Boston-Area Patent Attorney
"Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word, before you let it fall."
- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes
This sage advice, offered by Justice Holmes about a century ago, matches Bob's approach to drafting and prosecuting patent applications. A patent attorney, advisor and advocate must persuade an examiner to allow a patent application via his/her prose. Bob takes pride in the quality of his writing and other communication, for which he received numerous awards as a journalist; this website, blog and linked patents provide samples in the context of patent practice. And the results speak for themselves in terms of a high patent allowance rate and praise from clients.
Before founding Modern Times Legal in 2007, Bob was trained in legal analysis and writing at Duke Law School and benefited from eleven years of consistent immersion in patent law practice, both in a mid-size patent specialty firm and in a giant international general-practice firm. As a registered patent attorney, Bob provides legal counseling, patent drafting and international prosecution for a couple of the world's top universities and for innovative companies in a range of fields.
Among the inventors on applications prosecuted by Bob are a couple of inductees into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and a recipient of the Charles Stark Draper Prize, the highest honor awarded by the National Academy of Engineering, as well as an inventor who was offered funding on the popular BBC television show, Dragon's Den; and products covered by patents that Bob has secured include at least one that was recognized in Time Magazine's 2006 annual report on the year's top inventions and one that is now the subject of an exhibit at the Museum of Science in Boston, shown below (Bob with sons).
As a recognized expert in patent drafting, Bob has been invited by the World Intellectual Property Organization [the UN agency that administers the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) among other functions] and the African Regional Intellectual Property Office to participate as an instructor at their first two Patent Drafting Workshops in Harare, Zimbabwe in September 2007 and in Addis Ababas, Ethiopia in December 2008. Since then, Bob has taught at two more Patent Drafting Workshops in Zimbabwe (2009 and 2011), as well as in Windhoek, Namibia (2010); Bangkok, Thailand (2012); Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (2013); and Ahmedabad, India (2013); Jakarta, Indonesia (2014); and Ha Noi, Vietnam (2014). Bob also was one of a four-member team of international patent experts who jointly authored a patent exercise workbook for WIPO.
Bob also lectured on international patenting as an invited speaker at the 1st International Congress on Ceramics in Toronto, Canada; and he was a co-author, producing a section covering patent issues, in a related publication, Global Roadmap for Ceramics and Glass Technology, Wiley (2007). Bob also has made presentations on patent law as an invited speaker at meetings of the New England Section of the American Ceramic Society (an organization that he chaired in 2005 and 2006) and of the New England Chapter of the International Microelectronics and Packaging Society.
Additionally, Bob has authored the following published articles: "Updated Summary and Analysis of the Patent Act of 2005", IP Frontline (August 20, 2005); "Invention Disclosures--What to Capture from the Spark of Invention", IP Litigator (May/June 2005); "Protection of Intellectual Property in China", SMT Magazine (June 2004); and "The On-Sale Bar to Patentability and the Specter of Reduction to Practice", Intellectual Property Today (October 1998). Most of Bob's recent authorship on patent issues is now posted on his patent blog.
Bob has also been active in pro bono legal efforts. In addition to his service as a patent-drafting instructor for the World Intellectual Property Organization, Bob has represented numerous victims in court and advocated for restraining orders via the Domestic Violence Project and the Rape Survivors' Law Project at his previous firm.
Bob received his B.S., magna cum laude, in ceramic (materials science) engineering from Clemson University in 1993 and earned his J.D. from Duke University School of Law in 1996. At Argonne National Laboratory, Bob fabricated high-temperature superconductors for a current lead device that set a world-record for current-carrying capacity; that effort earned him a Laboratory Director's Award at Argonne.