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Posts Tagged: "final written decision"

Supreme Court Asked to Decide if AIA Creates Standing for Any Party to Appeal PTAB Decisions

Japanese manufacturer JTEKT Corporation recently filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court asking he nation’s highest court to determine whether federal statutes governing appeals from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) create a right for PTAB petitioners to have an appellate court review adverse final written decisions. If the case is taken by the Supreme Court the question will be whether the AIA creates standing for any dissatisfied party to appeal a PTAB final decision. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s had decided JTEKT did not prove an injury in fact for the purposes of determining the existence of Article III standing in its appeal.

After Priority Date Lost, PTAB Invalidates Aircraft Lavatory Design Patent

Despite the April 2011 priority date asserted for the ‘031 design patent, the PTAB found in its institution decision that the ‘031 patent wasn’t entitled to the priority date for the patent application resulting in the ‘838 patent because of a lack of written description support for the design claimed in the ‘031 patent… C&D Zodiac had provided evidence from a slide-show presentation shown at a B/E Aerospace Investor Day event in March 2012 which included slides (see left) depicting the Spacewall technology covered by the ‘031 patent as well as commercial success including an $800 million contract with Boeing signed in 2011.

Federal Circuit Vacates PTAB’s Determination of CBM Patent After Appeal by Apple and Google

On Wednesday, July 11th, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a decision in Apple v. ContentGuard Holdings vacating a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to institute a covered business method (CBM) validity proceeding… Amazingly, the Federal Circuit’s vacature of the PTAB’s determination of unpatentable subject matter came after appeals from petitioners Google and Apple sent the case to the Federal Circuit. Although the panel of administrative patent judges (APJs) determined the challenged claims to be unpatentable, they also granted a motion from ContentGuard to amend claims which substituted the unpatentable claims. This appeal gave ContentGuard the ability to cross appeal the PTAB’s determination that the ‘280 patent was subject to CBM review.

SSH Communications Enters Cross-License Agreement with Sony After Losing Patents at PTAB

On Monday, February 5th, Finnish enterprise cybersecurity solutions firm SSH Communications Security announced that it had entered into a patent cross-license and settlement agreement with Japanese electronics conglomerate Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE). The agreement reportedly resolves all patent disputes between the two companies after Sony successfully challenged the validity of two U.S. patents owned by SSH Communications at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

Patent Owners Faring Better in PTAB Proceedings

A new study of proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) shows that, despite the initial reputation of Inter Partes Review (IPR) proceedings being that of patent killers, patent owners are winning more cases than ever. The study, conducted by law firm Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto, shows that the rate at which patent claims were found unpatentable by the PTAB fell significantly in 2016, while the volume of claims in dispute rose dramatically. The study found that in every quarter of 2016, the reviewed final written decisions resulted in more than half of the claims originally challenged in IPR proceedings surviving. By contrast, in the previous two years, the survival rate of such claims exceeded 50 percent only once. In the first quarter of 2014, in fact, less than 20 percent of such claims survived challenge.

FatPipe heralds mixed claim finding at PTAB which leaves “signature claim” intact

On November 1st, a panel of administrative patent judges (APJs) at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a final written decision which found that 11 claims of a networking patent held by Salt Lake City, UT-based wide area network (WAN) developer FatPipe Networks as being anticipated and obvious in light of prior art. A press release on the news from FatPipe, however, notes that the PTAB panel did not invalidate “a signature claim” of the patent covering a method for load balancing over disparate networks.

Predicting SAS Institute v. Matal after SCOTUS Oral Arguments

My thoughts continue to be that the statute is very simple and mandates the PTAB to issue a final written decision on all claims challenged. This seemed to be consistent with what Justice Alito and Justice Gorsuch were saying during the oral arguments. However, Justice Sotomayor dominated questioning throughout the early stages of the oral argument, continually saying that what was being sought was a reversal of the Court’s decision in Cuozzo. Justice Breyer, who seemed clearly in favor of the respondent, sought to re-write the statute to find the actions of the PTAB to be in keeping with the text of the statute. Nevertheless, the oral arguments suggest there will be a split among the justices, perhaps along political lines (i.e., liberal wing vs. conservative wing). Should the conservative viewpoint of Justices Alito and Gorsuch prevail there is also a chance that the Supreme Court will rule that the PTAB cannot grant partial institutions… After the conclusion of the oral arguments, I reached out to a number of industry insiders to ask them to provide their thoughts and predictions, which are admittedly quite different than my own analysis. Their answers follow.

PTAB fails to decide IPR within 1-year statutory deadline

According to 35 U.S.C. § 316(a)(11), the PTAB is required to issue a final determination in an inter partes review not later than 1-year after the date of a decision to institute review is made… That the PTAB has not extended a single case for cause should not be confused with the PTAB following the mandates of § 316(a)(11). Indeed, the parties have been waiting for a decision in IPR2016-00237 for more than 14 months… It seems that the PTAB is here, and presumably in other joinder cases, giving itself more than 1-year without a showing of cause. If that is the case the PTAB is intentionally misreading § 316(a)(11) in order to construe it to give themselves 1-year from the last joinder Order rather than 1-year from the date of institution as the statute requires.

Federal Circuit invalidates another patent upheld at PTAB after IPR

The Federal Circuit issued a decision in Homeland Housewares, LLC v. Whirlpool Corporation, which ought to be completely unnerving to every owner of a U.S. patent grant. Hearing an appeal from a decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), the panel voted 2-1 in favor of Homeland Housewares and overturned a final written decision that had confirmed that challenged claims from a Whirlpool patent were valid. So even when a patent owner manages to escape the clutches of the PTAB and prevails no patent is ever truly safe any longer. A dissent was filed by Judge Newman, who chastised the majority for rewriting the claims of the patent in a way that more broadly stated the invention than did the patentee.

Misleading PTO statistics hide a hopelessly broken PTAB

While the Patent Office likes to tout statistics that assert most patent claims challenged in IPR are not invalidated, those statistics are simply not credible. When reporting its statistics the Patent Office ignores the reality that once an IPR is actually instituted few claims are actually adjudicated to be patentable. The Office is also grossly misleads when they characterize claims not subject to a final written decision as “remaining patentable.”… Recently I’ve heard a story from a former PTAB judge who explained that institution of IPR challenges is far more likely when there are multiple petitions filed against the same patent because it makes it easier for PTAB judges to meet their production quota. If that is not proof that the PTAB is hopelessly broken I don’t know what is.

The AIA does not restrict judicial review of a final written decision

The AIA and its legislative history do not provide clear and convincing evidence that Congress intended ultra vires agency action by the PTO in holding claims unpatentable to be exempt from judicial review on appeal from a final written decision in an IPR. The Supreme Court should make clear that if the PTO holds claims unpatentable on grounds not set forth in the petition, then that ultra vires conduct is subject to judicial review, not exempt from it.

CAFC reaffirms PTAB discretion not to address all claims in IPR final written decision

On February 10, 2016, a divided Federal Circuit panel reaffirmed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) authority to institute trial and provide a final written decision on only a subset of the challenged claims in an AIA post-grant proceeding. At issue on appeal was the PTAB’s final decision not to address all claims that were challenged in the underlying inter partes review (IPR) Petition.