National Patent Jury Instructions Released

Last week a committee assembled by Chief Judge Paul Michel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit released a set of model jury instructions for patent infringement cases.  The instructions have not yet been officially endorsed by the Federal Circuit or any other court, but instead “are intended to provide a simple and easy-to-understand set of model jury instructions that will be helpful to judges and lawyers across the country.”

The model instructions address many items that are unique to patent cases, such as:

  •  What is a patent and how is one obtained?
  • A glossary of patent terms
  • Various instructions relating to types of infringement (direct, indirect, inducement, contributory infringement, means-plus function claims, and more)
  • Various instructions relating to invalidity (including best mode, enablement, anticipation and obviousness)
  • Various instructions relating to damages (including lost profits, and a definition of “reasonable royalty”)

The complete model instructions are available at

The National Patent Jury Instructions Project included members of both the bench and bar:  Kenneth C. Bass III, Donald R. Dunner, Pamela Banner Krupka, Judge Roderick R. McKelvie, Teresa Stanek Rea, Edward R. Reines, Judge Patti B. Saris, Judge John T. Ward, and Judge Ronald M. Whyte.

Special thanks to my partner Josh Slavitt for the information for this post.

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