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NEW BOOK REVISITS THE "INSTANT CAMERAS PATENT WAR"

I am not sure that I have ever reviewed a book review before, but Donald Chisum and Janice Mueller  have written a thorough and thoughtful review of Ronald Fierstein’s  book, “A Triumph of Genius” recounting one of the major patent infringement suits of modern times, Polaroid v. Kodak, which encompassed about a decade spanning the late 70’s to the mid-80’s. Polaroid prevailed at the Fed. Cir., in 1986 and put Kodak out of the instant camera business.

My connection to this litigation was peripheral, to say the least, but it was emotionally tangible. Kenyon & Kenyon represented Kodak, and I joined the firm as an associate in 1981. Although I had fine mentoring, there were associates whom I did not meet until months after I started, since they had temporarily taken up residence in Boston, where the “D Mass.” suit was being tried.

Although the loss to Polaroid stunned the IP world, it didn’t slow down Kenyon & Kenyon’s growth–I recall that the senior associates who worked on the case “made partner” — or its ability to attract major litigation, and I was soon sucked into the “Cookie Wars” between Kenyon’s client Nabisco, and Frito-Lay et al. But someone else will have to write that book.

 

 

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