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Mark Berkowitz

is Senior Counsel with Amster, Rothstein & Ebbenstein. His practice focuses on all aspects of intellectual property, with an emphasis on patent litigation. He litigates patents covering a wide variety of technologies including consumer electronics, semiconductors, e-commerce, power distribution and medical devices. He has assisted in all phases of patent cases from pre-suit investigations through appeal, including discovery, Markman briefing and dispositive motions.

For more information or to contact Mr. Berkowitz, please visit his Firm Profile Page.

Recent Articles by Mark Berkowitz

Askeladden LLC Submits Another Amicus Brief Advocating Against Tribal Sovereign Immunity for PTAB Proceedings

In this regard, a PTAB proceeding is not a suit in court, but instead an administrative proceeding in which the Patent Office (through the PTAB) takes “a second look at an earlier administrative grant of a patent.” Cuozzo, 136 S. Ct. at 2144 (2016); see also Oil States, slip op. at 7 (“[T]he decision to grant a patent is a matter involving public rights—specifically, the grant of a public franchise. Inter partes review is simply a reconsideration of that grant, and Congress has permissibly reserved the PTO’s authority to conduct that reconsideration.”). Like other administrative actions in which States and Federal Agencies (e.g., the Federal Power Commission) may regulate rights or responsibilities of Tribes with respect to off-reservation activities, a PTAB proceeding is one of the “other mechanisms” available to the USPTO to resolve questions of patent validity as the administrative authority granting the patent in the first instance. Cf. Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Cmty., 134 S. Ct. 2024, 2028 (2014).Even if the Tribe cannot be compelled to participate in this proceeding, the PTAB retains authority to adjudicate the validity of patents under review. Indeed, there is no requirement under the AIA that a patent owner participate in a proceeding in order for it to proceed.

Amicus Brief Advocating Against Tribal Sovereign Immunity Filed in PTAB Proceedings

The motion of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe (“the Tribe”) is based on the misplaced theory that Tribal Sovereign Immunity is applicable to administrative proceedings before the PTAB. While the Supreme Court has repeatedly confirmed that, as a matter of judicial construct, Native American Tribes (like the Tribe) can be immune from “suits” in a court absent abrogation or waiver (see Paper 81, at 8), such immunity does not extend to all government action. See, e.g., Kiowa Tribe of Okla. v. Mfg. Techs., Inc., 523 U.S. 751, 755 (1998). In this regard, a PTAB proceeding is not a “suit” in court, but instead an administrative proceeding in which the Office (through the PTAB) takes “a second look at an earlier administrative grant of a patent.” Cuozzo Speed Techs. v. Lee, 136 S. Ct. 2131, 2144 (2016) (“Cuozzo”).