Judge Albright’s Newest Standing Order Re: Notice of Readiness
Today, September 22, Judge Albright recently posted a new standing order regarding “Notice of Readiness for Scheduling Conference in Patent Cases.” The practice of filing a notice of readiness is something the frequent practioners litigating in the Waco Division are most likely already aware of, based on the Court’s prior version of its standing order, which simply required that “when all defendants have responded to the initial pleadings (whether by Answer or Motion), the plaintiff shall inform the Court that the case is ready for an initial Case Management Conference by submitting a Notice that shall also identify (1) any pending motions, and (2) any related cases in this District.”
The Court has now formally adopted an updated standard for a newly-required Case Readiness Status Report (“CRSR”). Here is what you need to know:
After all Defendants have responded to the initial pleadings, whether by Answer or Motion, the Parties are directed to meet-and-confer within seven (7) days of the last Answer or Motion to discuss any pre-Markman issues and the Parties shall jointly file the CRSR.
Contents of the CRSR: The following eight sections are required in the CRSR.
- Filing and Extensions: The CRSR must include when the complaint was filed and how many extensions have been granted. (The Court also addresses extensions in Version 3.1 of the Court’s OGP, which Joe discusses here).
- Response to the Complaint: The CRSR also requires the Parties to indicate the type of response to the complaint and whether any counterclaims were filed (other than counterclaims for non-infringement or invalidity).
- Pending Motions: The Parties must identify all pending motions.
- Related Cases in the District: The Parties must identify all related cases in the WDTX, including any other cases where a common patent is asserted.
- IPR, CBM, and Other PGR Filings: Not surprisingly, the CRSR specifically inquires about IPR, CBM, and other PGR Filings, and provides the following example:
IPR2020-00000 was filed on ____ and docketed on ____. A Final Written decision is expected on or before _____.]
- Number of Asserted Patents and Claims: In this section, the CRSR requires the number of patents and claims asserted in the case, as well as the date of service of Preliminary Infringement Contentions, if served.
- Appointment of a Technical Advisor: Probably one of the more surprising additions to Judge Albright’s OGP and this standing order (but not if you have been following this blog) is asking the parties to indicate whether they believe a technical advisor is needed for claim construction or any other technical issues.
- Meet and Confer Status: Finally, the parties are to describe any pre-Markman issues, if any, that need to be addressed at the CMC. (For examples of such issues—which might include, but aren’t limited to, early discovery—see our prior post on Judge Albright’s practices regarding pre-Markman discovery.)