Judge Albright, who has presided over patent cases in multiple Divisions within the Western District of Texas, appears to have issued his first order denying a motion to transfer venue for convenience from the Waco Division to the Austin Division. Until this point, he has generally been very open to intra-district transfers for convenience, both opposed and unopposed.
Case No. 6:20-cv-108 (ParkerVision, Inc. v. Intel Corp.) was filed in the Waco Division in February 2020. On July 10, 2020, Intel moved to transfer the case under § 1404(a) to the District of Oregon or, alternatively, the Austin Division of WDTX. ParkerVision initially agreed that a transfer to Austin was proper, but subsequently filed a Notice of Clarification stating that “if a transfer of this case to Austin results in a different case schedule, then ParkerVision submits that Austin would not be a clearly more convenient forum than Waco appeared to initially.” A hearing on the motion was held on September 2, 2020. Supplemental submissions were filed in September and December.
On January 26, Judge Albright entered his order denying Intel’s motion to transfer in its entirety, finding that Intel did not met its “heavy burden” to demonstrate that either the District of Oregon or the Austin Division was “a clearly more convenient forum than Waco.”
In light of the recent ruling by the Federal Circuit (see previous post HERE) and the Austin Federal Courthouse’s continued closure during COVID, this is likely not the last order declining to transfer a case from Waco to Austin.