Tuesday, 12 April 2016

AIPLA 2016 U.S. Model Patent Jury Instructions Released

The American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Patent Litigation Committee has released the AIPLA U.S. Model Patent Jury Instructions (Jury Instructions).  The Jury Instructions are up-to-date to December 2015 and are an impressive concise synthesis of patent law.  The introduction to the Jury Instructions states:

One of the fundamental goals of the Instructions is to provide a neutral set of jury instructions that would not be biased in favor of either the patent owner or the accused infringer. These Model Instructions are not intended to address every conceivable issue that might arise in patent litigation. Instead, Instructions are provided on those issues that typically arise in patent litigation and that have clear precedential support. It is incumbent upon the litigants to tailor these Instructions to the specific issues in their particular case and to simplify the tasks for the Court and the jury by not providing superfluous or confusing instructions. It is also intended that these Instructions will be used in conjunction with other instructions dealing with non-patent issues such as credibility, and that the trial court will further the jury’s understanding of these Instructions by relating the legal principles in the Instructions to the particular factual contentions of the parties.

The Jury Instructions also include helpful practice notes and substantial citation to relevant authority.  A sample practice note provides:

Practice Note: The concepts of direct infringement based on joint infringement and indirect infringement based on inducement to infringe (Instruction 3.10) are closely-related and may be confusing to the jury. Care should be taken to be clear regarding the Instructions on each issue and what findings the jury is being asked to make. Only if these theories of infringement are alleged and have been adequately supported by sufficient evidence should these Instructions be given. If both Instructions are being given, consideration should be given to instructing on joint infringement and inducement to infringe (Instruction 3.10) back-to-back and in a manner that readily allows the jury to appreciate the difference between the two theories, the evidence required to support each, and the specific findings they are being asked to make on each.

The Jury Instructions also include pre-AIA as well as post-AIA law.  The Jury Instructions are 75 pages long and a substantial contribution to patent law practice.  Kudos to Jennifer Librach Nall and Ajeet Pai, Co-Chairs, Model Patent Jury Instructions Subcommittee, Patent Litigation Committee, and all involved.  

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