Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at August 25, 2005 10:59 PM
The other day I heard my four year old (referring to the television) say "Daddy, make it go faster!," not realizing that he was watching live TV (and was stuck watching the commercials). The day before, my two year old (who was watching the Wizard of Oz this morning when I told him to come with me to get dressed) handed me the TiVo remote and said "Toss, toss pleeese" (asking me to pause the TV). All three of my kids have no clue of how it used to be [insert rant on walking up hill both ways...]. They have no concept of what TV is like when you can't skip the commercials and pause live TV (aren't DVRs great?).
It makes me think of the changes to the practice of IP law in the past 7 years (since my oldest child was born). Easy access to PDF copies of patents (remember ordering a paper patent or having a service fax you a copy?), online filing, online searching and the rethink(ip)'r favorite....working with patent attorneys who are not in major metro areas. All of this is possible because not only is more and more content available online, but people are becoming more and more used to relying on technology (the Internet in this case) for their business needs.
Most of these changes weren't driven by attorneys wanting to earn more money. It's hard to argue that simplifying things, ease of use and speed are synonymous with billing by the hour. They aren't. Instead, these changes were driven by the public, by entrepreneurs and by access to technology.
Things are changing (in case you haven't noticed it). Those that don't change are going to be left behind.
I'm thankful to be involved with this great rethinking of the practice of IP law...thanks for coming along for the ride. Just wait until you see what ideas, tricks and tools we have in the hopper.
Now, if Daddy could just make it go faster.