PTABWatch Blog

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

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

  • Federal Circuit Affirms Tribal Sovereign Immunity Does Not Apply to IPR The Federal Circuit recently affirmed the PTAB’s decision that tribal immunity cannot be asserted in an IPR (Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe v. Mylan Pharma Inc., Case No. 2018-1638 (Fed. Cir. July 20, 2018). On appeal, Allergan, Inc. (“Allergan”) argued that the Board improperly denied its motion to withdraw from IPR proceedings, and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe (“the Tribe”) argued that the Board improperly denied its motion to terminate the IPR based on sovereign immunity. See Mylan Pharma Inc. v. Saint... More
  • Tribal Sovereign Immunity Alone Cannot Protect Patents from IPR In late March, the Federal Circuit issued an order staying the PTAB proceedings concerning numerous related IPRs of patents issued to Allergan, Inc. (“Allergan”), but assigned to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe (“the Tribe”). These IPRs were headed toward a final hearing on the merits previously scheduled for April 3rd. In those IPRs, the PTAB denied the Tribe’s motions to terminate the proceedings based upon the Tribe’s sovereign immunity. Mylan Pharma Inc. v. Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, Case IPR2016-01127, Paper 130 (February 23, 2018).... More
  • Precedential and Informative Board Decision on Serial IPR Petitions Serial IPR petitions directed to previously-challenged patents account for many of the petitions filed with the PTAB; however, 35 U.S.C. § 325(d) provides the Board with discretion to reject petitions where the same, or substantially the same, prior art or arguments have already been presented to the USPTO.  The Board recently designated as precedential part of its decision in General Plastic Industrial Co. v. Canon Kabushiki Kaisha, Case IPR2016-01357, Paper 19 (6 September 2017), addressing factors to be considered in... More
  • Late Payment of Petition Fee Thwarts IPR If a Petitioner does not timely file the required petition fee, an IPR will not be instituted. In Cultec, Inc. v. Stormtech LLC  [Case No. IPR2017-00526, Paper 14 (July 17, 2017)], consistent with earlier decisions, the Board denied institution of an IPR because the Petitioner, Cultec, Inc., did not pay the required filing fee until the day after filing its petition, which was one day after the statutory filing deadline under 35 U.S.C. § 315(b). Petitioner was served with a complaint... More
  • IPR Challenge May Proceed Even in the Absence of Some Patent Owners When a patent is co-owned by a state university and another party, an IPR may proceed against the remaining party even after the state university co-owner has been determined to have sovereign immunity from the proceeding.  Reactive Surfaces Ltd., LLP v. Toyota Motor Corp., [Case No. IPR2017-00572, Paper 32 (July 13, 2017)]. This recent decision was the first to address a situation where a university owned a patent jointly with a company.  This decision follows two earlier cases, Covidien v.... More
  • Presentation Not Qualified as a Printed Publication Because Audience Lacked Expertise In a recent final written decision (Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania v. Coalition for Affordable Drugs VIII, LLC, IPR2015-01835, Paper No. 56 (PTAB Mar. 6, 2017)), the Board determined that the Coalition for Affordable Drugs (“Petitioner”) failed to demonstrate that claims 1-10 of U.S. Patent No. 8,618,135 (“the ’135 patent) were obvious. The claims recite methods of treating a subject suffering from a disorder associated with hyperlipidemia and/or hypercholesterolemia. Petitioner asserted these claims were obvious because the alleged prior... More
  • PTAB Declines to Institute IPR on Immersion’s Indefinite Means Plus Function Claims Petitioners are finding themselves caught in a Catch-22.  The PTAB declares claims too indefinite under Section 112 to construe, but then declines to address the patentabilty of the claims.  Section 112 deficiencies are not grounds to challenge a patent in an IPR, but the PTAB has authority to find such deficiencies. Recently, the PTAB decided that only some claims of Immersion Corporation’s U.S. Patent No. 8,659,571 were challengeable by Apple Inc. in an IPR because the ‘571 patent failed to disclose... More
  • PTAB Should Have Canceled All Challenged Claims in CBM Reviews In Apple, Inc. v. Ameranth, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2016), the Federal Circuit reviewed the final written decisions in CBM reviews of three related patents owned by Ameranth, Inc., directed to computerized systems for generating and displaying menus for use in the restaurant industry.  The court determined that the PTAB properly construed all disputed claim terms, determined that the patents are CBM patents, and determined that most challenged claims were unpatentable under § 101, but that the PTAB erred in concluding... More
  • PTAB Accords Little Weight to Evidence without Analysis or Explanation The PTAB recently issued a final written decision in an inter partes review (IPR), refusing to cancel claims in Verinata Health, Inc.’s U.S. Patent No. 8,318,430.  Ariosa Diagnostics v. Verinata Health, Inc., Cases IPR2013-00276 and -00277 (P.T.A.B. Aug. 15, 2016). The claims are directed to methods for determining the presence or absence of fetal aneuploidy in a fetus.  This is the second such decision from the PTAB.  The first decision was the subject of an appeal to the Federal Circuit.... More
  • An Overview of Amendments to the PTAB Rules On June 30, 2016, lead APJ Jacqueline Wright Bonilla provided an overview of the new PTAB rules during the Biotechnology/Chemical/Pharmaceutical Customer Partnership (BCP) Conference.  The final rule on Amendments to the Rules of Practice for Trials Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which we have previously discussed [April 21, 2016 and August 20, 2015] was published on April 1, 2016, and was later revised in a correction to the final rule on April 27, 2016.  APJ Bonilla commented on... More