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).

February 27, 2004

Once, To a Dog

Last night in a bar I spent a half hour passionately explaining how Seinfeld was like a modern day "Stranger" by Camus.

No phone numbers were exchanged.

February 26, 2004

Carb THIS, Heart Attack Man

If I have one more meal with attorneys where someone mentions ketosis, I'm going to lunge across the table and shove bread down their throat.

I'll Fly Away

I've had the same dream every night for about the past three weeks.

I'm standing somewhere, sometimes school, sometimes the beach, sometimes I'm running in the park, when a a strong wind gust comes along and lifts me up. I spread my arms and fly off, high into the sky. I can see the world below me. An enormous feeling of peace comes over me, I feel like everything is perfect, and then I wake up.

So, what the fuck does that mean?

February 25, 2004

Decision Making

I stood in my bathroom last night, thinking: "I am an intelligent and rational man. I should be able to logically determine the best course of action after I spray myself in the face and hair with Tilex."

I was primarily concerned that my hair would be dyed and I would have to cut it all off. Yes, I was concerned with my hair when my eyes were burning.

But then I realized that if I actually was an intelligent and rational man, I probably would not have sprayed myself with Tilex.

February 24, 2004

Preferred Embodiments

I've got a lot of mugs.

I work for this client who designs mugs, mostly travel mugs. Every few months he ships me a box of mugs and we get design and utility patents on them. They're really nice mugs and I like the client a lot.

Yesterday he was in my office for the first time. As soon as he walked in, he noticed that along my window sill I have five of his mugs with plants growing out of them. I forgot to move them yesterday morning, I'm not sure the client needed to see that.

He said "I'm glad you found some use for my mugs, but that's not really what I had in mind."

February 23, 2004

All For the Family

The Fire Warden came to my office building today to conduct a fire drill.

He was not pleased with the stacks of boxes along the wall blocking both the fire alarm and the emergency phone. I didn't even know we HAD a fire alarm or emergency phone.

He was also not pleased at the stacks of boxes in front of the emergency stairs.

But it looks like a great wrongful death suit to me. Hopefully, my building will go up in flames today and I'll die trying to get out. My family should have a pretty good wrongful death suit. And let's face it, that's probably the only way I could give anything back to my family at this point.

The Standers

The worst people in NYC are the standers- people who stand in one key spot and do not move.

Sure, they are dressed to blend in with the normal morning people. They look like they're going to school or work. They look like they have somewhere to go- but they don't.

Their entire goal is to find one good spot and stand completely still. Their purpose in life is to get in the way of yours. You'll find them at the top of the subway stairs, at the bottom of escalators, and standing in front of revolving doors. My favorites are the ones who are walking along at a normal pace and suddenly stop in the middle of a city block for no reason at all.

Everyone who hands out that AM New York newspaper should die.

Sometimes I think half of this city has nothing better to do but get in my way.

February 22, 2004

Stick to the Plan

The plan was to save money in 2004. The plan was to possibly leave the city and buy a cheap little house that I could work on. Somewhere I could set up a big grill and paint the bedroom any color I wanted. Somewhere I could plant parsley in the back yard instead of paying an insane amount of money for it in the Fairway.

But then someone decided to open the biggest Williams-Sonoma in the country right on 59th street, on my walk home from work. I went in there yesterday, and it was the size of a small nation.

Now- what chance do I have? I need new ramekins, dammit!

February 21, 2004

Mmmm Pie

My favorite kind of pie is key lime.

But do you know how many of those fuckers you've got to juice to get enough for one pie?


Luckily, I had nothing to do last night and a burning desire for pie. But fuck, maybe next time I'll just call this guy to bring me one.

So... who's coming over for pie tonight? Oh, by the way, I think one seed made its way into the pie so be careful.

February 20, 2004

Last Stand of Jimmy the Guinea

Jimmy the Guinea is a bartender on Staten Island. It's his second job. He's been good friends with my brother for years so both of my brothers and I always go to see him when he bartends. My older brother gave him the nickname (I think we already had a "Jimmy" at the time).

Jimmy is an ebay fanatic. When you go to his house, he will ask you to watch out for the '69 Corvette bumper that is currently sitting on his porch. He'll re-sell it next week for twice the price.

Jimmy will get you anything you want, ever. He has been my source of green label Jack Daniels for years (not sold in NY). He always knows a guy. He got my younger brother a neon Murphy's Stout sign (for free) and my sister-in-law a car. He'll even get you some fresh Roma tomatoes from his garden.

Late at night, Jimmy will pour Leeds vodka into the half empty Grey Goose bottle behind the bar because he knows the only people who ask for it on Staten Island are college kids and wannabe yuppies who can't tell the difference.

I am, and always have been, jealous of Jimmy's hair. It's fantastic.

Jimmy retires from bartending tonight to spend more time with his family.

Jimmy is a stand-up guy who is always willing to help you out with anything. His wife is a sweetheart and now he has a beautiful baby girl. I wish him all the luck in the world, but I'm going to miss him as a bartender.

Two Thumbs Up

Late last night an old friend called me on my cell phone. We go way back. She's one of the most attractive women I know. She confessed that she had just finished a bottle of wine and was lounging in her bathrobe.

Booty call?

No, she just called to say how much she liked my blog.

Stupid blog.

February 19, 2004

Why Men Don't Call

Overheard on the subway this morning, a conversation between two girls in their early twenties:

"So Chuck finally called me.
"Oh yeah? That's good."
"No, he called me last night during the OC. He should know that I love that show."
"Did you tell him?"
"No, I was just bitchy to him and we hung up in like two minutes."

February 18, 2004

The Breast Beads

My firm has a program that downloads patents from the Patent Office's web site. If you try to download a patent that someone else in the firm has recently downloaded, it says "This patent has already been downloaded and is available immediately."

I was doing some research on design patents this morning for an opinion letter I have to write this week when I came across a case in New Orleans invovling a design patent for breast shaped Mardi Gras beads (Click on DESIGN PATENT). The decision is at
Superior Merch. Co. v. M.G.I. Wholesale, Inc., 2000 WL 322779 (E.D. La. 2000), for all of you lucky ones with free Westlaw.

When I went to download the patent, for research purposes of course, the program indicated to me that "this patent has already been downloaded."

February 17, 2004

Let Me Hear The Patent Attorneys In The Back!

I just sent the following e-mail:

"According to MPEP 706.07(h)(page 700-86, attached as a PDF) we can only convert the CPA into a continuation if it satisfies the requirements of a proper RCE. We don't satisfy the requirements for an RCE because we submitted the CPA with no "submission" which would be required under 37 CFR 1.114. Therefore I think our only option is to wait for a notice of abandonment, file a petition to revive, and an RCE with an amendment."

How is YOUR day going?

Valentine's Recap

Did I go out with my friends, get drunk, and hit on women?

Yes. Yes I did.

Were the women much crazier than I thought they would be?

Yes. Yes they were.

Did the IA go home alone and eat four Krispy Kreme donuts?

I think we all know the answer to that question.

Was it the best Valentine's Day ever?

Yes. Yes it was.

February 16, 2004

An Attorney's Life

I met with a senior associate today to go over some documents.

When I asked him how he was doing, he said, "I wish I was one of those fuckers who gets to take off days like this."

Behold, the wisdom of the senior associate.


My firm is closed today but I've got lots to do. The plan was to get in early and get out early. But Springer was on.

I think my favorite Springer chant of all time, appropriate when a man confesses to having sex with men but claims to be completely heterosexual, is "YOU ARE GAY! YOU ARE GAY!!"

February 14, 2004

Women Not Girls Rule My World

I may be single, but I'm not going to let that ruin my Valentine's Day. I'm going
to go out, get drunk, and hit on drunk women that two hours before said "I'm not
going to let it ruin my Valentine's Day."

February 13, 2004

Happy Fucking Birthday You Little Fuck

This morning I got up early and went to Krispy Kreme before work. I like to bring donuts in on random Fridays, it helps morale a lot and it's only a few dollars.

There was a couple on line in front of me with their son who turns 8 today.

When the sales girl said "Can I help you?" the guy turns to his kid and says "If there are 45 students in your class, how many dozen donuts do we need?" Then the woman says "What kind of tea do you have?"

Then the kid starts picking out "one of the raspberry filled and..."

Kid, there are six types of donuts.

Ten minutes into this fiasco, when the guy was asking about the different kinds of coffee and the kid was seeing donuts being made in the back that weren't on display, the woman turns to me and says "I'm sorry, we should have let you go first."

Rot in hell, you upper west yuppie bastards.

But I did the right thing. I said "No, it's his birthday, he gets whatever he wants. I have plenty of time."

So God better reward me today with something really good- like a neck massage from Nigella Lawson.

February 12, 2004

The Mother

My mom thinks she is rich now because her sons have all moved away and she can afford macadamia nuts for the first time in her life. To her, that is wealth. This, while her car is 12 years old and she owns no jewelry.

My mom always watches the dog show on television.

My mom will try to pay for the check when you're not looking.

My mom is still looking for the perfect pair of shoes. I thought this was strange as a child (I have no sisters) but then I realized that all women are still looking.

Every time my mom meets a girlfriend of mine, she calls me the next day to discuss what her grandchildren will look like.

My mother can't whistle. Well, she CAN whistle one note, but when a song is on the radio that she enjoys, she whistles that one note over and over again and thinks that she's whistling along to the song.

My mom loves cats but married an asthmatic.

My mom is retired. If you're not taking her out to dinner, she's not leaving the house.

My mom loves her dog. She will call me at work when I am arguing over a multi-million dollar patent lawsuit with opposing counsel and tell me that her dog "met" another dog today while they were walking and she didn't like this other dog and she started growling at this other dog.

My mom's birthday is on February 14th. She hates it because it's hard to get a reservation. I like it because it's easy to remember and I always have a date on Valentine's Day.

She's the best mom an IA could ask for.

February 11, 2004

One Ring to Rule Them All

A young female associate joined the firm about a month ago.

A partner asked me if I thought she was attractive. I said I didn't really feel comfortable talking about it.

He mentioned to me that she had no rings. I said that I didn't notice.

The associate and I are on a team together. The team has been meeting twice a week for the last three weeks. Others on the team also noticed the lack of rings.

Last night the two of us alone had to meet to talk about some documents. She showed up with an engagement ring and a wedding ring.

Relax. Don't flatter yourself.

February 10, 2004

Metrosexual seeking SF

Last night, for the first time in my life, I went to a salon to get a haircut.

I have never paid more than 9 dollars for a haircut in my life. But lately I have been a little disappointed in the work of the Russian barbers (and that recent picture of the back of my head was pretty scary) so I decided to splurge.

First, some guy showed me where the smocks are. I didn't know who he was and why I would need a smock. Turns out he was the receptionist- I didn't know salons had receptionists. I was as tense as an underage boy trying to buy wine coolers.

Then I met my girl (recommended by a friend). She was perky. She massaged my head while we talked about what I wanted. I said "trim" but she managed to stretch that into a three paragraph description. She took off my tie and turned my collar inside my shirt.

When she asked me to change seats to wash my hair, I said "no, I just need it cut." She said "Relax sweetie, this is all part of the process."

It was glorious. She rubbed my head and talked about her fiance for ten minutes.

The whole thing took a half hour. I thought that if anybody cut my hair for that long, I'd have nothing left. But it looks fantastic.

Now the transformation to metrosexual is complete.

February 09, 2004

Boston Attitude

The first time I ever visited Boston (two years ago this month), I was taking the Massachusetts bar exam. The night between the two day exam, I was watching the Simpsons and going through my flash cards.

Right in the middle of the Simpsons, the tv blared "We interrupt this program for a special report!" I was terrified- a bombing? another attack?

No, they cut to the new owner of the Red Sox drinking a glass of champagne at a press conference.

When I woke up in the morning, I turned on the tv as I ate some breakfast. The TOP STORY on the morning news was some guy trying to dig Babe Ruth's piano out of a lake somewhere in Massachusetts so that the Red Sox could remove the curse.

This was all in February, mind you.

Last weekend, when I got to my hotel on Thursday night and turned on my tv, "Red Sox Inside Out" was on.

So here's the deal, kids. Pay attention.

Boston sucks. The Red Sox suck. Boston will never be as exciting, interesting, or cool as New York. The Red Sox will never be as good as the Yankees. And when you tie your entire life into the Red Sox, chances are your life will suck too.

Ok, I feel better now.

February 05, 2004

Thank God
Yeah, this "bad date" thing seemed like a good idea on Monday.
Anyway, I'm off to Boston for a long weekend. Keep an eye on NYC for me, don't forget to water the lawn and feed the dog. Have a super weekend.

Bad Date #2

I once asked out a girl who was working in some store in the mall. She seemed nice. She was very attractive.

On the first date, I realized that she WAS very nice. I also realized that she had no idea who the mayor of NYC was (Giuliani at the time) and never heard of the Windows operating system. I realized that I was on a date with one of those people who gets interviewed by Jay Leno on that JayWalking thing he does.

Bad Date #1

I was once on a date where a girl mentioned her boyfriend.

When I seemed surprised, she said, "Well, it was his idea to see other people for a little while, so we'll see how he likes this."

I never did find out how he liked it. But she seemed to like it just fine.

February 04, 2004

Not Funny

Partner: Did you understand that last e-mail?
IA: No, I have no idea what these Japanese clients are talking about. It's like they speak a different language.
*Awkward Pause*
Partner: Well, Japanese is their first language.

Bad Date #3

I took this girl to dinner and I thought everything was going well. Then we went to see a movie. I was going to take her home after the movie, but she said "hey, let's go to the diner and get a cup of coffee."

I thought that was a good sign. Coffee, pie, then- who knows?

But then she ordered the onion soup.

February 03, 2004

Bad Date #4

I was once on a date with a girl who told me in the middle of dinner that she had slept with my boss. It was like a scene from Office Space, but not funny if you're actually living it.

Even worse, she said he was "very passionate."

I had nightmares for weeks.

February 02, 2004

Bad Date Week
Bad Date #5

Once upon a time, the IA got really drunk and hit on some girl in a bar. She gave him her number. He called a few days later, they arranged a date at some restaurant.

IA shows up at the restaurant and realizes that he barely remembers what the girl looks like because he was so drunk the night they met. He thinks he sees her at the end of the bar sitting by herself. He goes over and says hello and orders a drink. Wrong girl.

But the right girl showed up (she was not as attractive, of course) just then and saw the IA standing at the bar talking to some other girl.

There was no second date.

This bad date was MY fault, but I probably should have bailed before a long and uncomfortable dinner.


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).