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

  • Assignor Estoppel Does Not Prevent Reliance on PTAB Decision Canceling Claims In Hologic, Inc. v. Minerva Surgical, Inc., Case 19-2054 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 22, 2020), the Federal Circuit held that an assignor of a patent may rely on a PTAB unpatentability decision as a defense in infringement litigation, although the equitable doctrine of “assignor estoppel” prevents the assignor from directly challenging validity in the litigation. In Additional Views, Judge Stoll suggests that the en banc court reconsider the issue of assignor estoppel, because the court’s precedent permits an assignor of a... More
  • Time Bar Challenge Must Be Raised before the Board, Not Saved for Appeal Since the Federal Circuit’s 2018 en banc decision in Wi-Fi One, LLC v. Broadcom Corporation, (discussed here) the court has reviewed a number of PTAB decisions on whether an IPR petition was filed more than one year after the petitioner was served with a complaint asserting the challenged patent, and thus time-barred under 35 U.S.C. § 315(b) (see here, here, here). But a patent owner’s time-bar challenge must be timely raised before the PTAB, and may be waived if raised... More
  • Don’t Save New Fish to Fry in Reply In Henny Penny Corp. v. Frymaster LLC (Fed. Cir. 2019), the Federal Circuit again upheld the PTAB’s application of its rule prohibiting petitioners from raising new arguments in a reply brief, and upheld the challenged claims as not unpatentable for obviousness, relying in part on secondary considerations evidence. Henny Penny filed an IPR petition challenging a Frymaster patent covering commercial deep fryers. The challenged claims recite a system for monitoring frying oil impurities know as total polar materials (“TPMs”).The system includes... More
  • Corroboration Required to Prove Earlier Invention Date As we have discussed (here and here), owners of pre-AIA patents may be able to “swear behind” alleged prior art references by providing evidence of an earlier invention date, but the inventors’ testimony concerning conception of the invention must be corroborated by independent evidence. In Kolcraft Enterprises, Inc. v. Graco Children’s Products, Inc., No. 2018-1259 (Fed. Cir. Jul. 2, 2019), the patent owner was unable to swear behind alleged prior art because it did not provide sufficient corroborating evidence. The patent... More
  • Estoppel May Not Apply When Petitioner Lacks Standing to Appeal IPR Decision In AVX Corp. v. Presidio Components, Inc., No. 2018-1106 (Fed. Cir. May. 13, 2019), the Federal Circuit determined that a manufacturer did not have standing to appeal an adverse decision in an IPR challenging a competitor’s patent, because the petitioner did not have a present or nonspeculative interest in engaging in conduct arguably covered by the patent. The decision leaves open the question of whether a petitioner that lacks standing to appeal would be bound by petitioner estoppel under 35... More
  • Petitioner Has Burden of Persuasion on Real Party in Interest Under 35 U.S.C. § 312(a), an IPR petition must identify “all real parties in interest,” and, an IPR petition is time-barred under 35 U.S.C. § 315(b) if “filed more than 1 year after the date on which the petitioner, the real party in interest, or a privy of the petitioner is served with a complaint alleging infringement of the patent.” As we have discussed, PTAB decisions on whether § 315(b) has been satisfied are reviewable on appeal. In Worlds Inc. v. Bungie, Inc.... More
  • Chemical Company Developing Industrial Process Had Standing to Appeal In E.I du Pont de Nemours & Co. v. Synvina C.V., No. 2017-1977 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 17, 2018), the Federal Circuit determined that the IPR petitioner, DuPont, had Article III standing to appeal an IPR final decision, although it had not been accused of infringement of patent owner Synvina’s patent, or engaged in activity that could be accused of infringement. The court explained that a controversy of sufficient immediacy and reality existed because DuPont, an avowed competitor of the patent... More
  • Attorneys’ Fees Not Awardable Expenses in Section 145 Actions Update: On March 4, 2019, the Supreme Court granted the Government’s cert. petition to review the Federal Circuit’s judgment in NantKwest, Inc. v. Iancu, discussed in the post below. The Court’s docket for this case is 18-801. In NantKwest, Inc. v. Iancu, No. 2016-1794 (Fed. Cir. Jul. 27, 2018) (en banc), the Federal Circuit decided en banc that attorneys’ fees are not “expenses” required to be paid by an applicant who appeals an ex parte prosecution case to the Eastern District of... More
  • CBM Case Remanded to Determine if Claims are CBM Eligible under Unwired Planet In Unwired Planet, LLC v. Google Inc., 841 F.3d 1346 (Fed. Cir. 2016) (discussed here), the Federal Circuit determined that the PTAB was using an overly-broad standard for CBM eligibility. Specifically, the PTAB was administering CBM review of patents if they included claims directed to activities that are “incidental to” or “complementary to” a financial activity. The court determined the PTAB’s standard was too broad and that only patents with claims directed to a financial product or service are eligible for... More
  • Inventor’s Uncorroborated Testimony Not Sufficient to Swear Behind Reference Attempting to “swear behind” an alleged prior art reference has been common practice in IPRs, going back to the first IPR, Garmin Int’l, Inc. v. Cuozzo Speed Tech. LLC, IPR2012-00001 (PTAB 2013), aff’d sub nom. In re Cuozzo Speed Tech., LLC, 793 F.3d 1268 (Fed. Cir. 2015), aff’d sub nom., Cuozzo Speed Tech., LLC v. Lee, 136 S. Ct. 2131 (2016). In that case, Cuozzo was unsuccessful in swearing behind (for failure to exercise reasonable diligence toward reduction to practice),... More