Daubert Hearing

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In the United States, a district court patent proceeding may include separate hearings before trial to determine such details as the meaning of claims language (Markman hearings) or the qualifications of and admissible content from expert witnesses (Daubert hearings).

These separate hearings permit the judge to rule on complex issues on which the parties disagree in order to streamline the case, sometimes resulting in a request for summary judgment before trial or pushing the parties toward settlement.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the standard applied in the Daubert case in 1993 as an essential component of the U.S. Federal Rules of Evidence, and stated that the trial judge was required to act as a gatekeeper before admitting evidence, and must determine that the evidence is scientifically valid and relevant to the case at hand. They ruled it should apply to all expert testimony, not just science, and that appellate judges should uphold the trial judge’s ruling unless an abuse of discretion could be found.

The plaintiffs didn’t use a French pronunciation of their name, and the standard is pronounced DOW(like cow)-burt in English.

In a Daubert hearing during a patent case, the qualifications and knowledge of witnesses may be opposed or limited, the admissibility or reliability of tests may be challenged, and the appropriateness of methodology can be adjudicated.


Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 951 F.2d 1128, 1131 (9th Cir.1992).

Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993).

Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 43 F.3d 1311 (9th Cir. 1995). Certiori denied.

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