The SCALES team is excited today to launch the first of our public living reports, which can be accessed on our living report site .
The Sealing Activity report is a cross-district look into the practice of sealing documents and docket entries within patent cases filed in 2016. US court documents are generally open to public view, but litigants can request that some documents be sealed from public access. This is a common request when the documents contain sensitive information. Patent cases are one area of civil litigation where records are frequently sealed, as questions involving trade secrets are often at the core of these kinds of cases.
However, not all sealed documents should necessarily be sealed. We wanted to examine sealing activity in patent cases across all 94 districts to understand if there is quantifiable variation in sealing practices across courts. We look at the variation through the lens of Patent Local Rules (PLRs), which are district-specific rules that apply to patent litigation procedure. In our analysis, we group districts by whether or not they are PLR districts, and find that sealing activity is very heterogenous across these categories.
We look forward to publishing more reports in this format in the coming months and welcome any feedback or comments. As always, feel free to get in touch with us if you are interested in getting involved with SCALES OKN or if you are curious about any of our research or data.
Living Report – Sealing Activity: http://ifp.scales-okn.org/#/sealingReport