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).

December 31, 2003

The Tourists

This morning when I stumbled down the stairs to the subway platform, I was in a terrible mood. I was crabby because I woke up late, I was crabby because my shins were tight during my morning run, I was crabby because I had to go to work today, and I was crabby that there were a bunch of tourists on the platform which was sure to make the
train crowded.

Then, when the 2 train pulled into the station, the little tourist boy standing next to me, who couldn't have been more than 3 or 4 years old, shouted at the top of his lungs, "CHOO CHOO!!!"

My heart melted.

Happy new year.

December 30, 2003

Failure to Communicate

Last night, when I was talking about Rap City, my girlfriend thought I was saying "rhapsody."

Confusion ensued.

Rap City is one of my favorite shows. She has never seen Rap City. She likes classical music.

We are from different worlds.

December 29, 2003

The Binge

Last night for dinner, I had a plate of linguini, a slice of pizza, and a bacon cheeseburger deluxe.

This was after I had Buffalo wings for lunch.

Today, for the first time in two weeks, I got on a scale.

The diet begins.

December 26, 2003

The Family

Actual quotes from yesterday's family gathering:

"What kind of wine is this? It tastes like poison."

"We have to work on the back of the house tomorrow, so if anybody shows up asking for permits, start speaking Spanish."

"Ok, NOW I need some alcohol."

"He's overreacting. It was only a can of fruit cocktail which isn't even a big can. And I threw it at his shoulder, not his kidneys."

December 25, 2003

Merry Christmas

When we were kids, every year my older brother would be the last one to wake up on Christmas morning. He would stumble down the stairs, grab the wrapping paper and some tape, and go back up to his room to wrap the presents he bought for us.

To this day, he still wraps presents on Christmas morning. He is not exactly the king of Christmas spirit.

Have a safe and happy holiday. Now, stop avoiding your family by reading this.

December 24, 2003

The Brown Duck

A long time ago, before the IA was the IA, I had a job in college as a maintenance worker. I did plumbing, carpentry, electrical, landscaping, etc. Whatever needed to be done, I was the man.

I did that for a few years on weekends during college and for a few summers. I loved it. Part of the uniform for the job was a pair of brown Carhartt double front work pants. Canvas.

Last weekend, in preparation for helping my buddy on his house (and in fear of ruining my expensive jeans) I went out and bought a pair of the Carhartt pants. It felt strange to put them on after all these years. It reminded me of when I did real work and didn't have soft attorney hands. It reminded me of the swagger I had when I used to carry 80 pounds of tools all day long and fix everything and anything. It reminded me of when I used to dream of living in Manhattan and make a ton of money

I know now that it is much easier to get women when you have an Estwing hanging from your side than when you make six figures. But it feels to good to be reminded that I wasn't always an attorney.

December 23, 2003

Home Improvements

I took this week off from work to help my buddy work on his house. We're removing a window, putting up new siding, adding a wall in the house, demolishing a room, and building a new bathrooom.

His wife does not care for me. I'm young, single, and usually drunk. I'm a bad influence. I'm him if he chose a different path.

She doesn't mind the work so much but she hates the mess we create. There is only one bathroom in the house (right now) so whenever I go to wash my hands, it's like the bathroom scene in Pulp Fiction- I have to try not to get dirt everywhere. All of her towels are pretty and embroidered so I have to dry my hands on my pants.

It's a delicate situation.

December 22, 2003

Hair Incident Day

I had a hair incident this morning.

My buddy uses this "hair wax" and he thinks it's fantastic. Over the weekend I saw some Paul Mitchell Dry Wax, so I bought it. This morning I put some in my hair to try it out.

See, when they said "wax" I didn't think they actually meant "WAX."

It was pretty terrible. A little bit didn't hold my hair and a lot turned me into a walking crayon.

So I jumped BACK in the shower but the shampoo didn't do anything. I had to use a half bottle of pamolive dish soap to get it out.

When you can't figure out how to use the latest hair care product, you're fucking OLD.

December 19, 2003

Dirty Laundry

Checking the e-mail that was filtered out by our spam filter is SO much more exciting than checking my actual e-mail.

Ghosts of Law School

Lately, the IA has been checking out the job market.

Firms still ask for my law school transcript. I thought that it made sense- you want to make sure I didn't fail patent law. But instead, I get questions about that C I got in Bankruptcy in my final semester.

When does this insanity end? Will the next nominee for the Supreme Court have to defend his or her B- in Commercial Paper?

I went to a top-tier law school. I've been a practicing attorney for two years and four months. WTF?

The reason I give:
The funny thing is: I really enjoyed Bankruptcy. And after I got that grade, I went back and tried to figure out what I did wrong. I ended up understanding it more after the final was over. But I guess it's a good thing I went into Patent Law.

The real reason:
Look, Bankruptcy was my only class on Thursdays, and it was the final semester of law school. Springer was on at the same time as the class, and I had a frisky girlfriend at the time who was off that day. I never went to that class. I have never, and will never practice Bankruptcy law. Why don't you ask me how I managed to get A's in Civil Procedure, asshole?

December 18, 2003

The Tin Man

I bought a suit in Macy's a few months back. Dark gray, three button. I tried it on in the store and it looked fantastic. I loved the suit.

But when I first wore it in the sun, it seemed a little shiny. Ok, it's actually a lot shiny.

Now I really dislike the suit. I feel like all I need is a few gold chains and two pinky rings and I could be selling used cars.

December 17, 2003

I Will Never Turn to the Dark Side

When you were a kid, you probably searched for the hiding spot where your parents were keeping your toys before Christmas.

Not me. My brothers and I used to search for the spot where my mother kept the wrapping paper. We would take out those big rolls of paper and play Jedi with them. Of course, we made the sound effects.

By the time my mom found us, the rolls of paper were all wrinkled and torn.

After a few years of this, she started to pull the inner cardboard thing out of the wrapping paper as soon as she bought it and let us go wild.

Take that, Skywalker!

December 16, 2003

Smug Alert

I was feeling pretty smug when I bought my Christmas cards in the beginning of Novermber. There was nobody in the store and I didn't have to wait on line.

I wasn't feeling as smug when the first two cards I got were from people that I didn't send cards to and I had to go back to the card store today and wait in a line that was over a thousand people long.

Jokey Smurf

On the corner of 72nd street and Broadway this morning, there was a small present sitting on the sidewalk. It was meticulously wrapped with paper and bow. It was about the size of a toaster.

I, along with the hundreds of other commuters, kept my distance.

December 15, 2003

These Are The Things I Can Do Without

My favorite phone conferences are the ones where everyone yells at each other for two hours, nothing gets done, and everyone on the phone is on the same side.

Pantry Raid

Last night, in light of the nasty snow and rain, I opted to raid the pantry to make dinner. I ended up making a box of Macaroni & Cheese and a can of chili to put on top of the Mac & Cheese.

I think the only way I could have made it more white trash is if it was store brand Mac & Cheese instead of Kraft. Although, I guess I could have had Twinkies for dessert.

December 12, 2003

Inner Light

Due to confidentiality issues, I can't tell you why I'm really happy. (Stupid laws.)

But I'm really, REALLY happy right now. And I'm taking off the rest of the day to go drinking.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Hold Me Close

I watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on DVD last night.

When I was a kid, I was terrified of the abominable snowman. Yeah, even after he turned all friendly, I was still kind of scared.

Watching it last night, years later, I was still a little scared.

December 11, 2003

Sharp Dressed Man

NICE: Wearing that brand new tie to work today.
NOT NICE: Discovering at 2:37 pm that the price tag is still hanging from the back of the tie.

Motherly Wisdom

My mom's take on the Paris Hilton show:
"What's the point of being rich if you're going to be that skinny?"

December 10, 2003

Say it Loud

I went to the post office this morning to send a package. While I was there, I figured I would buy stamps for my Christmas cards.

I said to the clerk, "Do you have any Christmas stamps?" She replied, "No, we're temporarily out." So I said, "Ok, do you have any Kwanzaa stamps?"

I figured that holiday stamps are better than sending Christmas cards with the flag stamps, right?

She said "I don't have any at this desk, but let me check with the other clerks."

She then proceeded to yell loudly to the entire post office- filled with a dozen clerks and 50 customers waiting in line- "DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY KWANZAA STAMPS?"

The entire post office looked at me and wondered "What the hell does that whiteboy want with Kwanzaa stamps?"

But in the end, I got the stamps. 2 sheets.

December 09, 2003

The Essentials

I was in Duane Reade in Times Square this morning buying candy canes for the candy bowl in my office. The woman in front of me was buying a jar of marinara sauce, three pairs of pantyhose, and two bags of cookies, and a bag of pretzels.

At 8:15 in the morning.

December 08, 2003

The Frontier

I went to an engagement party in Pennsylvania yesterday.

Like a typical Manhattan resident, I showed up late and overdressed.

There were a lot of knit sweaters in the crowd.

We played personality bingo. There was a board with clues like "she has 9 cats" and you had to walk around the room asking questions until you found the person with the nine cats.

In case you were wondering, I was: "he has a law degree."

December 05, 2003

Call Me Eli

This morning as I was coming out of the subway station, a homeless guy spotted the attractive young girl in front of me and said to her, "Excuse me, would you like to call in sick today and take me home and shower with ..."

And I interrupted in a loud voice: "Relax, RELAX" which startled him and made him stop. He yelled at me as we passed: "Nobody's talking to you, Eli Whitney!"

Now, everybody knows that Eli Whitney invented the Cotton Gin. In fact, that's all I knew about him until I went on Google to look him up this morning. I guess I do kind of look like him.

It's just such a strange thing to be called, especially by a homeless guy.


To continue the trend, tonight on my way home I'm going to call someone Rutherford Hayes.

December 04, 2003

The Direct Approach

My secretary is a female coed. She's actually a freshman in college.

She's also 53 years old.

Today I went to her desk and said the following:
"I have a lot going on and I don't want to get you something shitty for Christmas, so let me know what you want."

She said "Get me a gift certificate to J.Crew. I love J. Crew."

THAT, my friends, is a good secretary.


I've been telling this partner that I needed help with this project. He's been telling me to keep working on it. This has been going on for a few weeks now.

So I averaged out my work this past week and did some math. I went into his office last night with the following:

"Over the past two weeks, I have averaged reviewing 10 documents per hour. There are over 13,000 documents. At my current rate, it would take me 130,000 hours to review all of the documents by myself. If I bill 2,000 hours a year, it will take me 65 years to review all of the documents."

He said he would try to get someone to help me. But in the meantime, he said I should keep working on it.

December 03, 2003

With Nobody Else

Great things about going home after work and drinking alone:

1. You don't have to share your beer.
2. Nobody tries to kill your buzz by reminding you that "we should get something to eat."
3. You don't have to share your whiskey.
4. Nobody complains that you have only listened to James Brown and the Beastie Boys.
5. Nobody can see you cry. You know, hypothetically speaking.

December 02, 2003

The Metrosexual

Last night, for the first time in my life, I got a manicure.

I went to a nice little place and met a nice little Korean girl named "Soo." She cut and filed my nails, cut my cuticles, and even put a clear coat of polish on my nails.

I've been painting my girlfriends' nails for years. I am actually pretty good at it- I even do the whole hand-massage thing. But I've never seen it done by a professional. I was curious.

It was pretty damned cool.

You got something to say?

December 01, 2003

The Football Pool

Broncos, Vikings, Packers (L), Raiders, Bills, Dolphins, Cowboys, Bears, Eagles, Jets, Titans, Patriots, Chiefs.

With those picks, the IA won the office football pool last night.

It was a suicide pool- 2 losses and you're out. You can't pick the same team twice. I really don't know anything about football, but a friend was running the pool and I thought it would be a good way to bond with co-workers.

In fact, it was a great way to bond with co-workers because we all had something to talk about all the time. That is, until a few weeks in when I started winning.

Now I'm 800 bucks richer but everybody in the pool hates me (I really still don't know much about football).

But who needs friends when you've got 800 bucks?


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).