According to the front page of the January 12, 2009, National Law Journal (above the fold), Massachusetts U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris is on the “short list” to be appointed to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit – the so-called “science court” that sits in Washington D.C. and hears patent appeals from all of the U. S. District Courts in the United States.
When it comes to patents, Judge Saris is the “stand out” judge in Massachusetts. She’s shown a liking and a knack for patent litigation, and lawyers who draw her in their patent cases are appreciative. She also is active on “the circuit,” speaking at seminars and events where judges are asked to share their thoughts on patent law issues – in other words, she’s an authority on the subject, and her influence extends far beyond her court room.
The NLJ has an extensive article, the main point of which is that the CAFC, which has 12 judges, is expected to lose as many as half that number to retirements in the next few years. Not only is Judge Saris on the short list of about 10 candidates for the CAFC, but she is one of only three judicial candidates.
Needless to say, it would be a blow to the Massachusetts federal bench if it lost a judge of this caliber, but it would be a great honor and opportunity for Judge Saris.