by Mike Masnick
Wed, Sep 30th 2009 2:04am
Just weeks after we questioned why juries got to set patent awards, since those awards are often ridiculously high and are increasingly being tossed out by higher courts, it's happened again. A jury ruling from earlier this year that would have had Microsoft paying $388 million for patent infringement has been tossed out on appeal. It's become quite clear that juries don't understand most of the actual issues on patent law. At a conference on patent law last week hosted by the Santa Clara University law school, it was pointed out how little information is given to the jury on patent information. For example, professor John Duffy pointed out that jurors were only given 12 pages of information on how patent "obviousness" is determined, which he says is significantly less than any textbook he's ever used -- and yet, they're supposed to make a legal determination on it. So, once again, why does it make sense to let juries make these kinds of decisions?
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