I’m attending, I think for the fourth year in a row, the International Performance Management Institute IP meeting. It’s always at a nice place, and this year is no exception: The Island Hotel in Newport Beach, California. It’s also always attended by people who are high up (usually chief IP counsel) in high end organizations, like Dupont, AOL, Energizer, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM, and you name it.
Then there’s me.
First, the guy from the PTO says the new 101 guidelines are, they hope, out in a couple of weeks. They won’t be “interim” guidelines any more, but they will be subject to improvement.
From industry, I’ve heard some things very different this year, consistently, and perhaps of interest to you.
First, several speakers said, given the mess that 101 is, that they are moving back toward trade secret protection. That was true among several people who spoke, as well as just in my conversations, and it went across technologies — from bio onward.
Second, the role of IP in business is changing. I am not sure I can fully explain what’s going on, but the use of patents as business, not litigation, tools appears to be a central and growing theme. Each speaker again from whatever industry talked about this development. The monetization — through licensing or otherwise — trend is hitting big time.
Third, trolls are the primary litigants, still. My idea that 285 can be used to impose fees on the troll’s lawyers, as opposed to the asset-less troll, will be floated in full tomorrow, so I’ll let you know how that goes. Of course, when I talked to these big shots privately, they were “ooooooo.”
Finally, and it always hits me here, the disconnect between trial lawyers and clients, and between academia and both of them, is wide and deep.