Court watchers have been left marveling at the rapid race of an intellectual property dispute between a pair of Massachusetts 3D printing rivals, which raced to trial in less than four months this summer and saw a second trial between the two end Thursday.
Desktop Metal Inc. filed the case on March 19, claiming rival Markforged Inc. had violated a pair of patents related to 3D printing, while Markforged filed counterclaims alleging theft of trade secrets and breach of fiduciary duty. U.S.
District Judge William G. Young elected to skip a preliminary injunction hearing on the patent claims and proceed straight to trial in less than four months.
He’s kept the foot on the accelerator, without an apparent urging from either side, and a second jury was seated Sept. 24 on trade secrets and business tort claims, 189 days after the case was filed. The pace is significantly quicker than what is normally found in the Eastern District of Virginia, which is known as a “rocket docket” for its speedy litigation.
“To have a full jury trial on a patent case in three or four months is almost unheard of,” said Erik Paul Belt, partner at McCarter & English LLP and past president of the Boston Patent Law Association. “Even in the rocket docket … you generally have a trial in nine months to a year and that’s considered fast.”
“One-third of the time of the famous rocket docket is speed of light fast,” Belt added.