The Northern District of Illinois took a proactive step in addressing procedural issues that commonly arise in patent litigation by enacting the Court’s Local Patent Rules. These Rules provide a uniform structure to pretrial procedures in patent cases involving claims of infringement, non-infringement, invalidity, or unenforceability of utility patents. The Rules will enable greater predictability and planning for the Court, counsel, and clients by requiring parties to indentify and focus upon outcome determinative or otherwise significant disputes. This article offers insight on the Rules from two members of the committee of district court judges and experienced lawyers that initially drafted them. The authors outline an estimated schedule for a patent case to be trial-ready in just under two years by providing a step-by-step guide in applying the Rules.
Edward D. Manzo and Judge Matthew F. Kennelly, Northern District of Illinois Adopts Local Patent Rules, 9 J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. 202 (2009)