Earth Closet/Scott Paine Order

An order or sanction issued by a court intended to penalise in particular defendants for causing undue legal expense by failure to prepare their defensive pleadings with “reasonable diligence” and “due haste.” In particular such an order may be ordered where a defendant introduces invalidity defences late in a case pleading previously unmentioned prior art. The Judge (Laddie) in the Scott Paine case stated about the order that it is

“designed to act as a discipline on those attacking patents to ensure that they act diligently in putting the best case before the Court as soon as reasonably possible…Parties are required not just to plead the best case they can, and to do it as rapidly and efficiently as possible, but they are required, so far as they can, to avoid unnecessary expenditure of cost… If there are two or three apparently knock-out citations going to the very core of a patent … it would be wrong for the attacker to also add numerous other less effective pieces of prior art, none of which would achieve … any more than the main pieces of prior art relied on.”

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