Michelle Armond, Founding Partner at Armond Wilson, represents clients in a broad range of intellectual property disputes. Formerly partner and practice group leader at the national intellectual property law firm Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP, she has prevailed as lead counsel in inter partes review, intellectual property litigation in federal court, and appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. She began her law practice at Irell & Manella LLP.
Michelle is a registered patent attorney and Caltech-trained electrical engineer who handles disputes involving electronics, software, mechanical, electro-mechanical, medical devices, consumer and household goods.
She is a media commentator, frequently invited speaker, and thought leader in intellectual property law. She serves on the faculty for the Patent Resources Group, teaching a course covering intellectual property litigation, inter partes review, and advanced Federal Circuit appellate law to practicing attorneys.
Consistently recognized as outstanding in her field, Michelle was honored in 2020 as both an “IP Star” by Managing IP and a “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters. She is internationally ranked as a top patent professional in the IAM 1000 for her track record in “high-technology” IPRs for 2019-2021. In 2018-2019, Benchmark Litigation named Michelle to its “40 and Under Hotlist” recognizing top U.S. litigators. She has also been recognized as a “Rising Star” in intellectual property litigation (2009-2018) and among “Southern California’s Top Women Attorneys” (2012-2015) by Thomson Reuters.
Prior to entering private practice, Michelle served as a judicial law clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C.
J.D., University of California, Berkeley School of Law
B.S. with honors, electrical engineering, California Institute of Technology
Inter Partes Review (IPR) proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) often occur in parallel to district court cases. Patent owners whose patent rights survive IPR may return to district court at a distinct advantage, not only by emerging with their patent rights intact, but also by capitalizing on events during the IPR and using them to their advantage in district court litigation. Real-party-in-interest disputes can be hotly contested before the Board. An order from the Northern District of Illinois shows that these disputes can have larger significance and impact petitioners in litigation. In that order, the Illinois federal court relied on the Board’s fact-finding from an IPR dispute over the petitioner’s identification of real-parties-in-interest to find that petitioner had waived the attorney-client privilege in the litigation. RTC Indus., Inc. v. Fasteners for Retail, Inc., No. 17-cv-03595, 2019 WL 5003681 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 8, 2019).
This article reviews recent Federal Circuit and Supreme Court decisions addressing the scope of appellate review of institution of inter partes review (IPR) by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. The America Invents Act, 35 U.S.C. § 314(d), provides that: “[t]he determination… whether to institute an inter partes review under this section shall be final and nonappealable.” Federal courts initially interpreted Section 314(d) to bar appellate review of institution decisions entirely. However, recent decisions have narrowed Section 314(d) and expanded the scope of appellate review of matters decided by the Board at institution. This article will review decisions interpreting Section 314(d) to date, and explain how recent precedents have created new opportunities for appellate review of the Board’s decisionmaking in IPR proceedings.