A highly influential judge and an author of the US Patent Act of 1952
IP Hall of Fame inductee in 2006
As a dedicated lawyer, professor and judge, Giles Rich played a significant role in the development and evolution of intellectual property law in the United States. He was a private practice lawyer from 1929 to 1956, specialising in patent and trademark law. He was one of the two people principally responsible for drafting the 1952 Patent Act, which served as the first codification of all federal patent laws and which has been in force for half a century without significant revision. In 1956 President Eisenhower appointed him as an associate judge for the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals (CCPA). Then, in 1982, he was appointed as a Circuit Judge for the CCPA’s successor court, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which holds exclusive jurisdiction for patent appeals. From his seat on the Federal Circuit, Rich authored landmark decisions clarifying some of the most difficult concepts in patent law, including decisions that have been hailed as laying the foundation for the modern biotechnology industry and important cases dealing with the complex area of software and computer-related inventions. In 1992 Rich earned special recognition from President Bush for his contributions to the US patent code.