St. Louis Patent Litigator and Harness Dickey Principal Doug Robinson recently spoke with Law360 on the topic of patent “shootout-style” hearings that have taken place in California. Overseen by U.S. District Judge William Alsup, these hearings take aim at streamlining lawsuit cases involving patents.
The new hearing style was at the center of a case between Comcast Cable Communications LLC and OpenTV Inc. held earlier this month in which each side had a chance to seek judgment on a single claim in one patent. Many experienced patent litigators have since said that they have not seen this style of hearing before, a sentiment seemingly backed up by Judge Alsup who likened the trial to a pilot program to more efficiently find the merits of the case.
Robinson suggested that this type of procedure will likely not spread across courtrooms, and particularly not in courts with traditionally high numbers of patent cases and established procedures for handling them. “You may see some courts doing this, but I don’t necessarily think it’s going to be something where there’s going to be a wave of courts immediately adopting this sort of procedure,” Robinson said.