Judge Michel served for more than 22 years on the Federal Circuit, retiring on May 31, 2010. From December 25, 2004 until his retirement, he also discharged the duties of Chief Judge of this national court, serving simultaneously on the U.S. Judicial Conference — the Judiciary’s governing body — and by appointment of the Chief Justice on its seven-judge Executive Committee.
He judged several thousand appeals and authored more than 800 opinions, one third concerning intellectual property law. Intellectual Asset Management magazine inducted him into its Hall of Fame and he was designated one of the 50 most influential leaders in intellectual property law in the world. His contributions were also recognized by lifetime achievement and similar awards by the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA); Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation (IPO); the American Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Section; Managing Intellectual Property magazine; the Sedona Conference; the Patent and Trademark Office Society (PTOS); the New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Associations; and the William C. Connor, the Giles S. Rich, and the Richard Linn Intellectual Property American Inns of Court. In 2010 the Los Angeles IP Inn was renamed in his honor as the Paul R. Michel IP Inn.
Judge Michel received the Jefferson Medal, the Eli Whitney Award, and the Katz-Kiley Prize as well as Honorary Doctor of Law degrees from the Catholic University of America and the John Marshall Law School. He is a lifetime Member of Honore of FICPI, the international association of private practitioners of intellectual property law. Williams College granted him the Kellogg Award for “outstanding leadership in law and public service.”
Judge Michel has written numerous articles on patent law and advocacy, taught related courses and master classes at George Washington University, the University of Akron, and John Marshall law schools, serving as well on their IP advisory boards and on counterpart boards at the universities of California (Berkley), Washington, and Maryland. He co-authored a casebook, Patent Litigation and Strategy (West, 1999) and an August 2010 editorial in the New York Times on strengthening the patent system to promote prosperity and create new jobs.
A frequent speaker at conferences and law schools during his judicial tenure and since, he retired from a lifetime appointment to be free to speak out on the national need for better patent policy and protection of intellectual property and the vital, unmet resource needs of the courts, the PTO, the International Trade Commission, and other IP-related agencies. He was appointed Distinguished Scholar in Residence by IPO, following his retirement. Judge Michel also consults for law firms and their clients in intellectual property litigations, conducting moot courts, mock trials, case evaluations, editing briefs, advising on strategy and providing mediation and arbitration services.