As the Senate continues to weigh patent reform measures focused on improving preliminary disclosures in patent litigation, courts continue to distinguish between sufficient and insufficient disclosures under their own patent local rules. According to a recent ruling from the Northern District of California, a generalized claim that any products practicing a technical standard infringe an
Many district courts around the country have specialized local rules that govern patent litigation, in order to assist the court and the parties to manage the myriad issues that come up in the vast majority of complex patent cases. Local patent rules often control the schedule and format for the parties’ infringement and invalidity contentions, claim construction proceedings, etc. The Northern District of California, where France Telecom and Marvell are embroiled in a patent suit over Marvell’s alleged infringement of a digital coding patent, is one such district that uses local patent rules. In a ruling handed down this past Friday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathaniel Cousins found that it was proper for France Telecom to rely on two ETSI 3G cellular standards in formulating its infringement contentions. This ruling shows that — with some caveats — it is permissible to use an industry standard as a basis for infringement contentions in districts with local patent rules.