Venable Patent and Consumer Product Attorneys Available to Discuss Digital Rights and Other Intellectual Property Issues Surrounding Consumer Electronics Show

CES attendees confront growing IP challenges in the wake of new-generation

video, computer, software and other converging consumer technologies

Jan 05, 2005, 00:00 ET from Venable LLP

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Attendees at this year's International
 Consumer Electronics Show (January 6-9/Las Vegas) in need of help sorting out
 legal issues surrounding the convergence of burgeoning new consumer
 technologies should consider contacting attorneys from Venable LLP.  The
 Washington D.C.-based law firm will have several of its partners at the show,
 including senior members of its Patent Enforcement and Consumer Products
     As in prior years, the 2005 CES raises numerous legal questions including
 those stemming from digital rights management, as well as import and licensing
 issues related to new plasma screen technologies produced in Asia.  Attendees
 will also be discussing the ownership and licensing of streaming technology
     This year's show further demonstrates the growing convergence of
 information, communication, and entertainment media featuring education
 programs such as "Digital TV, Coming to Phones Near You" and "The Home Media
 Center: PC vs. CE vs. Hybrid Designs."
     Since the first CES in 1967 there has been a steady drumbeat of convergent
 technology on display.  In 1970 the VCR debuted at the show, in 1996 the DVD
 was introduced, and in 1999 the digital video recorder (DVR) premiered,
 bringing digital video and the personal computer together with the standard
 television set.
     "The CES is famous for introducing milestone technologies that affect the
 entire electronics world," said James Burdett, a patent litigation partner at
 Venable.  "It is likely that no one believed when the VCR appeared nearly 35
 years ago that it would have led us to the landmark Betamax case, and more
 importantly to where we are today with IP management and digital rights
     Virtually mirroring the VCR/Betamax controversy, Mr. Burdett noted the
 current battle lines being drawn, including the next major format war over
 high definition DVD standards.  Elsewhere, TiVo has started working with the
 advertising industry to create targeted ads for its customers.  Another hot
 button issue concerns the placement of paid advertising within video games.
     Venable's Patent Prosecution group represents some of the country's
 leading entertainment and information technology providers, including Viacom
 International and its affiliates, Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic)
 and Intel Corporation.  The practice also counsels electronics industry
 newcomers with growing patent portfolios such as Vector Products as well as
 assisting growing consumer products companies such as Firaxis Games, Inc. in
 IP licensing related counseling.  In addition to counseling clients on
 copyright, trademark and patent issues, the firm frequently handles IP
 litigation matters.
     Among the technology and Consumer Products Venable attorneys who will be
 attending CES include:
     Ralph Albrecht primarily works with clients seeking protection of computer
 software, hardware and communications technology innovations.  Recently Mr.
 Albrecht has published articles concerning IP protection of homeland security
 software.  He co-chairs the firm's Patent Prosecution group and is a
 registered patent attorney.
     James Burdett, brings over 25 years computer industry experience to his
 work as an attorney.  He served as Director of Worldwide Patent Development
 for a Fortune 100 technology company, Compaq Computer Corporation and is an
 expert in microprocessor-based systems, communications devices and protocols,
 and storage devices.  Mr. Burdett chairs Venable's Technology Division and is
 a member of the firm's IP Litigation group.
     Stuart Smith, a senior member of Venable's Technology Division, focuses
 his practice primarily on preparation, prosecution, enforcement and foreign
 filing of US domestic patent applications.  Mr. Smith represents clients
 ranging from individual investors to large multinational corporations as well
 as government contractors.
     As one of America's top 100 law firms, Venable LLP has lawyers practicing
 in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual
 property and government affairs. Venable serves corporate, institutional,
 nonprofit and individual clients throughout the U.S. and around the world from
 its base of operations in and around Washington, D.C.  For more, visit
      FROM:     Nathan Burgess,     212-721-9979,
                Sarah Gudsnuk,      202-344-8523,
                Meghan Peck,        202-344-4932,