Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Study Shows Ivy League Judges Have Highest Affirmance Rate in Patent Cases

When HR 5418 was introduced to Congress last May, there was excited anticipation over the prospect of having a patent system where litigants would be assigned one of an number of select judges deemed to be the most "experienced" in patent cases. The theory underlying this system is that the more experience a judge has, the greater the likelihood will be that they reach the correct result at the trial level.

Almost 4 months after HR 5418 was introduced, legal research company LegalMetric LLC published excepts of a report after reviewing the appeal record of all judges that have heard 100 or more patent cases.

And what did they find? Experienced judges have an affirmance rate on appeal that is identical to the affirmance rate for all judges in patent cases (60% in a sample of over 1400 appeals).

However, when it came to educational background, the numbers shifted: judges with B.S. or M.S. degrees had a higher affirmance rate on appeal (67%). The judges with the highest affirmance rates were those with Ivy League degrees (71%).

All together now: "Faaair Harvard, we join in thy Jubilee throng . . ."

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