Bloomberg Law
Jan. 4, 2021, 9:41 PM

Intel Patent Case On the Move Back to Waco

Matthew Bultman
Matthew Bultman

A patent fight between Intel Corp. and VLSI Technology LLC is on its way back to Waco, Texas.

U.S. District Judge Alan Albright ordered the case transferred from Austin to Waco, where VLSI originally filed suit. Trial is set for early this year, but the federal courthouse in Austin remains closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Because the “Austin courthouse is closed, this case can only move forward in the Waco courthouse in the near future,” Albright wrote in a Dec. 31 order.

Trial in the case was planned for early January but has been pushed back to February to give Intel a chance to appeal the order.

Albright’s ruling is the latest chapter in a suit that VLSI brought over patented data processing system technology. The judge transferred the suit to Austin in 2019, at the time finding that was a more convenient place to litigate.

But after pandemic-related closures in Austin, the judge decided to move the trial to Waco. The Austin courthouse is closed though January, although Albright has speculated that it may stay closed for several months longer.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit late last month said Albright wasn’t authorized to transfer the trial based on the reasons he gave.

The court suggested Albright determine whether the entire case could be transferred to Waco. That analysis should take into account the reasons of convenience that led to the initial Austin transfer, the court said.

Following a hearing last week, Albright said those factors weighed in favor of the move. Among other things, the judge cited the “administrative difficulties flowing from court congestion” if the case were to stay in Austin.

“As this Court noted in the December 30 hearing, this Court is extremely busy and has at least one trial scheduled every month from now through 2022,” Albright wrote. “Delaying one trial means moving another.”

VLSI is represented by Irell & Manella LLP, Mann | Tindel | Thompson, and Haley & Olson PC. Intel is represented by Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP and Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP.

The case is: VLSI Technology LLC v. Intel Corp., W.D. Tex., No. 19-CV-254, 12/31/20.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Bultman in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kibkabe Araya at; Keith Perine at