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A Patent Lie [Kindle Edition]

Paul Goldstein
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

A gripping inside look at high-stakes lawyering, A Patent Lie is further evidence that Paul Goldstein is an emerging master of the legal thriller.After being forced from his high-powered Manhattan law firm, Michael Seeley—the tough-but-wounded hero of Errors and Omissions—has set up shop in his native Buffalo. Partly out of need, partly out of pride, Seeley takes on a case for his estranged brother, whose small biotech firm is suing a Swiss pharmaceutical giant over a controversial new AIDS vaccine. Seeley heads out to Silicon Valley to lead the case, but soon realizes there is much more at stake than he was first led to believe. As certain partnerships come to light, and financial gains become staggeringly clear, Seeley's own life may be in grave danger.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Goldstein, a Stanford law professor and intellectual property expert, delivers on the promise of his thriller debut, Errors and Omissions (2006), with this outstanding sequel. Michael Seeley, who's living in seclusion in Buffalo, N.Y., agrees at his estranged brother's urging to travel to San Francisco to take on a patent infringement case that Vaxtek, a small company, is bringing against St. Gall, a Swiss pharmaceutical giant, over an AIDS vaccine. Robert Pearsall, the lead plaintiff's attorney, apparently committed suicide on the eve of trial. Surprised that Pearsall, known for his meticulous preparation, didn't depose Lily Warren, a St. Gall employee who claimed to have invented the vaccine, Seeley pursues that loose end, only to find that Warren's version of events raises questions about not only Seeley's clients but also his predecessor's death. In lean prose, Goldstein masterfully portrays the intricate courtroom maneuvering and the ethical dilemmas of trial attorneys. Scott Turow fans will welcome this complex protagonist. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In Goldstein’s debut novel, Errors and Omissions (2006), the story of a movie studio hell-bent on securing the rights to the James Bond franchise, he showed that copyright law can be sexy. Here, Goldstein brings pizzazz to another area of intellectual property, patents—pharmaceuticals, to be exact. Michael Seeley is enjoying his reclusive life back in his hometown of Buffalo, New York, handling small-time cases instead of the corporation litigation suits he used to head up at a big Manhattan firm. He doesn’t miss that cutthroat (and alcoholic) life, but he is hard-pressed to turn down his estranged brother Leonard’s plea for help. Leonard is a doctor with a small pharmaceutical company in San Francisco, and he claims one of the giant corporations in the industry has stolen their patent for a breakthrough drug treating people who are HIV-positive. As he learns about the case, Michael realizes that his brother has not been completely forthright. Goldstein pairs a first-rate medical drama with a tragic story of a broken family, and he effectively combines suspense with rich characterization. --Mary Frances Wilkens

Product Details

  • File Size: 593 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 030727490X
  • Publisher: Anchor; 1 edition (June 17, 2008)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001B35I9S
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #674,619 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "There's an issue of principle here." June 29, 2008
In "A Patent Lie," by Paul Goldstein, forty-seven year old attorney Michael Seeley is a solo practitioner in his hometown of Buffalo, New York. He has a part-time receptionist, his office is a dump, and he handles "nickel and dime cases." On a chilly autumn day, his younger brother, Leonard, whom he hasn't seen in nine years, stops by to see him. Since Leonard lives in San Francisco, where he works as the chief medical officer for a small biotech company, this is not a casual visit. For weeks, Leonard has been leaving Michael frantic messages. It seems that Leonard's employer, Vaxtek, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against a giant Swiss drug producer, St. Gall. The trial is scheduled to begin in three weeks, and Robert Pearsall, Vaxtek's lead attorney, has suddenly died, an apparent suicide. Leonard wants his brother to take over this important case, since the company's financial health and his own portfolio could be seriously affected by the result of the litigation.

Michael has problems of his own. Before moving back to Buffalo, he was employed by a New York corporate law firm, and although he won his share of cases, he was not happy. Lonely and deeply depressed, he found refuge in drinking, and eventually descended into alcoholism. He barely escaped disbarment, and is now staying sober one day at a time. Why risk what he has fought so hard to achieve by getting involved in a high-profile and potentially stressful trial? In addition, Michael has no desire to reconnect with Leonard, since seeing him inevitably brings back horrible memories of the two young boys cowering in fear while their drunken bully of a father stormed through the house.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Patents, and how to understand them July 14, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
OK I promise that I enjoyed this book because I have been a Patent Attorney for over fifty years, and enjoyed it because it make Patent Attorneys become heros. We always were, however we were not appreciated before. Every Attorney who is has a client, either before he files for a patent, or before litigation, should buy multi copies of this book and give every client a copy of the book. The book is well written for everyone and the suspense is well done. What it does is explain in a novel what a patent is, why it is important, and how to protect, or not protect an invention. For years patents were considered unimportant, until the Japanese, Koreans, and now the Chinese took our basic inventions, copied them, ignored our patents, and sold copied products into the US market. Then we understood the importance of patents, and used them to protect US inventions.

The other review gave the story of this novel. However if you want to understand patents, the litigation of patents, then this novel is for you. If you just want a good story, it is also well worth reading.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Just finished this book today. I'm not sure if I devoured this book so quickly because of its story or because I'm a patent attorney (perhaps a little of both). The story and plot twists to me are almost worthy of Grisham, as is the explanations of patent law "to the masses". The characters themselves seem to be a little stereotypical, and for those patent attorneys who think this book makes them heroes, think again. The only patent attorney character given a voice in this book comes across initially as somewhat conceited, and later as barely ethical (he admits to following a client's order to not submit art to the USPTO "that would be material to an examiner"- a disciplinary risk that no patent attorney I know would take without subsequently withdrawing from the case, which this patent attorney does not do), although he does redeem himself.

I found it surprising that no mention is made of any Markman hearing (a hearing used for claim construction, i.e., to determine what the claims of a patent really mean), common to many patent trials. To me, claim construction is central to a determination of validity and even inventorship (both of which are key issues here). Without a determination of what patent's claims mean, you don't really know what "the invention" is and thus I fail to see how you can say if a claim is valid, whether it was obvious (an issue also discussed much during the trial), or that a certain person was the sole inventor on all claims, etc. However, this level of detail might make the book very difficult for many readers to follow (although not having it may dissappoint the patent attorneys reading it).

Frankly, I can barely recall any mention of patent claims at all, although the basics of prosecution are covered well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stereotypes November 7, 2011
By anny
In detective fiction, an author isn't on oath, but if he relies on a setting, like the Ellicott Square building in Buffalo, to set an atmosphere, he might have considered mentioning that, while it is old, it is architecturally distinguished, the work of the well-known architect Daniel Burnham. The description of the building, the neighborhood, and the city ring false.

What is more troubling, though, is the author's use of ethnic stereotypes throughout. The author's father, alcoholic and abusive, is a German immigrant. His son fantasizes that he is an "ex-Nazi", and describes German and Eastern European social clubs in ways that make them seem ominous. In San Francisco he courts a Chinese beauty with "porcelain skin" and is beaten by a Vietnamese youth gang with "bamboo rods".

It's disconcerting in what is obviously intended to be an entertainment, and I wouldn't recommend the book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Legal mystery with uumph.
It was so pleasant to read a work with some intelligence required. This was a novel about patents and learning oneself was part of the novel. Enjoyed it immensely.
Published 19 months ago by Zipalong
4.0 out of 5 stars Simply Brilliant
At first I must admit to being a bit skeptical about this book but after discovering it hidden away in my attic over the weekend I confess I was addicted. Read more
Published on March 26, 2012 by Sarah
4.0 out of 5 stars a good, interesting read
This book by Paul Goldstein really grabs you and gets you into the plot along with characters that are believable. Read more
Published on May 11, 2011 by J. Robert Ewbank
4.0 out of 5 stars Detours by the Bay
Collusion, fraud, and murder all conflate in this legal thriller where the trial, at times, becomes the sideshow. Read more
Published on March 19, 2011 by Wayne Lucas
3.0 out of 5 stars author improving
A more focused novel than predesessor and stronger writing. You do not need to read the previous novel to enjoy this one. Read more
Published on October 24, 2008 by Kindle Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Indignation
Professor Goldstein writes well and tells an interesting story of the protagonist. The larger story, though, turns on what an academic lawyer might think worthy of ethical outrage... Read more
Published on October 24, 2008 by Mr. Grolsch
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't meet expectations
Warning - may contain spoilers
After reading the reviews, I opened the book expecting a courtroom drama combined with a murder case, pharmaceuticals, Intellectual Property and... Read more
Published on September 11, 2008 by D. Epstein
5.0 out of 5 stars Patent law for the non-professional
"A Patent Lie" is an excellent read. A trial lawyer from Buffalo is brought to San Francisco on short notice to try a patent law case. Read more
Published on September 3, 2008 by C. M. Godfrey
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good read
Full of intriguing details about the patent business and the laws that apply, this book is very difficult to put down once you begin reading. Read more
Published on August 28, 2008 by The ear
2.0 out of 5 stars Definitely not Grisham, and really kind of hokey
I, too, purchased this book on the basis of the NPR recommendation. This is the first time NPR has failed me. Read more
Published on August 27, 2008 by T. Boudreau
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