According to this Law.com article, effective May 1st the Northern District of Texas, based in Dallas, has instituted local patent rules similar to those used in the more famous (at least in patent circles) Eastern District of Texas, which were modeled after the Northern District of California’s Local Patent Rules. Additionally, the Southern District of Texas, based in Houston, is considering adopting a similar set of local patent rules. Perhaps the courts think that the variety of direct flights to Dallas or Houston combined with the same Texas charm and hospitality available in Marshall, will give the Northern and Southern Districts a leg up on their colleagues to the east. Of course, all of this would fall apart if Congress revises the venue requirements as Patently-O suggests it might.
But regardless of what Congress does, this spreading of special patent local rules, which I am all for, makes me wonder if the Northern District of Illinois will follow the trend and adopt their own special patent rules. Some judges already have standing orders outlining their processes for claim construction proceedings. For example, Judge St. Eve’s procedures can be found on her site in the "Patent Cases" section.