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House bill calls for pilot program to educate federal judges about patents and patent infringement

A bill currently under consideration in the House of Representatives would, if passed, provide for the establishment of a pilot program to educate federal judges who do not have a patent-related background, but who hear patent infringement cases, about patent law. The bill was introduced by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).

As set forth on the GOP website (www.GOP.gov), the bill, H.R. 628, would “allow district judges to request patent-related cases that deal with one or more issues arising under any law. The senior judge of a district court would then be authorized to assign patent cases and ‘plant variety protection’ cases to those district judges that request such cases and to remove such cases from a judge's case load without experience with these types of cases.”

The bill would also provide funding for those district judges seeking to participate in the pilot program, as well as compensation for law clerks with “expertise in technical matters arising in patent and plant variety protection cases.”

As of April 19, the bill had passed in the House and has gone on to the Senate for a vote.