All Episodes

In this episode, Hugh sits down with Annsley Merelle Ward, who has become well-known beyond her years. She recently became Counsel in Intellectual Property Litigation at WilmerHale in London and has been writing for IPKat since 2009. 
  • Annsley’s nomadic upbringing in the U.S. and U.K;
  • Why the Napster litigation sparked her interest in intellectual property law;
  • Memories from her first one-on-one meeting with Sir Hugh Laddie, her University College London thesis supervisor;
  • Her views on harmonization in the European system and the remaining differences in approach to IP within Europe;
  • Annsley’s thoughts and strategies on where and when to bring an action;
  • The overlooked importance of considering international effects and implications of legal actions.


In this episode Hugh sits down with He Jing, an experienced practitioner for over 20 years. He has specialized in complex litigation in China involving IP, antitrust and policy advocacy.

He started his legal career as a US patent attorney and spent 9 years in a major international law firm before starting his private practice in China. 

Hugh and He Jing discuss a number of issues, including:

  • He Jing’s upbringing in China and his time spent in the U.S.;
  • The founding of his own law firm;
  • The development of the Chinese IP system;
  • The growing importance of multilateral agreements for China; and
  • What the future holds with respect to IP rights and antitrust in China.

In this episode, Hugh sits down with Lord Justice Richard Arnold. He was called to the bar in 1985 and took silk in 2000. He was appointed to the High Court Chancery Division in 2008, becoming the judge in charge of the Patent Court in April 2013. He was promoted to the Court of Appeal on October 1, 2019.

They discuss a number of issues and experiences, including: 

– Richard’s choice to study chemistry and how it led to law;
– His view on how different UK courts have handled the pandemic;
– Reasons behind his record-breaking 14 references to the Court of Justice;
– How lawyers and judges compete and can also learn from other legal systems;
– Why trade secrets law is important today and how he became interested in it; and
– How he came to write the book on performers’ rights which will soon be in its 6th edition;

*At this link, you can order the 6th edition of Performers’ Rights, which will be published later this year. 

In this episode, Hugh sits down with Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer of Microsoft, and co-author of the book Tools and Weapons: The Promise and Peril of the Digital Age (2019). Prior to joining Microsoft in 1993, he clerked in the Southern District of New York and then was in practice with Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. and London.

Brad and Hugh discuss a number of issues, including:

  • Brad’s growing up in Wisconsin;
  • his clerkship and Covington & Burling experiences;
  • his foray into IP and how it led to his career at Microsoft;
  • the present and future impact of AI technologies and its practical and ethical implications.


Addendum: At this link, you can obtain a copy of Brad’s book, “Tools and Weapons: The Promise and Peril of the Digital Age.”

In this episode, Hugh sits down with Jed S. Rakoff, who for close to 25 years has been a federal district court judge in the District Court for the Southern District of New York. Before that he spent several years in private practice and seven years as a federal prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. 

They discuss a number of issues and experiences, including Judge Rakoff’s: 

– Upbringing in Philadelphia; 

– Time as a white collar criminal defense lawyer and Chief of Business and Fraud Prosecutions in the U.S. Attorney’s Office;

– Longtime experience as a federal judge, including views on jury trials and the value of oral arguments;

– Views on the death penalty and problems with federal sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimum sentences; and

– Work with the Department of Commerce in training foreign judges in international commercial law.

In this episode, Hugh sits down with Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). He has served in this role since October 2008 and will finish his second term this month.
Their discussion features a variety of global IP topics including:

1) Origins of WIPO in the late-1800s and its efforts to promote international cooperation while balancing political tensions;
2) Future of multilateral IP treaties and bilateral agreements;
3) Impacts of Brexit and German courts on the EU’s Unitary Patent System;
4) AI and its effects;
5) Social media and IP, e.g. failure of Parliament and Congress to adopt SOPA and ACTA;
6) Perspectives on the future of IP development.

In this episode, Hugh sits down with John D. Feerick, Dean Emeritus and Norris Professor of Law at Fordham Law School.

John and Hugh discuss various aspects of John’s life and developments in the legal profession from the 1940s until now:

a. John’s Irish family heritage and his childhood in a diverse neighborhood of working-class families in the Bronx;
b. the growth of law firms from small to large to overwhelming;
c. the role of bar associations, past and present;
d. John’s participation in the crafting and drafting of the 25th Amendment and the amendment to abolish the Electoral College;
e. how the practice of law has changed since he became Dean; and
f. how diversity has been a continuing issue.

They also discuss some of the special people in John’s life, why he left practice to become Dean, and how he made a difference in whatever he did, including the transformation of the Fordham Law School into a leading law school on many levels.

Addendum: At this link,…fth-amendment/, you can obtain a copy of John’s autobiography, “That Further Shore: A Memoir of Irish Roots and American Promise,” and his book on the 25th Amendment, “The Twenty-Fifth Amendment – Its Complete History and Application,” now in its third printing.


In this episode, Hugh sits down with Patricia Martone, an attorney with over 45 years of experience as a trial lawyer in intellectual property matters. She previously served for many years as a partner in Fish & Neave (which was merged into Ropes & Gray) and currently serves as principal of her own practice. She has been lead counsel in 45 patent litigations and personally negotiated over 40 patent licenses.

Hugh and Pat discuss a number of issues including: 

  1. Pat’s background and how she became interested in the law;
  2. The state of the patent system, particularly issues involving Section 101;
  3. The role of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Federal Circuit in IP litigation;
  4. How patent litigation differs from other types of litigation;
  5. What role venue choices should play in litigation;
  6. The value and role of mentors in practice;
  7. Challenges facing women today in the legal profession and how to deal with them.

They also discuss the nature of Pat’s current practice and how her focus includes a shift in part to arbitration. 

In this episode, Hugh sits down with Renata Hesse, a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and co-head of their Antitrust Group. Prior to joining the firm, she served twice as Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Antitrust Division at the Department of Justice and worked in the division for over 15 years.

Hugh and Renata discuss among other things, her childhood in Berkeley, what it was like growing up in a “big caliber family,” and her somewhat unusual entry into antitrust. They trade experiences working at the Antitrust Division and Renata explains how the division has dramatically shifted in terms of international cooperation and the sharing of information among global antitrust enforcers.

From there, they dive into China’s track record on antitrust, theorize on potential outcomes of the DOJ’s review of the consent decrees governing ASCAP and BMI, the effect of companies like Amazon and Walmart on the market and consumers, and why FRAND issues continue to arise. They reflect on the tension that exists between IP and antitrust and Renata’s view that “both disciplines are really trying to get at the same thing. They both are trying to encourage innovation and competition… and to let people reap the rewards when they do something great.”

They conclude by reviewing hot topics in antitrust: whether the consumer welfare standard is the right standard, how antitrust analysis should take data into consideration and, finally, whether antitrust is doing the job people expect it to.

In this episode, Hugh sits down with Nicholas Groombridge. a senior partner in Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, who over the past 25 years has been extensively involved in all aspects of patent litigation.

Hugh and Nick discuss a wide variety of topics, starting with his childhood in Birmingham, England, the long trail through Brazil and ending up in New York. They talk about why he started practicing in the patent field, the pros and cons of being a litigator and why he prefers jury trials in patent litigation, which aren’t available in most of the world.

Nick and Hugh address the question of whether patent law in the U.S. is currently in crisis. They opine on the impact of Mayo and other Supreme Court cases on patent eligibility, especially claims covering medical diagnostics. They discuss the recent troubled relationship between the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the Supreme Court and what the future might bring. Nick predicts that the Supreme Court “may have no choice but to re-engage here” and points to the petition for certiorari that was filed by Athena Diagnostics in the beginning of October.