What do Terrorists and Patent Wars Have in Common?


When Paul Schwarz speaks, it’s burnished by multiple lifetimes of experience. Having served in various capacities at the Pentagon supporting Army operations, Schwarz has
also been an Administrative Law Judge (ret.), a real-estate developer, a strategic consultant… and a lawyer who doggedly pursued Libyan state-sponsored terrorists to get justice for victims.

His latest role is strategic military adviser to V5 Systems, which affirms a career underpinned by a desire for equity.

With a legal, military and business background, Schwarz is an expert on asymmetric warfare, strategic risk and how these concepts apply to businesses. He’s parlayed this expertise to both advise companies and fight hostile governments with limitless resources.

His dynamism permeates the conversation, including his ideas for building sustainable public safety and fighting an asymmetric war at the corporate level

Who Gets Hurt When Process Isn’t Implemented

At the Pentagon, as Chief of Classified Acquisition, every logistics decision Schwarz made involved implementing systems to secure the military acquisition process, including vetting and procuring dangerous material.

If the process were breached, foreign governments could access military secrets, placing lives and military readiness in jeopardy and corrupting decades of careful work. Systematic, proactive implementation was crucial to keeping intelligence under wraps and soldiers safe.

Civilians don’t necessarily have that constant expectation of disaster and violence, and it’s usually the innocent who get hurt.

Paul Schwarz
V5 Systems
Military Adviser

The same principles of system, due diligence and proactivity applied in his legal career

In April, 1986, a bomb blast tore through the La Belle discotheque in West Berlin, killing three and injuring 229 people, including American servicemen, the intended targets. In a decade-long pursuit of justice for the bombing victims, Schwarz and his team proceeded with that same meticulous attention to detail. The case involved the complicated and evolving rules of transnational prosecution, sovereign actors and volumes of evidence collected in other countries. Getting justice was a matter of exploring all angles and creating new, better law — a fight Schwarz ultimately won for his clients.

His experience emphasized something else. The key to mitigating unexpected disaster in daily life — proactive protocol and smart systems.

For example, Schwarz believes smart technology is critical to preventative security in civic society. Smart tools for prevention, identification and situational awareness are becoming standard; with the advent of AI-based detection systems, criminologists are now able to assess potential violence before it happens, for example.

“A beat cop could describe to you the tell-tale characteristics – the subject’s “jonesing”, Ioitering and potentially lethal actions.” But artificial intelligence-based programs that can scale-up this analysis and act as force multipliers, give police a proactive edge, helping to limit harm to civilians.

That smart, proactive perspective towards safety convinced him that V5 Systems had the right approach to push the needle; more importantly, the company had the right ethos. V5 Systems was anticipating the nexus of the growing Industrial IoT market which will increase outdoor security risk and they developed a solution to help. As an adviser, he knew he would be a good fit.

Asymmetric warfare means planning to defend against an unconventional method of attack, directionally, or unconventional weapons.

Paul Schwarz
V5 Systems
Military Adviser

The Advantage of Asymmetry

To him, direct competition is like conventional warfare. The actors are known, the parameters understood.

Indirect competition and resource wars create asymmetric risks for combatants/companies. Big companies have big resources, but startups can be nimble and creative.


Whether it’s proactive risk management strategies like filing patents early and comprehensively or limiting floating debt, emerging companies can stay ahead of big, direct competitors. By identifying indirect competition, such as a left-field service, new technologies can differentiate themselves early and continuously. Vigilant competitive analysis is critical; so is reacting rapidly and thoughtfully to market changes.

It’s advice V5 Systems has taken to heart; the company provides an outdoor security and computing platform that can quickly expand on traditional security, when power infrastructure isn’t easily accessible. Some engineering judo has also allowed the company to partner with would-be competitors by creating a self-powered computer that third-parties can integrate and innovate with.

Every the lawyer, Schwarz knows that the best technology needs proactive protection. “For rising companies, it’s about timely due diligence. Make sure you’re operating in regions with strong IP-protections, with legal remedies in place. Study the laws for redress and select markets where you rights as a creator are guaranteed.”

Even if a challenger has full coffers, Schwarz discovered long ago that winning against the
big guns is in the details.


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