Ken Parker in Law360: SoCal Gains Traction as Hot Spot for Patent Cases


Since the launch two years ago of a federal pilot program to help judges gain proficiency in handling patent cases, participating Santa Ana, Calif., judges have seen an uptick in patent suits assigned to them, heralding the Central District of California, Southern Division’s emergence as an increasingly attractive venue for patent litigation, lawyers say.

The Central District, which is one of the most popular venues for patent cases in the U.S., was picked by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts in 2011 to be one of the 14 district courts to take part in the program aimed at making complex patent litigation more efficient by steering cases to judges who have an interest in them. Six out of the district’s 38 judges have joined the patent pilot program, and two of the participating judges are located in Santa Ana, which is part of Orange County...

Moreover, the Southern Division has been known to be a predictable venue for patent cases. The patent pilot program has increased its predictability because there's a high likelihood that if a case is filed in the division, it will be assigned to a handful of judges, including those on the panel of participating judges and some who tend to keep their cases, according to Ken Parker, co-leader of Haynes and Boone, LLP’s IP litigation practice.

“The perception is that plaintiffs want a quick and fair trial, but the other thing they look for is predictability — not necessarily a predictable outcome but a fair and predictable process,” he said. “Knowing the judge is interested in hearing patent cases is useful and tends to lead more plaintiffs to want to file in the venue.”

Excerpted from Law360, December 3, 2013. To view full article, click here (subscription required).

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