Section 112

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Reluctant to Reverse, the Federal Circuit Offers the PTAB a Mulligan

The Federal Circuit recently vacated the PTAB’s decisions in three interferences. Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Jr. Univ. v. Chinese Univ. of Hong Kong, Appeal 2015-2011 (Fed. Cir. June 27, 2017). These interferences concern which parties’ inventors first conceived methods for diagnosing fetal aneuploidies using cell-free fetal DNA from maternal blood samples. The PTAB … Continue Reading

To Establish Entitlement to an Earlier Effective Filing Date, Every Claim Limitation Must be Addressed

The PTAB’s final written decision in Inguran, LLC d/b/a Sexing Techs. v. Premium Genetics (UK) LTD., Case PGR2015-00017, Paper 22 (PTAB 2016), illustrates what a Patent Owner must do to demonstrate that a challenged claim is entitled to an earlier effective filing date in an AIA trial. The PGR involved U.S. Patent 8,933,395, which issued … Continue Reading

PTAB Declines to Institute IPR on Immersion’s Indefinite Means Plus Function Claims

Petitioners are finding themselves caught in a Catch-22.  The PTAB declares claims too indefinite under Section 112 to construe, but then declines to address the patentabilty of the claims.  Section 112 deficiencies are not grounds to challenge a patent in an IPR, but the PTAB has authority to find such deficiencies. Recently, the PTAB decided … Continue Reading

PTAB Institutes Third Biotech/Pharma Post-Grant Review

To date, only 43 petitions for Post-Grant Review have been filed with the PTAB.  Nine PGR petitions (21% of total petitions) have been filed to challenge patents arising from Art Unit 1600, which examines applications directed to biotechnology and organic chemistry subject matter.  The PTAB recently instituted the third ever PGR for a biotech-related patent … Continue Reading

District Court Rejects Indefiniteness Argument Despite Board Finding of No Corresponding Structure for Means-Plus-Function Claim

A pair of recent decisions, one from a federal district court and another from the PTAB, highlight the potential of inconsistent results regarding patent validity. In Microwave Vision, S.A. v. ETS-Lindgren Inc., Civ. Action No. 1:14-CV-1153-SCJ (D. Ga. Sept. 20, 2016), the court denied an accused infringer’s (ETS’s) motion for summary judgment of invalidity, after … Continue Reading

No Written Description, No Problem when Prosecution History Disclaimer is Applied

The Patent and Trial Appeal Board invoked the doctrine of prosecution history disclaimer to construe the claims at issue narrowly for the inter partes review of U.S. Patent No. 5,884,033; and thus, concluding that the claims had not been shown to be unpatentable in light of prior art. The Board rejected the Petitioner’s additional arguments … Continue Reading

The Three-Front Assault: PeroxyChem Uses IPR, PGR and District Court to Challenge Opponent

In what could become a common patent challenge strategy, PeroxyChem, a chemical company that sells products useful in water and soil remediation, has employed a three-front assault—combining the relatively young post-grant review procedure, with an IPR and litigation–to take on one of its competitors, Innovative Environmental Technologies (IET).  Litigation together with an IPR has become … Continue Reading

Squeezing the ‘Antibody Exception’ to Written Description into a Corner

The PTAB has continued the trend of pushing the -“antibody exception” to written description into an ever-smaller corner. Claims to methods of using antibodies that bind Siglec-15 to impair osteoclast differentiation and inhibit bone resorption were deprived of priority because the parent application failed to disclose the “antigenic regions useful for generating antibodies having the … Continue Reading

PTAB Grants Motion to Amend Claims

In IPR2015-00208, Shinn Fu petitioned for IPR of USPN 6,681,897 owned by Tire Hanger.  All five claims of the patent were drawn to methods of supporting vehicle wheels removed from a vehicle while on a service lift, wherein the supports would allow technicians to remove and replace the wheels without risking back injury by bending.  … Continue Reading

Petitioners Are Not Faring Well on 112-challenges in CBM Review

The transitional program for covered business method (CBM) patents is a review proceeding administered by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to reconsider the patentability of one or more claims in a CBM patent. Petitioners seeking CBM review have enjoyed good success in knocking out claims for reciting subject matter ineligible for a patent. They … Continue Reading
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