One of the more minor changes to the rules December 1 is an increase in the file attachment size, jumping from fifteen megs to fifty, and giving us the quirky “fiftyeen” redline.
As usual, a set of local rule amendments came out following the judges’ meeting at last week’s bench/bar. Prominent among the amendments are rule changes addressing our would-be friend AI.
Judge Mazzant awarded the prevailing plaintiff in this RICO case attorneys fees in the amount of $1,017,702.95, as well as some of the requested court costs.
A Sherman jury in Judge Mazzant’s court found for the plaintiff, a subsidiary of SkyBell Technologies, yesterday in a patent case dealing with home security. It found all three asserted claims infringed, to willfully, and none invalid (nor did it find for the defendant on the 101 factual predicate question). It awarded $45,418,641.70.
Sometimes when a party’s name changes, it seeks leave to amend the case caption so that the new name is reflected. This order denies such a motion, but explains why.
Judge Lake granted the motion for summary judgment as to the trademark claims finding that they were defeated by consent. He declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s remaining state law claims.
An Austin jury in Judge Albright’s court returned a verdict for defendant Zynga at 1:02 pm Friday afternoon. The jury found no infringement and that both patent claims were shown to be invalid by clear and convincing evidence. The case started in Waco, but was later transferred to Austin.
That got your attention, didn’t it? But this case encapsulated the difference between difference between the “conventional wisdom” about Texas patent judges and reality. In WSOU v. Google, 2022-1063 (10/19/23), the Federal Circuit affirmed Judge Albright’s decision to invalidate one patent as indefinite, but reversed his decision to invalidate another. And as practitioners know, Judge Albright also granted the defendant’s motion for judgment as a matter of law during this same plaintiff’s trial last month in Waco, sending the jury home, and also was affirmed by the Federal Circuit a few weeks earlier for invalidating yet another of WSOU’s patents. It’s the rare article about Judge Albright in which the reporter doesn’t characterize him as “plaintiff friendly.” None of the articles about these developments characterized him as “defendant friendly” – which would be equally inaccurate – but they also don’t note the dissonance between how he is typically described and, um, reality. Plaintiffs do win in his court. So do defendants. Might have something to do with the merits.
In camera review has three outcomes – privileged, not privileged, and redact. After reviewing the three disputed documents in camera (about which process I’ll have more to say sometime next year – stay tuned) Judge Gilliland assigned one to each bucket.
It doesn’t get much better than a single order resolving nine summary judgment and Daubert motions. (But then, I kitbash tiny aircraft carrier models for fun). In a two-page order, Judge Albright denied three motions seeking to strike expert testimony and six motions for partial summary judgment, providing a brief description of each.