Monday, October 20, 2008

Patent Moola

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is, in my untutored opinion, the World's Most Boring Court.
But fluency in its patent-law arcana can be pretty lucrative, even if you're just translating for others. A pending lawsuit shows precisely how lucrative.
Patent attorney Clark Cheney -- no known relation to that other guy -- is a Georgetown law graduate and former Federal Circuit law clerk. He's suing his former employer, Florida-based IPD Analytics, over a non-competition clause in his contract. On Monday, a DC-based federal judge ordered the case moved to Florida,
But I'm not talking about change of venue. I'm talking about money. Cheney, according to the ruling issued Monday, left the partnership track at Dewey Ballantine to join IPD in February 2006. His job: follow Federal Circuit litigation and write reports attempting to predict how the court would rule. His compensation: $200,000 a year, a $10,000 signing bonus, $20,000 to help buy a Florida home and a first-year performance bonus of $50,000.

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