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

  • 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
  • Rule Changes Will Advance a Famous Judge Rich Axiom For AIA trial petitions filed after November 12, 2018, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board will construe claims challenged and proposed to be amended (narrowed) in these proceedings using the same claim construction standard that is used to construe the claim in a civil action in federal district court. See Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (en banc). In these trials, the Board will also consider claim construction determinations made in proceedings in district courts or... More
  • No Mandamus Relief from Shenanigan-less Non-institution Decision Absent extraordinary circumstances, the Federal Circuit will not review Patent Trial and Appeal Board decisions refusing to institute inter partes review. The statute and a 2016 Supreme Court decision prohibit such review. 35 U.S.C. § 314(d); Cuozzo Speed Techs., LLC v. Lee, 136 S. Ct. 2131, 2140–42 (2016) (clarifying, however, that appellate review is appropriate to address “shenanigans”). The Federal Circuit has thus repeatedly held that parties may not sidestep this prohibition by styling an appeal as a petition for... More
  • Trial Practice Guide Updates and Future Fee Increases Today’s Federal Register includes a notice that the Patent Office updated its August 2012 Trial Practice Guide. The Federal Circuit recently noted that the Practice Guide “is a thoughtful and useful resource to which individual Board members and the public might turn for guidance,” but “is not binding on Board panel members.” Application in Internet Time v. RPX Corp., Nos. 2017-1698, -1699, -1701, Slip Op. at 14 n.2 (Fed. Cir. July 9, 2018). The update revises six sections of the... More
  • Federal Circuit Admonishes PTAB for Taking Short-cuts In Application in Internet Time v. RPX Corp., Nos. 2017-1698, -1699, -1701 (Fed. Cir. July 9, 2018), the Federal Circuit decided that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board “applied an unduly restrictive test for determining whether a person or entity is a ‘real party in interest’ within the meaning of [35 USC] § 315(b) and failed to consider the entirety of the evidentiary record in assessing whether § 315(b) barred” IPRs petitioned by RPX more than one year after one... More
  • No SAS-based Relief on Appeal, Unless Requested Left in the wake of the Supreme Court’s SAS decision (discussed here) are a number of appeals pending before the Federal Circuit concerning Patent Trial and Appeal Board final written decisions in inter partes review (IPR) proceedings administered on a subset of claims and grounds presented in the IPR petition. While litigants before the Board scramble to reassess strategies, the Board itself has been offering guidance, including its publication on June 5 of an updated FAQ on how it will administer pending... More
  • Patent Office Proposes to Jettison BRI in AIA Trials The Patent Office today issued a press release of its notice of proposed rulemaking that would replace the broadest reasonable interpretation standard the Patent Trial and Appeal Board applies to construe unexpired patent claims and proposed substitute (amended) claims in AIA trial proceedings with the Phillips standard applied in patent cases before federal district courts and the International Trade Commission (ITC). The Office also proposes to amend the rules “to add that the Office will consider any prior claim construction... More