On August 13, Sand Revolution LLC filed a petition for writ of mandamus with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The petition asks the Federal Circuit to decide whether U.S. District Judge Alan D. Albright of the Western District of Texas abused his discretion to deny a motion to stay district court proceedings pending completion of an instituted inter partes review (IPR) proceeding at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). A look at the underlying circumstances of Sand Revolution’s petition shows that this case, which began as a patent squabble between two competitors in Texas’ hydraulic fracturing industry, is becoming a legal showdown between the right of patent owners to a jury trial in Article III courts and the fate awaiting those patent owners once they’re trapped at a PTAB that is arguably riddled with constitutional due process problems.

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