Patent Reform: How do we cross the finish line?

Matthew Fawcett, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary, NetApp, USA
Jeremiah Chan, Senior Intellectual Property Counsel, JDS Uniphase Corporation, USA

Over the last several years, widespread abuse of patent litigation has imposed a severe tax on domestic and international companies. A disproportionate amount of this tax is born by high technology companies, including in the telecommunications sector. The primary culprits are non-producing entities (also known as “patent trolls”) who have successfully exploited a broken patent system to extort licensing fees from target companies. Patent troll activity has continued to rise in the U.S over the last decade. While high technology/telecom companies comprise less than a quarter of Fortune 100 companies, nearly 70% of all patent litigation falls within the high technology/telecom sector. Networking giant Cisco disclosed that it spends $40 million annually on the U.S. patent system – most of which funds defensive litigation. Other telecom heavy weights such as Verizon, AT&T, and Motorola are also involved in dozens of new patent litigations initiated by trolls.

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USA Intellectual Property Telecommunications July 2010 Vol. 3, No. 12, Summer 2010

Matthew Fawcett

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Matthew Fawcett is NetApp’s senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary. Matt leads the worldwide legal team. Under his leadership, NetApp’s legal team has been recognized for many achievements, including the Best Legal Department of 2014 (Best Legal Departments 2014, Corporate Counsel, June 1, 2014), one of the most innovative departments (The 2013 IC-10: Inside the Legal Profession’s Top Innovators, Inside Counsel Magazine, August 30, 2013), and as a top GC (America’s 50 Outstanding General Counsel, The National Law Journal, March 31, 2014). Matthew has advised leading technology companies on a variety of issues, including mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, and litigation.

Jeremiah Chan

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Jeremiah Chan is Senior Intellectual Property Counsel for JDS Uniphase Corporation ("JDSU") where he is responsible for the growth and protection of the company’s global intellectual property and the deployment of JDSU's intellectual property policies and programs. Mr. Chan provides intellectual property counseling and manages intellectual property related litigation and transactions, including M&A, licensing, and the strategic development of JDSU’s patent portfolio.

NetApp

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NetApp, Inc., formerly Network Appliance, Inc., is an American computer storage and data management company headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. It is a member of the NASDAQ-100. It was ranked on the Fortune 500 for the first time in 2012.

JDSU

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JDSU is a leading provider of optical products and test and measurement solutions for the communications industry, the JDSU technology portfolio is a key enabler for optical solutions in industries such as broadband communications, semiconductor manufacturing, document authentication, brand protection, and biotechnology. JDSU innovation is the catalyst for a multitude of innovative solutions and services that touch people’s lives every day. In the car and at home, at work, at the movies and the mall, even in the bank or the doctor’s office, JDSU technology is part of the next-generation products that make the unimaginable possible.

USA Intellectual Property Telecommunications July 2010 Vol. 3, No. 12, Summer 2010