Damages discovery in patent cases is usually contentious, expensive and non-uniform in application by the courts. The patent owner wants to discover all possible revenue streams to assert and strengthen their case. On the other hand, the accused infringer wants to minimize disclosure, because of the sensitivity of financial information and the typical position that the suit is meritless.

As one of the leading venues for patent infringement litigation, Northern California often leads the way in setting patent rules.  In 2001, the Northern California district was the first district to adopt local patent rules.  It was three years when another district adopted them, and now around 26 districts have them. 

In 2017, Northern California's local patent rules were modified with new sections designed to bring some uniformity to damages disclosures, and more importantly to allow the court and the parties-in-interest to understand the magnitude of claims earlier in the case, with the intent to influence various court rulings, allow the courts to devote the right amount of resources, and promote settlement.  

Now other jurisdictions are starting to follow suit.  For a summary of the new local patent rules in the Northern District of Illinois, see https://www.leydig.com/publications/local-patent-rules-see-some-changes/.  

 We address changing local patent rules, as well as other new developments in intellectual property damages, in my co-authored 4th Ed. of Calculating Damages in Intellectual Property Disputes, recently released by the AICPA/CIMA, found at https://www.aicpa.org/interestareas/forensicandvaluation/resources/fvs-online-professional-library.html.