Get to Know Scott Barnett

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A Michigan native, Scott Barnett spent the past 16 years living, attending school, and practicing patent law in Chicago. He jumped at a chance earlier this year to take a position with Harness Dickey in its Troy office and finally get back to the state he loves.

Barnett’s current practice is focused on strategic patent counsel and obtaining patent rights for clients in the U.S. and abroad.

An engineering enthusiast at heart — he earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Northwestern University and his J.D. from The John Marshall Law School with a certificate in Intellectual Property, Barnett enjoys working with clients across a range of technology fields to protect their intellectual property and maximize its value. A resident of Clarkston, Barnett considers his background in litigation to be another moving part in his current work, giving him added insight into drafting patents that not only pass the tests from the USPTO, but from courtrooms and competitors around the country as well.

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

How do you like being back in Michigan after the Windy City?
I had great experiences in Chicago. I was fortunate to work with good attorneys, learn from them, and gain experience in both patent prosecution and litigation. That being said, it truly is wonderful to be home.

Why did you become a lawyer?
Oddly enough, I decided to become a patent lawyer very early on because a family friend—now a colleague at Harness Dickey—was a patent lawyer, and I thought his job was fascinating. I always enjoyed technology and writing, so patent law seemed like a natural fit.

What advice do you have for someone considering law school?
Have a strong understanding of the type of law you want to practice going in and spend your time building expertise in that area. Given the expense of law school and the competitiveness of the job market, I think it’s important to identify a specialty very early on.

What’s your proudest moment as a lawyer? Securing a judgment of willful patent infringement on behalf of a patent-owner client against a nefarious, copycat-competitor.  The jury verdict allowed our client to keep a U.S. factory open that employed more than fifty people, many of whom I came to know and admire over the course of the litigation.

What do you do to relax?
Pontoon cruises on Michigan’s beautiful lakes.

What other career path might you have chosen? If I were not a patent attorney, I would be an engineer.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self?
Relax—you will not be vertically challenged for the rest of your life. You will continue to grow all the way through college. 

Favorite websites?
IPWatchdog.com; Deadspin.com; TheOnion.com.

What do you wish someone would invent? Improved technology for preventing identity theft. And I would have the inventor call me as soon as it’s ready … I know some good patent attorneys who can help protect it.

What has been your favorite year so far and why? This year. I’m enjoying being back in Michigan where I’m able to spend more time with family and take advantage of the natural beauty our state has to offer.

If you could have one super power, what would it be? Propelling the Lions to a Super Bowl victory would be a super power, right? I’ll go with that.

What’s one thing you would like to learn to do? Play a musical instrument (other than Guitar Hero).

What is your motto? “Valar morghulis” from Game of Thrones. It means “all men must die” in High Valyrian, which is rather dark, but it keeps me motivated.

Favorite patent of all time? U.S. Patent No. 5,443,036 directed to a Method of Exercising a Cat (With a Laser Pointer). I’m a strong proponent of feline fitness. 

What is the most unusual thing you have done? Deposited road kill in the locker room of a rival high school prior to a big game. Gosh, I hope the statute of limitations has run on that by now.

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