International intellectual property magazine recognizes work of former judge
LONGVIEW, Texas – Former U.S. District Judge T. John Ward, a shareholder in the high-stakes business litigation and intellectual property law firm of Ward & Smith, recently was honored with a lifetime achievement award presented by the publishers of Managing IP during the magazine’s 5th annual North America Awards.
Appointed to the federal bench by President Bill Clinton in 1999, Judge Ward is widely credited for establishing the Eastern District of Texas’ accelerated intellectual property docket. The success of the court rules implemented by Judge Ward in 2001 to expedite patent-infringement litigation resulted in the adoption of similar rules in all Eastern District federal courts. As a result, the district quickly became the most popular venue in the United States for patent cases.
During the North America Awards dinner, held March 29 in Washington, D.C., Judge Ward’s impact was summarized by Chief Judge Randall Rader of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In addition to describing him as “one of the greatest trial judges that ever graced the federal bench,” Judge Rader also noted that Judge Ward probably tried more patent cases than any other federal judge. Judge Ward is credited with having presided over more than 150 jury trials and managing a trial docket that resulted in the closing of more than 3,000 total cases during his 12-year tenure on the federal bench.
“I am humbled by this recognition,” says Judge Ward. “My primary concern each and every day I spent on the bench was to try to make sure the system worked in the way it was designed to work.”
Also honored with a lifetime achievement award was former United States Patent and Trademark Office Patent Commissioner Robert (Bob) Stoll. Other individuals recognized during the North America Awards dinner were Congressman Lamar Smith and Senator Patrick Leahy for their roles in passing the America Invents Act.
Longview, Texas-based Ward & Smith has earned a national reputation in high-stakes cases involving complex commercial litigation, intellectual property law, oil & gas disputes, and serious personal injury claims. Ward & Smith frequently assists lawyers nationwide in complex cases before East Texas juries. Learn more about Ward & Smith at http://www.wsfirm.com.