Gregory Len is a Partner and Registered Patent Attorney with Troutman Pepper. A proven litigator, Greg guides clients in patent litigation, patent prosecution, and licensing. Clients trust his experience and technical knowledge to handle all aspects of patent litigation, from discovery disputes, to claim construction issues and trial.
Greg leverages his robust technical background, including an advanced degree in mechanical engineering and hands-on experience working as an engineer at a clean tech company, to connect with clients and guide them through the litigation process. Clients rely on Greg’s pragmatic, common sense approach to help solve their business and legal challenges, which enables them to maintain focus on driving their business.
Greg represents clients in a wide range of technological fields, including software, image processing, automotive components, semiconductors, and medical devices. Greg has participated in, and managed, multiple trials before the International Trade Commission representing both complainants and respondents in Section 337 investigations and federal district courts.
Greg also prosecutes patent applications in the high-tech arena and handles various aspects of IP due diligence and licensing. His counseling and patent prosecution practice includes experience in fuel cell devices, wind turbines, photovoltaics, medical devices, power generation and distribution, and consumer products.
Before practicing law, Greg worked as a controls engineer for a clean tech fuel cell company. His experience includes the development of a distributed power generation product, as well as prototype automotive power systems utilizing partial oxidation reformers and small scale steam reformers to generate hydrogen.
Greg continues to build on and share his 20+ years of experience in clean tech by volunteering as the Northeast judging co-chair for Clean Tech Open, the oldest and largest clean tech startup accelerator program in the country.
Autonomous vehicles are paving the way as the next big innovation in personal transportation. With new technology, first comes the excitement of breakthroughs in any industry. Then comes the patent litigation arguments over who owns the technology and who can profit off the patents related to the technology. We are seeing this pattern again and perhaps the beginning of the self-driving cars patent wars. Earlier this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the patentability of all challenged claims in a patent held by Velodyne LiDAR, Inc., one of just a handful of companies that makes LiDAR (light detection and ranging) systems for self-driving cars.
Many universities recognize the value of their patent portfolios and the need to protect their intellectual property rights from unlicensed and unfair use. When licensing negotiations break down, universities generally seek to enforce their rights in U.S. district courts, but overlook a potentially more favorable forum: the United States International Trade Commission (ITC). The ITC is a unique patent forum with experienced judges, defined patent rules, and statutory mandates to provide a timely resolution. More importantly, the ITC was designed protect U.S. industries, including the research and development performed at universities. This is not a hypothetical exercise: one university recently utilized the ITC, blazing a path that others can follow. As explained below, more universities should follow suit.
Recently, in In Re: Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) further defined the level of control a defendant must exercise over an in-district agent to establish patent venue – i.e., where a case can be filed. The Federal Circuit held that the requisite control a principal must establish over its alleged agent in order to establish venue is “interim control”: day-to-day control over the manner of carrying out the specific actions for which the alleged agency relationship exists. Accordingly, in reversing the lower court, the Federal Circuit held that the dealerships in question were not agents of Hyundai or Volkswagen for the purposes of selling cars to consumers and providing warranty services.
The core business model of energy producers and providers does not traditionally create significant patent litigation risk. Despite the complexity of the modern energy grid, the basic business and technology of energy generation has not changed significantly in the past 100 years. However, new programs, including residential demand response, executed via smart home appliances and controls, may expose utility companies to increased liability. Demand response programs allow utility providers to reduce grid load and energy pricing by offering customers pricing incentives to reduce energy usage during times of peak demand…. While such programs have been generally available for commercial customers, recently, demand response opportunities for residential customers have been expanding. Where these residential demand response programs allow energy providers to directly control, through the internet, consumers’ smart thermostats and appliances, energy providers may be exposed to patent liability.