After filing patent litigation over the past few years in the Western District of Texas, Broadband iTV, Inc. (BBiTV) has turned to the International Trade Commission (ITC), filing a complaint that proposes Altice, Charter Communications, and Comcast as respondents (337-TA-3616), targeted over their “television services” as delivered through set-top boxes. BBiTV asserts four patents from its single-family portfolio (of more than 75 members) broadly directed to the playback of on-demand TV content over the Internet and/or various aspects of related interactive program guides. The complainant pleads a domestic industry based on the activities of DISH Network, with which BBiTV “has a non-exclusive Cross-License patent agreement” covering those patents; litigation between BBiTV and DISH ended on December 1, 2021.
The Federal Circuit has ordered District Judge Alan D. Albright to transfer several more cases out of his courtroom, reversing prior denials of motions to transfer for convenience. These latest decisions build on a growing number of writs of mandamus that cement a clear appellate position: a district court abuses its discretion when it denies a defendant transfer to a more convenient forum, based on the other applicable factors, because “court congestion”—i.e., the West Texas court’s ability and willingness to set a relatively aggressive case schedule—is viewed to weigh against transfer, however heavily.