We’ll start off this week with a roundup of last week’s links. Considering there was a full jury trial (albeit a very short one!) in the Waco Division last week, there actually wasn’t an overwhelming amount of media coverage. Perhaps that’s a sign of a maturing Court—i.e., as more jury trials occur in front of Judge Albright, the less each one moves the needle on expectations for the next case that comes down the road.
As for what made it into the press, it appears to have been a subscription-only affair. We’ll summarize the underlying facts a bit (and as always, we encourage you to check out the other perspectives linked below):
- As alluded-to above, last week’s trial in CloudofChange v. NCR really was a blink-and-you-missed-it affair. After opening on Monday, presentation of evidence was concluded by around lunchtime Wednesday; jury charge and summations occurred Wednesday afternoon; and the verdict came back on Thursday afternoon, as Mark covered. As best as we can tell, the only broader media coverage this week was:
- Britain Eakin covering openings: Texas Jury Hears NCR Should Pay $20M In Sales Tech IP Fight
- And Andrew Karpan covering the verdict: Texas Jury Says NCR Corp. Owes At Least $13M In Patent Suit
- Last Monday Judge Albright reset the date for trial in VLSI-Intel III from June to December 6; the order does not detail its reasoning. But we suspect it may be connected to a pending announcement of when the Austin federal courthouse is expected to reopen for business post-pandemic. (You’ll recall that both VLSI-Intel I and VLSI-Intel II were both retransferred to Waco from Austin, after having previously been transferred from Waco to Austin, given the Austin Division’s continued unavailability for trial in light of COVID-19.) Andrew Karpan of Law360 has coverage: Albright Delays Third VLSI-Intel Patent Trial Until December
- As we covered in March, ADTRAN previously failed to persuade the Federal Circuit to fast-track Judge Albright’s ruling on ADTRAN’s motion to transfer. But in the end, ADTRAN got the result it wanted, as last Monday Judge Albright granted the motion and transferred the case to the Northern District of Alabama. (Notably, the 1404 ruling was belt-and-suspenders, in that the Court also granted ADTRAN’s motion to dismiss under FRCP 12(b)(3) for failure to plead proper venue under Section 1400(b).) Dani Kass has the coverage: In Rare Move, Albright Lets Patent Case Leave His Court
- It was a banner week for would-be transferors in the Waco Division. On Friday Judge Albright granted the Section 1404 transfer motion filed by TikTok to transfer its pending litigation to the Northern District of California. From initial review, it’s a very fact-intensive balancing of the Volkswagen factors, so we’re not going to draw any broader conclusions just yet about whether these two decisions, plus late April’s decision granting transfer in Infogation v. Google, represent any sort of burgeoning new pattern. But we’ll be paying even closer attention than we normally do to the ever-important issue of Section 1404 transfers. In the meantime, we encourage you to check out Scott Graham’s story on Law.com: Albright Sends Patent Suit Against TikTok From Texas to California
- We’ll close out this post’s patent-related links with the next chapter in the law professors’ motion brief at the Federal Circuit seeking to designate the appellate court’s In re TracFone I decision as precedential (see the final entry in the last roundup). Another third party has been heard from: US Inventor, an organization that advertises itself as “Fighting to Restore the Rights of Inventors and Innovative Small Businesses,” has requested leave to oppose the law professors’ motion, analogizing its request to instances in the Supreme Court affirmatively requests that third parties appear to present a viewpoint on an important issue that might not otherwise be heard by the Court. (Here, the issue is that the patentee Precis has indicated it will not be filing an opposition to the law professors’ motion.) In any case, this remains an issue of interest to those who enjoy quirky procedural happenings. J. Edward Moreno has the story: Inventor Group Defends Albright After Fed. Circ. Rebuke
- Finally, although not explicitly Waco-related, it just came to our attention that only in the last few weeks the judges of the Western District voted to reallocate a now-vacant judgeship from the El Paso Division to the Del Rio Division, to account for the fact that the two divisions both have heavy criminal dockets, but the Del Rio Division previously had only one District Judge. Guillermo Contreras of the San Antonio Express-News has the details: Federal judiciary in S. Texas moves two judgeships to border cities. We raise this only to point out that it apparently weighs against recent speculation that the Waco Division might soon get another District Judge; the show remains all Judge Albright’s for the foreseeable future.
We’ll continue to bring you relevant developments going forward.
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