Monday, July 07, 2014

Wall Street Journal post calls for abolishing CAFC exclusive jurisdiction on patents

A post by Ashby Jones Critics Fault Court's Grip on Appeals for Patents highlights Diane Woods' text about the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit:

"The judges on the Federal Circuit are as capable as any in the country, but we'd be better off having a diversity of [judicial] viewpoints on patent law the way we do with nearly every other legal subject,"

and notes Chief Judge Wood publicly advocated abolishing the Federal Circuit's "exclusive jurisdiction" over most patent appeals, in favor of letting the other federal appeals courts hear patent cases as well.

One problem with the analysis of Jones is that it omits "why" and "how" the Federal Circuit was created in the first place. Prior to the CAFC, decisions by the regional appellate courts were wide ranging and had created "patent friendly" and "patent unfriendly" regions, and the related forum shopping.

Recent patent cases heard by the US Supreme Court

Bowman v. Monsanto, 11-796, Judgment of CAFC affirmed.
Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad, 12-398, Judgment of CAFC affirmed in part, reversed in part
Octane Fitness, LLC v. ICON Health & Fitness, Inc., Docket No. 12-1184; Reversed and remanded, 9-0, in an opinion by Justice Sotomayor on April 29, 2014.
Highmark Inc. v. Allcare Health Management Sys., Docket No. 121163;
Alice v. CLS Bank, 13-298,

Judgment of CAFC affirmed. From ScotusBlog: Judgment: Affirmed, 9-0, in an opinion by Justice Thomas on June 19, 2014.


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