ECE Special Seminar: Dr. Michael A. Fisher, Dechert, LLP Friday, October 7th

Practical Business and Legal Considerations for International Patent Protection & Open Source Software – Legal Issues

fisher-michaelDr. Michael A. Fisher, Ph.D.
Dechert, LLP
Friday, October 7th
11:30AM – 12:45P
Computer Studies Building (CSB) 209

Abstract –

 Practical Business and Legal Considerations for International Patent Protection – The international patent system allows you to protect your company’s inventions essentially anywhere in the world.  But patents are expensive to get, and if you do not thoughtfully choose which inventions are worth protecting and in which countries to protect them, the cost of your patents could easily exceed their value.  This talk will discuss strategies for building a patent portfolio with high value and real commercial impact while controlling costs.  Topics will include:  how to decide where to file patent applications, determining which inventions to protect, how to coordinate with patent attorneys in different countries, and how to deal with the special challenges of small-scale infringement.

 Open Source Software – Legal Issues – Using open source code has become a popular way to save time and money in software development projects.  In many cases, open source can give you free functionality, access to a knowledgeable community of fellow programmers, and stability and performance as good as, or possibly even better than, that of commercially available code.  But just because the code is free does not mean that it is not subject to a license.  Hidden dangers lurk for those who incorporate open source code into their projects without understanding what they’re agreeing to.  Some common licenses such as the GNU General Public License (“GPL”) have extreme provisions and implications.  This talk will review some of the advantages and disadvantages of open source, common open source licenses and their key provisions, and approaches for avoiding the pitfalls of some of those licenses.

 Bio: Michael A. Fisher, Ph.D. draws on his extensive background in electrical engineering to represent medical device, electronics, computer, semiconductor, and other clients in complex patent and trade secret litigation matters. He also devotes part of his practice to patent licensing, patent counseling, and software copyright matters.  Prior to his legal career, Dr. Fisher worked as a research and development engineer in the areas of solid state electronics, equipment-control software, and micromechanical devices. He is the named inventor on two U.S. patents, relating to an infrared imager and a flat-panel computer display (U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,929,440 and 5,956,003).

 Note:  The formal talk will be followed by an informal session for students and others interested in Careers in Patent law.  This will be held in CSB426 at 1:00 PM with lunch provided.


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