Robert (Bob) Kahrl

Title: Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence, Senior Lecturer
Office: Law 136
Phone: 330-972-7331


Robert (Bob) Kahrl joined Akron Law in 2009 as Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence. He currently teaches Complex Commercial Litigation and Patent Claim Construction.  

Bob was born in Mount Vernon, Ohio, graduated from Mount Vernon High School, majored in English at Princeton University, receiving his A.B. degree cum laude in 1968.  He graduated from Naval Officer Candidate School, Newport, RI, as a Distinguished Naval Graduate, was commissioned as Ensign, and served 42 months of sea duty in the Atlantic Fleet, leaving the service with the rank of Lieutenant, senior grad, to begin law school.   He enrolled at The Ohio State University College of Law, where he served as Managing Editor of the Ohio State Law Journal, graduating summa cum laude in 1975 (Order of the Coif), concurrently earning an MBA degree from the Fisher College Of Business there.   He accepted a clerkship from Circuit Judge Paul C. Weick, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, for the 1975-76 term. 

Bob practiced law at Jones Day in Cleveland from September 1976 until Dec. 31, 2009, when he retired from the partnership.   From 1991 to 2008 he served as practice leader of the Firm's Intellectual Property Practice Area. During that period the IP Practice expanded from 45 lawyers in five domestic offices to 260 lawyers in thirteen domestic offices and ten overseas offices.   He specialized in litigation of cases involving issues of technological complexity. The principal technologies in which he worked were in the fields of semiconductors, electronic systems, and medical devices.  Cases in which his appearances have been a matter of public record include the largest patent-related litigation ever conducted before the International Trade Commission involving ten patents for various aspects of DRAM chips (In re Certain Dynamic Random Access Memories).

In addition, other such cases have included litigation involving three patents for laser transmitters used in CATV systems (Emcore Corp. v. Optium Corp.),  a patent for a multiplier-accumulator chip (TRW Inc. v. Advanced Micro Devices, et al.); optics and decoding software patents for laser bar code scanners (In the Matter of Certain Laser Bar Code Scanners and Components Thereof); six patents on hardware and software for reading and writing to CD-R disks (Gigastorage Corp. v. U.S. Philips Corp.); eight patents for various aspects of personal computers (Texas Instruments Incorporated v. Zenith Data Systems, Inc.); a patented power supply for a two-way pager (Wireless Access Inc. v. Research In Motion Limited); a patented process for plastic encapsulation of integrated circuits (In the Matter of Certain Plastic Encapsulated Integrated Circuits); a patent for pushing data from a host computer to a wireless handheld device (Research In Motion Limited v. Glenayre Electronics, Inc.); patents for personal computers (Texas Instruments v. Daewoo Corporation, et al.); a patented numerically controlled turret lathe (In the Matter of Certain Turning Machines); and a numerically controlled metal cutting machine (U.S. Amada, Ltd. v. Bendix Corporation); and a patent for a self-programmable microcontroller chip (Bull CP8 v. Texas Instruments). He has also litigated controversies under the rules of the American Arbitration Association relating to wireless laptop computer data modems (In re Research In Motion Ltd. v. U.S. Robotics Corporation).

Furthermore, Bob has appeared in cases involving other areas of technology such as spinal implants (AcroMed Corporation v. Sofamor/Danek Group, Inc.); genetic engineering (Agrigenetics Corp. v. Levelland Delinting Company); trade secrets in polymer chemistry (SCM Corporation v. Mobil Corporation); chemical detoxification systems for electrical transformers (Union Carbide Corporation v. ENSR Corporation); fuel processors (Parker Hannifin Corporation v. Davco Manufacturing Corporation); and hydraulic motors (White Hydraulics, Inc. v. TRW Inc.). He also has engaged in extensive counseling and litigation in the area of former employees misappropriating trade secrets such as in the field of jet engine components (Parker Hannifin Corporation v. Trust Technologies Corp.) and water purification systems (Millipore Corporation v. Watson).

Bob is author of the treatise, Patent Claim Construction (Aspen Law & Business 2001). He is past chair of the Intellectual Property Law Section of the Ohio State Bar Association and a member of the Cleveland Bar Association, the Cleveland Intellectual Property Law Association, and the American Intellectual Property Law Association. He has lectured on strategic licensing of technology to the Licensing Executives Society and the American Bar Association's Intellectual Property Section. He has made presentations to the American Intellectual Property Law Association on the subjects of claim construction, juror focus groups, explaining complex technology, the doctrine of equivalents, and legal mechanisms for blocking importation of computer technology. He has lectured frequently on the subject of selecting and preparing expert witnesses at seminars sponsored by the American Bar Association and elsewhere. He has also frequently lectured on legal ethics in representing emerging companies.

Bob also has a background in antitrust matters, both criminal and civil, especially involving questions of price-fixing, market definition and market share, franchising, and dealer arrangements. He lectured on trademark use at the Forum on Franchising at the American Bar Association's 1998 Annual Meeting. He authored the portion of the ABA's Antitrust Law Section's Monograph No. 2 relating to tying arrangements and has also written on antitrust damages.