Once claim construction has been completed and the parties finish their pre-trial preparation, the Court may hold a trial. Trials are conducted on a piecemeal basis. They can be delayed several months because of the complexity of intellectual-property cases.

Unlike in criminal cases, there are very few evidentiary surprises at trial in civil cases because almost everything is revealed in discovery.

An unusual aspect about patent trials in the United States is that the parties have a right to a trial by jury. As a result ofMarkman v. Westview Instruments, Inc.,517 U.S. 370 (1996), the judge will construe the patent claims and the jury will decide whether the accused device infringes the claimed invention. The jury may also decide factual issues relating to invalidity, enforceability and ancillary claims by either the defendant or the plaintiff.