Career Month: Not Patently Obvious: How the US Patent System Works

Join us to hear from intellectual property attorney, Ahsan Shaikh, JD'05. Ahsan will clear up misconceptions about intellectual property that many of us have and give us the skinny on some famous and infamous patents.


It’s all together common for people to confuse copyrights, patents, and trademarks, when talking about ways intellectual property (IP) is protected. These three forms of IP are, however, very different and have very different uses and benefits. This presentation will focus on the place and use of patents in this trinity of IP, and particularly on the requirements for obtaining a patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office. We’ll also discuss how the Constitution provides a legal basis for patent protection, some famous (and infamous) patents, identify the US’s biggest patent owners, and identify famous patent cases.

Ahsan A. Shaikh focuses his practice on strategic patent portfolio management and client counseling in the areas of software, computer hardware, internet technologies and medical devices. Ahsan is regularly called upon to:
•Determine whether a new feature, product or idea can and should be patented
•Apply the latest in analytics to improve examination efficiency, increase positive outcomes and reduce cost associated with prosecuting a portfolio of patent applications at the USPTO
•Assess the direction in which a company should take their patent portfolio
•Identify a competitor’s position and strength with respect to patents
•Evaluate a patent portfolio that is the subject of acquisition
•Provide advice on how to avoid infringing competitor/third party patents
•Audit a company’s intellectual property assets and processes

Intellectual Asset Magazine has identified Ahsan as a “World’s Leading Patent Professional”, stating that “[h]is clever application of analytics enables him to identify which arguments… are most effective before different examiners, making his advice gold dust to software companies.”

Leveraging his computer science background, Ahsan has successfully represented clients with technology in areas that include graphical user interfaces, data processing, data analytics, social networking, cloud storage and services, software as a service, web applications, online advertisements and advertisement exchanges, video games, 3D systems, e-commerce websites, network connectivity, network security, network protocols, embedded systems, sensor technology, mechanical and industrial design, semiconductor design, satellite and laser systems design, medical devices, medical device software, insurance systems and automobile design.

Ahsan speaks on issues related to software patents, computer hardware, the internet, open source, and the video game/interactive entertainment software industry. He has written several articles on the legal issues faced by the software and video game industries, including pieces published in Forbes, Bloomberg, the National Law Journal and the San Francisco Daily Journal. He has also been quoted on these topics in publications such as Variety Magazine and for Reuters.

Prior to practicing law, he gained practical computer industry experience in software coding and web development by working as a web designer.


Event Information

Cost: Free
Registration Required:


Wednesday, 11/29/17 at 12:00pm | iCal


12 PM CT Online, Webinar

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Event Contact
Lucie Sandel