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Posts Tagged: "IPR Proceedings"

Hospira Patent Claims that Previously Survived IPR Held Invalid

While the claims-in-suit had previously survived validity challenges in an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and in a District of Delaware case, Aly credited additional testimony and evidence in this case with leading Judge Pallmeyer towards finding that the claimed advance was inherent to the invention in the prior art. “In IPR, there’s a limited record so there’s not a lot of testing to examine, and two tests were submitted in the Delaware case,” Aly said. While that could have been enough, he noted that, in the Fresenius Kabi case, multiple companies had done more than 20 tests, all of which showed that the claimed advances were inherent to the stable product.

Federal Circuit Says Erroneous Claim Construction Led PTAB to Uphold Claims as Valid

On Thursday, December 20th, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a nonprecedential decision in Vivint, Inc. v. Alarm.com, Inc. which affirmed aspects of three inter partes review (IPR) proceedings conducted by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) invalidating certain claims from three patents owned by Vivint. However, the Federal Circuit panel of Chief Judge Sharon Prost and Circuit Judges Kathleen O’Malley and Todd Hughes found an erroneous claim construction led the Board to uphold some of the challenged claims.

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.

CAFC Vacates PTAB Decision to Uphold Conversant Wireless Patent Challenged by Google, LG

On Tuesday, November 20th, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a nonprecedential decision in Google LLC v. Conversant Wireless Licensing, which vacated a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to uphold the validity of patent claims owned by Conversant after conducting an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding petitioned by Google and LG Electronics… It is hard to reconcile decisions where the Federal Circuit bends over backwards to give more process and procedural rights to petitioners when for so long patent owners have been railroaded at the PTAB and then had those summary execution proceedings rubber stamped by the Federal Circuit. If increased scrutiny on the PTAB is a two-way street I welcome it.

Supreme Court Refuses to Take SSL Services v. Cisco, Will Not Answer Question on Multiple Proceedings Rule at PTAB

In its petition for writ, SSL Services argued that the PTAB’s decision to institute the IPR incorrectly denied the application of 35 U.S.C. § 325(d), the statute governing multiple proceedings at the USPTO; giving the USPTO Director authority to reject a proceeding based on substantially similar prior art or arguments already presented to the agency in a validity review. While the PTAB laid out a multi-factor test for applying the multiple proceedings rule in a 2017 precedential decision in General Plastic v. Canon, SSL Services argued that this test is legally incorrect because the factors in that test do not find support in the statute. Further, the PTAB has applied Section 325(d) to bar the institution of IPRs in far less meritorious cases, including multiple cases where the asserted prior art had only been cited in the original prosecution of the patent and not a validity challenge after the patent had issued. This has resulted in a standard for applying Section 325(d) which is unworkable, SSL Services argued.

CAFC Affirms PTAB Win for Patent Owner in Nonprecedential Decision, Chief Prost Dissents

The Federal Circuit recently issued a nonprecedential opinion in Amazon.com, Inc. v. ZitoVault, LLC, affirming a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that e-commerce giant Amazon failed to prove a patent owned by security solutions provider ZitoVault was unpatentable. The Federal Circuit majority of Circuit Judges Kara Stoll and Kathleen O’Malley disagreed with Amazon’s that the PTAB erred in its claim construction. Dissenting, Chief Judge Sharon Prost wrote that she believed the PTAB’s analysis of a specific claim term was flawed, and she would have vacated the PTAB decision and remanded the case for further consideration. The patent-at-issue was ZitoVault’s U.S. Patent No. 6484257, titled System and Method for Maintaining N Number of Simultaneous Cryptographic Sessions Using a Distributed Computing Environment. Issued in November 2002, it claims a software architecture for conducting a plurality of cryptographic sessions over a distributed computing environment.

Delaware Jury Awards $24 Million Royalty to Bio-Rad and University of Chicago, Finds Patent Infringement Willful

A jury in the United Stated Federal District Court for the District of Delaware recently delivered a verdict awarding nearly $24 million dollars in reasonable royalty damages to plaintiffs Bio-Rad Laboratories and the University of Chicago. Along with finding that defendant 10x Genomics had infringed upon patents covering genetic analysis technologies, the jury also found that 10x Genomics’ infringement was willful and found it “highly unprobable” (i.e., the words of the jury verdict form) that the asserted patent claims were valid.

The PTAB Promotes Petitioner Promiscuity

Why in the world would the federal government want to be an active participant in invalidating patents that the USPTO grants? Does the federal government believe that an insufficient number of patents are challenged through inter partes reviews, that there is insufficient gang tackling (which occurs when another petitioner requests joinder using a near-photocopy of the original petition), or that there are insufficient serial attacks on the same patents? To put the last issue in other words, does the federal government really believe that nine attacks against some patents are needed?

Blockbuster Restasis Patent Goes Down at Federal Circuit a Victim of Rule 36

Without any explanation, analysis or justification, Chief Judge Prost, and Judges Reyna and Hughes affirmed the decision of colleague Judge Bryson. A patent to a blockbuster drug like Restasis, which has over $1.4 billion in annual sales in the United States, deserves greater consideration than a once sentence disposition that simply says: “Affirmed.”… It is one thing to use Rule 36 to dispose of an appeal that should never have been brought relating to an invention of modest or no commercial success. But there is something fundamentally arrogant about using Rule 36 to finally strike a fatal blow to a patent covering a blockbuster drug responsible for more than $1.4 billion in annual sales in the United States. And given that the district court judge was Judge Bryson, the lack of an opinion only raises further questions.

Federal Circuit Vacates PTAB’s Decision to Uphold Enthone Patent

The Federal Circuit recently issued a nonprecedential decision in BASF Corporation v. Enthone, Inc. which vacated an earlier decision stemming from an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) which had upheld a patent owned by Enthone as valid over an obviousness challenge asserted by BASF. The Federal Circuit panel of Circuit Judges Timothy Dyk, Evan Wallach and Richard Taranto remanded the case to the PTAB after holding that certain findings made by the PTAB were inadequately supported or explained.

SharkNinja Denied by PTAB, IPR Petition to Vacuum Cleaner Hose Patent Not Instituted

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board issued a decision denying the institution of an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding petitioned by home appliance developer SharkNinja. The decision leaves in place all claims of a patent asserted against SharkNinja in U.S. district court through a patent infringement case filed by appliance hose manufacturer Flexible Technologies. In denying SharkNinja’s petition for IPR, the PTAB panel of Administrative Patent Judges (APJs) found that implementing the hose found in Rohn to be a stretch hose as taught by Martin would render Rohn’s hose inoperable for its intended purpose… As for the Nagayoshi prior art reference, the PTAB sided with Flexible Technologies in finding that SharkNinja’s asserted combination is difficult to distinguish from a hindsight analysis…

CAFC Vacates PTAB Obviousness Decision, Nonobviousness Nexus Established by Patent Owner

The Federal Circuit recently issued a non-precedential decision in LiquidPower Specialty Products v. Baker Hughes, vacating and remanding a final written decision from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which had invalidated claims of a LiquidPower patent in an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding. In a nutshell, the Federal Circuit found there to be substantial evidence supporting PTAB determinations relating to specifically what the prior art taught, and what the prior art motivated those of skill in the art to do vis-a-vis motivation to combine. However, the panel, made up of Chief Judge Sharon Prost and Circuit Judges Todd Hughes and Kimberly Moore, determined that substantial evidence did not support the PTAB’s finding that the patent owner failed to establish a nexus between the claimed invention and objective evidence of nonobviousness, or secondary considerations as they are sometimes called.  The case is now remanded to the PTAB for proper consideration of the objective evidence of nonobviousness presented by the patent owner. 

Comcast Invalidates Rovi Patents at PTAB that Previously Secured Limited Exclusion Order at ITC

Perhaps Rovi will take the opportunity to test the waters with the newly created Precedential Opinion Panel (POP), which is intended to bring uniformity between examination procedures and the PTAB at the USPTO. USPTO Director Andrei Iancu has promulgated new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and new claim interpretations rules will soon be in effect at the PTAB. A patent litigator by training, Director Iancu seems very interested in the PTAB giving other tribunals that have previously considered validity matters due consideration, something the PTAB has rarely, if ever, done. With the creation of the POP, and new SOPs that give the Director the authority to make decisions of the PTAB precedential at his discretion, this string of Rovi cases could present a very interesting test case on whether the PTAB actually will provide deference to tribunals that have previously considered validity issues, or whether the PTAB with its lower threshold for invalidity will continue to be the court of last resort for infringers who have lost elsewhere. 

IPR Outcomes of Orange Book Patents and its Effect on Hatch-Waxman Litigation

Out of the 230 Orange Book patents challenged in IPR proceedings, 90.4% (208) of these patents were also challenged in Hatch-Waxman litigation perhaps due to the lucrative 180-day exclusivity incentive available to the first generic manufacturer to file a paragraph IV challenge when the Orange Book drug patent is successfully invalidated in a subsequent district court proceeding. Therefore, the IPR process has provided generic manufacturers a dual track option for challenging Orange Book patents by initiating Hatch-Waxman litigation and also pursuing IPRs. Overall, because the rate of settlement in IPRs is much lower than in Hatch-Waxman litigation, both generic manufacturers and patent owners obtain more favorable final decisions in IPRs as compared to their Hatch-Waxman litigation outcomes.

PTAB Upholds Kamatani Cloud Patent Challenged by Unified Patents

Last week the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) entered a final written decision terminating an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding that had challenged a patent owned by technology licensing company Kamatani Cloud. According to the PTAB, petitioner Unified Patents failed to show by a preponderance of evidence that any of the challenged claims of the patent were invalid on obviousness ground under 35 U.S.C. § 103. “We are delighted with the PTAB’s decision in this matter,” Shanahan said. “The Kamatani Cloud patent survived the validity challenge presented by Unified Patents and its beneficiary members with all 41 claims emerging intact.”