Judge Alan Albright, despite being just one single Judge out of 673 authorized judgeships in the United States and hundred more sitting senior Judges, has managed to accumulate 25% of the total patent caseload of the entire United States.
After he was confirmed by the Senate in 2018, but before he took office, he went on a tour of the country to inform the IP law sector that a a plaintiff friendly venue would be opening in Waco, Texas. Once he took office and since he was and is the only Judge at the Waco courthouse, all cases filed in Waco automatically went to him.
Build it and they will come.
Civil IP plaintiff law firms and every ■■■■■■■ patent troll in the world immediately flocked to Waco and began to file their cases there, knowing they would automatically get Judge Albright. And Judge Albright has jealously refused to grant transfer orders, leading to the ludicrous situation of the Federal Circuit being the leader by far in mandamus, those mandamus orders being transfer orders.
As I posted some months ago, the outrage finally reached Congress and now the Judicial Conference has acted.
All cases filed in Waco will be placed on a random round robin and could go to ANY Judge in the Western District of Texas. Currently there are 13 Judgeships in the Western District with one vacancy. Additionally, there are currently 4 Senior Judges sitting in the Western District.
Meaning that at the moment, Albright is 1 out of 16. Hopefully, with the now low odds of getting Albright, IP filings in the Western District will decrease.
This was a good day. While this does not completely shut down this circus, it will greatly attenuate Albright’s overwhelming influence over IP law.