Covered Business Method

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Trial Practice Guide Updates and Future Fee Increases

Today’s Federal Register includes a notice that the Patent Office updated its August 2012 Trial Practice Guide. The Federal Circuit recently noted that the Practice Guide “is a thoughtful and useful resource to which individual Board members and the public might turn for guidance,” but “is not binding on Board panel members.” Application in Internet … Continue Reading

CBM Case Remanded to Determine if Claims are CBM Eligible under Unwired Planet

In Unwired Planet, LLC v. Google Inc., 841 F.3d 1346 (Fed. Cir. 2016) (discussed here), the Federal Circuit determined that the PTAB was using an overly-broad standard for CBM eligibility. Specifically, the PTAB was administering CBM review of patents if they included claims directed to activities that are “incidental to” or “complementary to” a financial activity.… Continue Reading

Patent Office Proposes to Jettison BRI in AIA Trials

The Patent Office today issued a press release of its notice of proposed rulemaking that would replace the broadest reasonable interpretation standard the Patent Trial and Appeal Board applies to construe unexpired patent claims and proposed substitute (amended) claims in AIA trial proceedings with the Phillips standard applied in patent cases before federal district courts … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Decides that IPR Final Decisions Must Address All Challenged Claims

On April 24, 2018, the Supreme Court issued its decision in SAS Institute, Inc. v. Iancu, holding that if the Patent Office institutes an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding, it must issue a final written decision with respect to the patentability of every patent claim challenged by the petitioner. The Court reversed the Federal Circuit’s … Continue Reading

The United States Can Have Standing in AIA Proceedings

PTABWatch Takeaway: When “sued for infringement” within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1498(a), the United States has standing to petition the Patent Office to institute Covered Business Method (CBM) review.  Return Mail v. U.S. Postal Service, Appeal 2016-1502 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 28, 2017) Background Patentee, Return Mail, Inc., filed suit in the U.S. Court … Continue Reading

PTAB Should Have Canceled All Challenged Claims in CBM Reviews

In Apple, Inc. v. Ameranth, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2016), the Federal Circuit reviewed the final written decisions in CBM reviews of three related patents owned by Ameranth, Inc., directed to computerized systems for generating and displaying menus for use in the restaurant industry.  The court determined that the PTAB properly construed all disputed claim terms, … Continue Reading

Guidance on Requesting Motions for Sanctions

On November 10, 2016, the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) hosted a panel discussion entitled Ethics in AIA Post-Grant Proceedings at the PTAB with the Honorable Thomas Giannetti, Lead Administrative Patent Judge of the PTAB. The main topic of the discussion was guidance on motions for sanctions.  The rules relating to trial practice before the … Continue Reading

Proposed Rule to Recognize Patent Agent Privilege in PTAB Proceedings

In its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published on October 18, 2016, the USPTO proposes to amend the rules of practice before the PTAB to “recognize that, in connection with discovery conducted in certain proceedings at the [USPTO], communications between U.S. patent agents or foreign patent practitioners and their clients are privileged to the same extent … Continue Reading

Patent Office Proposes to Increase AIA Trial Fees

In the October 3, 2016, Federal Register, the Patent Office published a notice of proposed rulemaking to adjust various fees the Office charges for its services, including 18% to 56% increases for AIA trial fees (as shown below). According to the notice, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board has received more than 4,700 AIA trial … 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

“It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, NO it’s a Granted Motion to Amend.”

We previously reported the May 9, 2016, Patent Office’s study that the PTAB rarely grants motions to amend.  There, we explained that patent owners rarely file motions to amend and, even when such motions are filed, the PTAB rarely grants such motions. Last week, in Google Inc. and Apple Inc., v. ContentGuard Holdings, Inc., Case … Continue Reading

PTAB Standard for Qualifying CBM Patent Reviews is Now Set

The AIA provides for the post-grant review of “covered business method patents,” which are defined as: a patent that claims a method or corresponding apparatus for performing data processing or other operations used in the practice, administration, or management of a financial product or service. AIA §18(d)(1). The PTAB was left to its own devices … Continue Reading

For CBM Standing, Is “Incidental To” a Financial Product or Service Enough?

If a patented mobile phone app can locate a nearby ATM machine, are the claims of that patent subject to CBM review because ATMs are used in financial transactions? What if the claim could cover a business entity that, incidentally, might also push advertisements to a mobile phone? Is it enough that a claim is … Continue Reading

PTAB Concludes Database Patent Claims Are Ineligible under Section 101 Despite Enfish

Notwithstanding the Federal Circuit’s Enfish warning that “we do not read Alice to broadly hold that all improvements in computer-related technology are inherently abstract,” in Informatica Corp. v. Protegrity Corp., the PTAB cancelled claims 1-8 and 18-53 of U.S. Patent No. 6,321,201 under Section 101 because the claims relating to a data security system for … Continue Reading

Motion(s) to Amend (Almost Always) Denied!

Responsive to public interest in whether it is too difficult for Patent Owners to amend claims during PTAB Trials, the Patent Office recently published a study providing aggregate data about motions to amend filed with the PTAB since its inception in 2013.  The study, which was published by PTAB Chief Judge Nathan Kelly in the … Continue Reading

No Appellate Review, No Matter: District Court Invalidates Patent After the PTAB Denies CBM Review

NRT Technology Corporation was not successful in petitioning the PTAB to institute CBM review of U.S. Patent No. 6,081,792, but was successful in moving a district court to dismiss an infringement action concerning the same patent on the basis that the patent claims ineligible (abstract) subject matter. Global Cash Access, Inc. v. NRT Tech. Corp., … 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

District Court Denies Recovery of PTAB Costs in Non-Exceptional Case

On January 5, a district court denied defendant Westlake Services, LLC’s Motion for recovery of costs related to CBM petitions that invalidated certain of the patent claims asserted in the pending litigation and prompted plaintiff to voluntarily dismiss the district court case. Credit Acceptance Corp. v. Westlake Services, LLC, Case 13cv01523 (C.D. Cal. January 5, … Continue Reading

Estoppel Applied in Second CBM to Later-Obtained Patent and Evidence

Six days after issuing a final decision holding the claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,711,100 unpatentable under 35 U.S.C. § 101 in a first CBM review, Square, Inc. v. Unwired Planet, LLC, CBM2014-00156, (PTAB Dec. 22, 2015), the PTAB issued a decision denying institution in a second CBM Petition filed by the same Petitioner for … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Affirms PTAB’s Victory on Invalidity Ground the Petition Did Not Even Present

In SightSound Techs., LLC v. Apple Inc., Appeal Nos. 2015-1159, -1160 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 15, 2015), the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB’s final written decisions in two CBM patent review proceedings that canceled claims in SightSound’s patents as being obvious over prior art (referred to as the CompuSonics publications), even though Apple did not present … 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

Institution Decisions are Nonappealable. Settled? Maybe Not Yet.

The ability to appeal the determination on institution of an IPR is expressly limited by statute. 35 U.S.C. § 314(d) states: “The determination by the Director whether to institute an inter partes review under this section shall be final and nonappealable.” An identically-phrased limitation is also applicable to PGR institution decisions at 35 U.S.C. § … Continue Reading
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