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It’s a new era for the US Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit. Partner and co-chair of Katten's Patent Litigation practice, Deepro Mukerjee, spoke to Law360 about changes in the area of diversity that are taking place at the Federal Circuit, including a pending judge nomination, a new chief judge, and several judges who are eligible for retirement.
Judge Kimberly Moore, one of the court's youngest members, will replace Judge Sharon Prost, who turns 70 in May, as chief on May 22. Additionally, while no black judge has served on the Federal Circuit throughout the court's 40-year history, President Joe Biden nominated Tiffany Cunningham, a litigator at Perkins Coie LLP., to serve on the Federal Circuit on March 30. Cunningham would be the court's first black judge.
Deepro described Judge Moore as having "distinguished herself in the patent world" and expects her to be vocal about Section 101 of Title 35 of the US Code, which governs all matters of patent law in the United States.
He also referred to Judge Moore's passionate dissent in American Axle v. Neapco, a contentious patent eligibility case where other Federal Circuit judges invalidated a car driveshaft patent for only claiming a natural law.