Bonum Certa Men Certa

Watching Judges Who Get Too Close to the Litigation 'Industry' That Promotes Propaganda Terms Like 'Intellectual Property', 'FRAND' or 'Life Sciences'

...As if ideas are "owned", life and nature are "discoveries" and patent taxes are "fair", "reasonable" and "nondiscriminatory"

Biscayne lighthouse



Summary: A look at potential ethical problems, based on the fact that Colin Birss attends and speaks at CIPA events; there are also similar issues in the United States

THE idea that life is a science and nature is an invention is a rather odd idea. We wrote about this many times over the past year. It's the sort of delusion that EPO and USPTO officials get carried away by, forgetting that patents should exist for inventions, not mere explorations, explanations and interpretations. We recently wrote several articles bemoaning the term "life science/s" -- a rather new concept if not buzzword [1, 2].

The Life Sciences Forum is an event of patent extremism, so things that harm patent quality are celebrated there, whereas much-needed fixes against patent trolling are condemned. As one patent maximalists' site put it: "ANDA lawsuit filing spiked last year, TC Heartland is troublesome, and the USPTO's Vanda memo is promising – these are some conclusions from a session at our Life Sciences Forum..."

How is TC Heartland "troublesome"? As we shall show in our next post, it has been troublesome mostly to patent trolls.

It has meanwhile turned out that, based on another article from these patent maximalists, Colin Birss is attending an event of patent maximalists. He's a judge, so that doesn't seem so appropriate. It's just hard to see why a judge would wish to associate with CIPA Congress. CIPA is a bunch of lying bullies that send threats to people. It is also rather odd a thing to see him described by a patent troll (of Ericsson) that he happened to rule on. The patent maximalists refer to him in the headline not by his name but as "Unwired Planet judge" and then say this:

Speaking at this year’s CIPA Congress, Mr Justice Birss said that FRAND disputes will be fought in one place in the future and that the UK’s new doctrine of equivalence may not last in its current form


He probably oughtn't hang out with these people, otherwise he may risk a Rader-type scandal. He is being emboldened by rather radical elements.

Colin Birss



Over at Patently-O, days ago a post by Dennis Crouch spoke of patent law firms breaking the rules, as law isn't the goal but just getting richer and richer if the goal. Here are the details:

In a new order captioned In re Violation of Rule 50, Docket No. 2018-9001 (Fed. Cir. Sept 27, 2018), the Federal Circuit has rebuked an unnamed former law clerk and her law firm for violation of the rule.

The basic setup: When the clerk left the Federal Circuit, she handed over a list of no-no cases to her new law firm. (“No-no cases” are those that were pending during the clerk’s time at the Federal Circuit.) Several years later, the firm stepped-in as new counsel to one of the no-no cases and the former clerk appeared as a lawyer in the lawsuit (though not lead counsel). Some unidentified time later, the clerk realized the violation and immediately withdrew from the case. The clerk and firm then notified the Federal Circuit of the breach — noting that the clerk never saw any briefs, discussed the case, or heard any discussion of the case during her time at the Federal Circuit.

In its decision here, the court noted that R. 50 “must be strictly followed” and that the facts as explained are “proof of the firm’s negligence.” Still, the court decided not to impose discipline since this was a first offence for the clerk and firm and no harm was shown. I expect that it would be personally difficult for the court to actually impose discipline on its former clerks absent egregious factors.


David Hricik, who typically writes about ethics in Patently-O (he himself is a former worker at the court), writes about McKool Smith, which represents a lot of patent trolls. It's not too shocking to see them violating laws etc. It is only to be expected. They're thugs and bullies (even if they wear suits) and Hricik put it:

Almost exactly one year ago (here), I explained that McKool Smith had been accused of violating a prosecution bar based upon a disagreement, or misunderstanding, about when the bar-dated ended.


We have been writing about McKool Smith for many years and almost every time they're mentioned it's in relation to some sort of blackmail rather than patent justice. It would be nice and perhaps well overdue to see them disbarred.

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