Texas IP Trial Tracker + Next Up in Waco

As regular followers of Texas IP litigations are aware, it’s been a busy March: Judge Albright’s second-ever patent trial recently resulted in a massive verdict for the patentee, and the past three weeks have also seen four patent trials concluded in the Eastern District of Texas (two in Marshall and two in Sherman). We at the blog thought it’d be informative and fun to keep track of IP-related patent trials from around the state of Texas. So today marks the launch of our Texas IP Trial Tracker. The idea is that we’ll update this post as courts around the state conduct trials involving any IP-related area.

For launch purposes we’re going back in time just over a year, to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic—both to keep the data set manageable, and because that’s been the formative event dominating Texas trial practice (of all kinds) this past year. If there’s other info readers would like to see, we welcome input and requests.

Also, to peek ahead to how this table may next be supplemented, the next trial scheduled for Judge Albright’s courtroom will open this coming Monday, March 29. The case is True Chemical Solutions, LLC v. Performance Chemical Co. Originally filed in the Midland-Odessa Division and assigned to Judge Counts, this case was reassigned to Judge Albright in April 2019. On March 8 of this year Judge Albright granted Performance Chemical’s—which has asserted patent counterclaims against True Chemical—emergency motion to transfer the case to the Waco Division for trial, much as in VLSI-Intel I (as we previously covered). True Chemical petitioned the Federal Circuit for mandamus review of that transfer order on March 11, and earlier today the appellate court issued an order denying True Chemical’s petition:

We are not prepared to say that the district court clearly abused [its] discretion. The district court meaningfully analyzed the transfer factors. The court found that the more congested docket in plaintiff’s chosen forum would likely cause additional delay and prejudice to PCC, particularly given it was seeking injunctive relief. The district court further found that no non-party witness resides within the Midland-Odessa Division and several non-party witnesses residing in other parts of Texas would find it significantly easier, safer, and cheaper to travel to Waco for trial. The district court added that it was unlikely that an actual physical trailer located in Midland would be an exhibit during the trial and did not foresee the opportunity for any field trips during a trial. Under these circumstances, we cannot say True Chem has established a clear and indisputable right to relief.

Assuming this trial proceeds, we’ll bring you coverage.

And until then, please enjoy this walk down memory lane:

(See Excel Sheet)