Posts Tagged: "inter partes"

Mohawk Tribe wins stay from Federal Circuit in sovereign immunity fight

The Federal Circuit issued an Order staying further proceedings at the PTAB relating to the RESTASIS patents now owned by the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe. The stay will remain in place until at least one day after the oral argument scheduled for June 2018. The Court will consider whether the stay shall remain in effect or be lifted based on the merits of the case.

Controversy Over Restasis Patents is Misplaced

Competitors like Mylan and Teva, rather than inventing better treatments or cures for dry eyes chose the shortcut. They attacked Allergan’s patent in the PTAB. Allergan responded by assigning their patent to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe who in turn invoked sovereign immunity at the PTAB, and demanded their rights in a real court with a real judge and jury. Mylan, Teva, the PTAB, Congress, and class action lawyers have formed a mob to gang up on Allergan for defending their intellectual property rights. They filed hundreds of suits accusing Allergan and the Tribe of fraud, conspiracy, and sham transactions stemming from an “invalid” patent. The attackers are mistakenly focusing on the patent as the problem. The problem is not the patent, but rather all of the incentives that reward copying instead of innovating.

Mohawk Tribe Ready to Battle over Ex Parte Communications between PTAB Judges

Attorneys for the Mohawk tribe have notified the USPTO that ex parte communications between an APJ assigned to the IPRs and an APJ not assigned to the IPRs cannot possibly fall within the deliberative privilege of (b)(5), as it is commonly referred to in FOIA matters… Shore concluded his e-mail to the USPTO putting the Office on notice of impending litigation, reminding the USPTO of its obligation to retain all information and documents in anticipation of a FOIA lawsuit that would seek to compel release of documents in non-redacted form… In reviewing the March 9, 2018 document release there are several other e-mail communications that raise the specter of improper ex parte communications in violation of the APA, both relating to the Mohawk RESTASIS IPRs, as well as the IPRs where an expanded panel of the PTAB refused to recognize a sovereign immunity defense made by the State of Minnesota.

PTAB Chief Judge defends APJs as having extensive legal experience

The USPTO has provided us with a comment from Chief Judge David Ruschke, who defends APJs of the PTAB as having extensive legal and technical experience. The problem is this view is simply not consistent with the data. While APJs may be technically competent, there is little doubt many on the PTAB were appointed when they simply did not have extensive legal experience… PTAB judges preside over administrative trials, which have all the trappings of litigation (i.e., motions to dismiss, discovery, discovery disputes, hearings, testimony, depositions, constitutional rulings, jurisdictional matters, questions of contract interpretation and privity, and much, much more. No matter how much Ruschke and others do not want to acknowledge the truth, it is perfectly accurate to say that patent agents and patent examiners have absolutely no experience in that world. They simply can’t, unless they are engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.

Debunking the IPR Myth of Nominal Impact to Overall Costs

When a court stays a litigation and an IPR results in a settlement, adverse judgement invalidating all claims, or a final decision invalidating all claims, then the IPR reduces overall costs, which are the total litigation and IPR costs for both plaintiffs and defendants to resolve the dispute. But if the PTAB denies the IPR petition or allows one or more challenged claims, then the IPR fails to resolve the disputes between the parties, and any imposed stay may be lifted. In these instances, IPRs increase overall costs… A closer look reveals that IPRs have a nominal impact to reduce overall costs—just 6%.

A Google Opponent Actually Wins an IPR Battle with the Tech Giant

On February 22, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a non-precedential decision in Google, LLC v. At Home Bondholders’ Liquidating Trust (2016-2727, 2016-2729). In its decision, the Federal Circuit affirmed two inter partes review (IPR) decisions and found for Google’s opponent, At Home Bondholders’ Liquidating Trust… The patents at issue were U.S. Patent No. 6,286,045 and U.S. Patent No. 6,014,698, both of which deal with technology involving caching Internet advertising banners locally at a device for quicker loading of a webpage the second time the page is requested.

Prosecution Disclaimer 101: Argument relied upon by examiner results in prosecution disclaimer

The PTAB found the claims in question obvious for two reasons. First, in its primary ruling the PTAB held that there was no prosecution disclaimer, finding the “single entry” limitation of the claims to include text selection by a user, which was clearly within the prior art. The PTAB reasoned that claims these claims were not limited by the prosecution record, but to do this the PTAB had to ignore both the patent examiner’s Reasons for Allowance and the argument made by the applicant in the Remarks. Rather inexplicably, citing Sorensen v. Int’l Trade Comm’n, 427 F.3d 1375, 1379 (Fed. Cir. 2005), the PTAB ruled that it is up to the applicant to disclaim scope, not the examiner. But such a rationale simply ignored the facts on the record, namely that the reason the examiner explained the claims were allowed was precisely because of the argument made in the Remarks. Therefore, it was the applicant that specifically gave up that claim scope, as required to establish a prosecution disclaimer.

PTAB Trial Practice After Wi-Fi One: Challenges and Opportunities

On January 8, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its long-awaited en banc decision in Wi-Fi One LLC v. Broadcom Corporation. This decision softened the appeal bar of 35 U.S.C. 314(d), and in the process, opened up a new avenue for litigants dissatisfied with a PTAB’s Final Written Decision to attack the Board’s rulings.…

How Patent Owners Can Disqualify Prior Art References Relied Upon by Petitioner for Unpatentability

To request cancellation of one or more claims of a patent in an inter partes review (IPR), a petitioner must challenge the claim on the basis that the claim is unpatentable under 35 U.S.C §102 or 103, in view of prior art patents or printed publications. 35 U.S.C. § 311(b). Two ways a patent owner can disqualify references relied upon by the petitioner for unpatentability are by (i) asserting that the petitioner did not set forth sufficient evidence showing that the reference qualifies as a printed publication, or (ii) antedating the reference to show that the date of invention is prior to the critical date of the reference.

Do Recent Decisions Signal a Change in Patent Owner’s Rights to Defend and Amend Claims in Post-Grant Proceedings?

Ever since the introduction of AIA post-grant proceedings, many have questioned whether the procedural deck is stacked against patent owners.  Limits on making claim amendments, having to bear the burden of showing the validity of claims already issued, and being subjected to multiple serial attacks, certainly have made it seem so.  But have recent cases signaled the playing field may now be tipping ever so slightly in a patent owner’s favor?  Or are these decisions just an illusion?

Disclaimer Before Institution of IPR Results In Adverse Judgment And Estoppel

A disclaimer of challenged patent claims before an IPR is instituted may result in a final adverse judgment against the patent owner, triggering estoppel provisions that preclude the assertion of other claims that are not patentably distinct from those disclaimed… Judge Newman dissented, explaining that because no trial occurred, the Board had no authority to issue an adverse judgment.

Federal Circuit Reverses and Remands Board Decision Upholding Patentability

In an appeal from an IPR in which the Board upheld the patentability of several patent claims, the Federal Circuit vacated the decision and remanded to the Board with instructions to consider the patentability of certain dependent claims… The patentability of independent Claims 1 and 17 was the sole basis for the Board’s decision in this appeal from the ’592 IPR; the Board did not separately address the dependent challenged claims. The holding of unpatentability of claims 1 and 17 in the ’728 IPR, and the affirmance by the Federal Circuit, abrogated the basis for the Board’s decision that the claims in the ’592 IPR were patentable.

2017 Saw Fewest Patent Lawsuits Filed Since 2011

Q4 2017 saw a total of 981 patent infringement cases filed in district courts, the second-lowest total for any quarter in 2017 and the third-lowest total for any quarter dating to the third quarter of 2011. The 4,057 patent suits filed in district court through 2017 was the lowest total for an entire year since 2011… A week-by-week graph of patent filings shows that, while Eastern Texas saw a much greater share of patent filings than Delaware in the months leading up to the TC Heartland decision, Delaware filings have topped Eastern Texas filings in almost every week since the SCOTUS decision.

Google Suffers IPR Defeat on Patent Asserted Against YouTube by Network-1

On Tuesday, January 23rd, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a ruling in Google LLC v. Network-1 Technologies, Inc. which affirmed a finding by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that a patent covering a method of identifying media linked over the Internet was valid. The Federal Circuit disagreed with Google that the PTAB erred in its claim construction during the validity trial, leaving in place a patent that has been asserted by Network-1 against Google’s major online media platform YouTube.

If it Looks Like a Kangaroo, Hops Like a Kangaroo…

What’s abundantly clear – and disastrous for both the patent system and the public – is that the PTAB’s Kafkaesque rules for complaining about anything outside of what an expert stated in a submitted declaration, including allegations of judicial misconduct, is undermining the public’s already marginal confidence in the entire IPR process. Even Franz Kafka himself would be bewildered by a process which requires one to seek permission to complain – from the very body about whom a litigant is complaining.