The amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure took effect December 1, 2015. The primary focus on the amendments is to move toward proportionality and also the elimination of the bare-bones form patent complaint. (Leading to something of a rush on filing on November 30).
One hope is that the amendments will reduce discovery costs — leading to a “just, speedy, and inexpensive” process as required by FRCP R. 1. Changes include:
- Eliminating the provision allowing for discovery of information “that may lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.”
- Emphasis on a balancing test to limit the scope of discovery.
- Requirement for more details when documents are being withheld due to an objection.
Patent cases are typically seen as “big” cases, however, there is a possibility that some judges will begin teasing out the big cases from the small cases and apply the proportionality construct in that context.