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The Supreme Court Finds IPR Proceedings Constitutional

Inter partes review (IPR) is a procedure that allows a party to challenge the validity of an issued patent based on prior art patents or printed publications. IPRs first became available in 2013 following passage of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. Some have questioned whether this post-grant review of patent validity is constitutional. Today, the … Continue Reading

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Enfish: Unraveling the Maze of Parallel Court/PTAB Proceedings

The saga of Enfish v. Microsoft continues.  The Enfish litigation provides a textbook example of the multi-pronged defense now common with the advent of post-grant review and the evolving law concerning unpatentable subject matter.  Many are no doubt aware of the significant Federal Circuit decision on patentable subject matter (i.e. Section 101) which this litigation … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Reverses PTAB’s Anticipation Decision: Proof of Prior Conception Improperly Excluded as Hearsay

The Federal Circuit reversed, in part, a PTAB final written decision after determining that several emails, wrongly excluded as hearsay, showed the inventor’s conception prior to allegedly anticipating art.  In REG Synthetic Fuels, LLC v. Neste Oil Oyj,  No. 2015-1773 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 18, 2016), the Federal Circuit reversed the PTAB’s finding that a prior … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Declares Unreviewable PTAB’s Refusal to Apply Assignor Estoppel

The Federal Circuit continues to declare aspects of the PTAB’s work to be beyond its review.  Most recently, in Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd., v. Athena Automation Ltd., Case Nos. 2015-1726, 2015-1727 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 23, 2016), the Federal Circuit, in a 2-1 decision, concluded that it lacked authority to question the PTAB’s refusal to … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Suggest Expansive Interpretation of “Adapted to” in Affirming CBM Cancellation

In a recent non-precedential decision, the Federal Circuit suggested a very expansive interpretation for the oft-used phrase “adapted to.” Relying upon the prosecution history, the Federal Circuit determined that the Board correctly construed claims relating to interactive video programming, and on that basis affirmed the Board’s decision that the claims were anticipated by a prior … Continue Reading

PTAB Extends a Helping Hand to Petitioner: Advising Petitioner to File Supplemental Evidence Rather Than Supplemental Information

In a bit of “inside baseball,” the PTAB recently clarified the difference between supplemental evidence and supplemental information.  Practitioners would do well to give careful attention to this distinction.  The difference can have profound consequences to an IPR Petitioner. In Generico LLC v. Dr. Falk Pharma GmbH, IPR2016-00297, Paper No. 15 (July 15, 2016), the … Continue Reading

PTAB Finds Motivation to Combine References, but Cancellation Comes Too Late for More than 200 Defendants

On July 6, 2016, the PTAB cancelled claims in a patent which had bedeviled more than 250 named defendants in litigation dating back to 2008.  The list of defendants reads like a Who’s Who of financial and commercial businesses, including the nation’s most prominent banks, credit card companies, online stock traders, e-Commerce retailers, cable and … Continue Reading

Groundhog Day . . . Again: Observations on the Oral Argument in Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC v. Lee

The much anticipated argument in Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC v. Lee occurred Monday, April 25, 2016 before the United States Supreme Court.  One can glean some insight from the Justices’ questions and remarks, but the ultimate outcome in this seminal decision remains uncertain.  The following reflects the tenor of the remarks of seven of the … Continue Reading

Called Third Strike, Is the PTO Director Out? Federal Circuit Again Rejects Intervenor’s Argument that it Lacks Jurisdiction to Review Qualifications for CBM Review

The Federal Circuit has rejected for the third time efforts by the Director of the PTO to preclude appellate review of whether challenged patent claims were properly deemed “covered business methods,” and thereby subject to CBM review.  Previously, in Versata Development Group, Inc. v. SAP America, Inc., the Federal Circuit concluded that its jurisdiction to … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Kill Golden Goose? Court Announces It Will Review Use of Broadest Reasonable Construction in IPR Proceedings

On January 15, 2016, the United States Supreme Court agreed to consider whether it is appropriate to give claims challenged in inter partes  review their “broadest reasonable construction.”  See Cuozzo Speed Tech., LLC v. Lee.  Given the Federal Circuit’s dismal recent track record when the Supreme Court has injected itself into disputed patent issues, practitioners … Continue Reading

PTAB to Shakespeare: “ ‘What’s in a Name?’ Are you Kidding? Everything!”

Shakespeare’s Juliet famously observes, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”  The PTAB begs to differ. While a generic computing device may not render abstract claims patentable, introduce it with a fancy nom de guerre and you have got yourself patentable subject matter.… Continue Reading

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb: Response to IPO Panel on PTAB Proceedings

Recently, in the pages of this blog, we reported on the dire predictions made at the IPO Annual Meeting here in Chicago of the “end of days” for patents.  The purported culprits?  The PTAB and the America Invents Act’s newly enacted Inter Partes Review and Covered Business Method Review.  “Well, allow me to retort,” to … Continue Reading

Suppliers Can Lack Standing to Seek CBM Review on Behalf of Customers

In several recent decisions, the PTAB has clarified the standing required to file petitions seeking Covered Business Method review.  Under the AIA, standing to seek Covered Business Method review is limited to those charged with infringement and their “privies.”  “Privies,” however, do not encompass merely any party with whom the petitioner is in “privity.”  “Privies” … Continue Reading

Digital Rights Patent Declared Patent Eligible Under DDR Holdings

Prior to the Federal Circuit’s opinion in DDR Holdings, LLC v. Hotels.com, L.P., 773 F.3d 1245 (Fed. Cir. 2014), software and Internet patents seemed on a relentless march towards ineligibility.  The Federal Circuit’s decision in DDR Holdings tapped the brakes on this skid towards elimination, and suggested that claims to the implementation of long established economic … Continue Reading

Apple Argues to Federal Circuit a Stay of Litigation in Favor of CBM Review Should Be Nearly Automatic, Whatever the Stage of the Litigation

In appealing the denial of its request that further litigation in the Eastern District of Texas be stayed in favor of recently instituted CBM review, Apple has urged the Federal Circuit to ignore the fact that trial had already occurred, and a jury verdict rendered, in the Texas action.  In its appeal brief, Apple argues … Continue Reading

PTAB Cancels Metasearch Patents Under Section 101, Rejecting Arguments That Purported Novel Combination Directed to an Abstract Idea is Patent Eligible and That CBM Procedure Violates the Seventh Amendment

On May 22, 2015, the PTAB issued its final written decision in American Express Co. v. Lunenfeld, CBM2014-00050 (Paper 51), canceling six claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,239,451 directed to online metasearching.  The PTAB decided that all six claims are unpatentable under 35 USC § 101, and obvious under 35 USC § 103.  The PTAB characterized the … Continue Reading
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