W. Keith Robinson

Keith W. Robinson

Full-time faculty

Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor, Co-Director of the Tsai Center for Law, Science and Innovation and Associate Professor of Law

"Through the patent and trademark clinic, our students will learn substantive skills and have the opportunity to expand their understanding of intellectual property law. Further, the clinic will provide the law school with the ability to strengthen its relationship with the growing start-up and entrepreneurial community in Dallas."

Biography

W. Keith Robinson joined SMU Dedman School of Law in 2011. Before SMU, Professor Robinson was an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School. Professor Robinson teaches and writes in the areas of property, intellectual property, patent law, and technology law. His current research focuses on analyzing the challenges small firms face in obtaining patent rights in the U.S. Patent system. He has written or lectured on patent lawsuit avoidance, the patenting of business methods, joint infringement and the USPTO's examination guidelines. One of Professor Robinson's recent articles appeared in the American University Law Review. The article was judged one of the best law review articles related to intellectual property law published in 2012 and was reprinted in the 2013 Intellectual Property Law Review.

Professor Robinson practiced law at Foley and Lardner LLP as a member of the electronics practice group in Washington, D.C.  He assisted clients in various areas of patent law including counseling through negotiations, opinions, prosecution and strategic IP issues including evaluating emerging technology.

Professor Robinson has counseled clients in a variety of technical areas including computer software, consumer electronics, display technology, signal processing, telecommunications, wireless communications, network architecture, application specific electronic devices, semiconductor devices and manufacturing, data mining, search technology, vehicle safety systems, RFID technology, Internet applications and business methods.

Before practicing law, Professor Robinson was a technology consultant for Ernst & Young LLP and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young LLC. He counseled clients on software development processes, developed customized software solutions and designed and implemented web application architectures.
Professor Robinson is a graduate of Duke University School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2004). He holds a degree in electrical engineering from the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering (B.S. 1999). While attending law school, Professor Robinson served in the Duke Law Community Enterprise Clinic, where he provided counseling on copyright and trademark protection and advised entrepreneurial clients on business formation.

Professor Robinson is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, Virginia, and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Areas of Expertise

  • Patent Law
  • Law and Technology
  • Intellectual Property

Education

B.S.E., Duke University School of Engineering
J.D., cum laude,  Duke University School of Law

Courses

Property
Intellectual Property
Intellectual Property & Business Organizations
Technology, Innovation and Law—Designing Legal Apps


 

Books

Acing Intellectual Property: A Checklist Approach to Solving Intellectual Property Problems, 1st ed. (West Academic 2018).

Articles

Emerging Technologies Challenging Current Legal Paradigms, __ Minn. J. of Law, Sci. & Tech. __ (forthcoming 2018).
 
Trade Secrets, Safe Harbors, and International Trade, 20 SMU Sci. & Tech. L. Rev. 177 (2017).

Patent Assertion Entities, Reasonable Royalties, and a Restitution Perspective, 36 Rev. Litig. Brief 46 (2016).

Awarding Attorney Fees and Deterring “Patent Trolls”, 20 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 281 (2016).
 
Economic Theory, Divided Infringement and Enforcing Interactive Patents, 67 Florida L. Rev. 1961 (2016).

Only a Pawn in the Game: Rethinking Induced Patent Infringement, 32 Santa Clara H. Tech. L. J. 1 (Lead article) (2015).

Recent Developments in Intellectual Property Law‑A 2014 Retrospective, 31 Santa Clara H. Tech. L. J. 527 (2015) (with David O. Taylor).

Patent Law Challenges for the Internet of Things, 15 Wake Forest J. Bus. & Intell. Prop. L. 655 (2015) (invited symposium contribution).

Protecting America’s Innovators - Combating the Decline of Patents Granted to Small Entities, 88 St. John’s L. Rev. 379 (2014).

A Case Study of Federal Circuit Policy Making, 66 SMU L. Rev. 579 (2013).

No “Direction” Home: An Alternative Approach to Joint Infringement, 62 Am. U. L. Rev. 59 (2012).

Ramifications of Joint Infringement Theory on Emerging Technology Patents, 18 Tex. Intell. Prop. L. J. 335 (Lead Article) (2010).

Publications

USPTO Issues Supplementary Examination Guidelines Explaining the Requirement for Clarity in Patent Claims, Science|Business, March 14, 2011 (with R.F. Henschel, partner Foley & Lardner LLP).

Current and Potential Methods to Undermine a Competitor's U.S. Patent Application, 81 Patent, Trademark, & Copyright Journal 770, (2011) (with M. Aamir Haq).

Presentations

Invited Speaker, Emerging Technologies Challenging Current Legal Paradigms, Faculty Development Talk, Wake Forest University, Wake Forest, NC (March 29, 2018).
 
Presenter, Register Right: The ABCs of Protecting Your IP, SXSW Startup & Tech Sectors Track, Austin, TX (March 13, 2018)
 
Invited Panelist, The Legal Landscape of the Internet of Things, Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology Symposium, Minneapolis, MN (March 2, 2018).
 
Invited Panelist, Strategies and Support for Persons of Color in New Law Teaching, 2018 AALS Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA (January 4, 2018).

Presenter, Emerging Technologies Challenging Current Legal Paradigms, International Conference on New Paradigms in Law, National Chengchi University College of Law, Taiwan (December 4-5, 2017). 
 
Presenter, Patent Quality and Claim Clarity, Intellectual Property Scholars Conference, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (August 11, 2017).
 
Presenter, Access to the Patent System, Race + IP, Boston College, Boston, MA (April 21, 2017).

Presenter, Process and Product Patents: New Data & Results, PatCon 7, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, Chicago, IL (April 7, 2017).
 
Presenter, Patent Quality and Patent Enforcement, Junior Intellectual Property Scholars Association Semi-Annual Workshop, Michael E. Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH (January 21, 2017).

Invited Speaker, Trade Secrets, Safe Harbors, and International Trade, Intellectual Property Transpacific Conference, Vietnam National University, University of Economics and Law, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (December 7, 2016).
 
Moderator, Are Patent Agents Privileged: In re Queen University (Fed. Cir. 2016) v. In re Silver (2016) 54th Annual Conference on Intellectual Property Law, Plano, TX (November 15, 2016).
 
Invited Speaker, Recent Developments in Intellectual Property Law, 24th Annual Corporate Counsel Symposium, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (October 28, 2016).
 
Co-Chair, Intellectual Property and Social Justice, 13th Annual Symposium on Emerging Intellectual Property Issues, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (September 30, 2016).
 
Invited Commentator, A Restitution Perspective on Reasonable Royalties, The Conference on Patent Damages, The University of Texas Law School, Austin, TX (June 9-10, 2016)
 
Commentator, Dividing the Spoils: Fair Division and Intellectual Property Law,
PatCon 6, Boston College Law School, Newton Centre, MA (April 8, 2016).

Commentator, Inaugural Texas A&M Intellectual Property Scholars Roundtable, Texas A&M Law School, Fort Worth, TX (October 9-10, 2015).

Rethinking Induced Patent Infringement
Presenter
Texas Legal Scholars Workshop
University of Houston Law Center
Houston, TX (August 28-29, 2015)

Patent Quality and Claim Clarity
 
Intellectual Property Scholars Conference
DePaul University College of Law
Chicago, IL (August 6, 2015)

Divided Infringement

AIPLA Electronic & Computer Law Patent Summit
Dallas, TX (June 16, 2015)

Media

Other

Works in Progress:

Process and Product Patents: New Data and Results
 
Independent patent claims provide a detailed description of the invention protected by the patent. Generally, each independent claim in a patent may be one of three types: a process claim (claiming a method or a process), a product claim (claiming a machine, manufacture or product), or a product-by-process claim (claiming a product by the method used to manufacture the product). Patents typically comprise more than one independent claim—often of different types. The relative shares of the different types of independent claims thus provides an indicator of the type of invention or innovation that is protected by the patent: predominantly a process or predominantly a product.
 
In this paper, we use natural language processing tools to categorize claims in USPTO patents (from 1976 through 2015) as either process claims, product claims, or product-by-process claims. We follow patent drafting rules and conventions to develop software that algorithmically identifies a patent claim as belonging to one of these categories. To assess the precision of our approach, we have constructed a golden-standard sample with close to 10,000 independent
patent claims that were manually categorized by individuals on Amazon Mechanical Turk.

We provide data both at the claims level and at the patent level. Using data at the claims level, we document and describe the composition of patents (with respect to the shares of process and product claims) over time and across different technology classes and industries. At the patent level, we document and describe the distribution of patents (i.e., comprising predominantly process claims vs. product claims) for different industries and firms over time and across technology classes.
 
Judicial Patent Enforcement
 
Patent stakeholders focus a great deal of attention, time, and effort on challenges related to patent acquisition.  This focus is evidenced by the popularity of yearly patent statistics lauding companies that have acquired the most patents that year in emerging technology areas.  This paper argues that we should devote more attention to how the patent system is enforcing emerging technology patents.  Specifically, how the Federal Circuit has expanded the circumstances in which an interactive patent can be infringed.  I suggest that pointing our lens in that direction may contribute more to our understanding of the patent system then counting granted patents.