Thursday, 20 August 2009

Shopping for a forum: the RCLIP seminar

The Research Center for the Legal System of Intellectual Property Center of Excellence - Waseda Institute for Corporation Law and Society (RCLIP) is, despite its university base and academic credentials, a practice-focused institution which focuses on many of the most sensitive and important issues in IP today, one of which is patent litigation.

The fifth issue of RCLIP's quarterly newsletter (published in Japanese/English) contains a report on last May's RCLIP International IP Seminar on "Japanese Corporations and Patent Litigations: Offensive Patent Strategies by Forum Shopping”. The first forum-shopping under review, by John Livingstone (Finnegan Henderson, Tokyo Office), was that which takes place within the United States, where the plaintiff can litigate before the Federal District Courts, the US PTO, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) and the Court of Federal Claims -- from all of which an appeal may be made to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. From the report it appears that, in District Courts, the patentee win rate is high, though fewer than 4% of disputes ever get to trial, the rest being resolved out of court settlement. The ITC, despite the limited range of actions it may hear, offers a patentee win rate of around 50% and a result within the year.

Richard Price (Taylor Wessing, London) then spoke on forum-shopping in England and Germany. He explained that in Germany the most popular locations for patent infringement are the courts in Düsseldorf, Munich and Mannheim, of which Düsseldorf is statistically the least patentee-friendly. The positions in China (Xiaoguang Cui, Sanyou Law Firm, Beijing) and Japan (Professor Toshiko Takenaka, CASRIP) were also reviewed.

PatLit is always pleased to read of events such as these, but hopes that RCLIP will be able in the future to make available the texts of the speakers' presentations, and/or a podcasts of their talks and the question-and-answer session so that a wider audience can study and benefit from the hard work of the speakers.

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