Issued with the authority of the Chancellor of the High Court.
The Patents Court endeavours to bring patent cases on for trial where possible within 12 months of the claim being issued. To this end, the following procedure will be adopted.
- The parties will be expected (a) to start to consider potential trial dates as soon as is reasonably practicable after the service of the proceedings and (b) to discuss and attempt to agree trial dates with each other when seeking to agree directions for trial.
- The starting point for listing trials is the current applicable Trial Window advertised by the Chancery Division Listing Office. Patent cases will be listed on the basis that the Trial Windows are divided as follows: estimated hearing time (including pre-reading and preparation of closing submissions) between 2 and 5 days; estimated hearing time (including pre-reading and preparation of closing submissions) between 5 and 10 days; and estimated hearing (including pre-reading and preparation of closing submissions) over 10 days.
- Where it will enable a case to be tried within 12 months, or shortly thereafter, the Court may list a trial up to one month earlier than the applicable Trial Window without the need for any application for expedition.
- The Court will use its case management powers in a more active manner than hitherto, with a view to dealing with cases justly and at proportionate cost in accordance with CPR rule 1.1. This may have the effect of setting limits on hearing times that enable cases to be listed promptly. For example, the Court may direct that a case estimated at 6 days will be heard in 5 days, and may allocate time between the parties in a manner which enables that to be achieved.
- Where it makes a significant difference to the time which cases must wait to be listed for trial and it will not cause significant prejudice to any party, cases may be listed without reference to the availability of counsel instructed by the parties.
- Parties may seek the listing of a trial prior to the CMC if the trial estimate and the subject matter of the trial is agreed, or subject only to disputes which can be resolved at a short hearing. Parties should approach the Chancery Division Listing Office about this in the first instance.
These steps do not exclude the possibility of cases being expedited where expedition is warranted. Nor do they exclude the possibility of the parties opting to use the streamlined procedure or the Shorter Trial pilot scheme or the Flexible Trial pilot scheme.
This Practice Statement is issued with the concurrence of the Chancellor of the High Court. It supersedes the Practice Statement issued on 10 December 2015.
Judge in Charge of Intellectual Property