PTAB Goes “Deeper,” Offering Further Guidance On Its Post-SAS Practice
On April 5, 2019, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) at the United States Patent and Trademark Office designated as “Informative” two prior decisions relating to the PTAB’s discretion about whether to institute inter partes review (“IPR”) proceedings for trial. In each, the PTAB exercised its discretion to deny institution of an IPR proceeding, even though the Petitioner demonstrated a reasonable likelihood of prevailing on some claims.
PTAB Designates Precedential Opinion Allowing Section 101 Consideration Of Proposed Amended Claims
On March 18, 2019, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office designated as precedential a Decision on Patent Owner’s Request for Rehearing. Amazon.com, Inc. v. Uniloc Luxembourg S.A., IPR Case No. IPR2017-00948 (PTAB Jan. 18, 2019). The PTAB held that, while a Petitioner may only challenge patent claims in an inter partes review based on prior art patents and publications under 35 U.S.C. §§ 102 and 103, it is nonetheless proper to consider patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 for any proposed substitute claims.
United States District Court For The Eastern District Of New York Finds Patent Defendant Estopped From Asserting Invalidity Grounds That Defendant Did Not Include In Its Petition For Inter Partes Review
On Wednesday, January 30, 2019, Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York denied the request of defendant Presidio Components, Inc., (the “Company”) to supplement its invalidity contentions. American Technical Ceramics Corp. et al. v. Presidio Components, Inc., Case No. 14-cv-6544 (E.D.N.Y. Jan. 30, 2019). Judge Matsumoto determined that the Company was statutorily estopped from raising invalidity grounds that it did not include in its petition for inter partes review (“IPR”) to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), and, thus barred the Company from supplementing its invalidity contentions in the subsequent district court proceeding.
Patent Trial And Appeal Board Exercises Discretion To Deny Institution Of An IPR Based On Insufficient Use Of Resources Where Petitioner Had Shown A Reasonable Likelihood Of Prevailing On Only A Small Fraction Of Challenged Claims And Grounds
On Thursday, January 24, 2019, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a decision exercising its statutorily authorized discretion to deny institution of a petition for inter partes review (IPR). Deeper, UAB v. Vexilar, Inc., IPR Case No. 2018-01310 (PTAB Jan. 24, 2019). The PTAB determined that instituting IPR would be an inefficient use of the PTAB’s finite resources because the petitioner had shown a reasonable likelihood of prevailing on its invalidity challenges with respect to only two of the twenty-three challenged claims as to one of the four grounds.
Federal Circuit Affirms Patent Trial And Appeal Board Reconsideration Ruling That Claims Are Unpatentable On Non-Instituted Ground Not Addressed In Final Written Decision
On January 9, 2019, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued an opinion affirming a decision on reconsideration by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that held challenged claims to be unpatentable on a non-instituted ground that was not addressed by the PTAB in its final written decision. AG Technologies S.A. v. Amazon.com Inc., —F.3d—, (Fed. Cir. Jan. 9, 2019). The CAFC ruled that the PTAB had not exceeded its statutory authority or deprived the patent owner of fair process by belatedly considering the additional ground.
Federal Circuit Affirms PTAB Finding That Article Is Not A “Printed Publication”
On November 6, 2018, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued an opinion affirming a final written decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) finding the patent claims that had been challenged by inter partes review (IPR) to be not unpatentable. Acceleration Bay, LLC v. Activision Blizzard Inc., —F.3d—, (Fed. Cir. November 6, 2018). The CAFC ruled that the patent challenger had not proved that an article available on the Internet before the critical date was a “printed publication,” and that the article therefore was not available as prior art.
Patent Trial And Appeal Board Announces IPR Remand Procedures
11/28/2017On November 17, 2017, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”)—the division of the United States Patent and Trademark Office that handles inter-partes review proceedings—announced new internal operating procedures that will govern how the Board will handle inter partes review proceedings that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit remands to the Board after appeal. See P.T.A.B. Standard Operating Procedure (“SOP”) 9
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