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Monday, February 10, 2014

Patent Litigation in Nevada (Part 4)

By Marketa Trimble, Associate Professor of Law 

This blog post follows my earlier posts about patent litigation in Nevada (here, here, and here) and introduces the judges and law firms who have been instrumental in patent litigation in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada in patent cases that were filed in 2010-2013.

Figure 1 shows the judges of the District Court who were assigned patent cases filed in 2010-2013 and the number of patent cases in their dockets. Judge Gloria Maria Navarro (whose chambers are in Las Vegas) is at the top of the chart; since her appointment in 2010 her caseload has included 33 patent cases that were filed in 2010-2013. Judge Robert Clive Jones (appointed in 2003, chambers in Reno) and Judge Miranda Mai Du (appointed in 2012, chambers in Reno) had the second-largest patent caseloads; each of their dockets included 25 patent cases that were filed in 2010-2013. Judges Navarro, Jones and Du, and Judge Philip M. Pro (appointed in 1987, chambers in Las Vegas) have been the designated Patent Pilot Program judges for the District Court since the Court joined the Program in 2011.

The Patent Pilot Program is designed to enhance the patent law expertise of judges participating in the Program by allowing them to hear more patent cases than they would otherwise hear without the Program. District Court judges who have not been designated Program judges may (but need not) decline to hear patent cases that have been assigned to them (cases are assigned to judges randomly); declined patent cases are then randomly assigned to the Program judges. The District Court is one of only 14 U.S. district courts that have been selected to participate in the Program; the courts selected include the major patent litigation federal district courts, such as the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of Texas, the Central District of California, and the Northern District of California.

Figure 2 shows the law firms that represented clients in patent cases that were filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada in 2010-2013; there were 167 different law firms that represented clients in the 133 patent cases that were filed in the District Court during that period. For visualization purposes Figure 2 includes data only for the 29 firms that represented clients in four or more cases during the period.

Firms that most often represented clients in patent cases filed in Nevada in 2010-2013 were, not surprisingly, law firms with offices in Nevada. The top five firms all had Nevada offices: Lewis and Roca LLP (since September 1, 2013, Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP; offices in Las Vegas and Reno), Watson Rounds (Las Vegas and Reno), McDonald Carano Wilson LLP (Las Vegas and Reno), Lionel Sawyer & Collins (Las Vegas, Reno, and Carson City), and Gordon Silver (Las Vegas and Reno). Of the law firms without offices in Nevada, the firms that most often represented clients in patent cases were Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP; Kenyon and Kenyon LLP; Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear, LLP; and Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP.

The charts in this blog post were prepared based on data available in the Lex Machina database as of January 2014. 

Professor Trimble welcomes any citing or quoting of this blog post or reposting of the entire blog post and/or the figures; however, she requests that you cite the author and title of the blog post and include a link to this page.