On September 19, 2011, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland began a ten-year pilot program for studying patent cases as established by Congress under Pub. L. No. 111-349, 124 Stat. 3,674. Judge Marvin J. Garbis, Judge William D. Quarles Jr., and Judge Roger W. Titus will be the first judges of this Court to participate in the program. The purpose of the pilot program is to enhance expertise in patent cases among district judges.
Under the program, patent cases filed in this Court will be randomly assigned to a district judge, regardless of the judge’s participation in the pilot program. Within thirty days of the initial filing of the case, any non-participating district judge may request that the Clerk reassign the case to a pilot program judge. If the district judge requests reassignment, the Clerk will randomly reassign the case to a pilot program judge without regard to the divisional requirements of Local Rule 501. See Standing Order 2011-03 (D. Md. Sept. 7, 2011). The first patent case reassigned under the new program was M Edge Accessories LLC v. Amazon.Com LLC, No 1: 11cv3332.
Additionally, as part of its participation in the program, the Court adopted specialized local rules for patent cases in July 2011. The District of Maryland is one of a handful of district courts in the nation that has its own patent rules and is participating in this pilot program. The Court is also considering other procedural changes—such as creating a standardized scheduling order in patent cases—that would streamline the process for litigating complex civil cases in the federal system.