Season 5 Ep #3 It’s Not Bragging If It’s True- The IP of TV Series “Suits”

  • Season 5 Ep #3  It’s Not Bragging If It’s True- The IP of TV Series “Suits”

    Put on your best suit and step into the world of TV legal dramas with podcast co-hosts, IP attorneys, and shareholders Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue, as they guide you through the realities, quirks and possible departures from reality depicted in the TV show Suits. Whether you're a seasoned fan of Suits or have never watched an episode, this installment of IP Goes Pop!® has something for everyone.

    Michael and Joe lead off the episode by discussing TV shows that have focused on intellectual property law issues, such as Canada’s The IP Section and HBO’s Silicon Valley, which demonstrate the rare combination of comedy and law in practice together. The episode continues with an exploration of when and how they each discovered Suits and their initial impressions of its portrayal of the legal practice in general.

Beyond the often-outrageous legal tactics that would surely never occur if Pearson-Specter were a real law firm, Michael and Joe break down the “how it would happen” scenarios in four different episodes of Suits that use intellectual property law cases to steer the plot. From unrealistic portrayals of the patent application process to the depiction of characters as legal experts in every area of law, Michael and Joe dissect IP-related inaccuracies and offer insight into IP attorneys' real-world expertise in securing protections for ideas.

The hosts conclude with a reminder not to rely on fictional TV shows for legal advice and stress the importance of hiring licensed and experienced attorneys who actually specialize in the area of law where you may require assistance. Whether you're a legal enthusiast, a pop culture junkie, or just curious about how TV legal dramas stack up against real life, this episode delves into the intriguing world of Suits. Michael and Joe reveal the truth behind the fiction with humor and insights, providing a take on the legal realities often glossed over by Hollywood.


02:48 Television Shows that Focus on IP Law

6:53 Suits TV Show

11:44 Patent Law in Suits Season 1 Episode 1

  • What Suits got wrong: Filing a patent application for a satellite phone (in one night)
  • Attorney had no technical background and no admission to the USPTO


16:29 IP Dispute and Infringement in Suits Season 3 Ep 13

  • What Suits got wrong: Patent dispute and infringement based on performance
  • Reasonable basis for an IP lawsuit and the economics of IP litigation


 20:44 Patent and Fair Use in Suits Season 6 Ep 16


27:48 Copyright Case, Suits  Season 8 EP 12

  • Copyright or trade dress?

29:30 TV Show Legal Fictions (Suits and Beyond)

  • A. Law (1986-1994)
  • Perry Mason (1957-1966)
  • The “magic” folders in Suits
  • Fictions:
    • Having a Law License to be an attorney
    • All attorneys are experts in multiple fields of law
    • Cases resolve quickly (days, weeks vs. months and years)
    • Relationship quarrels without loss of loyalty
    • Doing work for people you do not represent
    • Speaking to opposing clients (ex parte contact, i.e. contact without an attorney present)
    • Pearson Spector Lit will represent two clients on opposite sides of the same matter


36:39 Final Thoughts

  • Don’t get legal advice from fictional TV shows
  • Hire attorneys who are registered to practice law
  • Don’t build a character around people who may become royalty


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