On January 28, 2016, the Judge Paul R. Michel Intellectual Property American Inn of Court gathered with guests at the elegant Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles to welcome back its namesake, Paul R. Michel, retired Chief Judge for the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, who was visiting from Washington, D.C. This was Judge Michel's first return visit to the Inn since its inaugural meeting in 2008.
Following a dinner reception for eleven Central District of California Judges, and fifty-five members and their guests, Team Leader Franklin D. Kang led a fast-moving panel discussion featuring the Central District of California Patent Pilot Judges, Hon. James Otero, Hon. James Selna and Hon. George Wu. The panel of distinguished District Court Judges shared great insight into addressing the new issues raised by recent decisions from the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court on patent matters, their respective approaches to managing patent cases, and the impact of decisions coming out of the U.S. Patent Office in post-grant proceedings in connection with patent litigation.
Afterwards, Judge Michel gave a keynote speech to the Inn. With the benefit of some 20 years on the Court of Appeals, six as Chief Judge, and his background in dealing with Congress, Judge Michel sang the praises of the U.S. patent system as fostering American innovation and economic growth, and made clear his belief that claims of patent litigation abuses were overblown. He pointed out that trial judges are well equipped to handle any perceived abuses taking place in the patent litigation. He emphasized that those with trial experience are in a position to understand and handle pre-trial and trial procedures. He expressed concern about proposals made in Congress to restrict the discretion in managing the trial of patent cases. He said that very few members of Congress have ever tried any civil cases and typically fail to call experienced individuals from the intellectual property community in the hearings about amending the current patent laws. He pointed out the risks of specialized patent procedures imposed by those who have no real trial experience, the dangers of encouraging specialized rules for patent matters which will compound complications in patent litigation, adding to the expense and time required for trial preparation and trial and restricting the authority of trial judges to manage their own cases.
Congratulations to Fulwider Patton's own Vern Schooley for organizing another great event for the Michel Inns of Court. Fulwider Patton also is proud to have been one of the sponsors for this event.
Pictured Left to Right, front row Hon. Gary Feess, Hon. Paul R. Michel, President The Paul R. Michel IP American Inn of Court Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal, Hon. Marc Marmaro.
Back row, Magistrate Judge Michael Wilmer, US District Court Judge James V. Selna, Inn Counselor and organizer, Vern Schooley, Fulwider Patton LLP.