undue-dili-cover.jpgThis summer I went on vacation for a few days to get away from the office, computers, and patent law.  Yet I couldn’t help but to bring a little work with me.  Only this time it wasn’t something I could bill a few hours for; it was the thriller Undue Diligence written by Paul Haughey, with Joe Nile as the patent attorney hero.

I must admit I would never have thought that a patent attorney, doing his job could be a hero.  At the time, the only other fictional character I knew who is a patent attorney is Calvin’s dad in the comic strip Calvin & Hobbes.  Now, there is a small but growing genre of IP-related fictional thrillers (see “A Patent Lie”).

The author, Paul Haughey is a patent attorney with Townsend and Townsend and Crew with experience as a managing partner and an electrical engineer (and apparently a proclivity for April Fools stunts but that’s not something we’d do around here).  Undue Diligence is Paul’s first novel.

As the story unfolds, Joe Nile’s client doesn’t pay his bill — which is more like a Stephen King novel — after losing a patent infringement trial just a few days before Joe’s partnership vote.  He gets reassigned to work for the client’s competitor although we have to wonder about any possible conflicts of interest.

The next few weeks are a roller coaster ride as Joe gets pulled one way then another all while trying to maintain his professional integrity and help his client survive the murky waters of patent infringement and bringing a product to market.  But something isn’t quite right, it seems like someone is pulling all the strings to bring his life and law firm crashing down.  Can Joe help is client to bring their product to market to stop a strange deadly virus that is rapidly spreading before it is too late?

The story starts slowly at first with no clear indication of who the main players are and how everything is connects.  As it progresses the pace picks up and we are in for a wild ride.  The author does a good job explaining the subtleties of law firm politics and how they influence the plot.  The only fault line in this story is that the patent law explanations can seem a little forced, almost as though they were put in after the fact.  Overall, it was a fun book to read with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing how it turns out.

Undue Diligence is available through Amazon here.

Today’s post comes from Guest Barista Scott Conley, a registered patent agent in Frost Brown Todd’s Cincinnati office.

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  1. […] to Patent Baristas for reminding me that Calvin’s dad (of Calvin and Hobbes) was a patent attorney. Good […]