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For Washington, D.C.’s Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner, the task was how to design a Web site that would attract broad interest while staying close to the firm’s single-minded focus on intellectual property law. This straightforward yet attractive site is mostly successful. Notably, www.finnegan.com provides immediate links to all IP-related decisions of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; a monthly newsletter summarizing that circuit’s cases; and a set of links to IP resources across the Web. The descriptions of the firm’s technical practice areas are written sharply and concisely. It’s clear that the firm wants to use the site to reinforce its reputation as one of the United States’ leading IP firms. However, the site could be improved. First, I found no e-mail addresses for the firm’s lawyers; that’s pretty inexcusable at a firm that promotes itself as full of Internet-savvy attorneys. Is the firm afraid that its lawyers will receive too many e-mails? Second, the site touts a feature called “Charlie’s Corner,” which highlights recent events at the Patent and Trademark Office, but there’s nothing in that column more recent than November 1999. Finally, the latest edition of the Federal Circuit newsletter is July 2000. In the era of “Internet time,” that’s a bit late.

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