- Rocket docket
A rocket docket refers to a court or other tribunal that has an accelerated timetable and that strictly adheres to deadlines, resulting in speedy disposition of cases and controversies that come before it. The term is particularly prevalent with respect to
patentcases, although it is not limited to them.
The term was originally applied to the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, [ [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A3007-2004Oct2.html "A Double Dose of Molasses in the Rocket Docket"] , Washington Post, October 3, 2004; Page C04] after Judge Albert V. Bryan Jr., who ran the federal courthouse in Alexandria, decided that justice was being dispensed too slowly for his liking. The court earned the nickname among attorneys practicing there in the 1960s, who told stories of Bryan ruling on the spot when motions were argued, and trying entire cases in one afternoon.
Later the term was applied to the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. [Michael Gorman, [http://www.techlawforum.net/patent-reform/in-the-news/the-rocket-docket/ "The "Rocket Docket"] , the [http://www.techlawforum.net/ TechLaw Forum] .] Other jurisdictions that have been characterized as rocket dockets include the United States District Court for the Northern District of California; the United States District Court for the Southern District of California; the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia; and the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. ["New patent rocket docket rises in Wis.," The National Law Journal, March 24, 2008, at p. 8.]
The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has designated its expedited examination of design patent applications as a rocket docket. [
Manual of Patent Examining Procedure[http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/documents/0500_501.htm § 501.I.A(C)] ]
In Jefferson County,
Kentuckya team of prosecutors is assigned to the Progressive Criminal Justice Plan, referred to as the "rocket docket," for speedy resolution of certain criminal matters. [ [http://www.louisvilleprosecutor.com/rocket_docket.htm Commonwealth Attorney's Office - Jefferson County Kentucky ] ]
The Travis County, Tx (Austin) District Attorney's office also employs a rocket docket.
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