office, to instead, make a quick Zoom or Teams call with video always on.  After all, you wouldn’t force your colleague to speak to you through a closed door in the office – why make them talk to a blank screen?  Again, virtual face-to-face meetings are integral to developing a highly effective, remote working environment.

CONCLUSION

It is far past time to shift perspectives from the old rigid mindset to embracing a more diverse work force.  One where we, as women, don’t have to give up the important job of raising our children, while also providing top quality service to our clients.  In addition, lawyers should not be excluded from partnership because they work remotely or prefer to work a reduced schedule.  An attorney can contribute just as much to the success and advancement of the firm, its culture, and its future without packing in the hours.  In fact, the benefits of working a flexible schedule may contribute to more growth and innovation in the firm, as, from my own experience, those who work reduced-hours tend to be less stressed and more engaged.  Flexibility is essential for advancing talented women and other lawyers seeking balance in their life and careers.

Law firms have essentially two options for proceeding when offices begin opening back up.  Return to the way you ran things, pre-pandemic, with rigid work policies and lack of flexibility.  Or, embrace the future, where environments of flexibility and freedom reap the benefits of a happy and productive workforce.  You choose.

 

Forbes Features Research on Gender Gap by Harrity’s LaTia Brand & Elaine Spector

Harrity’s LaTia Brand & Elaine Spector’s research regarding the the gender gap and lack of diversity in the field of patent law, specifically as it pertains to the mechanical and electrical engineering space, was quoted in a recent Forbes article.

“Although some patent practice areas where women are well represented, such as biotechnology and chemistry, other areas continue to lack significant diversity. According to an Article published by Elaine Spector and LaTia Brand for the American Bar Association ‘women account for only 11.4 percent of patent practitioners with a technical background in electrical engineering and only 11.1 percent of patent practitioners have a technical background in mechanical engineering…”

Read the full article on Forbes.com.

 

Driving Diversity with Elaine Spector | Episode 10

Join Harrity’s Elaine Spector as she shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in her weekly vlog, ‘Driving Diversity.’

 

EPISODE TEN | THE LOST GROUP

 

 

To learn more about Harrity’s diversity efforts, visit harrityllp.com/diversity. For more diversity resources, including all Driving Diversity episodes, check out The Diversity Channel.

 

Elaine Spector On Improving Diversity In The Patent Bar

Jack Karp interviews Harrity’s Diversity Co-Chair, Elaine Spector, on improving diversity in the patent bar for Law360 Pulse.

“Few areas of the law are more white and more male than the patent bar, says Elaine Spector. She’s trying to change that.”

Read the full article on Law360 Pulse.

 

Driving Diversity with Elaine Spector | Episode 9

Join Harrity’s Elaine Spector as she shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in her weekly vlog, ‘Driving Diversity.’

 

EPISODE NINE | RACIAL BREAKDOWN OF THE PATENT BAR

 

 

To learn more about Harrity’s diversity efforts, visit harrityllp.com/diversity. For more diversity resources, including all Driving Diversity episodes, check out The Diversity Channel.

 

Ensuring Women and Diverse Candidates in the Patent Bar: We Must Address the Root of the Problem

By Elaine Spector

“The expectation of firms to create programs that bring more diverse candidates into the field, rather than merely manipulating data to check boxes or achieve unrealistic quotas, will help address the issue from the ground up.”

https://depositphotos.com/63016893/stock-photo-multiethnic-group-of-people.htmlAs we celebrate Women’s History Month, it is important to point out the role of women in the field of patent law. Women have been members of the patent bar since as early as 1898, when Florence King became the first woman registered to practice before the U.S. Patent Office, as well as the 685th registrant. She became a lawyer first, and then went back to school to obtain a degree in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering so that she could register on the patent bar. As a woman patent practitioner with a mechanical engineering degree, I feel a lot of gratitude to women like Florence King, who paved the way for me. Yet, despite her trailblazing efforts over a century ago, there is still a considerable lack of gender diversity in the patent bar…

Keep reading on IPWatchdog.com. 

 

Driving Diversity with Elaine Spector | Episode 8

Join Harrity’s Elaine Spector as she shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in her weekly vlog, ‘Driving Diversity.’

 

EPISODE EIGHT | HISTORY OF WOMEN IN THE PATENT BAR

 

 

To learn more about Harrity’s diversity efforts, visit harrityllp.com/diversity. For more diversity resources, including all Driving Diversity episodes, check out The Diversity Channel.

 

Using Analytics for Patent Portfolio Gap Analysis & Maintenance Fee Strategy

Rocky Berndsen, Head of Analytics for Harrity & Harrity, shows how to use patent prosecution data found in the interactive Patent 300® Dashboard for gap analysis & maintenance fee strategy to reach your business goals.

 

“The data contained in the Patent 300® Dashboard provides invaluable information to companies, in-house counsel and law firms because it identifies the key players in design innovation and summarizes what is happening today in the patent world.”

You can access the full Patent 300® Dashboard here

 

About Harrity Patent Analytics

Harrity Patent Analytics, an analytical team within the boutique IP law firm of Harrity & Harrity, LLP, uses cutting-edge capabilities to analyze patent data and extract insights for clients to use when making strategic decisions regarding patent portfolios. Patent 300® companies rely on Harrity Patent Analytics services to understand their patent portfolios, the patent portfolios of their competitors, and patent office trends around the world. For more information, visit harrityllp.com/services/patent-analytics/.

 

Driving Diversity with Elaine Spector | Episode 7

Join Harrity’s Elaine Spector as she shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in her weekly vlog, ‘Driving Diversity.’

 

EPISODE SEVEN | DIVERSITY OF THE PATENT BAR

 

 

To learn more about Harrity’s diversity efforts, visit harrityllp.com/diversity. For more diversity resources, including all Driving Diversity episodes, check out The Diversity Channel.

 

Harrity Thought-Leaders Provide Comments on USPTO’s National Strategy for Expanding American Innovation

Harrity diversity thought-leaders Elaine Spector, Edward Kim, and Ayana Marshall provided comments in response to USPTO‘s National Strategy for Expanding American Innovation alongside other members of the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO)‘s Women in IP and Diversity & Inclusion committees.

“An important aspect for moving innovation with respect to under-represented groups is to understand the extent of the issue, and then track improvements with regard to innovation and commercialization.”
Read the full response below:

For more information regarding our diversity initiatives, visit harrityllp.com/diversity.  To see more diversity and inclusion resources, visit The Diversity Channel.

 

Diversity Dialogue | Strategies for Moving the Needle with Respect to Diversity of the Patent Bar

The first Diversity Dialogue webinar in a series of diversity-focused discussions hosted by Harrity’s Elaine Spector features HP’s Shruti Costales and MCCA’s Sophia Piliouras as panelists and covers challenging topics associated with increasing diversity in the patent field.

Some of the questions covered during the panel discussion include:

  • What is one action step patent professionals can take today to improve diversity for the Patent Bar? 
  • What do you think is the greatest issue affecting diversity in general? 
    Is it appropriate to apply the Mansfield Rule to the patent bar?
  • What alternative strategies do you believe would be helpful for moving the needle in the patent bar?  
  • Why do you think women and other diverse groups are not pursuing degrees/careers in the field?  And more!

Watch the full webinar below:

 

For more information regarding our diversity initiatives, visit harrityllp.com/diversity.  To see more diversity and inclusion resources, visit The Diversity Channel.

 

Driving Diversity with Elaine Spector | Episode 6

Join Harrity’s Elaine Spector as she shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in her weekly vlog, ‘Driving Diversity.’

 

EPISODE SIX | BE A FIRM THAT GIVES BACK

 

To learn more about Harrity’s diversity efforts, visit harrityllp.com/diversity. For more diversity resources, including all Driving Diversity episodes, check out The Diversity Channel.

 

5 Hiring Strategies For Diversifying The Patent Bar

By Elaine Spector

Law360 (March 1, 2021, 5:19 PM EST) —  Diversity and inclusion have garnered much attention over the past few years, particularly in the field of law, which is one of the least diverse professions in the U.S.According to the 2019 Law Firm Diversity Survey by Vault and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, over 80% of lawyers in the U.S. are white.[1] Not only are men overrepresented in the practice of law, but they outnumber women in equity partner positions nearly 5-to-1. In addition, around 90% of equity partners are white, and approximately 9% of equity partners belong to minority groups with only one-third of them being women of color.

Diversity statistics become even more troubling when we examine patent attorneys. The patent bar requires a hard science background, such as a degree in engineering, chemistry, physics or biology; however, the science, technology, engineering and mathematics field has historically been dominated by men, who, as of 2017, accounted for 76% of all STEM jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.[2]


For patent firms seeking to increase diversity in their practice, existing diversity data is problematic. For starters, 94% of the patent bar is white, as seen in Figure 1 above.[3] In addition, less than 15% of registered practitioners are women, people of color and members of the LGBTQ community in the areas of computer science, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering.

As registered patent practitioners move along their career paths, there is inevitable attrition, as reported in the Vault/MCCA Law Firm Diversity Survey report. Accordingly, it will be difficult for firms practicing in the areas of computer science, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering to improve their diversity numbers, particularly at the partnership level, given that the diversity numbers are so low before adjusting for attrition.

Diversity of the patent bar is not only important to those practicing in this profession, it is essential for broadening participation in the innovation process by underrepresented groups.

Innovation by underrepresented groups will start to improve when they can go to patent attorneys who understand them, who look like them, and who can relate to them. Improving the innovation ecosystem to include all groups of people will foster a more robust economy.

Despite the lack of diversity of the patent bar, an intellectual property boutique can increase diversity by first examining its hiring practice. For example, a rule similar to the NFL’s Rooney Rule can be implemented.

According to the Rooney Rule, for each new head coach position available, at least one candidate from an underrepresented group must be interviewed. In essence, to meet the requirements of the Rooney Rule, just one candidate from an underrepresented group would need to be interviewed for a position among a limitless number of other candidates.

This process can be taken one important step further — Rooney Rule 2.0. Instead of requiring only one candidate from an underrepresented group to be interviewed per position, Rooney Rule 2.0 requires such a candidate to be interviewed per each candidate who doesn’t belong to an underrepresented group.

This rule has been instrumental in increasing the diversity of applicants and, in turn, hires at my firm. In January 2016, prior to implementing Rooney Rule 2.0, 8% of my firm’s attorneys were women, attorneys of color, LGBTQ+ lawyers and lawyers with disabilities. Today, 30% of our attorneys belong to those groups, nearly quadrupling our diversity numbers in five years through the implementation of just one policy.

If your firm is serious about increasing diversity, revisiting your hiring practices is a vital place to start. Here are five key hiring strategies to increase diversity at your firm.

1. Increase the pool of candidates from underrepresented groups to be considered.

As discussed above, implementing Rooney Rule 2.0 will help increase the pool of candidates from underrepresented groups considered. While rules like the Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule have become popular over the last few years, it is exceedingly difficult to fill equity partner and leadership positions when there is not a proper base of lawyers from underrepresented groups to consider for the role.

To achieve Mansfield certification, law firms are required to demonstrate progress in increasing diversity in senior recruitment and leadership decisions by affirmatively considering a minimum of 30% women, lawyers of color, LGBTQ+ lawyers and lawyers with disabilities for these roles, including women, attorneys of color, LGBTQ+ lawyers and lawyers with disabilities.

By comparison, Rooney Rule 2.0 requires a 1-to-1 ratio of attorneys belonging to these groups and those who do not interviewed for positions at every level, rather than just leadership roles. This creates a larger pool of candidates from underrepresented groups at earlier career stages, allowing individuals from these groups to gain the necessary experience to eventually secure a role in leadership, and firms to have more success in achieving Mansfield certification.

By implementing policies like Rooney Rule 2.0, firms can significantly increase the number of applicants from underrepresented groups considered for a position, thus increasing the number of such candidates hired at the firm and those eligible to fulfill the Mansfield Rule.

2. Prepare a job posting to attract candidates from underrepresented groups.

A properly worded advertisement can help attract candidates from underrepresented groups. For example, words like “competitive” and “leader” attract more male candidates, while words like “support” and “interpersonal” attract more women.[4]

In 2017, I came across a job advertisement for my firm that included the words “reduced hours available,” and “flexible schedule.” As a working mom, it was that very language that got my attention and ultimately persuaded me to leave an in-house position and return to private practice. It is also important to highlight reduced billable hour requirements, or elimination of such requirements, in job postings.

A simple advertisement to recruit women and minority candidates may read, “Remote Work, Flex Hours, Great Firm Culture.” You can also include information related to work-life balance, such as, “Work where you want, when you want, and how much you want,” or represent your firm’s culture by adding highlights, such as, “Casual culture, flexible schedules, positive people, supportive leadership, and a focus on giving back.”

Simply including words like “inclusive,” “people-oriented,” “friendly” or “forward-thinking” can also convey a welcoming message.

To garner the most attention from women and minority candidates, share videos created by your own employees discussing reasons why they love working at your firm. If these candidates can visibly relate to your employees, the wording of the posting will resonate with them that much more. After all, your job posting needs to be a reflection of the candidates you want in the role and show if your firm is inclusive.

3. Revamp your interview process.

I highly recommend revamping your interview process by migrating to the topgrading methodology.[5] In this method, interviewers ask all candidates the same questions — questions that are very specific to their job tasks and responsibilities. The interviews are immediately documented and scored by interviewers.

All interviewers can be trained specifically in this technique. Having a structured interview minimizes “bias by allowing interviewers to focus on work competencies rather than on what they have in common with the person being interviewed,”[6] as noted in the Intellectual Property Owners’ Association’s Practical Guide on Diversity and Inclusion. The guide further recommends including underrepresented minorities in the interview team.[7]

4. Include a component of blind hiring.

Blind hiring can be an important aspect of your application process when it comes to skill evaluation. Your firm may decide to require candidates to partake in a testing phase, such as submitting a writing sample or taking a writing test, as writing is an important part of a career in patent law. A candidate’s performance on such tests may be a crucial determinant in whether the candidate will move on to the next step of the job application process.

There is no question that many interviewers have implicit biases. Implementing a component of blind hiring addresses any biases, unconscious or otherwise, when evaluating any skills-based test.

In the area of patent law, tests can be administered to evaluate skills related to either drafting a patent application or responding to an office action. A mediator, who first receives the test, can assign an anonymous identifier to the candidate, replacing all identifying information on the submission. Evaluators can then be sent the writing sample without reference or access to any information on the writer of the sample.

Often, gender and race can be assumed from a person’s name, and additional information such as location, education and previous employers can carry other assumptions. This strategy will help to eliminate any implicit bias that may occur at one of the most critical steps in an interview process and will ensure that candidates move forward based only on their qualifications, rather than an interviewer’s preconceptions.

While skills-based tests are a great way to objectively screen potential candidates, measures such as anonymization must be taken to ensure the test grading is truly objective.

5. Be a firm that gives back.

The legal community needs to recognize the importance of creating an unbiased, equal and harmonious working environment for all legal professionals. Unfortunately, the lack of diversity is widespread in the legal field, and the numbers show the industry is moving at a slow pace to address the issue.

To truly move the needle, firms will need to develop programs to specifically increase the diversity of the patent bar from 80% white men to a breakdown more representative of the population as a whole, as well as enhance existing female and minority practitioners’ quality of practice in patent law. This may include free mentoring, tutoring or interning programs, and a focus on both current practitioners and students as young as middle school in order to garner interest in joining the field.

Whatever program your firm creates, it should focus on giving back by providing more resources and opportunities to diverse individuals and give representation to currently underrepresented groups. Not only will such programs contribute to moving the needle with respect to diversifying the patent bar, they will also draw candidates from underrepresented groups to your firm.


Elaine Spector is a partner at Harrity & Harrity LLP.

[1] Not only are men overrepresented in the practice of law, but they outnumber women in equity partner positions nearly five to one. In addition, around 90 percent of equity partners are white, and approximately 9 percent of equity partners are racially diverse minorities with only one-third of them being racially diverse women. https://www.mcca.com/resources/reports/2019-vault-mcca-law-firm-diversity-survey/.

[2] “Women in STEM: 2017 Update,” U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, Office of the Chief Economist ESA Issue Brief #06-17 (November 2017).

[3] “Diversity in Patent Law: A Data Analysis of Diversity in the Patent Practice by Technology Background and Region,” Landslide Magazine (September 2020).

[4] Gaucher, D., Friesen, J., & Kay, A. C. (2011). Evidence that gendered wording in job advertisements exists and sustains gender inequality.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101(1), 109–128.https://doi.org/10.1037/a0022530.

[5] Smart, Bradford D., Ph.D. Topgrading: How Leading Companies Win by Hiring, Coaching, and Keeping the Best People. Portfolio, 2005.

[6] https://ipo.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/IPO-Practical-Guide-to-Diversity-and-Inclusion-Version-2-Sept-2020.pdf, p. 62.

[7] Id. at 60.

John Harrity Named ‘Patents Lawyer of the Year in Virginia’

John Harrity has been named ‘Patents Lawyer of the Year in Virginia’ in the 2021 Corporate INTL Magazine Global Awards.

Corporate INTL’s annual awards mark excellence in expertise and service for the world’s leading advisers and financiers in an array of countries and continents around the globe.  According to the magazine, 2021 is the largest awards since its inception in 2008, with more nominations received than ever before.

The awards commemorate those who have been successful over the past 12 months and who have shown excellence not only in expertise but in service.

Click HERE to learn more.

 

Harrity & Harrity Diversity & Inclusion Report

Harrity & Harrity, LLP has released its 2021 Diversity & Inclusion Report, focused on identifying and addressing the lack of diversity in the patent legal profession.

Our Diversity Mission has always been to promote and nurture a respectful, highly engaged, family-friendly, and inclusive culture that values the diversity of our talented team by leveraging and learning from our team’s diverse backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, skills, talents, and capabilities. Our goal with this report is to educate the field on the root of the issue and both suggest and inspire innovative diversity-focused solutions to instigate change, so that the future of our field is representative of the diversity of our population.

Read the full report below or click here to download a PDF version

 

HARRITY & HARRITY DIVERSITY & INCLUSION REPORT
FEBRUARY 2021

THE ISSUE

The practice of law remains one of the least diverse professions in America.  Not only are men overrepresented in the practice of law, but they outnumber women in equity partner positions nearly five to one.  In addition, around 90 percent of equity partners are white, and approximately 9 percent of equity partners are racially diverse minorities with only one-third of them being racially diverse women.

Diversity statistics become even more troubling when we examine patent attorneys. The patent bar requires a hard science background, such as a degree in engineering, chemistry, physics, or biology; however, the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field has historically been dominated by men, who, as of 2017, account for 76 percent of all STEM jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce1.

Since 1950, less than 6 percent of USPTO registrants have been racially diverse (Fig. 1)2. For example, throughout the 1970s and 1980s, an average of 1.7 percent of registrants per year were racially diverse2.  During the 1990s, the average for racially diverse registrants increased to approximately 4 percent of registrants each year.  Despite significant increases in 2000 (16.2 percent increase) and 2013 (20.1 percent increase), respectively, the average USPTO registration rate for racial minorities since 2000 has hovered around 6.5 percent2.  Among racially diverse women, the numbers are significantly worse, hovering at an average of 1.7 percent of registrants since 19502.  In fact, there are more patent attorneys and agents named “Michael” in the United States than there are racially diverse women.  From 1950 until 1999, an average of 0.2 percent of USPTO registrations each year were racially diverse women, with the first being registered in the late 1980s2.  Since then, those numbers have improved very little, with an average of 2.2 percent of registrants being racially diverse women since 2000 (Fig. 2).

Figure 2. Historical racial breakdown of patent practitioner registrations by year, including racially diverse female registrations

For patent firms seeking to increase diversity in their practice, existing diversity data is problematic.  For starters, less than 15 percent of registered practitioners are diverse (race, gender, LGBTQ+, individuals with disabilities) in the areas of computer science, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering2.  As registered patent practitioners move along their career paths, there is inevitable attrition, as reported in the Vault/MCCA Law Firm Diversity Survey report3.  Accordingly, it will be difficult for firms practicing in the areas of computer science, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering to improve their diversity numbers, particularly at the partnership level, given that the diversity numbers are so low before adjusting for attrition.

Diversity of the patent bar is not only important to those practicing in this profession- it is essential for broadening participation in the innovation process by underrepresented groups.  Innovation by underrepresented groups will start to improve when they can go to patent attorneys who understand them, who look like them, and who can relate to them. Lowering barriers to the innovation ecosystem to include all groups of people will foster a more robust economy.

CURRENT APPROACHES

The lack of diversity in the field of patent law is no secret, and several approaches have been tried in an effort to drive change, with two of the most popular approaches being internship and mentoring programs.  These programs help STEM/law students and new patent agents/attorneys improve their skillsets; however, these approaches do little to move the diversity needle in a meaningful way.  If they were truly impactful, we’d have seen more significant results over the many years these programs have existed.  Even if internships and mentorships focus strictly on helping diverse groups, the programs still only help the minuscule number of diverse individuals who are already in the field, which does nothing to increase overall diversity numbers in patent law.

The Mansfield Rule® is another well-meaning approach for addressing diversity in the legal profession, specifically when it comes to diversity within leadership roles.  To achieve Mansfield Certification®, law firms are required to demonstrate progress in increasing diversity in senior recruitment and leadership decisions by affirmatively considering a minimum of 30 percent diverse candidates for these roles, including women, attorneys of color, LGBTQ+, and lawyers with disabilities.  Today, women account for a mere 20 percent of all USPTO registered attorneys and just 5 percent of all registered patent attorneys are racially diverse2.  Therefore, it becomes statistically impossible for every patent law firm to have diverse candidates make up 30 percent of their leadership talent pool. The data doesn’t get much better for the general legal profession either, which has less restrictive requirements to practice as compared to patent law.  As of 2019, all racial minorities combined make up just 17.48 percent of practicing attorneys, and only 3.43 percent of all attorneys include individuals with disabilities or that are openly LGBTQ+3.  While women account for just over 36 percent of all attorneys, women of color only account for 9 percent (Fig. 3).

Figure 3. 2019 Vault/MCCA Law Firm Diversity Survey overall law firm demographics

The Coca-Cola® “Heavy Stick” approach is similar to the Mansfield Rule®; however, it actively punishes firms that do not meet certain diversity requirements.  According to a January 2021 article by Bloomberg Law4, “Coca-Cola® is forcing its outside counsel to staff at least 30% of new matters with diverse attorneys, with at least half of that billable time going to Black lawyers in particular.” The corporation’s General Counsel, Bradley Gayton, stated he hopes to increase the overall diverse billable hour staffing requirement to 50% within the next two years, calling the initiative “one of the legal industry’s most rigorous outside counsel diversity programs yet” and withholding a nonrefundable 30 percent of fees from firms that fail to meet diverse staffing metrics4.

As with the Mansfield Rule®, this approach poses several logistical issues based on the fact that only 3.45 percent of attorneys are Black (Fig. 3).  Even after adding in all racially diverse attorneys, Coca-Cola® is limiting its legal talent force to less than 18 percent of the legal field (Fig. 3).  Applying this approach to the patent field produces even worse results.  For example, 86.5 percent of all intellectual property attorneys in the United States are Caucasian, meaning just 13.5 percent are racially diverse5.  Looking at the patent field specifically, merely 1.7 percent, or 578 of the total 34,000 registered patent attorneys are Black (Fig. 4).

The “Heavy Stick” approach is sure to result in some level of quality reduction for client work products, because work is assigned based on physical characteristics instead of relevant legal skills and experience.  Coca-Cola®, and others adopting the “Heavy Stick” approach, should expect a downward shift in quality, and perhaps also timeliness, efficiency, and expertise, if they decide to eliminate their existing standards in favor of this new diversity driven approach.

The overriding problem among the diversity approaches discussed above is that none address the root cause of the diversity issue: the numbers.  It may be idealistic for an organization to say that it will hire a specific number of diverse candidates or counsel; however, when it comes time to make diverse hires, where will these diverse individuals come from?  If, for example, every organization requires that 30% of their work goes to Black patent attorneys and, as we know, there is a pool of 578 of them5, how much work can those attorneys handle?  What happens to the firms whose fees are withheld because these 578 attorneys already have too much work on their plates?  How is it statistically viable to meet these standards, and what impact will it have on the health and work/life balance of the 578 attorneys?

HARRITY ADVOCATES FOR A NEW APPROACH

For the reasons above, we believe that the Coca-Cola® “Heavy Stick” approach (i.e., an approach that punishes law firms that do not meet certain metrics) is not the correct approach to improve diversity in the legal profession, especially when the standards cannot be met with today’s pool of diverse attorneys.  Instead, we recommend a “Carrot” approach, which rewards firms that innovate when it comes to diversity solutions.  With the “Carrot” approach, companies can require firms to create and implement new diversity solutions, and explain how these solutions actually help solve the diversity numbers problem in the legal profession.  The expectation of firms to create programs that bring more diverse candidates into the field, rather than merely manipulating data to check boxes or achieve unrealistic quotas, will help address the issue from the ground up.  Companies should encourage and reward innovative and disruptive diversity solutions however they see fit.  Whether this be awarding the firms with the most disruptive and beneficial solutions with a nominal monetary amount, investing in programs themselves through sponsorships or scholarships, or other applicable incentives, firms will switch their focus from scrambling to find diverse attorneys or recruiting from competing firms to making a lasting impact in the field.

HARRITY’S DIVERSITY SOLUTIONS

Our Diversity Mission has always been to promote and nurture a respectful, highly engaged, family-friendly, and inclusive culture that values the diversity of our talented team by leveraging and learning from our team’s diverse backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, skills, talents, and capabilities.  At Harrity & Harrity, we are committed to The Rooney Rule 2.0, a hiring policy we pioneered that demonstrates our firm’s commitment to our Diversity Mission is not just lip service.

The Rooney Rule is a National Football League policy that requires league teams to interview one minority candidate for every head coaching or senior football operations job opening.  However, this means that if 1,000 individuals apply to the opening, only one minority individual needs to be considered and the other 999 can be white males.  Our Rooney Rule 2.0 takes this policy a step further; we are committed to interviewing one female or minority candidate for every male, non-minority candidate interviewed for any position at our firm.  While this is similar to the Mansfield Rule® in that diverse candidates are considered, the Rooney Rule 2.0 applies to all positions at the firm, not just leadership roles.  Prior to implementing our Rooney Rule 2.0 in January of 2016, 8 percent of Harrity & Harrity attorneys were diverse.  Today, 30 percent of our attorneys are diverse, nearly quadrupling our diversity numbers in five years through the implementation of just one policy.

We also remain committed to producing top quality work for our clients, so unlike the “Heavy Stick” approach that selects candidates based on physical characteristics, our candidates must go through a rigorous hiring process, which includes skills-based testing.  Once a candidate submits their test, all identifying information is removed to eliminate potential scoring bias and is replaced with an anonymized code prior to sending the test to a separate grading team.  We aspire to grow our diversity numbers; however, we cannot sacrifice the quality of our work or the value of our clients’ IP assets.  Our process allows candidates to be screened based solely on their abilities, rather than physical characteristics.  Once hired, every individual is reviewed based on a scorecard that relates to their position and includes strictly objective metrics to be graded on (timeliness, work product volume, efficiency, etc.).  This process allows individuals to be reviewed solely based on their job performance, and again removes the likelihood of bias.

We recognize that our high standards for quality limit the overall pool of eligible candidates, and that not enough diverse individuals exist in that pool in the first place.  To fix the root cause of this problem – the lack of diversity in the legal profession – requires a long-term approach to be measured in years, not months or days.  Several factors contribute to this problem, which, in turn, requires a multi-pronged solution:

  1. Insufficient number of diverse students entering law school. This aspect requires educating young diverse individuals about legal career opportunities in high school and undergraduate programs; putting programs in place to steer these individuals toward law school (e.g., pre-law classes, scholarships, tutoring for LSAT, summer internships, etc.); and encouraging underrepresented groups to participate by addressing and eliminating historical obstacles (e.g., lack of financial resources, college readiness, institutional stereotypes, lack of focus and self-motivation, lack of assistance and engagement6).  This aspect has at least a 3-year lead time to see results.
  2. Insufficient number of diverse students entering STEM programs (which is a prerequisite to a career in patent law). This aspect must be tackled at the middle school and high school levels to increase enrollments in undergraduate programs.  The above approach can be applied when students are in middle and high school STEM programs to inform them of legal opportunities.  This aspect has at least a 2-year lead time (assuming high school juniors are the most advanced targets) for changing college admission rates, and at least 6 years before individuals graduate high school, complete undergraduate degrees, and can enter law school.  Realistically, it will take 7 to 9 years before law school graduation demographics change noticeably for the patent field under this solution.
  3. Insufficient number of mid and upper-level attorneys that are diverse. This aspect requires that firms provide targeted training, mentoring, and work opportunities to diverse attorneys to grow their skills and help them advance within firms.  Merely advancing people based on physical characteristics and regardless of skillset will impair quality delivered to clients and will blemish diversity efforts going forward.  This aspect has at least a one-year lead time because meaningful training for a narrow skillset takes at least a year to complete.  Lead time will be longer for more varied or advanced skillsets.

Using this knowledge, Harrity’s Diversity Committee has dedicated many hours to creating, implementing, and evolving Diversity Programs that are focused on serving the legal community by helping to increase the number of diverse legal practitioners and enhancing their quality of practice in patent law.

Minority Firm Incubator Program:  We hired our first Minority Firm Incubator (MFI) candidate in 2020.  This program was established to help train, cultivate, and launch minority-owned patent law firms.  The program consists of four phases: Drafting Patent Applications, Prosecuting Patent Applications, Firm Management, and Firm Launch.  In the fourth year, program participants have the tools, knowledge, and experience required to launch their own patent law firms with the added benefit of established corporate relationships based on Harrity working with our clients to send work to a graduate’s new firm.  Firm leaders will receive ongoing mentorship from Harrity to help ensure their success.  The goal of the program is to increase the number of minority owned law firms.  Incubator programs are vital because they help jumpstart a new law firm in the same way venture capital funding helps startups ramp up their operations.  Minority-owned firms are less likely to have access to the capital and resources needed to run a sustainable business, and the Harrity MFI reduces these obstacles by connecting new firms with clients and by providing personalized training to the firm’s leadership team.

Minority Firm Incubator 2.0:  In an attempt to make our Minority Firm Incubator program more impactful to the patent field, we are developing an enhanced version of our program.  This program will be both a virtual and condensed version of our current MFI and focus on helping diverse individuals launch their own patent firms and help existing, struggling minority-owned firms to succeed.  The program will teach best practices of firm management and focus on improving quality processes within the firms, which will in turn allow them to give better pitches, win more business, and produce higher quality work product.

Annual Women’s Patent Law Workshop:  We are currently planning our Fourth Annual Women’s Workshop, to be held May 2021.  This four-day virtual workshop introduces the field of patent law to female science and engineering students, law school students, and recent graduates.  Women from across the country join us for skills training in patent preparation, prosecution, and writing; career and resume mentoring; patent bar preparation; and to learn first-hand from partners at major law firms, leaders in university tech transfer, and in-house counsel about their experiences as women in the legal field.  By engaging women at the early stages of their careers, we hope to encourage them to join the patent field and provide them with tools to do so successfully.

The Harrity Academy: Launched in September of 2020, the Harrity Academy is a free virtual program comprised of three courses that introduce diverse participants to the field of patent law; provide exclusive training, practice materials, and mentorship; and teach how to effectively and efficiently draft and prosecute high-quality patent applications.  The goal of this program is to help increase the number of diverse candidates entering the patent field by targeting diverse students in STEM programs and law schools; newly practicing attorneys; and early career engineers.  Courses are held each Spring and Fall, with 20 participants per class, and are voluntarily taught by Harrity attorneys.

The Diversity Channel:  In January 2021, Harrity launched The Diversity Channel, a collection of resources aimed at increasing diversity and inclusion in the patent field by sharing ideas and sparking conversations.  The channel includes published articles on the issues surrounding diversity in the legal field; Driving Diversity, a weekly vlog produced by Diversity Co-Chair Elaine Spector with consumable tips to drive diversity within an organization; and Diversity Dialogue, a series of webinars held throughout the year featuring diversity-thought leaders that provide the benefits, challenges, and processes associated with increasing diversity in the patent field.

Patent Pathways:  While each of our Diversity Programs have the implicit goal of encouraging diversity and inclusion in the patent legal field, Patent Pathways will have the most direct impact on the least represented group (i.e., Black female patent practitioners), with a goal of increasing the number of Black female registered patent practitioners.  The program includes an introduction to patent careers, several weeks of patent preparation and prosecution training, and a clear pathway to taking and passing the patent bar.  This program will include corporate sponsorships for patent bar preparation courses as well as taking the bar, and potential law school scholarships offered to those who pass the patent bar.  Patent Pathways participants will also be matched with patent attorneys for ongoing mentorship opportunities and maintain a network of other Patent Pathway participants to help each other succeed throughout their careers.

Harrity’s Tutoring Program:  While internships and mentoring programs help diverse individuals who are already in the field, tutoring programs aimed at middle and high school students in math and science classes focus on encouraging diverse individuals to enter the patent field.  By enlightening students, at a young age, to education opportunities in the STEM field, we provide students with the encouragement needed to become interested in a patent law career, and give them the tools they need to pursue such a career.  Our proposed program consists of three phases:

Phase 1 – Provide free STEM tutoring to girls/women who are interested in STEM, starting as early as middle school and continuing through college.  This program will help increase the number of women who go to college to pursue a STEM degree and greatly increase the chances that they graduate with such a degree.  We recommend that all participants of this program be required to partake in free mentoring sessions, which will include an introduction to the patent field.

Phase 2 – Expand the program to include all categories of diverse students.

Phase 3 – Expand the group of schools and colleges involved.

Possible Expansion – Provide free English tutoring (since writing is an important part of a career in patent law).

The overall goal of the program is to increase the percentage of diverse USPTO-registered patent professionals in the patent field so as to better represent the diversity of the U.S. population.  This program requires partnering with skilled tutors for complex STEM courses and requires the support of corporate sponsors.

Internal Progress: In early 2020, we named our first female partner, Elaine Spector.  Along with her twenty years of experience in the patent field, Elaine serves as Co-Chair of the Harrity Diversity Committee, Chair of the AIPLA Women in IP Law Committee’s Global Networking Event and Outreach Subcommittee, Vice-Chair of IPO’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Co-Chair of IPO’s Diversity & Inclusion Outreach Subcommittee, and a Board Member and Secretary at the non-profit No More Stolen Childhoods.

As a firm, we are actively involved with several organizations that promote Diversity within the legal community:  AIPLA- Women in IP Law Committee; Association of Legal Administrators, ChIPs; IPO Diversity & Inclusion Committee; and Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA).  We will also be conducting monthly Affinity Group meetings led by Edward Kim, former president of the largest government-affinity group, USPTO-Asian Pacific American Network (APANET).  In addition, we are proud to report that all employees at the firm completed diversity and unconscious bias training in the last year.  We continue to work every day to ensure inclusion within our firm through open communication, weekly leadership check-in calls, and regular committee meetings which allow any member of our firm to participate in brainstorming initiatives for all aspects of our business development, including our Diversity Committee.

HARRITY SEEKS PARTNERS TO IMPROVE THE PATENT LAW PROFESSION

Imagine the future of our legal profession if companies adopted our proposed Carrot approach, where a majority of law firms are developing new and disruptive diversity programs to finally make the diversity issue a thing of the past. One of the largest obstacles we face in this battle is a lack of action. While current approaches attempt to address internal diversity counts, rarely are organizations creating external programs directed at fixing the root cause of the issue. The legal profession first needs to recognize that the problem is not that firms do not want to hire diverse candidates, but that a sufficient number of diverse candidates do not exist in the field in the first place. Using this knowledge, organizations that require law firms to seek practical and attainable solutions that bring more diverse individuals into patent law will be the ones responsible for revolutionizing the field with respect to diversity. In turn, we can create proportionate opportunities for diverse individuals to thrive in the field, such as described in the Mansfield Rule® and Coca-Cola® approaches.

That being said, Harrity & Harrity is currently taking action to tackle this issue head-on. As outlined in our aforementioned Diversity Programs section, we have dissected the causes of the diversity issue and created realistic plans of action to begin addressing diversity issues from the ground-up. While we recognize that this will be a long-term effort, we are confident that we can drive the field in the right direction, beginning now.

Next Steps:

Patent Pathways

This program is scheduled to launch in Spring 2022. Materials for patent training will be provided by Harrity, and classes will be taught by both Harrity attorneys and other leaders in the patent field. The goal of this program is to increase the number of Black female registered patent practitioners; however, this training is only successful if participants actually go on to take the patent bar. This opens up several partnership opportunities, including:

1. Exclusive Program Sponsorship: Pay for patent bar preparation course, patent bar exam, and USPTO registration fees for all of the women who participate in our Patent Pathways program. This equates to $500 per preparation course, $400 per patent bar exam and $100 per registration for up to 20 women in the class at a time.

2. Non-exclusive Program Sponsorship: Pay for one or more women for one or more stages of the patent bar registration process. This equates to roughly $500 per preparation course, $400 per patent bar exam and/or $100 per registration.

3. Scholarships: Offer law school scholarships to any number of women who both complete the Patent Pathways training and obtain registration with the USPTO. The amount of any particular scholarship is discretionary.

Harrity’s Tutoring Program

Providing diverse students with the resources needed to succeed in the STEM field at a young age will increase the likelihood of them going on to pursue a degree and a career in STEM, which is a critical first step for entering the field of patent law. With a long-term goal of increasing the percentage of diverse USPTO-registered patent professionals, students need to both be aware of this opportunity, and be equipped to succeed should they pursue it, which this program accomplishes. Our tutoring program will have several partnership opportunities, including:

1. Exclusive Program Sponsorship: Pay for full tutoring program for entire participant group, which includes multiple tutors for multiple schools. (cost TBD)

2. Non-exclusive Program Sponsorship: Pay for one or more tutors for one or more students. (cost TBD)

3. Scholarships: Offer undergraduate scholarships to any number of students who complete the tutoring program and enter a STEM program at an accredited university. The amount of any particular scholarship is discretionary.

We are actively seeking partners to join us in transforming the legal profession to one that mirrors the diverse landscape of our society as a whole. This starts with giving diverse individuals the tools required to enter and succeed in the patent field and encouraging early interest in pursuing a career in patent law. We feel that our Patent Pathways and Tutoring Program will do exactly that. However, these programs require the partnership of corporations and/or law firms to achieve a significant, nationwide impact. Will you join Harrity on the forefront of this transformation?

 

For more information on Harrity’s diversity initiatives, click here.  To contact us regarding this report, please email info@harrityllp.com.

 

CITATIONS

  1. Women in STEM: 2017 Update,” U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, Office of the Chief Economist ESA Issue Brief #06-17 (November 2017).
  2. Diversity in Patent Law: A Data Analysis of Diversity in the Patent Practice by Technology Background and Region,” Landslide® Magazine Vol. 13 Num. 1 (September 2020).
  3. Law Firm Diversity Survey, Overall Law Firm Demographics,” Vault & Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) Report 4 (March 2020).
  4. Coke GC Tired of ‘Good Intentions,’ Wants Firm Diversity Now,” Bloomberg Law (January 28, 2021).
  5. Dulabaum, Nina L.  “Barriers to Academic Success: A Qualitative Study of African American and Latino Male Students,” Innovation Showcase 11:6. League for Innovation in the Community College (June 2016).

The names and logos of third-party products and companies used in the materials are the property of their respective owners and may also be trademarks.

Harrity Named Top Patent Firm by Juristat

Harrity & Harrity has been named a Top Firm of 2020 by Juristat in their annual patent firm rankings by technology area. Harrity ranked #3 in Tech Center 2400 and #19 in Tech Center 2800.

According to Juristat, rankings consider both volume and performance in specific technology centers and are based on how well a firm performed in three key metrics over a 12-month period. These metrics are:

  • Number of applications filed
  • Allowance rate
  • Average number of office actions before allowance

This analysis was conducted between November 2020 and January 2021, and analyzed public applications disposed (or in the case of the first metric, applications filed) between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2018. To qualify for inclusion, a firm must have filed a minimum of 100 applications in the tech center during that time period. This ensures the firm has extensive experience in that technology center and provides an appropriate-sized dataset the evaluate performance metrics. For our analysis, we attributed applications to the firm listed on the application at the time of disposition. We also excluded foreign priority applications and design applications from this analysis.

Click HERE to learn more.

 

Driving Diversity with Elaine Spector | Episode 4

Join Harrity’s Elaine Spector as she shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in her weekly vlog, ‘Driving Diversity.’

 

EPISODE FOUR | REVAMP YOUR INTERVIEW PROCESS

To learn more about Harrity’s diversity efforts, visit harrityllp.com/diversity. For more diversity resources, including all Driving Diversity episodes, check out The Diversity Channel.

 

Driving Diversity with Elaine Spector | Episode 3

Join Harrity’s Elaine Spector as she shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in her weekly vlog, ‘Driving Diversity.’

 

EPISODE THREE | WORDING YOUR JOB POST

 

To learn more about Harrity’s diversity efforts, visit harrityllp.com/diversity. For more diversity resources, including all Driving Diversity episodes, check out The Diversity Channel.

 

Harrity 4 Charity Matches $25,000 of Donations for Congenital Heart Defect Awareness

Harrity 4 Charity will be matching up to $25,000 of donations made to the American Heart Association during CHD Awareness Week (February 7-14th).

A congenital heart defect (CHD) is a structural problem with the heart that is present at birth. It is the most common type of birth defect in infants, affecting 40,000 children every year. About 25% of infants born with CHD will require invasive procedures or surgery in their first year of life. We have chosen this week to launch our matching campaign in order to raise awareness and promote support for the life-saving treatments provided by the American Heart Association to affected children. One of those children is Barrett Pick, son of Harrity’s Docketing Manager, Michael Pick.

Barrett was born on October 18, 2018 with both Down Syndrome and a congenital heart defect known as a complete Atrioventricular Canal Defect. Essentially, this is a large hole in the center of the heart where the tissue fails to grow together to properly form the walls and valves between the heart’s four chambers. This causes the oxygen-rich blood coming into the heart from the lungs to mix with the oxygen-depleted blood coming into the heart from the rest of the body. This inefficiency was causing Barrett’s heart and lungs to work harder to supply the oxygen his body needed, and he was immediately placed in neonatal intensive care where he languished day after day. Although the doctors preferred to wait until he was at least four months old before attempting to repair his heart surgically, it was determined that he needed the repair as soon as possible and his case was put before the hospital’s surgical board and was ultimately approved. He underwent his surgery at 7 weeks old, and after some minor post-operation setbacks, his condition began to rapidly improve. Thanks to the amazing care he received from the cardiology team at Seattle Children’s Hospital, we were finally able to bring him home on New Year’s Eve. Barrett is now a healthy and active toddler who can steal your heart with a wave and a smile. 

About half of all infants born with Down Syndrome have some form of congenital heart defect. Thanks to the medical advances made possible by ongoing research funded by the American Heart Association and similar charities, children like Barrett are given the opportunity to thrive and lead active and healthy lives.

Harrity 4 Charity will be matching up to $25,000 of donations made during CHD Awareness Week starting Sunday, February 7th.  We would like to encourage individuals and teams to both register for the Lawyers Have Heart race and make a donation during registration to raise money and awareness for CHD.  All donations made during this week will count towards the $25K match to help children like Barrett every day.

Click here to register for the race for free and make a donation in honor of CHD Awareness Week.

To learn more about giving back through Harrity 4 Charity, click here.

 

Tell Me Something Good with John Harrity

Partner John Harrity discusses the origins of Harrity 4 Charity, our Diversity Initiatives, and why giving back is so important to our firm culture with On the Ball’s Steve Nudelberg as part of his “Tell Me Something Good” segment.

John highlights changing our firm’s mindset to be “serving-others” focused. Once Harrity 4 Charity was established, he says, “we asked whats the next giving back thing? We went right to diversity…We have to be foundational with what we are doing.”

 

Learn more about Harrity 4 Charity here and see all of our Diversity Initiatives here. Open positions can be found at harrityllp.com/careers.

Elaine Spector Presents at 2021 TIGER Innovation Conference: Advancing Equity in Innovation

Harrity’s Elaine Spector, joined by Ayana Marshall, presented on diversity-related issues in the field of IP for Emory Law’s 2021 TIGER Innovation Conference: Advancing Equity in Innovation. The conference explored issues concerning gender and racial gaps in the innovation system such as access to resources for entrepreneurs who are women and people of color and the underrepresentation of diverse inventors in the patent system and included several expert speakers in this area.

Elaine’s presentation focused on Diversity in Patent Law: A Data Analysis of Diversity in the Patent Practice by Technology Background and Region, a topic on which Elaine & data analyst LaTia Brand co-authored an article of the same title. Elaine also discussed several of Harrity’s Diversity Initiatives aimed at addressing the lack of diversity in our field by increasing the pool of diverse candidates and providing resources for those individuals to succeed.

You can watch the full presentation here:
Part 1

Part 2


To learn more about Harrity’s diversity efforts, visit harrityllp.com/diversity. For more diversity resources, check out The Diversity Channel.

 

Driving Diversity with Elaine Spector | Episode 2

Join Harrity’s Elaine Spector as she shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in her weekly vlog, ‘Driving Diversity.’

EPISODE TWO | INCREASE THE POOL

To learn more about Harrity’s diversity efforts, visit harrityllp.com/diversity. For more diversity resources, including all Driving Diversity episodes, check out The Diversity Channel.

 

Harrity to Donate to Charity & Gift Oculus Quests to Winners of This Challenge

Harrity & Harrity, LLP is launching a new challenge to test participants’ ability to draft an overview description and a claim for an electronic invention. Winners of the challenge will receive a free Oculus Quest Virtual Reality Headset!

The Harrity Writing Sample Test is used in our application process to screen candidates based on their patent application writing ability.  All identifying information is removed prior to grading the test in order to remove any unconscious bias and ensure that the test is evaluated solely on the quality of the candidate’s submission.  For this challenge, the Writing Sample Test will be graded based on four areas of criteria: Writing, Technical Proficiency, Instructions, and Claim.  Contestants must earn a minimum passing score of 90 points (out of 100) to win an Oculus.  The test takes, on average, 2 hours to complete. While Harrity receives hundreds of applications every year, less than 10% of applicants pass the Writing Sample Test.

While only the top performers will win an Oculus, Harrity is adding another reason to participate. The firm will donate $100 to its Harrity 4 Charity partner charities for every individual that takes the test. Participants can choose how to divide up the donation between the American Heart Association, ZERO: The End of Prostate Cancer, Inova Children’s Hospital, and No More Stolen Childhoods.

If you would like to partake in the challenge, the deadline to submit your Writing Sample Test is Monday, March 1st, 2021. Winners will be notified by email and announced to our Social Media Pages on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021Feedback will be provided to all contestants via email whether or not they win the challenge, with the goal of helping each participant improve their writing skills.

There is a limit of one prize per person. You must be a registered patent agent or attorney with the USPTO to enter. 

Visit harrityllp.com/wst to take the challenge today!

 

IPWatchdog on Who Should Head the USPTO, ft. Eli Mazour

The Right Choice: IP Stakeholders Emphasize Practical Experience, Strong IP Advocacy in Next USPTO Head

By Gene Quinn

Harrity Partner Eli Mazour is featured in IPWatchdog’s recent article as an IP expert regarding what the profile of the next USPTO Director should look like.

January 26, 2021 (IPWatchdog) At 12:00pm EST on January 20, 2021, Joe Biden was sworn in as America’s 46th President. Over the next several months he and his staff will be working to fill thousands of positions within the federal government that have become vacant due to resignations. This is normal and expected. At the end of each presidential term all presidential appointees offer their resignation, which can then either be accepted or not at the discretion of the President.

The position of Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as well as Deputy, is now vacant. Commissioner for Patents Drew Hirshfeld has been vested with the authority to act with the powers of the Under Secretary of Commerce for IP and Director of the USPTO, although he has not been given the title Acting Director. This is almost certainly due to the fact that no one in the federal government can hold a title of Acting head of an agency for more than 270 days.

In our space, the position of Under Secretary and Director of the USPTO is a front-line, top-level position. In the greater political scheme, it is likely we will not have an appointee for many months. President Obama did not nominate David Kappos until June 18 and President Trump did not nominate Andrei Iancu until August 26.

There are many capable people—all realistic, based on party affiliation—who should be considered by the Biden Administration for nomination as Under Secretary of Commerce for IP, but in my opinion several names stand out above everyone else based on their background, ties with the tech sector, and what appears to be a preference on the part of President Biden (at least so far) to appoint those with close ties to the Obama Administration and longstanding ties to the Democratic party..

See these suggestions, and what Eli and the other experts have to say on IPwatchdog.com.

 

 

Driving Diversity with Elaine Spector | Episode 1

Join Harrity’s Elaine Spector as she shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in her weekly vlog, ‘Driving Diversity.’
EPISODE ONE | THE ISSUE

To learn more about Harrity’s diversity efforts, visit harrityllp.com/diversity. For more diversity resources, including all Driving Diversity episodes, check out The Diversity Channel.

 

Harrity 4 Charity Donations Surpass One Million Dollars

Fairfax, VA (January 25, 2021) Harrity 4 Charity donations have surpassed one million dollars.  Harrity 4 Charity, which began in 2016, reflects our firm’s nationwide giving-back initiative in addition to our partnership with four critical charities: The American Heart Association, ZERO: The End of Prostate Cancer, Inova Children’s Hospital, and No More Stolen Childhoods.

This milestone is only possible due to our partners’ commitment to donate 5% of all firm profits to charity and the generosity of all 60 Harrity employees, who each donate a portion of their paycheck to these causes.

To learn more about giving back through Harrity 4 Charity, click here.

 

IAM Covers the 2020 Top Patent Firms List by Harrity Analytics

(January 22, 2021) IAM Media highlights the top patent prosecution firms in the U.S. in the last year using data from the 2020 Top Patent Firms List. The list, produced by the Harrity Patent Analytics Team, ranks firms based on the total number of US utility patents that issued in 2020 where the patent firms were listed on the front of the utility patents. The rankings include both law firms and in-house filing operations.

The article, by Bridget Diakun, covers annual data on the most active US patent prosecution firms and reveals which secured the most grants for clients, as well the year’s biggest movers. Read the full article here. 

 

About Harrity Patent Analytics

Harrity Patent Analytics, an analytical team within the boutique IP law firm of Harrity & Harrity, LLP, uses cutting-edge capabilities to analyze patent data and extract insights for clients to use when making strategic decisions regarding patent portfolios. Patent 300® companies rely on Harrity Patent Analytics services to understand their patent portfolios, the patent portfolios of their competitors, and patent office trends around the world. For more information, visit harrityllp.com/services/patent-analytics/.

The Business Voice Features Harrity & Harrity Charity Matching

Harrity & Harrity’s efforts to help the American Heart Association in their mission to promote longer, healthier lives has been recognized in The Business Voice from the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

Through the end of 2020, Harrity doubled all American Heart Association donations and registration fees up to $100,000 for the Lawyers Have Heart 10k, 5k, and Fun Walk.

“As a person who had his life saved by the AHA’s science, this cause is beyond important to me and my family,” said John Harrity, Harrity & Harrity LLP’s Co-Founding Partner. “Our firm wanted to give in a big way and we hope this inspires others to do the same.”

Learn more about giving back through Harrity 4 Charity here.

Harrity Obtains 8,000 Patents

Harrity is excited to announce that we have obtained our 8,000th patent! Our team of superstars is dedicated to providing our clients with the highest quality patents in the field, and we’re proud to have achieved this milestone. Congratulations to each member of our team for their hard work to make this happen!

Learn more about Harrity’s patent services here.

Patent 300 Competitive Intelligence & Patent Practice Decision Making

Patent Analytics In Action – Using The Patent 300® Dashboard

Patent Analytics In Action – Using The Patent 300® Dashboard

January 19, 2021 – Rocky Berndsen, Head of Analytics at Harrity, gave a webinar on how companies and law firms can use the Patent 300® Dashboard to understand their own portfolio, their competitors, and the patent field in general.  A video of the entire webinar can be found below.

The demonstration included a deep dive into how to analyze the technology breakdown for a company’s patent portfolio, and how to benchmark patent prosecution statistics across companies patenting in the same technology areas.  Rocky demonstrated how companies and law firms can use the “Company By Law Firm” report to benchmark the patent practice efficiency of the outside counsel that are prosecuting the patent applications for a company.

The webinar then transitioned to a cost-based analytics report called the “Company by Costs”, which gives users the ability to customize the analysis by selecting their own outside counsel fees.  The report provides users with an “Average Cost Per Patent” value by law firm, that users can use to benchmark outside counsel performance, and identify areas within the practice to reduce cost and practice more efficiently.

The “Gap Analysis” demonstration showed how easy it can be to compare the patent portfolios of two companies with the click of a button.  In-house counsel use this report to easily visualize two portfolios side by side and identify whitespaces and portfolio overlap.

The webinar then transitioned to how law firms can use the dashboard for law firm client development and new client business development.  Using the “Law Firm by Client” report, law firms can visualize all of their patent prosecution statistics for a given client to identify strengths and weaknesses that can be used to promote their firm’s services to their clients and to make modifications to their current practice to deliver better services.

For detailed analytics on the patent field, Harrity Patent Analytics makes available the Patent 300® Dashboard, the intellectual property industry’s premier resource for patent insights and competitive intelligence on the world’s leaders in technology.  It contains analytics on more than 6,000,000 patents, including patent portfolio analyses, detailed patent prosecution insights, technology area breakdowns, and portfolio cost and budget analytics.

About Harrity Patent Analytics

Harrity Patent Analytics, an analytical team within the boutique IP law firm of Harrity & Harrity, LLP, uses cutting-edge capabilities to analyze patent data and extract insights for clients to use when making strategic decisions regarding patent portfolios. Patent 300® companies rely on Harrity Patent Analytics services to understand their patent portfolios, the patent portfolios of their competitors, and patent office trends around the world. For more information, visit harrityllp.com/services/patent-analytics/.

Patent 300 Harrity Analytics

Harrity Patent Analytics Releases The 2021 Patent 300® List

HARRITY PATENT ANALYTICS RELEASES THE 2021 PATENT 300® LIST

List ranks top 300 companies, organizations, and universities in the patent field

WASHINGTON (January 15, 2021) – Harrity Patent Analytics today released the publication of its inaugural Patent 300® List.  The list ranks the top 300 companies, organizations and universities in the patent field based on the total number of U.S. utility patents.  The top 10 from the Patent 300® List includes:

  1. IBM (9435)
  2. Samsung (8539)
  3. LG Corporation (5112)
  4. Canon (3689)
  5. Intel (3284)
  6. Raytheon Technologies (3213)
  7. Huawei (3178)
  8. Microsoft (2972)
  9. TSMC (2892)
  10. Sony (2886)

For detailed analytics on the Patent 300®, Harrity Patent Analytics makes available the Patent 300® Dashboard, the intellectual property industry’s premier resource for patent insights and competitive intelligence on the world’s leaders in technology.  It contains analytics on more than 6,000,000 patents, including patent portfolio analyses, detailed patent prosecution insights, technology area breakdowns, and portfolio cost and budget analytics.

The Patent 300® Dashboard provides in-house counsel, law firm partners, and c-suite executives with a detailed analysis of the world’s technology leaders, ranging from technology giants such as IBM (ranked #1) and Samsung (ranked #2), to leading universities such as MIT (ranked #106) and Johns Hopkins University (ranked #232), to newcomers including Palantir (ranked #248) and Techtronic Industries (ranked #278).  The list represents 54 percent of the more than 350,000 U.S. patents issued in 2020.

“The Patent 300® List identifies the global technology leaders obtaining patents in the United States,” said Rocky Berndsen, Head of Analytics for Harrity & Harrity. “The data contained in the Patent 300® Dashboard is invaluable information to companies, in-house counsel and law firms because it identifies the key players and summarizes what is happening today in the patent world.”

A ranking of the top 300 companies, organizations and universities can be found here.

About Harrity Patent Analytics

Harrity Patent Analytics, an analytical team within the boutique IP law firm of Harrity & Harrity, LLP, uses cutting-edge capabilities to analyze patent data and extract insights for clients to use when making strategic decisions regarding patent portfolios. Patent 300® companies rely on Harrity Patent Analytics services to understand their patent portfolios, the patent portfolios of their competitors, and patent office trends around the world. For more information, visit harrityllp.com/services/patent-analytics/.

 

Law360: This Firm Secured The Most Utility Patents Again In 2020

Law360 (January 15, 2021, 11:34 PM EST) — One law firm has scored over 350 more utility patents in 2020 than the next closest firm, marking the sixth consecutive year it has landed the No. 1 spot in the latest ranking of law firms…

“You can see which patent firms are making big moves up and down in our field,” Harrity’s head of patent analytics, Rocky Berndsen, said in a statement. “The impact of a firm merger or one or more partners leaving a firm can be seen in the data. Law firms and companies are using the prosecution data from last year’s patents to make strategic decisions in their practice.”

Read the full article on the Top Patent Firms of 2020, by Dave Simpson, on Law360.

The 2020 Top Patent Firms List, produced by the Harrity Patent Analytics Team, ranks firms based on the total number of US utility patents that issued in 2020 where the patent firms were listed on the front of the utility patents. The rankings include both law firms and in-house filing operations.

 

About Harrity Patent Analytics

Harrity Patent Analytics, an analytical team within the boutique IP law firm of Harrity & Harrity, LLP, uses cutting-edge capabilities to analyze patent data and extract insights for clients to use when making strategic decisions regarding patent portfolios. Patent 300® companies rely on Harrity Patent Analytics services to understand their patent portfolios, the patent portfolios of their competitors, and patent office trends around the world. For more information, visit harrityllp.com/services/patent-analytics/.

2020 Top Patent Firms List Announced

WASHINGTON (January 15, 2021) –  Harrity Patent Analytics is pleased to announce the release of the 2020 Top Patent Firms list. The list, published annually, ranks industry-leading patent law firms based on the total number of U.S. utility patents issued in the past year and contains exclusive prosecution metrics. 

The 2020 Top Patent Firms list incorporates notable differences from last year’s rankings, including the year-over-year change in the quantity of patents firms obtained from 2019 to 2020.  Rocky Berndsen, Head of Patent Analytics, says of these changes, “You can see which patent firms are making big moves up and down in our field.  The impact of a firm merger or one or more partners leaving a firm can be seen in the data.  Law firms and companies are using the prosecution data from last year’s patents to make strategic decisions in their practice”.

The Top Patent Firms list is accompanied by an interactive dashboard and includes patent firms that have obtained at least 50 U.S. utility patents where the patent firms are listed on the front of the utility patents. Company legal departments have not been eliminated from the list.  The full list is available here.

About Harrity Patent Analytics 

Harrity Patent Analytics, an analytical team within the boutique IP law firm of Harrity & Harrity, LLP, uses cutting-edge capabilities to analyze patent data and extract insights for clients to use when making strategic decisions regarding patent portfolios.  Patent 300® companies rely on Harrity Patent Analytics services to understand their patent portfolios, the patent portfolios of their competitors, and patent office trends around the world.  For more information, visit harrityllp.com/services/patent-analytics/. 

 

Harrity Welcomes Ten Superstar Attorneys in 2020

2020 was a difficult year for all – with plenty of pitfalls, including quarantining, social distancing, and economic concern brought on by the ongoing global pandemic. At Harrity, we were fortunate enough to be able to continue to provide outstanding service to our clients and build upon the productivity and success of our remote workforce. We are pleased to announce that our firm also welcomed ten superstar patent attorneys to our team in 2020, making it one of our biggest years of growth to date.

Check out the newest members of Team Harrity below!

Robert ‘Bob’ O’Loughlin | Lakewood, CO (Joined 1/6/2020)

Bob has over 12 years of experience in patent preparation and prosecution for electrical and mechanical applications, with specific expertise in software patentability in light of Alice. Prior to joining Harrity & Harrity, Bob worked for over a decade in private practice representing clients with a focus on collaborating to navigate intellectual property opportunities and risks in light of his clients’ objectives regarding innovation, commercialization and competition. Click here to learn more about Bob.

James Bennin | Winter Garden, FL  (Joined 2/3/2020)

James is the first recipient of Harrity’s Minority Firm Incubator, a four-year program designed to train, develop, and launch minority-owned patent law firms. James has 15 years of experience in the intellectual property field, with extensive experience counseling clients on various IP matters in the United States and in various other jurisdictions. Prior to joining Harrity in the MFI program, James was previously an associate general counsel at one of the largest universities in the US, and IP counsel at a large multinational company where he counseled multiple business units on matters related to IP. Click here to learn more about James.

Michael Woodward | Albany, NY (Joined 2/3/2020)

Michael has experience in conducting all phases of prosecution for U.S. and foreign patent applications related to computer software, telecommunications, networking devices, and mechanical devices. Prior to joining Harrity, Michael worked at a boutique intellectual property law firm where his practice focused on patent preparation, prosecution, litigation, and patent portfolio management. He also served as Executive Managing Editor of the Albany Law Review, President of the Intellectual Property Law Society, and was a Sponsler Honors Teaching Fellow while attending Albany Law School. Click here to learn more about Michael.

Alexander Zajac | Greenbelt, MD (Joined 4/6/2020)

Alex is a patent attorney specializing in the preparation and prosecution of applications in electrical and computer technologies. Prior to Harrity, Alex worked with an intellectual property law firm in Washington, DC, where he drafted and prosecuted patent applications as well as assisted with opinions and litigations. He also previously worked at the United States District Court for the District of Columbia with Magistrate Judge Alan Kay. Click here to learn more about Alex.

Steven DiPasquo | Basking Ridge, NJ (Joined 6/1/2020)

Steven has prepared and prosecuted hundreds of patent applications in a wide range of technical fields, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, computer hardware and software systems, and telecommunications. Prior to joining Harrity & Harrity, Steven worked for over 15 years in private practice and has extensive experience counseling clients and preparing opinions regarding patentability, infringement, validity, and freedom to operate. Click here to learn more about Steven.

Nelson Nolte | Manchester, MO (Joined 6/16/2020)

Nelson has more than twenty years of experience as a patent attorney, including patent preparation, prosecution, opinion matters, trademark preparation and prosecution, and copyright protection. During this time, Nelson has drafted and prosecuted hundreds of patent applications in the electrical, software and mechanical arts. Click here to learn more about Nelson.

Madhu Ramanujam | Portland, OR (Joined 7/13/2020)

Madhu’s experience as a patent attorney includes diverse areas of technology, particularly in the electrical and software arts. He has extensive experience in developing patent licensing strategies and creating claim charts to maximize a patent’s monetary value. As an inventor himself, Madhu’s knowledge in patent licensing and his passion for inventing has led to him successfully licensing his own patents to several large multinational corporations. Click here to learn more about Madhu.

Edward Kim | New York, NY (Joined 8/3/2020)

Edward’s practice focuses on helping companies build high-quality patent portfolios in an efficient manner, with specific experience prosecuting patent applications related to up-and-coming technologies. Prior to joining Harrity, Edward worked in patent litigation and spent over a decade as a Primary Patent Examiner at the USPTO. During this time, Edward served the Office of International Patent Cooperation on global IP initiatives. He previously has experience working with engineers overseas as an intern engineer and is both fluent in Korean and proficient in Japanese. Click here to learn more about Edward.

George Howarah | Reston, VA  (Joined 11/2/2020)

George is a patent attorney with nearly a decade of experience in all facets of patent procurement and enforcement. Prior to joining Harrity, George worked as a Patent Examiner at the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) and as an associate at Venable LLP and Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox PLLC, where he prepared, prosecuted, and enforced patents for Fortune 500, midsize, and startup companies. Click here to learn more about George.

Jim Weixel | Sandwich, MA (Joined 12/14/2020)

Jim is a patent attorney with over 20 years of in-house and law firm experience in patent procurement enforcement and in IP operations, including time at Verizon, Bowditch & Dewey, LLP, and The MathWorks Inc. Most recently, Jim served as the IP lead at Accenture for several business units, with a combined annual revenue exceeding $20B. Jim has been involved with protecting innovations in a variety of technologies, such as healthcare, financial services, machine learning, process automation, artificial intelligence, biometric identification, and pharmacovigilance. Click here to learn more about Jim.

 

IPWatchdog: Wish Upon a Star ft. Eli Mazour

Wish Upon a Star: Experts Share Their Wildest IP Dreams for 2021

Harrity Partner Eli Mazour is featured in IPWatchdog’s recent article as an IP expert.

January 4, 2021 (IPWatchdog) We have already published industry roundups on the biggest moments in IP for 2020 and predictions and thoughts for 2021. But the longest running industry insider feature on IPWatchdog is our annual “wishes” article. Each year, we invite stakeholders to share their wildest IP dreams and wishes for the coming year.

Unlike our Predictions and What Mattered roundups, this series allows our experts to get creative. The responses may have nothing to do with what is likely to happen, but rather gives commenters a chance to explain how 2021 would unfold in their dream scenario. This year, responses remained fairly grounded in reality, with the possible exceptions of hope for clarity on Section 101 law and other issues from the Supreme Court and that Andrei Iancu will remain USPTO Director under future President Biden…

See what Eli and the other experts have to say on IPwatchdog.com.

 

 

Patents for Humanity

By Edward Kim, Harrity Associate

Some time ago, in discussing humanitarian efforts and engineering, a friend of mine told me about a concept project he worked on to create a new iteration of the Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC), an all-terrain wheelchair manufactured by Global Research Innovation and Technology (GRIT).  The original LFC was created by engineering graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to allow people with disabilities in developing countries to gain mobility and independence.  Conventional wheelchairs didn’t function well on the rugged terrain and rough local roads, and most were difficult and expensive to maintain.  The three-wheeled LFC uses a push-lever drivetrain to help people navigate over rugged terrain with ease and is built from commonly found bicycle parts to allow easy maintenance and repair.  Naturally, being an intellectual property professional, I started looking into patents related to the LFC.

That’s when I first discovered Patents for Humanity, an awards competition hosted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  The creators of the LFC secured US Patent No. 8,844,959 in 2014 and was awarded a Patents for Humanity award in the subsequent year.  Nearly a decade has passed since the program itself started, but little is known about it.  Given the current situation with the global pandemic, and the season of giving around us, I thought it might be timely to share some information about the awards competition with our network of IP professionals.

Patents for Humanity was launched in February 2012 as part of an initiative to promote “game-changing innovations to address long-standing development challenges” and showcase how patent holders are pioneering innovative ways to provide affordable, scalable, and sustainable solutions for the less fortunate.  Awards have been given for innovations that range from Golden Rice that’s genetically enhanced to provide a source of vitamin A for people relying mainly on rice to the LFC to compact human wastewater converters called NEWgenerator.

Two types of awards are given – Patents for Humanity awards and Honorable Mentions awards.  Patents for Humanity award recipients are given an acceleration certificate, and of course, public recognition of their work at an awards ceremony sponsored by the USPTO.  The certificate can be used to accelerate a patent application examination, ex parte reexamination, and ex parte appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.*  Honorable Mentions award recipients receive accelerated examination of one patent application but not other types of matters.

The program is open to patent owners, applicants, licensees (including inventors who haven’t assigned their ownership rights to others), assignees, and exclusive and non-exclusive licensees.  Applicants must describe how they’ve used their patented technology or products to address a humanitarian issue, which, for the competition purposes, is defined as “one significantly affecting the public health or quality of life of an impoverished population.”

Applicants using a patent application as a basis for entry to the competition must show that a Notice of Allowance for one or more claims from that patent application has been issued before any certificate is awarded.  Applicants mainly compete in the following five categories:

  • Medicine: any medical-related technology such as medicines, vaccines, diagnostics, or medical devices.
  • Nutrition: technologies which improve nutrition such as higher yield crops, more nutritious food sources, food preservation, storage, or preparation.
  • Sanitation: improving lives by addressing environmental factors such as clean water, waste treatment, air pollution, and toxic substances.
  • Household energy: technologies providing power to energy-poor homes and communities for household needs like lighting, cooking, and heating.
  • Living standards: technologies that raise living standards to empower people to escape poverty, such as literacy, education, communications, information delivery, access to markets, and microfinance.

Applicants may also team together to submit joint applications explaining actions taken by multiple parties.  However, only one certificate will be issued to the joint applicants, and the certificate can be redeemed for only one matter.

The applications are then judged under one of two criteria: (1) Humanitarian Use (applying eligible technologies to positively impact a humanitarian issue, focusing on demonstrable real-world improvements) and (2) Humanitarian Research (making available patented technologies to other researchers for conducting research with a humanitarian purpose, particularly areas lacking commercial application).

The applications are reviewed and scored by qualified judges outside of the USPTO, and the USPTO forwards the top-scoring applications to participating federal agencies for award recipient recommendations.

As we prepare to bid farewell to a year that will live in infamy, I think it’s fitting to recognize this year’s award recipients: Global Vision 2020; Sisu Global; Sanaria Inc; Flexcrevator; NEWgenerator; Nonspec; Rubitection; and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  Congratulations!  Perhaps, now more than ever, we need and should honor more innovation that makes progress in human lives.  Keep an eye out for the next awards competition application period.

More information about the Patents for Humanity awards competition can be found at:

https://www.uspto.gov/ip-policy/patent-policy/patents-humanity

For those interested in the details of the Terms and Conditions:

https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USPTO-P4H-2020Terms.pdf

 

*Inter partes matters and other post-grant proceedings may not be accelerated with the certificate at this time.

 

Law360: Harrity & Harrity Launches Academy To Diversify Patent Law

Law360 (December 23, 2020, 4:20 PM EST) — To address some of the issues underlying a lack of diversity in patent law, Harrity & Harrity LLP has announced a new set of free classes the firm hopes will inspire more patent lawyers from underrepresented populations.

The Harrity Academy, which the midsize firm launched this fall, consists of three Zoom classes that will convene throughout 2021. Ranging from four to eight weeks in length, the three classes address different aspects of patent law and range in scope depending on the participants’ experience. Each course will be led by a Harrity & Harrity attorney and has 20 spots available, the press release says. The program also includes mentorship and breakout sessions for more individualized attention…

Read the full article on Law 360 here.

 

 

John Harrity Interviewed for Law360: How 7 IP Firms Weathered The COVID-19 Pandemic

Law360 (December 21, 2020, 4:47 PM EST) — Intellectual property firms ranging from just a handful of lawyers to several hundred attorneys said the COVID-19 pandemic was a logistical curveball, but their industry has largely been insulated from the worst of the pandemic’s financial woes.

Law360 spoke with seven IP firms that span in size and location to get a snapshot of how the novel coronavirus pandemic impacted the industry, including Harrity’s John Harrity.

“Harrity & Harrity’s staff was already three-quarters remote before the pandemic hit, said John Harrity.

‘We were ready for it,’ he said. ‘We were already paperless — we had done that several years ago. It was probably as seamless a transition for us as possible.’

He said the firm has been continuously growing, and with a dozen new attorneys added in 2020, it marked its biggest year for hiring.

While Harrity said the firm had always allowed for flexibility with attorneys, such as letting them choose their own hours, it extended that same freedom to support staff during the pandemic.

‘[We’re letting them start] as late as 3 p.m. so that they could do their homeschooling if they have young kids and then start their day after that’s over,’ he said. ‘We’re put in this really awkward position with this, especially with virtual learning. If you have small kids, what are you supposed to do? We didn’t want our parents to have to choose between teaching their kids or working. We gave them an opportunity to be able to keep doing both.’

The patent preparation and prosecution specialists say they’ve seen particular growth in the telecom sector, which has blown up in the remote work environment.

Internally, the firm has used that remote technology to try and keep its employees connected to each other, including with virtual happy hours and live meditation sessions.

‘It’s necessary during a situation [like] we’re in — the inherent stress that’s involved with the pandemic and the uncertainty that’s around it,’ Harrity said.”

Read the full article here.

 

 

Harrity 4 Charity on Erie News Now

(Erie News Now) JJ’s Retro Eatery, a family-owned-and-operated diner in Union City, PA, has faced some challenges during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. When Harrity Docketing Specialist Julie Swartz heard about their struggles, she knew that she needed to get Harrity 4 Charity involved.

“We have put everything we have into this business and have been blessed with many successful years,” said Debbi James. “But the past year has been an extreme struggle with the times we are face with during this pandemic. We are struggling to survive day-to-day and we owe so much to Harrity for offering their help, along with a thank you to Julie, who has the most caring heart ever.”

Erie News Now featured JJ’s story:

 

JJ’s will host a Holiday Baked Goods Drive By through Christmas. 10 of JJ’s most popular pies will be sold during the event, along with six flavors of cheesecake, four types of turnovers, jumbo cinnamon or maple rolls and an assorted Christmas cookie tray.

JJ’s Retro Eatery is located at 16411 Route 8 in Union City. Business hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The restaurant will also be open on Dec. 23 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for customers to pick up pre-ordered baked goods only.

To view a menu and place an order, click here

Orders must be placed by Dec. 20 and can be picked up curbside. Free delivery is available within a 10-mile radius of the restaurant.

For more information on JJ’s Retro Eatery and to see a full menu, visit them on Facebook.

 

Harrity & Harrity LLP to match up to $100,000 for the American Heart Association

(NOVA Chamber Newsletter) The American Heart Association (AHA), the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to a world of longer, healthier lives is excited to announce that through December 31 all donations and registration fees up to $100,000 will be doubled for its Lawyers Have Heart 10K Race, 5K Run and Walk. Made possible through the generosity of race sponsor Harrity & Harrity LLP to promote increased around Giving Tuesday, a global movement to support charities. Donations to Lawyers Have Heart benefit the Association to further its work for a world of longer, healthier lives and can help fast track research and train front-line workers.

“As a person who had his life saved by the AHA’s science, this cause is beyond important to me and my family,” said John Harrity, Harrity & Harrity LLP’s Managing Partner. “Our firm wanted to give in a big way and we hope this inspires others to do the same.  Millions of people are counting on the American Heart Association for science-based information, health resources, community programs and patient support. They need us to be generous now more than ever.”

There are many ways to take part in the matching opportunity:

  • Visit LawyersHaveHeartDC.org and make a donation in support of a world of longer, healthier lives.
  • Consider an opportunity for your  company to sponsor the event by contacting maher@heart.org.
  • Register for the 2021 race through December 31 and the fee will count as a donation that will be matched by Harrity & Harrity LLP.
  • Give through your mobile phone. Text RUNLHH to 41444.

“Planning is moving forward for a huge 2021 event and we hope to once again attract participants from around the world,” said Harrity. “There was an incredible response when we took the 2020 event to a digital experience where 3,000 participants ran and walked their courses all over the United States, England, Croatia, Spain, South Africa, Japan and more. We will definitely plan to keep a virtual component moving forward so anyone can take part from anywhere in the world.”

Harrity serves as a co-chair for the 2021 event along with his firm’s Controller Sandra Maxey and American University Washington College of Law’s Associate Dean of Student Affairs, David Jaffe. Since 1991, the event has raised over $15.6 million, in support of vital research and programming to improve health and well-being across the Greater Washington Region.

“We are so thankful to Harrity & Harrity for their tremendous support that will build excitement,” said Soula Antoniou, Executive Director, American Heart Association. “This gift helps ensure the Association’s continued work with researchers, medical experts, hospitals, community leaders, businesses, families and more to improve health and well-being for all and to reduce the impact of the coronavirus.”

 

Joe Lentivech – An Ex-PTAB Judge on Ex-Parte Appeals: Clause 8, Episode 23

How does the USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) actually operate? What does it take to win an ex parte appeal? When should you request an oral hearing? What are the chances of the PTAB reversing a Section 101 rejection? How do you become an Administrative Patent Judge?

In this latest episode of Clause 8, I speak with former Administrative Patent Judge Joe Lentivech to get answers to these questions. He’s not only an expert in how the PTAB operates, but also a master storyteller.

Listen and subscribe on IPwatchdog.com or your favorite podcasting app!

 

Random Act of Kindness Leads to Holiday Pie Drive-By Sale at Union City Restaurant

(Eerie News Now) A Union City restaurant is receiving some much needed help through a random act of kindness.

In July, Debbi and Greg James, owners of JJ’s Retro Eatery, posted on Facebook about the dire challenges the restaurant has faced amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They also posted a thank you to an unknown person who mowed the lawn of the restaurant.

After seeing the Facebook post, a former customer of the restaurant who now lives in Virginia took action.

Julie Swartz, a docketing specialist for Fairfax, Va.-based law firm Harrity, LLP, saw the post on Facebook. Swartz grew up in Erie and had eaten at the restaurant years ago. Seeing the post and learning about the situation the restaurant was in, as well as the random act of kindness of someone mowing the lawn of the restaurant, Swartz knew she had to somehow pay it forward.

Swartz, who now lives in Evans City, Pa., with the help of a COVID-19 relief fund established by Harrity 4 Charity – the giving-back initiative of Harrity LLP -, got in the car and drove to JJ’s.

There, she presented the restaurant with a relief check, new banners for the restaurant’s front, flowers for curb appeal and cleaning supplies. Swartz then spent the day with the Debbi and Greg James and their family to prepare for reopening after Pennsylvania’s spring shutdown.

Since then, Harrity has provided a financial helping hand to the struggling eatery.

This holiday season, Swartz is now helping the James family organize a Holiday Pie Drive By for JJ’s, which is known for its baked goods. Swartz has volunteered to help pass out flyers and make deliveries.

“We have put everything we have into this business and have been blessed with many successful years,” said Debbi James. “But the past year has been an extreme struggle with the times we are face with during this pandemic. We are struggling to survive day-to-day and we owe so much to Harrity for offering their help, along with a thank you to Julie, who has the most caring heart ever.”

JJ’s will host the Holiday Baked Goods Drive By through Christmas. 10 of JJ’s most popular pies will be sold during the event, along with six flavors of cheesecake, four types of turnovers, jumbo cinnamon or maple rolls and an assorted Christmas cookie tray.

JJ’s Retro Eatery is located at 16411 Route 8 in Union City. Business hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The restaurant will also be open on Dec. 23 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for customers to pick up pre-ordered baked goods only.

To view a menu and place an order, click here.

Orders must be placed by Dec. 20 and can be picked up curbside. Free delivery is available within a 10-mile radius of the restaurant.

For more information on JJ’s Retro Eatery and to see a full menu, visit them on Facebook.

 

7-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Raises Thousands for Gifts to Give Hospitalized Kids, Matched by Harrity 4 Charity

 

 

 

(NBC4 Washington) Small but mighty: That’s a good way to describe a Fairfax County second grader who is helping Inova raise thousands of dollars to buy toys for kids who are in the hospital this holiday season.

Poppy Sellier, 7, has a special appreciation for what those toys mean, because it wasn’t long ago that she was in the hospital herself.

Playing with her LEGOs today, Poppy is the picture of health. But when we first met her in summer 2019, she was just wrapping up treatment for leukemia at Inova Children’s Hospital.

Poppy and her family always carried the other children at the hospital in their hearts, even while Poppy was still a patient there. Her mom, Charlotte, brought in donated toys, with Poppy making deliveries in a red wagon.

“They would be very happy and they would like all the toys that I brought them,” Poppy recalled with a smile.

Last year during the holidays, with a bow in her newly regrown hair, Poppy and her siblings returned to the hospital, reuniting with staff and helping to deliver hundreds of LEGO sets donated by the community to Inova.

 

But coronavirus means some adjustments this year.

“Because this year it’s the coronavirus, we can’t go into the hospital and give it,” Poppy said.

And Inova can’t ask the community to donate toys. So instead, they’ve made Poppy an ambassador of sorts for what they’re calling Poppy’s Toy Express, asking the community to give money instead of toys this year.

“Usually we love accepting the gifts from the community, and people are so generous during this time,” Inova Health Foundation President Sage Bolte said. “But because we can’t, Poppy actually offered up her own allowance to start this campaign.”

And Poppy’s story has been inspiring lots of giving.

“We got a lot of generous donations, and we got right now over like 55,000 kind of money,” Poppy said.

That $55,000 means they’re already very close to making their $60,000 goal to supply toys not only at the holidays but throughout the year. And once that $60,000 is raised, it will be matched by a group called Harrity 4 Charity.

As for Poppy, she’s enjoying feeling well and being back in school in 2nd grade.

“It feels so much better. I like my teacher and she’s really, really nice,” Poppy said.

But Poppy and her family are hoping that by next year, the red wagon full of toys will roll again.

Harrity 4 Charity is doubling up to $60,000 of donations made to INOVA for Giving Tuesday. All donations will go directly towards purchasing toys and books for children undergoing treatment and surgery at INOVA Children’s Hospital during the holidays for Poppy’s Toy Express — an initiative started by a seven-year old cancer survivor, Poppy, who spent 160 days at Inova in 2018. Click here to donate to Poppy’s Toy Express.

Maximize Your Patent Portfolio Using Helferich-Style Claims

By Michael Woodward, Harrity Associate

Patent owners often obtain patents to protect products, as well as complementary products or use cases associated with those products. However, when selling or licensing the patented products, a patent owner may inadvertently extinguish potential revenue streams associated with the complementary use cases due to the doctrine of patent exhaustion.

Patent exhaustion follows the basic idea that if a company sells or licenses a patented product to a buyer, the company cannot sue the buyer (or a third party that the buyer provides the patented product to under the license) for patent infringement for using the product. Patent owners should take care when preparing and licensing patents to ensure that infringement claims for complementary products or use cases associated with patented products are not exhausted by the sale or licensing of the patented products, as shown by the Federal Circuit case of Helferich Patent Licensing v. New York Times, 778 F.3D 1293 (Fed. Cir. 2015)…

Keep reading on IPwatchdog.com.

 

 

WDVM Interviews John Harrity on Giving Tuesday Matching

See the full article at Localdvm.com.

 

To make a contribution to one of our Harrity 4 Charity partners, please see below.

American Heart Association

Harrity 4 Charity pledges to match up to $100,000 of donations made to the American Heart Association, the largest non-profit organization dedicated to fighting heart disease, through the upcoming Lawyers Have Heart event. Click here to donate and to register for the 2021 LHH 5K, 10K and Fun Walk, virtually or in-person. You can also make a donation by simply texting ‘RUNLHH’ to 41444.

No More Stolen Childhoods

In an effort to put an end to childhood sexual abuse and help survivors with recovery, we are matching $45,000 of donations made to NMSC by December 1. Please click here to contribute.

INOVA Children’s Hospital

Harrity 4 Charity will double $60,000 of donations made to INOVA for Giving Tuesday. All donations will go directly towards purchasing toys and books for children undergoing treatment and surgery at INOVA Children’s Hospital during the holidays for Poppy’s Toy Express — an initiative started by a seven-year old cancer survivor, Poppy, who spent 160 days at Inova in 2018. Click here to donate to Poppy’s Toy Express.

ZERO: The End of Prostate Cancer

This year, we are matching $50,000 of gifts made to ZERO. You can join the fight against prostate cancer and support prostate cancer education, testing, patient support, research and advocacy by donating here.

Automation in the Patent Field: From Fantasy to Reality

By Robert O’Loughlin, Harrity Associate

Before joining Harrity & Harrity, LLP at the beginning of 2020, I would have summarily dismissed the fairy tale that I could be drafting even half as many patent applications as I am regularly drafting today.  But, alas, here I am, bringing the tale to life.

Harrity, as a firm, has mastered a number of factors that play a large role in taking patent application drafting efficiency from fantasy to reality.  Such factors include, for example, employing a uniform writing style across the firm; utilizing a well-organized and uniform second attorney review structure that serves as the gatekeeper for the high level of quality that Harrity’s clients have come to expect from every piece of work product; having attorneys exclusively draft or prosecute applications to focus on and maximize each attorney’s strengths; and incentivizing efficiency with a pay-per-production compensation model.

One particular factor that deserves attention, however, is Harrity’s development and utilization of proprietary automation software.  It certainly has been no secret, as the decades have worn on, that automating tasks can greatly improve efficiency and, as a result, significantly increase output.  And it is no different in the world of patent application drafting.  Automation also improves the quality of the output, and it frees up an attorney to focus on the more substantive aspects of the application.  The automation software, known as Patent Draftr, at my disposal has been game-changing and has played no small role in making my decision to join Harrity life-changing.

Gone are the days of creating and maintaining folder after folder of template applications, file after file of template drawings, and page after page of boilerplate language.  The automation software (“the tools” as we so affectionately refer to them) takes care of these things.  With two or three mouse clicks to select options from a pull-down menu plugged right into my word processing user interface, I can generate a new patent application document, pre-filled with boilerplate language, templates for frequently used descriptions, client-approved formatting, and flags clearly identifying locations that require my attention.  Indeed, in many cases, even many of the personal preferences of a particular client or in-house attorney may already be incorporated into the document from those first two or three mouse clicks.

A few more clicks of the mouse gets me access to a library of client-specific, frequently-used drawings and drawing descriptions.  In the past, building the skeleton of a patent application meant searching for a previously drafted application that described similar subject matter, skimming the application for relevant language and/or drawings, copying the relevant material, pasting it into the new application, changing reference numbers to match the new figures, and removing material specific to the application from which I copied the material.  That process was only slightly more efficient than writing the entire application from scratch.  Now, a few clicks and I’m off and running.

A click here and a click there is all that is required to cause mirrored claim sets directed to statutory subject matter classes of my choice to appear in the document.  Just as easily, I can cause preliminary descriptions of flow charts to populate the document.  Summary paragraphs and an abstract also are mere mouse clicks away.  Before I even place my fingers on the keyboard, Patent Draftr may have prepared more than half the document for me.

I was skeptical at first, but have come to be a believer in “the tools.”  They fit seamlessly within the Harrity workflow to make my life infinitely easier than the days of old.  But I am not the only one that benefits from the “the tools” and the system in which they are employed.  Perhaps the greatest beneficiaries are the clients.  By automating portions of the patent application preparation process that tend to be otherwise menial tasks, “the tools” allow me to focus my time on the most important aspects of the application preparation – the aspects for which my skills and experience are most useful – understanding the invention, drafting the claims, and carefully describing the details of the invention.  The results: (1) a high quality, valuable, and thorough patent application; and (2) a stress-free patent attorney that can spend the evening resting and looking forward to doing it all over again the next day.

 

 

Core Wireless: Parsing the Data on Enforcement Trends Three Years On

By Alexander Zajac, Harrity Associate

To many patent practitioners, the Federal Circuit’s decision in Core Wireless Licensing S.A.R.L. v. LG Electronics, Inc. was a watershed moment. In particular, this decision provided that claims directed to “display interfaces” that “improved” on existing interfaces were patent eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. In other words, Core Wireless decreased the chances of a court finding a graphical user interface (GUI) patent to be directed to ineligible subject matter and therefore invalid.

We don’t have to look far to see the impact that the nearly-three-year-old Core Wireless decision has had. Almost 100 district court decisions have cited the case since it came down in January of 2019, and nearly 30 inter partes review (IPR) proceedings filed after January of 2019 include citations of Core Wireless by practitioners, the Board, or both…

Keep reading on IPwatchdog.com.

 

 

Harrity 4 Charity Announces Matching Gifts for Giving Tuesday

Harrity 4 Charity, the giving-back initiative of Harrity LLP, is leading the way in Giving Tuesday efforts and challenging others to join.

Harrity 4 Charity will match up to $255,000 of donations gifted between now and Dec. 1st to the American Heart Association ($100,000 match), INOVA Children’s Hospital ($60,000 match), No More Stolen Childhoods ($45,000 match) and ZERO—The End of Prostate Cancer ($50,000 match).

American Heart Association

Harrity 4 Charity pledges to match up to $100,000 of donations made to the American Heart Association, the largest non-profit organization dedicated to fighting heart disease, through the upcoming Lawyers Have Heart event. Click here to donate and to register for the 2021 LHH 5K, 10K and Fun Walk, virtually or in-person. You can also make a donation by simply texting ‘RUNLHH’ to 41444.

No More Stolen Childhoods

In an effort to put an end to childhood sexual abuse and help survivors with recovery, we are matching $45,000 of donations made to NMSC by December 1st. Please click here to contribute.

INOVA Children’s Hospital

Harrity 4 Charity will double $60,000 of donations made to INOVA for Giving Tuesday. All donations will go directly towards purchasing toys and books for children undergoing treatment and surgery at INOVA Children’s Hospital during the holidays for Poppy’s Toy Express — an initiative started by a seven-year old cancer survivor, Poppy, who spent 160 days at Inova in 2018. Click here to donate to Poppy’s Toy Express.

ZERO: The End of Prostate Cancer

This year, we are matching $50,000 of gifts made to ZERO. You can join the fight against prostate cancer and support prostate cancer education, testing, patient support, research and advocacy by donating here.

 

About Harrity 4 Charity

Harrity 4 Charity represents a partnering of law firm Harrity & Harrity, LLP, with charities that are near and dear to our hearts. Harrity pledges to give five percent of profits to partner charities and all Harrity employees pledge to donate a portion of their paychecks. Harrity & Harrity is a patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas and is considered a Go-To Firm for the Patent 300 ™. Our clients have come to trust in our high-quality work, experienced people, industry leading innovation, and outstanding service. For more information, visit harrityllp.com.

Shawn Lillemo Named Intellectual Property Trailblazer

Harrity & Harrity’s Shawn Lillemo has been named as a 2020 Intellectual Property Trailblazer by the National Law Journal, which recognizes professionals who have moved the needle in the legal industry.

The publication says the following regarding Shawn’s contribution to legal technology:

Pioneer Spirit Launching his intellectual property career, Shawn Lillemo served as a patent examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In 2018, Lillemo jumped at the opportunity to join boutique patent firm Harrity & Harrity, LLP.  “Harrity operates more like a Silicon Valley start-up than a traditional law firm — with a passion to be on the cutting-edge of innovation — in an industry which otherwise hadn’t changed much in a hundred years.”

Trails Blazed Leveraging his skills as a software product manager, Lillemo created several products that allow attorneys to focus more of their time on substantively improving the quality of patents instead of on the menial tasks that can be automated.  Patent Draftr gives attorneys a suite of drafting tools that can “turn a 40-hour task into a 10-hour task.” Patent Searchr gives attorneys a state-of-the-art search engine for private patent portfolios so attorneys can find private and pending patent applications.   Lillemo’s Patent Sortr software replaces the labor-intensive task of creating patent asset taxonomies.  Now asset managers can know in real-time what patent assets they have in any given patent landscape.  “Each product was created with a simple goal: we want to allow our lawyers to be heroes to their clients and then go home. It’s doable if you automate as much as you can.” Harrity’s innovative approach to exceptional client services, led largely by Lillemo, landed the firm the 2020 American Legal Technology Award in the Law Firm category.

Future Explorations “We are on the cusp of many disruptive technologies transforming the way patent attorneys perform their work,” Lillemo believes, “including AI, blockchain distributed everything, and augmented reality.  I want to move Harrity and our clients to the front edge of the adoption curve in a work paradigm shift as significant as the industrial revolution.”

 

Harrity 4 Charity Ranks Third on Washington Business Journal Corporate Philanthropy List

Harrity & Harrity landed the third spot on the Washington Business Journal’s Corporate Philanthropy – Small Companies by Giving in Greater D.C. List, appearing in the November 13th publication. The rankings are based off of 2019 statistics and charitable efforts of companies headquartered in the D.C. metro area.

You can see the full list HERE.

 

About Harrity 4 Charity

Harrity 4 Charity represents a partnering of law firm Harrity & Harrity, LLP, with charities that are near and dear to our hearts. Harrity pledges to give five percent of profits to partner charities and all Harrity employees pledge to donate a portion of their paychecks. Harrity & Harrity is a patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas and is considered a Go-To Firm for the Patent 300 ™. Our clients have come to trust in our high-quality work, experienced people, industry leading innovation, and outstanding service. For more information, visit harrityllp.com.

Elaine Spector Discusses Gender Gap on IP Breakfast Podcast

“Women are amazing advocates for other people, but not good advocates for themselves.”

Harrity Partner and Diversity Chair Elaine Spector was featured on the IP Breakfast Podcast with hosts Albert Decady & Emmanuel Coffy to discuss the gender gap in IP, her experiences as a female practitioner, and what needs to change to bridge the gap and give women the tools and confidences to succeed in a male-dominated field. Listen now at http://ow.ly/fyMu50CnogQ.

 

A Practical Guide to Diversity & Inclusion in the Legal Profession

The Diversity & Inclusion Committee of the Intellectual Property’s Owners Association has released ‘A Practical Guide to Diversity & Inclusion in the Legal Profession.’

The IPO D&I Guide is designed to help improve diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, with contributions by Elaine Spector, Carlyn Burton, Shruti Costales, Serena Farquharson-Torres, Gloria Fuentes, and Rachael Rodman.

Check out the full guide below!

IPO-Practical-Guide-to-Diversity-and-Inclusion-Version-2-Sept-2020

 

What External Ownership of Law Firms Could Mean for IP

‘External ownership of law firms could herald an IP revolution but clients will need to be convinced’

Over the summer two US states, Utah and Arizona, opened the door for non-lawyer ownership of law firms. Other parts of the US are also said to be looking at the matter, with the District of Columbia Bar reported to be considering relaxing its rules. What will the potential external ownership of law firms mean for the revolution of IP?

Interviewed by Richard Lloyd of IAM Media, John Harrity added his thoughts:

“New money coming in will be able to fund more technology and innovation, and more firms will realise that in order to stay competitive, they will need to embrace this technology to produce more efficient, accurate, and high-quality work.”

Read the full article only on IAM Media.

About Harrity & Harrity, LLP

Harrity & Harrity is a leading patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas, and is considered a Go-To Firm for the Patent 300™.  Their clients trust in their high-quality work, experienced people, industry leading innovation, and outstanding service.

 

Harrity #1 on Vault.com’s Best Midsize Firm To Work For Rankings

Vault ‘Quality Of Life’ Rankings: The Best Midsize Law Firms To Work For (2021)

Did your law firm make the cut this time around?

(Above the Law, September 17, 2020) Vault recently published the 2021 edition of all manner of its closely watched rankings for the largest law firms in the country, proving that money — in the form of Cravath’s perennially competitive pay scale — can buy prestige and happiness.

But what about the nation’s midsized and regional firms? Which ones are the best to work for, and will young associates be happy there as associates Today, Vault released the latest edition of its list of the 25 Best Midsize Law Firms to Work For.

Associates at firms with 200 attorneys or fewer were asked to rank their own law firms based on categories most relevant to their overall quality of life, including overall satisfaction; firm culture; hours; compensation; quality of work; informal training, mentorship, and sponsorship; business outlook; career outlook; associate/partner relations; leadership transparency; and formal training.

There was a huge amount of movement in the Top 10 this year. Which firms made the cut? Without any further ado, here are the Top 10 Best Midsize Law Firms to Work For based on Vault’s Annual Associate Survey for 2021:

  1. Harrity & Harrity (not ranked; first time in Top 10)
  2. Lightfoot, Franklin & White (+20)
  3. Bookoff McAndrews (-2)
  4. Smyser Kaplan & Veselka (not ranked; first time in Top 10)
  5. Farella Braun + Martel (+7)
  6. Susman Godfrey (-4)
  7. Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger (-4)
  8. Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson (not ranked; first time in Top 10)
  9. Stotler Hayes Group (not ranked; first time in Top 10)
  10. Fitch, Even, Tabin & Flannery (not ranked; first time in Top 10)

That’s a whole lot of firms that have never been ranked before, but if you scroll further down the list, you’ll see a lot of more familiar names. Harrity & Harrity shared the spotlight with Susman Godfrey (Vault’s best litigation boutique) this year in terms of claiming No. 1 spots in the rankings. That said, here are the No. 1 firms in each Quality of Life category for 2021:

Congratulations to each of the firms that made the latest edition of the Vault Best Midsize Firms to Work For rankings, and a huge congratulations to Harrity & Harrity and Susman Godfrey for sweeping the rankings.

Best Midsize Law Firms to Work For (2021) [Vault]

About Harrity & Harrity, LLP

Harrity & Harrity is a leading patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas, and is considered a Go-To Firm for the Patent 300™.  Their clients trust in their high-quality work, experienced people, industry leading innovation, and outstanding service.

 

Brad Watts – Section 101 Reform Efforts in the 116th Congress: Clause 8, Episode 22

Brad Watts is the Majority Chief Counsel and Staff Director for the Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property. Under the leadership of Senator Thom Tillis, Brad Watts has led the effort to fix the Section 101 patent eligibility mess.

A series of Supreme Court decisions over the last decade have caused enormous confusion and uncertainty with regard to patent eligibility. After the 2018 midterm elections, to the relief of many in the innovation community, Senators Thom Tillis and Chris Coons requested to reinstate the Senate Subcommittee on IP to fix this issue. The process for reforming 101 included a framework released in April 2019, a bipartisan, bicameral draft bill released in May 2019, and an unprecedented three days of hearings with 45 witnesses representing almost every imaginable view on the subject.

At the end of those hearings, Sen. Tillis said “I want to do this quickly . . . I think we can review the record and make changes, garner consensus, and introduce a final bill sometime after the July 4 recess.”  That never happened.

In an IP Watchdog interview earlier this year, Sen Tillis explained that the Section 101 reform “process stalled because stakeholders refused to compromise.”

What happened? Is the effort to reform Section 101 really over? Why did the effort fail in this Congress? What should the innovation community do help revive the effort? Is there a possibility of a narrow medical diagnostics fix that is likely to lead many others pushing for reform disappointed?

In this episode, I speak with Brad about what really happened during this last attempt at reform, why it wasn’t successful, where to go from here, and much more.

Some of the topics discussed:

  • How Capitol Hill staffers learn about IP issues
  • Influence of Professor David Taylor’s research about the current patent eligibility jurisprudence and its negative impact on investment
  • What prompted Sen. Tillis to focus on patent eligibility reform and restart the Senate Subcommittee on IP
  • Process laid out by Sen. Tillis for patent eligibility reform legislation
  • Why everyone who wanted to engage in good faith was invited to be part of the process
  • Whether goal was to pass bill this Congress or to start a multi-Congress effort
  • Bad faith efforts to stop patent eligibility reform and why even some opponents of patent eligibility reform might have legitimate points
  • How the bipartisan, bicameral draft bill released in May 2019 was drafted – involvement of staffers Jamie Simpson, Phil (Phillip) Warrick, and Tom (Thomas) Stoll and the principals
  • Possibility of narrow diagnostics-only fix for Section 101 and why Sen. Tillis is open to it
  • Why Sen. Tillis never introduced a bill after the 3 day of hearings
  • How stakeholders can reach consensus with regards to patent eligibility to make reform possible
  • Continued work on patent eligibility reform
  • How stakeholders can and should communicate their position and concerns to Sen. Tillis and their own Senators about IP issues in general

Listen and subscribe on IPwatchdog.com or your favorite podcasting app!

 

Harrity & Harrity Named Best Midsize Firm To Work For

Law360 (September 18, 2020, 10:43 PM EDT) — Virginia-based patent prosecution firm Harrity & Harrity LLP is this year’s best midsize law firm to work for, according to Vault.com’s annual rankings released Thursday.

Harrity & Harrity claimed the top spot on Vault’s Best Midsize Law Firms to Work For list, based on a survey of thousands of associates. Harrity & Harrity — which didn’t even make the Top 10 list last year — usurped Bookoff McAndrews LLP, which went down two slots to third on the list.

Harrity & Harrity topped the categories of associate and partner relations, diversity, firm culture, hours, satisfaction, and technology and innovation, while sharing the top spot for quality of work.

Managing Partner John E. Harrity told Law360 on Friday that the firm strives to foster a creative and hard-working environment in which employees are encouraged to communicate openly and where feedback and ideas are taken very seriously.

“Our firm’s success is owed to our employees, and we owe it to them to provide a supportive and collaborative environment for them to grow and succeed,” Harrity said. “With that said, this recognition is a huge honor and achievement, reflective of the quality of life that we strive to provide to every member of our team.”

Alabama-based litigation firm Lightfoot Franklin & White LLC was ranked second on the list. Vault noted that Lightfoot — along with Franklin & White and Smyser Kaplan & Veselka — “stood out from the rest” as it placed on all 13 categories, such as transparency and wellness.

“We embrace a ‘learn by doing’ approach with our associates, giving them early and consistent opportunities to gain experience and expand their skills through high-level work both inside and outside of the courtroom,” Lightfoot managing partner Melody Eagan said in a statement on Friday.

Washington, D.C.-based patent prosecution firm Bookoff McAndrews shared the top spot for quality of work with Lightfoot Franklin and Harrity & Harrity.

Dinesh N. Melwani, a partner at Bookoff McAndrews, told Law360 on Friday that the firm places a large emphasis on cultivating a friendly atmosphere that fosters teamwork, collaboration and a sense of community.

“Our inclusive workplace culture has been and will continue to be paramount to our success as an organization,” Melwani said. “We believe that when our attorneys enjoy work that is valued, we will be able to consistently provide high levels of quality work product and client service.”

Rounding out the Top 10 were Smyser Kaplan, Farella Braun & Martel LLPSusman Godfrey LLPGreenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLPRobinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Stotler Hayes Group LLC and Fitch Even Tabin & Flannery LLP.

Diversity Lab announced Tuesday that 23 midsize firms will participate in a new iteration of the Mansfield Rule specifically for firms with fewer than 100 lawyers in the U.S. The rule means the firms have shown that candidates they considered for key positions — such as governance roles and equity partner promotions — included at least 30% women, LGBTQ attorneys, racial and ethnic minorities, and lawyers with disabilities.

The 18-month pilot of the Midsize Mansfield Rule “has been fine-tuned to boost diversity in leadership for firms with smaller lawyer populations, single office locations and leaner firm leadership structures,” according to Diversity Lab.

–Additional reporting by Michele Gorman and Hailey Konnath. Editing by Michael Watanabe.

About Harrity & Harrity, LLP

Harrity & Harrity is a leading patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas, and is considered a Go-To Firm for the Patent 300™.  Their clients trust in their high-quality work, experienced people, industry leading innovation, and outstanding service.

 

Diversity in Patent Law: A Data Analysis of Diversity in the Patent Practice by Technology Background and Region

Harrity’s Elaine Spector and LaTia Brand provide a deep-dive analysis of the lack of diversity in the patent practice for the American Bar Association’s Landslide® Magazine. Read the full article here:

 

Diversity in Patent Law

Harrity Wins 2020 American Legal Technology Award

Harrity & Harrity has won the 2020 American Legal Technology Award for the Law Firm category.

For its inaugural awards ceremony, American Legal Technology received over 180 nominations for consideration in 8 categories. Twenty legal industry expert judges chose 3 finalists for each category, announcing winners over video streams from September 7 – September 16.

Harrity was recognized as the winner of the law firm category on September 11, being described as ‘a law firm that utilizes technology to exceed client expectations in a significant, measurable way.’

Watch the award announcement here:

 

The mission of the American Legal Technology Awards, according to americanlegaltechnology.com, is:
To hold up examples of excellence in creative innovation and technology in the legal industry for the purposes of (1) expanding our understanding of what is possible, (2) encouraging a virtuous cycle of improvement, and (3) creating a more just society.

About Harrity & Harrity, LLP

Harrity & Harrity is a leading patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas, and is considered a Go-To Firm for the Patent 300™.  Their clients trust in their high-quality work, experienced people, industry leading innovation, and outstanding service.

 

Professor Adam Mossoff – Academics in IP: Clause 8, Episode 21

When Eli first started practicing in the late aughts, he found that a lot of what he was seeing about patents in various academic papers and studies, on Capitol Hill, and even in Supreme Court decisions, didn’t really reflect the reality of what he was seeing in practice, talking to innovators. In contrast, Professor Adam Mossoff’s compelling work, including articles in various general interest newspapers, stood out.  Not surprisingly, he is largely responsible for providing the intellectual foundation that has helped shift the anti-patent narrative.  So, it was a huge honor to talk to someone who not only helped shape Eli’s own thinking about patent and IP policy issues but has really shaped the current debates in Washington, DC about these issues.

Professor Mossoff is currently Professor of Law at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, and a Visiting Intellectual Property Fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

On this episode, Professor Mossoff and Eli discuss academics’ impact on IP policy and many other subjects, including:

  • how Richard Epstein influenced Professor Mossoff’s scholarship,
  • how the ideals of classical liberalism relate to intellectual property rights,
  • the debate among conservatives and libertarians regarding IP issues,
  • what’s wrong about framing IP rights as being all about providing incentives,
  • the Supreme Court’s approach to patent cases,
  • why Congress and the executive branch – not the Supreme Court – are the better path for improving America’s patent system,
  • “Why Do Law Professors Do What They Do?”
  • how law school professors influence the patent policy debate,
  • how trade organizations try to shape the patent policy debate by using law professors and other prominent attorneys,
  • importance of law school professors making it clear when they’re acting as advocates v. as academics,
  • navigating junk science studies/statistical claims about the patent system,
  • importance of engaging in a positive research agenda about the patent system instead of just reacting to bad scholarship,
  • empirical research overwhelmingly contradicting the patent holdup theory over the last 10 years,
  • educating Congressman Darrell Issa and the importance of having evidence and data on your side,
  • contradiction of China strengthening its own patent system while continuing to steal IP from other countries and having no rule of law otherwise,
  • the unprecedented response by the pharmaceutical industry to the COVID?19 pandemic thanks to the foundation previously created by America’s patent system,
  • how current changes to the patent system can undermine a similar response to the future,
  • and much more!

Listen and subscribe on IPwatchdog.com or your favorite podcasting app!

 

Harrity Implements Optional 3PM Start for Support Staff Due to Virtual School

Harrity & Harrity, the Go-To Firm for the Patent 300™, has adjusted its flexible start time to accommodate distance learning.  With schools across the country implementing virtual classes this fall, Harrity leadership announced that employees have the option begin their workday as late as 3:00 pm, allowing working parents and caretakers to focus on both the education of their children and their careers.

The firm already offers schedule flexibility, remote options, and a 7.5-hour workday, and recently implemented a four-day work week trial period for support staff.  The 3 pm start-time is just one more way Harrity is improving life/work balance in the legal field.

“At Harrity, we understand the predicament that virtual learning can create for working parents who are trying to balance their child’s schoolwork and their own career.  We don’t believe in making our team choose between their family and their success, and recognize that with schools across the country practicing e-learning this fall, that is the unfortunate reality for many,” said John Harrity, Managing Partner.

“Effective immediately, we have modified our flexible hours to allow staff to start their workday as late as 3 pm, when most school days end.  This will allow parents to assist with classwork and childcare during normal school hours, without using PTO or falling behind at work.”

The new policy has been well-received by staff, as it offers relief to the firm’s working parents struggling to find a balance.

Back in March, Autumn Vanatta, a Patent Prosecution Specialist at Harrity, began sharing her remote office with her two children.

At the time, her husband was also home and able to assist with helping their two children, in 1st and 4th grades, complete their online assignments.  “We were one of the few schools that continued actual grading, classes were not just pass/fail, so sometimes it required teaching new material to the kids.  Some days this took a lot of time and effort because we are not trained to be school teachers, so we put forth the extra effort to learn how to teach our children the lessons so they would not fall behind.”

However, as school starts back this fall Autumn’s husband will not be home to assist with school.  Her children will be in a school district holding virtual classes so she jumped at the opportunity to start her workday later.

“I really wasn’t sure how I was going to balance two kids “in” school and working during the same hours, knowing how much time and effort my husband and I put into the last few months of the last school year.  The 3pm start time will keep me from feeling pulled in three directions – responding to work in a timely manner and assisting two kids (in different grades) with school,” she said.

Docketing Specialist Julie Swartz added how appreciative she is of the firm’s consideration and support of its staff.

“Not only does Harrity & Harrity encourage their employees to innovate and excel while on the job, but also in life.  In addition to the benefit of working remotely, having a flexible schedule empowers me to focus my attention on my child’s online schooling during typical working hours,” stated Julie. “The firm has alleviated the problem so many parents are facing during these difficult times- to be an educator, a role model, and a dedicated employee – all within the confines of 9 to 5.”

 

About Harrity & Harrity, LLP

Harrity & Harrity is a leading patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas, and is considered a Go-To Firm for the Patent 300™.  Their clients trust in their high-quality work, experienced people, industry leading innovation, and outstanding service.

For more information on Harrity’s life/work balance and other factors that contribute to their high employee satisfaction and great team culture, and to apply to current openings, please visit harrityllp.com/careers.

 

Harrity Allows Staff to Choose Own Work Schedule Due to Virtual School

As working parents try to figure out how they will help their children with virtual learning this fall, one local law firm is trying to set an example.

The firm Harrity and Harrity is based in Fairfax, Virginia, but has employees nationwide and just announced its staff can now choose their own schedule with the ability to start the day as late as three o’clock in the afternoon.

 

Managing partner John Harrity tells FOX 5: “Is someone supposed to quit their job just so they can sit with their kids to make sure that they’re learning all day? That’s a devastating situation.”

Harrity says many of his employees are taking him up on the 3 p.m. start time and his firm is hoping others take notice and consider offering their staff the same flexibility.

For more information on Harrity’s life/work balance and other factors that contribute to their high employee satisfaction and great team culture, and to apply to current openings, please visit harrityllp.com/careers.

 

Jorden Harrity, Daughter of John Harrity, Organizes Pizza Deliveries to Thank First Responders

By 

CENTREVILLE, VA (The Patch)— The Harrity family had faced a similarly scary situation four years earlier when John Harrity was rushed to the hospital with what turned out to be a major heart attack. In late April, Harrity’s 17-year-old daughter Jorden Harrity suddenly fainted in the early morning hours, bringing back memories of 2016. Her parents called 911, and she was rushed to the emergency room.

The doctors at the hospital ran a bunch of tests but could not find any major issues with Jorden. While everything worked out for the teen who will be a senior at Centreville High School, she started thinking about the firefighters and EMTs like the ones with the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department who helped her.

Jorden wondered why they were not necessarily receiving as much attention as the hardworking medical teams at hospitals who are also risking their lives helping COVID-19 patients. She told Patch that she believed first responders also deserved recognition for the risky work they do on a daily basis.

As a way to show her gratitude for taking her to the hospital — and remembering how EMTs rushed her father to the hospital four years earlier — Jorden came up with the idea to deliver pizzas to the fire station where the firefighters and EMTs worked.

Harrity delivered her first pizzas last Friday to the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department in Centreville to thank them for helping her back in April.

Capt. Kenneth Dobbs at the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department said he appreciated Jorden delivering the pizzas in person. EMTs often do not know what happens to the people who they help. “The fact that she was able to walk in here, say thank you to us and bring us pizza,” he told WDVM. “It just means a lot to us and our crews.”

Jorden Harrity, a rising senior at Centreville High School, meets with Fairfax Fire & Rescue Department personnel to express her appreciation. (Courtesy of John Harrity)

Jorden also approached her dad, managing partner of Harrity & Harrity law firm in Fairfax City, with an idea to not only thank the men and women at the Centreville fire station but to honor the nearby fire stations for each of the 56 employees of his law firm, who not only live in Virginia, but in more than two dozen other states.

Jorden started doing research to determine which local fire station was the one that would respond to each Harrity & Harrity employee’s home across the country in case of emergency. After delivering pizzas to the Centreville fire station on Friday, Jorden is now scheduling deliveries to fire stations in states across the country.

After his near-death experience in 2016 at the age of 49 from a “widow-maker” heart attack, Jorden’s father, John Harrity, ramped up his charitable efforts. His Fairfax City law firm, Harrity & Harrity, was already known for its giving, whether it was through its participation in the annual Lawyers Have Heart race in Georgetown that raises money for the American Heart Association or local charities.

Since his near-death experience, John Harrity and his brother and law firm co-founder Paul Harrity created the Harrity 4 Charity that gives five percent of the law firm’s profits to charities. Law firm employees also donate a portion of their paychecks to charity. In addition to the charities, Harrity also created an emergency COVID-19 fund.

Jorden, who is a member of service clubs at Centreville High School, said her father’s efforts since his heart attack have inspired her to help others. She told Patch about her new appreciation for the value of community service and plans to continue working to help others during her senior year and when she heads off to college in the fall of 2021.

 

About Harrity 4 Charity

Harrity 4 Charity represents a partnering of law firm Harrity & Harrity, LLP, with charities that are near and dear to our hearts. Harrity pledges to give five percent of profits to partner charities and all Harrity employees pledge to donate a portion of their paychecks. Harrity & Harrity is a patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas and is considered a Go-To Firm for the Patent 300 ™. Our clients have come to trust in our high-quality work, experienced people, industry leading innovation, and outstanding service. For more information, visit harrityllp.com.

Virginia teen thanks first responders with pizza deliveries

CENTREVILLE, Va. (WDVM) — 17-year-old Jorden Harrity, daughter of Harrity & Harrity Manager Partner John Harrity, is thanking first responders by delivering pizzas to local fire stations.

 

 

Harrity came up with the idea when she fainted back in April and the paramedics brought her to the hospital. She realized that the first responders weren’t getting as much notoriety as the medical staff in hospitals.

Harrity delivered her first pizza on August 7 to the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department to thank them for answering her call back in April.

One pizza down… 56 more to go. Harrity decided that she wanted to thank other local first responders. She located the nearest responding unit for all 56 employees in her father’s firm. Now, she will be scheduling deliveries in states all across the U.S.

Capt. Kenneth Dobbs at the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department was thankful for the delivery — not because of the pizzas, but because he got to see Harrity. The teams don’t usually know what happens to the people who they respond to.

“The fact that she was able to walk in here, say thank you to us and bring us pizza…it just means a lot to us and our crews,” he said.

by 

 

About Harrity 4 Charity

Harrity 4 Charity represents a partnering of law firm Harrity & Harrity, LLP, with charities that are near and dear to our hearts. Harrity pledges to give five percent of profits to partner charities and all Harrity employees pledge to donate a portion of their paychecks. Harrity & Harrity is a patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas and is considered a Go-To Firm for the Patent 300 ™. Our clients have come to trust in our high-quality work, experienced people, industry leading innovation, and outstanding service. For more information, visit harrityllp.com.

Bruce MacEwen – Adam Smith, Esq.: Clause 8, Episode 20

On the latest episode of the Clause 8 podcast, Eli interviews Bruce MacEwen – the founder and president of Adam Smith, Esq. Bruce is recognized as the world’s leading expert on the economics of law firms, has written thousands of articles on the subject, and provides advice to select firms about how to succeed in the changing legal landscape.

The Great Recession spurred lots of talk about innovation, technology, alternative fee arrangements, new compensation structures, and countless of other ways that law firms need to change. However, the economic boom that followed has allowed “Big Law” firms to continue to thrive without making any substantial changes. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused painful flashbacks for many law firm leaders who previously led their firms through the Great Recession. At the same time, the continued uncertainty and uneven impact on the economy, has made it much more difficult for law firms to decide what steps need to be taken. For example, in the IP field, there was an initial slowdown of litigation work while patent prosecution work remained relatively stable.

Eli reached out to Bruce to get his thoughts about how law firms have been responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, what law firm leaders should be thinking about while navigating this moment in time, and the business of law in general.

On this episode, Eli and Bruce discuss:

  • Why Bruce thought there was something off about law firms by Thanksgiving of his first year as an associate
  • How companies select & manage outside counsel
  • Tension of building in-house law departments v. relying on outside counsel
  • Why law firms refuse to do recession scenario planning
  • Surprising nimbleness of law firms
  • Law firms being much more thoughtful and humane in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic than they were during the “Great Financial Reset of 2008”
  • Why successful law firm partners can be dynamite for law firms
  • Rethinking real estate needs of law firms
  • Different law firm models – “Best-in-breed” law firms v. full-service law firms
  • Boutiques and benefits of a lawyer’s practice being at the core of what a firm does
  • Using Net Promoter Score (NPS) to evaluate law firms
  • Law firms deciding whether to invest in a practice area
  • Vision and hunger being the key to starting a successful boutique law
  • Difference between lawye