patent pending

"A 'patent pending' notice gives one no knowledge whatsoever."
State Indus., Inc. v. A.O. Smith Corp., 751 F.2d 1226, 1236 (Fed. Cir. 1985).

June 30, 2003

Zest of IA

I zested myself yesterday.

I was zesting limes for a key lime pie. Yes, I own a zester. I slipped and cut my knuckle. At first I laughed. Then it started bleeding.

So I'm holding paper towels on my hand and trying not to get blood all over my kitchen. I'm wondering- what would I tell the staff in the ER? Do I admit that I can't operate a zester?

By the way, the pie was excellent.

The Joys of Having a Girlfriend

The first thing I heard Sunday morning:
"Did you think that girl we saw yesterday in the park was attractive?"

June 27, 2003

Henceforth All Titles Will Include the Word Fuck

So, it's 8:09pm on Friday night. Where the fuck are you? Oh, you're out drinking and partying.

I'm at work. You know why? Because some partner wants something done. That's all.

I finished this project in January and begged him to look at it. I sent 2 e-mails a day, every day. My last e-mail was sent on May 12 and then I gave up. I figured, what the fuck- it's HIS client, and HIS name is on the file, if he wants to fuck it up, that's his decision. My name isn't on the file so I am not the one who is liable for malpractice.

So he calls me at 5:42 today. He wants a new draft by Sunday. It's not due until July 30th.

Everyone should die.

Moreover, Fuck That

"So IA, where the fuck were you yesterday? Three fucking lines?"

I was in a legal writing seminar all day yesterday given by the country's most well-known legal writing expert, author, and editor of Black's Law Dictionary. Unlike most writing seminars I have been to, this one was very helpful and offered practical tips for improving my writing. So the good news for you is that the firm picked up the tab to improve my writing which will result in a better product here at patent pending.

He failed to cover the most important words that I use in this blog: motherfucker, penis, pork, intercourse, fuck, and of course the most versatile word of all: smurf. But I think I'm doing ok on my own with those.

God Bless America!
I have never said this about a Supreme Court decision before (and I will probably never say it again) but I don't think I could have written a better opinion myself.

Plus, Strom Thrumond died! So today is off to a great start!

June 26, 2003

Perception Problem

"Aren't we going to cuddle?"
"I thought we did."

June 25, 2003

For Her Pleasure

I have never used a ribbed condom.

I don't really even understand them. Is that washboard effect supposed to feel good? Who is the scientist who came up with this one?

"Well, it doesn't stimulate the clitoris or the G-spot, but it does make the man feel as if he is making the woman happier. We'll put 'for her pleasure' right on the box so men will think that if they use one, they won't have to go down on their girlfriends."

I guess I shouldn't knock it until I try it.

June 23, 2003

Uncle B

Lots of people are remembered by their diplomas, wealth, or conquests. I will always remember my Uncle B just for his conversations.

Uncle B would come over, have a drink and a smoke and relax with us. Uncle B was one of those people never felt like he was 'company.' He just belonged. It was always good to have Uncle B over. And whenever you needed help with something he was there in 10 minutes.

Uncle B had a great sense of humor and did great impressions. My fondest memories of him will always be me looking at him at my parent's kitchen table him through teary eyes from laughing so hard.

Once after picking me up from the police precinct (story another day) he took me aside and said "look, you're a smart guy but you do really stupid things. Start using your judgment." It means a lot more to you when it doesn't come from your parents.

Uncle B went to the great beyond over the weekend. I'm off to the funeral tomorrow so I won't be updating until Wednesday.

In the meantime, go try those Hershey Kisses with Toffee in them, they're divine.

Clear and Present Danger

I was in the South Bronx over the weekend helping my brother move. At one point, my father and I were standing on a corner of 191st street waiting for my brother when 3 large gentlemen stopped their BMW across the street and got out.

Music was blaring. The windows were tinted. The rims were gleaming. They all had huge rasta braids and sunglasses despite the rain. They opened the trunk and took out 2 huge black garbage bags that looked pretty heavy and left them on the curb. As they started walking back to the car, My father started walking towards them.

He said, "Excuse me gentlemen, but you seem to have forgotten your bags. I wouldn't want you to leave them behind."

I thought to myself, "We are going to die."

The three men looked at each other, said a few unintelligible words, WENT BACK, picked up the bags, put them back in the trunk, and drove off.

I couldn't believe it. My dad said to me "Well, you're not supposed to just leave bags in random areas. Perhaps those fellows were new to this country and unfamiliar with our sanitation policies."

My dad is so cool.

June 20, 2003

The Straight Man
I'm heterosexual. I've never had any desire to be with any living creature other than a woman.
I've been watching straight porn for years. Actually, most of it has no men at all- but I think it's still straight.

However, we all have our gaybo possessions. And I'm sure that gays have their breeder possessions.
Here is a list of things in my apartment which I actually own:

  • Mr. Bubble is always on hand. Always.

  • The Best of the B-52s. But I only listen to Rock Lobster.

  • Paul Mitchell shampoo and conditioner.

  • A shower poof.

  • A red scarf. Well, I knit it myself. Yes, I can knit.

  • A glass single flower vase, for which I purchase a new fresh flower every week.

  • A bed skirt which matches the curtains.

  • Tie-backs on the curtains which I put in myself.

  • A swiffer and a swiffer duster.

  • About 20 cookbooks, one of which is entitled "How to be a Domestic Goddess."

  • And of course, my Empire Red KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer.

Please select which of the preceding is my biggest gaybo possession- just so I know.
Or, let us know what you own that is contrary to your sexual orientation.

Timing Issues

Homeless people in NYC often ask you the time. I used to wonder why they did this but then I realized that they're probably just lonely.

This morning at about 7:15am I was walking out of Central Park fresh from an 8 mile run, feeling mighty good about myself. I kept looking at my time because I was so happy with it.

This homeless guy hanging out in strawberry fields asks me the time. I look at my watch and say "one oh five thirty four" which was actually my running time. He looked at me like I was crazy. I then realized what I said but decided not to correct myself and just said "have a good one."

That's right- I talked to a homeless guy this morning and I was the crazy one.

June 19, 2003

Ode to Pat Kiernan

I love Pat Kiernan.

Pat is the morning anchor on our local news channel here in New York City called New York 1. I watch Pat every morning when I wake up.

What makes Pat different is the little things he changes on a daily basis. Most of what he says between segments is the same every day and I can recite it all by heart. But once in a while, he changes it up a little bit.

This morning, when the lottery numbers were on the screen, he said, "These are today's lottery numbers. If you have a lottery ticket, now would be the appropriate time to take out the ticket and check it against the numbers you see on your screen." I laughed my ass off. He has a very strange sense of humor.

Then I got a glass of milk and when I came back he was saying "...the police are still looking for the woman's head."

NY1 also has a segment where they read you the highlights from the morning's newspapers. I love when Pat reads the Post; he gets this smirk on his face when describing whatever cleavage happens to be on the front page. Usually it's something like "The Post chose to put Britney Spears on their front page even though she is not actually in the news."

It's that ability to maintain a sense of humor in the midst of all the bad news that makes Pat Kiernan my morning hero. We all need to be more like Pat.

June 18, 2003

Define "Ultra Young"

Actual conversation I had with girl last night:
Girl: "Why do guys go crazy for ultra-young girls? I don't get it. Do you ever fantasize about young girls?"
IA: "What's young?"
Girl: "Sixteen."
IA: "How old are the Olson twins now?"
Girl: "I don't know, but that's disgusting."
IA: "How old was Mandy Moore in her first video? What about that girl who starred in that Lizzy Mcguire Movie?"
Girl: "This conversation is over."

June 17, 2003

Mr. Kim

While I was on Staten Island over the weekend in my childhood neighborhood, I visited Mr. Kim.

Mr. Kim owns a small newsstand and deli on Staten Island. I bought my first Playboy from Mr. Kim at about 13 years old. I bought my first alcohol from Mr. Kim (wine coolers) at about 15 years old. I bought my first pack of cigarettes from Mr. Kim at about the same time.

And on countless occasions, I would ask Mr. Kim if he had any fireworks and we would produce a box from under the counter with a big grin on his face.

He was such a nice man, I decided to go back over the weekend to see if he was still there. Not only was he still there, he remembered me.

I wanted to tell him that I don't smoke, I rarely drink, and I have a girlfriend. I wanted to tell him that I turned out ok despite all of the booze, tobacco, and porn I bought from him over the years. But he knew- he saw that I was doing well.

Instead, we shot the breeze for a few minutes and I bought some chocolate milk.

June 16, 2003

A Public Apology

I've been carrying my camera everywhere lately but this morning I completely forgot it.

Then I got to the corner of 72nd and Columbus and there was this gorgeous young girl in a cute little spring dress at the fruit stand feeling all of the bananas for firmness.

Then I saw a homeless guy in the Times Square subway station mumbling to himself and wearing a hat that read "NYPD Intelligence Division."

Then on 41st and 6th, I saw a guy wearing a cowboy hat coming out of Bryant Park walking a dog that had a cat sitting on his back and a mouse was sitting on top of the cat.

I'm sorry I forgot my camera today. It won't happen again.

June 13, 2003

Father's Day - Part 2
The Father

My father has been a paperboy, janitor, plumber, electrician, teacher, and labor negotiator.

I could NEVER get a raise in my allowance as a child.

MY dad is 6'6", 270 lbs. When I was little, I generally did what he said. When I got older, I realized that most people do what he says.

My dad will pick you up anytime, anywhere and will not ask questions.

My dad does not lie. Ever. My dad has never broken a promise.

My dad rode a 1969 Triumph Bonneville. But when his sons were born, he sold his motorcycle and never rode again. In fact, he hid all the pictures of him on the motorcycle and I didn't see them until I was 24. I can see why, he looked pretty badass on that thing.

My dad told me that if I ever got a tattoo, he would burn it off me.

My dad used to take me sledding EVERY time it snowed. He also always helped me build a snowman. He loves the snow.

My dad once told a man in front of me "If you touch my son, I will break your arms."

My dad built the entire upper floor of his house. By himself.

My dad will do your taxes for you. He will do almost anything to make your life easier.

My dad reads 4-7 newspapers a day. At night he reads biographies.

My dad would hold our hands when we were kids. Whenever we got obnoxious, his grip would tighten.

My dad does not have a computer on his desk at work. I don't think he has ever typed a word on a computer in his life. In fact, if you send an e-mail to his address, his secretary will print it out and bring it in to him. But this rarely happens, because nobody who knows him ever e-mails him.

He's my dad, and I love him.

I'm off to Staten Island to see my parents. Have a great weekend.

Father's Day - Part 1
The Grandfather

My grandfather fought in WW2, then he was a mailman and now he's retired.

He has been retired from the post office for over 15 years but he still wears his navy blue postal pants every day. I don't know how many pairs he has but they still look to be in pretty good shape. He's too cheap to buy new pants. According to him, they work- so he doesn't need new ones.

His father (my great-grandfather), who came from Sicily, was a tailor. Now, when you get my grandfather a sweatshirt for Christmas, he will sew a pocket on to the outside for his glasses. The pocket material is never the same color as the sweatshirt.

My grandfather bought me my first computer when I was (probably) 8 with a black and white monitor. He also gave me a book on BASIC and told me that if I learned it, he would get me a color computer some day. I learned it, and he did.

At a family gathering at my grandfather's house, he once asked his grandson to take his baby away since he was crying so much. You read correctly: he kicked his great-grandson out of his house.

My grandfather still puts iodine on his cuts.

My grandfather has a bottle of Hai Karate on the shelf in his bathroom.

My grandfather goes through five names before he gets mine. Somtimes he just says "Hey."

He's my grandfather and I love him.

June 12, 2003

The $1000 Button

Most people like to say "It's the little things that make me happy."
I say that too.

But it's also the little things that piss me off.

This morning I went to the ATM, on the day before I get paid, to withdraw $20 from my bank account leaving $11.57 left in the account. I needed the $20 to have my morning coffee, NY Times, and something for lunch because I only had one dollar in my pocket.

After I type in my code, and select "get cash" a list of buttons comes up with different amounts of cash- such as $40, $100, etc. That is when I noticed that there is a $1000 button. Who goes to the ATM and takes out $1000 in cash? Am I the only one who can't afford this button? I wonder what would happen if I pressed it. Would handcuffs spring out of the ATM?

There is no $20 button on the ATM. You have to type it in.

June 11, 2003

Subway Semantics

This morning in the Times Square station, some young woman in front of me swung her bag (LV, of course) over her shoulder and hit me right in the face. The following conversation ensued:
IA: "Watch it honey"
Woman: "I'm not your honey"
IA: "watch it jackass"
Woman: "asshole"
IA: "have a lovely day"

Hot women are used to getting treated better than everyone else. Don't expect that from me. I don't need you, I don't want you, and I know that women who think very highly of their outward appearance ain't worth a dime in most ways.

Birdman is to the Sun
as I am to my Fan

I am in love with my office fan.

My fan is about 10" in diameter. It's a simple device that sits on the desk behind me. But it's a multi-tasker.

When there is some person in the hall complaining about how her shoes hurt to the mail guy (who doesn't care) I just turn up that fan. It's so loud, it blocks her out.

When the secretary on my floor starts talking to her computer ("oh no! don't do that!," "what happened to that thing?," and my personal favorite "what are you on my screen for? I don't want you.") I just turn it up and aim it at my ears.

When the paralegal on my floor brings Ranch1 chicken or McDonalds back to her office and eats it there because she doesn't like the spacious lunchroom for some reason, I just aim that fan at the door and it keeps those odors away.

When someone yells my name from down the hall, I pretend not to hear them so they have to come talk to me like a civilized human being. I blame it on the fan.

So please, take my computer, take my books, take my lamp- but leave the fan. I am useless without it.

June 10, 2003

Soooo Lazy

The other day I dropped my pen under my desk. I didn't pick it up. I had my feet up on my desk and didn't want to move. I just looked at it for a little while. I figured after I dropped 10 or 11 pens, I would go get them all at once.

But the next morning, it was back in my company coffee cup with the rest of the pens on my desk.

I left a marker on the floor that night. And sure enough, somebody came by while I was gone and put it back in my cup. I now have no incentive to ever pick up anything off my floor. When other people stop by my office and drop things I say "No, don't worry about it. Somebody else will get it later."

There is probably a cleaning person from another country working for two dollars an hour who cannot afford a doctor and who comes in here at night and has chronic back problems and may not be able to walk again after next week because I keep dropping my pens. But I don't have to pick them up, which is nice.

On a side note, big ups to Caitlin, who sent me a radical mix cd to which I can rock out. This is good because I have not adequately rocked out in quite a while. As a reward, her link will be bolded for the rest of the day and I will send her something insane in return.

June 09, 2003

The Jelly Bean Jar

The librarian at my firm is a lovely woman who really tries to improve the sense of community in the firm. She is very friendly and extremely intelligent.

She decided to buy a LARGE jar of jellybeans at Lord & Taylor and have a "Guess how many" contest in the lunchroom. It was very cool of her.

Over the weekend somebody stole the jelly beans.

This is just to confirm that people who work at upscale law firms are just as petty as anywhere else. It was probably some attorney who makes 500 grand a year but had to work this weekend so he or she took the jelly beans as a punishment to the rest of the world and ate them as a meal.

You're going straight to hell buddy.

And now I'll never know how many there were. That may haunt me forever. I need closure!

About the Grandparents

My grandparents are simple people and dress simply. My grandmother does not, nor has she ever owned a piece of jewelry. They live in a small house in a terrible neighborhood on Staten Island (1 block from the projects where the Wu-Tang Clan came from) but nobody ever robs them because they really don't own anything.

Last week, they were walking to the grocery store through the park like they do almost every morning. My grandmother carries a broomstick with a rubber piece on the end despite the many expensive canes my brothers and I have bought her. The park is known as "needle park" because it is full of heroin addicts. It's not pretty.

In the middle of the park, a young outreach worker said to my grandparents in a loud, clear voice: "Good morning. Would you like some hot soup?"
My grandmother, mortified, says "We're not homeless!"
They had a good laugh and walked away. Minutes later my grandfather says "You shouldn't have said anything. We could have had free soup."

June 06, 2003

Cake is for attorneys

My secretary's birthday is today. I just started working with her recently and just moved to a new floor. Things are different on this floor. I didn't know what to do so I asked the partner who she works for (we share) and he said to get a cake and a card. He is out of the office this week.

This seemed like logical advice because I have been invited to this floor a number of times for cake-and-song birthdays, even though I have never seen it done on the other floors.

So I bought a cake and card and sent out the e-mail to everyone on the floor this morning except her. Everybody came by and sang and she was delighted. The cake was spectacular.

Ten minutes later, I had two attorneys stop by my office and close my door.

Them: "You'e making us look bad. Nobody gets their secretary a cake. You just get her a card and maybe take her out to lunch."
Me: "Going out to lunch with your boss is a punishment, not a reward. Besides, I've been on this floor a number of times for cake birthday parties."
Them: "Those were for attorneys. Cake is not for secretaries. Cake is for attorneys. "

Have a great weekend.

The Partner Button

I have installed a "partner" button on the right of this blog. That $4 Javascript book I bought used on really paid off.

When a partner walks into your office, you can click that button and it will show a fake legal research screen with a patent law case on it to create the illusion that you are working hard instead of mocking me.

This is so lame, it's probably not even worth explaining. But for the non-lawyers (let's call them "real people" or "human beings with souls") that screen shows legal research being conducted. Attorneys spend hours upon hours looking at that interface.

I would create a button for non-lawyers, but I have no idea what you people actually do.

I personally think that button is the coolest thing I have ever done. It's cooler than the Batphone™. It's cooler than the Batmobile™. It may even be cooler than the Batman brand shark repellant which Batman carries on his utility belt at all times.

It's also cooler than anything you can possibly think of.

June 05, 2003

Mainland Sushi

I went to a new sushi place last night. They had the proper wood paneling, chopstick rests, soy sauce pitcher, and fake Japanese art on the walls. There was only one problem I noticed when I walked in: the sushi chefs were speaking Mandarin. I'm sure that almost nobody has ever noticed this.

Please take note: when you hear the sushi chefs speaking anything other than Japanese, order the teriyaki chicken.

June 04, 2003

Turn it on and all the way up

MTV has forced me to reevaluate the word "news." On MTV, they break in and say "Hey, it's time for MTV news" and the story is always something like "Mariah Carey has breasts" or "J-Lo has wet breasts in new video" or "Britney has been away for a while but still has breasts."

My favorite recurring MTV news story is "New movie comes out" in which MTV "news" talks about some new movie for ten minutes.

You will never see any MTV "news" that is relevant to your life. Ever.

I DO like the newscasters, though. I can picture a bunch of old white men sitting in a room saying "We need a really freaky looking middle-eastern guy. We have a strange looking African, Asian, and European." Then when somebody suggests another white newscaster, one says "Well, ok- but he better be REALLY strange looking. And he better not be able to correctly pronounce anything."

I remember when Adam Curry did the MTV news. I was in awe of his hair.

The worst part is- I'm CLEARLY too old to watch MTV and yet I continually find myself watching it. And I don't think I'm old enough for VH1 yet.

June 03, 2003

Return of the IA

Thanks for the love, friends. I am back. I took a month off and focused on keeping my job. Now I feel like I'm in pretty good shape here and I missed y'all terribly. And let's face it, that other blog was starting to suck.

So now I may not be updating as frequently. I may not be commenting all over the place like I once did. I may not be posting recipes as frequently. But at least I'm back.

As for what I've been up to: I'm still jogging in the morning, working all day, and cooking every night. It really is a wonderful life.

I am a patent lawyer. I write applications for patents and argue about patents with other lawyers. That's what I do. It takes years to get a patent and more time after that to enforce it. So the title of this blog is a summary of my life. The patent is always pending.

Other titles I considered: Reasonableness (the standard for everything in the law), Chronicled Apathy, and one that was just a series of punctuation marks that would confuse the hell out of people trying to link me.

It's great to be back.

June 02, 2003

And.... Begin!

Conversation I had with a rather large female transit worker this morning when taking that picture of myself:
Transit Worker: "Ha haaa, that's a funny picture. Where you from?"
Me: "Staten Island."
Transit Worker: "HAHAHAAAA!! Boy, that's even FUNNIER!"

Yeah, we had a good laugh. Then some guy asked ME for directions, even though she was standing right next to me with her bright orange MTA vest on.

Welcome to patent pending.


The life of the IA, comprising:
residing in Manhattan;
practicing law;
deep frying things;
and generally living for your amusement.

Amy C.
CW (hiatus)
JR (vacation)
Scott S.

Secondary Sources
Me Head
Cooking for Losers


Statement of Law

"[T]he 'warning' of impending patent issuance, whether by a 'patent pending' marking or by direct information from the patentee, imposes no liability but is simply a cautionary notice of a possible future event." Nat'l Presto Indus., Inc. v. West Bend Co., 76 F.3d 1185, 1196 (Fed. Cir. 1996).

"This is a case where there was no real defense so attorneys for the Defendant had no choice but to fight every inch of the way. Objections, motions, and obfuscation was the defense. It was the only defense possible. Truth was the enemy. Stalingrad was saved by the Russians in World War II by literally wearing out the Germans, and this type of defense by lawyers in the last half of the last century came to be known as the Stalingrad defense. Wear the opponents out. Fight for every step. However, the Plaintiff's attorneys brought every possible action under multiple states laws and under federal law that could possibly apply and the battle became irreconcilable. Thus, rancor and accusations became the byword. This is not to indicate that the attorneys defending or prosecuting the case violated any rules of ethical conduct. However, fighting on ridiculous matters became paramount. This in turn caused undue rancor. Argumentum ad Hominum became the key and flavored the entire case and continues to do so." X-It Prods., LLC v. Walter Kidde Portable Equip., Inc., 227 F. Supp. 2d 494, 549 (E.D. Va. 2002).

"This case therefore illustrates the mischief and misery that can accompany the over enforcement of patents rights." Rite-Hite Corp. v. Kelley Co., 56 F.3d 1538, 1577 (Fed. Cir. 1995).