Top US patent judge resigns after ethics breach

Judge Randall Rader, the top US patent judge, has resigned from the bench after he sent a letter to a patent attorney praising his courtroom appearance, inviting him to share the letter publicly. Radar is one of the top ambassadors for the US patent system, touring the world giving speeches extolling its virtues. He's planning to spend the rest of his life teaching patent law in global universities.

Parts of Rader's e-mail to Reines were obtained and published by Scott Graham of The Recorder, a San Francisco legal newspaper. The e-mail describes a female judge—presumably Circuit Judge Sharon Prost, the only woman on the panel in question—being impressed by Reines' arguments, comparing him favorably to opposing attorney Seth Waxman. Rader wrote:

She said Seth had a whole battery of assistants passing him notes and keeping him on track. You were alone and IMPRESSIVE in every way… in sum, I was really proud to be your friend today! Actually, I not only do not mind, but encourage you to let others see this message.

Top US patent judge resigns following "ethical breach" [Joe Mullin/Ars Technica]