Jury Trials in Patent Cases

In his recent work-in-progress article, Professor Mark Lemley focuses on the question of whether the Seventh Amendment protects the right to a jury determination of invalidity. His answer (and I paraphrase): Its complicated, but there is probably not a constitutional right to a jury trial on patent invalidity. In particular, Professor Lemley writes that the Supreme Court “is unlikely to find such a right [to a jury trial] to exist in the broad form lawyers and judges currently assume, though how the Court will rule may depend on the lens it uses to think about the Seventh Amendment.” Mark A. Lemley, Why Do Juries Decide if Patents Are Valid?, available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2306152.

Lemley writes:

Curiously, while the right to a jury trial on patent validity issues is widely assumed, there is in fact no solid support in modern case law for such a right. The one case to hold that there was such a right, the Federal Circuit panel opinion in In re Lockwood, drew a sharp dissent from three members of the appellate court, was taken on certiorari by the Supreme Court, and was then vacated by that Court after the patentee withdrew its jury trial demand rather than face Supreme Court review. Nonetheless, both courts and lawyers have based two decades of practice on that uncertain foundation. The resulting practice is a hybrid one that is hard to link to any historical practice.

Lemley’s article provides the following chart showing how the rate of jury trials (as compared with bench trials) has changed so dramatically over the past several decades.


Rise of Patent Jury Trials

61 thoughts on “Jury Trials in Patent Cases

  1. Lemley: English practice before 1791 — the basis for Seventh Amendment jurisprudence — is ambiguous at best on whether juries must decide patent validity.Is there a more ridiculous test for deciding the answer to a legal question than asking how some guys in another country would have answered the question 250 years ago? I don’t think so.The US patent system: it’s broke.And the patent teabaggers don’t want to talk about it. Gee, I wonder why.

    1. It is worse than that, isn’t it? If the test is ridiculous, then in the legal system of the USA it isn’t just the patents part that’s broke, is it?

      1. Max, there is an almost hysterical push among the big boys and illuminati to remove patent validity from the jury. This is a longstanding phenomena, and is part of the reason WHY reexaminations were first authorized and now expanded to IPRs. Judge Mayer noted the push in one of his opinions. He also noted that the movers and shakers were trying to remove validity from the courts entirely – as in their favorite patent place, Deutchland. Validity, in their view, can only be decided by experts.Lemley has long been noted to have taken sides in debates, generally in favor of undermining the value of patents in the name of improving the system. This article is one such attempt because he pushes to one side controlling precedent, elevates other cases, like Cox v. US, that stand for the proposition that jury trial are not applicable to public rights, without ever seriously discussing the public rights doctrine and its cases, the most recent of which is Stern v. Marshall.Luckily, we have a constitution, unlike country in Europe that I know of, that has been with us since the founding. It protects fundamental rights. Those rights include the right to have cases and controversies about legal rights, patents, decided in courts. It includes the right to have factual disputes about such legal rights heard by a jury. In includes the right that findings by juries cannot be retried later — they are final as a matter of constitutional law.These fundamental rights are the rights Lemley attacks here — because he is aligned with the fashionable world of the movers and shakers that do not like the patent system at all, except to protect chemicals and drugs.

      2. Max, there is a push among to remove patent validity from the jury. This is a longstanding phenomena, and is part of the reason WHY reexaminations were first authorized and now expanded to IPRs. Judge Mayer noted the push in one of his opinions. I will quote it if you would like. He also noted that there was coordinated effort to remove validity from the courts entirely. Validity, in the view of many of this persuasion, can only be decided by experts, and this does not include juries or judges. (Our own NWPA has expressed this view often.)Lemley’s article pushes to one side controlling Supreme Court precedent that requires jury trials for validity, and elevates other cases, like Cox v. US, that stand for the proposition that jury trials are not applicable to public rights, without ever seriously discussing the public rights doctrine and its cases, the most recent of which is Stern v. Marshall, which make clear that patent validity is not a public right.Luckily, we have a constitution that has been with us since the founding. It protects fundamental rights. Those rights include the right to have cases and controversies about legal rights, such as patents, decided in courts. It includes the right to have factual disputes about such legal rights heard by a jury. In includes the right that findings by juries cannot be retried later — they are final as a matter of constitutional law.These fundamental rights are the right that are under attack.

    2. And the patent teabaggers don’t want to talk about it.They’re too busy talking about how some guys in the same country 250 years ago would have felt about how a one-line clause of their rather lengthy document about mostly other stuff would apply to technology they couldn’t even have begun to imagine.

  2. My attention was taken by the concluding paragraphs of the Lemley Paper, musing on the knock-on effects of assigning validity to the Jury. Pretty far-reaching, I thought they were. Does he have a point here, or is he scare-mongering?

  3. Much depends on what approach/view you take as to when the 7th Amendment requires a jury trial. In law school in 1977, I did an independent study on the right to jury trial in maritime cases. Traditionally, there was no jury trial in maritime cases, but the Jones Act in the 1920′s altered that view.In the article I wrote, there are/were essentially 3 approaches to determining the right to jury trial: (1) the Historical approach; (2) the Rational approach; and (3) the Functional approach. The second (Rational) approach emerged after the merger of law and equity under the FRCP in 1938 and especially in the Supreme Court case of Beacon Theatres v. Westover where there were combined issues of law and equity, and where there was a question of which order to hold the respective issues in. Because the Supreme Court in Beacon Theatres viewed the right to jury trial as constitutional, there was strong presumption that the order would favor the “legal” issue(s) over the “equitable” ones.Prior to Beacon Theatres, some courts used the “basic nature of the issue test” for determining that order. One case I cite in my article held that an action involving validity and infringement ofpatent was basically legal” with a right to jury trial. General Motors Corp. v. California Research Corp., 9 F.R.D. 565, 567 (D. Del. 1949).Using the first (Historical Approach), and if you accept that a patent infringement action is a tort action, it should be treated no differently from any other tort action where the right to jury trial exists.Only under the third (Functional) approach was the right to jury trial limited in some cases, and even then, the restriction on when (or when not) to limit the right to jury trial gets “murky.”

  4. Wow, turns out they had some good provisions back in the day:“”Inconveniency” included both issues of public policy – abuse of the patent and failure to work it – and some of what we would think of today as patent validity questions – novelty of invention and prior invention by another.”WOW look at that! Back in the day they may have actually had their heads on straight after all!”Thus, when the Privy Council adjudicated a patent revocation proceeding against Thomas Lombe for silk engines, it considered both whether the identical engine had been made or used in England before Lombe did so and whether the effect of the patent was to restrain trade or create a monopoly”man the more I read the more I like some of these old features! “But unlike validity disputes as we understand them today, such a defense was not a challenge to the patent itself. At most a court could deny relief to the patentee in the case before it because it believed the patent did not comply with the law; it had no power to revoke the patent or to prevent a patent from being asserted against other defendants in subsequent cases.”

    1. LOL – 6, your ‘back in the day” that you are referencing was not US patent law.US patent law never had such a “failure to work” notion.As I have held Malcolm’s hand in the past, you should check out the US Supreme Court case in the 1908 vintage that explains why.

      1. Yeah I know. “As I have held Malcolm’s hand in the past, you should check out the US Supreme Court case in the 1908 vintage that explains why.”If you don’t mind either cite or explain in your own words. But I will note aforehand that either way I’m not particularly going to care what their reasoning was. It’s a feature I like regardless. Dicking someone else over (with an injunction) or collecting fees (in the form of royalties) while you sit around and not do the thing you filed on is simply anathema to me. You, or they, could have had the very best reasons in the world for allowing for patent cockblockery. Doesn’t make it any better in my humble opinion. Maybe with the exception of where the person or corp simply was unable to practice the invention but fully intended to. Maybe. But that’s just my opinion.

        1. Well it’s a good thing then that I care about the actual law and not 6′s opinion of what the law should be, right?(and who is really surprised to see that the actual law is anathema to you, seriously?But wasn’t it your mancrush Dudas over at PatentDocs that laid out the award-winning historical research that showed the such ‘free-wheeling’ full alienability of patent property rights was the express desire of the founding fathers when they set up our patent system? Uhoh, I see a tiff in the making…add: and I hope you realize that the way patent law is structured, with the vast amount of patents being improvement patents, that an actual ‘must work’ proviso would not even be possible… right? But, bah, what does 6 care about reality anyway?

          1. “Well it’s a good thing then that I care about the actual law and not 6′s opinion of what the law should be, right?”That depends. “But wasn’t it your mancrush Dudas over at PatentDocs that laid out the award-winning historical research that showed the such ‘free-wheeling’ full alienability of patent property rights was the express desire of the founding fathers when they set up our patent system? Uhoh, I see a tiff in the making…”Alienability, the ability to sell or transfer the rights to someone else to own, is quite different from what we’re talking about today. The ability to own the right without using it. I’m not sure why you don’t understand this but I don’t have time or the inclination to further hold your hand through it.

            1. Full alienability includes the right to transfer the patent alone without any such things attached as the ability to make.Seriously 6 – if you are going to post on a legal blog, the least you could do is try to be prepared.(you are doing that character suicide thing again)LOL – your response is so meaningless, it does not even deserve its own reply.Try again.

              1. “Full alienability includes the right to transfer the patent alone without any such things attached as the ability to make.”If you say so. Though it sounds to me more like you’re just adding in additional things to alienability which don’t actually exist. Alienability maximalization if you will. My truck is pretty much fully alienable, but the purchaser can’t go out and use it willy nilly and get into trouble. In fact, in some places they can’t use it pretty much at all without insurance. If it will make you happy I’m on board with changing the policy from invalidating the patent upon failure to practice, to simply making the patent unenforcable for that period. And even if you’re not doing that maximalization thing I mentioned, maybe those folks fall under my very limited exception I mentioned in the post above. Or maybe the founding fathers intended what you’re saying, perhaps so. Perhaps those intentions have outlived their usefulness. I’m not all against going against the founding fathers (aka slave owners, people that jailed/killed homos, mercantilists, etc. etc.) Sorry.

  5. Prof. Lesley states at the end:The rule that cases against the Federal government are tried to judges (article I judges, no less), not juries, is also arguably problematic under a broad reading of the Seventh Amendment.But, he doesn’t seem to consider sovereign immunity. If the government wanted to, it could prevent any suits against it completely, and nothing would be decided by a judge or jury. The government has partially waived that immunity — not completely because there’s no right to a jury. So what’s wrong with? Not sure if it has something to do with the nature of collateral estoppel making an invalidity finding applicable to everyone, but I don’t follow.

  6. Two comments:Not one word of Stern v. Marshall, 131 S. Ct. 2594, 564 U.S. 2, 180 L. Ed. 2d 475 (2011)( on public rights). Lemley seems to assume that Patlex was properly decided and that a patent is a public right. It was not properly decided and simply ignored controlling precedent that has now been clarified in Stern.He dismisses the only controlling law directly on point from the Supreme Court: ex parte Wood & Brundage, 22 U.S. 603, 6 L. Ed. 171, 32 S. Ct. 589 (1824), a case that held that actions to revoke patents for invalidity invoked a right to a trial by jury because they were in the nature of an scire facias action.Both cases decide the issue, IMHO.

    1. One of the insiduous problems with Lemley’s writings – in fact especially with this piece – is that the amount of historical coverage hides some of his sleight of hand and manipulation and twisting of what patent law is.For example, on page 18, he attacks without provocation the very nature of the claim and his view that claims are simply (always) too broad: “And that breadth makes patent claims more likely to be invalid” Quite the contrary, just because a claim is broad has no increase in likelihood that the breadth means that the claim must be invalid.Lemley is definitely one academic who must be watched with care and attention, lest his views slide as actual law.Add: There are other issues with Lemley and his work. Note the reference to Lex Machina. Everyone should know who sits on that entity’s corporate board. Everyone should also know that Lex Machina is one of the entities that only too willing will make pronouncements on results of its data without actually making that data available for independent corroboration.

      1. Yeah, and he brushes to one side the only Supreme Court (Story, J.) case to actually rule on the issue of whether there was a right to trial by jury for invalidity and cancellation. He favors a different, earlier case, written by Marshall discussing land patents.

        1. While NWPA does tend to the ‘pieces of blue sky in your lap,’ his views on the ‘legal scholarship world’ resonate because in the ‘legal scholarship’ world the fact that an omission of such controlling law seems to carry no ethical questioning while if such an omission were to be carried out while the other hat was being worn, such omission would be a transgression against the ethical duty to make known exactly that type of controlling law that runs counter to the position being advanced.The fact that such “ethical” scholarship is not only cross-cited in other academic works (Besson’s tripe comes to mind, as his methods have been thoroughly debunked, and yet continue to be cited in academic works), but also find their way into legal opinions is something the academics seem to want to count on as a way around any direct ethical responsibilities for court statements. Of course, these professors of law should be well aware of this little mirage (and in my view, as professors of law, should be held to an even higher ethical standard).While Prof. Lemley is not active on these boards, it should surprise no one that the surrogate that pushes the anti-software patent agenda most vociferously on the boards, Malcolm, is one of the most egregious violators of this ethical concept, It is beyond a joke that Malcolm refuses to answer the very simple questions I put to him – simple questions that go to the heart of the matter – and his cheerleaders like Leopold simply want the wrong person to just shut up.So as I note that Malcolm runs away from a substantive discussion on the merits (yet again), let us all sit back and wait for yet another vacuous response like *click* or *Kenneth* or *what the Sam Hill are you talking about*…

          1. The over arching situation is that corporations have gotten what they wanted in every other area of law in the last 50 years. Now they want no more patents except in pharma.

            1. corporations have gotten what they wanted in every other area of law in the last 50 years. Now they want no more patents except in pharmaPlease define “corporations” in this context and explain the important distinction between these “corporations” and, say, a corporation created by a patent attorney (or a group of patent attorneys) for the purpose of “monetizing” some computer-implemented junk.What you seem to be doing is the old patent teabagger trick of pretending that patent rights are some sort of fundamental “individual right” which is being “taken away from us” by corporations. That’s nonsense and everyone can see right through it. The reason everyone can see right through it is because (1) nobody except for a tiny, tiny, tiny handful of privileged wealthy people (incorporated or not) has such “rights”; (2) more such rights are being granted every week than ever before in our country’s history and yet this tiny handful of wealthy people can’t stop complaining about how persecuted they are; and (3) the same tiny handful of wealthy persecuted complainers has no problem whatsoever with threatening or sueing everybody and anybody they can if they think it will further stuff their pockets.

          2. if such an omission were to be carried out while the other hat was being worn, such omission would be a transgression against the ethical duty to make known exactly that type of controlling law that runs counter to the position being advanced.Is TB suggesting that patent “legal scholars” are somehow “less ethical” than “patent attorneys”? That’s funny.You never need to look very far for examples of bad patent lawyer behavior. Here’s a personal favorite: a patent troll getting spanked by Judge Patel for failing to understand the concept of privilege and how it relates to patent cases:link to jenner.com… Please be sure to note the terms used by Patel throughout the order to describe Phoenix’s behavior and arguments: “unacceptable” “ill-founded” “nonsensical” “unrealistic” “awkwardly sidesteps the fact” “arguments … set up a straw man” “Gross is indubitably involved in the sort of decision-making that disqualifies him from having access to Wells Fargo’s confidential information” “Phoenix has already crossed the line” “disingenuous” “sleight of hand” “omitted” “no convincing basis for Phoenix’ proposition”, etc. etc.Can someone direct me to a judge issuing a smackdown of this harshness on Mark Lemley? There must be many of them if we can believe the usual self-interested detractors who have crawled out of the woodwork to post their tinfoil-hatted nonsense here.

            1. LOL25 years of litigation, and the BEST you can do is a measly….discovery order? You really are straining to accomplish… nothing as usual.Oh, and you forgot to mention the most important part of the case:”…Phoenix Solutions, Inc. has licensed its speech recognition/Advanced language processing portfolio covering Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems to Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. “http://www.trojanlawoffices.co…Yup that discovery order was a real game changer!

      2. Lemley is part of a deep network of interconnected academic “poseurs” pretending to be doing patent scholarship which is actually funded by their corporate sponsored interests. They then cross-cite each other’s statistical distortions frequently to give the illusion that their research is “fact” – just check how many times the so called 20+billion hatchet job by Besson is cited, even as it has been repeatedly proven false.

        1. The key to exposing the academics is following the money. Get a hold of their W2 forms and trace where they are getting the money. Grants are from whom? Money for talks are from whom? The paid bloggers are getting paid by whom?When I bring up this issue on this board I am heavily criticized. Only one professor has answered these questions and he didn’t really answer them. I got a grant doesn’t answer the question. The only way to understand what effect the money is having is a whole disclosure from the professors. Just like in the securities market. Some of my posts on this board are actually deleted when I bring up that there is likely ethical issues too from both the state bar and the universities that the professors are potentially violating. For example, Ned is saying that Lemley is not mentioning a seminal case. I think it would be hard for 1) Lemley to argue he doesn’t know about the case; and 2) that if he knows about the case that it is not relevant. I suspect Stanford would have a problem with Lemley writing articles as scholarship that do not cite to cases that are counter to his opinion. In law school, I was told that if we write a brief for moot court and did not cite a case that was directly counter to any position we made in the paper that moot court or not we would be expelled.

          1. Agreed; Lemley and clan are fond of telling half the story, usually the one that best suits their spin. Here’s a typical buddy who frequently contributes to Lemley’s never ending parade of SCOTUS amicus briefs trying to cut down on patent rights:link to mccombs.utexas.edu…The “perfesser” likes to portray himself as a disinterested “academic” who is just doing his job doing these “objective” studies – which is believable sla you don’t dig far enough to find that he is really on the dole from serial Korean infringers who are not fond of US inventor rights:link to ftc.gov

            1. Your link doesn’t work.That is interesting. I wonder how much of the money is coming from foreign sources. I have worked with companies where competitors just take their product and have a Taiwan manufacturer copy it like a xerox machine.What astounds me is that the professors have no one at the universities that police their behavior. They will respond to complaints, but who has the time or money or can take the heat from filing a complaint. I would file a complaint with Stanford’s faculty senate ethics committee against Lemley if I had the time and money.But, I think what we are seeing is that our country is rife with corruption. We rank as only the 69th cleanest country in the latest rankings of corruption. And, I think the clean ones are either in denial or afraid.The other thing too is that not only have the professors set up a network of referencing each other’s work, but they also are determining who becomes professors so they are picking professors that have a bias against patents despite being ignorant.

            2. “Telling half the story” reminds me of:Granum veritatis in omni fabula estand “Successful propaganda has a lasting effect and is based on truth, is linked to policy and is timely.”

              1. “Successful propaganda has a lasting effect and is based on truth, is linked to policy and is timely.”That reminds me: have you and Eric made any progress on coming up with some better talking points or are you going to just keep reciting the same ineffectual, nonsensical, paranoiac self-pleasing garbage?

            3. he is really on the dole from serial Korean infringers who are not fond of US inventor rights:”Serial Korean patent infringers”? Oh my. That’s scary stuff.And you say this guy is a “buddy” of Lemley’s? And the Korean’s pay him to “cut down patent rights”?That’s a real scandal right there. Maybe you should write an expose on this instead of pretending to be an inventor.

          2. Following the money can be hard in a university setting. On the other hand, most require disclosure of conflicts of interest to comply with federal funding regulations.

        2. Lemley is part of a deep network of interconnected academic “poseurs” pretending to be doing patent scholarship which is actually funded by their corporate sponsored interests.Oh lookie, it’s the guy who apparently believes he invented the method of trouble-shooting with a powerful computer brain! Thank goodness we have his unbiased views on Mark Lemley.deep network of interconnected academic ‘poseurs’ROTFLMAO. Names please. Do they belong to some secret mailing list where they plot their nefarious schemes on behalf of their “corporate sponsored interests” (and against you, presumably)?

    2. I had a long comment to submit but flash crashed and ruined it. Why on earth disqus uses flash I don’t know. In any event, according to the paper on pg 13 scire facias actions were in nature a bill in chancery.

      1. 6, but he also notes that Chancery had a law side and that juries decided disputed issues of fact. Scire Facias was legal.

        1. I’m afraid that I cannot understand how it being “legal” has anything to do with much of anything. Unless you mean that it was “in law” rather than in chancery.

          1. The Chancery had an equity side and a law side. The action to repeal the patent, Scire Facias, was at law. Fact issue were tried to the jury. The Chancellor, having possession of the patent and its records, ultimately decided based on the law and facts. The read ex parte Wood & Brundage, 22 U.S. 603, 6 L. Ed. 171, 32 S. Ct. 589 (1824).

            1. First I would like to thank you for directing me to that decision. Though the language is ancient it brings into sharp contrast why we use some of the nonsensical terms that we do in court procedure nowadays. After having read the entirety of that olde english laden legal pronouncement of a “rule” to be made upon the parties I have to say I can barely make heads or tails of it with regards to the instant discussion. L seems to be arguing that if you went to the court of chancery then the action wasn’t in law though chancery did have a limited law side to it. You cite a case that doesn’t appear to have been before the court of chancery and claim then that all scire facias were at law. Bottom line, I begin to hear what you’re talking about but why do you and L disagree on this?

              1. 6, the linked case was not to the point that there was a difference between law and equity. It was to the point that Scire Facias action had a right to a trial by jury — according to the Supreme Court of the US, Story J.As to the how the English courts handled Scire Facias, read In re Lockwood, 50 F. 3d 966 – Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit 1995 , note 9,link to scholar.google.com

                1. Alright Ned, but before I go reading all this I think I understand your position on the matter. Why is it do you think you and L disagree?Though I hasten to add that it appears that the scire facias action only had a right to jury trial as to the facts and the jury was limited thereto. That appears to be L’s position. He doesn’t want the jury deciding things other than factual matters (if even that, though I think he’s agree to that much).

                2. Well, how does one separate mixed questions of fact and law?Secondly, he suggests that there is something different now that we have examination — that we should treat validity as an expert agency matter not as a question of law. He cites Patlex favorably on this point, where I strongly disagree with Patlex based on Stern v. Marshall and its predecessors.Moreover, he pushes Story’s decision into the background as if it were dicta. It is not dicta. It is a holding. There is a right to a jury trial when validity of a patent is at issue, particularly when a patent can be voided, in whole or in part. This is not a question open to discussion. It is the law.

                3. “Well, how does one separate mixed questions of fact and law?”You let the jury make the factual findings and then have the judge make the legal conclusion?”Secondly, he suggests that there is something different now that we have examination — that we should treat validity as an expert agency matter not as a question of law. “Oh yes, I forgot. Yeah I hear him on that as well. But I was referring just to the scire facias thing not his whole thesis when I asked where you two differ. “Moreover, he pushes Story’s decision into the background as if it were dicta. It is not dicta.”I think you’re taking a bit too much from Story’s decision (the one I read first right?). And I think L thinks that as well. LIkewise this has nothing to do with dicta. It has to do with you taking too much from the decision. And indeed, I concur if my reading of that decision was correct. You’re taking too much from that holding. “There is a right to a jury trial when validity of a patent is at issue, particularly when a patent can be voided, in whole or in part.”See, that’s not really what that decision said. It said that you had to be able to have the jury determine the factual questions. In fact that is what happened in that very case. Indeed, the 1995 decision you cited takes pains to emphasis that the jury making factual findings are what they are protecting. The law is not that you get to have the jury decide questions of law or the legal facets of mixed questions. Sorry brosefus, it wasn’t in Story’s decision, it wasn’t in the 1995 decision, and like L has said, it most likely won’t be after the USSC gets its hands involved shortly. At least as far as I can see. If that is what your dispute is about between you and L, he goin win brosef.

  7. Having lived through this transition from non-jury to jury trials, I think a lot of the former had to do with patent trial lawyers being far more comfortable with old patent litigation practice habits including the importance of injunctions from before the “..Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in 1938 merged law and equity into a single civil jurisdiction and established uniform rules of procedure. .. The traditional distinction between law and equity for purposes of determining when there was a constitutional right to trial by jury remained and led to some difficulty.41″ ?

  8. We can count on Mark Lemley generating article after article trying to weaken the patent system. One would think that an academic would be highly critical of the method by which our courts decide whether or not one is entitled to a jury trial. Why not an article: Shouldn’t every litigant have the right to a trial by jury for factual determinations rather than trying to navigate a legal determination that is so convoluted that it takes at least 1/2 hour to just explain the outlines of the right to a jury.I would think the focus from an academic would be on reforming the entire jurisprudence for when one is entitled to a trial by jury.

    1. Lemley and cronies have a clear agenda, and every academic “article” they write has a transparent bias – to diminish inventor rights to protect their corporate masters.

      1. Ah, but in this case Lemley is more than “serving his corporate master,” as Lemley is one of the corporate masters vis-à-vis Lex Machina.The fact that this post – perfectly accurate in its objective point receives a downvote says something that the person casting the downvote will never understand (and that that person’s vote says the opposite of what he think it means)

      2. Lemley and cronies have a clear agenda … to diminish inventor rights to protect their corporate mastersUnfortunately for you, Nick, one does not need to have any love for “corporate masters” to find much to agree with in the effort to “diminish” what you refer to as “inventor rights.” That’s because of people like you who have really strange ideas about what constitutes an “inventor” and what kinds of rights such “inventors” should have. Let me know if you need additional explanation.

  9. I like how everyone in the illustration looks like they’re asleep. Probably an accurate reflection of what happens during these trials.

  10. I would posit that a cause or correlation to the historic rise would be the evolution itself on the general (monetary) value of a patent right. As American business has evolved over the given timeframe, the value of intellectual property (and thus the desire to press for a more favorable court environment) would also rise.

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