Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Is there a gulf between legal academics and the Federal Circuit?

John R. Thomas suggests there might be a gulf between law professors and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in an article-- Academics and the Federal Circuit: Is There a Gulf and How Do We Bridge It?, 15 Fed Cir B J 315 (2005).

Thomas cites to a previous paper by Craig Nard which had noted that copyright and trademark opinions of CA2 and CA9 are four times more likely to cite a law review than is the an opinion of the CAFC in a patent case. [Nard, 39 Hous. L. Rev. 667 (2002)]

Thomas also cites to the text "not based on occasional journal articles", which appears in Enzo, 323 F3d 956, 974 (CAFC 2002).

There is also mention of "junk law" and "patent law remained something of a backwater."

One notes that Federal Circuit Bar Journal, which now brings us the thoughts of Professor Thomas, previously brought us the (now-discredited) "97% patent grant rate" work of Quillen and Webster. A defense of the later "85% patent grant rate" which appeared in the Boston University Law Review completely misquoted work of Clarke which appeared in JPTOS. The plethora of legal articles on "written description" were like a plague of locusts, with about the same intellectual content. Maybe there is a reason for the perceived gulf?

Another discussion of legal academics and RIM/NTP appears at


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