Mark Lemley Asks: Are Short Patent Trials a Rush to Judgment?

By TAP Staff Blogger

Posted on August 15, 2013


Professor Mark Lemley’s new paper challenges the conventional wisdom that short trials favor patentees and questions whether trial location determines the outcome – the general perception in the patent bar is that the best place for patentees to file their suit is the Eastern District of Texas. In “Rush to Judgment? Trial Length and Outcomes in Patent Cases,” Professor Lemley and his co-authors Jamie Kendall and Clint Martin discuss findings from their comprehensive study of every patent trial conducted in the United States between January 1, 2000, and June 30, 2011.

Key Findings from a Rush to Judgment:

1) Juries are more favorable to patentees than judges.

2) The length of a trial has no effect on its outcome.

3) There is only a modest difference between patentee win rates in favored jurisdictions like Delaware and the Eastern District of Texas.

Professor Lemley and his colleagues did identify some predictors of success:

  • Juries rule for patentees more than judges.
  • Juries in some districts appear to be more likely to find for patentees than are others. But the inter-district results are much more modest than most people suspect.

Read the full paper: “Rush to Judgment? Trial Length and Outcomes in Patent Cases.”

Mark Lemley is the William H. Neukom Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, Director of the Stanford Program in Law, Science and Technology, and the Director of Stanford's LLM Program in Law, Science and Technology.

Professor Lemley is widely recognized as a preeminent scholar of intellectual property law. He has litigated cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, the California Supreme Court, and federal circuit courts, and he has testified numerous times before Congress, the California legislature, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Antitrust Modernization Commission on patent, trade secret, antitrust, and constitutional law matters. He is also a partner and founder in the firm Durie Tangri LLP.



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