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Law — Microsoft Wins Court Battle At Least Locally

Aaron Katz of Chapin,

Shea Elected President

Of San Diego Bar Assn.

Its other, out-of-town legal matter has been making a bigger splash in the media, but Microsoft has also been squaring off with a North County firm in San Diego federal court.

The local office of Fish & Richardson P.C. announced it obtained a judgment in favor of Microsoft in a patent infringement lawsuit involving an ergonomic keyboard design.

TypeRight Keyboard Corp. of Encinitas sued Microsoft in San Diego federal court, saying the Microsoft Natural keyboard infringed five TypeRight patents on an ergonomic computer keyboard. TypeRight sought a court order stopping worldwide sales of the Microsoft Natural keyboard and demanded millions of dollars in damages.

On June 19, a federal judge granted summary judgment in favor of Microsoft, finding that two TypeRight ergonomic keyboard patents were invalid; the three remaining patents had been dismissed from the case earlier, in response to other motions filed by Microsoft.

John Gartman, a principal with Fish & Richardson and lead trial lawyer in the case, said part of his research involved traveling to three German cities to take depositions on the evolution of ergonomic keyboard design. Important work on ergonomic keyboards was done there in the 1980s, he said.

Based in Boston, Fish & Richardson specializes in intellectual property and technology law. It serves Southern California from its University City office.

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The Vote Is In: Aaron Katz, a civil litigation attorney and a shareholder with Downtown’s Chapin, Shea, McNitt and Carter, was elected president of the San Diego County Bar Association for 2001. The association’s board made the choice in mid-June. The association also picked Chris Todd as treasurer and Anita Margolis as secretary. Todd is a civil litigator with Downtown’s Wingert, Grebing, Brubaker & Ryan; Margolis has a solo practice in civil litigation and family law Downtown. Their terms begin Dec. 1.

Partner Moves Over: Pamela J. Naughton is joining Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP as a partner in its Downtown San Diego office, the Los Angeles-based firm announced. She has been an international partner at Baker & McKenzie in San Diego, which she joined in 1989. From 1981-87, Naughton was an assistant United States attorney in San Diego. While with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she tried numerous cases and argued more than a dozen appeals to the Ninth Circuit. She also co-tried U.S. v. Player, a murder case which marked the first time the Battered Women Syndrome defense was allowed in federal court.

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Beltway To Sun Belt: McKenna & Cuneo, LLP has announced that Michael A. Swit, formerly of the firm’s Washington, D.C., office, has moved to its San Diego office. Swit, who is of counsel to McKenna & Cuneo, is a member of the firm’s Food & Drug Department. In addition to his legal expertise, Swit has a background in drug and biotechnology-related business ventures.

Before rejoining McKenna & Cuneo in 1999, Swit was the president and CEO of

Washington Business Information, Inc., a publisher of FDA regulatory news and information products. He also served as vice president, general counsel and secretary of Pharmaceutical Resources, Inc., a publicly held manufacturer and marketer of generic prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Appellate Appellation: The state bar’s board of legal specialization has certified Ed Silverman, a partner at Downtown’s Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP, as a legal specialist in appellate law. Silverman’s appellate victory for Bleem Inc. was mentioned here recently.

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For Libraries: James Dawe, a shareholder in the Downtown firm of Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek, has been recognized for his work on behalf of libraries. The American Library Association and the Association for Library Trustees and Advocates named him to the first-ever National Advocacy Honor Roll, recognizing his contributions to the preservation of America’s libraries. Dawe is chair of Seltzer’s land use and environmental law group, and served as committee chair in support of the successful $350 million library bond issue on the March ballot.

Graves’ law column appears weekly. E-mail items to bgraves@sdbj.com.


Carlsbad Office Project Has $440K Price Tag

Pacific Interior Systems of San Diego has been selected to build out 25,000 square feet of office space for Fairchild Semiconductor in Carlsbad.

Greg Rogers, president, said the project at 2701 Loker Ave. in the Palomar Crest Corporate Center was designed by San Diego-based Cooper Roberts Bennett Commercial Design and consists of private offices, conference rooms and computer labs and is valued at $440,000.


Construction Firm Finishes Work on Hollywood Video

San Diego-based Simac Construction Inc. has finished building a 5,000-square-foot Hollywood Video store in Twenty-Nine Palms, a company official said.

Russell Stout & Associates of San Diego designed the stucco building, which features corner towers and exterior adobe walls, said Scott Mize, project manager.

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