Updated Standing Orders – Venue and Motions to Transfer

Yesterday the Court updated two of its standing orders: Standing Order Regarding Venue and Jurisdictional Discovery Limits and Standing Order Regarding Motion for Inter-District Transfer. Here are the highlights:

Amended Standing Order Regarding Motion for Inter-District Transfer

The Court made a one sentence addition to this order: “Whenever a Markman hearing is postponed pursuant to this Order, Fact Discovery will begin one day after the originally scheduled Markman Hearing date.” Otherwise, the Order remains unchanged. 

Why the slight modification? A couple of reasons. First, with the Court’s already compressed fact discovery time frame, any significant delay could both impair the parties’ ability to adequately prepare for trial and result in moving a trial date – something the Court is typically reluctant to do. Second, we think it provides a “check” to any desire by either party to use the transfer-motion process to delay the Markman hearing and ultimately, discovery. Finally, it allows parties to get the ball rolling on fact discovery without disturbing the guidance from the Federal Circuit that venue issues should “unquestionably take top priority.” In re Apple, 979 F.3d 1332, 1337 (Fed. Cir. 2020). 

Amended Standing Order Regarding Venue and Jurisdictional Discovery Limits

Judge Albright flipped on his previous order giving unlimited venue discovery to the following “presumptive” limits:

  • 5 interrogatories (per party)
  • 10 requests for production (per party)
  • 10 hours of deposition testimony. 

The time to respond to discovery requests is reduced to twenty days. Finally, instead of six months, the venue discovery time period is reduced to three months from the filing of the initial motion. The deadline for a response is two weeks after the completion of discovery, and the deadline for a reply is two weeks after the filing of a response (lengthened from 7 days). 

This again likely speaks to the Court’s desire to keep things moving – balancing the interests of parties that want to resolve a transfer motion before the Markman hearing occurs, while also ensuring that the opposing party can obtain a reasonable amount of the discovery needed to prepare and file an informed response.