On October 8, 2021, Judge Alan Albright of the US District Court for the Western District of Texas issued a new standing order governing proceedings for patent cases, which the Court designated as version 3.5 following previous updates in February and June 2021. The Western District of Texas manages more patent cases than any other district court in the United States.
The new order contains many refinements to Judge Albright’s procedures:
- Recharacterizes the “default” schedule to be an “exemplary” schedule that the parties’ proposed schedule is expected to track in “most cases” and adds a date eight weeks prior to trial when the parties must email the court clerk to confirm the pretrial and trial dates
- Requires parties with discovery disputes to summarize their respective positions to the court’s clerk when calling to schedule a conference with the court
- Specifies the procedure for preparing the required email summary of discovery disputes and adds a 500-word limit per side
- Notes that emails are the preferred method of contact with the court and that voicemail is not regularly checked and is not recommended
- Removes a prior requirement to show good cause for extensions longer than 45 days to respond to the complaint
- Extends the time to file a reply brief for a motion to transfer from seven days to 14 days
- Deletes a previous provision by which substantive briefs could be submitted via audio file
- Adds pages limits for Daubert motions (40 pages per side) and motions in limine (15 pages per side)
- Requires that the paper copies of Markman briefs delivered to the Court be printed double-sided.