Inter Partes Review

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Error in Claim Construction Leads to Reversal of IPR Decision and Cancelation of Claims

Two recent Federal Circuit decisions illustrate how an error in construing claims may lead the court to reverse a PTAB final written decision. In Organik Kimya AS v. Rohm & Haas Co., the Federal Circuit determined that the PTAB correctly construed the disputed claim term, “swelling agent,” and therefore affirmed the PTAB’s decisions upholding the … Continue Reading

Petitioners Will Pay More for Immensely Popular AIA Trials

In the November 14, 2017, Federal Register, the Patent Office issued its final rule setting and adjusting the fees the Office charges for its products and services, including relatively substantial increases for standard AIA trial fees (as shown below). As a simple example, a petitioner challenging all claims of a patent containing 30 claims will … Continue Reading

Patent Agent Privilege Recognized in Final Rulemaking Issued by USPTO

On November 7, 2017, the USPTO issued a Final Rule recognizing that communications between U.S. and foreign patent practitioners and their clients that are reasonably necessary and incident to the scope of the patent practitioners’ authority shall receive the same protections of privilege under Federal Law as if the communication were between a client and … Continue Reading

Board Decision Grants Motion to Amend With Respect to One Substitute Claim and Denies Motion to Amend With Respect to Other Substitute Claim

The Board’s recent decision in Veeam Software Corp. v. Veritas Technologies, LLC, Case No. IPR2014-00090 (PTAB July 17, 2017), provides patent practitioners with a framework for analyzing proposed substitute claims.  The Board’s decision, granting patent owner’s motion to amend in part, should be considered in conjunction with the Federal Circuit’s decision in Veritas Technologies LLC … Continue Reading

PTAB says 58% of Patents Survive Post-grant Proceedings Unchanged

On October 24, 2017, the PTAB held its inaugural “Chat with the Chief” webinar. The main topic of the webinar was to discuss multiple petitions filed against the same patent. The PTAB sought to address concerns that have been raised by patent owners that challengers just keep filing petitions until something sticks, and that petitioners … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Overturns PTAB’s Finding of Patent Validity

In a split opinion in Homeland Housewares, LLC v. Whirlpool Corporation, the Federal Circuit has again overturned a final written decision issued by the PTAB determining that challenged claims in an IPR were not unpatentable, a development that should at least cast doubt on the validity of patents that survive challenges at the PTAB. Homeland … Continue Reading

Fractured Federal Circuit Reallocates Burden of Proof in AIA Trials

An eleven-judge en banc panel of the Federal Circuit issued its long awaited decision in Aqua Products, Inc. v. Matal, Appeal 2015-1777, on October 4, 2017, vacating and remanding the IPR final decision for the PTAB to determine whether the patent owner’s proposed amended claims are patentable. The court’s decision includes five separate opinions, though … Continue Reading

Petitioner Made Rebuttal Argument in Reply, Not an Improper New Argument

PTAB rules prohibit raising new arguments in a reply brief, but it can be difficult to distinguish between an improper reply argument and a proper rebuttal. In Idemitsu Kosan Co. v. SFC Co., No. 2016-2721 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 15, 2017), the Federal Circuit determined that the IPR petitioner properly made a rebuttal argument—not a belated, … Continue Reading

Interim Director Matal Expresses High Confidence in Constitutionality of AIA Trials

Joe Matal, interim director of the Patent Office, addressed the IPO’s 45th Annual Meeting on September 19, 2017, in San Francisco. He said that the Office, and particularly the PTAB, experienced a productive yet tumultuous five years since the passage of the AIA, and acknowledged that the Federal Circuit’s docket of appeals today is dominated … Continue Reading

Late Payment of Petition Fee Thwarts IPR

If a Petitioner does not timely file the required petition fee, an IPR will not be instituted. In Cultec, Inc. v. Stormtech LLC  [Case No. IPR2017-00526, Paper 14 (July 17, 2017)], consistent with earlier decisions, the Board denied institution of an IPR because the Petitioner, Cultec, Inc., did not pay the required filing fee until … Continue Reading

How to Overcome a Section 112 ¶ 6 Means-Plus-Function Presumption

PTABWatch Takeaway: Claims that recite the term “means” may trigger the means-plus-function presumption under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. § 112 ¶ 6 (Section 112(f) of the AIA), but the presumption can be overcome where: (1) the means term itself recites structure; (2) that structure is “common parlance” to those of ordinary skill in the art; and … Continue Reading

Secondary Considerations Again Fail to Shore Up Patent Estate

In IPR 2016-00036, a Bosch windshield wiper patent succumbed to Costco’s challenge on grounds of obviousness.   In its final written decision, the Board held claims 13, 17, and 18 of U.S. Patent No. 6,944,905 obvious.  IPR 2016-00039, discussed here, is another Board decision holding obvious several claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,228,588, another member of … Continue Reading

IPR Challenge May Proceed Even in the Absence of Some Patent Owners

When a patent is co-owned by a state university and another party, an IPR may proceed against the remaining party even after the state university co-owner has been determined to have sovereign immunity from the proceeding.  Reactive Surfaces Ltd., LLP v. Toyota Motor Corp., [Case No. IPR2017-00572, Paper 32 (July 13, 2017)]. This recent decision … Continue Reading

Eli Lilly Successfully Challenges U Penn Erbitux® Claims at PTAB, Derailing Infringement Suit

The PTAB recently canceled the University of Pennsylvania’s U.S. Patent No. 7,625,558, a potentially fatal blow to the University’s suit against Eli Lilly and Company alleging its cancer therapeutic Erbitux® (centuximab) infringes the patent.  Eli Lilly and Co. v. Trustees of the Univ. of Penn., Case IPR2016-00458 (July 13, 2017). The PTAB’s decision resolved testimony … Continue Reading

Enactment of the STRONGER Patents Act Would Severely Limit PTAB Proceedings

The STRONGER (Support Technology & Research for Our Nation’s Growth and Economic Resilience) Patents Act of 2017 was recently introduced in the Senate.  The Act is an updated version of the STRONG Patents Act of 2015 that stalled in Congress.  Like its predecessor, the STRONGER Patents Act is designed to significantly modify the AIA trial … Continue Reading

Statement of Agreement or Disagreement with Attorney Argument Alone Does Not Provide Substantial Evidence To Support PTAB Findings

In Google Inc. v. Intellectual Ventures II LLC, Appeal 2016-1543, 2016-1545 (Fed. Cir. July 10, 2017), the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB’s final written decision canceling some claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,121,960, but vacated the portion of the decision that refused to cancel other claims.  With respect to the upheld claims, the court remanded … Continue Reading

Cases to Watch

Pending Supreme Court Decisions The Supreme Court will decide during its October 2017 term “Whether inter partes review—an adversarial process used by the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to analyze the validity of existing patents—violates the Constitution by extinguishing private property rights through a non-Article III forum without a jury.” Oil States Energy Services, LLC … Continue Reading

Kyle Bass Gets Fresenius’ Diprivan Claims Canceled in IPR

On June 7, 2017, the PTAB issued a final written decision in IPR 2016-00254 canceling claims in a Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC (Fresenius) patent covering Diprivan®. The PTAB instituted the IPR in response to a petition filed by hedge fund manager Kyle Bass and his colleague Erich Spangenberg. Diprivan® is the commercial name for propofol, … Continue Reading

Uncorroborated Declaration Not Sufficient to Avoid § 102(e) Prior Art

In EmeraChem Holdings, LLC v. Volkswagen Group of American, Inc. (Fed. Cir. June 15, 2017), the Federal Circuit determined that the Patent Owner’s uncorroborated declaration was insufficient to show that asserted prior art under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. § 102(e) represented the work of the same inventive entity as the challenged claims, and with respect to certain … Continue Reading

PTAB Exercised Discretion to Terminate Ex Parte Reexaminations in Ariosa v. Illumina; CAFC to Review

Third parties seeking to challenge pre-AIA patents in the USPTO often choose between IPR and ex parte reexamination.  In some cases, petitioners pursue both proceedings, sequentially or in parallel, taking advantage of different timelines to completion, different standards for institution, and using insights gained in one proceeding in the other.  The PTAB recently exercised its … Continue Reading

One-Year Time Bar Does Not Apply to a Request for Joinder of IPR Proceedings

Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. (“Teva”) filed a Petition, seeking an IPR of claims 1–20 of Allergan’s U.S. Patent No. 8,642,556. [IPR2017-00579, Paper No. 9]  Along with the Petition, Teva filed a Motion for Joinder to join Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Allergan, Inc., IPR2016-01129.  This blog has previously reported on the topic of joinder in IPR … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Decide Whether IPRs Violate Article III and the Seventh Amendment

The Supreme Court issued an order on June 12, 2017, indicating it will review the Federal Circuit’s judgment in Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Green’s Energy Group, LLC, 639 Fed. Appx. 639 (Fed. Cir. 2016) (link).  The petition presented three questions, of which the Court will address only one: Whether inter partes review—an adversarial … Continue Reading

Different Invalidity Conclusions by PTAB and Federal Courts Prohibited in Inter Partes Reexamination But Permissible in IPR

In Fairchild (Taiwan) Corp. v. Power Integrations, Inc., Appeal 2017-1002 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 21, 2017), the Federal Circuit determined that no inter partes reexamination proceeding can be brought or maintained on issues that a party raised or could have raised in a since-concluded civil action. Specifically, once the court issues a final judgment in the civil … Continue Reading
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