Reliable sources have indicated that the Federal Circuit Bar Association is now hoping to hold an early Fall 2017 conference in Tokyo where the court would bring five of its Circuit Judges to participate.
Tokyo 2011, Déjà vu? The Association is apparently seeking to reprise its well attended 2011 Tokyo Conference. Whether 2017 will result in a successful conference depends upon a variety of factors: In 2011, the travel expenses for the American jurists at that conference were largely borne by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. (The question was raised in 2011: Is there a conflict where a litigant before a court funds the thousands of dollars for international travel expenses for each of the traveling jurists hearing its appeals?). The proposed dates for the Conference also fall in the midst of at least two major conferences previously planned for Tokyo.
Trump Administration Funding for Five Circuit Judges: Whether the new Administration will provide the generous (or any) funding for this trip that was provided by the U.S. PTO in 2011 is unclear. It is also unclear whether the various American law firms that made major financial contributions to cosponsor the 2011 venture will open their pocketbooks again. Parallel conflict issues for private litigants are also apparent as with the case of the PTO as a Federal Circuit litigant.