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is an attorney with Kaye Scholer, who concentrates his practice on intellectual property and patent litigation. He has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of cases, with a particular focus on matters relating to networking, imaging, microprocessors, telecommunications, semiconductors, software, and pharmaceuticals. Paul is also registered to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office, and has prosecuted patents relating to both hardware and software. For more information, or to contact Mr. Marguiles, please visit his firm profile page.
Overall, a significant number of the eleven judges present for argument hinted through their questioning that they thought the PTO’s rulemaking was problematic…. The PTO’s position is that the burden of proof allocated by § 316(e) is not applicable to motions to amend and therefore it may regulate the burden of proof on such motions based on the authority granted to it in § 316(a)(9). Judge Reyna jumped in almost immediately during the PTO’s argument to question the validity of the PTO’s rulemaking. In his view, there is no validly promulgated PTO regulation that places the burden of persuasion for motions to amend on the patent owner.
On December 9, 2016, the en banc Federal Circuit will hear argument in In re Aqua Products, Inc. on an issue that has long been troubling patent owners involved in inter partes reviews (“IPR”)—the difficulty of amending patent claims before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”)… The Federal Circuit granted a petition for rehearing en banc to consider whether the burden of persuasion allocated to the patentee by the PTAB for motions to amend is permissible under the statutory scheme. Notably, the Federal Circuit’s rehearing order specifically identifies 35 U.S.C. § 316(e), which provides that in an IPR “the petitioner,” not the patent owner, “shall have the burden of proving a proposition of unpatentability by a preponderance of the evidence.” The Federal Circuit also will consider whether the PTAB can raise sua sponte challenges to patentability, much the way an examiner would, if the IPR petitioner fails to do so.