Local Patent Rules Might Have Unintended Impact.

LegalMetric sends out routine emails referring to its statistical analysis of patent litigation. Recently, it reported the most pro-patentee and [allegedly] pro-infringer districts among the federal courts.

In order, the top 10 districts favoring parties accused of infringement are:

1. Northern District of California  *
2. Southern District of California * 
3. Eastern District of Pennsylvania
4. Central District of California * 
5. Southern District of New York 
6. Southern District of Ohio * 
7. Eastern District of Michigan
8. Western District of Washington *
9. Southern District of Florida
10. District of Arizona

The ten districts most favorable to patentees were, in order:

1. District of Delaware
2. Eastern District of Texas *
3. Middle District of Florida
4. District of New Jersey
5. Western District of Wisconsin
6. Eastern District of Virginia
7. District of Massachusetts*
8. Eastern District of Missouri
9. District of Minnesota*
10. Northern District of Ohio

My curiosity was what neutral factor might bear upon whether a district favored infringers over patentees. As listed above, the asterisks indicate those districts that have local rules for patent litigation.

IMO, the rules that allocate to patentees the burden of going forward with a proposed claim construction, identification of alleged infringing subject matter with claim chart details, etc., tend to be more favorable to infringers. The local patent rules, with links to those district’s webpages, are collected nicely on matthewspatentlaw.com/documents/LR-NJ.pdf

Those districts that still practice using the ‘sporting’ rules of litigation tend to favor a patentee.

It is fair to conclude that my appraisal is unscientific and/or based on too small a sample to draw conclusions. On the other hand, the rating and report of LegalMetric has indicia of scientific reliability.