Tired of political talk around the water cooler at work? Instead, talk about the current State of the Union of Waco Patent Litigation, our yearly address where we present important analytics from the previous years and take a glimpse into the year to come right here in Waco, Texas!
It has been almost 17 months since Judge Alan Albright took the Federal bench in the Waco Division of the Western District of Texas. There was much initial speculation as to the effect of Judge Albright’s appointment on the patent landscape in Waco, a jurisdiction whose total patent filings in the previous decade only amounted to the double digits. Now, 17 months later, there is concrete data. Let’s look at the current State of Waco Patent Litigation:
Since 2018, the District of Delaware has been the #1 most heavily trafficked venue for patent litigation filings. While the Eastern District of Texas has seen a drop in patent filings in 2018 and again 2019, as a direct result of TC Heartland, it still remains a prominent patent venue. However, in 2019, the Western District of Texas saw patent filings that threatened to catch up with the Eastern District. Ultimately, the Western District fell short by about 50 case filings.
Even more interesting is looking at the market-share that the Waco Division is occupying in the Western District. In 2018, Waco saw about 30% of the patent filings in the Western District (consider that Judge Albright was only on the bench for 3.5 months of that year). In 2019, Waco saw about 85% of the patent filings in the Western District.
The big question becomes, is this momentum continuing or has the Waco Division reach a plateau? At this point, Waco’s momentum shows no signs of stopping. So far in 2020, the Western District has eclipsed both the District of Delaware and the Eastern District of Texas in number of patent cases filed. The Waco Division accounts for 90% of those cases. Even more impressive, standing alone, the Waco Division has seen about 1.5-times more patent filings than the whole District of Delaware and over 3-times the number of patent filings than the entire Eastern District of Texas.
If this momentum continues, the Waco Division alone, and by extension the Western District of Texas, could become the most heavily trafficked patent venue in the country. Whether this trend continues for the long-haul remains to be seen, but the sequence of TC Heartland followed by Judge Albright’s appointment has created a powerful combination that has changed the landscape of patent litigation filings.