For Fish & Richardson, the Scott Harris saga is a dark chapter in firm history. Harris, readers of this column will recall, is the former Fish principal fired by the firm when it was revealed that his patents were being asserted against some big companies. In the ensuing litigation, Fish accused Harris of committing a “stunning betrayal”: hatching plans to sue technology companies—some of them Fish clients—while he was still employed by the firm.
Compare the strong response to Harris’s transgressions with the firm's reaction to the activities of Choongsoo Park, a former associate in Fish’s Washington, D.C. office who departed last year.
While still a Fish employee, Park acquired rights to several patents that he claims cover CDMA2000, a widely used for standard for cell phones, and 802.11, the protocol used for wireless Internet connections. He also created a holding company, SPH America, to assert those patents.
After Park's departure, his former colleagues quickly took him on as a client, helping him enforce his patents by representing SPH America in two district court lawsuits, as well as high-stakes litigation before the International Trade Commission. (Documents from the SPH America ITC complaint available at Oblon, Spivak's ITC Blog.)