Monday we were fortunate to have a guest lecture from Jack Regan, a partner at WilmerHale. Jack is an ND alum (Government major), and is now a patent litigator – which means he tries patent cases in court in front of a judge and jury.
Jack told us about a case he’s currently involved in, which he will shortly argue at the Federal Circuit (where all patent cases go on appeal). Specifically, Jack explained what a Markman hearing is: where a judge decides what the claims in a patent really mean. In the Markman hearing, the two sides argue about what claim terms mean based on how the claims are written and also on the other language in the patent itself. The Markman hearing happens before the “real” trial, and can sometimes decide the case without it ever going to a judge or jury.
Jack was in town for the Oklahoma game (enough about football!). Usually we do our Lunch-and-Learns on Football Fridays in the fall, but Jack couldn’t make it to campus on Friday because he was wrapped up with his caseload. It was great to hear from Jack right now, because our students are starting to think about claims for their Capstone technologies, so it was a great opportunity to reinforce that claims need to be clearly and accurately written.