“Trial by Jury of Patent Cases,” a conference co-hosted by NYU Law’s Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy and Civil Jury Project, assembled federal jurists, academics, and practitioners on September 30 to discuss current issues and trends in the conducting of patent jury trials.

Judge Kathleen O'MalleyJudge Kathleen O’Malley of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit kicked off the daylong program in her keynote address. “The importance of maintaining the integrity of and proper respect for juries in our system of justice, even in patent cases, is too fundamental a topic about which to remain neutral,” said O’Malley. “I’m an unabashed believer in the jury system, an unabashed believer that juries can and do take seriously their obligations as jurors, an unabashed believer that juries can sort out even the most complex issues when given the proper tools, and an unabashed believer that juries almost always arrive at conclusions which are rational, fair, and—even if not the conclusion I would reach in every circumstance—justified by the evidence presented and the legal principles they were charged to follow.”

In subsequent panels, participants debated whether the Seventh Amendment guarantees a jury trial in patent litigation and also discussed patent trials’ lengths and outcomes. Separate roundtables facilitated conversations involving judges, practitioners, and scholars. Among them were NYU Law professors Rochelle Dreyfuss, Jeanne Fromer, Scott Hemphill, and Samuel Issacharoff as well as NYU Law Trustee John Desmarais ’88, founding partner of the Desmarais law firm, and Adjunct Professor Steve Susman, managing partner of Susman Godfrey and executive director of the Civil Jury Project.

Posted October 18, 2016