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Gerald D. Hosier (born April 1941) is an American intellectual property (IP) attorney and a patent litigator. In 2000, Forbes magazine declared him the highest-paid lawyer in America, with an annual income of $40 million.[1][2]

Early lifeEdit

Hosier was born in Aspen, Colorado.


Gerald Hosier received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University and obtained his Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law. He is also registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office as a registered patent attorney.

Career and clientsEdit

He has served as the main attorney for Jerome H. Lemelson, the named inventor on 741 US patents, and the self-proclaimed inventor of bar code scanning.[3] Although Lemelson died on October 1, 1997, Hosier continued to litigate to enforce Lemelson's patents on behalf of Lemelson's heirs, including the Lemelson Medical, Educational and Research Foundation (Lemelson Foundation). The American Lawyer reported his income for 2003 at $150 million.[4] Lemelson was a noted philanthropist;[5] Hosier was once known as a boastful and lavish spender,[6] but Hosier has set up a Hosier family foundation that makes many charitable contributions, such as being a major sponsor of the Aspen Institute.

In 2005, the key Lemelson patents on bar code scanning were declared invalid for prosecution laches,[7] unduly delaying the patent application process so as to issue the patents long after the invention would have been thought to be public domain. This loss has reduced Hosier's income and influence. Hosier is on the board of trustees for the Aspen Institute.[8]

Hosier has been characterized as a patent troll, in fact the "Babe Ruth of patent trolls," a statement attributed to Judge Kimberly Moore of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.[9] Patent Attorney Raymond P. Niro credited his former partner Hosier with being the pioneer patent troll, disclaiming the honor for himself, citing a 2001 blog story bracketing a picture of Hosier with a picture of a troll.[10]

Hosier won a $48 million award from Citigroup in 2011 in a case charging the "Citigroup misled their wealthiest clients and then tried to blame them for relying on what they were told." Hosier said Citigroup's Smith Barney unit was "out there manufacturing products with no utility whatsoever except for generating fees."[11]


  1. ^ Michael Freedman, Plaintiff's Lawyers,
  2. ^ Also mentioned in Teresa Riordan, Patents; As shown by recent cases argued in the courts, properly crediting an inventor can be murky business., The New York Times, February 2, 2004. Consulted on April 13, 2008.
  3. ^ Susan Hansen, Breaking the (Bar) Code, IP Law and Business (March 2004).
  4. ^ link
  5. ^
  6. ^ reportbad link
  7. ^ Symbol Technologies Inc. v. Lemelson Medical, Education & Research Foundation LP, 422 F.3d 1378 (Fed. Cir. 2005).
  8. ^ Aspen Institute
  9. ^ Who is the Original “Patent Troll”?, citing Kimberly A. Moore, Populism and Patents, 82 N.Y.U.L. Rev. 69 (2007).
  10. ^ Id.; Raymond P. Niro, Who Is Really Undermining the Patent System—“Patent Trolls” or Congress?, J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. 185, 187-88 (2007) (citing Brenda Sandburg, Trolling for Dollars: Patent Enforcers are Scaring Corporate America, and They're Getting Rich—Very Rich—Doing It, THE RECORDER (July 30, 2001); and Brenda Sandburg, You May Not Have a Choice: Trolling for Dollars, (July 30, 2001).
  11. ^ Gretchen Morgenson, A Crack in Wall Street’s Defenses, N.Y. Times (Apr. 23, 2011).

External linksEdit