The Bilski case is heading towards a resolution at the Supreme Court, and 44 amicus briefs already await the justices—with more to come.
One of those briefs is from Gary Odom. Odom is a litigation consultant who claims he invented, and now owns a patent on, the idea of customizable tool groups in software. He has sued Microsoft, and 28 smaller software companies, demanding royalties be paid to him.
Odom's amicus brief for the Bilski case has garnered some attention, owing to the fact that Odom seems to be claiming the brief is actually on behalf of the entire State of Oregon, where he resides. See the front page of the brief [pdf], which states "Brief For The State of Oregon." There's no other reference to the state anywhere in the brief, and no Oregon state lawyers are listed as coauthors.
In fact, no lawyers' names are in the brief at all. Odom is not an attorney, and his coauthor, Jordan Kuhn, is a Colorado patent agent. They describe themselves as "patent practitioners" and Odom also identifies himself as "an inventor and patent holder."
When TPA called Odom today, he wouldn't talk about the brief, saying only "I'm not available right now" before hanging up. Follow-up e-mails and phone calls to Odom and Kuhn went unreturned. In a blog post about Bilski, Odom works his way through a few scatological metaphors before calling his own brief "cogently potent in its brevity and conservatism."
Tony Green, a spokesman for the Oregon Attorney General, said no one in his office had heard of Odom's purported statewide representation before TPA called. "It is our preference that people accurately convey who they're writing an amicus brief on behalf of," says Green. "We neither authorized this or had any knowledge of it."
But Green wasn't overly concerned, since the Supreme Court's Bilski docket clearly states that the brief is on behalf of only Odom and Kuhn, not the state. "It's clear they understand who this is from," says Green.