Krista Holt to speak at LES DC

For those who read my blog the other day on the Alice decision, Alice Doesn’t Patent Here Anymore,, I thank you.  At the September 17, 2015 Licensing Executives Society ( meeting in Reston, Virginia, the Licensing Executives Society ( prominent IP attorney and my friend Dale Lazar talked about the impact of Alice and what practitioners can do in the face of this tragedy.  It was quite informative – and to be revisited in a DC meeting this Fall.

The Virginia and recent Baltimore meetings constitute my further efforts as the Greater Washington, DC Chapter Chair to promote the organization and otherwise help the IP profession and practitioners with practical programs.  For those in DC, Virginia and Maryland, please feel free to contact me if you have a speaker in mind or a topic that needs addressing. With the eclectic wants of the Greater DC membership, we have seen it all, and welcome more!

For DC, the next meeting is September 30, when Krista Holt will talk about the ever-changing damages models.

In Virginia on October 1, Dale’s colleagues, James Heintz and Gianni Minutoli at DLA Piper, will talk about the ongoing controversies involving Inter Partes Review within the USPTO, and how practitioners can better represent their clients – hopefully avoiding the “Death Squads.”

Finally, in DC on October 21, former Deputy head at WIPO and prominent attorney James Pooley will talk of issues in trade secret law.

For those outside of the DC Metro area, thanks for reading about us!  If you have any suggestions or want to speak when you visit the area in future, please email me.  Conversely, I am open to invitations to speak elsewhere.

Ray Van Dyke, 202.379.3903,

Greater Washington, DC Chapter Chair for LES

To Kill a Patent System: What Would Atticus Finch Do?

Last Wednesday I had the privilege to speak about the importance of Intellectual Property in Washington, DC.  As Chair of the Greater Washington, DC Chapter of the Licensing Executives Society, I and a friend, Sanjay Prasad, conducted the Introduction to IP and Licensing Course for LES. Here is the link:

The Course is a good introduction to the mechanics of licensing of IP assets.  Please contact me or LES (www.les,org) to learn more about these programs which explore many more and advanced licensing topics.

That evening, I also spoke, with guest Todd Dickinson, on the ongoing challenges to the U.S. patent system in a talk called “To Kill a Patent System; What Would Atticus Finch Do?.”  Here is the link:

Current bills in the House and Senate aim to impair and perhaps destroy key components of the U.S. patent system – through intended and perhaps unintended consequences.  Even though lobbyists for several tech companies are actively pushing for ways to gut the patent system, hopefully Congress can see beyond the hyperbole.  Under the guise of troll killing, these errant knights may instead kill the lifeblood of the nation.

In short, contact your Congressional representatives and urge them to exercise caution. The current quest or zeal for patent reform should not run amok, as the Fourth Crusade, where Constantinople was shamefully ransacked.  The intended/unintended consequences of many of these new reform measures will undercut our nation.

The ongoing mantra that patents hinder innovation is utter nonsense.  Patents protect innovation, secure funding for fledgling companies, and otherwise promote new ways of life.  By condemning patents as anti-innovation, the big tech companies, through their lobbyists and the press, are themselves trying to hinder innovation by eliminating competition, and maintain their own market share without disruptive upstarts.

LES and many other organizations condemn these actions to cynically malign the patent system for private gain. But we should all lend our voice against this rather malevolent attempt to kill what our Founders gave us.  Patents and copyrights are the only rights set forth in the Constitution.  All other rights are separately attached in a Bill of Rights, such as the right of free speech, etc. Our great nation owes much of that greatness to a robust patent system, where innovation and innovators large and particularly small are protected.  Tilting the system toward large corporations with large war chests undermines the fabric of what the Founders wanted and what our nation needs.  These recent legislative efforts go too far, and our representatives need to know this.

Raymond Van Dyke, IP/patent practitioner and educator, 202.378.3903

Karen Casser Speaks at LES

Tomorrow, licensing expert Karen Casser speaks to the Greater Washington, DC Chapter of the Licensing Executives Society.  She will speak on practical aspects for licensing. For those in the Washington, DC area, I highly recommend that you attend this informative meeting. The link is below.

On a personal note, Karen gave me one of my first law jobs.  When I was a third-year law student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Karen was the General Counsel for SAS Institute. I suppose my Masters degree in Computer Science helped me get the IP clerk position there, along with faculty recommendations.  Both she and SAS treated me well, and I learned a lot about IP.

Ray Van Dyke, Greater Washington, DC Chair for the Licensing Executives Society

Ray Van Dyke Teaches Course on Intellectual Property at SMU

Next week at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, I reprise my course on intellectual property. Excerpts from the course description are set forth below and available online at

Dr. David Matula and I have taught the class since 2000, and I am honored to teach the class again on January 16 and 17, 2015. The Course is open to everyone and I hope to see those that can attend next week. Engineers, scientists, corporate and business people, faculty and students have praised the class, and 2015 will be no exception! My presentation includes all the basics on IP, current developments, and purposes of IP to our society (and the past).

I hope to see you there!



What is intellectual property? Why should I patent my innovation? How do I draft my claims?  This course will address the importance of technology and intellectual property in America, the fundamentals of patent, copyright, trademark and trade secrets for the lay person, and the real world application of those rights.

Fair use, open source, and alternatives will be described and interpreted.

Current developments and changes are also covered. In particular, the America Invents Act of 2011, the most monumental change to patent law since 1836, will also be discussed, and the significant effects on universities, small inventors and companies highlighted. Supreme Court, Legislation and other developments that affect these rights will also be covered in this popular and engaging presentation.


  • History and Philosophy of Intellectual Property Rights and their role in the information age
  • Intellectual property’s impact on information system design and development
  • The inventor’s role in recognizing a patentable idea
  • Analysis of ground breaking industry patents
  • Impact of Emerging Technologies on Intellectual Property


Computer Science & Engineering Department

Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering

 15th Annual Short Course on Intellectual Property and Information Technology

January 16 & 17, 2015:  Friday 9:am-5:pm, Saturday 9:am-1:pm

Palmer Conference Center for Engineering Leadership

Caruth Hall, Rm. 406

3145 Dyer Street, Dallas, TX  75205

Short course fee:  $200 (group rates available)

SMU Students:  Credit – one hour:  Register for CSE 5111/7111

Non-credit complimentary SMU student registration available (contact

Shark Tank and the Types of Patents

On a recent episode of Shark Tank, the hosts asked the perennial question: “what patent protection do you have?”  The idea presenter said he had 4 patent applications and a design patent application.  Since some may ask what’s the difference, let me add my two cents worth;)

A patent application, particularly a utility patent application and resultant patent, is directed to a system, process, device, chemical or improvement thereof, and covers the ideas described or disclosed within the contours of the patent document or Specification.  Since ideas can be manifested or embodied in different ways, the patent application should be drafted to encompass various ways of implementing the idea(s), i.e., the various functionalities.  Thus, alternative embodiments, perhaps not expressly addressed in the Specification, may be deemed to be covered and infringe.  Although current patent law interpretation may place some restrictions on the extent of the coverage of these alternatives, in utility patents it is the idea that is covered.

A design patent application, however, is directed to the ornamental aspects relating to a design, i.e., how the particular design appears to the observer.  Unlike utility patents which can cover various implementations or functionalities, a design patent just covers that design and not necessarily variations thereof.  If, however, someone makes a copy substantially similar to the design patent claim, then infringement may occur.

Although utility patents are generally stronger than design patents, each have their place.  The recent Apple v. Samsung patent wars involved fights over iPhone design patents covering the appearance, and not just the functional aspects within the phones.

As patents are critical to many businesses, especially start-up companies, the Sharks and other investors are very interested in patents, which are usually the most important asset for a company.  I hope that this short description from my patent law course is helpful. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

This is the first of hopefully many blogs on the importance of intellectual property. I hope to maintain a regular blog. If anyone has ideas on what questions are most keen, please feel free to reach out to me.

And have a Happy Thanksgiving!

IP and Licensing Basics Course

I and Kathy Rosa will be teaching the IP Basics course this Friday, November 15, 2013. The response has been great, but there may be more space if interested. The course will cover the basics of IP, use of IP in business, negotiation, valuation, royalties and more. Hope you can attend. There is also a reception afterward. If any questions, email me at The link and course description are below.

Raymond Van Dyke, LES Washington, DC Chapter Chair