PTABWatch Blog

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

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

  • PTAB’s Obviousness Analysis Inconsistent with KSR In a decision issued on May 5, 2020, the Federal Circuit reversed a PTAB decision upholding patent claims challenged for obviousness. Uber Technologies, Inc. v. X One, Inc., 957 F.3d 1334 (Fed. Cir. 2020). The Board failed to properly apply the obviousness test of KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc., 550 U.S. 398, 421 (2007), which recognized that a person of skill in the art has good reason to pursue the use of a finite number of identified, predictable solutions... More
  • PTAB Determination on One-Year Time Bar Cannot be Appealed On April 20, 2020, the Supreme Court held that PTAB decisions instituting IPR are final and non-appealable and that the language of 35 U.S.C. § 314(d) “indicates that a party generally cannot contend on appeal that the agency should have refused “to institute an inter partes review.”  Thryv Inc. v. Click-To-Call Technologies LP, case number 18-916, 2020 WL 1906544 at *4, __S.Ct. __ (2020). The Court’s analysis turned on the scope of § 314(d)’s language that the “determination by the Director... More
  • Game Not Over – No Estoppel Where Service Is Deemed Insufficient In a case involving online gaming, the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB’s decision that 35 U.S.C. § 315(b) did not bar instituting an IPR where the patent owner failed to preserve its arguments that service was perfected. Game and Technology Co., Ltd. v. Wargaming Group Limited, ___ F.3d __, 2019 WL 6121449 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 19, 2019). However, the Court disagreed with the PTAB’s view that it “does not ‘have the authority…to deem service to have occurred and overlook errors... More
  • A Reference is Publicly Accessible if a Person of Ordinary Skill in the Art Could Access the Reference In a recent decision vacating the PTAB’s finding that a draft standard for video coding emailed to a listserv was not publicly accessible, the Federal Circuit again corrected the PTAB’s application of the legal standard to determine the public accessibility of prior art. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. v. Infobridge Pte. Ltd., case no. 2018-2007, 2018-2012, 2019 WL 3047113 (Fed. Cir. July 12, 2019). Although multiple means of accessibility were alleged, the PTAB’s analysis was upheld with respect to all but... More
  • Estoppel May Arise After Trial In an unusual fact situation, Judge Andrews of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware held that estoppel stemming from a Final Written Decision of the PTAB could arise even if issued after trial where the court has not yet entered final judgment on the relevant ground. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. v. Par Pharmaceutical Inc., Case No. 14cv1289 (D. Del. April 11, 2019). Plaintiff Novartis Pharmaceuticals had filed three patent infringement suits against Defendant Par Pharmaceutical and related suits against... More
  • PTAB Must Consider All Grounds Raised in an Instituted Petition In AC Technologies S.A. v. Amazon.com, the Federal Circuit confirmed the PTO’s interpretation of SAS Institute, Inc. v. Iancu, 138 S.Ct. 1348, 1355 (2018) (discussed in greater detail here) requiring that the PTAB address each ground of invalidity raised in an instituted petition in its final written decision. 912 F.3d 1358 (Fed. Cir. 2019). As we previously discussed [here], the patent office guidance issued after SAS requires the Board to institute both on all invalidity grounds and on all claims raised... More
  • Newly Appointed Chief Judge Scott Boalick Addresses PTAB Bar Association Addressing the PTAB Bar Association Conference in its opening session, newly appointed Chief Judge Scott Boalick explained that his goal as Chief Judge is to bring stability to the board and increase predictability. He wants all parties coming to the Board to feel that they have gotten a fair shake and that the procedures are fair. The Board is all about continuous process improvement, Chief Judge Boalick explained. They have already made a number of improvements. The outcome of the proceedings... More
  • IPR Estoppel Does Not Apply to ITC Investigative Staff Judge Cheney of the United States International Trade Commission held that ITC Investigative Staff are not estopped from asserting invalidity of a patent based upon prior art that was previously asserted by a respondent in an IPR. See In the Matter of Certain Magnetic Tape Cartridges and Components Thereof, Inv. No. 337-TA-1058 at *106-107. While this is an initial determination that has not been adopted by the Commission, this determination creates a huge loophole limiting the effect of estoppel before... More
  • One Year Time Bar Runs from Date of Service, Regardless of Whether Suit is Dismissed Update: The Supreme Court issued a decision on April 20, 2020  holding that the patent statute (35 U.S.C. § 314(d)) bars judicial review of a PTAB decision of whether an inter partes review petition is time-barred pursuant to 35 USC 315(b). As stated by the Court, the PTAB’s “application of §315(b)’s time limit, we hold, is closely related to its decision whether to institute inter partes review and is therefore rendered nonappealable by§314(d).” ********** Update: The Supreme Court issued an order on June... More
  • PTAB Failed to Properly Apply Test for Printed Publication The Federal Circuit vacated and remanded the PTAB’s decision that a video demonstration and slides distributed by Petitioner Medtronic at three industry meetings and conferences were not publicly accessible and, thus, were not “printed publications.” Medtronic, Inc. v. Barry, Case no. 17-1169, 2018 WL 2769092 (Fed. Cir. June 11, 2018). Recent Board decisions have set a high bar for proving that materials were publicly accessible. We have previously discussed examples here, here, and here. In Medtronic, the Federal Circuit provides... More