Plaintiffs who file patent infringement cases in the Western District of Texas, Waco Division, are no longer guaranteed to be on Judge Albright’s docket. Pursuant to an Order from the Chief Judge of the Western District of Texas, patent cases filed on or after July 25, 2022, are to be “randomly assigned” to 12 judges across the district. This article discusses the rippling effect this Order may have on cases filed not only in Texas but throughout the entire nation.
Judge Alan Albright, a former patent litigator and the sole district court judge in Waco since 2018, has made known his private practice experience as well as his experience as a jurist in trying patent cases. He also introduced a set of rules and procedures specific to patent cases, which some perceived as welcoming to plaintiffs. For example, Judge Albright is known for promoting accelerated trial schedules and staging discovery in a manner that streamlines the presentation of patent issues. Furthering this plaintiff-friendly perception is Judge Albright’s record of relying on his fast-paced scheduling to deny stays of litigation pending inter-partes review proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, as well as his record on denying transfers out of his district.