PTABWatch Blog

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

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

  • Haste Makes Waste? If the Federal Circuit’s decision in Arthrex wasn’t sufficiently newsworthy, then look at what lurks in its wake. The day after the decision, the court issued precedential orders indicating that a timely Constitutional challenge apparently must be presented to the court in an opening brief. A few days after those orders, two of the court’s most senior active-service judges said that the court’s remedy in Arthrex (i) wasn’t required by Supreme Court precedent, (ii) imposed unnecessary burdens on all involved in... More
  • Fixing an Appointments Clause Violation In Arthrex Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., Appeal 2018-2140 (Fed. Cir. Oct. 31, 2019), the Federal Circuit concluded that the PTAB’s Administrative Patent Judges (APJs) are “principal” officers and their appointment by the Secretary of Commerce therefore violates the Constitution’s Appointments Clause. The issue arose in an appeal of a decision by a panel of APJs canceling claims in Arthrex’s patent in a recent inter partes review (IPR). But because that decision occurred while there was an Appointments Clause... More
  • The Chaos of Too Many Rules The Patent Office issued Honeywell a patent that required correction. The patent, according to Honeywell, did not include the proper claim for the benefit of priority to the filing date of an application that Honeywell had earlier filed. But before Honeywell noticed the error and tried to correct that priority claim, its competitor, Arkema, petitioned the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to institute a post grant review proceeding. Shortly after institution, Honeywell sought the Board’s authorization to file a motion... More
  • Federal Circuit Addresses Constitutional Issue Supreme Court Left Open In consolidated appeals of a trio of Board decisions canceling pre-AIA patents in inter partes reviews (IPR), the Federal Circuit held “that the retroactive application of IPR proceedings to pre-AIA patents is not an unconstitutional taking under the Fifth Amendment.” Celgene Corp. v. Peter, Appeals 2018-1167, -1168, -1169, Slip Op. at 3 (Fed. Cir. July 30, 2019). As we previously discussed (link), the Supreme Court’s decision in Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC, 138 S. Ct.... More
  • Is the Written Description Requirement a Nose of Wax? In re Global IP Holdings LLC, Appeal 2018-1426 (Fed. Cir. July 5,2019), concerns patent law’s written description requirement, under 35 USC § 112. The patentee is trying to reissue its patent on a carpeted load floor of a car. The patented floor includes thermoplastic components. The components, according to the patentee, ought not have been limited to thermoplastics, rather each should have been any plastic. So, the patentee sought to reissue the patent with a claim to the broader invention.... More
  • Estoppel Remains Malleable A few months ago, in BTG International Ltd. v. Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC, the Federal Circuit invited the Patent Office’s views on the scope of the petitioner estoppel under 35 U.S.C. § 315(e)(2). We noted then that this is an estoppel a district court may apply, but the Patent Office may not. In response to the court’s invitation, the Patent Office said that a court may apply this statutory estoppel not only to petitioners who lose an IPR, but also to... More
  • Is that Prior Art? The nature of any inter partes dispute apparently is to engage in even a seemingly mundane dispute. After all, that’s the dispute that may lead you to success, right? Perhaps then there is nothing surprising in an April 3, 2019, Patent Trial and Appeal Board order concerned about whether a book qualifies as prior art. That order, issued by the Board’s new “Precedential Opinion Panel,” grants an aggrieved petitioner’s request for rehearing of an earlier Board decision refusing to institute... More
  • Patent Office Announces New Amendments Procedure for AIA Trials For AIA trials instituted on or after March 15, 2019, the patent owner may opt-in to a pilot program the Patent Office implemented for motion to amend (“MTA”) practice and procedures in the PTAB’s administration of these trials. Today’s Federal Register (link) includes the Patent Office’s explanation of the program, which it proposed in October 2018. The Office’s explanation also includes its reply to comments the public offered in response to the proposal. Generally, the comments supported the proposed program,... More
  • Federal Circuit Invites Patent Office to Open Pandora’s Box It is puzzling, if not troubling, that the Federal Circuit recently invited (link) the Patent Office to submit a brief expressing its views on the scope of the petitioner estoppel under 35 U.S.C. § 315(e)(2), a veritable Pandora’s Box. It is puzzling because only the judiciary can apply this estoppel provision, the Patent Office cannot. It is troubling not necessarily because the Patent Office unsurprisingly accepted the court’s invitation, but because it then answered in the affirmative a broad question... More
  • Confusion and Delay In Oil States Energy Services., LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC, Justice Thomas, writing for a 7-2 majority of the Supreme Court, explained that inter partes review proceedings do not violate Article III or the Seventh Amendment of the Constitution. 138 S. Ct. 1365 (2018). But his opinion for the majority invited confusion and delay, upon the brink of which the Federal Circuit now stands. This stems from Oil States’ failure to explicitly challenge in the broad question its certiorari... More