The federal district court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, headquartered in Pittsburgh, has adopted a set of local patent rules for all new patent filings. The rules are effective as of January 1, 2005 and differ in a number of respects from the well-known rules effective in the Northern District of California (i.e., San Francisco and San Jose).
The rules are available via the court’s homepage.
The rules are the product of a year’s work by the local patent bar, working under the supervision of the court, and are simultaneously (i) an effort to design a more efficient system of trial-level patent litigation and (ii) an effort to use (i) to attract more patent litigation to Pittsburgh. Are the rules really “better”? Are litigants likely to select a forum (if they have a choice of forum) based on “better” rules? And if they do, is this good for the local bar? We’ll see.