Deference to the district court out of respect for judicial economy?

In Hearing Components, Inc. v. Shure, Inc., 2009-1364 (Fed. Cir. April 1, 2010),  Judges Rader, Schall, and Lourie explored when it would be appropriate to defer to a  district court judge’s handling of issues in order to enhance the district court’s docket management. The issue was raised by Judge Rader who is currently sitting by designation at the district court level and presiding over some patent cases in the Eastern District of Texas.  Essentially, Judge Rader seemed to be inquiring whether it would be appropriate to defer to the district court judge on a claim construction issue when it is apparent that the district court judge was using the claim construction to expeditiously dispose of a less important patent so that the district court judge could devote more resources toward a more important patent in the litigation.  You can listen to the judges’ comments here: [Listen].

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