We often hear concerns with the ability or the willingness of the courts to handle sophisticated patent cases.  While we feel the concern is overstated, there are legitimate concerns.  Roy Strom examines a number of these concerns and how they are being remedied in this month’s issue of the Chicago Lawyer.

One remedy in the Northern District of Illinois is the Patent Pilot Program (the “Program”).  Mr. Strom introduces the Program by pointing to the former chief judge of the Northern District of Illinois, Judge James F. Holderman.  The Program, which Judge Holderman opted into in 2011, allows judges in 14 district courts to make the decision to accept patent cases in the hope that the judges’ familiarity with patent cases will lead to faster and better results.  Strom notes that since the Northern District of Illinois’ inception of the Program, the median time to end a patent case has decreased by two months.

Strom hits on a number of other topics, including: (1) the disagreements between district courts, the Federal Circuit, and, most recently, the Supreme Court; (2) the potential for specialized trial courts; and (3) the powers of the patent statute and how courts can utilize the statute to work for them.  Within these discussions, Strom consults a number of educated resources, including Judge Holderman; Jonathan Masur, a University of Chicago Law School professor; and Dan Burk and Mark Lemley, the authors of “The Patent Crisis and How the Courts Can Solve It.”

Regardless of one’s view on the topic, it is an important conversation to have.  You can read Mr. Strom’s full article here.  This month’s Technology Issue of the Chicago Lawyer can be read in its entirety here.