Posts Tagged: "ex parte reexamination"

Federal Circuit reverses Board on erroneous application of the broadest reasonable interpretation

The Federal Circuit concluded that the Board’s construction of the term ‘body’ was unreasonably broad even given proper usage of the broadest reasonable interpretation claim standard… This ruling obviously makes perfect sense. Absent a comprehensive glossary that defines each and every term appearing in a patent application it would be impossible for any applicant to ever proscribe and/or preclude any and all possible broad readings for various terms that a patent examiner may come up with after the fact. Defining every term has never been required and anticipating frivolous examiner arguments has never been required, and is in fact considered inappropriate.

A Summary of the Constitutional Issues Raised by the Respondent in Oil States

The respondent immediately takes issue with the argument that patents are not public rights, summarily citing MCM Portfolio LLC v. Hewlett-Packard Co., 812 F.3d 1284 (Fed. Cir. 2015), cert. denied, 137 S. Ct. 292, which held that that neither Article III nor the Seventh Amendment bars IPRs, a holding that, according to the respondent, does not conflict with any decision of the Court or any other court of appeals, rendering further review unwarranted.

A Look Back at the Legislative Origin of IPRs

Those now familiar with IPR proceedings will already have recognized how little resemblance current IPR proceedings have to what most supporters of the AIA envisioned upon its passage. In current practice, the role of the Director as an independent IPR gatekeeper never materialized because the USPTO’s implementing rules bypass the Director altogether, assigning the institution function to the PTAB, which in turn routinely assigns both the institution and final decisions to the same three judge panel. As a result, most of the safeguards against patent owner harassment were lost…. By failing to adopt the implementing rules needed to carry out the intent of the AIA, and by adopting other rules and procedures that are plainly skewed towards petitioners, the PTAB has intentionally tilted its IPR proceedings against patent owners. While this has been good for the PTAB, which has quadrupled in size, it was neither Congress’s intent nor that of most of AIA’s supporters to create an unfair IPR patent “killing field.”

I hope Trump’s ‘America first’ will apply to inventors

I believe it’s not a good thing to be an inventor in the US and I hope that Trump’s “America first” will apply to inventors. Let me explain why. My name is Jean-Paul Castille, I have a degree in Engineering from “Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Métiers” (ENSAM), a major engineering school of France and I am an independent inventor. I am the president of Antor Media Corporation, a US patent licensing firm. My career has been dedicated to invention, the development and commissioning of prototype systems in different areas of the industry.

In non-precedential decision CAFC reverses PTAB finding of obviousness in reexamination

In re: Natural Alternatives, LLC, 2015-1911 (opinion and errata) is a non-precedential but still notable case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that finds the claims of a patent that was in reexamination to be patentable, despite the examiner and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board finding that the claims were obvious. While the examiner had cobbled together various references to make an obviousness rejection, the examiner failed to set forth “sufficient facts” supporting his position that the prior art disclosed the limitations of Natural’s claims in a manner that renders the claimed invention obvious.

Phillips Claim Construction Standard Applies to Ex Parte Reexam After Patent Expires

The Court held that the Board improperly continued to apply the BRI standard following the expiration. While the examiner properly applied the BRI prior to expiration, the BRI standard no longer applies the moment the patent expires – even if it means the Board applies a different standard than the examiner.

SCOTUS asked to consider proper scope of ex parte reexamination proceedings at USPTO

Pactiv, LLC v. Lee presents a question fundamental to all ex parte reexaminations: whether, after the PTO initiates an ex parte reexamination, that proceeding is limited in scope to the question determined to qualify as the “substantial new question of patentability.” The “substantial new question of patentability” identified by the Director included certain prior art references. But the examiner subsequently rejected several of Pactiv’s claims due to wholly different prior art references. There was never any determination under 35 U.S.C. § 303 that these other references raised a “substantial new question of patentability,” nor did the Director issue the order required under Section 304 identifying a “substantial new question of patentability” based on these wholly different prior art references.

Judgment With Prejudice is Res Judicata and not Vacated Even if Mooted by Later Reexamination

Cardpool, Inc., v. Plastic Jungle, Inc., NKA Cardflo Inc. (Fed. Cir. Apr. 5, 2016) (Before Newman, Reyna, and Wallach, J.) (Opinion for the court, Newman, J.)(Federal Circuit held dismissal with prejudice operates as res judicata for the same cause of action even if a subsequent reexamination amends claims.).

How the AIA requires the USPTO to be a patent system arms dealer

Not only does the Patent Office handsomely charge for the acquisition and maintenance of a patent, they also handsomely charges for the right to challenge those patents after issue. On its face this creates a perverted incentive. The arms dealer nature of how the AIA has transformed the Patent Office is not lost on many within the industry. Add in the insecurity of the USPTO budget and the fact that the Patent Trial and Appeal board (PTAB) directly reports to the Director, thereby not enjoying any true judicial autonomy (at least on paper) and you would be hard pressed to have come up with a more conflicted structure or system.

Teaching Away Insufficient to Overcome Motivation to Combine References

While Dome’s argument against obviousness based on Tanaka teaching away was plausible, it was not sufficient to overcome the district court’s factual findings that a person of ordinary skill would have been motivated to combine the identified prior art to arrive at the claimed invention. Accordingly, the Federal Circuit affirmed.

Patent Strategy: Building a patent portfolio with meaningful rights

Last week I wrote about adopting a patent strategy in order to lay the foundation for success. What the article did not touch upon, however, is how you can use procedural mechanisms available at the Patent Office to expand your patent into a patent portfolio, or how to correct unforeseen problems with your patent (or portfolio) that may needlessly compromise…

Part 2 – The AIA: A Boon for David or Goliath?

Our inter partes challenge data from pre- and post-passage of the AIA clearly show that of the relatively few initial denials made by the USPTO of an inter partes challenge request, most fell on entities that typically file as small entities. We found 88% of denied petitions for inter partes review were filed by small entities, while only 12% of those denials related to petitions filed by large entities (Fig. 6). That is, small entities are 7 times more likely to have their petitions for inter partes review denied than large entities.

Kappos on Patent Trial and Appeal Board Trial Proceedings

Kappos explained that the PTAB has started and will continue, in at least some cases, to issue shorter per curiam decisions, which will allow them to decide more cases and move through the backlog. Co-Chair of the program, Rob Sterne, asked Kappos whether this would present problems for those who might want to appeal to the Federal Circuit. Given the standards applied by the Federal Circuit will it be possible for an applicant ever be able to satisfy the standards? Kappos acknowledged that is a concern and why we will see hundreds of shorter per curiam decisions rather than thousands. Kappos explained that the USPTO wants these types of decisions issued only when the record is extremely clear, making a detailed decision of the Board less necessary.

David Kappos Headlines Post-Grant Patent Trial Program in NY

A new addition to the program just announced today is David Kappos, who is the immediate former Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Kappos, a life-long employee of IBM prior to taking charge of the USPTO, is now with Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York City. Kappos will discuss the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, specifically discussing ex parte reexamination, the remaining legacy inter partes reexamination cases, inter partes review and the transitional program relating to covered business method patents. His segment will run from 9:15 am to 10:15 am. In addition to being presented live in New York City the program will also be webcast.

Managing Costs of Patent Litigation

It’s no secret patent litigation costs are immense. According to the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the cost of an average patent lawsuit, where $1 million to $25 million is at risk, is $1.6 million through the end of discovery and $2.8 million through final disposition. Adding insult to injury, more than 60% of all patent suits are filed by non-practicing entities (NPEs) that manufacture no products and rely on litigation as a key part of their business model. Patent litigation will always be costly, but by planning, preparing, assessing, narrowing and focusing – the attentive client or counsel may succeed in achieving some predictability and keeping costs to a minimum.