Inter Partes Review

Subscribe to Inter Partes Review RSS Feed

Federal Circuit to Decide Whether KSR Applies to Design Patents

On June 30th, the Federal Circuit granted a petition for re-hearing en banc in LKQ Corp. v. GM Global Tech. Operations LLC.[1] LKQ, an auto parts repair vendor for GM, successfully petitioned for inter partes review of GM’s design patent for a front fender design,[2] arguing it was anticipated by a prior art reference (Lain) … Continue Reading

Petitioners’ Replies May Respond to Newly Raised Claim Constructions

Can a petitioner’s reply in an IPR proceeding present new arguments and evidence responding to a proposed claim construction first raised in the patent owner’s response?  In Axonics, Inc. v. Medtronic, Inc., Nos. 2022-1532, 2022-1533 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 7, 2023), the Federal Circuit answered in the affirmative, vacating the PTAB’s final written decision of no … Continue Reading

PTAB Updates and Expands the Director Review Process and Offers Transparency in Ex Parte Appeals

After the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Arthrex, Inc., the Patent Office implemented an interim process for the Director to review Patent Trial and Appeal Board decisions in AIA trials. The Office sought public feedback on the process last year (link) and received more than 4,000 responses (link)! The process has yet to … Continue Reading

Petitioner’s Analogous Art Argument was not so Obvious when Reversing the PTAB

In Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GMBH v. Mylan Pharms, Inc., No. 21-1981 (Fed. Cir. May 9, 2023), the Federal Circuit reversed the PTAB’s finding that Sanofi’s patent claims were obvious, determining the PTAB used the wrong test for deciding whether an existing patent was “analogous” to the one being challenged.… Continue Reading

Patent Office Proposes Increasing AIA Trial Fees

The Patent Office’s Director recently notified the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) of the Office’s intent to set or adjust several fees that patent applicants, patent owners, and those challenging patents in AIA trials must pay. For applicants, this includes fee increases for filing applications and tiered fees for filing terminal disclaimers. This also includes … Continue Reading

Obvious Variants and the Hand of Fate

Collateral estoppel is a resource-saving shortcut. Judges consider it when an issue previously received sufficient judicial attention. And they apply it when the issue was resolved against the party now seeking, in some way, to circumvent that resolution. In the absence of some intervening change in the law or new evidence, resolution likely would be … Continue Reading

No Weight for Unsupported Expert Witness Testimony

In early February 2023, the Patent Office’s Director designated as precedential the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s decision in Xerox Corp. v. Bytemark, Inc., IPR2022-00624, Paper 9 (PTAB Aug. 24, 2022). In this decision, the Board denied a petition seeking inter partes review. The petitioner asserted the challenged patent claims were obvious over printed publication … Continue Reading

This Seems Absurd, but …

Last year, a district court applied the doctrine of collateral estoppel to dismiss an infringement suit after the Patent Trial and Appeal Board decided to cancel the asserted patent’s claims in an inter partes review. In the ensuing appeal of the court’s decision, the Federal Circuit granted the patent owner’s (Jump Rope’s) unopposed motion for … Continue Reading

PTAB Concludes Artificial Intelligence Medical Device Patent Is Not Obvious

Artificial Intelligence (AI) typically involves certain common aspects. This includes, for example, training data, AI training algorithm(s) that use the training data to train an AI model, and predictions and/or classifications as output from the trained AI model. Could a person of ordinary skill in the art (e.g., a computer scientist) find it obvious to … Continue Reading

Rigidly Interpreting Precedents May Foreclose an Equitable Doctrine

The Federal Circuit’s Judge Bryson has been presiding over two district court cases where he decided an important and recurring issue regarding collateral estoppel. In a consolidated order, he refused to apply collateral estoppel to certain fact-finding by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board on what prior art publications disclose relative to patent claims the … Continue Reading

A Decision Poised to Pivot on Credibility

The Federal Circuit’s recent decision in Google LLC v. IPA Technologies, Inc., Appeals 2021-1179, -1180, and -1185 (Fed. Cir. May 19, 2022), offers three instructive reminders. First, a publication disqualified from consideration as prior art during prosecution may be resurrected as prior art during an AIA trial. Second, the burden of producing evidence is not … Continue Reading

Satisfying the Duty of Disclosure in AIA Trials

In ClearOne, Inc. v. Shure Acquisition Holdings, Inc., Appeal 2021-1517, Slip Op. at 2 (Fed. Cir. June 1, 2022), the Federal Circuit affirmed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board order that refused to authorize a sanctions motion the petitioner requested after the Board issued its final written decision granting (in relevant part) the patent owner’s … Continue Reading

No design patents for you!–Extension of Fox Factory Complicates Reliance on Indicia of Non-Obviousness

In Campbell Soup Co. v. Gamon Plus, Inc., the Federal Circuit reversed the PTAB’s finding that Gamon’s design patents on gravity-fed displays for soup were non-obvious. 10 F.4th 1268 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 19, 2021) (“Gamon II”). As the Supreme Court denied Gamon’s petition for writ of certiorari (in which Gamon argued it did not have … Continue Reading

Patentee’s Admissions of Obviousness Insufficient Basis for Cancellation in Inter Partes Review

In Qualcomm, Inc. v. Apple, Inc., No. 20-1558 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 1, 2022), the Federal Circuit concluded that a patentee’s admissions concerning the content of the prior art, contained in the specification of the challenged patent, cannot serve as a ground to invalidate that patent in inter partes review.  The court, therefore, vacated decisions of … Continue Reading

Estoppel Evolves

Back in 2016, the Federal Circuit held that a petitioner retains the ability, after an adverse Patent Trial and Appeal Board decision, to assert un-instituted invalidity grounds it presented in its petition. The court reasoned that when the Board chooses not to institute certain petitioned grounds (e.g., due to redundancy), the petitioner could not have … Continue Reading

So, You Invented a Numerical Range

In Indivior UK Ltd. v. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories S.A., Appeals 2020-2073, -2142 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 24, 2021), the Federal Circuit affirmed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s final decision canceling claims in Indivior’s patent claiming a polymer matrix-containing film. Certain claims in the patent recited an amount of polymer matrix inadequately disclosed, according to the … Continue Reading

Bizarre Facts Beget Bizarre Result

Before the Federal Circuit’s recent decision in In re Vivint, Inc., Appeal 2020-1992 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 29, 2021), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board affirmed a reexamination examiner’s final rejection of Vivint’s patent claims as unpatentable over prior art. In due course, the Patent Office would have issued a certificate canceling those claims. But Vivint … Continue Reading

The Headaches in Claiming Antibody-based Inventions Broadly

Recent Federal Circuit decisions call into question the value of patents broadly claiming inventions on antibodies and their function in treating debilitating diseases. The decisions in these cases originated in district courts and arguably swept aside the merits of scientific breakthroughs because the inventions claimed were not enabled or were otherwise insufficiently described to justify … Continue Reading

IPR Institution Despite Arbitration Agreement Is Not Appealable

Over a thorough dissent by Judge O’Malley, the Federal Circuit determined it lacked jurisdiction to review the Board’s decision to institute IPR despite an arbitration agreement between the parties. In re Maxpower Semiconductor, Inc., 2021-146, 2021-1950, 2021-1951, 2021-1952, 2021-1953, 2021 WL 4130639 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 8, 2021).… Continue Reading

The Supreme Court Decides Arthrex, Giving the PTO Director Discretion to Review PTAB Decisions

On June 21, 2021, the Supreme Court issued a decision vacating the Federal Circuit’s judgment in Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., 941 F.3d 1320 (Fed. Cir. 2019). As we previously explained, the Federal Circuit in Arthrex held that the AIA was unconstitutional in that administrative patent judges (APJs) have the authority of principal … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Finds Lack of Enablement in Prior Art Reference

In Raytheon Technologies v. General Electric Corp., Appeal 2020-1755, (Fed. Cir. April 16, 2021), the Federal Circuit reversed a PTAB inter partes review decision that determined Raytheon’s claims, directed to gas turbine engines, are unpatentable as obviousness over “Knip,” a 1987 NASA technical memo.  In particular, the court determined that Knip did not enable a … Continue Reading

Rare Circumstances in IPRs are Even Rarer With Poor Strategy

In Hunting Titan Inc. v. DynaEnergetics GmbH & Co. KG, Case IPR 2018-00600 (PTAB Jul. 6, 2020), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s Precedential Opinion Panel (POP) vacated the decision of another Board panel to deny patent owner’s (DynaEnergetics) motion to amend. In that vacated decision, the Board had sua sponte determined the proposed substitute … Continue Reading

PTAB Plays Wrong Tune On Whether Reference is Analogous Art

In Donner Technology, LLC v. Pro Stage Gear, LLC, Appeal. No. 20-1104 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 9, 2020), the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded the PTAB’s decision that the Petitioner, Donner Technology, did not sufficiently prove unpatentability because a printed publication on which it relied was not sufficiently analogous to the claimed subject matter.  In doing … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Review the Arthrex Decision

The Supreme Court issued an order on October 13, 2020, granting and consolidating three certiorari petitions seeking review of the Federal Circuit’s judgment in Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., 941 F.3d 1320 (Fed. Cir. 2019), reh’g denied, 953 F.3d 760 (Fed. Cir. 2020). We discussed the Federal Circuit’s judgment here and its decision … Continue Reading
LexBlog