President Obama nominated Kara Farnandez Stoll to serve on the United States Courts of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), on November 12th. Although Ms. Stoll has primarily practiced in patent litigation, she is a former patent examiner, admitted to the Patent Bar and has a degree in electrical engineering. Interestingly, she also was a clerk to Judge Schall, who is still on the court.
Ms. Stoll would be the one of the few judges on the CAFC with private practice patent experience. The other judges are Judge Pauline Newman, who is a chemist and practiced as a patent attorney for many years, Judge Lourie, who was in-house but handled patent work, Judge Chen who was a patent prosecutor as well, and Judge Linn who was a patent examiner, and also worked in private practice. Since many of the high profile cases of the CAFC are patent related, I’m always excited to see more patent experts nominated to this court.
Ms. Stoll would also be the fifth woman on the panel. In addition to Judge Newman, Judges Prost, O’Malley, and Moore are on the court, and Judge Prost is the Chief Circuit Judge since Judge Rader resigned.
Hopefully Ms. Stoll’s nomination will sail through the Senate quickly.