27 September 2005

US Patents Appeals Court Roadshow - nice to see it happen in England

An interesting post from Dennis Crouch on his excellent Patently-O Law Blog is that the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will be sitting in Chicago in November (see "CAFC Goes on Tour to Chicago"). It will spend only one day in a federal court room. The rest of the time will be spent in various local university law faculties, Chicago and DePaul on 8/11, Chicago Kent in the afternoon of 9/11 and Northwestern on 10/11.

Visits of the Court outside Washington are rare and as Dennis says, each venue should have a good crowd. He has offered to keep us posted with the progress of the cases that are listed before their honours.

The Federal Cicruit is the court of appeal for patent cases and its equivalent in England and Wales would be Sir Robin Jacob sitting on appeals from Sir Hugh Laddie with Sir David Neuberger and perhaps Sir Nicholas Pumfrey or whoever it is who has recently been appointed to replace Sir Hugh. It would be nice for their lordships after holding court in a lecture theatre at Manchester Met or Sheffield Hallam to queue up for fish and chips in the refectories of those temples of learning.

It's not going to happen, of course, but para 18 of the the Patents Court Guide does say that the Patents Court will sit outside London "if the parties so desire, for the purpose of saving time or costs." Sir David Neuberger actually did sit in Birmingham in Hadley Industries Plc v. Metal Sections Limited, Metsec (UK) Limited [1998] EWHC Patents 284 on 13 Nov, 1998 and Peter Ford often promised to sit in Manchester. I once nearly managed to bring Judge Fysh to Oldham but the other side caved in.

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