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Hoping to stave off congressional action, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is pressing lawyers to push for more cases that force the court to address fundamental patent questions.

In a Sept. 29 speech to the Richard Linn American Inn of Court in Chicago, Chief Judge Paul Michel said the Federal Circuit’s strength is that it “can proceed incrementally, sequentially in an evolutionary sense,” while Congress must act all at once. “Patent legislation is an opportunity for things to get much better, but it’s also a risk for things to get much worse, and it’s not entirely clear which direction it’s going to head in,” Michel said in his speech, held at the offices of Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione.

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