Inter Partes Review / IPR

Handshake - 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 IPR Institution Despite Arbitration Agreement Is Not Appealable

Cancelled - An Invalidated Patent Still Qualifies As 102(e) ArtOn May 28, 2021, the Federal Circuit found obvious the claims of a patent directed to telepharmacy, describing a process allowing a pharmacist to remotely supervise and approve the work of non-pharmacists in filling drug orders. The court reversed the PTAB’s decision to the contrary. Becton Dickinson and Co. v. Baxter Corp. Englewood, 998 F.3d 1337 (Fed. Cir. 2021). In reaching its conclusion, the court clarified that a prior art patent that has previously been invalidated still qualifies as prior art under pre-AIA 102(e).  Id. at 1345.
Continue Reading An Invalidated Patent Still Qualifies As 102(e) Art

Federal Circuit Concludes that Reference Qualifies As Prior Art Based on Reply Evidence

In VidStream LLC v. Twitter Inc., Appeals 2019-1734, -1735, (Fed. Cir. November 25, 2020), the Federal Circuit affirmed a pair of PTAB inter partes review decisions that determined VidStream’s claims, directed to publishing content on social networking websites, are unpatentable as obvious over a five-way combination of references. Important, in this appeal, was the subsidiary conclusion that one of the references – Anselm Bradford & Paul Haine, HTML5 Mastery: Semantics, Standards, and Styling (hereinafter “Bradford”) – qualified as prior art.  On appeal, VidStream did not challenge the PTAB’s determination of obviousness if Bradford qualified as a prior art reference.
Continue Reading Federal Circuit Concludes that Reference Qualifies As Prior Art Based on Reply Evidence

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 officers, but the statute provides for their appointment by the Secretary of Commerce, rather than by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.
Continue Reading The Supreme Court Decides Arthrex, Giving the PTO Director Discretion to Review PTAB Decisions

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 skilled artisan to make the claimed invention.
Continue Reading Federal Circuit Finds Lack of Enablement in Prior Art Reference

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 claims were anticipated, despite the petitioner’s (Hunting Titan) failure to advance such a position. After vacating the decision of the panel, the POP granted DynaEnergetics’ motion to amend and its request for rehearing of that panel’s final written decision finding DynaEnergetics’ claims unpatentable. 
Continue Reading Rare Circumstances in IPRs are Even Rarer With Poor Strategy

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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 so, the Federal Circuit reminded the PTAB, and practitioners alike, of the proper standard for determining whether a reference is “analogous,” as well as how to appropriately apply that standard.
Continue Reading PTAB Plays Wrong Tune On Whether Reference is Analogous Art

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 denying rehearing here. The Supreme Court, at the government’s recommendation, asks the parties to address the following two questions.
Continue Reading Supreme Court to Review the Arthrex Decision

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board designated as precedential two opinions with opposite outcomes on the issue of discretionary denial of inter partes review (IPR) petitions under 35 U.S.C. §314(a) in July.  In Apple Inc. v. Fintiv, Inc., IPR2020-00019, Paper 15 (May 13, 2020), the Board denied institution of an IPR due to a parallel district court proceeding in the Western District of Texas, whereas in Sand Revolution II, LLC v. Continental Intermodal Group-Trucking LLC, IPR2019-01393, Paper 24 (June 16, 2020), the Board instituted an IPR despite a parallel district court proceeding also occurring in the Western District of Texas. 
Continue Reading Opinions Designated As Precedential Illuminate How Factors Governing

A decision to stay patent infringement litigation falls within a federal court’s power to control its docket. But in determining whether to stay litigation pending the Patent Office’s inter partes review (IPR) of the patent, courts still are guided by three factors: (1) whether the stay will simplify the litigation, (2) whether a stay would unduly prejudice (or present a clear tactical disadvantage to) the patent owner, and (3) whether the litigation has progressed to some advanced stage (e.g., discovery is complete, a trial date is set, etc.). Yet since the Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in SAS Institute Inc. v. Iancu, 138 S. Ct. 1348 (2018) (discussed here), courts in the Eastern District of Texas have erected an unnecessarily high bar for stay-movants to leap.
Continue Reading Denying a Stay and Building an Airplane While Flying It