Posts Tagged: "aia"

Comments are Piling Up in Response to the USPTO’s Request Regarding Discretion to Institute AIA Trials

As of December 1, 750 comments had been received in response to the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s “Request for Comments on Discretion To Institute Trials Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board”, which was published in the Federal Register on October 20. Some notable submissions have been received from stakeholders including Senator Thom Tillis, Conservatives for Property Rights, Randy Landreneau, Robert Stoll and the Small Business Technology Council.

Financial Incentive Structure for AIA Trials Destroys Due Process at PTAB, New Vision Gaming Argues

On June 30, New Vision Gaming & Development filed a corrected appellant brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit challenging two covered business method (CBM) reviews conducted at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) which canceled all claims of New Vision’s patents covering a gaming invention. Among other things, New Vision argues that the PTAB is constitutionally flawed, that its structure creates financial incentives for administrative patent judges (APJs) to grant validity reviews in a way that destroys due process for patent owners, and that the PTAB’s APJs have neither the judicial independence nor the oversight of Article III courts necessary to address the impermissible appearance of bias at that tribunal.

Next Steps After Celgene: Federal Circuit Ruling on Takings Clause and IPRs Leaves Open Questions

Since the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of inter partes review (IPR) a little more than a year ago in Oil States, several patent owners have brought other constitutional challenges to America Invents Act (AIA) trial proceedings. These cases have been slowly percolating at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In many cases, however, the Federal Circuit has declined to address these constitutional claims on the merits, finding them unnecessary to resolve or insufficiently developed by the parties. But early last week, the Federal Circuit for the first time addressed the applicability of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment to IPRs, holding in Celgene Corp. v. Peter, Case No. 18-1167 (Fed. Cir. 2019) “that the retroactive application of IPR proceedings to pre-AIA patents is not an unconstitutional taking under the Fifth Amendment.” While the court’s holding may appear on its face to forestall current and future Takings Clause challenges to AIA proceedings, its analysis leaves some questions unanswered, and may even provide a narrow path forward for future takings claims. Furthermore, given the Supreme Court’s predilection for addressing both AIA and Takings Clause issues, the Federal Circuit panel’s decision may not be the last word on this interesting issue.   

Other Barks & Bites, Friday, July 19: USPTO Updates AIA Trial Practice Guide, Senate Bill to Block Huawei Patent Purchases, and CASE Act Voted Out of Committee

This week in Other Barks & Bites: Senators Rubio and Cornyn introduce a bill to prevent Huawei from buying and selling U.S. patents; the CASE Act to create a small claims system for copyright claims is voted onto the Senate floor; the USPTO releases an updated trial practice guide for America Invents Act trials at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board; IBM increases its blockchain patent filings, while carbon mitigation patent filings have dropped around the world; Google faces patent lawsuit for “brazen” infringement; a settlement in a trademark case allows historic Yosemite sites to resume use of their names; and Microsoft boost in cloud sales in the latest quarter leads to a big beat on revenue.

Consumer Technology Association Preaches Patent Troll Fairy Tale to Crowd During Fireside Chat with Iancu at SXSW

USPTO Director Andrei Iancu participated in a fireside chat, titled “The Crossroads of Technology and Innovation,” hosted by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) at its sixth annual Innovation Policy Day on Tuesday, March 12 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. Sitting with Director Iancu was host Michael Hayes, Sr. Manager of Government Affairs for the CTA. The chat was quite short and briefly touched on topics such as celebrating the 10 millionth-issued patent, the preparedness of the patent system for the future, artificial intelligence and patent eligibility, and the availability of patenting for all peoples. Then, in what some may consider to be an unscrupulous move, Hayes introduced the narrative of patent trolls.

Why it May Be Time to Provide Criminal Remedies for Patent Infringement

Under normal circumstances, infringement and misappropriation of the intellectual property (IP) rights of others are subject to civil liability under U.S. federal (and some states’) law; the remedies for those whose rights have been violated typically include money damages or some form of equitable relief, such as an injunction. However, sometimes the conduct of offenders is so egregious and the remedies so inadequate that pursuit of a private cause of action is insufficient to make IP owners whole. To make matters worse, civil remedies do little to deter further infringement or misappropriation on the part of individuals and entities with more than enough money to game the system. Known as efficient infringers, according to some IP practitioners, they have mastered the business practice of paying out as little in damages as possible and refusing to negotiate licenses with IP owners, all the while bullying IP owners into spending their much smaller fortunes in order to defend their IP rights or to forfeit them—the end result sometimes being the invalidation or cancellation of their IP. Accordingly, lawmakers have enacted legislation with the goal of creating true deterrents against infringement and misappropriation by imposing criminal sanctions on a narrow set of conditions associated with infringement and misappropriation. However, the law does not criminally punish infringement of a particular type of IP: patents.

Return Mail Reaction: Patent Bar Sampling Narrowly Favors Finding for Petitioner

On February 19, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Return Mail Inc. v. United States Postal Service—one of two IP cases the Court heard that week. The courtroom for the Return Mail hearing was particularly full of press because it was Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s first hearing following a recent hiatus to have nodules on her lungs removed. The case asks whether the federal government constitutes a “person” for the purposes of instituting post grant review proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). As reported earlier this week, the justices appeared to be dissatisfied with arguments from counsel on both sides—and skeptical that Congress had any view on the issue to begin with—but they arguably pushed back more against the government’s position. As always, IPWatchdog reached out to the patent bar for their take on the arguments. Like the questioning, the predictions were mixed and reveal no clear path, but a narrow holding in favor of Return Mail could be likely.

Supreme Court decides Helsinn v. Teva, Secret Sale Qualifies as Prior Art Under the AIA

n a relatively short, unanimous decision authored by Justice Thomas, the Court begins by explaining that twenty-years ago in Pfaff v. Wells Electronics, Inc., 525 U.S. 55, 67 (1998) the Court determined that an invention was on sale within the meaning of pre-AIA § 102 if it was subject to a commercial offer for sale and it was ready for patenting. Moreover, Thomas recognized that prior to passage of the AIA the Federal Circuit had clearly established that a secret sale could invalidate a patent. Therefore, given the settled precedent, Justice Thomas explained that there was a presumption “that when Congress reenacted the same language in the AIA, it adopted the earlier judicial construction of that phrase.” The Court also found the catch all phrase “or otherwise available to the public” was “simply not enough of a change… to conclude that Congress intended to alter the meaning of the reenacted term ‘on sale.’”

Supreme Court to Determine if Federal Government Is a ‘Person’ Eligible to Petition the PTAB

The case will ask the highest court in the nation to determine whether the federal government is a person who may petition the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to institute patent validity review proceedings under the terms of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA).

The USPTO Must End Repeated and Concerted Patent Attacks

Why is it that innovators such as Universities and independent inventors are caricatured as patent trolls while entities such as Unified Patents and RPX, who exist for the sole purpose of destroying property, are somehow let off the hook or even celebrated? In a different era, about 100 years ago, those large corporations and their allies who ganged up on smaller companies and individuals were characterized as ‘robber barons’ and caricatured as ‘fat cats’… The AIA makes clear that patent owners should not have to endure repeated attacks on their patent claims at the PTAB.

PTAB Seeks Comments on Proposed Changes to Motion to Amend Practice in AIA Trials

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has published a Request for Comments (RFC) about a proposed procedure for motions to amend filed in inter partes reviews, post-grant reviews, and covered business method patent reviews (collectively AIA trials) before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).  In essence, the proposal includes:  providing the parties with the Board’s initial assessment of the proposed amendment early in the process; providing meaningful opportunity to revise, and oppose, proposed amendments; and ensuring that the amendment process concludes within the 12-month statutory timeline. The proposal is based upon six years of experience conducting AIA trials during which time more than 350 motions to amend have been filed.

Supreme Court asked to apply Multiple Proceeding rule to end harassing validity challenges

The Multiple Proceedings rule has become the essence of uncertainty. What exactly does it mean? §325(d) gives the PTO Director the authority to refuse a petition when “the same or substantially the same prior art or arguments” were previously presented. For IPRs like this one to proceed despite numerous prior rulings in various fora upholding a patent’s validity is a travesty. The facts of this case underscore the mischief that can befall a patent owner under the current practice of the PTAB, enabled by the Federal Circuit… I recently wrote, “[t]he fight goes on to invalidate claims until the patent owner loses and the claims are invalidated.” But that is precisely what the § 325(d) Multiple-Proceedings rule was intended to prevent. And this needs to stop.

Webinar: Patent Prosecution Strategies for the Realities of AIA

Join Gene Quinn on Thursday, September 27, 2018, for a free webinar discussion on the important topic of streamlining the patent prosecution process and stretching a patent budget efficiently. Joining Gene will be Stuart Recher, Vice President of IP Services for Clarivate Analytics.

Patent Office Updates the Trial Practice Guide

The Patent Office has begun a planned series of updates to the Practice Guide, with the first such update having been released in August 2018. The August 2018 Practice Guide updates are intended to bring the Practice Guide into conformance with the Patent Office’s current view on best practices. Importantly, these updates do not generally reflect new practices, but rather appear to gather in one place the analysis used by existing PTAB decisions in determining commonly disputed procedural issues.

The Updated PTAB Trial Practice Guide – Not Quite There Yet

While the changes to the Trial Practice Guide begin to move the rules in the right direction, more is needed before post-grant proceedings will be accepted as neutral to all parties.  The PTAB should endeavor to adopt the time-honored burdens, presumptions and procedures used in the district courts for trying patent cases whenever reasonably possible.  Petitioners should be required to prove that the art upon which they rely is not cumulative to that previously before the USPTO, a patent owner’s Preliminary Response presenting evidence raising genuine issues of material fact should be treated as it would be if presented in opposition to a summary judgment motion brought in the courts, and the presiding panel should determine witness credibility by hearing testimony and cross examination live.

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