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….
Continue Reading The Ultimate Monopoly

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

Hmmm, here’s an interesting comment I received today from concerned reader,

“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.
Continue Reading Have We Made Ourselves Clear?

Well, things have been quite busy around here the last month or so, with an oral argument before the Federal Circuit last month and a case going to trial in a couple of weeks. Although I haven’t posted in a while, I still find time to keep up with the so-called “patent reform” efforts currently