Statement by Judge Paul R. Michel to the House Committee on the Judiciary, October 2013

October 10, 2013

Retired U.S. Chief Federal Circuit Judge Paul R. Michel has consistently earned global recognition, awards and distinctions for his leadership in intellectual property and patent law. He is considered one of the most knowledgeable and respected global experts in the field of intellectual property. His statement fully articulates our own views and concerns with potential patent law change.

The importance of improving, but not hobbling, patent infringement suits cannot be overstated. That is as true today as at the country's founding. Madison and the other founders rated patents so highly that they put the authority and duty of Congress to protect inventors’ and authors’ rights into the U.S. Constitution in Article I, Section Eight, Clause Eight. In fact, they listed it even before the power and obligation to raise an Army and Navy.

The challenge for your Committee then is how to curb truly abusive behaviors by some litigants without encumbering the enforceability of valid and infringed patents, and without interfering with the management of individual suits by the judges presiding over them. Although the bill contains many provisions that are entirely salutary, I see two fundamental flaws in the case management provisions that will produce dire consequences in their actual implementation.

Full statement: H.R. 3309: Improving the Patent System to Promote American Innovation and Competitiveness