Legal Ethics

Fish & Richardson Sues Ex-Partner Over Patent Inventions

Fish & Richardson has fired one of its partners and filed a lawsuit against him after he invented a new method for online page turning and sold it to a patent troll. The troll then sued Google, a firm client, for infringement.

The suit filed in Chicago claims ex-partner Scott Harris committed a “grave breach of his duties to his law firm,” the Recorder reports. Harris denies the allegations.

Harris “obtained a ‘portfolio’ of patents while a principal of Fish & Richardson by misusing firm resources and engaging in unauthorized legal work,” the suit alleges.

Harris then tried to profit from the patents, the suit says, “by offering them for sale to parties that Mr. Harris knew would file infringement actions against defendants that included his own firm’s clients.”

Harris told the Recorder that Fish & Richardson was aware he was an inventor, a pursuit he has followed since the age of 12. He also says no work was done on law firm time. “I brought millions of dollars of business and thousands of hours in billing to Fish,” Harris told the legal publication. “And now they make these allegations that have numerous serious inaccuracies.”

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