I was trying to think of a way to create greater awareness of the Federal Circuit’s rulings. If greater attention could be drawn to the Federal Circuit’s workload predicament and the resulting need to issue so many Rule 36 judgments, Congress might act to increase the number of judgeships allocated to the court. Moreover, if there were a competitive aspect to reviewing Federal Circuit opinions, even those derelict patent attorneys we all encounter from time to time might be more interested in staying abreast of Federal Circuit developments.
So, one thought that occurs to me is a Fantasy Football-like game with an educational bent, “Fantasy Federal Circuit.” The rules of “Fantasy Federal Circuit” may be tailored to your liking; but, here is one proposed set of rules:
1. Draft or pick 5 judges per team roster;
2. Every week two teams go head to head;
3. 4 Points awarded to a team for an opinion authored for the court during the week by a judge on the roster;
4. 3 points awarded for a panel opinion issued during the week in which a judge on the roster participates in the majority (not including the author);
5. 5 points awarded for an opinion issued during the week in which a judge on the roster authors a dissenting opinion;
6. 7 points awarded for an opinion issued during the week in which a judge on the roster authors an en banc opinion for the majority;
7. Negative 1 point awarded for a judgment issued during the week in which a judge on the roster forms part of a Rule 36 judgment panel;
8. Negative 10 points if the Supreme Court reverses during the week an opinion authored for the majority by a judge on the roster, regardless of when the Federal Circuit opinion was authored and with respect to one or more issues;
9. Points received for one judge’s participation in an opinion/judgment does not prevent points being awarded for a second or third judge’s role in that opinion/judgment;
10. The team that has the highest score at the end of the week — even if a negative number — wins the match;
11. Only CAFC rulings from appeals of IP cases from the USPTO, district courts, ITC, and Court of Federal Claims are utilized.
12. Per curiam opinions are treated as if there is no author.
13. No wagering.
Alternative version: Play solitaire.
I tried a practice round this past week and did not fare too well — my team scored -11 points. But, I doubt you can beat it . . . .