Justice Breyer's Question:
Of all the current Supreme Court Justices, the Justice with the most distinctive style of asking a question is Justice Stephen Breyer. From the transcript of oral argument this morning in a patent case, KSR International v. Teleflex:
JUSTICE BREYER: I can understand, I think, what a teaching is. I take it a teaching is you put all the prior art — that's what I guess that's what Judge Rich explained, which I thought was very enlightening to me in I can't remember the name of the case, Wigmore, Winsmore [ . . .. ] Winslow. You put it all around the room. All right, we've got it all around the room, and I begin to look at it and if I see over that it somehow teaches me to combine these two things, if it says, Breyer, combine this and that, that's a teaching and then it's obvious. Now, maybe it doesn't have the teaching, it just has the suggestion. Maybe it says, we suggest you combine this or that; okay, then it's obvious. But I don't understand, though I've read it about 15 or 20 times now, it though I've read it about 15 or 20 times now, I just don't understand what is meant by the term "motivation."
Classic (although I assume that the repeat of the "15 or 20 times now" phrase is an error in the transcript).