Richard Taranto: Next Federal Circuit Judge

In his blog, Bill Vobach reports on the recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Federal Circuit nominee Richard Taranto. Vobach reports:

It appeared that the hearing was only attended by three senators — Senator Franken (Minnesota), Senator Grassley (Iowa), and Senator Lee (Utah). Questions were asked by all three senators. Senator Franken asked Mr. Taranto about his clerking for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Senator Grassley asked Mr. Taranto about the Defense of Marriage Act. Senator Lee questioned Mr. Taranto about judicial philosophy. No material, if any, questions were asked about patent law.

There do not appear to be any roadblocks in the way of Mr. Taranto’s confirmation and we can expect that he will be joining Chief Judge Rader and his colleagues in short order.

Mr. Taranto is an appellate and Supreme Court litigator at the small but well established DC firm of Farr & Taranto. He has participated in dozens of Federal Circuit patent appeals, including several Rambus cases, Verizon v. Cox, Lucent v. Gateway, Syngenta v. Monsanto, and others. Mr. Taranto has argued three IP cases before the U.S. Supreme Court: MGM v. Grokster (contributory copyright infringement), Warner Jenkinson v. Hilton Davis (patent law doctrine of equivalents), and Two Pesos v. Taco Cabana (trade dress infringement). He has taught a variety of classes as an adjunct professor, including patent law at Harvard in 2002. Taranto graduated from Yale Law School in 1981. He clerked for Judge Abraham Sofaer on the Southern District of New York; Judge Robert Bork on the D.C. Circuit; and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court.

During his discussion Mr. Taranto noted that both of his grandmothers are 100-years-old and still living. I suspect that actuaries would agree that this gives Mr. Taranto a good chance of living a long time as well. He is current 54 years old.

Taranto’s favorite non-living Supreme Court justice: Justice Harlan.

Taranto was nominated in November 2011.

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The appellate court now consists of eleven circuit judges: Chief Judge Rader along with Judges Newman, Lourie, Bryson, Linn, Dyk, Prost, Moore, O’Malley, Reyna, and Wallach. Mr. Taranto will fill the bench as number twelve. Judges Mayer, Plager, Clevenger, Gajarsa and Schall all sit on the bench with senior status. Judges Newman, Lourie, Bryson, and Dyk are all eligible to elect senior status and Judge Linn will be eligible in April of this year. It is likely that at least two positions will open-up during the next year.

17 thoughts on “Richard Taranto: Next Federal Circuit Judge

  1. 16

    Ned, you seem particularly suspicious to be because of the bizarre “opinion” (or policy you are pushing) that you hold regarding a computer needing to be permanently configured with software to fall under Allapat. If I felt like it, I would hunt for case where someone tried to avoid infringement by doing something like leaving out one part of a machine that was to purchased by the buyer of the machine. And, who knows, maybe you could take the part out of the machine when not in use so that a raid would turn up a non-infringing machine.

    Probably some good case law to make your position clearly absurd.

  2. 15


    Glad to hear you are a practicing attorney, so am I. But, are you paid by anyone where your posts on any blog are part of the reason directly or indirectly that you are paid? I am sure some on here cannot answer that question with a no. So, we have among us people that are pretending to be working stiffs like me, but are really being paid by lobbyist groups to push a policy.

    I am not AI.

    You are entitled to your opinions Ned, but when they are fueled by money for policy reasons they are not your opinions but your clients.

    I just can’t believe that we are going to have to suffer another judge that couldn’t write a patent application if his life depended on it and who has no clue what motivates companies and people to innovate.

    We should just turn the keys of this country over and head out. Wish them well and head to NZ.

  3. 14

    Night, have you ever denied that you are Actual Inventor? I don’t recall that, so you must be Actual Inventor.

    As a matter of fact, I’m a practicing patent attorney. I have a great deal of interest in patent law and always have had a great deal of interest in patent law. I am not advocating any particular point-of-view here, but I must admit that I prefer first-to-invent to first-to-file, I don’t think that we should have BRI during re-examinations, I think that a patent that does not name an inventor who actually invented the claimed invention is invalid, I think we have a seventh amendment right to a jury trial on validity and that the new inter partes review proceedings violates that right.

  4. 13

    Only in extremely rarely should a person be a judge on the federal circuit who has not done preparation and prosecution for at least 10 years. Otherwise, they will live in la la land like J. Moore and the Cybersource 3, and simply have no clue as to what motivates companies to innovate.

    Of course, the $$$ people on the board will be delighted. By the way, $$$ people, I notice that none of you have ever denied being paid lobbyist. Any lurking journalist should take note as it would be an article worthy of the Atlantic to report of the effect the paid lobbyist have had on the blogs and public policy.

  5. 12

    Sounds like another one that has not practiced patent law. Has he ever worked with a company to build a patent portfolio? Has he ever worked with inventors? He won’t understand that patents create an incentive to innovation.

    We can expect a further diminution of the jurisprudence from a litigator that knows nothing about companies, inventions, or patents.

  6. 11

    I think it’s more racist to show Africans dancing with a monkey in a suit that it would have been to show them dancing with President Obama.

  7. 9

    Ha! That McCrackened me up! But if you’d shown Obama doing the thing, it would have been racist. Go figure. (I have the same problem distinguishing what’s obvious from what’s not after KSR, and what’s patent eligible from what’s not after Bilski.)

  8. 8

    Mr. Taranto appears to have the qualifications necessary to sit on the Supreme Court. It is an honor to have him join Federal Circuit.

    I have to congratulate President Obama as well. Good appointment, there.

  9. 7

    Justice Harlan is remembered by people, who worked with him, for his tolerance and civility. He treated his fellow Justices, clerks and attorneys representing parties with respect and consideration. While Justice Harlan often strongly objected to certain conclusions and arguments, he never criticized other justices or anybody else personally, and never said any disparaging words about someone’s motivations and capacity. Harlan was reluctant to show emotion, and was never heard to complain about anything.

    The anti-MM.

  10. 6

    if you’d shown Obama doing the thing, it would have been racist.

    Whatever you say, sockie.

    Man, this blog has the dumbest trolls.

  11. 4

    Ha! That McCrackened me up! But if you’d shown Obama doing the thing, it would have been racist. Go figure. (I have the same problem distinguishing what’s obvious from what’s not after KSR, and what’s patent eligible from what’s not after Bilski.)

  12. 3

    Better check your facts. Judge Friedman, sadly, passed away back in the summer of 2011. He does not sit on the bench with senior status. You also forgot to mention a senior judge: Judge Gajarsa.

  13. 2

    No, that would be Ed DuMont, who withdrew his candidacy (short memory there 6, Dennis reported on this last year). Besides, if it had been DuMont, the headline for the article would have been something like, “Gay Dude to be Next Federal Circuit Judge”. Or is that not PC?

  14. 1

    Was this the gay fellow who had been reported on previously? He is finally confirmed? Or what happened to that other guy?

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