Just when it appears things can’t get much worse for patent plaintiffs, the Federal Circuit surprises us with a modest string of decisions actually finding in favor of patent holders.

Just one week after Muniauction, Inc. (pdf) took it on the chin by having its $77 Million jury verdict reversed (that’s reversed as in “you

Competition in an open market is a good thing, or so we’ve been told. And, in an admittedly counter-intuitive way, the patent system itself promotes competition and choice by enabling small players with better ideas to compete effectively with the big boys. So why, then, shouldn’t healthy competition be brought to the realm of jurisprudence? Particularly at the appellate level? Even more particularly, how about at the level of, say, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit? Hmmm….
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A recent blog entry at Patently-O discusses the economics of so-called “patent thickets” (which, I gather, is the new name for what used to be called “a crowded art”). There’s quite a bit of detailed and fascinating discussion concerning, among other things, the recent ebay decision and how patent owners in such a “thicket” will

One of my pet peeves has been the rule against even mentioning so-called “non-precedential” or “unpublished” opinions in briefs filed with federal appellate courts. Dennis Crouch and Law.com are both reporting that the Supreme Court has now voted to change long-standing rule and allow citation to such previously off-limits decisions. It’s about time.

This whole

Hmmm, here’s an interesting comment I received today from concerned reader, john.bolt@gmail.com:

“And how does your view relate to the millions you spent of LizardTech’s money on patent litigation, which was unjustified to begin with and a complete loss anyway? Can you spell hypocrisy?”

Well, I can spell a number of words, but I don’t

getting the sense that the patent system is facing serious problems these days? When I got into this game in 1983, the then-newly-formed Federal Circuit was supposed to bring uniformity, predictability and even respectability to the patent system. And it did — for a while. Under former Chief Judge Markey, the Federal Circuit’s decisions made

So the Federal Circuit has spoken. The late Jerome Lemelson gets his comeuppance. And companies around the country breathe a sigh of relief.

Whether Mr. Lemelson goes down in history as a modern day Thomas Edison (and I’ve sometimes had my doubts about Tom) or as just a shrewd manipulator of the legal system,

Who says claim construction is difficult? Who says it’s unpredictable? Nonsense! Claim construction is easy! Anyone can do it. You simply follow the clear guidelines set out by the Federal Circuit.

And where do you find those?

That’s easy too. The Federal Circuit has helpfully set them out in today’s en banc decision in Phillips v. AWH Corporation. Just read it — all fifty-six pages of it.

Start with the majority opinion by Judges Bryson, Michel, Clevenger, Rader, Schall, Gajarsa, Linn, Dyk and Prost. And check out the additional views of Judge Lourie, who joins with respect to parts I, II, III, V and VI, and those of Judge Newman who joins with respect to parts I, II, III, and V. But don’t forget Judge Lourie’s dissent-in-part in which Judge Newman joins. And then there’s the dissent from Judge Mayer, in which Judge Newman joins. But trust me, it makes sense. It really does. I’m so grateful the court has made things clear.
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