Daniel J. Santos
||Daniel J. Santos is a partner with Smith Tempel Blaha LLC. He practices in all aspects of intellectual property, including patent preparation and prosecution, patent opinion drafting, post-grant patent practice, trademark prosecution, copyrights, trade secrets, trade dress, licensing and litigation.
Direct Dial: 770-709-0013
Dan’s main practice area focuses on preparing and prosecuting patents, rendering opinions concerning infringement/non-infringement and validity/invalidity of issued patents, and designing of products and processes to avoid potential patent infringement assertions.
Dan first entered the field of intellectual property in 1989 as a patent examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). As an examiner, he examined patent applications in the electrical imaging arts in an area of technology classified by the USPTO as image analysis. In this area of technology, images are electronically scanned and converted into digital data, which is then processed using combinations of hardware and software to perform various types of analyses on the data, such as fingerprint recognition, feature recognition, facial recognition, character recognition, bar code recognition, and medical imaging. After working for two years as an examiner, Dan moved to Georgia to attend law school. While attending law school, Dan worked at Scientific-Atlanta, Inc. and at an IP boutique as a patent clerk preparing and prosecuting patent applications.
Since graduating from law school in 1995, Dan’s practice has involved virtually all of areas of intellectual property, including domestic and foreign patent application drafting and prosecution, litigation of patent, copyright, trademark and unfair competition cases, drafting of patent validity opinions, drafting of patent infringement opinions, clearance opinions, and patent mediation. Over the years, his main practice has focused in the areas of patent application drafting and prosecution of cases in electronics, computers, software, telecommunications, imaging and optics. Specific areas of technology in which he practices include integrated circuit design and processes, memory storage systems, solid state memory devices, analog and digital circuit design, wireless systems and protocols, telephones, base stations, telecommunications protocols, optical fibers, optical transceivers, MRI imaging systems, X-ray imaging systems, and ultrasound imaging systems.
Dan’s clients include large international corporate clients, international law firms, small and mid-size U.S. corporate clients, and individual inventors. He also stays active in the intellectual property community on both the local and national level. He has published several articles and given speeches on patent issues. He has also appeared on television discussing various issues relating to patents, trade secrets, trademarks and copyrights. He has acted as the chair of the Emerging Technologies Subcommittee on Nanotechnology of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) and has been involved in panel discussions both as a moderator and as a panelist.
The bulk of Dan's patent work over the last several years stems from managing the patent work for the optical products division of a Fortune 500 company. He has drafted and prosecuted over 300 applications related to optical communications inventions. These cases related to various types of front-panel mounted optical transceiver modules (e.g., SFP, QSFP, FC, MPO, MTP), various types of mid-board mounted modules, and various types of systems that incorporate the modules (e.g., data center racks). Some of this work related to electrical circuitry on the Tx side, such as ASIC designs for the transceiver controllers for implementing various signaling protocols (e.g., Ethernet, Infiniband, PAM4) and various designs for the laser diode driver circuitry. Some of the designs were for unidirectional communications and some were for bi-directional (bidi) and/or wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) communications.
Some of the work related to the Rx side, such as transimpedance amplifier (TIA) circuit designs, automatic gain control (AGC) circuit designs, clock and data recovery (CDR) circuit designs, etc. Some of the work related to thermal solutions for managing heat to maintain the laser diodes in the optimal operating ranges and increase longevity. Some of the work related to mechanical aspects of the optical transceiver modules and the associated optical connectors for mating them together. Much of the work related to various types of optical connectors, such as multi-fiber ferrule connectors (e.g., MTP or MPO connectors), single or dual-fiber connectors (e.g., LC and FC connectors), and custom connectors such as various types of non-standard front-panel and mid-board mounting connectors. Some of the work related to active optical cables and the corresponding connectors.
Some of the articles that Dan has published include "A New Frontier in Patents: Patent Claims to Propagated Signals," The John Marshall Journal Of Computer and Information Law, Vol. XVII, Number 1, March 1999, "What Does 'Means' Mean," Intellectual Property Today, October 1997, "'Means-Plus-Function Can Cause Drafting Angst," The National Law Journal, October 1997, and “Dismantling The Atomic Bomb Of Patent Defenses,” Intellectual Property Today, July 2011.
Dan is a member of the Georgia State Bar and is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Law School: Georgia State University College of Law, J.D.
Undergraduate: Bachelor of Science in electrical and computer engineering, Clemson University.