Smörgåsbord & Link Roundup

To make up for our recent brief layoff, we’ll try to bring you a slightly meatier-than-normal summary of recent happenings in and coverage of the Waco Division. Here’s what we’ve picked up over the last few weeks that’s not related to VLSI-Intel II:

ESW-RokuAs we covered a couple weeks back, Judge Albright’s third patent trial resulted in a defense verdict of both non-infringement and invalidity:

VLSI-Intel IEven though the second trial is now behind us, the first chapter of the VLSI-Intel saga remains a topic of great interest (and we haven’t even seen the results of post-trial motions—or the inevitable appeals—yet!). I guess that’s how much attention $2 billion buys you…:

Fed. Cir. TracFone mandamus order: On April 20, the Federal issued its order in In re Tracfone. This was actually the second in a series of mandamus orders resolving petitions filed by TracFone (we covered the first here), and TracFone prevailed again: The Federal Circuit, in an opinion authored by Chief Judge Prost, ruled that Judge Albright’s ruling denying TracFone’s motion to transfer its case to SDFL “was clearly flawed” because that ruling misapplied the Fifth Circuit’s Volkswagen “willing witness” factor by ignoring “several of TracFone’s likely employee witnesses residing in the transferee venue and [by ruling] without relying on the location of a single potential witness within or even close to Waco.” The District Court had previously denied transfer because it concluded that the balance of the Volkswagen factors only “slightly” favored transfer, thus failing to carry the party seeking transfer’s burden to prove its preferred venue is “clearly more convenient.” But the Federal Circuit concluded that, after flipping the willing-witness factor, the balance of the factors mandated transfer. Judge Albright signed an order transferring the case to SDFL the following day. . 

Meanwhile, ongoing transfer motion practice continues to occupy much of chambers’ bandwidth. As we previously covered, last month the Court issued a new standing order signaling the Court’s commitment to resolving outstanding motions to transfer before a case’s Markman hearing. The Court has recently commented that a similar rationale is intended to apply to other motions that could similarly potentially divest the Court of jurisdiction—e.g., standing-based 12(b)(6) dismissal motions. But to that end, the Court has been issuing a mini-blitz of orders on transfer motions starting early this month. (We count at least a dozen since March 29, and there may be more.) Here are some recent perspectives on the always-germane topic of Section 1404 practice before Judge Albright:

Meanwhile, there’s also been a bit of coverage stemming from appellate proceedings based on Judge Albright’s rulings:

As we’ve mentioned on a couple recent occasions, the Court issued case-ending sanctions at the end of March in Performance Chemical v. True Chemical, based on discovery violations. We’re going to bring you a more comprehensive treatment on the blog when time allows, but in the interim you can see how the bar has taken note of this rarely seen occurrence:

Finally, even as Judge Albright passes 2½ years helming the Waco Division, general coverage of how he runs his Court continues to proliferate:

Happy reading, and happy weekend! We’ll see you next week…