Hon. Paul R. Michel Image

Hon. Paul R. Michel

Chief Judge (ret.)

US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

The Honorable Paul Redmond Michel was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in March of 1988 by President Ronald Reagan. On December 25, 2004, he assumed the duties of Chief Judge. After his elevation to Chief Judge, he served as one of 27 judges on the Judicial Conference of the United States, the governing body of the Judicial Branch. In 2005 he was appointed by Chief Justice Rehnquist to also serve on the Judicial Conference’s seven-judge Executive Committee. On May 31, 2010, Chief Judge Michel stepped down from the bench after serving more than 22 years on the court.

In his years on the bench Judge Michel judged thousands of appeals and wrote over 800 opinions, approximately one-third of which were in patent cases.

Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Michel was assistant district attorney in the Office of the Deputy District Attorney for Investigations in Philadelphia from 1966-74, as well as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve from 1966-72. From 1974-75, he was the Assistant Watergate Special Prosecutor, and from 1975-76 was assistant counsel to the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He then became the deputy chief and Koreagate prosecutor for the Public Integrity Section of the United States Department of Justice from 1976-88. He was the associate deputy U.S. attorney general in 1978 and in 1981 became counsel and administrative assistant to U.S. Senator Arlen Specter until his judicial appointment. He has served as adjunct faculty at several institutions of higher education including the George Washington University Law School and John Marshall Law School. In 2012 he joined the Intellectual Property Advisory Council at the University of Akron School of Law.

Judge Michel has been the recipient of numerous and was in the inaugural class of the IPWatchdog Masters™ Hall of Fame. He has also received awards including the Jefferson Medal, the Frederico Award, the Katz-Kiley Prize, the Eli Whitney Prize, the Sedona Conference® Lifetime Achievement Award, and awards by the ABA Section of Intellectual Property, AIPLA, IPO, the Linn Intellectual Property American Inn of Court, and other leading organizations. He was named one of the 50 most influential leaders in intellectual property in the world by Managing Intellectual Property magazine and inducted into Intellectual Asset Management magazine’s International Hall of Fame.

A frequent speaker on IP subjects, he has also testified before Congress on patent reform legislation and has served as Special Advisor to the Patent Reform Task Force.

Judge Michel earned his B.A. from Williams College in 1963 and his J.D. from the University of Virginia in 1966.

Recent Articles by Hon. Paul R. Michel

U.S Chamber’s IP Principles Remind Us That the IP Policy Debate Needs a Reset

On September 13, the Global Innovation Policy Center of the U.S. Chamber published its “IP Principles” paper declaring the Chamber’s “Beliefs about Intellectual Property.” It was promptly endorsed and signed by 32 external IP thought leaders, including the heads of nearly all major IP associations and organizations, and individual experts such as a former Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), two retired judges (including myself), and leading IP academics…. In my view, the Chamber was exactly right to call for a “reset” in the policy debate over IP rights.

Thirty-Five Years of the U.S. IP System, Part II—AIA Through Today

In Part I of this article, I recalled the early years of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, when the court was working well, and how it all went wrong. In this second half, I recount how the America Invents Act (AIA) has fundamentally shifted the power in patent enforcement and policy. I close on a positive note, detailing the current legislative efforts that, if enacted, will restore balance in the U.S. patent system, which is necessary for continued innovation leadership, economic success, and national security.

Past Events with Hon. Paul R. Michel

PTAB Masters™ 2024

Held January 29-30, 2024

Life Sciences Masters™ 2023

Held October 16-18, 2023

IPWatchdog LIVE 2023

September 17-19, 2023

Patent Litigation Masters™ 2023

Held May 15-17, 2023

PTAB Masters™ 2023

Held on 1/31/23 - 2/01/23

Life Sciences Masters™ 2022

October 25-26, 2022

IPWatchdog LIVE 2022

September 11-13, 2022

IPWatchdog LIVE 2021

September 12-14, 2021

IPWatchdog Annual Meeting Now VIRTUAL CON2020

September 1, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 3:30 pm EDT

Patent Masters™ Symposium (in-Person)

July 30, 2018 - July 31, 2018

Section 101 Jurisprudence: Dangers for the Innovation Economy

December 7, 2016 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm EST