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Posts Tagged: "en banc"

Trading Technologies Petitions Federal Circuit for En Banc Rehearing, Likening Its Invention to Mechanical Tool Claims

On July 31, Trading Technologies, a firm that develops software used for electronically trading derivatives, filed a combined petition for panel rehearing and rehearing en banc at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The appellant is seeking review of the Federal Circuit’s earlier decision this May in Trading Technologies International v. IBG LLC (IBG IV), which confirmed the results of four covered business method (CBM) review proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that invalidated patent claims owned by Trading Technologies as unpatentable under Section 101 of the patent law. In doing so, Trading Technologies argues that the Federal Circuit panel failed to follow both U.S. Supreme Court and Federal Circuit precedent, as well as previous Federal Circuit decisions upholding the validity of other Trading Technologies patents that share a specification with one of the invalidated patents.

Can the Federal Circuit Refuse an Appeal by a Non-defendant Petitioner in an IPR?

JTEKT Corp. v. GKN Automotive Ltd., No. 2017-1828 (Fed. Cir. 2018) raises the important question of whether the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit can refuse to hear an appeal by a non-defendant petitioner from an adverse final written decision in an inter partes review (“IPR”) proceeding, on the basis of a lack of a patent-inflicted injury-in-fact, when Congress has statutorily created the right for “dissatisfied” parties to appeal to the Federal Circuit.

US Inventor Files Amicus Brief With CAFC in Support of En Banc Rehearing on Single-Reference Obviousness Issue

On August 1st, the non-profit inventor advocacy group US Inventor filed an amicus brief with the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit asking the court to grant a petition for en banc rehearing in American Vehicular Sciences LLC v. Unified Patents Inc. The case, which stems from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), involves issues regarding obviousness which US Inventor argues that the Federal Circuit should resolve through the en banc rehearing of this case… This uncertainty in determining the validity of an invention disincentivizes small inventors from taking risks and experimenting to create an invention at a time when the United States is facing an innovation crisis. US Inventor notes that China has been outpacing the U.S. in terms of startup funding for artificial intelligence developers and that patent applications filed in China has been outpacing U.S. patent applications at a rate of about 2-to-1.

Aqua Products: Is It Helping Patent Owners Swim Better Nine Months Later?

At the time, many thought this change in law would significantly assist patentees in avoiding full-blown cancellation of their claims. However, our review suggests a case-by-case analysis without overwhelming success on a motion to amend… Although the industry expected Aqua Products to cause a sea change for motions to amend, there has been little, if any, substantive effect. Since Aqua Products, the Board has considered the opinion’s impact in 92 cases, referring to the memorandum guidance in 38. Of those 92 cases, the Board has rendered decisions in 43 cases, denying 32 motions to amend, granting in whole or in part 7 motions, and denying as moot 4 motions.

Federal Circuit Denies Petition for Rehearing En Banc in Xitronix Appeal on Walker Process Claims

On Friday, June 15th, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied a petition for panel rehearing and rehearing en banc in Xitronix Corporation v. KLA-Tencor Corporation. The petition for rehearing was filed by KLA-Tencor after the Federal Circuit first decided Xitronix back in February of this year, where the appellate court held that it didn’t have jurisdiction to hear an appeal in a patent case which only involved claims of monopolization under U.S. Supreme Court standards set in 1965’s Walker Process Equipment v. Food Machinery & Chemical Corp.

USPTO Recognizes Federal Circuit’s Aqua Products Decision, Issues Memo on Motions to Amend in IPRs

On November 21, 2017, the USPTO’s Chief Administrative Patent Judge David P. Ruschke issued a memorandum to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) providing guidance on motions to amend claims during trial proceedings before the PTAB. This was done in light of the Federal Circuit’s en banc decision in Aqua Products, Inc. v. Matal, 872 F.3d 1290 (Fed. Cir. 2017) on October 4, 2017… Judge Ruschke has reversed the PTAB’s practice of placing the burden of persuasion on the patent owner rather than the inter partes review (IPR) petitioner: “In light of the Aqua Products decision, the Board will not place the burden of persuasion on a patent owner with respect to the patentability of substitute claims presented in a motion to amend,” the Ruschke memo reads.

Burden of Persuasion for Patentability of Amended Claims in IPR Stays with Petitioner

After a panel of the Federal Circuit affirmed the Board’s decision, in Aqua Products v. Matal, Aqua requested an en banc rehearing. The USPTO Director Joseph Matal joined the appeal on behalf of the USPTO. At issue was whether the Board could place the burden of proof for patentability of amended claims on the patent owner in an IPR, and the Board’s underlying interpretation of the relevant statutes, specifically § 316(d) governing claim amendments and 35 U.S.C. § 316(e) allocating the burden of proof in an IPR… With respect to the burden of proof, the burden of persuasion for patentability of amended claims in an IPR proceeding is placed on the petitioner, not the patent owner. However, considering Judge Reyna’s concurrence, patent owners might still have the burden of production; depending on future cases.

Industry Reaction to the Federal Circuit’s Decision in Aqua Products v. Matal

First-take reaction to Aqua Products v. Matal from a distinguished panel of experts. Todd Dickinson: “I don’t think that I’ve ever seen such a collection of procedural somersaults and arcane discussion masquerading as an appellate opinion. ” Russell Slifer: “it would be wise for the USPTO and the PTAB to consider limiting all Board decisions wholly to the record developed during the proceeding. Eliminate the opportunity for a panel to issue a sua sponte reason for unpatentability.” Ashley Keller: “One could be forgiven for wondering if the Republic is truly well served entrusting such a tribunal with exclusive jurisdiction over patent appeals.” John White: “This decision puts neon highlights around what is wrong with the PTAB process as it pursues the political outcome of ridding the system of ‘troublesome’, aka: ‘commercially valuable’, patents.” Plus much more.

End of Laches Might Increase Declaratory Judgment Actions

Without laches, accused infringers might more frequently invoke declaratory judgment to clear their products and services upfront rather than tolerate a looming threat of suit for years…. The Supreme Court’s recent decision in SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC (Mar. 21, 2017) eliminated the equitable defense of laches in patent cases.  While time will reveal the impact of the SCA decision, elimination of laches, an equitable defense against “unreasonable, prejudicial delay in commencing suit,” Id. at 3 (citing Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.(2014), provides greater security to patent owners who assert claims several years after discovering potential infringement.  Conversely, the decision removes one shield—albeit a relatively modest shield—from the accused infringer’s armament of potential defenses. 

Can Congress Bar Review of PTAB Decisions to Institute Inter Partes Review?

Wi-Fi One stands among the latest—and potentially the most important—in a series of cases that have called into question both the degree to which Congress intended to restrict the authority of federal courts to review certain decisions made by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the limits on Congress’s power to actually do so. While it remains to be seen how the en banc Federal Circuit will ultimately rule, the answer to its question will inevitably have a broad and deep impact on future inter partes review and other post-grant proceedings, Patent Office procedures, and beyond.

Federal Circuit to consider reviewability of IPR institution decisions en banc

In a Per Curiam Order the Federal Circuit granted the petition for en banc rehearing and vacated the court’s three prior opinions in Wi-Fi One v. Broadcom Corp. The Federal Circuit will consider whether IPR institution decisions are reviewable in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Cuozzo Speed Technologies v. Lee.

Federal Circuit’s En Banc Review in Aqua Products Could Upend PTAB Amendment Practice

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.[5] 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.

Federal Circuit denies en banc rehearing, IPR proceedings can be instituted for less than all of the challenged claims

The Federal Circuit denied appellant SAS’s petition for rehearing en banc from a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, without an explanatory opinion. Judge Newman dissented. Without discussing the facts of the case, she undertook to review the statutory provisions for inter partes review (“IPR”) proceedings under the America Invents Act (“AIA”). According to Newman, the Court should have granted the petition, in order to correct the Patent Office position that “the final order of the [Patent Trial and Appeal] Board need not address every claim raised in the petition for review.” According to Judge Newman, a review of the statutory provisions of the AIA makes it clear that, if the PTAB decides to institute review, it should do so for all of the challenged claims, not just some of the challenged claims.

Supreme Court to Consider “Disparaging” Trademarks

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed yesterday to review a Federal Circuit ruling that held unconstitutional a law prohibiting registration of trademarks that “may disparage” people or groups. In a case involving an Asian-American dance band’s bid to register its name THE SLANTS as a trademark, the court will consider whether the bar on registering disparaging marks in Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a), violates the First Amendment guarantee of free speech. In the meantime, the Court is expected to rule soon on the Washington Redskins’ cert petition in Pro-Football, Inc. v. Blackhorse, No. 15-1874, challenging a decision of the Eastern District of Virginia upholding the PTO’s cancellation of the REDSKINS trademarks under that same provision.

Cuozzo and Broadest Reasonable Interpretation – Should the Ability to Amend Be Relevant?

On July 8, in In re Cuozzo, the CAFC denied en banc review of a prior panel decision that confirms the PTAB can use a different standard for interpreting claims than a district court. The patent owner in In re Cuozzo filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the Supreme Court on October 6, 2015. The response was due on November 9, 2015. If the Supreme Court takes up the issue, it could decide contrary to the current Federal Circuit precedent. It is also possible that Congress could change the standard for claim construction that applies to post-grant proceedings through legislation.