Top 5 Things to Know About Federal Circuit Judge Alan Lourie

By Robyn Hagan Cain on October 28, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Here at FindLaw, we understand the pressures of being a legal professional - most of us are recovering lawyers - so we want to help by tossing you that preferred life preserver of the legal profession, the short list.

Today's offering: Top five things to know about Federal Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Alan Lourie.

Judge Lourie recently told a crowd at the George Washington University Law School that he doesn't sweat Supreme Court review of the Federal Circuit's decisions because it "clearly perceives patent law not as an obscure backwater but an important part of the economy," reports BNA.

Let's learn more about this disarmingly relaxed judge.

  1. Four Degrees of Alan Lourie. Unlike Kevin Bacon's famous web of connections, Judge Laurie's four degrees are of the academic variety. Lourie earned degrees from Harvard (AB, '56), the University of Wisconsin (MA, '58), the University of Pennsylvania (PhD, '65), and Temple University (JD, '70).
  2. Next Appointment. President George H.W. Bush appointed Judge Lourie to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in 1990. He is the second most senior judge on the court after Judge Pauline Newman, whom President Ronald Reagan nominated in 1984.
  3. In a Previous Life. Before ascending to the bench, Lourie was Vice President, Corporate Patents and Trademarks, and Associate General Counsel of pharmaceutical giant SmithKline Beecham Corporation, now known as GlaxoSmithKline.
  4. PIPLA Love. The Philadelphia Intellectual Property Law Association (PIPLA) honored Judge Lourie in 2010 as the third recipient of PIPLA's Award for Outstanding Intellectual Property Achievement. The Award is given annually to a member of the bar who has made substantial contributions to the field of intellectual property law.
  5. Adverse to Reversal. He knows it's not personal, but Judge Lourie dislikes reading headlines announcing Federal Circuit reversals. Let's see if he's pleased or disappointed after the Supreme Court reviews his opinion in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Labs.

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals currently has 17 judges. President Barack Obama nominated Edward DuMont and Judge Evan Wallach to fill vacancies in the circuit earlier this year. Both are awaiting Senate confirmation.

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