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Lawyers & engineers: too many, too few, just right?

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Frank Karkota
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re: Lawyers & engineers: too many, too few, just right?
Frank Karkota   8/25/2011 1:10:36 AM
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I consider getting a patent one of the worst mistakes of my life. When the patent was granted, the attorney told me that it would cost over a million dollars to stop infringement. I watched my competitors make millions of dollars with my technology while I was under massive debt in the legal fees from the patent. There are even worse attorneys. My small company had a minor problem with the IRS, so I hired an attorney. He needed the money intended for the IRS to pay his own bills, so he told me that the IRS refused my payment and that I had to file for bankruptcy to avoid seizure. I liquidated assets so that the creditors could be paid, but he kept the money for himself. The FBI and state ethics board refused to investigate. The bankruptcy destroyed my company. Then the creditors filed lawsuits against me to the extent that my health collapsed. Instead of doing the work that I love, I am fighting all kinds of lawsuits. I think that I will die before the lawsuits stop. I have never met an honest attorney and I do not think that I ever will. Full story at: www.compolinc.com

Bob Lacovara
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re: Lawyers & engineers: too many, too few, just right?
Bob Lacovara   6/23/2011 2:04:40 PM
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cdhmanning, I understand your point of view. However, have you looked at an engineering curricula recently? Stuffed into the crevices are all sorts of socially oriented wastes of time; if an engineering student needs to have a semester on ethics then his parents did a poor job, and we're all in trouble. So yes, agreed, an afternoon or a day of IP training is probably more than enough for an engineer who doesn't contemplate patent law as a career; much more than that is questionable; but there are far worse wastes of time than studying any part of the US legal system.

cdhmanning
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re: Lawyers & engineers: too many, too few, just right?
cdhmanning   6/22/2011 10:41:02 PM
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I would not waste university resources on something like this. All an engineer needs to know about IP law can be taught in an afternoon. If you need anything more than that then call in the experts. I am somewhat against university time being used for teaching anything that can be learned better in non-academic settings.

embedsri
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re: Lawyers & engineers: too many, too few, just right?
embedsri   6/22/2011 5:27:59 PM
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Ditto Duane Benson. Also,I think it would actually be useful for engineers to have a IP law minor or take some courses/training to be aware of the process.

LennyP
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re: Lawyers & engineers: too many, too few, just right?
LennyP   6/22/2011 1:03:00 AM
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My daughter is an attorney who wants to, and enjoys, doing IP/patent legal work. She has a BS in Microbiology and a minor in Chemistry. She's back in school getting her MS in Computer Engineering. Her goal is to be a policy wonk in order to ensure that the open source community is protected whether it's ensuring genes can not be patented or protecting open source from trolls. We do need attorneys -- especially ones like her :) else the breast cancer gene would be owned by Myriad Genetics and Linux would be driven out of existence.

KB3001
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re: Lawyers & engineers: too many, too few, just right?
KB3001   6/21/2011 9:30:28 PM
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I've dealt with patent attorneys and in my experience they were very reasonable. I always found it easy to deal with them as they themselves come from a science and engineering background (often with PhDs). I still think the process is over-complicated and un-necessarily expensive, but that is not their fault IMO. Patent laws are often made by people who do not have much insight into the field, under the heavy influence of powerful vested interests. Who would lobby for us, Engineers?

KB3001
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re: Lawyers & engineers: too many, too few, just right?
KB3001   6/21/2011 9:21:09 PM
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Absolutely, the status quo suits them well. The real problem is with the lawmakers IMO.

Bob Lacovara
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re: Lawyers & engineers: too many, too few, just right?
Bob Lacovara   6/21/2011 9:03:44 PM
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An article in Forbes, sometime in the mid-seventies, impressed me as a fresh-out engineer. The Forbes author pointed out that the basic difference between attorneys and engineers was that engineers worked to make the pie bigger for everyone; attorneys worked to cut the pie into smaller and smaller slices.

Bob Lacovara
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re: Lawyers & engineers: too many, too few, just right?
Bob Lacovara   6/21/2011 9:01:16 PM
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Ah, Steven, relax. Most of the hue and cry against attorneys is founded in plain old jealousy, as most attorneys are perceived to be wealthy. Some smaller part is generated by the remarkably slime-like actions of some criminal defense lawyers, who, whether or not one agrees that everyone must have a defense, still look like some lower form of life. But from engineers, a lot of the bad press comes from the fact that every time we have to deal with the company's lawyers, it's just another tax on our time. We have lots of taxes on our time, but the legal crew are an easy target.

resistion
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re: Lawyers & engineers: too many, too few, just right?
resistion   6/21/2011 6:41:58 PM
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I would steer my kid into law rather than engineering, especially anything to do with silicon.

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