Fostering Excellence in Professionalism, Ethics, Civility, and Legal Skills

2007-2008 Ben Franklin Inn Program Materials

2007-2008 Program Scenario

MyStyle, Inc. (NASDAQ: ME) is an American public corporation, specializing in cosmetic, hair, and fashion "makeovers" for men and women. The company is based in Beverly Hills, California, and has about 2,500 "personal makeover specialists" among its 100 MyStyle Centers throughout the United States. MyStyle's mission statement is, "to beautify the people of the world." MyStyle's corporate philosophy includes statements such as "Why be drab?", and "Beautifying the Earth, one person at a time", illustrating a somewhat fashion-conscious and environmentally-aware corporate culture.

MyStyle was founded by Calvin Stein while he was a student at UCLA and the company was first incorporated as a privately held company on September 7, 1986. MyStyle's initial public offering took place on August 19, 1992, raising $500 million. Being mostly interested in the creative aspects of the business, Calvin has been the company's CMO - Chief Makeover Officer - since 2001. Through a series of new product developments, acquisitions and partnerships, the company has expanded its initial makeover business into other areas, including web-based fashion consulting, MyStyle® brand cosmetic and hair care products, web-based video sharing, and advertising through its MyStyle® fashion blog.

During the up-coming year, Calvin Stein will be meeting with his attorneys several times to discuss a variety of IP issues that will arise concerning MyStyle. Each of the meetings will form the vignettes to be used by our pupilage groups. 

Please note: Unless indicated otherwise, all programs begin promptly at 6:00 p.m., followed by a social hour starting immediately afterwards at 7:00 p.m.

2007-2008 Program Schedule and Topics

September 27, 2007

Topic: Organizational Meeting and Social Hour
Venue: Woodcock Washburn, LLP, Cira Centre, 12th Floor, 2929 Arch Street, Phila., PA
RSVP to Mary Acton by e-mail or 215-569-5639.
Description: Introduction to the Board of Governors for the 2007-2008 season; review of this year's program and sign-up for pupilage groups.

October 24, 2007

Topic: Patent Prosecution and IP Strategy
Pupilage Group Leader: Stephen Stanton
Venue: Blank Rome, Phila., PA
Scenario: MyStyle's patented web-based fashion consulting business is really hot, especially among 18 - 30 year olds. Competitor websites are now beginning to spring up; in one case, a virtual competitor is selling a virtual fashion consulting service to virtual people (i.e., "avatars") on Second Life. Calvin wants to know whether his patents are broad enough to stop these  competitors, or at the very least to force them to take a license. Calvin's creative team has also developed an improved "web makeover experience", which adds the selection of personal soundtracks and ringtones to the web-based makeover. MyStyle plans to launch as a new web-based product soon and wants to know from its attorneys whether or not the new improvements can be patented.

Substantive issues that may be discussed:

A. PTO New Rules
i. Restrictions on Continuation Practice
ii. Limits on Number of Claims
B. New Obviousness Standard under KSR
C. New licensing dynamics under Medimmune v. Genentech

November 29, 2007

Topic: Patent Litigation
Pupilage Group Leader: David Farsio, Woodcock Washburn, LLP
Venue: Drinker Biddle Reath, Phila., PA
Description: Prior to launching its new, improved, web-based "makeover experience" product, MyStyle's attorneys conduct a freedom to operate search and discover several patents owned by a patent holding company that makes money by suing profitable companies. Calvin wants to know from his attorneys whether or not he needs an "opinion of counsel" to protect the company against treble damages. Attorneys discuss the preparation and use of opinions in this regard. Calvin also has proof that several of his products are being infringed in Europe and wants to know whether his U.S. patents are of any use.

Substantive cases that could be discussed:


A. In In re Seagate Tech. L.L.C. (August 20, 2007), the Federal Circuit provided three important rulings related to willful infringement and the scope of privilege or work-product waiver that could result from an advice-of counsel defense to a charge of willfulness. The Court (1) specifically overruled Underwater Devices Inc. v. Morrison-Knudsen Co., 717 F. 2d 1380 (Fed. Cir. 1983) to eliminate the affirmative duty of due care established in that case and set forth a new standard of "objective recklessness" by which to assess willfulness; (2) held that an accused infringer's reliance on the advice-of-counsel defense generally does not constitute a waiver of privileged communications with trial counsel; and (3) held that reliance on the advice-of-counsel defense generally does not waive trial counsel's work-product immunity.

B. U.S. Supreme Court Limits Foreign Patent Infringement Liability in Microsoft v. ATT

January 16, 2008

Topic: Judges Program
Pupilage Group Leader: Paul Prestia, Ratner Prestia, LLP
Description: We are planning to have Judges Linn and Lourie of the Federal Circuit, along with Judges Schiller and McLaughlin of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, lead our program. 
Venue: U.S. District Court, Ceremonial Court Room, Corner of 6th and Market Streets, Philadelphia, PA and from Eastern District PA

February 28, 2008

Topic: Copyright Infringement in the Virtual World
Pupilage Group Leader: John Marshall, Drinker, Biddle and Reath, LLP
Venue: Duane Morris, On 17th Street, just South of Market St.
Description: MyStyle's new products will incorporate digitized versions of clothing designed by famous fashion designers. Calvin expects this to be particularly popular among the virtual avatars of Second Life. Calvin also predicts that the "personal soundtracks and ringtones" additions to his product lines will be popular. He would like to use popular songs that are readily downloadable from iTunes at 99 cents a piece. Calvin would like to know what copyright issues he needs to worry about.

Substantive Issues: This program will deal with issues presented in some recent high-profile copyright infringement lawsuits involving the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) and Digital Rights Management

March 27, 2008

Topic: Trademarks
Pupilage Group Leader: John Donohue, Woodcock Washburn, LLP
Venue: Woodcock Washburn, LLP, Cira Centre, 12th Floor, 2929 Arch Street, Phila., PA
Description: open to the pupilage group's imagination

April 23, 2008

Topic: Ethics
Pupilage Group Leader: Kevin Casey, Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP,
Venue: Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP, Phila, PA
Description: Once again, Kevin Casey will be the host of Ethical Jeopardy!

May 22, 2008

Topic: Judges II - Chief Judge Michel, CAFC
Pupilage Group Leader: tbd
Venue: Drexel Law School Moot Court Room
Description: Special Meeting