Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Legal Research Sucks

I am doing some more legal research... this time on the patent law issue of obviousness1. I feel like there is a case out there that will help our client immensely, but it is just out of my reach. I don't think it helps that I have had to teach myself legal research, and have no idea if I am doing it effectively or not. Thankfully, we have a summer associate at our office who has a lot more legal research experience than me, and he is going to help me with some of it.

My problem is, I feel I am being unproductive because I'm not finding much to help us. I've found some general legal statements in some cases that help me a little bit, but nothing that is specific and significant enough for us to be able to draw a line in the sand.

My question to all you current law students or lawyers is this... is this what all legal research is like? Does it get easier, and are you able to know when you are done ? Or is it always difficult and frustrating? I hope not, because I don't know how well I could handle it all the time.

1You can't get a patent if your invention is just an obvious improvement over what someone else has done. For example, if there are already VCR's with Eject buttons on the VCR itself, and there are already VCR remote controls, it would probably be obvious, and therefore unpatentable, to put an Eject button on the VCR remote.

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