Posts Tagged: "Patent Trial and Appeal Board"

Federal Circuit Vacates Board’s IPR Decision on Patentability of Substitute Claims

Finally, the Court held that the Board’s denial of Nike’s motion to amend for failure to show patentable distinction over “prior art not of record but known to the patent owner” was improper. The Court held that the Board’s finding that Nike’s “conclusory statement” was “factually inadequate” under its interpretation of the Idle Free decision was too rigid and was an improper ground to deny Nike’s motion. Accordingly the Court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded the decision to the district court.

PTAB Gone Rogue on Covered Business Methods

In CBM2015-00161, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) at the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) recently instituted a Covered Business Method (CBM) review on a non-business method patent with a clear and unambiguous technological aspect. This institution decision is in direct contravention of the statute, which is by its express terms prevents CBM review from anything with a technical aspect. In short, only covered business methods, which are financial related business method patents without a technological aspect, are supposed to be subject to this special form of post grant review. Even more troubling, the patent in question has been found to be directed to technological improvements by both the European Patent Office and the United States Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Nevertheless, the PTAB still instituted a CBM.

Nike v. Adidas: Federal Circuit refines PTAB motion to amend practice in inter partes review

The USPTO argued that at the heart of the requirement that substitute claims be patentable over prior art not of record but known to the patentee is nothing more than a requirement that the patent owner submit information necessary to satisfy the duty of candor owed to the Office. The Federal Circuit agreed, but noticed that there was no allegation that Nike had violated the duty of candor. Absent an allegation that there has been a violation of the duty of candor, the Federal Circuit ruled that it is improper to deny a motion to amend for failure to raise prior art not found in the granted petition.

‘Y’ Patent on Presidents Day? Jefferson’s Revenge

Under President Jackson America rebooted the patent system and started numbering patents from 01. The prior patents under the Jeffersonian registration system were re-designated with the letter X. Since the American Invents Act (AIA) in 2011, we now have a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) within the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This PTAB has the authority to hold administrative trials for the purpose of stripping property rights from patent owners. Perhaps we should once again re-designate all issued patents, this time with the letter “Y” after they survive what is essentially a de novo redo by the PTO. Why “Y”? “Y bother to patent anymore”? Or perhaps “Y bother to spend the time and money for a lengthy and onerous examination process that seems to mean nothing”?

Patent Claim Interpretation: The Broadest Reasonable Interpretation Standard

The broadest reasonable interpretation standard is frequently referred to simply as BRI within the industry. The Patent Office applies the broadest reasonable interpretation in virtually all circumstances. Whether the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) should be using the broadest reasonable interpretation when it reconsiders previously issued patents in post grant proceedings will soon be considered by the United States Supreme Court. Notwithstanding, the focus of this article is not specifically to evaluate the merits of the Cuozzo appeal, but rather to generally discuss the broadest reasonable interpretation standard and what it means from an analytical perspective.

One-fifth of all IPR petitions denied institution according to 2015 PTAB report

One major takeaway from this PTAB trends report is that, despite claims of high rates of patent invalidation, the reality is that many patents escape the PTAB petitioning process unscathed. To be fair, 18 percent of all PTAB trials lead to an invalidation of every claim challenged in the patent, but one-fifth of all trials are terminated because the petitioning party is denied institution. Thus, the most common result of an inter partes (IPR) or covered business method (CBM) review is that the petitioner is told that they did not make a good enough case for the challenge to progress beyond a hearing before a panel of administrative patent judges (APJs).

Cuozzo Challenges IPR at the Supreme Court: So What is Next?

On Tuesday, February 2, 2016, at 12 PM ET, patent expert, Gene Quinn will host a free webinar discussion on the current state of inter partes review and what the Supreme Court stepping into the mix will mean for the future of these proceedings.

First Apple patent challenged at PTAB covers touch-to-zoom tech at center of Samsung war

In late January, however, an inter partes review (IPR) request filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) throws the future of one of the Apple patents involved with this case into question. IPR2016-00500, filed by Intellectual Integrity, LLC, of Frisco, TX, challenges multiple claims in Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 7864163, titled Portable Electronic Device, Method, and Graphical User Interface for Displaying Structured Electronic Documents. This is one of only three utility patents owned by Apple brought up in its infringement lawsuits against Samsung. This also marks the first time that an IPR has been requested to review one of Apple’s many patents.

An Exclusive Interview with USPTO Director Michelle Lee

There were no topics ruled out of bounds for this 30 minute interview, not even the Supreme Court’s recent decision to accept cert. in Cuozzo, although as an attorney myself I know better than to ask questions that would have certainly provoked a polite “no comment” response in the face of ongoing litigation. Nevertheless, our conversation was wide ranging. We discussed the release of the Copyright White paper, which among other things recommends expanding eligibility for statutory damages in copyright infringement actions. We also discussed Lee’s recent visit to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the power outage that brought down USPTO electronic filing systems, the Office’s patent quality initiative, the new patent classification system, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and more.

SCOTUS asked to consider constitutional challenge to post grant patent proceedings

The question presented in the petition for certiorari in Cooper v. Lee is whether 35 U.S.C. §318(b) violates Article III of the United States Constitution, to the extent that it empowers an executive agency tribunal to assert judicial power canceling private property rights amongst private parties embroiled in a private federal dispute of a type known in the common law courts of 1789, rather than merely issue an advisory opinion as an adjunct to a trial court. This case raises a constitutional challenge to new post-grant patent proceedings.

Will Cruz act to protect property rights, Constitution at Supreme Court?

The Patent Act itself clearly and unambiguously states that patents are property. See 35 U.S.C. 261. Unfortunately, this property right of Constitutional significance has increasingly come under attack over the last decade. Without either substantial legislative fixes, or a new Administration that orders a new Director of the USPTO to rewrite post grant regulations, no single case could undue the significant damage that has been done to the U.S. patent system by the creation of the PTAB and post grant proceedings. That being said, Cuozzo does offer an excellent opportunity to say enough is enough and fight to protect a Constitutionally critical property right our most respected Founding Fathers thought to be absolutely critical.

Finjan wins big patent victory as USPTO denies institution on 6 Symantec IPR petitions

That Finjan would prevail in six separate IPR institution decisions relating to the same patent litigation seems an extraordinary long shot. While Finjan has not said it in a press release or to me directly (see more later), allow me to notice that this speaks volumes both about the relative strength of the Finjan patents and the relative weakness of the Symantec invalidity case against these patents. If the PTAB wasn’t even willing to take another look in a proceeding that is so hopelessly stacked against the patent owner these patents are about as rock solid from a validity standpoint as they could possibly be.

Supreme Court accepts Cuozzo Speed Technologies IPR appeal

On Friday the United States Supreme Court added several cases to its docket for this term. One of those cases is Cuozzo Speed Technologies v. Lee, a case that will require the Supreme Court to address two critically important questions associated with inter partes review (IPR) proceedings. First, is it appropriate for the United States Patent and Trademark Office to use a different claim constructions standard than is used in federal district court. Second, are institution decisions insulated from judicial review.

Federal Circuit says same PTAB panel can decide both IPR institution and merits

The Federal Circuit, in an opinion by Judge Dyk who was joined by Judge Taranto, first held that 35 U.S.C. § 314(d) did not preclude the Court from hearing Ethicon’s challenge to the authority of the Board to render a final decision. On the merits the panel held that neither the statute nor the Constitution precludes the same panel of the PTAB that made the decision to institute inter partes review from making the final determination. The Federal Circuit also found no error in the Board’s determination that the ’070 patent claims would have been obvious over the prior art. Judge Newman dissented, concluding that in order to restore confidence in the reliability of patents as “investment incentives” the USPTO must conform the inter partes review process to the statute.

2015 litigation trends highlight increased patent litigation, decreases in file sharing cases

2015 saw the second-most patent infringement cases brought to court, according to Lex Machina’s data. A total of 5,830 patent cases were filed, a 15 percent increase over the 5,070 patent cases which were filed during 2014. 2015 still trailed behind 2013 in terms of patent infringement cases; that year set the high-water mark for patent infringement cases with 6,114 cases filed in that year.