Limine and other pretrial rulings

While not as exciting as a JMOL ruling, limine/pretrial rulings are still interesting. JMOLs are more thorough, focus on the issues that were actually raised, and contain sufficient context to explain what the issue is and why the motion is being granted or denied. Motions in limine/pretrial rulings, on the other hand, are like watching the two minutes of Star Wars immediately before the rebel spacecraft engage the Death Star. There’s some important information about the case as the rebel pilots prepare for battle, of course, but it’s incomplete and can be misleading about what the key issues really are. Who’s this “Ben” guy, what’s the deal with the Cinnabon lady, and good riddance to Han and the hairy guy.

Texas Anti-SLAPP Claims in Federal Court

This picture of my grad school roommate Johnny Hatch with a pile of rattlesnakes at the Texas Capitol yesterday (it was Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup so this is actually fairly normal) has nothing to do with this post. I just thought it’d be interesting for you non-Texans. Although, come to think of it, there are those that would put alleged SLAPP and anti-SLAPP suits in the same category as a bag of rattlesnakes. Let me explain why.

2018 Patent Filings: A Look at Selected Districts (update)

I try not to update posts this quickly, but the above new chart from Darryl Towell at Docket Navigator this morning was too good to pass up. Yesterday I provided the 2018 patent filings for Delaware, EDTX, NDCA and CDCA by month as shown below, with the lagniappe of a svelte line showing Delaware’s non-ANDA filings as well. It was a chart only a mother could love. This morning DN sent over a revised chart by quarter, and a couple of trends I didn’t focus on yesterday are now apparent.

Law school tourism

Good to have a class of law students in town last week to visit the local federal courthouse to see how a patent case works. As with most patent cases, it went away before they got here, but the students still got to see Judge Gilstrap conducting a civil rights trial in a case against Baker Tank Company. (Which was actually probably more exciting).

The students are in Prof. David Taylor’s Patent Law and Institutional Choice class at SMU Dedman School of Law in Dallas. Two weeks ago the group went to Washington D.C. to visit the Supreme Court, Federal Circuit, PTO and U.S. Capitol. Next on their itinerary was Marshall to visit Chief U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap’s courtroom to see where many of the country’s high profile intellectual property disputes have taken place. Marshall News Messenger reporter Robin Richardson interviewed the students.

“For us, it’s fantastic,” said student Zack Faircloth. “We get a chance to (see) Judge Gilstrap. We read his cases all the time, so for us we get to see the real thing, it’s just an incredible experience for us, as law students.”

Hmm. I’ll just point out now that Robin’s full article is available here –

When I was in law school in the last century, our field trip was to Parkland Hospital in Dallas, including half an hour in the room where the medical examiner does autopsies. And no, it’s nothing like Quincy, M.E. (that was long before CSI).

It’s a large room with maybe half a dozen bodies in various states of dissection laying around, the condition of each of which was explained to us by a desperately sleep-deprived ME who looked nothing like Jack Klugman overseeing the activity. Incongruously, there was a Bartles & Jaymes life size cutout and a Budweiser man cave swimsuit model poster on the walls, which gave a weirdly festive look to the room. The idea was to give us a better idea what actually went on at postmortems so we would be better able to read the reports and advise our future clients. And it worked – in that half hour we learned about autopsy report preparation, infant and senior citizen mortality, normal postmortem discoloration, organ donation procedures and much more. And only a couple of us threw up.

No offense to civil rights cases, but I think my field trip was way more interesting.

Judge Mary Lou Robinson Passes

U.S. District Judge Judge Mary Lou Robinson of the Northern District of Texas passed away on Saturday. She was 92. In September 2018, Judge Robinson became the first woman within a five-state area to have a federal courthouse named for her with the renaming of the J. Marvin Jones Federal Building and Mary Lou Robinson United States Courthouse in Amarillo. You can read more about this trailblazing lawyer and judge here.