Licensing & Ventures Group

Judge Paul Michel

Retired Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

After graduating from the UVA School of Law, Chief Judge Paul Redmond Michel (LAW ’66) joined the Philadelphia district attorney's office working under then-District Attorney Arlen Specter. He left that office to join the Department of Justice, first as an assistant Watergate special prosecutor from 1974 to 1975 and then assistant counsel for the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (Church Committee) from 1975 to 1976. He served as deputy chief of the Public Integrity Section and lead prosecutor in the Koreagate scandal from 1976 to 1978, before becoming associate deputy U.S. attorney general from 1978 to 1981. In 1981 Michel became counsel and administrative assistant to Senator Arlen Specter. President Reagan nominated Michel to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in 1988, and he became Chief Judge in 2004. He retired from the bench in 2010.

Michel wrote over 800 opinions and is widely recognized as a seminal figure in patent law, over which the Federal Circuit has nationwide jurisdiction. Recognizing that he “helped shape the landscape of patent law in the U.S. and handed down some of the court's most important judgments,” Intellectual Asset Management magazine inducted Michel into its IP Hall of Fame in 2010.