By J. Gregory Whitehair, IP Resolution Co.
On September 27, 2011, Chief Judge Rader keynoted the Judicial Conference for the Eastern District of Texas in a wide ranging speech. Tapping his experience as both a Federal Circuit Judge and as a trial judge by designation in the district, Judge Rader weighed in on array of topics, from the high quality of ED Tex. juries, to the dearth of fine local restaurants. He then spoke in detail, in his own inimitable style, on six ways to improve patent litigation today:
- Detailed discovery management and control by the courts;
- More effective, focused summary judgment practice;
- Efficient venue and joinder decisions by plaintiffs;
- Better and earlier case evaluation to gauge proportionality;
- Dependable rules of practice to create predictability; and
- “Troll and grasshopper control.”
You can find the entire speech here. His nomination of “trolls” (in his words, any party that attempts to enforce a patent “far beyond its actual value or contribution to the prior art”) and “grasshoppers” (any entity which “refuses to license even the strongest patent at even the most reasonable rates”) as legitimate candidates for “extraordinary case” fee shifting should become a classic. He also took the opportunity to roll out the Federal Circuit Advisory Council’s new Model Order Regarding E-Discovery in Patent Cases, discussed in the Patent Litigation link.
Greg is a nationally certified mediator and arbitrator and owns IP Resolution Co., a national ADR consultancy specializing in IP and high-tech disputes. He is a registered patent attorney and a long-time Denver trial lawyer. He is active in the Colorado IP American Inn of Court and is Vice-chair of the Dispute Resolution Section of the Colorado Bar Association. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.