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(b) During an Inquiry into the Validity of a Verdict or Indictment. During an inquiry into the validity of a verdict or indictment, a juror may not testify about any statement made or incident that occurred during the jury’s deliberations; the effect of anything on that juror’s or another juror’s vote; or any juror’s mental processes concerning the verdict or indictment. The House bill provides that a juror cannot testify about his mental processes or about the effect of anything upon his or another juror's mind as influencing him to assent to or dissent from a verdict or indictment.
Previously, a third-party challenger attempting to invalidate another’s patent before the U. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) had two options: reexamination, a similar procedure that provided the challenger with more, yet still limited, involvement. Jurors would be harassed and beset by the defeated party in an effort to secure from them evidence of facts which might establish misconduct sufficient to set aside a verdict. * * * * * As it stands then, the rule would permit the harassment of former jurors by losing parties as well as the possible exploitation of disgruntled or otherwise badly-motivated ex-jurors. And common fairness requires that absolute privacy be preserved for jurors to engage in the full and free debate necessary to the attainment of just verdicts. In , the Court stated: * * * * * [L]et it once be established that verdicts solemnly made and publicly returned into court can be attacked and set aside on the testimony of those who took part in their publication and all verdicts could be, and many would be, followed by an inquiry in the hope of discovering something which might invalidate the finding.Challenging patents in front of the USPTO offers other advantages over district court litigation.The burden for proving invalidity is, like reexamination, a “preponderance of the evidence” standard.