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Bob Smith, Executive Director
Bob Smith, Executive Director
Bob Smith is Executive Director of the ESD Alliance responsible for its management and operations. Previously, Bob was senior vice president of Marketing and Business Development at Uniquify, responsible for brand development, positioning, strategy and business development activities. Bob began his … More »

San Jose Mayor, USPTO Director and Lively Panel of Patent Attorneys Highlight EDA Consortium’s Emerging Companies Committee Event

November 5th, 2015 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

EDAC_EDAC Connected Logo_December 2015As several of our industry watchers have written, the EDA Consortium’s first in a series of patent panels held in late October was a success on all counts. We had a great turnout and many attendees arrived with well-thought-out questions not all we were able to get to, unfortunately. I commend Steve Pollock, head of the Emerging Companies Committee, for organizing “Patents and Patent Litigation: Develop, Strengthen, and Protect Your Intellectual Property.” I would also like to thank Salumeh Loesch of Klarquist who pulled together the panel of patent attorneys and moderated the discussion. It was a lively, engaged group.

From left to right: San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, Steve Pollock, EDAC's Emerging Companies Committee chair, and EDAC's Executive Director Bob Smith “Patents and Patent Litigation –– Develop, Strengthen, and Protect Your Intellectual Property" panel October 29.

From left to right: San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, Steve Pollock, EDAC’s Emerging Companies Committee chair, and EDAC’s Executive Director Bob Smith at the EDAC “Patents and Patent Litigation –– Develop, Strengthen, and Protect Your Intellectual Property” panel October 29.

We’re especially grateful to Samuel Liccardo, San Jose’s mayor, and John Cabeca, director of the newly opened Silicon Valley Office of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), for making time to join us. The mayor reiterated the importance of technology and innovation to the Silicon Valley region, while John gave us a detailed overview of the office’s functions and participated in the Q&A session.

The coverage from EDACafe and Semiwiki on the evening highlighted various aspects of the panel discussion. I won’t go over what’s already been written. Instead, what struck me as most appropriate for startup and emerging companies in EDA and IP were comments from Cadence’s Karna Nisewaner about protecting IP. She reinforced that patent protection is a strategic corporate decision and a means of differentiation. Karna went down a path that sounded vaguely like marketing and good advice nonetheless –– know the market and understand the direction of the industry. This will help determine whether the technology is new and important, and if filing for a patent is appropriate. She added that without this information and understanding, it’s hard to know what areas to protect.

Karna’s comments also touched on a company’s decision on how to protect its IP, which could be patents, trade secrets and/or trademarks. Of course, getting expert counsel is advisable always.

The evening was recorded and will be available for download on the EDAC website soon.

Meanwhile, here are links to the three blog posts on the evening:

EDAC’s Costume Contest: Patent Trolls don’t win, Peggy Aycinena, EDACafe

Silicon Valley USPTO is Open for Business!, Daniel Nenni, Semiwiki

Invention Protection: Patently Obvious or Patently Absurd?, Tom Anderson, EDACafe

Our next event is the Phil Kaufman Award Presentation and Dinner that will be held next week (Thursday, November 12) at the 4th Street Summit Center in San Jose, Calif. EDAC and the IEEE Council on EDA (CEDA) will honor Dr. Walden (Wally) C. Rhines, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Mentor Graphics Corporation. We’re expecting another great turnout.

And, mark your calendar for the next evening with Jim Hogan, hosted by the Emerging Companies Committee, Wednesday, December 9, in San Jose. Jim’s guest will be John Lee, Gear Design Solutions, acquired earlier this year by Ansys. Details to come.

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