In this one I was engaged as a testifying expert for the plaintiff in an action for patent infringement in optical time-domain reflectometers (OTDRs) used for testing fibre-optic networks. As so often happens, the defendant petitioned the Patent Office for an inter partes review of the patents-in-suit, which I also assisted with. The most unusual feature of this one was the really ferocious protective order covering the defendants' source code--it had to be printed on blue paper, one hard copy only, no soft copy, and kept locked in a steel cabinet at all times when not actively in use.
I did an extensive review of the relevant parts of the source code to identify infringing features, and wrote a declaration in claim construction. The case settled soon afterwards.
In the spring of 2017, I was approached by lawyers from two technology companies working in civil avionics (instruments for airplanes). I can't say who they were due to NDA restrictions, but the job was an unusual and interesting one. The two companies had been joint development partners, but the relationship had soured and trust had now broken down completely. Both were concerned that the other was misusing intellectual property disclosed during the joint venture, and they asked me to do do an audit to see whether this was in fact true. The situation was made more complicated because one company was several hundred times as large as the other, and of course there was no court-ordered discovery and no one was under oath.
After interviewing engineers for both sides and visiting SmallCo's facility, I was able to report that SmallCo's development pattern was essentially unaltered following their interaction with BigCo, and that in fact there was no evidence that BigCo had actually transferred the IP they claimed to be most concerned about. (BigCo, like many large corporations, has a policy of deleting email archives more than a year or so old.)
Testifying defense expert representing Samsung in an action for patent infringement concerning optical storage, holographic optical elements, tracking servos, and signal integrity.
This was another fun one with a lot of reverse engineering. This time round I was working with the plaintiff, Industrial Technology Research Institute, which is a research lab owned by the Taiwanese government. It was an action for patent infringement in the focusing and tracking servos of optical disc drives, as well as in the arrangement of the laser sources. The patent claims at issue concerned the way the magnetic "voice coil" actuators simultaneously adjusted focus, tracking, and tilt, so I needed to take several of the accused products apart and run the head servos by themselves in my lab. I also had to cut apart some of the coils to show how they were wired, and decap the lasers to show that there were two chips side-by-side in the CD/DVD source and one in the BluRay source.
The case settled before the expert reports on infringement were due, apparently quite favourably to our side, though one usually doesn't hear the details.
Testifying expert representing ThinkOptics in an action for patent infringement concerning video games, specifically the human interface of the Nintendo Wii.
February 15, 2015: Settled after an inter partes re-examination.