How the JPML Can Benefit from the Federal Circuit and Vice-Versa

Christopher Paul Nofal

IDEA: The Intellectual Property Law Review, vol. 52, no. 3, pp. 379-416, December 2012

This article posits that the JPML and Federal Circuit, despite their range of differences, can benefit from one another and remedy each other’s complex institutional challenges. The Federal Circuit can eliminate the unfairness in multidistrict litigation practice and can guide multidistrict litigation by providing uniform federal precedent. Multidistrict litigation, which is as procedurally complex as it is substantively broad, can enable the Federal Circuit to speak on non-patent law and can position the circuit to see more clearly how patents affect the overall economy. Through these mutual benefits, these institutions can promote justice and cost-effectiveness for each litigant in every patent action and every MDL proceeding. To that end, this article proposes that Congress vest in the Federal Circuit exclusive appellate jurisdiction over the JPML and MDL courts.

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