Partner Jeanne Gills was quoted in the Managing IP article, “Judges and lawyers reveal litigation tips for less patent-popular courts,” about IP litigation in courts that are less familiar with patent matters in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision in TC Heartland.
The TC Heartland decision means lawyers may have little choice but to file infringement cases in courts that individually oversee very few patent cases and often have little experience in managing patent law surrounding complex technologies. Almost a third (30%) of all US patent cases took place in such courts in 2019. It has become crucial, therefore, for lawyers to develop strategies that will help them communicate their points succinctly to less experienced judges and juries.
Some lawyers worry that there is less predictability and certainty in these courts, while others are concerned by the relatively slow speed at which their case are progressed in these courts. Gills, vice chair of Foley’s Intellectual Property Department and a former vice chair of the firm’s IP Litigation Practice, said she is involved in a case in the Southern District of Ohio that was filed eight years ago.
“In one of the judge’s most recent orders, he acknowledged that some of the length of time of the case was the court’s own doing, given the pendency of some of the motions,” she said. “You can definitely see how a judge’s lack of familiarity with patent issues can sometimes lead to a longer period of time for motions to be decided.”