This 13 Thing Keeps Coming Up Decisively.

There’s a lot to think about on a Friday – do I have charcoal, will it rain, how come I’m still working on Monday’s work, what the numbers on my paycheck mean – oh, and that it is the 13th.  For all those lucky birds who were born on Friday the 13th, what can you tell us about how that rolls you along the tao of life.

This 13 thing infects decisive aspects of CAFC rulings.  Probably one of the more empiric IP blawgers could insert a chart here that statisticizes how many district court rulings are affirmed because of the intervention of a #13 circumstance.  Consider:

A CAFC panel, or at least two of them, troubled over the statute of limitations issues because it had been “thirteen years after the first patent was issued” when “Schlumberger reportedly represented …that Schlumberger owns the Barstow inventions.” DDB Technologies, L.L.C. v. MLB Advanced Media, L.P., (Fed. Cir. Feb.13, 2008).

Patent geeks find no reason to doubt that “the Lemelson patents occupied the “top thirteen positions” for the longest prosecutions from 1914 to 2001.” Symbol Techs., Inc. v. Lemelson Med., Educ. & Research Found., 422 F.3d 1378 (Fed. Cir. 2005).

Almost for certain it was not a random decision that the U.S. government “began requiring [V-chip] functionality in television sets thirteen inches or larger.” Sony Electronics, Inc. v. Guardian Media Technologies, Ltd., 497 F.3d 1271 (Fed. Cir. 2007).

It too was notable that the CAFC, in sanctioning a troll-to-be, seized upon that infringement complaint in Eon-Net LP v. Flagstar Bancorp, (Fed. Cir. Sept. 27, 2007) being “virtually identical” to thirteen other complaints “filed against parties with greatly disparate business operations.”

It is no wonder that a “thirteen-day jury trial” was needed to navigate around the alleged infringement of a claim construed to encompass “an array of microphones” arrayed around your skullcase. Medtronic Navigation, Inc. v. BrainLAB Medizinische Computersysteme GmbH, (Fed. Cir. February 7, 2007).

Certainly, one of refined taste for the bubbly {me} has no need for “applying the thirteen factors set forth in In re E.I. DuPont DeNemours & Co., 476 F.2d 1357, 1361 (C.C.P.A. 1973), without deference” to negate a likelihood of confusion between a flute of Veuve Clicquot, the finest champagne of all, and some kid-sip marked Veuve Royale sparkling wine. Palm Bay Imports, Inc. v. Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Maison Fondee En 1772, 396 F.3d 1369 (Fed. Cir. 2005).

Some think these cases were decided on CAFC precedent, but there too is the deci-trio cum detritus theory of random order selection – chart please.  If your CAFC case gets a docket number that includes the #13, then wonder, ‘is it a sign?’