Posts Tagged: "IPR"

Ingenio’s Failure to Seek Remand Under SAS Institute Dooms CAFC Appeal

On August 17, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a precedential decision in Click-to-Call Technologies LP v. Ingenio, Inc. finding in part that, as a matter of law, Ingenio was estopped from challenging the validity of a patent claim on grounds it could have reasonably challenged during inter partes review (IPR) proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). Although the impact of this precedential holding will likely be limited due to the “unusual procedural posture” of this case, which involves a partial IPR institution prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in SAS Institute, the Federal Circuit’s decision does underscore the circuitous nature of PTAB proceedings that often add many years to patent lawsuits filed in U.S. district court.

Amicus Brief in OpenSky Case Implores USPTO Director to Change Rule on Abuse of PTAB Process

Inventor Ramzi Khalil Maalouf yesterday filed an amicus brief suggesting that U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (UPSTO) Director Kathi Vidal change the language of Rule 37 CFR 42.12(a)(6)) to indicate that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) “shall” rather than “may” sanction abuse of the post grant process. The brief was filed in response to Vidal’s July request relating to OpenSky Industries, LLC v. VLSI Technology LLC, IPR2021-01064 and Patent Quality Assurance [PQA], LLC v. VLSI Technology LLC, IPR2021-01229, both of which have been the subject of much scrutiny by members of Congress and patent practitioners.

USPTO Policy on Director Review of Institution Decisions Does Not Violate Appointments Clause, Says CAFC

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) today issued a precedential order denying a petition for writ of mandamus filed by Palo Alto Networks (PAN) that asked the court to compel the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to grant Director Review of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) decisions not to institute inter partes review (IPR) and post grant review (PGR) of Centripetal Networks’ patents. PAN argued that the USPTO’s policy of refusing to accept requests for Director Review of institution decisions violates the Appointments Clause as set out in United States v. Arthrex, Inc.

Patent Filings Roundup: Jeffrey Gross Assertion Tests West Texas Order; Failure to Serve Leads to Taasera Declaratory Judgment; Farm Software Dispute Sparks Suit

There were 33 Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) proceedings (all inter partes reviews [IPRs]), with just 42 new district court patent filings this week. That, coupled with 67 terminations, suggests that either it’s the summer doldrums, or the Western District of Texas/Waco reshuffling order is having an immediate impact on filings, as would-be plaintiffs reassess venue choices—at least in the short term. Of the terminations, a large chunk are IP Edge (per usual); the IPRs represent mostly defendants in litigation challenging claims asserted against them, with a few notable exceptions. In the district courts, a new Jeff Gross entity was the biggest filer, with some other activity highlighted below. One entity, Alidouble, appears to have ties with both Israeli and Hong Kong-based predecessors-in-interests, with Hong Kong-based Keystone Intellectual Property Management recorded.

CAFC Upholds PTAB’s Finding that Samsung Failed to Prove Magnetic Stripe Emulator Claims Obvious

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) on Tuesday affirmed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) ruling that Samsung Electronics had failed to prove certain claims of Dynamics, Inc.’s patent for a magnetic stripe emulator that communicates with credit card readers unpatentable as obvious. Samsung petitioned the PTAB for inter partes review (IPR) of claims 1 and 5-8 of U.S. Patent No. 8,827,153. The patent is directed to “magnetic stripe emulators” for “generat[ing] electromagnetic fields that directly communicate data to a read-head of a magnetic stripe reader,” such as the magnetic stripes on credit cards. Samsung argued that the claims would have been obvious over U.S. Patent No. 4,868,376 (Lessin) and U.S. Patent No. 7,690,580 (Shoemaker), or alternatively, would have been obvious over U.S. Patent No. 6,206,293 (Gutman) in view of Shoemaker.

Patent Filings Roundup: Future Waco Patent Cases Headed to Wheel; Ax Wireless Launches WiFi 6 Campaign; Helsinn Paragraph IV Litigation

This week saw 63 new patent filings in district court, and the typical (these days) 71 terminations, with 34 Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) filings (one post grant review and 33 inter partes reviews). I expect terminations will drop for a bit, as parties do what they can to hold on to venue before Judge Alan Albright in the wake of the Western District’s recent reassignment memorandum directing new filings to be randomly distributed (i.e., be put “on the wheel”) throughout the Western District. In major dismissals, WSOU either settled with or was scared off by always-tough Microsoft in that long-running campaign; the dozen or so dismissals of WSOU’s typical 13 parallel filings make up a chunk of the terminations. The Board filings were dominated by tech-versus-long-running-NPE suits, with a few competitor-competitor challenges (e.g., Vivint v. ADT).

CAFC Says Improper Litigation Conduct Warrants Attorneys’ Fees Award for Netflix

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) today issued a precedential decision affirming a California district court’s award of attorneys’ fees in part to Netflix, Inc. for Realtime Adaptive Streaming LLC’s “improper” litigation conduct. The CAFC said that Realtime’s use of forum-shopping to blatantly avoid an adverse ruling amounted to “gamesmanship” that “constitutes a willful action for an improper purpose, tantamount to bad faith, and therefore [is] within the bounds of activities sanctionable under a court’s inherent power in view of the Ninth Circuit’s standard.” The opinion was authored by Judge Chen and Judge Reyna concurred-in-part and dissented-in-part.

Patent Filings Roundup: Board Denies Petition for Claims Not in Litigation; SK Hynix Hits Longhorn with Declaratory Judgment on Semi Campaigns

It was a slow summer week at the Board with just 23 new petitions—one post grant review and 22 inter partes reviews; in district court, a relatively average 63 new filings and 53 terminations rounded out the count. The major streaming companies, including Disney, challenged WAG Acquisitions [of Woodsford Litigation Funding] patents before the Board; SharkNinja challenges Bissel patents on vacuum cleaners; and FedEx challenged patents owned by Raymond Anthony Joao’s ultra-litigious Transcend Shipping. Apple lost three challenges at institution against an Identity Security LLC (f/k/a Integrated Information Solutions Corporation]. In the district court high-volume litigant M4Siz roped in more retailers, including Abercrombie and Fitch, Under Armor, Victoria’s Secret, and J Crew, bringing the total defendant count to 31; and more semiconductor litigation bloomed, with multiple campaigns filing against Micron and TI this week alone.

House IP Subcommittee Drills Down on GAO’s Preliminary Findings that PTAB Judges are Being Influenced by USPTO Leadership

The House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet today held Part II in a series of hearings to consider reforms to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) 10 years after it was created by the America Invents Act (AIA). The hearing, titled “The Patent Trial and Appeal Board After 10 Years, Part II: Implications of Adjudicating in an Agency Setting,” coincided with the release of a preliminary report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) that was commissioned in June of last year by IP Subcommittee Chair Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA) to investigate PTAB decision-making practices. The GAO’s preliminary findings revealed that “the majority of [administrative patent] judges (75 percent) surveyed by GAO responded that the oversight practiced by U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) directors and PTAB management has affected their independence, with nearly a quarter citing a large effect on independence.”

Send the USPTO Your Comments on Director Review, POP and PTAB Internal Review Processes

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) yesterday announced and today published an official Request for Comments on the interim process for Director Review of Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) decisions, the Precedential Opinion Panel (POP) process and the interim process for PTAB decision circulation and internal PTAB review. USPTO Director Kathi Vidal released updated interim guidance on Director Review and PTAB decision circulation/internal review soon after taking office in April and has been accepting preliminary feedback via a dedicated email address, but the comments received in response to this request will officially  inform upcoming notice-and-comment rulemaking to formalize these processes, as well as any modifications to the interim processes prior to formalization. Comments are due by September 19, 2022.

The PTAB Reform Act Will Make the PTAB’s Problems Worse

Recently, we submitted comments for the record to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s IP Subcommittee in response to its June 22 hearing on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), titled: “The Patent Trial and Appeal Board: Examining Proposals to Address Predictability, Certainty and Fairness.” The hearing focused on Senator Leahy’s PTAB Reform Act, which among other changes, would eliminate the discretion of the Director to deny institution of an inter partes review (IPR) petition based on an earlier filed district court litigation involving the same patents, parties and issues. Here is the net of what we told them:

Federal Circuit Holds Transcription Error Cannot Be Used to Prove Obviousness

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) earlier today held in a precedential decision that a typographical error in a prior art document would have been dismissed by a person of ordinary skill in the art (POSITA) and thus could not be used to prove obviousness. The appeal was brought by LG Electronics, Inc, against ImmerVision, Inc. and related to claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,844,990 for “capturing and displaying digital panoramic images.”

Fifth Circuit Panel Questions Appellate Jurisdiction of US Inventor’s APA Claims Over Fintiv’s Lack of Notice and Comment Rulemaking

On July 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit heard oral arguments in US Inventor v. Hirshfeld, an appeal from a lawsuit first filed in February 2021 to challenge the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO’s) development of the Fintiv framework for discretionary denials of petitions for Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) proceedings. Although the appeal comes to the Fifth Circuit following the district court’s dismissal due to the plaintiffs’ lack of Article III standing, much of the oral arguments focused on whether the Fifth Circuit or the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit had proper jurisdiction to hear the appeal.

Patent Filings Roundup: Suits Explode at End of Q2; Fortress 4G LTE Multi-District Litigation Against Auto Industry Goes to Michigan; Rare Derivation Denial

Recession woes, war in Ukraine, and rising inflation have to date had little effect on the patent litigation marketplace—emphasizing the “non-correlated” in “non-correlated asset”—and it was borne out in the courts last week, where litigation exploded, with 135 new patent filings, more than double the average—though this keeps with a trend of seeing filings spike at the ends of annual quarters. That spike is normally, as it is here, driven by dozens of IP Edge filings across various subsidiaries (here, some of them going after local and regional newspapers struggling to stave off bankruptcy). This week also saw 82 denials of Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) petitions, with the roughly average number of petitions (2 post grant reviews and 34 inter partes reviews [IPRs]).

Vidal Orders Amicus Briefs in PTAB OpenSky and Patent Quality Assurance Cases

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) yesterday afternoon announced that USPTO Director Kathi Vidal will be accepting amicus briefs in the Director Review of both OpenSky Industries, LLC v. VLSI Technology LLC, IPR2021-01064 and Patent Quality Assurance, LLC v. VLSI Technology LLC, IPR2021-01229, both of which have been the subject of scrutiny by members of Congress and patent practitioners. Vidal also set the schedule for review, with the initial briefing and amicus briefs in both cases due by August 4, 2022, and responsive briefs due by August 18. The patents in question are the basis of a $2 billion judgment against Intel.