36 von 40 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
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In "A Patent Lie," by Paul Goldstein, forty-seven year old attorney Michael Seeley is a solo practitioner in his hometown of Buffalo, New York. He has a part-time receptionist, his office is a dump, and he handles "nickel and dime cases." On a chilly autumn day, his younger brother, Leonard, whom he hasn't seen in nine years, stops by to see him. Since Leonard lives in San Francisco, where he works as the chief medical officer for a small biotech company, this is not a casual visit. For weeks, Leonard has been leaving Michael frantic messages. It seems that Leonard's employer, Vaxtek, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against a giant Swiss drug producer, St. Gall. The trial is scheduled to begin in three weeks, and Robert Pearsall, Vaxtek's lead attorney, has suddenly died, an apparent suicide. Leonard wants his brother to take over this important case, since the company's financial health and his own portfolio could be seriously affected by the result of the litigation.
Michael has problems of his own. Before moving back to Buffalo, he was employed by a New York corporate law firm, and although he won his share of cases, he was not happy. Lonely and deeply depressed, he found refuge in drinking, and eventually descended into alcoholism. He barely escaped disbarment, and is now staying sober one day at a time. Why risk what he has fought so hard to achieve by getting involved in a high-profile and potentially stressful trial? In addition, Michael has no desire to reconnect with Leonard, since seeing him inevitably brings back horrible memories of the two young boys cowering in fear while their drunken bully of a father stormed through the house. When he was only fifteen, Michael left home for good, and he has no desire to revisit the past or bond with what is left of his family. He cares about Leonard, but does not trust his brother, who "never stopped manipulating people and events to get what he wanted." Against his better judgment, Michael agrees to fly out to San Francisco and try the case with the assistance of a team that includes a young attorney named Chris Palmieri. Soon, however, he notices some anomalies that trouble him. He begins to suspect that the lawyers and administrators who work for Vaxtek and St. Gall may be concealing vital information. Michael eventually comes to regret his decision to leave his sleepy little practice back east in Buffalo.
"A Patent Lie" is an intelligent legal thriller with a colorful cast: Michael is a crafty lawyer with sharp instincts; this case will test not only his professional ability but also his idealism, tenacity, and courage. Thirty-six year old Lily Warren is a vaccine researcher and former colleague of the supposed inventor of the AIDS vaccine, the pompous and obnoxious Alan Steinhardt. Seely is attracted to the brilliant and beautiful Warren, but he senses that she is withholding critical facts that could affect the trial's outcome. Judy, Robert Pearsall's distraught wife, is convinced that her husband was murdered, and she urges Michael to look into the circumstances surrounding his death. District Judge Ellen Farnsworth is a no-nonsense type; she has little patience with anyone who tries to cross her. Joel Warshaw, the owner of Vaxkek, is a wily and venal entrepreneur who buys and sells companies for profit. After meeting him, Seely is convinced that the amoral Warshaw would sink to any depths in order to enrich himself.
This is an engrossing and complex courtroom drama that requires close concentration, since there are intricate scientific and legal issues at stake. Seely is no fool, and after bringing himself up to speed and interviewing Judy Pearsall and Lily Warren, he realizes that he may be missing the forest for the trees. Something does not compute, and Michael is determined to find out what it is. Both he and Lily must decide whether to play along with what may be corporate malfeasance or risk their reputations and lives opposing a group of powerful and ruthless men. This is your classic David vs. Goliath story and it is well told. For the most part, the author avoids phony theatrics and formulaic plot devices. The courtroom scenes are instructive and absorbing, and Goldstein wraps up his narrative satisfyingly. "A Patent Lie" will appeal to audiences of legal thrillers that rely on ideas and personalities rather than silly twists and turns, mindless violence, and steamy sex scenes. Goldstein does not go for the glitz, but instead focuses on what happens when clever lawyers and those who employ them act selfishly and callously, ignoring the needs of those who are unable to stand up for themselves.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
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Just finished this book today. I'm not sure if I devoured this book so quickly because of its story or because I'm a patent attorney (perhaps a little of both). The story and plot twists to me are almost worthy of Grisham, as is the explanations of patent law "to the masses". The characters themselves seem to be a little stereotypical, and for those patent attorneys who think this book makes them heroes, think again. The only patent attorney character given a voice in this book comes across initially as somewhat conceited, and later as barely ethical (he admits to following a client's order to not submit art to the USPTO "that would be material to an examiner"- a disciplinary risk that no patent attorney I know would take without subsequently withdrawing from the case, which this patent attorney does not do), although he does redeem himself.
I found it surprising that no mention is made of any Markman hearing (a hearing used for claim construction, i.e., to determine what the claims of a patent really mean), common to many patent trials. To me, claim construction is central to a determination of validity and even inventorship (both of which are key issues here). Without a determination of what patent's claims mean, you don't really know what "the invention" is and thus I fail to see how you can say if a claim is valid, whether it was obvious (an issue also discussed much during the trial), or that a certain person was the sole inventor on all claims, etc. However, this level of detail might make the book very difficult for many readers to follow (although not having it may dissappoint the patent attorneys reading it).
Frankly, I can barely recall any mention of patent claims at all, although the basics of prosecution are covered well. The trial at the heart of the book seems less about infringement and more about invalidity and/or priority of invention, and possibly inventorship. It is also a nice study in how to conduct (and not conduct) cross examination, how to prepare witnesses (and how not to), how to read unspoken body language of opposing counsel, etc. Here, the author's own litigation experience shines through and gives the book a realism that is educational while also being exciting.
My only complaint is about the female characters. Being a woman, I'm probably going to feel more strongly about this than other reviewers. The females in this book simply don't sound or talk that realistically, and seem to be too unguarded and open with Seeley, even upon knowing him only a few minutes. This is a failing common to the author's previous book (Errors and Omissions, which I recently read, too). Specifically, when the author introduces a female character, she will almost always be immediately attracted to Micheal Seeley, the lead character. He's described as attractive, in his 40's (I think), and having the build of an ex-football palyer, but not on a level of a Tom Brady, Brad Pitt, where any woman would go gaga and/or out of her way to help him or be ar ound him (or at least I would). Other than the character's estranged wife (in the first novel), almost every female character seems to be flirting with Seeley, coming on to him, etc., and right away, too. Even the ones not flirting or attempting to seduce Seeley all like him and go out of their way to help him. I don't get it, because what is given about his personality in both novels, especially upon first meeting, leaves a lot to be desired. He is, most of the time, very direct and lawyerly (not necessarily in a good way), often pre-occupied, and not especially thoughtful (although he does care deeply about the legal issues he's addressing). He is repeatedly clueless about how to act with and be with women, and readily admits it, so I just don't get his seeming animal magnetism.
Still a great read, though, but hopefully future novels will have more realistic female characters.