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 lawyers who succeed v. fail
  • much more!

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

 

Harrity Implements Four-Day Work Week

Harrity & Harrity, the Go-To Firm for the Patent 300 ™, has implemented a four-day work week for support staff.  This summer, each support team has selected one month to test out the shortened work week, splitting up who takes which day off in rotation.

The firm already offers schedule flexibility, remote options, and a 7.5-hour workday.  The ultimate goal of the four-day work week is to maintain this, allowing staff to work just 30 hours per week without taking any cuts in pay.

“Obviously, we have deadlines, and timeliness is an extremely important part of the services we provide our clients,” says John Harrity, Managing Partner.  “Support staff will work a longer day if they have to in order to ensure all work is completed on time, but the intention of the four-day work week is not to work four 10-hour days.  The goal is to continue with our normal 7.5-hour day, with a 30-hour work week.”

The idea came about in 2019, with the goal of attaining true life/work balance- a significant component of Harrity’s firm culture.  Although many things still need to be achieved before the firm can implement this full-time, shortened summer weeks are a step in the right direction.

“The future of the firm,” says John, “will be permanent four-day work weeks.”

And, it seems to be going well so far.

“I’ve done a four-day work week before and I love doing it; I think our team really likes it too. Who doesn’t want to cut their work week down to four days?” says Sara Stesney, Manager of the New Applications Support Team.

Another advantage, she adds, is the fact that the benefit is shared by the whole team.

“The individuals on my team are incredibly hardworking and responsible.  Despite the firm’s ample PTO policy, they are hesitant to take any paid time off, because they know their absence will increase the workload of their other team members and they just don’t want to create more work for anyone else. With the four-day work week, everyone contributes to the extra workload, and everyone enjoys the extra time off.   I’ve already seen the benefits of the shortened week reflected in the mindsets of my team members.  They come back from their day off truly refreshed and ready to tackle their work, without the feeling of guilt for putting a burden on their colleagues.”

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 4 Charity Lends a Hand in Communities Across the Country During Pandemic

For the past 33 years, Manna Ministries, a weekly food share distribution agency in rural Alabaster, Alabama, has helped feed people in underserved communities in four counties—already making it the largest agency of Community Food Bank of Central Alabama in Birmingham. But even so, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything.

“Since COVID,” says Executive Director Phyllis Harbin, “we have doubled the number of people we are serving since this time last year, now close to 300 households. And we are one of the only food shares that distributes weekly, not monthly.  People are carpooling here from inner city Birmingham with two, three, even four families in the vehicle because they can’t find enough food,” she notes about the drive-throughs on Saturday mornings.”

“People are losing their jobs,” she explains. “We’re now seeing all walks of life come through … many of them middle class folks. At least 25% have never needed to ask for help before.  People have no financial cushion and who would have ever thought something like this would happen?”

Reliant on donations of cash and food, all-volunteer Manna Ministries is able to feed someone for a month for about $5 … But COVID has made it far harder to meet the demand … And many people don’t realize that Food Stamps don’t even cover necessary paper products or hygiene items.

“Weekly,” Phyllis relates, “we give every family one box each of pantry items, produce and meat, as well as breads, sweets and dairy if we have it—about 50-60 pounds of food. And we provide baby formula/food. We don’t always have hygiene items, but we are trying during the pandemic to provide toilet paper, paper towels, laundry soap, feminine hygiene products, even pet food.  All of our volunteers look for donations, like asking our dentists to donate toothpaste and toothbrushes.  We’ll take any usable donation. Hand sanitizer is hard to find, but the Church Ladies have been making masks to hand out.  We just try to show kindness and love on them.”

Afraid that COVID isn’t going anywhere soon, donations like the one from Harrity 4 Charity’s COVID emergency fund are more important than ever.  “You betcha,” says Phyllis, a retired financial record keeper.  “The amount that Harrity gave us took us through three months of weekly food drive-throughs—You’re talking about feeding 1,500 families. And the public relations support provided by Harrity brought in three more sizable donations. We’re grateful.”

“We all do it not because we have to,” she shares, “but because we see a big need out there and have a love of people. We feel called to do His work. It’s a labor of love and we’re just glad that we’re able to assist.”

See Manna Ministries food distribution drive-thru on NBC’s WVTM-TV: https://www.wvtm13.com/article/local-ministry-hands-out-food-to-hundreds-in-alabaster/33357106

Images of Food Drive-Through

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.

Harrity’s Rocky Berndsen Recognized in IAM Strategy 300: The World’s Leading IP Strategists Annual Listing

Harrity’s Rocky Berndsen has been recognized in the IAM Strategy 300: The World’s Leading IP Strategists, an annual listing of individuals who lead the way in the development and implementation of world-class programs that maximize the value of intellectual property portfolios.

According to IAM Media, the strategists identified in this guide do not see issues from just one perspective; instead, they see value creation in the round. It is this 360-degree perspective, combined with a demonstrable ability to deliver, which makes them stand out from the crowd.

Rocky’s innovation and leadership in the area of patent analytics and IP business strategy development contributed to his nomination on this global listing of the IP elite. Congratulations, Rocky!

About the IAM Strategy 300 Nominations

(Source: IAM Media)

These world-class IP strategists are primarily identified through confidential nominations made online. However, the extensive research process also involves face-to-face and telephone interviews, as well as email exchanges, with senior members of the global IP community.

No individual can qualify for a listing in the IAM Strategy 300 unless he or she is nominated by at least three people from outside of his or her own organization. But even this does not guarantee inclusion; instead, only those individuals who further research shows to have exceptional skill sets, as well as profound insights into the development, creation and management of IP value, are featured in the IAM Strategy 300.

For this latest edition of the guide, IAM started the research process from scratch; so even those who had previously been listed had to meet the same selection criteria as those who are new to the guide this year. Once a person received the minimum three recommendations from outside his or her own organization, IAM undertook their own independent research to assess these claims.

Most nominees did not make it through the vetting process; those who did are listed in the following pages. The selection procedure is always strictly applied because our overarching aim is to ensure that only those individuals who possess exceptional skill sets – as well as profound insights into the development, creation and management of IP value – are featured in the IAM Strategy 300.

“We cannot promise that every IP strategist who deserves to be described as world class has made it into this publication. But we are certain that everyone who is listed deserves to be.”

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.

 

Data-Driven Decision Making for Patent Portfolio Managers

By Bret Tingey, Associate | IPWatchdog.com

A patent portfolio can be one of the greatest assets that a company owns. A patent portfolio may boost a company’s valuation for a stock offering or a sale, may be licensed for recurring revenue, may be sold to raise cash, or may be enforced to seek monetary damages or to exclude competitors from the market. However, growing a patent portfolio can be expensive. For this reason, many companies hire a portfolio manager to balance the value and expense of growing and maintaining the patent portfolio.

A portfolio manager may be responsible for making decisions including a total target number of patent filings, target numbers of patent filings for different technology areas of the company, patent firms to use for filing and prosecuting patent applications, or how to manage costs per issued patent. The portfolio manager can improve the decision-making process by using data-driven decision making. This article shows some examples of data-driven decision making.

Keep Reading on IPWatchdog.com

 

Shawn Lillemo Co-Presents “The Tech-Enhanced Law Firm” at Legal Marketing Association (LMA) P3 – Virtual Experience

Harrity’s Software Product Manager Shawn Lillemo was recently featured in the Legal Marketing Association (LMA)’s P3 – The Virtual Experience. Shawn co-presented “The Tech-Enhanced Law Firm: Developing Custom Solutions to Supercharge Your Legal Professionals” with Amy Monaghan of Perkins Coie.

The session covered how to build an “unfair” competitive advantage, improve firm efficiency, and provide better client services using custom software solutions, such as Harrity’s proprietary patent drafting automation software, amongst other Harrity and Perkins Coie developments.

“The Tech Enhanced Law Firm” presentation included the following topics:

  1. Legal Innovation – What Asteroid?
  2. Rise of the Robots
  3. Making Legal Superheroes
  4. Sustainable Innovation

R. Amani Smathers, Senior Practice Innovations Specialist at Chapman and Cutler LLP, provided the following feedback regarding the presentation:

“Shawn, your anecdote about the US/European patent filing formats was one of the best examples I’ve heard of the importance of asking ‘why,’ reexamining assumptions, and that sometimes the best solution is ‘no-sourcing’—determining the work doesn’t need to be done by any resource (human or automated) at all.

I also appreciated that in mentioning being willing to fail, you both recognized that we operate in organizations that typically have a lower risk appetite.  So yes, be willing to fail fast—but fail ‘safe.’  Fail small and smart, and internalize your lessons learned.  I think those points often get lost in the popular ‘fail fast’ mantra, which originated in an industry with a higher risk tolerance.”

For more information regarding Harrity’s software, and to watch Shawn’s Automation Drafting Tools Presentation at IPO’s 2019 Annual Meeting, visit our Automation Page.

 

Harrity Ranks as a World Leading Patent Professional on IAM Patent 1000 List

Harrity & Harrity, LLP has been named a “Highly Recommended” firm in the field patent prosecution, according to the newly released 2020 edition of the IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Professionals.

The online publication of the IAM Patent 1000 stated the following in regard to Harrity’s accomplishments in the patent space:

“It is simply amazing what Harrity & Harrity has been able to achieve in the patent space by applying a carefully thought-out lean manufacturing style system to file vast numbers of patents while maintaining quality of the highest order. Clever use of automation and a uniform writing style play into its efficiency, while a rigorous second-attorney review system helps to set the quality bar high.”

The compact boutique has worked other magic, too: its dedicated patent analytics group, headed by Rocky Berndsen, has been delving into all sorts of statistics to bring a unique level of industry insight to clients.

None of this has gone unnoticed by competitors: “It is growing faster than any similarly sized peer and runs an impressive recruiting programme that precisely identifies people who will thrive in its system. The efficiency tools it has invested in are also excellent. Harrity & Harrity just gets prosecution and patents.”

From a client perspective, its “reasonable pricing and outstanding customer service” are major plus points, as is its nimbleness: “When an emergency project needs to be completed quickly and done right, it is the only firm to turn to.”

Another feather in the outfit’s cap is its admirable proactivity with respect to diversity in the IP profession. In 2019 it launched the Harrity Minority Firm Incubator, which trains attorneys from minority backgrounds in prep and pros and law firm management; at the end of the four-year programme, those schooled under it will establish their own patent boutiques. The genius architects of all this success are John HarrityPaul Harrity and Paul Gurzo.”

 

About the IAM Patent 1000
(source: IAM Media)

The IAM Patent 1000 is commonly regarded as the definitive ‘go-to’ resource for those seeking to identify world-class, private practice patent expertise and leading expert witnesses in the US. As with previous editions, to arrive at the 2020 rankings, IAM undertook an exhaustive qualitative research project to identify outstanding firms and individuals across multiple jurisdictions. When identifying the leading firms, factors such as depth of knowledge, market presence and the level of work on which they are typically instructed were all taken into account, as well as positive peer and client feedback.

Over five months, IAM conducted in the region of 1,800 interviews with numerous attorneys at law, patent attorneys and in-house counsel to gather market intelligence on the leading players in the field. Individuals qualify for a listing in the IAM Patent 1000 when they receive sufficient positive feedback from peers and clients with knowledge of their practice and the market within which they operate. In those markets in which practitioners have narrowed the focus of their work, we have presented tables highlighting the leaders in the respective areas of prosecution, transactions and litigation. Only those individuals identified by market sources for their exceptional skill sets and profound insights into patent matters feature in the IAM Patent 1000.

We have also identified the leading firms in the market – similarly listing them, where appropriate, in prosecution, transactions and litigation tables – as it is clear that the depth of expertise that a firm can offer beyond and in support of its star practitioners is an important factor in the decision to instruct. Firms qualify for a listing on the basis of their depth of expertise, market presence and the level of work on which they are typically engaged.

Our aim is to ensure that the IAM Patent 1000 is as accurate as possible. We seek to produce the definitive list of the world’s leading patent experts, on the basis of feedback received from those operating in the market. If you disagree with the opinions we have presented, we would like to hear from you. Our guarantee is that we will further research your input and so improve the list in the future.

All names and individual positions at firms are correct to the best of our knowledge as of 15 April 2020. In instances where a firm has merged or subsequently dissolved, or individuals have moved, these changes will be reflected in the next edition of the IAM Patent 1000.

 

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.

 

Fairfax Lawyer Helps Fund Restaurants During COVID-19

Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WASHINGTON, DC (June 15th, 2020) A Fairfax attorney is using his charity organization to help community members suffering from the financial impacts of COVID-19.

In 2016, John Harrity, managing partner of Harrity & Harrity, nearly died at 49 from a “widowmaker” — a heart attack resulting in the complete closure of the left anterior coronary artery that often results in instant death. Given a million-to-one odds of survival, Harrity decided to turn such a negative experience into something good.

Soon after, Harrity 4 Charity, or H4C, was born.

“I thought, if I just get through this process and eventually go back to work and just go back as if nothing happened, then I will have wasted this entire experience,” Harrity said.

In the four years since its founding, H4C has worked as a tangential organization of Harrity’s firm to donate 5% of its profits to multiple causes, including the American Heart Association and Zero – the End of Prostate Cancer.

“Every employee of my firm gives a portion of their paycheck to our partner charities,” Harrity said. “We wouldn’t hire someone that wouldn’t be willing to make that commitment. That’s how important it is for us.”

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, H4C, now independent from Harrity’s firm, has “redesigned” its priorities to create a fund for individuals that are struggling financially during these times. In the past few months, Harrity has used his organization to create grants for struggling local restaurants — including Glory Days Grill in Fairfax.

“We thought, OK, we’ve been giving to charities, and that’s good, but I think we need to pivot and help people who have been financially impacted,” Harrity said.

Therefore last month, Harrity teamed up with the Glory Days Grill owners to create a system in which the restaurant provided 157 meal vouchers to local food banks that could be brought to the restaurant and exchanged for a meal for a family of four.

“The [community] response has been overwhelming. People are so grateful that we are helping them,” said Sandra Maxey, controller for H4C.

One Fairfax resident that benefited from a meal voucher is Elsa. Last month, the youngest of her four sons tested positive for COVID-19. Because her family has to stay home for at least two weeks following his diagnosis, they were unable to work and struggled to afford groceries.

“The Glory Days Grill donation came to us at the best time where we could sit down as a family and enjoy a meal together,” Elsa said.

Harrity said he wanted to make a charitable contribution directly connected to his firm, as well. Therefore, he had his 55 employees compile a list of all the individuals they knew of that are struggling financially during this time.

The firm has since sent a first round of checks to those individuals to help alleviate financial stress, with a second round being sent in the upcoming weeks.

“Our intention with that is that we will continue to do it for as long as there’s an issue,” Harrity said.

Maxey said that the organization is currently in the process of creating an additional program to help feed first responders.

Harrity said he wants to help those outside of Virginia, as well. Therefore, with two employees working remotely in Alabama, H4C has begun giving to food banks there.

“We’re going to continue to do this through the end of the year,” Harrity said.

 

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.

Sarah Tsou – Patent Litigation Funding: Clause 8, Episode 19

This episode features an interview with Sarah Tsou, who is an investment manager for patent litigation at the world’s leading litigation funder, Bentham IMF (now part of Omni Bridgeway Limited).

The playbook is simple for deep-pocketed defendants facing lawsuits from patent owners with limited resources. Even if a patent owner has a very strong case, the defendant can just drag the case out long enough until the patent owner and his lawyers run out of resources to continue. At best, the patent owners are forced to settle lawsuits for a fraction of what they think they are owed. Patent litigation funders have changed this calculus by providing select patent owners with enough resources.

During this episode, Sarah talks about:

  • becoming a patent litigation partner at Kirkland & Ellis and working with John Desmarais before he started his firm focusing on patent monetization;
  • how patent litigation funding can help in-house attorneys who are facing shrinking patent litigation budgets due to the Covid-19 pandemic;
  • what 1% of cases have the rare mix of merits and economics to receive funding from top litigation funders, including a discussion of specific amounts of potential damages and legal fees;
  • how she finds the cases that she funds;
  • why having the right patent litigation attorneys who are willing to share the risk is crucial;
  • what a Chief IP Counsel should think about when building a patent portfolio if he’s interested in possibly taking advantage of patent litigation funding in the future;
  • the importance of curiosity for junior attorneys who want to enter the litigation funding field;
  • and much more!

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

 

Brian Pomper – The Innovation Alliance: Clause 8, Episode 18

This episode of Clause 8 features an interview with Brian Pomper of the Innovation Alliance.

Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, and Charles Goodyear are some of America’s best-known innovators. Instead of just making and selling the final products, they obtained patents and licensed their innovations to manufacturers. American companies like IBM, Qualcomm, and Dolby have followed this great American tradition of focusing on innovation.

However, the patent troll narrative has undermined the idea that innovators should be incentivized and rewarded for their efforts. A string of Supreme Court decisions and the passage of the American Invents Act were part of an effort to deal with the so-called “patent troll” problem.

Around the time that the AIA was being debated in Congress, a diverse group of technology companies that focus on research and development formed the Innovation Alliance to educate DC policymakers.

And, Brian – a registered patent attorney who worked for several years on Capitol Hill – became the executive director of Innovation Alliance shortly after it was started.

During this episode, Brian discusses:
• working in Congress and how he became the head of The Innovation Alliance;
• the #1 way to improve the patent system;
• what unites the Innovation Alliance;
• how the Innovation Alliance tried to improve the AIA;
• the Obama administration’s continued efforts to restrict patent rights;
• how DC became more patent friendly;
• the Senate IP subcommittee and why there’s still hope for legislative action to fix patent eligibility;
• importance of having grassroots support for legislative efforts;
• the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic is having on the patent policy debate and the Open Covid Pledge; and
• much more!

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

 

Paul Harrity Consecutively Named a Global IP Star

Harrity & Harrity is pleased to announce that Partner Paul Harrity was recently selected by Managing Intellectual Property, the leading specialist guide to IP law firms and practitioners worldwide, as a 2020/2021 “Patent Star.”  Paul was recognized as a Virginia practitioner in the areas of patent prosecution, patent strategy and counseling for the third year in a row. The annual “IP Stars” list recognizes leading lawyers and law firms for intellectual property work in more than 125 jurisdictions.

Paul is a patent attorney in the firm’s Fairfax, Virginia, office, where he focuses on preparing and prosecuting patent applications.  He began his career in 1991 as a patent agent at the United States Patent and Trade Office.  Since leaving the USPTO, Paul has prepared hundreds of patent applications and thousands of Patent Office responses.

Sara Stesney Offers Management Advice in “Leadership Freak” Blog

DEAR DAN: I HAVE AN EMPLOYEE WHO MAKES REPEATED MISTAKES

As published in the “Leadership Freak” blog by Dan Rockwell (April 16, 2020)

Dear Dan,

I have an employee who rushes through her work. I’ve tried to get her to slow down, but she is always worried about getting in trouble for not getting work done. She has never gotten into trouble for not getting work done while working for me.

When she rushes, she makes mistakes on things that she has done correctly, in the past, for years. How do you help this sort of employee? I know she has anxiety and in reading this I am now wondering if there is a correlation. Any advice?

Seeking Advice

Dear Seeking,

Sometimes we cause our own frustrations.

Self-inflicted frustration:

Don’t blame your employee for a situation you’ve been tolerating. We cause our own frustration when we:

  1. Respond the same way to repeated mistakes.
  2. Hope patience will resolve issues without intervention.
  3. Delegate tasks to people who consistently drop the ball.

An employee’s repeated mistakes reflect on the person who manages them.

Boredom:

What if it’s boredom? If she’s done things correctly for years, maybe she needs new responsibilities.

  1. How might you redesign her job?
  2. Who might be able to assume some of her current responsibilities so she can focus on something new?
  3. How satisfied is she with her current job on a scale of 1:10? If she is dissatisfied, but is reluctant to speak up, how might you begin crafting a new future for/with her?

Suggestions from Sara:

I reached out to Sara Stesney for her suggestions. I’ve worked with Sara and know that she manages in an area that requires precision.

Sara shared an illustration that might help your employee grasp the importance of quality.

Sara said, “If you went to McDonalds and ordered food, would you rather have the food come out REALLY FAST and be completely wrong or would you rather the food come out in a reasonable amount of time and be perfect?”

Sara added two more suggestions.

  1. Ask your employee to compete her work, set it aside, and review it for mistakes later.
  2. Help your employee learn by finding and correcting her own mistakes. Don’t point out mistakes. Say, “This work has mistakes. I need to know you can find your own mistakes. Please find and correct them.”

You have my best,

Dan

Read more advice from Dan Rockwell on his blog, Leadership Freak.