Call him the anti-patent troll. A co-inventor of the Internet, Robert Kahn has pursued a series of visionary patents over the last 20 years. But he has little interest in leveraging his patents for cash, he says. Instead, Kahn’s goal is more altruistic — using his ideas “to help build a coherent national information infrastructure.”
To do so, Kahn, 67, formed the nonprofit Corporation for National Research Initiatives in 1986. As he set about obtaining patents for what he describes as “some fairly fundamental things related to carrying out tasks on the Internet,” he realized that he needed a patent lawyer. And in 1991, an old friend of Kahn’s introduced the inventor to Fish & Richardson partner David Feigenbaum. The 58-year-old attorney had the expertise Kahn needed — Feigenbaum specializes in patents related to computers, microprocessors, software and Internet business methods, for clients ranging from Intel Corp. to small start-ups.
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