Trial Procedures

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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

Aqua Products Dissent Would Keep Burden for Amendments on Patent Owners

As discussed here, the en banc Federal Circuit vacated and remanded the PTAB’s decision in Aqua Products, Inc. v. Matal, determining that the PTAB erred in placing the burden of persuasion on the patent owner for proposed claim amendments. Four judges on the eleven-judge en banc panel dissented, and would have upheld the PTO’s rule, … 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

Adding Two More to the List of Serious Questions about AIA Trials

In a routine AIA trial, the PTAB determined that challenged claims in a patent directed to HVAC systems were unpatentable as being obvious and anticipated by prior art. This trial was unusual, however, because the Board premised its anticipation conclusion on a joined IPR petition that successfully rectified evidentiary deficiencies in the same petitioner’s earlier … 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

Owner of Hot-Work Steel Processing Patent Burned by Its Own IPR Evidence

In Rovalma, S. A. Böhler-Edelstahl GmbH & Co., No. 2016-2233 (Fed. Cir. May 11, 2017), the Federal Circuit vacated the PTAB’s final written decision and remanded the case for the PTAB to provide a further explanation for its determination that the challenged claims were obvious. According to the court, the PTAB’s decision lacked sufficient detail … Continue Reading

Your Supplemental Evidence is Timely, but is it Relevant to a Claim at Issue? PTAB Will Decide.

Once a trial has been instituted at the PTAB, a party seeking consideration of supplemental evidence may file a motion in accordance with the following requirements: (1) the request for the authorization to file a motion to submit supplemental information must be made within one month of the date the trial was instituted; and (2) … Continue Reading

Intuitive to Use Versus Use of an Element for its Intended Purpose – Is There a Difference?

Is there a difference between saying that it would be intuitive to use the features of one prior art reference in combination with another, versus saying that such a combination merely uses a prior art element for its established function? According to two recent decisions, the Federal Circuit apparently thinks so. In In re: Van … 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 to take AIA Time Bar issue En Banc

As we had predicted in a previous post, the Federal Circuit, on January 4, 2017, granted patent owner Wi-Fi One LLC’s petitions for rehearing en banc regarding the interpretation of, and interplay between, 35 U.S.C. § 314(d) (the No Appeal provision) and § 315(b) (the Time Bar provision).  A few months ago, we wrote about … 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

Federal Circuit Dismisses Appeal Based on AIA Time Bar, But Two Judges Call for En Banc Review

An updated discussion of this issue is available here: Federal Circuit to Take AIA Time Bar Issue En Banc In Click-to-Call Techs. v. Oracle Corp., Appeal 15-1242 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 17, 2016) (non-prec.), on remand from the Supreme Court for further consideration in view of Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC v. Lee, 136 S. Ct. 2131 (2016) … Continue Reading

To Antedate, Must an Inventor Prove “Continuous Reasonable Diligence” or “Reasonably Continuous Diligence”?

A split panel of the Federal Circuit held that the PTAB applied a standard that was too exacting when it required an inventor to prove the “continuous exercise of reasonable diligence” to antedate a prior art reference. Rather, the PTAB should have applied the rule of reason to determine if the inventor proved that there … 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

Supreme Court Declines to Weigh in on AIA Issues

The Supreme Court recently issued orders (Oct. 3 and Oct. 11) denying several petitions for certiorari challenging aspects of AIA trials. As we previously reported, two of those petitions challenged the constitutionality of AIA trials and the Patent Office’s authority to cancel patent rights between private parties. Cooper v. Lee, __ S.Ct. __, 2016 WL … Continue Reading

Who Must Bear the Burden of Proof Regarding Patentability of Amended Claims?

On August 12, 2016, the Federal Circuit issued an order vacating its decision in In re Aqua Products, Inc., 823 F.3d 1369 (Fed. Cir. 2016), and reinstating the appeal after granting the aggrieved patent owner’s petition for rehearing en banc.  We wrote about this decision a few months ago: The Federal Circuit confirmed in a … Continue Reading

PTAB Improperly Shifted Burden of Proof in IPR

In In Re Magnum Oil Tools International Ltd., the Federal Circuit reversed the PTAB’s final decision cancelling challenged claims for obviousness because the record did not include substantial evidence of a motivation to combine references, and because the PTAB improperly shifted the burden of proof on this issue to the patent owner. Petitioner McClinton Energy … 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

The Possibility of Inconsistent Results Inherent to Congress’s Design of AIA Trial Reviews

In Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC v. Lee, the Supreme Court recognized that a “district court may find a patent claim to be valid, and the agency may later cancel that claim in its own review.”  The Court also recognized that because of the different evidentiary burdens in court versus before the agency—the Patent Office—“the possibility … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Upholds Use of BRI Standard in Cuozzo

In Cuozzo Speed Technologies, Inc., v. Lee, the Supreme Court affirmed the Federal Circuit’s decision, upholding the PTAB’s use of the BRI standard for claim interpretation in IPRs, and determining that 35 U.S.C. § 314(d) bars judicial review of the PTAB’s decision to institute review on grounds not specifically raised in the IPR petition.… Continue Reading

The PTAB Has No Sympathy for the Last Minute Filer

Institution was denied in two IPR proceedings on the grounds that the petitions were filed more than one year after petitioner was served with a complaint alleging patent infringement. The documents were electronically filed but proof of payment of filing fees were one minute and nine minutes late, respectively. Additionally service had not been completed … Continue Reading

PTAB Provides Procedural Guidance with Five Precedential Opinions

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board recently designated five opinions as “precedential.” Each of these opinions addresses procedural aspects of AIA proceedings, including requests for additional discovery, the one-year time period for filing a petition, amending claims, and requirements for PTAB consideration of a petition. A summary of each opinion follows.… Continue Reading
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