Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Why Didn't We Think of That? District Judge Orders Parties To Limit Future Submissions to "Ordinary Language"

Very few federal judges in the United States have technical training, and most do not have an active docket of patent matters. For these jurists, the technical subject matter of some patent infringement actions and the somewhat arcane points of patent law and procedure may create consternation. One judge, U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, recently expressed frustration in a pending case involving the alleged infringement of series of patents involving Internet technology. The solution? He simply ordered the parties to submit clear and nontechnical papers: 
As an initial matter, the Court notes that the parties' briefs in this motion and especially the counterclaim are densely written and filled with both technical jargon and unexplained patent terms of art. While none of this is fatal to the parties' arguments, it does increase the likelihood of misunderstanding and outright error.
 A federal judge in Illinois recently adopted the following requirement of the lawyers in a patent case: "All submissions must be brief and nontechnical and eschew patent-law jargon. Since I am neither an electrical engineer nor a patent lawyer, and since this case will be tried to a jury, the parties' lawyers must translate technical and legal jargon into ordinary language." New Medium LLC v. Barco N.V., No. 05 C 5620, 2009 WL 1098864, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 15, 2009). The Court expects the same in future filings in this case.
 Nomadix, Inc. v. Hospitality Core Services LLC, Case No. CV 14-08256 DDP (June 29, 2015). Full opinion available HERE

1 comment:

Arleen Malley Zank said...

All I can say here is that disclosure should be understandable by people NOT ordinarily skilled in the art. As one of the great patent litigators explained before a software case expert witness testimony, "Remember, you explaining this to the Bingo Ladies who will make up the jury.