Wednesday, January 18, 2006

REPORT: JUDGE ALITO IS A "BLANK SLATE" IN TERMS OF IP: is reporting that, afer reviewing more than 200 cases that Alito has been involved in as an appeals-court judge, Judge Alito handled just one major copyright case during his tenure (Southco vs. Kanebridge Corp.) and has heard no cases involving patents. In the copyright case, the question presented was whether a numbering system for screws and fasteners could be copyrighted. Alito decided that there was not enough creativity in the creation of the list to warrant a copyright.

It is no surprise that Judge Alito had virtually no exposure to patent law - as of 1982, all appeals in patent cases are directed to the Federal Circuit.

Since IP doesn't generate much press, it remains a mystery how Alito would rule on a case like the controversy involving Grokster.

IP attorney Johnathan Osha conducted the review and concluded that, as a general matter, Alito "seems to give a modicum of respect for the rulings of lower courts." In contract cases, Alito takes a pro-business stance, generally holding parties to a contract to the terms of their contract. Overall, it was concluded by one commentator that Alito is an "old-fashioned kind of guy."

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