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 proceedings at the PTAB.  Enactment of this Act would severely diminish the usefulness of AIA proceedings. 
Continue Reading Enactment of the STRONGER Patents Act Would Severely Limit PTAB Proceedings

Diploma IconThe Patent and Trial Appeal Board dismissed petitions for inter partes review challenging the claims of a patent owned by a state university that had neither waived the protections offered it by the Eleventh Amendment nor consented to the trial.  Covidien LP v. University of Florida Research Foundation Inc., IPR2016-01274, -01275, -01276 (PTAB Jan. 25, 2017).  Covidien LP filed three IPR petitions seeking review of U.S. Patent No. 7,062,251, which is owned by the University of Florida Research Foundation, Inc. (UFRF).  In response, UFRF filed a motion to dismiss these petitions on the basis that UFRF is immune from being brought before the Board to adjudicate Covidien’s petitions.  In dismissing the petitions, the Board applied Supreme Court and Federal Circuit precedent to determine that USRF is an arm of the State of Florida and is thus entitled to invoke sovereign immunity to bar institution of an IPR. 
Continue Reading Sovereign Immunity Protects State University Owned Patent from Inter Partes Review