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IP: Considerations When Filing Patent Infringement Claims

What are today's considerations in deciding where to file a patent infringement lawsuit? Obviously, one has to first establish personal jurisdiction. Assuming that can be established anywhere across the country, a number of factors exist in an effort to pick the best venue and obtain the best result. One considers conveniences for the parties, the jury pools, the judges and, in my opinion, one of the most important being the various courts themselves and the systems in which they operate.

In looking at the courts and court systems, one of the first statistics commonly looked at is the time to trial. Do you prefer a "rocket docket," or one that will allow the case to go slowly while hanging over the head of an accused infringer? PricewaterhouseCoopers puts out a Patent Litigation Study every year and, although its 2010 study is not scheduled to come out for several weeks, the 2009 study shows the top five median time-to-trial districts from 1995 to 2008 being (1) the Eastern District of Virginia (median time of 0.88 years), (2) the Western District of Wisconsin (1.01 years), (3) the Southern District of California (1.24 years), (4) the Middle District of Florida (1.71 years) and (5) the District of Maryland (1.75 years). Rounding out the top ten districts include (6) the Eastern District of Texas, (7) the District of Kansas, (8) the District of Delaware, (9) the Southern District of Texas, and (10) the Central District of California.

Allan Sternstein

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