Federal Circuit Judicial Watch

By Dennis Crouch

Three of the Federal Circuit’s twelve judicial positions are currently open. Those slots were previously held by Judges Michel, Linn, and Bryson. Judge Michel’s slot has been unfilled since his 2010 retirement, but the nominee, Richard Taranto, appears to be finally moving forward. In a voice vote today, the Senate Judiciary committee approved Taranto’s nomination. See http://www.judiciary.senate.gov. The nomination must still be confirmed by the Senate as a whole. Judges Linn and Bryson vacated their positions in November 2012 and January 2013 respectively. President Obama has not yet offered any nominees to fill those slots, although I hear that they are in the works. (If you have not yet heard from the White House, then you are not getting nominated. Sorry.)

For more reading, look at the recent NLJ editorial by Professor Carl Tobias: Circuit court confirmations an imperative.

15 thoughts on “Federal Circuit Judicial Watch

  1. The problem is that the Federal Circuit is an orphan court without a broad constituency. There have been some excellent judges, but no specialty court can expect to get the type of judges one routinely encounters on the regional circuits.

    We have a single CAFC judge who came from a district court. Only one former trial judge on a circuit court this size would never occur in a regional circuit.

    Nor are CAFC nominees subject to the level of scrutiny faced by regional circuit nominees, especially nominees to the more prominent regional circuits.

  2. Why is the Federal Circuit even wasting its time???

    Really. After Myriad, all this DNA nonsense is going to be deemed ineligible as products of nature anyway, right?

  3. Pfizer argues that it should be enough that they made a plasmid comprising the sequence, although they did not know the sequence.

    Product-by-process?

  4. link to cafc.uscourts.gov

    How profoundly depressing to listen to the argument in Sanofi-Aventis. Pfizer’s alleged invention is a claim to a specific DNA molecule that is described by its sequence and when THAT CLAIMED INVENTION was conceived. It’s a very simple, long-understood proposition that if you do not know the sequence of a DNA molecule, you have not conceived of that sequence. How can it be otherwise?

    Pfizer argues that it should be enough that they made a plasmid comprising the sequence, although they did not know the sequence. They did not know the claimed structure. Pfizer argues that they don’t need conception (a fixed and permanent idea of what the invention is) because they had reduction to practice of …. something they could not accurately describe at that time. Pfizer wants to re-write the law so that conception of a properly (structurally) claimed chemical requires merely the belief that the structure of the chemical (whatever it happens to be) is “close to being figured out.”

    Ridiculous. Why is the Federal Circuit even wasting its time???

  5. The problem with working at the USPTO is that the taint takes a long time to wear off – the long you are there, the longer the taint stays. Chen has been arguing the USPTO’s side (i.e., let’s screw applicants) for quite some time. The important question is … does that mindset stay with him or will he be his own man?

    I thought that mindset vanished instantly once Kappos told people to stop doing it. Isn’t that why we see those pretty charts and graphs with the grant rate spiking as soon as he made that big speech, and still climbing to this day?

    If it takes that long for the mindset to fade, we should be crediting Dudas for the past four years of record grant rates. Poor guy couldn’t do a thing while he was in charge because the last guy’s “screw applicants” mentality hadn’t worn off yet.

  6. I’m going to reserve judgment on Chen. The problem with working at the USPTO is that the taint takes a long time to wear off – the long you are there, the longer the taint stays. Chen has been arguing the USPTO’s side (i.e., let’s screw applicants) for quite some time. The important question is … does that mindset stay with him or will he be his own man? I’m not particularly hopeful, but I’ll still reserve judgment.

    As for Todd Hughes, who knows his opinion on patent law?

    Richard Taranto at least has a PhD in mathematics. His bio can be found here:
    link to judiciary.senate.gov
    It makes for good reading. He has a very solid background and has handled quite a bit of patent work at both the Federal Circuit and the Supreme Court. Of all of them, he is the one I feel most comfortable with.

  7. Metallica needs to write up a new song “Destroyin’ the Law”. It could go…

    the law
    the law
    destroyin’ the law
    new appointees to the circuit
    destroyin’ the law
    destroyin’ the law
    patent law needs trimming
    destroyin’ the law
    destroyin’ the law

    It’s a start right? You want to add some lines NWPA? This could be a hit!

    I would suggest the following names:
    Legal Destruction
    statutory (de)construction
    Destruction of Patent Law
    Killin’ ‘Merica

  8. If you cannot describe your invention in “disney” format then you have a problem bro. And it isn’t the gov’s problem, it is your problem.

  9. Let’s face it. Obama is a disaster for the Fed. Cir. He is appointing people like himself before he became president. Name schools with no experience.

    We need real patent attorneys that have practiced patent law. The reason Newman understands patent law is that she had to practice patent law. These abstract psychotic arguments we hear from the SCOTUS and some of the current clowns on the Fed. Cir. are destroying patent law. Stop using the fed. cir. as your way of giving out rewards Mr. President. Take care of our patent laws by appointing real people that have practiced patent law.

    I can only imagine what these people owe to the president for their appointment. We can probably count on more like Moore. Just rotten horrible intellectually dishonest disgusting opinions penned by the beholden ignorant entitled wretches of the earth with big pools.

  10. No. Practicing patent law is not teaching a course at a university. Please. Grow up already.

    Any trained attorney should be able to teach a course on patent law. And your name dropping of Harvard and Yale only portend that he is going to be a disaster.

    Math doesn’t count for the PTO bar exam. I wonder why.

  11. Please, please, stop appointing non patent attorneys. We have the SCOTUS that can not understand science beyond a Disney version of an invention. We don’t need any more bozos deciding how our patent system should be run.

    Minimum qualifications: 10 years of practice as a patent attorney with some prosecution experience, client counseling, some litigation experience as well as opinion writing.

    PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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