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NAME AND TITLE: Mary E. Doyle, senior vice president and general counsel GRAFFITI ARTISTS: Palm Inc., a leader in the hand-held computer industry, got its start in 1992 when Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky, respectively veterans of Intel Corp. and Apple Computer Inc., joined forces. Ed Colligan, of the short-lived Mac-clone manufacturer Radius, joined them the next year, and the enterprise entered the marketplace with the handwriting-recognition software Graffiti. Modem manufacturer U.S. Robotics bought the company in 1995, and Palm introduced the PalmPilot handheld organizational device in 1996; the Internet-capable Palm VII followed in 1999. U.S. Robotics was acquired by 3Com Corp., which spun off Palm as a separate company in 2000. Palm in turn spun off its licensing end in 2003, creating a company called PalmSource, and changed its own name to palmOne. It changed its name back to Palm in 2005. The company is based in Sunnyvale, Calif., and employs more than 1,100 people. Palm’s top-of-the-line product is the Treo “smartphone.” Overall sales for the year ending in May were almost $1.58 billion, a 24% increase from the year before. PATENT WARS: During the summer, Palm announced that it would pay $22.5 million to Xerox Corp. to settle a patent infringement suit filed in 1997 over the Graffiti technology, which Xerox alleged infringed on its Unistrokes patent. More recently, Arlington, Va.-based NTP followed its $612.5 million infringement settlement with BlackBerry device manufacturer Research in Motion Ltd. by filing a similar claim against Palm. Doyle offered no comment on the case, but the company said in a written statement earlier this year that it would vigorously defend the action. ROUTE TO PRESENT POSITION: Doyle holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 1978 and joined Los Angeles-based Manatt, Phelps & Phillips as a litigator. In 1984, she joined Teledyne Inc., eventually rising to the post of general counsel for the aerospace and electronics division. She was hired as general counsel at General Magic Inc., now defunct, in 1996. She moved to Palm in April 2003. “I think what drove me in-house was my interest in business. I am very committed to the collaborative process necessary to producing product for customers of a business. That’s a very exciting process to me,” she said. DAILY DUTIES: Doyle’s day consists of “back-to-back meetings with members of the executive staff-I consider myself friend and counselor to them all-and then with members of my team and their business clients with outside counsel, and with my own administrative staff as I drive the strategic agenda of the department.” Edward T. Colligan is Palm’s president and chief executive officer. LEGAL TEAM AND OUTSIDE COUNSEL: Doyle is one of seven attorneys in the department, among them a specialist in intellectual property defensive claims and litigation, including patent cases. Another attorney oversees patent strategy. The company has three attorneys abroad-two overseeing legal issues in the Asia-Pacific region and a contract attorney in Germany. “We rely heavily on outside counsel,” Doyle said. “Our work allocation strategy is based on the relative cost of doing a project inside or out.” Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati of Palo Alto, Calif., “is our No. 1 go-to when it comes to corporate and securities work. We also look to them for a variety of other contract and IP support,” Doyle said. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, DLA Piper and Palo Alto-based Cooley Godward Kronish handle the contracting work. Fenwick & West of Mountain View, Calif., lends trademark, IP and other support. “We employ the services of a variety of patent firms, including Fenwick, but specifically smaller firms when looking for the kinds of resources that we need to fuel our patent-prosecution strategy,” Doyle said. “We do have a very highly developed patent-prosecution strategy so that we can be defensive primarily, but offensive, should it come to that, in the exploitation of our patent assets.” SHE CONTINUED: “Litigation is typically outsourced. That would often be true also of patent prosecutions. We innovate in a variety of areas, many different areas on the hardware side, on the firmware side and on the software side, so we look to people with different areas of expertise and experience to support our patent-prosecution effort. We don’t generally find that you can locate all of those requirements in a single firm.” THE LANDSCAPE: “The whole area of patent litigation is evolving and presenting ever increasing challenges to corporate defendants, and in particular, technology companies,” Doyle said. “I think that, as a consequence, it is very important for in-house legal departments to develop specific expertise, not so much at the patent-prosecution level, but at the patent-strategy level, and it’s important also for general counsel to increase their awareness of this challenge. It has been developing, I believe, for at least five years and is highlighted by a number of risks. One, the rise of the patent troll, a term coined by someone who is now considered one of them.” Historically, patent portfolios have been developed as defensive, not offensive, assets. Theoretically, “if they developed patents and they assert them against you, it’s because they have been developing products in similar areas. So you then should be able to assert your patents against them and the products that spawned their portfolio. Then each of us, assuming the Patent Office is doing its job, should have an invention that is unique to us and presumably our product or at least our class of products. If another of our competitors were to proceed against us because they have a patent that they think might implicate one of our products, more likely than not, one of their products will implicate one of our patents.” She said that a study undertaken by a Silicon Valley company concluded that the standard desktop computer theoretically is subject to as many as 10,000 patents-and that if each patent holder demanded a cut, “clearly there wouldn’t be any profit left for anyone, and so, ultimately, no product.” Doyle believes it’s probably up to Congress to sort out these issues. “I do not believe the current patent laws take into account the rapid evolution of technology and innovation nor the fact that we have court-enhanced patent opportunities, shall we say.” BEST ADVICE SHE’S BEEN GIVEN: “Don’t hesitate to catch the next wave.”

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