Brendan Coffman

Brendan Coffman

Brendan Coffman is an associate in the Washington, D.C., office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he is a member of the antitrust practice. Brendan’s practice covers a variety of antitrust issues, including government investigations, private litigation, and merger counseling. He represents clients before the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Federal Communications Commission.

Prior to joining the firm, Brendan was an associate at a boutique antitrust firm, where he specialized in the intersection of antitrust and intellectual property, with a particular emphasis on high-technology and information telecommunications industries. He has also interned for the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Brendan was an intellectual property strategy consultant for Fortune 1000 companies.

All materials published by Brendan are written in his individual capacity, and should not in any way to attributed to Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, its clients or affiliates.


Posts by Brendan Coffman

Suggestions for an FTC 6(b) Study on Patent Assertion Entities

The Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) jointly hosted a workshop to explore the issue of patent assertion entities (PAEs) on December 10, 2012.  Since then there has been a growing consensus that PAEs are a significant problem for the technology and software industries.  Representative Peter DeFazio from Oregon and Representative Jason…

Judge Koh Cuts Apple’s Award Nearly in Half

Despite agreeing with Apple that a court is required “to give great deference to jury awards, and to uphold them where they are supportable by evidence in the record” Judge Koh found that the jury relied on an impermissible legal theory in coming to its damages calculation over $1 billion.  As a result Judge Koh…

“The Black Box is Never Described”: CLS Tries to Teach the Federal Circuit the Difference Between Methods Claims and Systems Claims, and about Abstract Ideas

For those who are interested, a reader has shared a transcript of the oral arguments in CLS Bank v. Alice en banc at the Federal Circuit.  As we have written, a lot is at stake in this case as it takes a deep dive into the eligibility of many software patents.  There are many issues…

When A Billion Dollars Is Not Enough: Apple’s Persistence in Enjoining its Competitors

On Tuesday February 12, Apple’s “normal” appellate brief appeared on the Federal Circuit’s docket (I say “normal” because Apple took the unconventional step of originally asking for an immediate en banc review, which the Federal Circuit denied).  All that is at stake is the future of meaningful competition in the mobile communications industry. A quick…

Summarizing the Briefs and Arguments in CLS Bank v. Alice

Tomorrow, the Federal Circuit will hear oral arguments in CLS Bank v. Alice Corp.  In an earlier post we gave an introduction to the case and explained how potentially important it might be.  At stake is the validity of software patents generally and if they should differentiate between method, system and storage-based software patents.  We…

Ericsson and Unwired Planet: A One-Stop Shop for Outlining Patent Abuse

Swedish telecommunications pioneer Ericsson is the latest in a line of big companies turning to patent assertion entities (PAEs) to make a quick buck at the expense of competition and innovation.  As TechCrunch first reported, Ericsson entered into a Master Sale Agreement with Unwired Planet to sell 2,185 patents and patent applications.  The transaction with Unwired Planet,…

PAE’s Attempt to Manipulate Antitrust Laws Thwarted (for now?)

In March of last year a noted Patent Assertion Entity (“PAE”), Cascades Computer Innovation, turned the concept of anticompetitive use of patents on its head by filing an antitrust suit against five Android manufacturers who rejected an offer to license 38 patents for $5 million.  Cascades’ suit, filed in the Northern District of California against…

USPTO Real Party in Interest Roundtable

On Friday, January 11 the USPTO held a public roundtable to discuss proposed requirements for recordation of real-party-in-interest information throughout application pendency and patent term.  The USPTO is considering imposing new requirements on patentees and assignees to better publicize the chain of ownership for patents.  This is an important effort by the USPTO that mostly…

PAEs Ringing in New Year without Resolutions

Several outlets have reported on a bevy of lawsuits filed in Delaware by Steelhead Licensing LLC against operating entities concerning infringement of patent 5,491,834 entitled “Mobile Radio Handover Initiation Determination.”  Unfortunately for innovators, legitimate operating entities, and consumers this is yet another example in a seemingly endless litany of companies springing forward to extract consumer welfare from the high-tech…

FTC Subpoena of Data Brokers May Be Good Model for FTC Study of PAEs

On December 18, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it has issued subpoenas to nine “Data Brokers” to provide the agency with information about how they collect and use data about consumers.  Generally speaking, Data Brokers collect personally sensitive information about consumers from both public and non-public resources, and then sell this data to companies.  The…