October 31, 2013 Articles

Local Patent Rules: A Survey of District Courts

A closer look at the different approaches followed by 26 districts.

By Ben Hodges

In 2001, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California adopted the nation's first district-wide set of local patent rules. Before that time, some individual judges had adopted patent rules, but no district had uniform rules. After the Northern District of California adopted its local patent rules, three years passed until the next district, the Northern District of Georgia, adopted local patent rules, followed now by a multitude of districts.

Since 2001, a total of 26 district courts have adopted local patent rules:

• Northern District of California
• Northern District of Georgia
• Western District of Pennsylvania
• Eastern District of Texas
• Southern District of California
• Northern District of Texas (which has local patent rules only for the Dallas Division)
• Eastern District of North Carolina
• Southern District of Texas
• District of New Jersey
• Western District of Washington
• Southern District of Ohio
• Northern District of Illinois
• Northern District of Ohio
• District of Idaho
• Eastern District of Washington
• Eastern District of Missouri
• Western District of North Carolina
• District of Maryland
• District of Nevada
• Western District of Tennessee
• District of New Hampshire
• Northern District of New York
• Middle District of North Carolina
• Northern District of Indiana
• District of Massachusetts (which has a proposed scheduling order for patent cases that contains many of the same requirements as other local patent rules)
• District of Minnesota (which has a proposed scheduling order for patent cases that contains many of the same requirements as other local patent rules)
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