On September 23rd, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination of Judge Kathleen O’Malley (N.D. Ohio) to fill a vacancy on the Federal Circuit. Judge O’Malley has handled significant IP litigation and is married to veteran Covington patent litigator George Pappas. Like many district court judges, she has been quoted as calling the Markman decision a “Pandora’s Box,” which Cybor left propped open. She would clearly have preferred the Fed. Cir. to give district court judges’ claim interpretations greater (or any) deference. Judge O’Malley graduated from Kenyon College and Case Western Reserve Law School with lots of honors. Of course, any Senator can put a hold on her nomination and block a vote on confirmation, but this sort of appointment does not seem to be that tempting a target for GOP strategists. Let’s hope not, anyway.
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Warren D. Woessner