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Archived updates for Wednesday, December 10, 2008

(CAFC/NJIP) Model Patent Jury Instructions Published for Comment

 From the IPO Daily News,
Last Friday the National Jury Instruction Project released model patent jury instructions that were prepared by an informal committee assembled by Federal Circuit Chief Judge Paul Michel.  The model instructions are open for comment until February 1, 2009.  They will be reviewed by IPO’s Litigation Committee (Chair: JOE KIRINCICH, Pitney Bowes Inc.; Vice Chairs: BETTY MORGAN, Cantor Colburn, LLP, and SCOTT PIVNICK, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP).  It is understood that the model instructions will not be endorsed by the Federal Circuit and will remain unofficial.
It's not quite clear why Circuit Judge Michel thought we needed yet another set of model jury instructions, or why the NJIP felt that they needed to use his name when the result would not be endorsed by the Federal Circuit.  According to the Introduction,

Chief Judge Paul R. Michel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit requested the members of this National Patent Jury Instruction Project to develop a set of model jury instructions for patent infringement cases. The goal was to create a committee, national in scope, with members from both the bench and bar. The underlying idea was to benefit from the collective experience of both judges and attorneys who are interested in creating an easier to understand and streamlined set of model jury instructions. The following instructions are the result of the project. These instructions will not be endorsed by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals and are not intended to be "official" jury instructions. Nor is any particular member of this Committee endorsing any particular instruction. These instructions are intended to be helpful models for judges and lawyers. In devising this set of instructions, we have looked to and drawn from the work of others, including the committees for the Northern District of California, The Federal Circuit Bar Association, the AIPLA, and the District of Delaware. Judges and lawyers who use these instructions will need to supplement them with instructions that speak generally to the trial and the jury’s duties, such as the nature of the evidence and the duty to deliberate, and will have to tailor them to the facts and issues in the particular case.

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