Federal Circuit Affirms PTAB’s Obviousness Decision And Finds Challenge To “Real Party In Interest” Requirement Non-Appealable
On May 19, 2020, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued an opinion affirming the obviousness decision of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), and finding non-appealable the PTAB’s decision to institute inter partes review (IPR) notwithstanding a challenge that Petitioner-Appellee failed to identify “all real parties in interest.” ESIP Series 2, LLC v. Puzhen Life USA, LLC, __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. May 19, 2020). The CAFC found that substantial evidence supported the PTAB’s finding that a skilled artisan would have been motivated to combine the teachings of each prior art reference to arrive at the claimed invention, and that Patent Owner-Appellant’s challenge to the PTAB’s “real parties in interest” determination was not appealable.