'Inside Counsel' Praises Judge Posner's Call for Intelligble Claims Constructions

IP: 2 key points to guide claim constructions for lay juries

To paraphrase Gilbert and Sullivan, Richard Posner is the “very model of a legal intellectual”: first in his class at Harvard Law School, clerk for Justice Brennan, a judge on the 7th Circuit for more than 30 years, senior lecturer in law at the University of Chicago Law School, and prolific author and blogger on all manner of legal and economic issues.

Indeed, a 2000 study in the Journal of Legal Studies found that Judge Posner was the most cited legal scholar of all time. Faced with his monumental body of work, it is only natural to doubt one’s ability to read as fast as Judge Posner can write, but be of good cheer. Luckily, you need not dig deep into weighty tomes to find the judge’s wisdom: If you have time to read a single paragraph from his March 10 Order in Apple, Inc. v. Motorola, Inc. you will find a glittering gem or two about drafting claim constructions a lay jury can understand.

By way of background, the Apple v. Motorola lawsuit in question is but one front in a world-wide battle between the companies over technologies in the lucrative mobile phone market; an overview of some details of the struggle can be found here. This particular suit, which began in the Western District of Wisconsin in the fall of 2010, was transferred to the Northern District of Illinois on Dec.1, 2011 and assigned to Judge Posner, sitting by designation.

Read more at Inside Counsel