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

  • Denying a Stay and Building an Airplane While Flying It A decision to stay patent infringement litigation falls within a federal court’s power to control its docket. But in determining whether to stay litigation pending the Patent Office’s inter partes review (IPR) of the patent, courts still are guided by three factors: (1) whether the stay will simplify the litigation, (2) whether a stay would unduly prejudice (or present a clear tactical disadvantage to) the patent owner, and (3) whether the litigation has progressed to some advanced stage (e.g., discovery is complete, a... More
  • Does Section 285 Permit an Award of Attorney’s Fees for Patent Office Proceedings? Back in 1988, the Federal Circuit reversed a district court decision that refused to award a party its reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in successfully litigating a patent’s validity before the Patent Office. PPG Indus., Inc. v. Celanese Polymer Specialties Co., 840 F.2d 1565 (Fed. Cir. 1988). The Office determined that the patent asserted in litigation—stayed pending the Office’s review—was invalid and obtained through inequitable conduct. Nobody contested the district court’s conclusion that the case was exceptional. The panel, which included... More
  • Fast-Track Decisions on Ex Parte Appeals On July 2, 2020, the Patent Office initiated the “Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program,” which it designed to reduce the pendency of ex parte appeals. The program, effective for one year, is in a pilot stage to gauge the public’s interest and to assess its longer-term feasibility. The Office neither expects nor intends any delays for appeals that forego the pilot program. So, for now, participation in the program is first come, first served, limited to 500 applications, and requires submission... More
  • The Arthrex Mulligan The Federal Circuit, in Arthrex, concluded that the Patent and Trial Appeal Board’s Administrative Patent Judges were unconstitutionally appointed “principal” officers. The court therefore vacated the Board’s decision that canceled claims in an inter partes review and remanded so a new panel of APJs would re-decide the patentability of the claims. What happens, however, when the Board’s pre-Arthrex final written decision does not cancel—but rather upholds the patentability of—the challenged claims? Well, there’s an appeal for that. In Ciena Corporation v.... More
  • The Long Run Adidas successfully petitioned the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in 2012 to review a Nike shoe patent. During that review, Nike filed a motion to amend the patent by canceling all claims and substituting four new claims. The Board canceled the patent claims and found the new claims unpatentable. Among other things, the Board said that Nike—the patent owner—did not establish the new claims were patentable over the prior art. Nike unsuccessfully complained on appeal that the Board should not... More
  • A Fine Mess Update (Apr. 3, 2020): The Federal Circuit recently denied rehearing petitions in the Polaris appeals referenced below (see link and link), and also denied the PTO’s request to stay the mandate in the Arthrex appeal (see link). The Federal Circuit recently issued an order denying multiple rehearing petitions in Arthrex Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., Appeal 2018-2140 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 23, 2020) (en banc). Apparently neither of the parties nor the government (PTO) found the original panel’s Halloween-day decision satisfying.... More
  • Come on, Board, Finish What You Started The Federal Circuit’s recent decision in Samsung Electronics America, Inc. v. Prisua Engineering Corp., Appeals 2019-1169, -1260 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 4, 2020), is remarkable, but not for its holding: “the Board may not cancel claims for indefiniteness in an IPR proceeding.” After 10,000 IPRs, hardly anyone thought otherwise. But it’s interesting nonetheless that someone so boldly tried to persuade the Board and the court otherwise. A $4.3 million willful infringement judgment will lead even the biggest of corporations to give... More
  • POP Hits a Softball On Winter’s eve, the Board’s Precedential Opinion Panel (POP) finally answered a question it posed in an April order: “What is required for a petitioner to establish that an asserted reference qualifies as [a] ‘printed publication’ at the institution stage?” As we earlier noted, the April order granted an aggrieved petitioner’s request for rehearing of a Board decision refusing to institute inter partes review because the petitioner apparently did not establish a book bearing a 1990 copyright date was publicly... More
  • 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