I returned to a different situation at Tektronix than existed when I went East. Most important, Tek's business had boomed during that nearly three years; the company was operating on three shifts, and was shipping several times as much as when I left. I had been the only Field Engineer in the office before I left, handling every aspect of marketing. Now there were several: Byron Broms, assistant Marketing Manager handling international sales; Will Marsh and Sandy Sanford, handling direct communication with customers and Field Engineers in the States, and Chuck Gasser handling advertising. Bryon wanted me to work with him in International, but I refused for personal reasons. I chose instead to work with Will and Sandy. George Edens, from the field, asked me to train incoming field engineers in how to be a Field Engineer, as he had been impressed with the way I had helped him when he came to the field. However, I didn't want to be shunted into what I considered to be a 'back water' of the operation. Very frankly,I hoped to become a part of corporate management but, as I should have perceived long before, there was little likelihood of that, as some thing between Howard and I just didn't click, as will be seen later. Instead, I dealt with Field Engineering problems, which were many, because we now had taken almost all field operations into our own hands, instead of the distributorship and representative arrangements we had earlier.
Among other matters at this time, we were planning our new home on our Charming Way property, and I simply couldn't handle any more, doing much of the work myself.
In an exciting development very soon after returning from Boston, Jack Murdock asked me to organize a discussion group, consisting of selected people (his selection, not mine) from Portland and Corvallis, to discuss the topic of 'motivation', a subject in which he was intensely interested. He called this group, the 'Motivation Splinter'. The Portland contingent included several Tek people (Jack, of course, Joe Griffith, a Reed graduate in Physics, Earl Scott, an ex-Navy man and early electronics engineer, and me), Dr. Charlie xxxx, pediatric psychiatrist from the Medical School, Dr. Ron Melzak from McGill University, who was doing postdoctoral research at the Medical School on the perception of pain (for which he later was awarded the Nobel Prize), Howard Glazer, an architect from Portland, and others. The Corvallis contingent included Dr. Paul Heist, psychologist on the teaching staff of OSU (and organizer of the Corvallis group), Profs. Charles Vawter, an economist, XXX YYY, literature, Larry Schecter, nuclear physicist, Vern Cheldilin, physical sciences, a medical doctor from the Corvallis Clinic, and others.
We met on alternate months in Portland and Corvallis, and our topics were wide-ranging and very stimulating. We ate first at a local restaurant, before going to someone's home for talk.
Shortly after returning from the East I received a visit from a man working for the Wages and Hours division of the Bureau of Labor. He asked if he could talk to me about my work before going East. I saw no problem with this, not having any idea where it might lead. He asked me to describe my early activities at Tek, when we were still on Hawthorne. I told him of Dal asking me to come to work for him and my excitement at the new experiences I was having, He quizzed me rather closely on my activities, the hours I worked and when, my pay before and after my transfer, etc. Did I come in on Saturdays? I said yes, I wanted to see if any orders were received and what they were for. I thought it was some kind of survey.
However, some time later -perhaps several weeks - I got a check from Tek for overtime worked. It seems that although I was placed on salary, and was an assistant Sales Manager, I was not paid enough to qualify for salary and they had to pay me overtime for any hours worked over eight per day or forty per week.
I was mad! I felt I had been tricked, and told the man I wouldn't take it. He said if I didn't, Tek would be fined.
It was my first experience with the heavy hand of bureaucracy. It wasn't my last, as will be seen later.
After several months in Marketing, I asked Dick Ropiequet if I could come and work for him as a CRT (cathode ray tube) design engineer. At the time Tek was working on a dual beam oscilloscope and I worked on a dual beam CRT, but without any success. Eventually, I told Dick that I did not feel I was contributing and to find someone else to do the job. He hired Walt Schmidt away from Test, who was a physics major from the University of Portland, and he succeeded in designing a workable tube.
In the meantime, Dick had been approached to write a history of recent developments in oscilloscope technology, and he asked me to co-author it with him. However, he really lacked interest in the project and left it to me and, after two years, it was published by Academic Press as a 55 page article in Volume X, ADVANCES IN ELECTRONICS AND ELECTRON PHYSICS. Margie was very impressed to find it in several libraries. It would have been an acceptable senior thesis at Reed.
Click on the image to view the PDF of this paper.
I immediately became the authority on oscilloscopes in the United States, and was asked to submit entries on the topic for Rheinhold's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ELECTRONICS (1964) and their ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHYSICS (1968) and a 55 pp article in McGraw-Hill's HANDBOOK OF ELECTRONIC INSTRUMENTS on the selection and use of scopes. I had at least one engineer/scientist (Ph D) tell me that he had come to Tektronix after reading my article and, when we moved to Friendsview, we met Jack Neff (whom Cy Woodworth talked about), who lives here and worked in the CRT department at Tek). Jack told me that they had new employees read my account when they came to work in their department (I had not known this). Also, after I left Tek in 1970, a friend of Jim Swiberg's (for whom I was working at Environmental Conditioners in Vancouver) was delighted when he met me: he said, "You're the guy who wrote that article on scopes in McGraw Hill's HANDBOOK OF ELECTRONIC INSTRUMENTS." He was designing electronic controls for Jim's water treatment plants.
The Spring of 1958, I transferred to Bill Webber, Vice President of Administration, as his Technical Assistant. Somewhat after this Jack and Howard chose to sell some of their stock to selected employees. I was the only assistant to a Vice President who was not chosen. I excused it at the time on the ground that I had been Bill's assistant for only a short time. However, the next year, I was also passed over and it was a real blow. I talked to Jack Murdock about it and, although his loyalty to Howard did not permit him to come right out and say so, I realized there was something about me that Howard didn't like. Margie said I should go to Hewlett Packard, but I reasoned that I enjoyed my work, I was dealing with people I enjoyed, and I loved where we lived, and I was not going to let Howard, for whatever reason, drive me from my life.
Among other things, immediately after becoming Bill's assistant, he asked me to attend a three week Executive Development Seminar at the University of Oregon School of Business that summer. This launched me on a 'crusade' about a matter in which I had been concerned since my return to Portland from the East Coast: the lack of graduate education in Physics and Electronics in the Portland area. During my trips with the Neely people in the Southwest before I went East, and my time on the East Coast, I had noticed the clustering of high-tech businesses around Universities offering graduate education in fields of interest to them.
One of the companies that Howard admired was General Radio, a company formed by Melville Eastham from Oregon City, who had gone east to MIT in the late teens and early twenties, and stayed to form General Radio (now GENRAD), in the same neighborhood of Cambridge as MIT, and which was highly regarded in the electronics industry.
The week before I headed south to Eugene for the Seminar, I attended a City Club luncheon where Chancellor Richards of the Oregon System of Higher Education spoke about his plans for the colleges and universities of Oregon. During the gestion period, I asked him what plans they had for graduate education at Portland State. I didn't really expect a definitive answer, but I wanted to raise the gestion before an influential audience (which the City Club was).
During the opening dinner at Eugene, I found myself sitting next to Chancellor Richards, and I again raised the subject with him. Of course in that milieu, we couldn't discuss anything at length, but I did impress it on his consciousness.
I greatly enjoyed the Seminar, but told Bill that the wrong person had been there; Jack and Howard should have been the ones. I don't think anyone from Tek ever went again. I spoke with several potentials, but they were afraid of being gone from their job for that length of time. Finally, that same summer, I had been asked to speak at the Pacific Northwest Conference on Higher Education at Pullman, Washington (I don't really know how I got asked; perhaps in lieu of Bill Webber's appearing) and, when I got there, once again, I found Chancellor Richards in attendance. I reminded him of our former conversation, although I didn't deal with that subject in my talk (my assigned topic was 'The Threats to Education by Technology'). Evidently, I said some thing which caught their attention because I was quoted by papers as far away as Denver. Even the President of Reed College (Richard Sullivan) and the Chairman of the Faculty Senate there professed to be impressed by what I said.
By this time I was on something of a crusade and talked seriously with Bill Webber about it. He suggested I talk to Ira Keller, who had retired from Western Kraft at Albany, and had overseen the highly successful South Auditorium Renewal project in Portland (Ira's Fountain, the forecourt fountain at the Portland Civic Auditorium, is named for him). He had me to lunch at the Arlington Club and I laid out the situation at length to him.
I never heard from him again but, when the Oregon Graduate Center for Study and Research was organized (now OGC), Mr. Keller was president. It is now a flourishing organization, granting Doctorates in several fields under the aegis of Oregon Health Sciences University.
During one of our Splinter Group meetings in Corvallis, we met at the home of Dr. Vernon Cheldelin, Head of the Physical Sciences at OSU. I was rash enough to say that the high technology industry in Oregon would go nowhere until we had graduate education in the Sciences and Technology available in Portland. Dr. Cheldelin exploded, actually cursing, and said that it was not needed, OSU could provide completely adequate service from Corvallis. I discreetly let the subject drop.
Also, I realized that our legislature was loaded with graduates from both OSU and UofO, and they would resist any effort to increase the stature of Portland State University at the expense - as they would perceive it - of their Alma Maters.
Another responsibility Bill gave me was dealing with the Patent Licensing people of other companies (notably Western Electric and Electrical and Musical Industries (EMI) of England. Although these didn't require much face-to-face time, they did require quite a bit of time analyzing the patents they thought we were infringing. About that time, Mr Stanley Livingston of EMI stopped by to see us on his way from Japan to England to discuss our License agreement. That evening, Margie and I took him to Trader Vic’s at thr Benson for dinner and, after he had a little too much to drink, he told me I could call him “Stanley’ rather than Mr Livingston! What a concession to our friendship!
On that same trip, he gave me my choice of a famous series of Mt Fuji prints bv Hiroshige, a famous Japanese print maker. It was first piece of Japanese art, of which I have become very interested and, of which I now have a small collection.
Two programs at Tek which had been initiated while we were back East were the formation of a Management Committee and an Employee Advisory Group. The Management Committee was formed of the top managers of the company while the Advisory Group was formed of a half dozen mid-level managers, who were selected to participate in free-wheeling discussions of matters of concern to Tek. The leadership rotated among the members, and they were free to organize their leadership time anyway they saw fit. I used ideas that I had been exposed to at the Executive Development Seminar in Eugene. We had been exposed to outstanding professors who lectured about every aspect of business; entrepreneurship, management philosophy, personnel matters and other topics of concern. The Advisory Group members rated one another every month on several different aspects of leadership.
One of the professors who had impressed me at Eugene was Dr. Dwaine Richens who had thought deeply about the relationship of authority and responsibility. He held that a person should not be held accountable for matters entrusted to him unless he had been given the authority to accomplish them. It seemed to me that Tek had reversed this order by saddling a person with responsibilities for which he was held account able, without giving him the authority to bring them about.
My main accomplishment during this time was to convince the management to hear Dwaine, and really listen to what he had to say. For many years he was perhaps the most popular outside lecturer Tek used. I also recommended texts by respected authors on management matters which I, with great difficulty, convinced some (Bob Davis, for example) to read. Some of these became 'bibles' of business management at Tek. By the time this happened, I was busy with other things.
Further, Bill asked me to take on what would in other companies would be called 'public relations'. Howard and Jack were very reluctant about giving out any information about the company. This covered simple Questions such as ,"What do you do?" "What are these things for? Why are they important?” All these matters they felt was nobody's business unless it came upon a one-to-one basis, since Tek was a privately held corporation. They somehow didn't want to recognize that when Tektronix 'moved', it made waves not only in the Beaverton area, but in Portland, the state, and the Northwest. It was inevitable that a company expanding as fast as we were obviously growing, would attract curiosity, and I urged us to tackle the 'problem' head on, rather than to ignore it. Consequently, I spoke to: -high school students who were interested in engineering (Gresham, for example, who wanted to know about 'agricultural engineering'); -high school commencements (Seaside and Madras, for examples); -business groups (Seattle -local -and Los Angeles -national); -teachers' groups (Roseburg); -religious groups (YMCA), -and even had several reporters from local papers in to give them some background information about Tek's activities, (but not financial matters); and many others who wondered what we did and 'what is an oscilloscope?'
After my talk at Pullman, President Morgan Odell of Lewis and Clark asked me to give the convocation speech there. When he wanted to pay me (an 'honorarium'), I declined until I remembered that any gift given to the college would be matched by the Tektronix Foundation.
Another continuing activity that I was also asked to be involved in was the Annual Gearhart Conference, an economic education program sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It was designed to prepare leaders of discussion groups who were knowledgeable in the free-enterprise system of the United States. Eventually, I became Chairman of the Conference the year that Ronald Reagan was the featured speaker.
By this time I was also going to Law School, and I stayed at home to attend night classes, and drove every day to Seaside and back, conduct ing the program of the Conference. I never did meet Reagan.
For some reason, people began to contact me when they had something in which they wanted to interest Tek. For example, one late afternoon (it had to be before 1961, because we were still at the Sunset Highway plant), a 'little old lady' called, who had been bugging me for some time to come and see a piece of property for sale. Cornered, I reluctantly agreed and, for company, I asked Otto Zach, the administrator of the Tektronix Foundation, to go along for company. She took us out to a beautiful piece of wooded property on 185th Ave, near Hillsboro. Unbeknownst to me, a Dr. Pickering, Professor of Pediatrics at the Medical School had been after the Foundation to support the funding of a Primate Center in Portland. Otto recognized that this property would be perfect for the purpose, convinced the Foundation to purchase it, and presented it to the Medical School for Pickering.
Another person who wanted Tektronix to buy property was Carl Windolph of Windolph Pontiac, who had a horse-farm on a half-section bounded by Walker Road, Murray Road (145th Ave.) and 165th Ave., and Jenkins Road.
He wanted to see a world class golf course surrounded by luxury homes there He even brought up the developer/designer of the famed Eldorado course in California to convince us. Of course the Foundation was not interested in that sort of investment.
The property is now the Nike Campus and associated offices and light manufacturing.
Another responsibility was as Security Officer. Many of our Field Engineers dealt with military or civilian establishments which required them to have clearances as high as Secret to enter their laboratories. We were authorized to obtain such clearances for them from the military establishments, but some dealt with facilities of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), which required 'Q' clearance, and those organizations obtained clearances for our employees as necessity required.
A couple of recent events (2009) have recalled and/or clarified for me two incidents that happened shortly after we moved from the Sunset Plant to Beaverton.
A few weeks ago (Fall 2009), Public Broadcasting Corporation aired a program about a secret intelligence gathering program during the Cold War. Both the USSR and the United States had developed manned satellites orbiting the earth collecting data on each other's large scale construction projects, e.g., ICBM launching sites and nuclear bomb facilities. Our satellite was called SKYLAB. This was activated in 1964.
Shortly after we moved to the Beaverton facility (1961), several of us were called into Bill Webber's office for a meeting with a man who introduced himself as being from the Central Intelligence Agency
(CIA), and told us that we had been cleared for reasons about which we were not to know, and of which we could not even tell our wives -or anyone -that we had such a clearance.
Very probably the reason that Tek was given this super-secret clearance was that we were asked to build equipment for SKYLAB. It would take about the time from 1961, when we were told of the clearance, to 1964 when SKYLAB was activated, to build, equip and launch such a device. I'm sure our instruments, modified for the environment of SKYLAB (and perhaps some other special equipment we were asked to build but weren't told about), were included. I do know that we were asked to provide scopes that would withstand strong vibratory environments. The fact that we were building such equipment for them would be ultra-secret.
I didn't tell Margie about my clearance until early this year (2009) when she questioned me about another matter.
The other event was that a very recent issue of SPECTRUM, the professional magazine of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) included an article about the reactivation of an IBM 1401 computer by a group of old engineers who had had experience in various capacities with this machine. The article included several illustrations in which our equipment was being used to activate this machine.
The 1401 was the first general purpose computer for business, and was in such demand that it took a special license from the Defense Department to purchase one. We didn't do any direct defense work that we knew about -so weren't able to obtain such a license even though our equipment was widely used to develop such equipment; in fact, our customers had to obtain such licenses to purchase our standard equipment during this time, which was the 'run-up' to the Viet Nam war.
Our purchasing department came to me and asked if there was any way we could get such a license, as I had obtained some experience with Dal during the Korean War which involved such licenses. I made a few phone calls; and we were able to obtain one of the early production 1401s.
This machine used endless belts with alphabetical and numerical symbols on them which were hit by hammers to print out the results of their computations. These made quite a racket as the machine was operating. Shortly after it was installed, the crew invited me back to see their new 'toy' and, as I walked into the room where it was operating, I was greeted with the tune of THE STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER; the machine had been programmed so that the 'noise' of the hammers on the type belts played the tune. Of course, that was a trivial use of the machine, but it did demonstrate its capabilities vividly.
Bill would often receive requests for his participation in some local activity, and he would suggest me in his stead. Thus, in the early sixties, I took part in a series of TV book reviews locally, and this
led to at least one program in Seattle.
A Medical School contact which became of personal interest to me was with Dr. Charles Dotter, who was investigating the problem of gleaning cholesterol deposits from blood vessels. When he opened a new lab in a building for which the Medical School had received support from the Foundation, I was invited to the opening, and I took Nancy, a sophomore in high school, with me. When I introduced her to Charlie, "sparks' flew; he recognized in her someone special, and she responded to his interest in her. When we got home that day, she sat down and wrote him a letter saying that she would like to work for him that summer, and would work for nothing if necessary. He replied that he’d like her to work for him, but he might not be able to pay much if anything.
She worked (and was paid) in his lab nearly every summer through college.
Bill had also asked me to oversee and administer the patents, trademark copyright and license matters of the company, and this grew to occupy most of my time. Howard had no interest in these matters in fact he was rather hostile to the idea of what is now called 'intellectual property' -and so I had to 'fly blind' as I tried to protect any future interests Tek might have in its inventions and other matters. Whatever program we had was what I thought was necessary That I was successful was indicated by the 25th Anniversary calendar (issued the year after I left), which listed, among a handful of other accomplishments, the number of patents Tek owned.
Out of this area of responsibilities came another job Bill gave to me: dealing with the vexing problem of several government agencies awarding production contracts for Tektronix oscilloscopes to other manufacturers? Of course, this raised the problem of patent infringement of which we now had several. Because I was the only one who had any experience (Such as it was) with patents, Bill asked me to get involved. An idea of the problem we faced was the experience had by several of our Field Engineers; they would be asked to come and fix an inoperative instrument and, after opening it, and perhaps working on it for several minutes, would realize that it was not an instrument of our manufacture, but a copy. The users would not know the origin of the instrument, and thus any problems reflected on Tektronix! Of course, we were outraged.
Was I ignorant about how patent lawsuits worked!
However, I did a lot of reading and, when our correspondence with government agencies had no effect and we decided we had to sue I made up a booklet of the patents we had, indicated how we thought they were being infringed, to give to the lawyer we eventually hired to handle the case for us.
We had asked both our general law firm and our patent law firm for a list of names from which we could select an attorney. They both came back with a single name, Robert Conrad of the firm of Watson, Cole, Grindle and Watson of Washington, D.C. Mr. Robert Watson, the senior partner of the firm was just retiring as head of the Patent and Trademark Office for former President Eisenhower. Jim Castles (our Secretary and General Counsel), Steve Blore (our patent attorney), Bill Webber, and I flew to Washington in February 1961 to interview Mr. Conrad.
He was a very impressive guy, and we hired him on the spot. He was an electrical engineering graduate of Lehigh University before WWII, and a graduate of George Washington University Law School after. He was an mposing man without being overbearing, having been a submarine commander during WWII, ranging north and south in the western Pacific against Japanese shipping and naval activities. He had a photographic memory, enabling him to know the law and the rules of a court before which he was to practice, so that he could take advantage of the idiosyncrasies of a particular judge. He would brook no bullying by a judge, threatening them with a procedural ploy (a Writ of Mandamus,for example) that would force them to grant a Motion Bob was making to protect his client (a change of Venue, for example). I had two Trial Commissioners (equal to district judges in the federal courts) tell me personally that they considered him the most able of the attorneys practicing before the Court of Claims.
I gave him my little booklet of patents and infringing circuits and, within a few days he had filed a suit against the United States for patent infringement of five patents by eight instruments manufactured by three companies. I became the case manager, designing exhibits to clearly show infringement; there were several hundred of these, individually drawn. I also suggested the order in which the patents should be presented, simplest to most complex, so that the Trial Commissioner would gradually come to an understanding of the technology involved. I also suggested a numbering system for the exhibits, which made it much easier to keep before us the patent which was the subject of present testimony and cross-examination; a trivial matter, but one which kept us, as plaintiffs, from having to go back and forth between two or three arbitrarily different numbering systems. Finally, I also kept the growing and voluminous files in an orderly fashion so that we could lay our fingers on a needed paper immediately.
A further part of my responsibilities at the plant was the protection of our products by any legitimate means. As an example, we were just about to introduce a small scope which embodied our first use of printed circuits, i.e., rather than bundles of wires to distribute voltages, currents, and signals in our instruments, we made up laminated insulation boards on which were printed metallic strips which were electrical conductors between various circuit components mounted on the boards. As we were at this time involved in our lawsuit, I realized that someone intent on copying our equipment could simply take a photo graph of these boards without having to spend the time and expense of doing their own work. It occurred to me that there was a lot of personal judgment which went into the arrangement of the conductive strips and it might be possible to protect them by copyright, like works of art. I went to several board designers and asked them how they went about designing these things, and they said rather than running straight lines from point to point, they laid them out so that the arrangement was pleasing to the eye. That was all I needed. I talked to Steve Blore, our patent attorney, and he said to try it. I went to Fitz, at that time production manager, explained the situation to him, and he obligingly suspended production long enough to have rubber stamps containing appropriate copyright notices, and we hand stamped those ready to be shipped, as well as those already assembled. I had the designers incorporate on the boards an acceptable copyright notice, and this became standard in the industry until such boards began to be laid out by computer, at which time no 'artistic' element was present.
In fact, about this time ELECTRONICS magazine published an article about a businessman in Rhode Island who had boards he considered artistic mounted and displayed as art in his office.
Because of my lack of a degree, I had been undergoing a series of tests in our Human Relations department as to appropriate further education. With the experiences I was having in our case, I decided to
take the L-Sat test to see if I had the capability of handling law school (receiving a score in the top fraction of a percentile). I re member the night I told Bob Conrad of my decision; we were eating dinner at Hill Villa restaurant, and he got tears in his eyes when I told him I was going to Law School.
During the trial, our procedure was, after proceedings closed for the day, to come back to our hotel suite, lugging our files with us, and go to dinner. By that time, the transcripts of the proceedings that day would have been delivered and we would go to work, analyzing them and plotting our trial tactics for the next day. We seldom finished before midnight, and it was sometimes two or three in the morning before we got to sleep.
The trial itself took thirty courtroom days, plus many weeks of taking depositions from witnesses and preparation for trial. Over the next nine years I flew to Washington more than a dozen and a half times on the lawsuit; once within 24 hours and twice overnight (in addition to trips to other eastern cities on other matters). I missed my final exams three years in a row; the third year Judge Gantenbein was not going to permit this, but Bob called them from London, England explaining why he needed me in Washington. The judge was impressed and relented, but said, "NO MORE!" My final year, I left for the trial the day after finals!
During the time I was attending Law School three nights a week for four years, I became a father for the second time - a long awaited son, Nancy entered and graduated from Reed College, married in the middle of her senior year, and entered Medical School. In addition, I carried on my full-time job overseeing a crew of thirty people performing several functions at Tek, and Margie was also going full time to Portland State for her degree. She had to stay in bed the last several months to avoid losing the baby.
Needless to say, my performance at law school suffered with all of the demands on my time, but I graduated from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College in the Spring of 1967 with a Juris Dr. degree. It was ironic that my first degree was a doctorate, as that was the goal for which I was eventually aiming (although in Physics) when I entered Reed College.
Our little boy was born right in the middle of our legal proceedings in fact, when he was but a week old, and he and Margie were still in the hospital, I came by one evening about ten, kissed them goodbye,
flew to Washington for a conference with Commissioner Lane and handed out cigars, and stopped by to see how they were on my way home twenty-four hours later. It was regrettable that I was so involved during his baby years. When I was in D.C., I called home every evening and, be sides speaking with Margie, also talked to Peter, telling him that "this was Daddy".
I was probably gone a dozen-and-a-half times during his first six years of life, but when I was home, I tried to make up for it by taking him on hikes in the Columbia Gorge and other places, going fishing,and family outings and picnics. He spent time with his favorite cousin Scott at my brother Steve's farm at Estacada, and was even present when Howard presented me with my twenty-year pin at Tek.
When I didn't pass the Bar Exam, I set up a study schedule and started on it for a second try. However, one evening Peter came back to my study cubbyhole and said, "Daddy, come and play with me." I closed my books, turned out the light and, shut the door. Whatever I might have gained by passing the Bar was not worth neglecting my little boy. He was a much-wanted child.
An unusual aspect of our lawsuit was the Government bringing a Counter claim against us for the infringement of two government patents. This was the first (and only!) time in the history of the U.S. patent system that such a thing happened. It had been a subject of speculation by the patent bar for years. I was on a Chamber of Commerce tour in early December of 1963, at Field Emission Corporation in McMinnville, when I received a call from Ann Molek, my secretary, telling me of the filing of the Counterclaim. I was astounded.
Back at the plant, I quickly did a worldwide search on the background of these patents. This was before the Internet, and had to be done by telephone to Britain, Canada, Australia and other places. By the end of December, I had enough confidence in ray findings to tell Bob Conrad that we could defeat one of the patents on the ground of anticipation (somebody else had invented it first), and the other on the ground that, during the prosecution of the application in the Patent Office, the applicant had amended it to exclude our type of function (what is called 'file wrapper estoppel').
Bob flew out to Portland and proposed to our Board that we challenge the right of the Government to bring such an action, as we could always fall back on the grounds of invalidity and non-infringement. They accepted his recommendation.
During this period LaVoie Labs of New Jersey, one of the co-defendants, brought a suit against us (for what,I forget), but it was dismissed because of our main case, and then they declared bankruptcy, which brought everything to a screeching halt, as the bankruptcy judge suspended all actions which would have a bearing on LaVoie’s liabilities.
When the trial resumed, we took testimony on why the Government had chosen to take this unprecedented legal step (I had a theory which I kept to myself because of its absurdity). Both of the Departments of the Army and Navy disclaimed any knowledge of the reasons, but we finally wrested from Michel Worth, the Government attorney who was leading attorney on the Defendant's side, that it came from the highest levels of the Justice Department', a euphemism for the Attorney General.
My suspicions were confirmed (at least to my satisfaction)! During John Kennedy's run for the presidency, he had visited Tektronix during a visit to Portland. My boss, Bill Webber, was his host and, when Kennedy was preparing to leave, Bill shook his hand and said, in essence, "I think you're a fine young man, but you should know I'm going to vote for your opponent!" (this is as near a direct quote as I remember it). I about choked when Bill told me this, because Kennedy would take this as condescension and an insult, which one did not do to the Kennedy's. Bill responded -to me -that he was too much of a gentleman to do such a thing, but John Kennedy was anything but a gentleman (my opinion).
Also, equally as important to our present legal situation at that time, Bobby Kennedy was the Attorney General.
In the principal case, Bob submitted a Motion for Summary Judgment on the Counterclaim (which meant that there was no legal basis for the action), which was granted over the Government's opposition on the ground that it was not permitted by the rules of the court. Bob informed the Government Attorney that Motions for Summary Judgment had recently been permitted in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) just before we filed our case.
Our Motion was allowed and the Counterclaim was dismissed, on the ground that the Government had not conformed to the requirement of the CFR that they publish their intention to sue for patent infringement (which they still have not done).
Our intention to challenge the Government's right to sue was vigorously opposed by the electronics industry, including Hewlett-Packard's patent attorney, Jean Chognard, who made a special trip to Portland to dissuade us. They were afraid we would lose, which would expose the industry to another legal hazard. The government actually made the argument, in opposition to our Motion for Summary Judgement, that bringing infringement suits against infringers of government patents, would be another means of regulating businesses who dominated their segment of the economy. We had a patent cross-license agreement with H-P which I had long wanted to cancel. Although it had been made in the early fifties, when we were both fairly small, each of us now dominated our industry segments, and I was deathly afraid the Government might bring an Anti-Trust suit for restraint of trade, which would legally be very damaging to us. All during these proceedings, I was studying these matters in Law School, on my trips to Washington, many of which were in preparation for trial. Bob had me help him research and write, under his supervision a number of legal papers to be used during trial. It was priceless legal experience.
About the middle of the sixties, Bill Webber also had me set up a panel of professors from five Oregon colleges and universities (Reed,PSU Linfield, OSU, and UofO) to select a nationally and internationally known scientist to speak at one of the schools each summer under the auspices of the Tektronix Foundation. The speaker would be paid traveling and hotel expenses, and a more than adequate honorarium It became very popular to be known as a Tektronix Foundation Lecturer.
Also in the early-mid-sixties, I was asked to serve on a City Club committee to investigate Metropolitan Area Transportation Planning. Arnold Bodtker was the chairman, and it became the longest running committee at the time. The present day MAX system is, in part, a result of that study.
In 1966 we, as a family, flew to Japan to visit Kyoko and her family. She had been our foreign exchange student during the 1962/63 school year Since Tek had recently concluded a joint venture company, SONY/TEKTRONIX CORPORATION, to manufacture our instruments for the Asian market, I took the opportunity visit their facilities.
All during our time in D.C., Bill and I, from time to time, visited with our senators and congressmen. There was not much interesting our problem by our senators, as they were both committed Democrats and therefore sort of suspicious of business. Senator Wayne Morse was always hospitable, but didn’t much pay attention to our problems; if I remember rightly, he was on the committee that dealt with intellectual property (patents, trademarks, and copyrights), but didn’t realize, or didn’t care, that one of the staff members of that committee was hostile to such matters. Consequently, any research he did or recommended to the committee would be anti-protection. However, Morse did take us to lunch twice in the Senate Dining Room.
I had an amusing experience that involved Morse. We were visited by an engineer from a large Eastern electronics firm and, when he asked how it was that we would elect such a man to the Senate, I asked him when his plane left and, when he said not till late afternoon, I said “He’s speaking at a luncheon this noon and I’d like to take you” Morse was his usual self at the City Club lunch and, as we were leaving, my visitor leaned over and whispered, “Where do I vote!”
In the 1968 election, I participated in the recount Morse asked for when Bob Packwood won by a slim margin (On Packwood’s side, needless to say)
The one congressional person who did show interest in the progress of Our lawsuit was Wendell Wyatt, congressman from Astoria. He asked pertinent questions, and offered suggestions on people to see in our visits.
Of course, we spent time in Washington with Emerson Schmidt, chief economist of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and when he cane to Portland he always managed to see us. I think we had him to dinner at least once.
in 1967, after the trial was over, and I had graduated from Law School, I was transferred from Bill Webber's department to Jim Castle's department.It did make some logic, since Jim was the General Counsel but, but he was never very interested in the details of our lawsuit being only concerned with how it was going. He was not much interested in my patent or licensing activities and actually told me in the latter months I was there, that it was unnecessary for me to attend meetings with people who came to Tek on lawsuit matters.
When I took the Bar Examination, I did not pass it. Jim took this very hard. Although Jim and I had known one another almost from the time I went to work for Tek, we were not close. We were two very different individuals, and had two opposing philosophies of life. We really disliked one another.
In 1968 Tek decided to send a delegation to Japan to conduct meetings with SONY/TEK, MITI (the ministry of international trade and commerce),and the Japanese Patent Office, to discuss increasing problems we were having in Japan with obtaining patents, and with others copying our products. Jim Castles led the delegation, and I went along as the one who determined what inventions we would try to obtain protection on. Jim's new wife (the sister of his deceased wife), came along, and Margie was scheduled to come for a two-week pleasure trip to visit Kyoko after the business part of the trip was over (but she had a nasty allergy attack and couldn't make it).
1 learned much about the Japanese attitude to copying, (and, about Japanese art) and also came to the realization that official (bureaucratic) Japan was attempting to reverse, in asmall way, the humiliating defeat they suffered during WWII, by making the American side of any business relationship as difficult as possible. (This was not the attitude of our SONY partners, by the way.) I again met Mr. Morita,the CEO of SONY and, for the first time, Mr. Ibuka, the cofounder of SONY.
It was an interesting trip. I did have an enjoyable weekend with Kyoko and her family. She took me up to Nikko, where a large Shinto shrine in located in the mountains.
When the economy 'tanked', as it did in late '69 and early '70, Jim fired me telling me he was going to see if he could get along without me Although it was a real shock, I also realized that it was an answer to Margie's and my prayers, and did not let it affect me greatly.
He also said, "Of course, I don't know what we'll do about the law suit' to which I responded, "I don't really have to worry about that now Jim?" He really knew nothing about the details of the lawsuit or about patents and such matters. Neither did he show any interest in 'PR" matters. I think he held it against me that I didn’t try the Bar Exam again.
He gave me until the end of the first week in May to get things in order and I hired a temporary girl to work with me to organize the files for the time when a decision was handed down on the validly of, and infringement on, our patents, and the trial could proceed on what the infringement would cost the government.
Bob Conrad was shocked. He offered to move us to D.C., give me a job with his firm so that I could finish the lawsuit, an offered very favorable terms (this was the second time he had done so; he did when we first retained him). However I had come to realize that he was out of the city about three-quarters of their time – much of it overseas – and this would mean that Margie and young Peter would be stranded in the suburbs of D.C. without friends and family, to which I could not subject them.
On Monday of my last week at Tek, the phone rang and it was Ruth, Bob Conrad'S secretary, who said, "Mr. Day, I have two sentences to read to you.' I put Anne, my secretary on the phone, and Ruth said, "All patents valid. All claims infringed!"
I took Anne's typed note into Jim and laid it on his desk. The atmosphere was so gloomy that day, I told Margie that one would have thought Jack Murdock had died (which he did about a year later) Howard and Bob Fitzgerald (the CEO of Tek at that time) were in and out of Jim’s office all day, and they were not happy. Frankly, there should have been a general celebration, as 9-1/2 years of hard work had been successful.
Later Bill Webber asked me to come see him, and asked me if I would consider coming back to work on the compensation phase; I could name my terms. However, even with visions of hundreds of dollars floating before my eyes, I said I thought it was incredible that a company the size of Tek (more than ten thousand employees at the time) could not find someone with the capability of handling that phase of things. If Jim had asked me, I might have consented, but to come at it through a good friend and former boss, I thought it was unseemly.
It was nearly ten more years before the compensation phase was decided and the company received payment from the government. My friend Frances Frost did the technical work I had been doing, as his experience at Tek was similar to my own.
Forty years later, Tektronix, Inc. is no more. It was great while it lasted.
Jack Day 2009