Since the Federal Circuit’s decision in Aqua Products, Inc. v. Matal confirmed that the burden of persuasion on a the patentability of amended claims in a motion to amend in an inter partes review proceeding (and presumably other post issuance PTAB proceedings) is placed on the petitioner, the theoretical rationale for Section 282(a)’s presumption of validity is no longer present for such amended claims. 872 F.3d 1290 (Fed. Cir. 2017) (en banc). In particular, there is no government agency that is tasked with performing the inquisitorial examination that gave rise to the original presumption. How can there be a presumption that the government agent charged with examining the patent claims did his or her job, when there is no such person assigned to perform that job?
The availability of PTAB patent review proceedings to address low quality patents is especially important in the financial services sector where, prior to Federal Circuit’s decision in State Street Bank v. Signature Financial Group, there was a lack of emphasis on patenting financial services innovation. As a result, patent examiners, who regularly search issued patents and published patent applications for prior art, often may not have access to prior art they need to avoid issuing patents on previously known technologies.