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Jonathan Stroud is Chief IP Counsel at Unified Patents, LLC, where he manages a growing team of talented, diverse attorneys and oversees a docket of administrative challenges, appeals, licensing, pooling, and district court work in addition to trademark, copyright, administrative, amicus, policy, marketing, and corporate matters.
Prior to Unified, he was a litigator with Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP, and prior to that, he was a patent examiner at the USPTO. He earned his J.D. with honors from the American University Washington College of Law; his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University; and his M.A. in Print Journalism from the University of Southern California. He enjoys teaching, writing, and speaking on patent and administrative law.
It was a relatively consistent week in terms of overall patent filings, with 24 inter partes reviews (IPRs) and two post grant reviews (PGRs) and 77 new district court complaints. The district court saw a couple of new higher-profile cases involving Google, one by small company, Flypsi, and another a declaratory judgment (DJ) action against small smart thermostat maker (and aggressive enforcer), Ecofactor.
Apologies for missing last week, which was a light, short holiday recap—nothing much of note beyond less-than-average filings, given the holidays. This week was back to the new normal at the Board, with 24 petitions—one post grant review (PGR) and 23 inter partes reviews (IPRs)—and 50 new filings, with fewer than usual file-and-settle suits (as it’s the beginning of a quarter, year, and month). Another unusually high 92 terminations are mostly due to the end of file-and-settle suits from last year. A few new campaigns of note below, more discretionary denials, and a bunch of IPR denials filed against a German microbattery company round out the week.
The post-Christmas filing rush is upon us—a slight dip during the Christmas holiday is normally followed by a end-of-year complaint filing spike, and this year is no different; 72 new filings, most coming just before or after the holiday (with another 50 terminations, as cases settle going into the end of Q4). There was also a subpar 24 petitions filed (22 IPRs and 2 PGRs). We are starting to see a trickle of more PGRs, as post-AIA continuation patents issue, currently in litigation, that nonetheless are in the window for the expanded proceedings, but don’t expect ever to rise to much more than a handful every month. Those IPRs are propped up by further challenges to the now-ubiquitous Fortress IP and Magentar Capital-funded campaigns (here, Scramoge and Netlist) as well as the somewhat-newer funded Staton Techiya LLC campaign [Synergy IP Corp., Staton Capital]. There’s a newish chip campaign against Qualcomm, Apple, Google, and major chip companies by Vector Capital [Future Link Systems]; all in all, a busy holiday period.
As we finish up the year, the high district court termination rate continues; 85 terminations this week, including a fair amount of transfers, rounded out a normal PTAB week (29 filed) and a slightly depressed litigation week (with 50 new complaints).