Overview

George C. Beck is a partner and intellectual property lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. His practice extends to all aspects of intellectual property law. He currently focuses his practice on patent counseling, procurement and post-grant proceedings before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

Mr. Beck has prepared and prosecuted patent applications in a variety of technical areas, including consumer electronics, liquid crystal display technology, telecommunications, semiconductor devices and manufacturing, semiconductor manufacturing test equipment, and business methods. He is a member of the firm’s Electronics Practice and Patent Office Trials Practice.

Mr. Beck has participated in patent and trade secret litigation matters in various district courts and the International Trade Commission. Representative experience includes the successful defense of a memory device manufacturer in ITC Investigation No. 337-TA-630, In the Matter of Certain Semiconductor Chips With Minimized Chip Package Size and Products Containing Same (III).

Mr. Beck has worked extensively on various reissue applications ex parte and inter partes reexamination matters, and inter partes review proceedings. Representative experience includes the successful challenge of all claims of three liquid chromatography patents in inter partes reexaminations 95/000,495, -496, and -497, and the Federal Circuit’s affirmance of the PTO’s decision in Scientific Plastic Products, Inc. v. Biotage AB, Appeal No. 2013-1219.

Mr. Beck served as a patent examiner at the United States Patent & Trademark Office from 1989 to 1990. In this capacity, he examined inventions utilizing photocells, including applications involving auto focus cameras, semiconductor devices with photosensitive components, photocopiers, and security systems.

Education

Mr. Beck is a graduate of Georgetown University (J.D., 1993; B.S., physics and government, magna cum laude, 1989). During law school, he served as the notes and comments editor of the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal. As an undergraduate, Mr. Beck was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Sigma Nu.

Recognition

In 2014, The Legal 500 recognized Mr. Beck for his work in the area of sports.

Affiliations and Admissions

Mr. Beck currently is a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the American Bar Association, and the Society for Information Display. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and before the Federal Circuit, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and various U.S. district courts.

Representative Matters

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Foley secured a complete victory in the Federal Circuit on behalf of Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLB Advanced Media), likely ending a 12-year patent dispute. Foley partner Cynthia Rigsby argued in the Federal Circuit in support of MLB Advanced Media’s District Court victory and received summary affirmance just two days post-argument.The case dates back to 2003 and stems from a dispute over a method of condensing a recorded baseball game. Plaintiff Baseball Quick claimed patent infringement and sought a royalty on MLB Advanced Media revenues alleged to exceed $400 million as of 2011. Baseball Quick also asked for damages to be trebled and for attorneys’ fees. MLB Advanced Media denied infringement and claimed that the Baseball Quick’s patent was invalid. In December 2014, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Forrest of the Southern District of New York granted MLB Advanced Media’s summary judgment motion, confirming MLB Advanced Media’s technology did not infringe Baseball Quick’s patent either literally, or under the doctrine of equivalents.Baseball Quick appealed the decision in March 2015 and on December 10, 2015, a Federal Circuit panel including Judges Dyk, O’Malley, and Stoll affirmed the District Court’s decision. MLB Advanced Media was represented on appeal by Cynthia Rigsby, Kevin Malaney and Michelle Moran. In addition to the appellate team, the District Court case team included George Beck, Mary K. Braza, Peter Wang, Yonaton Aronoff, Justin Gray and Sara Madavo.Our other representations for MLBAM involve patent litigation, patent counseling and procurement and licensing. To date, we have applied for 29 patents and successfully obtained 15 on MLBAM’s behalf. MLB has been a pioneer in its on-line sports content distribution and fan interaction strategies. Leading amongst professional sports leagues, MLB is at the forefront of new media technologies and opportunities for expansion to markets beyond the U.S., including Canada, Europe and Japan.
Through our work for Major League Baseball, specifically for its subsidiary, MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), we obtain patents protecting the league’s innovations. MLBAM is the division providing all digital content for Major League Baseball, namely through the internet, social media and mobile phone apps. Our representations for MLBAM involve patent litigation, patent counseling and procurement and licensing. To date, we have applied for 29 patents and successfully obtained 15 on MLBAM’s behalf. MLB has been a pioneer in its on-line sports content distribution and fan interaction strategies. Leading amongst professional sports leagues, MLB is at the forefront of new media technologies and opportunities for expansion to markets beyond the U.S., including Canada, Europe and Japan. Foley has worked with MLBAM to actively contribute and penetrate this emerging area. For example, it was reported by The Sports Business Journal that the first patent issued directly to the baseball industry by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) in the modern era was obtained by our firm for its geotargeting technology that verifies access for subscription-based online content based on determined geographic locations.
Foley’s client, Biotage AB, was sued in district court for infringement by a competitor, Scientific Plastic Products (SPP). Our attorneys succeeded in having all claims of the three asserted SPP patents rejected by the Patent Office in three related inter parte reexaminations. Foley defended the Patent Office’s decisions on appeal to the Federal Circuit, obtaining an affirmance in a precedential written opinion issued in October, 2014 and denial of SPP’s petitions for rehearing. In 2015, the Supreme Court denied SPP’s petition for cert. Based on the Federal Circuit's decision, the district court dismissed all infringement claims with prejudice. All claims of two additional patents asserted by SPP in a separate lawsuit stand rejected by the Patent Office in other reexaminations handled by Foley. That second case remains stayed pending final outcome of the other reexaminations.