From October 24 to 26, 2005, the Fourth International Judges Conference on Intellectual Property Law was held in Washington D.C., United States. Judge Tomokatsu Tsukahara and Judge Tatsubumi Sato from the IP High Court and Judge Ryuichi Shitara from the Tokyo District Court participated in the conference.
The conference was hosted by the Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation (IPO). About 50 judges in charge of IP cases from about 30 countries throughout the world participated, including Chief Judge Paul Michel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), other CAFC judges and US district court judges.
October 24 (Monday)
The session held in the morning of the first day of the three-day conference was solely for participating judges to exchange views on a wide range of topics. At the beginning of the session, Judge Newman and Judge Bryson of the CAFC, Judge Pumfrey of the Royal Court of Justice of the United Kingdom, and Judge Tsukahara of the IP High Court made speeches on significant recent developments in the IP field in their own countries. Judge Tsukahara spoke about the establishment of the Intellectual Property High Court of Japan and gave an outline of the court. After the speeches, participants introduced the recent situations of the judicial branch and IP law of their countries, and exchanged opinions in a friendly and frank atmosphere from beginning to end.
October 25 (Tuesday)
On the second and third days, the sessions were open to public and drew large audiences from the legal and academic community. In the session held in the afternoon of the second day, entitled “ Patent Litigation in Various Countries,” judges and lawyers from the U.K., Germany, Italy, Japan, China, and the U.S. participated as panelists. They presented, using a hypothetical case, the advantages and disadvantages of filing patent lawsuits as well as evidence gathering procedures and procedures for challenging validity of patent in their own jurisdictions, and then exchanged opinions with the other participants.
In the afternoon of that day, another session, entitled “Cross Border Issues and Extra-Territorial Issues Revisited,” was also held. In this session, lawyers from the U.S. and the Netherlands made presentations introducing recent cases as well as explaining precedents in the U.S. and EU. They discussed issues such as whether infringement should be found when a part of the activities covered by a certain patent was conducted outside the country of the patent, whether a court could adjudicate foreign patents in infringement lawsuits, and under what requirements foreign judgments should be recognized and enforced. Discussions with the other participants followed the presentations.
October 26 (Wednesday)
In the morning of the third day, a session was held focusing on “ Patentable Subject Matter,” and judges and lawyers from Germany, the U.S., and Japan participated as panelists. In this session, participants addressed various issues concerning subject matters for biotechnology patent and software patent, and held discussions using hypothetical cases, while comparing patent laws of various countries.
In the afternoon of that day, another session was held focusing on “Remedies and Ways of Measuring Damages,” in which Judge Shitara of the Tokyo District Court, Judge Grabinski of the District Court of Dusseldorf, and Judge O’Malley of the US District Court of Ohio participated as panelists. They made presentations on issues arising in calculating the amount of damages under their domestic laws in a complicated hypothetical case where patent infringement was assumed, and then exchanged opinions with the other participants.