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Intellectual Property McCarthy Family featured in Oklahoman Father's Day story

June 15, 2014

By: Randall K. McCarthy, Gregory W. Alberty, and Mick McCarthy

The Oklahoman

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For many father-son attorney pairs, Father's Day will be usual business

For many father-son attorney pairs, Father’s Day will be usual business

Paula Burkes pburkes@opubco.com

A similar desire to work with his dad in his mentor’s golden years spurred Oklahoma City patent attorney Mick McCarthy, 54, to rejoin his father Bill, 80, and brother Randy, 49, in the intellectual property practice of Hall Estill law firm in February.

A mechanical engineer for 12 years, Mick McCarthy, after graduating from law school, worked with his family as a patent agent and patent attorney, before starting his own firm in 2008.

For a long time, he thought his father’s management style was arbitrary, said McCarthy, likening his dad to the boss in a Dilbert cartoon, who in one strip held up a can of red paint and told Dilbert he “spray painted out all the stupid stuff."

“Then one day, a light bulb went off, and I realized a patent is both a sword and shield, and there’s a fine line between describing a specialty enough to get a patent without being too narrow” he said. “We try to think 20 years ahead.”

An extended career
A pioneer of Oklahoma’s intellectual property bar, Bill McCarthy, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering, worked 10 years for Western Electric before he earned his law degree in 1972 and joined the Dunlap boutique firm as a patent attorney.

“In those days, general lawyers didn’t want to learn what we do” Bill McCarthy said. “Besides, I was an engineer and didn’t want to handle DUIs.”

McCarthy, with the help if his wife Sue, ran his own firm from 1981 to 1998, before joining Crowe & Dunlevy. When he turned 68, once the age limit for retirement at Crowe, he moved to Fellers Snider, where he worked from 2002 to 2012, until joining Hall Estill.

Randy McCarthy, who worked seven years as an electrical engineer before entering law, said he was reluctant to join his father’s practice after he graduated law school, until an associate convinced him the firm was hiring an electrical engineer either way.

“We’re here together (at Hall Estill) because we want to be,” Randy McCarthy said. “We’re excited to come to work every day, where we get to deal with people’s dreams."