Wednesday, 29 October 2008

US patent litigation system "not broken", says judge

Cited here on the IAM Blog, Paul Michel, the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit, dismissed claims that the US patent litigation system is broken. Instead, he believes, the evidence suggests that issues of cost and delays notwithstanding “it works very well”. According to an interview with Joff Wild:
".. patent litigation in the US is not as fast as it could be and that it is expensive; but, he said, that was the case in most types of civil dispute in the country and would continue to be so while discovery was mandated by law. “This is out of the judges’ control,” he explained. “Unless Congress changes things, civil litigation will always cost a lot of money. It is not fair to blame courts. We have to follow the rules made by Congress.”

Michel also denied that the CAFC has been a pro-patent court since it was formed in 1982. “I have heard these kinds of criticisms, but I have never seen them backed up with anything much in the way of evidence. I am not aware of any figures that establish a preference, bias or predisposition,” he said. “It is absolutely false that we go out of our way to avoid invalidating patents. The statute says that patents are presumed valid, but that they can be proved invalid. We follow that".

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