The Chapter had a lively and informative meeting with two world IP policy makers, former Chief Federal Circuit Judges Randall Rader and Paul Michel.
(Judge Michel and Judge Rader)
Judge Michel spoke first on the current state of the patent system, and the serious problems facing the patent community in obtaining patent rights, leveraging patent rights and enforcing patent rights. He also spoke on current legislation and said that at present there were no anti-patent bills pending in Congress, and several Senators, including Coons, were favorable to improving the patent system. One such bill is the STONGER act currently pending. One big point was his indication of the downturn for patents being the eBay decision, where the Supreme Court removed the automatic injunction for patent infringement, leaving patentees without the major settlement tool.
Judge Rader then spoke seriously about the failure of the U.S. institutions to act according to the statutes, and instead undermine the patent system at every turn. By contrast, China and other Asian countries are funding efforts to improve their patent systems, have far better prospects for the review and approval of critical technologies, and are thus providing a better platform for international companies desirous of obtaining strong patent rights, now being denied in the U.S. due to the failure of Congress, the Supreme Court, the Federal Circuit, district courts, the USPTO, the press and others. In particular, the Chinese government and the courts there are providing a viable alternative for innovators, an alarming yet ever-growing concern for the U.S.