Saturday, May 9, 2015

Supreme Court - Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure - Reducing Litigation Costs

Chief Justice Roberts of the United States Supreme Court submitted amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to Congress on April 29. The amendments most likely to impact US patent litigation are as follows:

1. Rule 26 is amended so that it no longer permits discovery of any information that may reasonably lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Further, discovery must be proportional to the needs of the case. This sounds like a helpful change, but it's hard to predict if this will reduce the discovery costs in patent litigation.

2. Rule 84 is deleted, including Form 18, the standard patent infringement complaint form. This may promote greater specificity in the patent infringement complaint, which is helpful.

Unless Congress objects the amendments become effective on December 1, 2015. I expect lobbyist to face an uphill battle if they challenge these two amendments given they are intended to make litigation less costly.

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