IPO Reports that Judge Alvin Schall intends to take Senior Status in October 2009 -- opening a vacancy on the Federal Circuit to be filled by the Obama Administration. Three patent law professors have played important roles in the Obama campaign and transition: Mark Lemley (Stanford); Arti Rai (Duke); and Beth Noveck (NYLS; now Whitehouse). At least some patent litigators will push for Obama to nominate an experienced district court judge.
Judge Schall was appointed by the first President Bush in 1992. He spent many years as a prosecutor and DOJ trial attorney after graduating from Princeton (go Tigers) and Tulane Law.