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In an order issued on April 2, Chief U.S. District Judge A. Joe Fish of the Northern District of Texas established rules of practice for federal trial judges in the Dallas division, who will be “participating in a pilot project for effective and efficient management of patent cases.”

The Dallas patent rules, which go into effect on May 1, are modeled after rules adopted in 2005 in the Eastern District of Texas, which is known across the nation for its speedy resolution of patent suits. The new Dallas rules call for early scheduling of initial case-management conferences, which gives lawyers’ clients more certainty on how long cases will take to litigate and how much they will cost, and force the parties to define much earlier in the litigation process what the language of the patents means, which is important when determining whether to settle suits or go to trial.

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