Count me among the latest to question whether the Eastern District of Texas is still THE venue for bringing plaintiff’s patent cases. A "Rocket Docket" it ain’t.
We’ve filed a fair number of cases in the Eastern District over the years. Although things used to move with dispatch, in one of our latest, the first available date for a Markman hearing was June 2010. In another case, we are awaiting a Markman ruling following a hearing in April 2007.
And check out this apparently routine order we just received. Basically, it requires asking for permission before filing a whole host of motions and on its face plainly states the measures are needed "Due to the large number of patent cases pending on the Court’s docket."
This is all no doubt due to the Eastern District’s well deserved reputation as a fair and friendly forum for hearing patent cases. But I suppose there can be too much of a good thing. The backlogs were probably inevitable.
*Yes, I am aware Houston is not actually in the Eastern District. Just couldn’t resist the cheap humor.