Obama Puts Stamp on Patent Litigation With Northern District of Calif. Appointees

The Recorder

21 Feb 2017

Although President Barack Obama's time in office is complete, his impact on patent litigation in the Northern District of California is only beginning to be fully felt. Between 2010 and 2014, President Obama appointed 11 of the district's 14 current full-time district judges. Only the Southern District of New York is filled with more Obama appointees. With an average age of around 56, this group of judges will continue to make their mark on patent litigation for many years to come.

Collectively, they have already taken on more than 750 patent cases, including many of the most high-profile disputes in the country. As of March 2016, all but two of the judges had overseen a trial, and all have had to grapple with substantive patent issues. Through the same time frame, each judge had issued an average of eight Markman rulings and nine summary judgment orders.

The Northern District of California's location at the center of the tech economy will ensure it long remains a busy venue for patent litigation, which shows no signs of significantly abating. In 2015, only three other districts received more patent suits, according to data from Lex Machina. The experience these Obama appointees have gained should give confidence to parties that their patent disputes will be dealt with the highest level of competence.

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