by: Adam Saxon | February 26, 2018

Hello Dominion Harbor nation,

I’m proud to say I’m the newest member of the Dominion Harbor team here in Dallas, and for my maiden post I thought that I’d share a bit of my background, how I got into the patent industry, and some observations regarding the patent space.  I’m also happy to share that I passed the USPTO Registration Examination (on my first try) last week, and with all things “patent bar” having been top of my mind for a while, I offer some perspectives on the exam for those considering taking it.

I’ve been working in the patent monetization space since 2010.  My initial job after SMU Dedman law school (having passed the Texas bar exam) was working for Erich Spangenberg and David Pridham at IP Navigation Group in Dallas.  This was a great first job for an IP-focused law school graduate because I was immediately exposed to all facets to patent monetization—from diligencing potential patent acquisitions, to conducting extensive technical research, to assisting our clients’ counsel prepare for trial.

The fact that I had been an engineer at Sprint for almost ten years prior to graduating law school, and had an affinity for technology in general, was a great benefit to my patent work, as many of the projects I worked on at IPNav, and later at IP Valuation Partners, involved telecommunications and networking in one form or another.

Fast forward to 2018, and I’m excited to be part of the team at Dominion Harbor and once again working with many of the team members I first partnered with years ago.  Going forward my goal is to actively contribute to Dominion Harbor’s already well-established success in generating measurable and material monetization value for its clients. (I’m also excited to finally get my hands their patent intelligence platform, IPedia – day one!)

I’d like to close with a few thoughts on the USPTO Registration Examination (the patent bar).  If you’ve read this far you might have observed that there was a period (about eight years) between my entering the patent space in 2010 and my passing the patent bar in 2018.  Rather than address why I waited so long to sit for the exam, I’d rather focus on why I recently (and finally) decided to pursue the patent bar.  The short answer is that, when working with patents, there is always more to learn, and I believe that if someone is continually learning within their professional vocation, then they will (or should) become better at their job.

Whether it be the law affecting patents (as passed by Congress or decided by the federal courts and/or the PTAB) or the technologies we use daily, everything that touches the patent space is constantly evolving.  Studying for the patent bar allowed me to methodically, over time, absorb a great deal of in-depth relevant patent-related information that I might not have otherwise accumulated (or at least accumulated to the degree or depth I aspired to).

The immediate payoff was two-fold—I not only attained the new knowledge, but I was also given the opportunity to become a USPTO registered patent attorney (that, after all, being the real goal of all that studying).  Having spent hours studying the MPEP and various USPTO internal training materials I found online, I came away with a greater sense of respect for the USPTO and the professionals who work there.

It occurs to me that there is likely not another agency across the whole of our government quite like the USPTO, and anyone who values validly obtained patent rights should be concerned whenever the USPTO and its mission become the subject of politicization and outside pressure from those with dubious agendas.