Joint Naturalization Ceremony in Texarkana

On September 27, the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of Texas and the Western District of Arkansas held what is believed to be the first joint naturalization ceremony, conducted on the front steps of the federal courthouse that sits on the state line dividing Arkansas and Texas in Texarkana.

Presiding were Judge Robert W. Schroeder III for the Eastern District of Texas, and Magistrate Judge Barry A. Bryant for the Western District of Arkansas. Approximately 60 individuals from 21 countries were naturalized as U.S. citizens at the event. took the oath of Allegiance which will finalize their path to citizenship. “Today’s the happiest thing we do in federal court,” Judge Bryant told the audience.

The program was presented by the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of Texas and the Western District of Arkansas and the Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Oil field technology patent verdict

I’m posting a few pictures from our trip to the Capitol with the local Chamber of Commerce (and our two youngest boys, who served as House pages) last week as they seem appropriate for a verdict from a patent case involving oil field technology. The verdict came from Texarkana last week, where a jury in Judge Schroeder’s court rendered a defense verdict on infringement. Invalidity wasn’t submitted.

Reassignment of EDTX Civil & Criminal Actions

Whenever the makeup on a district court’s bench changes, though retirements or the addition of new judges, the docket is reallocated.  Last week saw a significant reallocation of the Eastern District’s cases due to the arrival on the bench of Judge Jeremy Kernodle in Tyler and changes in Senior Judge Ron Clark’s docket.  I wanted to go through the changes and what they mean in the affected divisions.

Motion to Dismiss False Claims Act Complaint Granted in Part

This Monday’s False Claims Act case is a report & recommendation by a magistrate judge, adopted by the district judge, which addressed a motion to dismiss relator’s claims under the FCA’s first to file rule, and motions to dismiss under FRCP 12(b)(6) and FRCP 9, which implicated both normal and heightened standards of pleadings.  No objections to the report were filed, thus the district court’s review was limited to plain error / manifest injustice, and it did not find any.

Verdict in Maxell v. ZTE; Jury Findings On Eligibility Under Section 101

A Texarkana jury in Judge Schroeder’s court returned a verdict in favor of Maxell against defendant ZTE (USA), Inc. last Friday following a two-week trial.  The jury found all 16 claims from the 11 asserted patents infringed.  Eleven of the claim from seven patents were found to be infringed willfully. The jury found that four claims across two patents had not been shown to be invalid as anticipated or obvious (one question for all invalidity theories), and assessed damages at $43.3 million. But the jury also made an additional finding in the defendant’s favor with respect to five of the claims that bear some closer scrutiny, as it begins to tell us how 101 claims can be addressed in front of a jury.  This reminded me of how Judge Schroeder addressed a similar issue dealing with contract formation in my April jury trial in Texarkana, so I wanted to address that issue in some additional detail (as well as a few others) by analyzing the court’s instructions to the jury.

EDTX 101 Update After Aatrix

Paradoxically, I’m going to celebrate receiving my second patent this morning (9,955,784 is my new favorite number) with analysis of what’s happening locally regarding the patentable subject matter defense under Section 101 following the Federal Circuit’s opinion in Aatrix Software, Inc. v. Green Shades Software, Inc., 882 F.3d 1121 (Fed. Cir. 2018).

I have had a few requests for some attention to that specific issue, and wanted to let people know what I’ve seen so far locally.