In March, the Innovation, Business and Law Center welcomed the Honorable William C. Bryson as a jurist-in-residence at the Iowa College of Law. Judge Bryson has spent more than 20 years as a judge at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, whose jurisdiction includes virtually all appeals involving patent law.  Judge Bryson is also the presiding judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review and has sat by designation in numerous district court patent cases.   Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Bryson served for over 15 years in the Department of Justice, including as Acting Solicitor General.  While in Iowa City, he shared his unique perspective on patent litigation.

During a packed three-day visit, Judge Bryson met with students, faculty, and local practitioners.  In addition to guest teaching sessions of the Patent Law course and the IP Advocacy course, Judge Bryson met with students for one-on-one meetings and in small groups over breakfast and gave a public lecture on the value and role of appellate advocacy.  He also spoke about his views on jury trials at an informal faculty lunch and attended a reception and dinner sponsored by the IBLC.

For members of the IP Advocacy class, a highlight of Judge Bryson’s visit was when he judged a practice session of the Giles S. Rich Patent Moot Court Competition teams.

“Judge Bryson was both the toughest and most enjoyable moot court judge I had the opportunity to argue before. His questioning showed an impressive familiarity with the teams' briefs as well as his decades of experience with patent law,” said Andy Schrader, a rising 3L and member of the team.

Michelle Wallace, also a rising 3L and member of the team added, “As a student interested in patent law, the opportunity to argue in front of Judge Bryson was an invaluable learning experience. His feedback gave us a judge's perspective on our moot court issues and helped us formulate concise arguments that focused on what a real Federal Circuit judge would be concerned with. I'm appreciative that he took the time to visit Iowa and judge our practice round.”

Professor Christina Bohannan, advisor to the IP advocacy team, said “Judge Bryson has heard so many important cases and had a hand in so many important developments in patent law – I was thrilled when he agreed to hear our student advocates and give them feedback.”

--Jay Stirling | July 15, 2014