May 26, 2021

New Clause 8 Episode: Professor Stephen Yelderman – A Personal View of How the Supreme Court Approaches IP

What is the explanation behind the Supreme Court’s approach to patent and other IP issues?  I decided to talk to Prof. Stephen Yelderman – who personally knew two of the Supreme Court justices before they even joined the Court and clerked on the Supreme Court – to get some insight.  He also happens to be one of the most insightful – and underrated – scholars studying patent issues whose astute understanding of how the patent system works is rooted in his personal and practical experience.

In today’s incredibly candid episode, Prof. Yelderman shares stories about his journey into patent law, why he chose to become a patent agent, meeting Justice Amy Coney Barrett, clerking at the Supreme Court, and the creative ways companies try to influence the Supreme Court.

Prof. Yelderman insights are not to be missed by anyone who is interested in having a better understanding of how the Supreme Court approaches IP issues, how the patent system truly works, and how to succeed in the legal field.

“A piece of advice I have is when an opportunity comes, say yes to it because you oftentimes don’t have good visibility to all the doors that will open down the road.”

On the episode:

  • From engineering at Stanford to patent law to clerking at the Supreme Court
  • Perspective about the patent examination process from working as a patent agent in Silicon Valley
  • Academic consensus that leans into an anti-patent direction
  • Misguided thinking about “patent quality”
  • Different approaches to anticipation and obviousness during USPTO examination, PTAB proceedings, and district court litigation
  • Meeting and working with ACB before she joined the Supreme Court
  • The one patent case ACB decided before joining the Supreme Court that cited one of Prof. Yelderman’s articles
  • How and why the Supreme Court approaches IP cases differently from other cases
      • Impact of Breyer and Kennedy
  • Gorsuch’s correct approach to patent cases & the one case he got wrong
  • Why Gorsuch’s concerns regarding the PTAB are likely to be the future consensus
  • Efforts to influence Supreme Court & impact of atmospherics on the justices’ decisions regarding patent cases

Relevant articles discussed on the episode are listed here: Stephen Yelderman

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