Patent attorneys are a diverse bunch so there’s no one definitive list for gift ideas.  Some litigators are always on the go — going to court, depositions and other meetings.  Others spend hours upon hours in their offices — generally, working at the computer.  Thus, we tried to come up with a list that is versatile and meant only to stimulate some ideas and discussion (and, no, we’re not going to suggest the EyeClops Night Vision Infrared Stealth Goggles).  So, sit back and take some time to look around to see what gifts you might like for the patent lawyer (or inventor or entrepreneur) on your list:

iphone.jpgThe iPhone $199 – Number one on the list has to be the Apple iPhone.   Yes, we know it requires a 2-year indentured servitude agreement with the evil overlord AT&T to use it but you can’t beat the functionality.  Besides the essentials like email, contacts and calendar, I have this stuffed with hundreds of songs, several audiobooks and even a couple of full movies (useful for long plane trips).  Don’t even get me started on podcasts.  This gift absolutely requires a visit to the Apple iPhone APP Store for downloading the best additions.  My newest?  Public Radio Tuner by American Public Radio.  Non-Mac alternative:  BlackBerry Storm.

icard.jpgiTunes Gift Card $50 – I’m against gift cards in general but if you’re going with an iPhone/iPod — or even if you’re not — you can’t go wrong with an iTunes card.  While I love all the great free podcasts, there are always items to purchase.  Alternative: Apple 1GB iPod Shuffle.

cole-pennys.jpgCole Haan Penny Air Loafers $211 – These are everything a patent attorney would want —  a sleek, classic penny loafer with patent leather, of course.  As one of my colleagues insisted, “shoes must be cute and functional!”  For the not-so-practical patent attorney, you can always go with Manolo Blahnik from Barneys.

60csx.jpgGarmin GPSMap 60CSx GPS $279 – This is perfect for the patent attorney.  It’s chock full of high tech and requires going outdoors to use it (for some much-needed exercise).  This is a device that can provide hours of geek fun just loading maps.  Hopefully, they will make it outside, too.  For those strapped in an automobile, try the Garmin nüvi 760 Bluetooth Portable GPS Automobile Navigator.

ecoist.jpgEcoist Limited Edition Candy Wrapper Hobo Handbag $176 –  One of my female colleagues said that she really likes eco-products and especially recommends the Ecoist handbags.  These are made from recycled candy wrappers, food packages, soda labels, subway maps, newspapers, and other waste-bound materials and turned into functional, durable and eye-catching handbags.  What’s not to love?

compasswatch.jpgTimex Expedition E-Compass Titanium Watch $111 -A watch that combines technology (an electronic compass) with titanium.  This is made for patent attorneys.  No more getting lost on the way to the break room.  Also, consider the Citizen Eco-Drive Women’s 300 Meter Professional Diver Watch.

oolong-tea.jpgTea of the Month Club $80 – OK, we love coffee (obviously) but patent attorneys are often under too much stress so some soothing tea is a really great refreshment.  Nothing calms the nerves like some freshly brewed loose leaf teas — greens, blacks, whites, oolongs, you name it.  I think the very best tea is Mariage Freres Marco Polo.  Can’t break the java addition? Try the Starbucks Coffee Collection.

laserkeyboard.jpgLaser Projection, USB Enabled Virtual Keyboard $179 – You can see the attraction already.  Lasers! USB! Virtual! I have no idea if this thing works but you’ve got to admit it certainly has gizmo panache. For the less adventuresome, try going for the new Kindle Wireless Reading Device.

powershot.jpgCanon PowerShot 8MP Digital Camera with Image Stabilized Zoom $159 –  There are plenty of cameras that take better pictures.  There are plenty of cameras that are small.  This one is a solid, reliable, and stylish point-and-shoot ultracompact digital camera that produces high-quality images.  It is not for Ansel Adams.  It is great for bloggers to keep in a pocket when out at meetings — or just pictures of the kids when out and about.  For more practicality, get your loved one to back up their important documents with a WD My Passport Essential 320 GB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive.  It’s for their own good.

wiifit.jpgWii Fit & 5 in 1 kit $279 -If you don’t mind looking silly on the the Wii Balance Board — and it requires a Wii console to play — this might just be what it takes to get you off the couch.  I haven’t tried this but it looks fun with lots of different activities, including aerobics, yoga, muscle stretches and balance oriented games.  When you’re ready to ramp things up, try the Kettler Racer GT Indoor Cycle Trainer.

That’s the list.  It’s a good place to start and applies equally well to lawyers, inventors and business folks alike.  Note, I was going to include a list of gifts for administrative assistants but, after some poking around, I found that it just set off a flamestorm over at Above the Law and corporette.  While I think any of the above gifts would be fine for assistants, too, the consensus seems to be that AmEx cards are best.  Please suggest your own preferences and gift ideas in the comments.

Also, check out last year’s Patently-O list.


Securing Innovation suggests saving some money and going with Manolo knock-offs.

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  1. Sadly the laser keyboard doesn’t work with the iPhone. Yes, I checked. I want one that does! A lack of a decent keyboard is the one drawback of the iPhone compared to the Blackberry.

  2. Great list! An unscientific survey of my office showed that the Leatherman multi-tools are really popular. For my secretary, cash.

  3. This is an excellent and thoughtful list. We respectfully suggest that at least one frivolous alternative should be offered, and therefore humbly nominate’s CDs of humorous, lawyer-created, law-related rock-and-roll songs: “Merry Lexmas From The Lawtunes,” “The Lawyer’s Holiday Humor Album,” “Legal Holidaze,” and “The Lawtunes: Live At Blackacre.” Thanks again and Happy (Legal) Holidays.

  4. How about a contribution to an evaporated 401K?

  5. […] Also, check out last year’s list here. […]