Monday, May 21, 2007

Mark Lemley is not a patent attorney

With reference to an IPBiz post on Sunday, May 20, I was duly chastised by an IPBiz reader for including text suggesting Mark Lemley was a patent lawyer. He isn't; IPBiz believes Lemley's undergrad degree was in economics, which would make it difficult for Lemley to sit for the patent bar.

The IPBiz reader noted:

Noticed this from your Sunday blog entry:
"Stanford professor Mark Lemley, a noted patent lawyer......"

He's not a patent lawyer as far as I can tell.

The text about Lemley in the May 20 post originated from an Associated Press [AP] story on "how great" things are for patent attorneys. Things aren't great for all patent attorneys, contrary to the suggestion of AP, and Mark Lemley isn't a patent lawyer, contrary to AP. Just goes to show you that you can't believe everything you read in the newspapers. IPBiz and Captain Renault are shocked! Those of you reading Terri Somers in the San Diego Union Tribune might think that Thomson ignored the work of Ariff Bongso in Thomson's '780 patent. Such people would be wrong.

IPBiz had earlier discussed Lemley's assertion, published in the Stanford Law Review, that Gary Boone invented the integrated circuit (IC). Contrary to the Stanford Law Review, Gary Boone did not invent the integrated circuit, but one might check out two fellows by the names of Noyce and Kilby.

The AP article by Maryclaire Dale, appears in the IHT under the title: Have a science degree? Become a patent lawyer

One board had the post:

When you read articles like this one, it means it is time to avoid patent law like the black plague. It is sort of like becoming a petroleum engineer in late 1970's, an anti-trust lawyer in the 1980's, a defense contractor in the early 1990's, an Internet guru or a stock broker in 2000, or a real estate agent in 2006. Don't get caught up in the hype, the bubble has burst."

The board also had a post:

Who are the real IP superstars? There is no doubt that Lemley and Lessig have very high profiles in the academic community. However, do they, and some of the others, have true knowledge of IP, especially patents? There seems to be a fundamental disconnect between "real IP" and "academic IP," with the academic folks engaged in quests unrelated to truly important issues. There was no way Lessig's effort at the Supreme Court in Eldred was going to prevail, and Lemley's comments on continuations are naive and misguided.


While I think Mark Lemley is a smart guy, there is no accounting for some of the statements he made in that infamous law review article on this subject. Search previous posts for discussions of some of the errors he made, which many found to be misrepresentations. You are going to have to find a bit better source if you are to be taken seriously.


Post a Comment

<< Home