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
- Written Description of a Genus Can Be Satisfied by Disclosure of Single Species in Predictable Arts In Hologic, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew Inc., No. 2017-1389 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 14, 2018), the Federal Circuit concluded that disclosure of a species provides written descriptive support for a claimed genus where the invention was in a predicable field of art, the species was a well-known member of the genus, and other members of the genus were also well known. As a result, the court affirmed the PTAB’s decision that Smith & Nephew’s PCT application (the “Emanuel PCT”) had... More
- Patent Agent Privilege Recognized in Final Rulemaking Issued by USPTO On November 7, 2017, the USPTO issued a Final Rule recognizing that communications between U.S. and foreign patent practitioners and their clients that are reasonably necessary and incident to the scope of the patent practitioners’ authority shall receive the same protections of privilege under Federal Law as if the communication were between a client and a U.S. attorney. 82 Fed. Reg. 51570-75 (Nov. 7, 2017). The privilege extends to communications during all aspects of USPTO practice, including traditional prosecution as... More
- PTAB’s Conclusion of Obviousness Overturned as Lacking Sufficient Justification In In re Schweickert, No. 2016-1266 (Fed. Cir. 2017), the Federal Circuit in a non-precedential opinion vacated the PTAB’s decision canceling patent claims in an ex parte reexamination as being obvious over prior art. The Federal Circuit determined that the PTAB’s conclusion of obviousness was based on no more than a broadly-stated assertion that the proposed modification was within the knowledge of a person having ordinary skill in the art. The PTAB’s decision, according to the court, lacked a sufficient... More
- Federal Circuit Dismisses Appeal where IPR Petitioner Lacked Standing to Appeal In Phigenix, Inc. v. ImmunoGen, Inc., No. 2016-1544 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 9, 2017), the Federal Circuit dismissed, for lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution, a petitioner-appellant’s (Phigenix) appeal of a PTAB final written decision that refused to cancel claims challenged in an IPR. The court’s decision demonstrates that statutory right of appeal from a PTAB final written decision in an inter partes review does not necessarily establish Article III standing for the appeal. “A party to an inter... More
- Proposed Rule to Recognize Patent Agent Privilege in PTAB Proceedings In its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published on October 18, 2016, the USPTO proposes to amend the rules of practice before the PTAB to “recognize that, in connection with discovery conducted in certain proceedings at the [USPTO], communications between U.S. patent agents or foreign patent practitioners and their clients are privileged to the same extent as communications between clients and U.S. attorneys.” 81 Fed. Reg. 71653 (Oct. 18, 2016). The rule would apply to the various PTAB proceedings that entail... More
- Government Weighs in on Constitutionality of Inter Partes Review Two petitions for certiorari are pending before the Supreme Court in which the aggrieved patent owners in MCM Portfolio LLC. v. Hewlett-Packard Co. and Cooper v. Lee are challenging the constitutionality of AIA trials. The Federal Circuit in MCM Portfolio upheld the PTAB’s authority to adjudicate the validity of issued patents, determining that IPR proceedings are not unconstitutional under Article III or the Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial. MCM Portfolio LLC. v. Hewlett-Packard Co., 812 F.3d 1284 (Fed.... More