Patent Loving Judge Keeps Pissing Off Patent Appeals Court, But Doesn't Seem To Care Very Much

from the how-is-this-allowed?!? dept

You may recall last fall we had an absolutely astounding story about Judge Alan Albright, a former patent litigator, who was appointed as the only judge in the federal district court in Waco. He very, very quickly made it clear that he wanted all patent cases to come to him, turning the Western District of Texas into the new favored home of patent trolls, taking the mantle from East Texas, which has famously been the trolls' preferred home for over a decade. Albright did things most people inherently recognize no judge should ever do. This includes things like literally going on a publicity tour to convince patent holders and trolls to file patent cases in his court. To this day, he seems to relish the fact that, despite being on the bench for just a little over two years, more than 20% of all patent cases end up on his personal docket.

With his desire to be the judge of choice for patent holders, he also built up a reputation for refusing to transfer cases to more appropriate jurisdictions -- even though the Supreme Court made clear in 2017 that patent cases should go to the appropriate docket, rather than whatever one the patent holder wants. A paper published last fall all about Albright's troubling role in patent cases called this out specifically.

Since taking the bench, Judge Albright has likewise staunchly refused to transfer cases out of the Western District. As of July 7, 2020, he has decided thirteen motions seeking transfer away from the Western District under § 1404(a); he has denied eleven. In fact, in a recent order, Judge Albright effectively told Apple—which has been sued at least ten times in cases assigned to Judge Albright and regularly seeks to have those cases moved to the Northern District of California—to stop filing transfer motions.

At the time we wrote that story last fall, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), which handles all patent appeals, had just told Albright to transfer at least one of those cases. In February it got angry at Albright again in a case involving SK Hynix. Incredibly, even though SK Hynix sought to transfer the case all the way back in early May of last year, Judge Albright not only refused to rule on the motion to transfer, but ordered SK Hynix to go through the expensive discovery process -- which is what tends to destroy defendants in patent suits and push them to settle. After months of the judge refusing to even respond to the motion to transfer and having to go through expensive discovery, SK Hynix asked the CAFC to weigh in, and they slammed Albright, reminding him that they'd already scolded him about this last year:

We agree with SK hynix that the district court’s handling of the transfer motion up until this point in the case has amounted to egregious delay and blatant disregard for precedent. As we recently reiterated, “[a]lthough district courts have discretion as to how to handle their dockets, once a party files a transfer motion, disposing of that motion should unquestionably take top priority.” In re Apple Inc., 979 F.3d 1332, 1337 (Fed. Cir. 2020) (citations omitted); see also In re Horseshoe Entm’t, 337 F.3d 429, 433 (5th Cir. 2003) (“[I]n our view disposition of that [transfer] motion should have taken a top priority in the handling of this case by the . . . District Court.”). No such priority was given to the motion here, as it simply lingered unnecessarily on the docket while the district court required the parties to proceed ahead with the merits.

Unfortunately, rather than force Albright to transfer the case, they noted that he'd finally agreed to have a hearing on the motion to transfer, so they'd basically let it slide. The very next day, Albright ruled on the motion... and denied the transfer, saying the trial would move forward. A few days ago, SK Hynix agreed to a settlement to end the case.

Last month, CAFC had to step in again on an Albright case where he seemed to have done exactly the same thing. This case involved TracFone. In June, it had filed a motion asking Albright to either (1) dismiss the case for being in an improper venue, or (2) transfer it to a more appropriate venue. Albright did neither. Instead he pushed TracFone into discovery while simply not ruling on the motion. Notice a pattern? So did the CAFC:

We addressed strikingly similar circumstances from the same district court last month in SK hynix. There, as here, the petitioners sought mandamus relief from this court after waiting nearly eight months for a ruling on a motion to transfer that was fully briefed. We agreed with the petitioner that “the district court’s handling of the transfer motion up until this point in the case has amounted to egregious delay and blatant disregard for precedent.” 835 F. App’x at 600–01. We did not compel further action because the district court scheduled a hearing while the petition was pending before this court, but we directed the district court to stay proceedings, including the upcoming Markman hearing, until the district court ruled on the motion. We explained that mandamus was appropriate because “precedent compels entitlement to such relief and the district court’s continued refusal to give priority to deciding the transfer issues demonstrates that SK hynix has no alternative means by which to obtain it.”

It then points out what a travesty this is:

In Google, we explained that lengthy delays in resolving transfer motions can frustrate the intent of § 1404(a) by forcing defendants “to expend resources litigating substantive matters in an inconvenient venue while a motion to transfer lingers unnecessarily on the docket.” 2015 WL 5294800 at *1. We concluded that a trial court’s failure to act on a fully briefed transfer motion that had been pending for approximately eight months while pressing forward with discovery and claim construction issues amounted to an arbitrary refusal to consider the merits of the transfer motion. Id. at *1–2. We therefore directed the district court to promptly rule and to stay all proceedings pending completion of the motion. Id. at *2.

Our decisions in Google and SK hynix rest on a principle well-established in Fifth Circuit law: That district courts must give promptly filed transfer motions “top priority” before resolving the substantive issues in the case. In re Horseshoe Entm’t, 337 F.3d 429, 433 (5th Cir. 2003) (“[I]n our view disposition of that [transfer] motion should have taken a top priority in the handling of this case by the . . . District Court.”); see also In re Apple, Inc., 979 F.3d 1332, 1337 (Fed. Cir. 2020 (explaining that “once a party files a transfer motion, disposing of that motion should un-questionably take top priority.”); In re Nintendo Co., Ltd., 544 F. App’x 934, 941 (Fed. Cir. 2013) (“[A] trial court must first address whether it is a proper and convenient venue before addressing any substantive portion of the case.”).

We agree with TracFone that the circumstances here are comparable to those in Google. As in Google, the facts here establish that the district court has clearly abused its discretion. And, unlike in SK hynix, the court to date has taken no action to suggest it is proceeding towards quick resolution of the motion.

Ouch. Having been benchslapped yet again, Judge Albright announced that he was finally going to start doing what he should have been doing all along: issuing a standing order admitting that certain other issues, such as the important Markman hearing where the judge basically determines what the patent claims cover, would be held off until he was able to review venue transfer requests. Markman hearings don't need to be held right away, but Judge Albright seemed to push to get them going quickly even while ignoring transfer requests. But now he says he'll make sure to rule on transfer prior to any Markman hearing:

When there is a pending inter-district transfer, the Court will either promptly enter an order resolving the pending motion(s) prior to the Markman hearing or it will postpone the Markman hearing until it has had the opportunity to do so. The Court will not conduct a Markman hearing until it has resolved the pending motion to transfer.

It only took a bunch of CAFC benchslaps to get there. Of course, getting him to rule quickly doesn't mean that he'll actually transfer the cases. Three days after CAFC yelled at Albright about the TracFone situation, he denied the transfer request (as well as the dismissal request) even while admitting that TracFone's preferred venue in South Florida would be more convenient for the witnesses and parties.

Also, it looked like CAFC was on the verge of benchslapping him again, but he (WOW!) actually transferred one case to Houston. Of course, that was after he'd already denied the transfer last summer, and CAFC had already told him to reconsider, which he hadn't actually gotten around to many months later. The defendant in that case, Nitro Fluids, had gone back to CAFC to ask it to make Albright rule, and thus he finally did so -- leading the CAFC to drop the issue as moot.

And, most recently, Albright has denied a request by Microsoft to transfer a patent case out of his court. In this most recent ruling Albright declares that: "A party seeking transfer to an allegedly more convenient forum carries a significant burden." I mean, yeah, in your court.

I remain flummoxed as to how this is allowed. I cannot come up with any reasonable explanation for allowing a judge to act this way. It is beyond sketchy. He's advertising his court as friendly to patent filers, and when defendants seek to move cases to more appropriate venues, he stalls, forces them into expensive processes -- despite courts telling him to stop -- and when he finally makes a slight nod towards obeying the rules, he still regularly rejects the transfer requests. Even if he and his supporters argue that there's some reason that all of this makes sense, at the very least, it reeks of gaming the system, bias against patent defendants, and not wanting to play by the rules. It's shameful behavior by a judge.

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Filed Under: alan albright, cafc, district court, markman hearings, patent trolls, patents, transfers, waco


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  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Apr 2021 @ 11:23am

    How does this guy not have anyone investigating his seemingly corrupted impartiality? You’d think some enterprising journalist would at least be looking into his financials or some shit to see if someone bought all those favorable rulings.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      wshuff (profile), 13 Apr 2021 @ 4:04pm

      Re:

      Hell, eventually somebody might decide that it’s cheaper to pay a hitman to just cut a brake line or something than go through discovery in that judge’s court.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 Apr 2021 @ 1:00am

      Re:

      "How does this guy not have anyone investigating his seemingly corrupted impartiality?"

      Because USA.

      Judges are usually elected. It is likely he does not and never has received even a single penny while in office.
      His election campaign, however, will be lavishly bought and paid for by the vested interests enjoying the skew he'll put on his office.

      This is an enormous loophole which takes more or less every anti-corruption measure on the book and circumvents them handily. And explains a lot as to why the US body politic is riddled with incompetent grifters who might as well put "prostitute" as their job title.

      It's incredible. When it comes to banking, normal regulations stipulate every cent must have a full audit trail, but campaign contributions meant to fund the election of the next guy to tote the nuclear football can be obfuscated into utter anonymity...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Tomato Cultivator, 14 Apr 2021 @ 3:45am

        Re: Re:

        Except this is a federal judge, who is appointed for life.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 Apr 2021 @ 6:32am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Except this is a federal judge, who is appointed for life."

          ...or until they resign. It's a long-standing complaint by old school justices higher up the ladder that due to the somewhat lackadaisical pay slip involved, becoming an article 3 judge has become a stepping-stone into politics and private business.

          But yeah, although I'm pretty sure Albright is still blowing the copyright cult for a reason it's unlikely he's doing so for his continued career as a judge.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Bill Cole, 14 Apr 2021 @ 9:56am

        Re: Re:

        This is a federal court, which is the only sort of court handling patent cases. No federal judge is elected, they are all appointed for life by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Albright is one of the many appointed in the past 4 years, although not one of the many of those to have been rated as "Not Qualified" by the ABA.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    another anonymous coward, 13 Apr 2021 @ 11:49am

    Everything's relative.

    And it seems that this guy is a relative of Richard Liebowitz.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Apr 2021 @ 12:16pm

    Bring the hammer down or be complicit

    Similar to judges giving copyright and patent extortionists passes by merely warning them that at some point there might be consequences if the only thing he faces is being told to do his gorram job he has no reason to change, and can and will feel free to drag his heels and pander to patent trolls.

    If those above him want him to stop being so grossly corrupt then they need to apply some actual penalties, until then it'll be business as usual as he encourages and enables patent extortionists and does everything he can to drive any sane company not run by parasites out of his jurisdiction.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2021 @ 10:58am

      Re: Bring the hammer down or be complicit

      My reading of the constitution is that federal judges are immune to all prosecution except Impeachment.

      If that's correct, then only congress actually has the authority to step in a 'fix' the Albright issue.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 14 Apr 2021 @ 12:52pm

        Re: Re: Bring the hammer down or be complicit

        'Fixing' in the sense of removing him from the position may be beyond them but unless I misread this line or it's fatally flawed there are other things they could be doing but aren't:

        Unfortunately, rather than force Albright to transfer the case, they noted that he'd finally agreed to have a hearing on the motion to transfer, so they'd basically let it slide. The very next day, Albright ruled on the motion... and denied the transfer, saying the trial would move forward. A few days ago, SK Hynix agreed to a settlement to end the case.

        By my reading of that they could overrule him and force him to transfer cases to more suitable courts but are instead just asking him very nicely to do so time and time again, and their refusal to issue demands instead of requests has led him to rightly believe that he can safely ignore them.

        The nuclear option of removing him from the position entirely may be beyond them but I find it very difficult to believe that there is nothing they can do about his actions, which leads me to conclude either corruption or cowardice on their part for their refusal to do so and in either case they they become almost if not just as responsible as he is for his actions.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2021 @ 1:21pm

          Re: Re: Re: Bring the hammer down or be complicit

          While you are correct that the appeals court does have the authority to overrule (though I'm not sure if they can do so if the case is not appealed, like this case), I would not view that as a 'fix'.

          It would only patch over one instance of the problem, and leave the source of the problems free to essentially force any number of people/organizations into a settlement (since usually the point of these cases is to force a settlement rather than actually go through with the trial).

          I don't think there is any other real fix beyond removal from office (and hopefully subsequently getting a fair trial for corruption/other crimes).

          However I'm not hopeful that we will get a sane resolution before the collateral damage has piled up higher that Trump dreamed his wall would be.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 14 Apr 2021 @ 2:17pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Bring the hammer down or be complicit

            A long-term fix will require his removal from office as it seems pretty clear that he's going to keep acting this way until he no longer has the power to to be sure, but until that point(and it's likely to take a long while, if it ever happens) the higher court making clear that if he tries this stunt an appeal to them will result in a transfer would at least limit the amount of damage he can do and reduce the pressure to settle rather than deal with a corrupt judge that anyone dragged into his court would otherwise face.

            They might not be able to remove the problem entirely but they can at least severely limit the damage, they just need to be willing to do so rather than keep pretending that he's acting in good faith.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Melvin Chudwaters, 13 Apr 2021 @ 12:24pm

    Not sure I understand this correctly... it's a judge going litigant-shopping?

    I don't even know what the point is. Plaintiffs sometimes go judge-shopping (if they can get away with it). They have something to gain. But his salary's fixed. He's either soliciting bribes/kickback, or is a zealot. And it's difficult to understand how someone could support patents in an ideological sense. At best they're pragmatic regulation to encourage invention (anyone zealous concerning that principle must hate patent trolls by definition).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      christenson, 13 Apr 2021 @ 12:39pm

      Re: Patents

      Yup, this judge is going litigant shopping!

      Now, as to patents, they also serve as a bit of a "gold star" system in industry -- I say this with inventor status on 3 patents, two of which are products in the market, and the patents were at best afterthoughts, at worst publicized us to our competitors and distracted us from making an actual product which therefore never made it to market.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 13 Apr 2021 @ 1:19pm

      Re:

      Not sure I understand this correctly... it's a judge going litigant-shopping?

      Yeah. Or as some have described it, rather than "forum shopping" he's "forum selling." He has claimed that he's doing that because, as a former patent litigator, he "understands" how to efficiently run a patent case, so his argument is that patent cases run smoother in his court. It is true that patent cases have some oddities that are unlike most other cases (things like Markman hearings), but... it's still weird.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2021 @ 2:46pm

        Re: Re:

        Um... Sorry but I'm pretty sure "run smoother" is the opposite of what we actually want from a court. Especially when it's heavily implied "run smoother" means "court bends over backwards for the plaintiff only". Pretty sure defendants trying to get their case moved to a proper venue would not say that court "runs smoother".

        What we want from the court system is something that hears both sides and does the best humanly possible to give a verdict based on facts and law. Not a system designed to expedite only one sides needs.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Upstream (profile), 13 Apr 2021 @ 4:26pm

      Re:

      it's a judge going litigant-shopping?

      soliciting bribes/kickback,

      Asked and answered.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 Apr 2021 @ 1:09am

      Re:

      "Not sure I understand this correctly... it's a judge going litigant-shopping?"

      Yep. Establishing a claim that if anyone wants to abuse patent or copyright law, his is the office they turn to.

      "But his salary's fixed."

      Yeah, but most judges are elected. and even if not, the logical progression for a judge is a career in politics. Hence it's not uncommon in the US to find whichever cause has a strong and wealthy lobby and shamelessly flash his goods their way in the hope they'll buy him by funding all his next election campaigns.

      This is why the US has so many Judges and DA's willing to fawn and pander over crooked police, local corporations, batshit insane seventh adventist churches and the copyright cult.

      Because they aren't in the business of justice or politics. They're in the business of getting as persistent and generous sugar daddy as they can to pave their way into the next cushy job.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2021 @ 12:41pm

    I think the general thought has become "if a judge is doing it, then it's acceptable behavior because there are no bad judges".

    IIRC this is exactly the sort of case where the judge should be impeached.

    I'm not holding my breath though.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Upstream (profile), 13 Apr 2021 @ 4:29pm

      Re:

      if a judge is doing it, then it's acceptable behavior

      A very similar idea didn't work for Nixon, and this idea shouldn't work for this guy, either.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2021 @ 1:20pm

    http://www.scjc.texas.gov/

    People need to start filing complaints against this judge. One does not need to be a party to an action to file a complaint.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Tanner Andrews (profile), 27 Apr 2021 @ 1:00am

      Re:

      Some anonymous coward ought to look into whether state and Federal judges operate under the same rules. Also, whether a state discipinary agency can reach Federal judges, consistent with the supremacy clause.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2021 @ 1:22pm

    I remain flummoxed as to how this is allowed. I cannot come up with any reasonable explanation for allowing a judge to act this way.

    Judges, lawyers, and parties preferred by judges aren't like everyone else who has to submit to being in a courtroom.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2021 @ 2:31pm

    'cause TD is locked down

    this would partly explain few comments today -- the dreaded collateral damage! from trying to keep dissent out

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 13 Apr 2021 @ 11:48pm

      Re:

      [Asserts facts not in evidence]

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 Apr 2021 @ 1:14am

      Re:

      oh put a cork in it, Baghdad bob. Everyone has comments sticking in the spam filter at some point or other. You're the only one whining about the "great conspiracy" when the logical reason your comments are stuck there is that you're using Tor and thus likely to be using the same exit address as a thousand spambots.

      In short, you've chosen to send your messages through the same carrier bearing black water and liquid waste and you keep getting confused that the filter meant to keep the rest out holds your message-in-a-bottle back as well.

      This is why most people who care about their privacy use a full-fledged VPN as default instead.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    aerinai (profile), 13 Apr 2021 @ 2:46pm

    Can you sue a judge to recuse themselves?

    I mean, If I were a defendant, I'd at least try to sue the state and get him removed from the case... I mean... is that possible? Has it been tried? If nothing else, it would be a hell of a publicity stunt to call this guy out for his blatant pandering

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2021 @ 2:48pm

      Re: Can you sue a judge to recuse themselves?

      I'm pretty sure impeachment is the only thing that can threaten a federal judge.
      And that requires congressional intervention.(of course if he were to be impeached, then I believe that would strip him of his current immunities, and leave him open to lawsuits/prosecution)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2021 @ 2:47pm

    evidently okaying each comment today behind the scenes

    I see this LIE a LOT:

    Comment Held for Moderation...

    Thanks for your comment.
    It will be reviewed by our staff before it is posted.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2021 @ 2:47pm

    Let's cut to the cheese

    You cheer Oracle v GOOGLE going until got "right" decision!

    That's actually the same, just different order.

    Now, you mention GOOGLE up there and tacitly impugn this judge, but in fact GOOGLE is just wanting a more favorable venue too, right? -- Yes. Again, it's just the order that you protest, and that's only due to GOOGLE being defendant. -- GOOGLE looks for most favorable venue too when filing, wouldn't it? Of course.

    New readers, not that are any, can just take note that Maz's wish here and ALWAYS aligns with what GOOGLE want. You will find this so EVERY TIME.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2021 @ 2:49pm

      Re: Let's cut to the cheese

      WHEW! What a fight just to get to the basics you offer of own free will!

      Now, by at last letting me in -- and you pointing it up on front page this week -- you very nearly prove that have the site locked down at times, then CHOOSE to let me in.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2021 @ 2:50pm

      Re: Let's cut to the cheese

      you are frothing too much for us to be able to read what you are trying to convey.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 Apr 2021 @ 1:21am

        Re: Re: Let's cut to the cheese

        He's, as usual, upset that his comments are being held as spam and believes it is a great conspiracy.

        The by far more likely reason is that he's still using Tor. Which means more often than not he'll be using the same exit node as a thousand spam bots, script kids and a few of those nigerian princes looking for marks. Requiring him to often cycle his exit node umpteen times before finding one from which the average web filter still accepts input.

        But no, in Baghdad Bob's la-la land that's just another "great conspiracy" of moderation because he's just the kind of IT-inept asshole to try to push his "important messages" through the sewage system and is surprised all the filters treat them as they do anything else floating through that line.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2021 @ 2:50pm

      Re: Let's cut to the cheese

      New readers: I've just hammered my way in after dozens of tries w TD's lousy system, that's why the above. It's NOT coincidence. It's not that TD is fighting spam. It's viewpoint discrimination.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2021 @ 2:53pm

        Re: Re: Let's cut to the cheese

        So funny enough: I've never had a problem posting to TD. I've also never seen someone claim they were getting caught in the spam filters without also seeing them try to fill the comment section with spam. Very strange. I wonder what the correlation could be.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Apr 2021 @ 2:57pm

          “I’m not a spammer! And to prove it, I’ll spam a bunch of comments until one of them goes through!” — Ol’ Blue Balls, probably

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2021 @ 3:07pm

          Re: Re: Re: Let's cut to the cheese

          HOW have you seen that, alleged "AC"?

          You speak with authority, revealing non-public knowledge, supporting my claims.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2021 @ 6:53pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's cut to the cheese

            UM, with my eyes? I mean if you don't believe my claims about my subjective experiences, then conversation is pointless.

            I'm not sure where you get the idea that this non-public knowledge. It's an statement of experience with the comment section. Anyone is able to see when someone has a post go through that screams "I'm being censored" (even when the community flags it). People are also able to fairly easily tell when the same person posts lots of other messages that look like spam. They do a thing where they read the message, look at the poster/ID-image, and think about the content.

            Yes, I do indeed believe I am the worlds fore most expert on my own experiences. I am the leading authority on that subject.

            Also: 'alleged "AC"'? I don't think that makes anywhere near as much you seem to believe it does. I'm posting as an AC. If you believe I also have a TD account... so what?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2021 @ 7:03pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's cut to the cheese

              I considered writing hypotheticals of if I was some of the better known account holders. However I have none of their consent to do so, and I believe in this case there is a very really, very high chance of actual confusion.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Apr 2021 @ 6:12am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's cut to the cheese

                "...and I believe in this case there is a very really, very high chance of actual confusion."

                Partially. The rest of us regulars - me, Stephen T. Stone, PaulIT, That One Guy, etc...are probably just going to think "yeah, that's a hypothetical".

                As far as Baghdad Bob is concerned...well, his mind is already made up that you are Mike Masnick or Tim Geigner trying to heckle him as part of Google's and CIA's nefarious plot against him. With one finger poised above a big red "Censor!" button and while stroking a white cat, no doubt.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2021 @ 6:42am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's cut to the cheese

                  Hmmm. Would be nice to have a cat, but I prefer tabbies.

                  Honestly though I'm not sure anyone has any reason to censor Baghdad Bob (I mean other than the general anti-spam stuff... since stupid-pointless-annoying-messages are by definition undesirable to the recievers). Probably about 80% of what they say discredits what ever mind numbing stupid thing that was buried in the remaining 20%.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 13 Apr 2021 @ 6:33pm

          Re: Re: Re: Let's cut to the cheese

          Comments by sane people who don't post via a browser that guarantees getting caught by the spam filter do occasionally get caught by said spam filter, you just rarely hear about it because unlike TD's #1 fanatic those posting them don't go on deranged tirades about being censored and instead accept that it occasionally happens even to those who aren't doing everything possible to trigger the filter.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 Apr 2021 @ 1:28am

          Re: Re: Re: Let's cut to the cheese

          "I've also never seen someone claim they were getting caught in the spam filters without also seeing them try to fill the comment section with spam. Very strange. I wonder what the correlation could be."

          Oh, it happens to all of us, at some point. Difference being that we just shrug and move on, waiting for some moderator to view the comment and nix it or let it through. Instead of losing our shit and pounding down a dozen comments of "I HAVE BEEN SILENCED!!".

          But Baghdad Bob does get caught more often than not and there's a very plain reason for it; He's confessed to using Tor.
          Meaning his exit address is always going to be one on a list of "known spam carriers". He is, metaphorically, throwing his message-in-a-bottle into a sewage line, hoping that sane people will be inclined to fish it out and put it up on the local billboard.

          Meanwhile the rest of us who like privacy pay for a full-fledged VPN, which in the same metaphor means a FedEx van pulls up to that local billboard and puts up the message.

          This is, to anyone with half a clue, pretty obvious. It took me a long time to realize that Baghdad Bob isn't just an unpleasant asshole, he's also so inept he'll shoot himself in the foot and blame the city for the sidewalk being so rough it causes him to limp.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2021 @ 4:13am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's cut to the cheese

            I think you're overselling the Tor point. While you might be right there (I don't know enough), the plain and simple truth is that ole Baghdad Bob is a spammer - and therefore when he gets caught by the spam filter the filter is working as intended.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 Apr 2021 @ 6:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's cut to the cheese

              "...the plain and simple truth is that ole Baghdad Bob is a spammer - and therefore when he gets caught by the spam filter the filter is working as intended."

              Not mutually exclusive statements of fact. Both apply.

              A spam filter acts on multiple key indicators - number of comments made in a given time span. Length of messages. Presence of keywords. Origin of message. Looking at it logically old Baghdad Bob gets hit by "origin of message" first, then loses his shit completely and pounds down a dozen quick "Halp! I Have Been Silenced!" messages - which run afoul of messages/minute and length of messages respectively. And keywords, given his penchant for screaming and throwing poop like a hysterical chimpanzee when riled.

              The thing about Tor is a long known factoid; the poor man's VPN is the weapon of choice for every scammer, script kid, and troll around and thus popular exit nodes routinely end up on alert blocklists.

              Of course you and I can argue the logics of the apparently well functioning spam filter until the cows come home. We're still not going to convince the guy who kept asserting the people debunking his garbage were all astroturfers paid for by Mike Masnick on behalf of the CIA and Google. He's immune to logic.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Apr 2021 @ 4:03pm

          Re: Re: Re: Let's cut to the cheese

          "I'm a leftist. My comments never seem to be censored on Techdirt, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, etc... I don't know what those right wingers are complaining about. They must be making it all up."

          "I live in a gated community with armed guards. I never seem to have a problem with home invasions, muggings, vandalism, auto thefts, etc... I don't know what those icky blue collar people complaining about crime are talking about. They must be making it all up."

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 20 Apr 2021 @ 5:28am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's cut to the cheese

            I don't think the AC poster expressed any political views, unless you are suggesting that getting cause in spam filters is an inherent part of some political views (which I personally find to be a very dubious claim, but if that's what you want to roll with...).

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2021 @ 3:08pm

        Re: Re: Let's cut to the cheese

        While I'm at it. If you had to "hammer your way through", why didn't you just give up and go somewhere more friendly? Do you like being in environments that you believe are hostile to you? Or maybe you are terrified that people unfamiliar with techdirts evil way will wander onto the site, and then be completely unable to click back, or close, or type another url, and thus be forced to stay here. Forever.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2021 @ 5:46pm

        Re: Re:

        If new readers don't exist anymore by your own observations, why do you even need a message to new readers? So you can have more people to point to your "ignorant motherfucker" comment?

        Like, there's shooting yourself in the foot, then there's going down on your knees to beg the army to run your foot over with a goddamn tank battalion...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      wshuff (profile), 13 Apr 2021 @ 4:07pm

      Re: Let's cut to the cheese

      From your post it is clear that you have no clue what is going on. Oracle v. Google and what is going on here are apples and oranges.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        BernardoVerda (profile), 13 Apr 2021 @ 6:50pm

        Re: Re: Let's cut to the cheese

        I'm not so sure of that.
        I'd argue that in both stories, highly-biased judges have been bending over backwards to blatantly favour "Intellectual Property" rights-holders/claimants -- regardless of the actual facts, the actual the relevant law, and even the ethical obligations pertaining to carrying out their actual judicial duties.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John Pettitt (profile), 14 Apr 2021 @ 8:18am

    Texes seem to be in a news a lot for behavior that looks corrupt

    The whole state seems to run on the golden rule (have gold make the rules). This one sounds like there should be an FBI investigation into the judge and his relationships with certain litigants.

    My opinion: it may or may not be actually corrupt behavior in the sense of $$ changing hands but it sure looks that way from the outside.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jun 2021 @ 8:00am

    Personally, I think you are all insane to be saying such things.

    I follow Judge Alan D Albright closely. I listen to his podcasts, I read his rulings, I laugh at his jokes about Python boots. (No, not the Python language, Python boots, he has some really good jokes about Python boots).

    Have you been to Waco, Texas? It's a great place, great University (Baylor), nice people. We do tend to shoot a few stop signs and drink a few beers, but we're all nice friendly open minded people here.

    We generally don't talk about Federal Judges in the manner that you do here. And we definitely don't talk about Alan that way because, hey, it's just not true.

    He's as nice a fellow as you will ever meet, great athlete, serious scholar, he's the whole bundle. You'd like him if you knew him, really you would. I have no idea why you want to defame him.

    I, for one, think you are wrong to do it. You don't know him, but you are willing to talk about him as if he needs an FBI investigation. That's just not right.

    You should say you're sorry, apologize, and quickly. Alan D Albright has a Big O reputation around here, you are wrong to try to tarnish it. Come on over to the Czech Shop and have a Kolache and sit a spell. Ya'll come on by, let's go rope a doggie together. That'd be more fun than messing with the JUDGE. Really. Cut it out. Not a good idea. He's a nice man! You shouldn't try to bully him.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jun 2021 @ 8:25am

      Re:

      And you know what, I don't think it's going to work. I think you are trying to bully him, to make him less effective at his job to satisfy your own personal agenda, and I just DON'T THINK IT WILL WORK!

      He's too big a man for you. He's tall, well aged, like a good wine, devilishly handsome actually, that's what all the ladies say. AND he's fair, impartial, sensitive, considerate and pretty much an example of how to live an exemplary life for all to see and few to imitate. Yup, my friend Alan D Albright is all those things and more.

      He probably won't comment here, but I will. You are ALL WRONG about him. I think he once said "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence". No, that wasn't him, that was Chares A. Beard.

      Maybe he said "We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the constitution but to over throw the men who pervert the constitution". No, that was Lincoln. hmm... I know he said something...

      "The answer to 1984 is 1776". No, Alex E. Jones...

      "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other". Alan, right? Nope - John Adams

      "The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself." Alan D Albright, right?. Oops no. Benjamin Franklin

      Come to Waco! The Patent waters are FINE HERE! That might have been him. Or maybe it was the Kolache are fine here, can't remember.

      Anyway, YOU ARE WRONG ABOUT MY FRIEND ALAN D ALBRIGHT! He's a great fellow!

      Say you're sorry and maybe I'll stop posting here. Otherwise ......

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jun 2021 @ 8:26am

      Re:

      Wow. Judge Albright is trolling Techdirt.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Jun 2021 @ 8:40am

        Re: Re:

        I never said I was the Judge. I said my friend was the Judge. There was nothing I said that could ever be proven to prove that I am the Judge.

        Yes, I do sound like the Judge because I love the constitution. Many people love the constitution, not just me and the Judge. No one here on this shit-hole site loves the constitution, not the way I do and the Judge does. You probably don't love Texas or Kolache or shooting stop signs, either, because you are not even Americans, most of you, are you. ANSWER THE QUESTION (I just love to say that, especially in court).

        If you were in MY court (I mean HIS court) you would LEARN a THING or TWO about Texas and it would be a BIG O problem for Ya'll. Trust me and my six gun about that that, pardner.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 Jun 2021 @ 9:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Did I ever mention how my friend got my middle initial "D"? It's one of my favorite stories, my middle name is D, not D. (D Dot), just Dee (no dot). How did that happen?

          Well, I was already born, and my mom and pops were thinking about a name. At first, they were going with Alan The Magnificent Albright, but the those initials spelled ATMA, that trademark was already registered to some insurance company. That took a lot of time, and everyone was getting anxious about choosing a really special name.

          My mom, she had a sense of humor, and she wanted to substitute a blank space for my middle name, something like "Alan The _ Albright", that would have been unique. She liked that kind of thing, original thinking and all. But, the registrar of baby names couldn't make out what she wrote and asked her to say it, so the Mimed.

          You know, she waved her hands in the air with a dramatic pause and said in a loud voice "Alan The __ Albright", but what he heard was "Alan D Albright". He tried to get it right, he really did, he even asked her, "Ma'm, is that with a period?". And she said "Nope", and that was that. Alan D Albright.

          True story. About my friend, I mean. Not me.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 7 Jun 2021 @ 6:45pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Nobody believes you, Hamilton.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 7 Jun 2021 @ 9:57pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            So, you are free to "fill in the blank" with the judge, and pretty much anyone else, as you please. For example, Alan The Legal Tornado Albright, sweeping away the legalese and serving real justice in rapid fashion like a force of nature, or Mike Sharik the Dog Masnick, leading his tiny band of communist intellectual lepers against decent God Fearing Americans. We're all free to fill in the blank how we please, right? I think that was my mom's point when she threw up her hands in the air with her big dramatic pause. Wow she was insightful.

            Look, we can all be friends! Come to Waco! No kidding.

            In the future, maybe NOT ON OPTION, you never know! Life is like that! Get served much?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2021 @ 3:01am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Shiva got served with a failed lawsuit against Techdirt, a failed election against Elizabeth Warren, a failed not-marriage with Fran Drescher, and a failed role in the Trump Presidency.

              Yes, Shiva has indeed been served.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2021 @ 8:03am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Or maybe Mike the Pirate Masnick, that might be a good middle name for Mike. After all, he bragged about being a member of the Pirate Party, isn't that right? You guys at Techdirt love to brag about piracy, copyright piracy, patent piracy, yo ho ho and a bottle of rum, yes? You laugh about it all the time.

              Techdirt is the worst kind of pirate, an intentionally malicious pirate who goes out seeking with actual knowledge of a patent in order to, you know, undermine their competitors' advantage in the marketplace, or something like that. That's piracy and we can agree on that. Right, Techdirt? You're a pirate, right, that's your role in the Open Source ecosystems, isn't it? Supporting pirates and piracy and then falsely calling it "open source"?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2021 @ 8:24am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Then again, maybe Mike the Whimpering Coward Masnick might be the best fit yet. The truth of the matter, my friend Mike, is that you now have the thing you wanted, you have the attention of a sitting Federal Judge, the Honorable Alan D Albright. A little birdie told me that he has a Chinese clerk who is quite a gifted writer and keeps on top of things like this for him. The Judge of course is busy, but he has four clerks, did you know that? I'm going to get him a few more in the near future.

                So, here we are, Mike. Spell out your judicial philosophy for the judge, we're all excited to hear what you have to say. Explain how your new Patent plan preserves and protects the Constitution of the United States of America, and furthers progress in the Arts and Sciences. Enlighted us all, please, and allow my friend Alan D Albright to consider your learned opinion.

                Or not, you coward. Run and hide like the phony you are. You have nothing to say that makes any sense to anyone. You're a paid communist, a mouthpiece of pirates and thieves that loot IP from the US and sell it internationally, you're a front man for the Open Source "community" that is little more than an eyes wide open lie with no one behind it.

                You'll write 50 articles, defame 50 great men, spout your communist revolutionary patent bullshit to anyone and everyone, but when you have the attention of the judiciary, you have nothing to say.

                Coward. Mike the Coward Masnick.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2021 @ 5:03am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Bro, Shiva had the attention of two judges and he couldn't even get them to agree that he invented email.

                  Your track record is trash. Your refusal to see that is nothing short of willful blindness.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2021 @ 9:27pm

    A free word of Advice (prayer)

    Sometimes I think it must be hard to be a judge, you have to deal with bank robbers, people with guns, people confused about their sexuality that hurt other people, it's probably enough to make you sad sometimes. Tough job, really, you know what you need to overcome the negative side? Faith!

    So, maybe those of you who posted on this forum and said something really nasty about the judge are not all bad, you're just badly educated. That could be it. Before I condemn you all to burn in hell for eternity, let me try to educate you a little and see how it goes. Seems like something a judge should do before passing sentence.

    So, Faith! You need faith. You need to pray. Just do it, I don't want to explain it too deeply to you idiots, just get down on your damn knees right now. Ok.

    So, close your eyes and imagine what you desire in the highest part of your soul. Your wishes for others, not just yourself. Your sense of justice, of balance, of progress and achievement. albeit with a few bumps in the road along the way.

    OK, now we're going to pray. It's important who you pray to, there are two sources of divine power in this world. One is God and the other is a Judge, in this case, the Judge Alan D Tornado Albright.

    Here, I'll show you:

    "Dear Judge Alan D Tornado Albright, I PRAY that you might hear my complaint and then serve justice SWIFTLY with the FORCE OF NATURE and GODLIKE POWER at your disposal! Amen".

    See how it's done? Say you're upset about him transferring cases, try this:

    "Dear Judge Alan D Tornado Albright, I PRAY that you might consider each and every transfer on every case before you with the eyes of an eagle and the heart of a lion, fearless and certain in your divine insight in the matter."

    See? Try this at home, I do it every day. I knees by my bed, tears streaming down my face, and plead "Dear Judge Alan D Tornado Albright, HELP ME PREVAIL AGAINST THOSE WHO WOULD ROB ME OF MY PATENT RIGHTS! Amen"

    Every day. Over and over. I think it's working.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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