PTABWatch Blog

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

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 Circuits Affirms Use of “Common Sense” in IPRs In Koninklijke Philips N.V. v. Google LLC, Case No. 2019-1177 (Fed. Cir. January 30, 2020), the Federal Circuit determined that the Board erred in instituting inter partes review based on an obviousness combination that Petitioner Google did not advance in its petition.  Nevertheless, the Federal Circuit agreed that the Board could have properly relied upon the general knowledge of those of skill in the art to modify the primary reference, without having to rely upon that combination.  The Federal Circuit... More
  • Federal Circuit Rejects Presumption of Nexus Between Claimed Invention and Evidence of Secondary Factors In FOX Factory, Inc. v. SRAM, LLC, Case Nos. 2018-2024, 2018-2025 (Fed. Cir. December 18, 2019), the Federal Circuit determined that the Board erroneously presumed a nexus between evidence of secondary considerations and the challenged independent claims.  Petitioner FOX appealed the decisions of the Board in two inter partes reviews. While the Board had found that the prior art references asserted by FOX discloses all the limitations of the challenged patent’s independent claims, and that a skilled artisan would have... More
  • “Your Call”: Fed. Cir. Says OK not to Reconsider Despite Remand In Dell, Inc. v. Acceleron, LLC, 884 F.3d 1364 (Fed. Cir. 2018), the Federal Circuit determined that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board was not required to consider arguments first presented by the petitioner at oral argument, despite having remanded an earlier appeal of the Board’s decision for that very purpose. In that earlier appeal, the court had concluded that the Board deprived patent owner, Acceleron, a fair opportunity to rebut new arguments petitioner Dell presented during oral argument—arguments that... More
  • “Comments Anyone?”: PTO Makes Proposed New IPR Amendment Process On October 29, 2018, the Patent and Trademark Office published a request for comments on a proposal to establish a new procedure by which patent owners may seek to amend their claims during inter partes review. Comments are due on or before December 14, 2018. The PTO proposes a pilot program implementing the new amendment process to begin shortly after the deadline for comments. Currently, a patent owner may move to amend once, following institution of inter partes review. A petitioner... More
  • The Supreme Court Finds IPR Proceedings Constitutional Inter partes review (IPR) is a procedure that allows a party to challenge the validity of an issued patent based on prior art patents or printed publications. IPRs first became available in 2013 following passage of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. Some have questioned whether this post-grant review of patent validity is constitutional. Today, the United States Supreme Court declared that neither Article III of the Constitution nor the Seventh Amendment right to trial by jury precluded such reviews by... More
  • Breadcrumbs Lead Federal Circuit to “Inurement” “Inurement,” \i-ˈnu̇r-mənt, -ˈnyu̇r\ noun  :in patent law the concept that the action of another may inure to one’s benefit, esp.  where the actions of another in reducing an invention to practice may be attributed to the named inventor for purposes of establishing priority of invention. The Federal Circuit recently had occasion to address this concept in the context of an inter partes review. In NFC Technology, LLC v. Matal, 871 F.3d 1367 (Fed. Cir. 2017) the Federal Circuit reversed the Board’s... More
  • One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Enfish: Unraveling the Maze of Parallel Court/PTAB Proceedings The saga of Enfish v. Microsoft continues.  The Enfish litigation provides a textbook example of the multi-pronged defense now common with the advent of post-grant review and the evolving law concerning unpatentable subject matter.  Many are no doubt aware of the significant Federal Circuit decision on patentable subject matter (i.e. Section 101) which this litigation spawned.  Less familiar are the parallel developments in the PTAB.  Most recently, the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB’s determination that some, but not all, of... More
  • Federal Circuit Reverses PTAB’s Anticipation Decision: Proof of Prior Conception Improperly Excluded as Hearsay The Federal Circuit reversed, in part, a PTAB final written decision after determining that several emails, wrongly excluded as hearsay, showed the inventor’s conception prior to allegedly anticipating art.  In REG Synthetic Fuels, LLC v. Neste Oil Oyj,  No. 2015-1773 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 18, 2016), the Federal Circuit reversed the PTAB’s finding that a prior art reference anticipated the challenged claims directed to a certain paraffin composition.  The Federal Circuit determined that emails the PTAB wrongly excluded from evidence sufficiently... More
  • Federal Circuit Declares Unreviewable PTAB’s Refusal to Apply Assignor Estoppel The Federal Circuit continues to declare aspects of the PTAB’s work to be beyond its review.  Most recently, in Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd., v. Athena Automation Ltd., Case Nos. 2015-1726, 2015-1727 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 23, 2016), the Federal Circuit, in a 2-1 decision, concluded that it lacked authority to question the PTAB’s refusal to extend the equitable doctrine of assignor estoppel to PTAB proceedings. We previously reported on the Federal Circuit’s opinion regarding the merits of the PTAB’s Final Decision... More
  • Federal Circuit Suggest Expansive Interpretation of “Adapted to” in Affirming CBM Cancellation In a recent non-precedential decision, the Federal Circuit suggested a very expansive interpretation for the oft-used phrase “adapted to.” Relying upon the prosecution history, the Federal Circuit determined that the Board correctly construed claims relating to interactive video programming, and on that basis affirmed the Board’s decision that the claims were anticipated by a prior art reference. Intertainer, Inc. v. Hulu, LLC, No. 2015-2065 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 26, 2016) (non-precedential). In sum, the Board’s constructions correctly capture the positions that [Patent... More