PTABWatch Blog

http://www.ptabwatch.com/author/michaelweiner/

PTABWatch, provided by Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP, analyzes and reports recent developments concerning Post-Grant Proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), including Inter Partes Review (IPR), Post Grant Review (PGR), and Covered Business Method (CBM) proceedings.

Recent Blog Posts

  • 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 patentability of challenged claims directed to processes for preparing emulsion polymers. In contrast, in Owens Corning v. Fast Felt Corp., decided on the same day,... More
  • 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, 37 C.F.R. § 42.42(c), that places the burden of persuasion on the moving party, and agreed with the PTO that this rule applies to patent... More
  • 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, new argument—in its reply brief, and the court affirmed the PTAB’s decision canceling the challenged claims for obviousness. Petitioner SFC Co. filed an IPR petition challenging... More
  • PTAB Correctly Construed “Said” and Canceled Claims—but Was the Patent CBM Eligible? In a CBM appeal, TransPerfect Global, Inc. v. Matal, No. 2016-1121 (Fed. Cir. July 12, 2017) (non-prec.), the Federal Circuit determined that the PTAB correctly construed the word “said” in the claim term “said hyperlink,” and determined that TransPerfect’s challenged claims were unpatentable for lack of written description. The court’s claim construction analysis is thorough and well supported, but the treatment of the challenged patent as CBM-eligible appears to be inconsistent with Federal Circuit precedent. TransPerfect’s challenged patent claims methods of... More
  • 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 claims the PTAB failed to provide sufficient notice and opportunity to respond. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part and vacated in part the PTAB’s decision... More
  • 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 necessary for the court to determine if the PTAB’s findings were supported by substantial evidence, or if the PTAB provided the Patent Owner proper notice... More
  • What Claim Construction Standard Applies If a Patent Expires During IPR Appeal? In Personal Web Technologies, LLC v. Apple, Inc., Case No. 2016-1174 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 14, 2017), the Federal Circuit upheld the PTAB’s construction of disputed claim terms, but did not resolve a dispute over whether the broadest-reasonable-interpretation standard (BRI) or Phillips standard should apply when the challenged patent expires shortly after the PTAB issues its final written decision. Despite the correct claim construction, the court vacated the decision and remanded the case to the PTAB for reconsideration of the merits... More
  • Federal Circuit Upholds Cancellation of Micrografx Patent Claims for Anticipation In recent non-precedential decisions, Micrografx, LLC v. Google Inc., Case No. 2015-2090 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 29, 2016) (Micrografx I) and Micrografx, LLC v. Google Inc. (Micrografx II), Case No. 2015-2091 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 29, 2016), the Federal Circuit upheld three IPR final written decisions canceling challenged claims of Micrografx patents for anticipation, and denying a motion to amend claims. The court determined that any errors in claim construction were harmless, and that substantial evidence supported the PTAB’s findings of anticipation. In... More
  • Federal Circuit Limits Scope of CBM Reviews In Unwired Planet, LLC v. Google Inc., the Federal Circuit vacated the PTAB’s final decision in a CBM review because the PTAB had applied an overly broad standard to determine that the challenged claims were directed to a “financial product or service” subject to CBM review, and remanded the case for evaluation under the proper standard. Google had filed a petition for CBM review of Unwired’s patent entitled “Method and System for Managing Location Information for Wireless Communications,” and in particular,... More
  • PTAB’s Reconsideration of Institution Decision Unreviewable on Appeal In denying a petition for rehearing, the Federal Circuit determined in Medtronic, Inc. v. Robert Bosch Healthcare Systems, Inc. that under Cuozzo, the court lacks authority to review a PTAB decision that reconsidered an IPR institution decision, and then terminated the IPR because the petition failed to identify the real party in interest. As we have previously discussed, the Supreme Court in Cuozzo determined that under 35 U.S.C. § 314(d), a PTAB decision on institution of an IPR is nonappealable, although such a... More