The Latest on Judge Albright’s January Trial

By on December 21, 2020

Readers will recall our coverage of Judge Alan Albright’s re-transfer of an Austin patent case to Waco so that the court could hold a jury trial in January as scheduled.

In that case, the defendant has sought mandamus from the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to stop the trial, but the petition is not expressly predicated on COVID-19 issues. Briefing is complete, and the panel will rule soon—but the panel could grant the petition without addressing whether trials should be held in the current environment.

Meanwhile, in Judge Albright’s court, the parties continue to debate whether the trial should go forward. The transcript of last week’s motion hearing is a must-read. Introducing his argument, the defendant’s counsel told Judge Albright: “We take this step to avoid the potentially dire outcome for any particular person’s health or life.” This is not the type of remark we saw in patent cases before 2020.

The transcript is here:

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McDermott’s litigation team monitors US courts as they reopen amid the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis.

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