Water cooler talk

Are registered patent attorneys more successful litigators than those attorneys who are not registered?  I imagine the answer you get to that question will depend on whom you ask.  In looking at the number of registered attorneys arguing patent cases at the Federal Circuit, however, I found the breakdown between registered attorneys and unregistered attorneys extremely interesting.  There is a clear pattern of there being a greater percentage of unregistered attorneys arguing on behalf of appellees.  And, a clear pattern of there being a greater percentage of registered attorneys arguing on behalf of appellants.




So, as fodder for discussion around the water cooler, what do these statistics mean, if anything?  Does the higher percentage of unregistered attorneys representing appellees mean that unregistered attorneys are better trial lawyers, can think more like jurors or judges, are highly skilled appellate lawyers at general practice firms?   Does the higher percentage of registered attorneys representing appellants mean that when the stakes are high, parties bring in a hired-gun appellate lawyer with a registration number?  What about the high reversal rates at the Federal Circuit — what do they suggest about the ultimate outcome of a case?   Do the trends have anything to do with movement of patent litigation and patent litigators away from boutique patent firms to large general practice firms?  I don’t know the answer to these questions — but, I do find the opposing trends interesting.

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