While visiting a friend and fellow lawyer recently in her DC office, her firm's senior partner stopped in to discuss an amicus brief they were preparing for filing before the Supreme Court. The senior partner is a seasoned federal appellate attorney who spent several years early in his career working in the Justice Department. Which prompted him, while thinking out loud, to wonder if he should ask the Solicitor General for a few minutes during oral argument before the Supreme Court, inasmuch as the senior partner had drafted the statute at issue and thus could shed light on the specific clause being argued by the parties.
I haven't followed up to find out if indeed he asked for such time and if so, if the SG agreed to give it to him, but it made me realize how unfortunate it is that Judge Rich and P.J. Federico are no longer with us to explain to that same court what section 101 of the patent statute is all about. If they were, I imagine the exchange would be similar to the scene in Annie Hall in which Woody Allen pulls Marshall McLuhan from the wings to rebut a too-smug-with-himself intellectual. "You know nothing of my work", McLuhan tells him, "How you ever got to teach a course in anything is totally amazing!".
I know it's not going to change reality, and we're still stuck with the mess SCOTUS has made of patent law in the last few years, but we can dream, can't we?