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Posts Tagged: "Precedential Opinion Panel"

Patent Owner Tells PTAB Precedential Opinion Panel Fintiv Factor 2 Should Be Modified Post-Arthrex

On October 8, a motion was filed on behalf of K.Mizra LLC asking the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) Precedential Opinion Panel (POP) to review a PTAB institution decision on the ground that Apple Inc. v. Fintiv (IPR2020-00019) Factor 2 should be modified. Instead of comparing the proximity of the district court’s trial date to the projected time to a PTAB final written decision (FWD), the timing should account for completion of Director Review based on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Arthrex v. Smith & Nephew, said the motion. The issue has not been previously raised before the POP to IPWatchdog’s knowledge.

PTAB Designates Three Precedential Decisions on Follow-On Petitions and Real Parties in Interest

On December 4, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) designated three Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB) decisions as precedential.  In Apple Inc. v. Uniloc 2017 LLC, the PTAB refused to institute inter partes review (IPR) based on Apple’s “follow-on copycat petition.” SharkNinja Operating LLC v. iRobot Corporation and Applications in Internet Time, LLC v. RPX Corp. both related to real parties in interest (RPI). In SharkNinja, the PTAB declined to engage in a lengthy analysis to consider whether a non-party must be named as an RPI and in Applications in Internet Time the PTAB found the non-party to be an RPI and denied institution.

PTAB Precedential Decision Nomination Form Could Lead to More Controversial Decision-Making Outside of Informal Rulemaking

In late September, Bloomberg News reported that Scott Boalick, Chief Administrative Patent Judge (APJ) at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), announced the introduction of a new form allowing members of the public the ability to nominate certain PTAB decisions for precedential status. The form, available on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website, asks those endorsing decisions to choose whether precedential or informative status should be conferred and to provide some brief reasons for the nomination. As Bloomberg’s coverage suggests, the anonymous nature of the process could encourage nominations from practitioners representing both patent owners and petitioners at the PTAB who may be concerned about how some clients may view their nominations. Such client overlap is a common feature at the PTAB, where many of the most active law firms representing patent owners are also atop the list of most active petitioners’ counsel.

Facebook v. Windy City Settles It: The CAFC Does Not Care About the PTAB’s Opinions

The Supreme Court in SAS (SAS Institute Inc. v. Iancu) was quite clear that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) has to follow the statute when conducting Inter Partes Review (IPR). So, when Facebook sought to enter patent claims into their IPR against Windy City Innovations past the one-year deadline dictated by 35 USC § 315(b), the PTAB had conveniently written themselves an opinion that allowed Facebook to join Facebook to circumvent the deadline. The Board’s Precedential Opinion Panel (POP) used the language in USC § 315(c) and had written that the statutory use of the words “any person” allowed them to join a party to itself. See Proppant Express Invs., LLC v. Oren Techs., LLC, No. IPR2018-00914, Paper 21, at 4–6 (P.T.A.B. Nov. 8, 2018). After the CAFC’s Facebook v. Windy City decision, it’s clear that any PTAB Precedential Opinion Panel statutory interpretation is irrelevant. Practitioners should not accept any conclusions made by the Board about a statute, and petitioners should be more assured that a reasoned argument will prevail.

Facebook v. Windy City: CAFC Strikes Down PTAB’s Approach to Joinder in IPRs

In Facebook v. Windy City Innovations, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit earlier today ruled that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) erred both in allowing Facebook to join itself to a proceeding in which it was already a party, and in allowing Facebook to add new claims to the inter partes reviews (IPRs) at issue through that joinder…. On the topic of whether the language of § 315(c) authorizes the joinder of a person as a party to a proceeding in which it is already a party, the Court was again clear on what the plain language of § 315(c) allows. The Director is permitted  “to join as a party [to an already instituted IPR] any person’ who meets certain requirements. 35 U.S.C. § 315 (emphases added).”

The PTAB Precedential Opinion Panel’s Hulu Decision: Any Guidance is Better than No Guidance

An IPR petition must be based “only on a ground that could be raised under [35 U.S.C. §§] 102 [anticipation] or 103 [obviousness] and only on the basis of prior art consisting of patents or printed publications.” 35 U.S.C. § 311(b). The “printed publication” basis for IPRs seems as fundamental an issue as one can imagine. But until late December 2019, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) offered no precedential decision explaining “[w]hat is required for a petitioner to establish that an asserted reference qualifies as [a] ‘printed publication’ at the institution stage.” The Board presented that broad question in an April 2019 order announcing it would answer that question through its Precedential Opinion Panel (POP). Hulu, LLC v. Sound View Innovations, LLC, Case IPR2018-01039, Paper 15 (PTAB Apr. 1, 2019).

Curing the Drug Label as Prior Art Malady at the PTAB

Petitioners challenging patents covering pharmaceuticals and biologics often use drug product labels as prior art in the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). To effectively use a label as prior art, a petitioner must show that it is a “printed publication” under 35 U.S.C. §§ 102 and 311(b). Past PTAB cases demonstrate, however, that proving drug product labels as prior art can be fraught with danger. But practitioners can employ best practices to guard against this. In Celltrion, Inc. v. Biogen, Inc., IPR2016-01614, Paper 65 (Feb. 21, 2018), the Petitioners relied on a copyrighted label for Rituxan that was published on the internet and available on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) and on Biogen’s website all before the critical date. The Board held that the Petitioners did not provide sufficient evidence establishing that the drug label was indeed the one disseminated with Rituxan at the time it was proposed to be publicly available or that “persons interested and ordinarily skilled in the subject matter or art exercising reasonable diligence, can locate it.” Similarly, the Board held in Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Boehringer Ingelheim International GMBH, IPR2016-01563, Paper 16 (Feb. 3, 2017), that a relied-upon Glucophage label had no source identifying information or indicia of when it became publicly available and the declaration attesting to its publication was not based on personal knowledge, but was merely conclusory.

Other Barks & Bites, Friday, November 8: SCOTUS Hears Allen v. Cooper Copyright Case, U.S. Government Sues Gilead, Amici Submit Briefs to CAFC in Chrimar

This week in Other Barks & Bites: the Trump Administration sues Gilead for infringement over HIVE PrEP treatment patents; Senators Inhofe and Wicker ask President Trump to show no leniency on Chinese IP theft; the Supreme Court hears the Allen v. Cooper copyright appeal; the Federal Circuit issues precedential opinions on PTAB evidence admissibility and limitation in patent claim preamble; the Copyright Office says that its digital recordation pilot project is on track for Spring 2020; the PTAB Precedential Opinion Panel (POP) will review the Board’s rejection of substitute patent claims in a motion to amend; “This Is Spinal Tap” creators settle copyright suit; and T-Mobile announces December launch for nationwide 5G network.

Re-examining the USPTO’s Bid for Adjudicatory Chevron Deference—a Response to One Analysis of Facebook v. Windy City

Last week, Professor Andrew Michaels published an article with IPWatchdog commenting on Facebook v. Windy City and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s claim for Chevron deference for precedential decisions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). While I agree with his ultimate conclusion, “the PTAB cannot speak with the force of law through adjudication even on issues where it has the authority to do so through regulation,” I disagree with the path he took to get there. I’ve written extensively on the topic (see the bibliography is at the bottom of this article). Of my articles, the most relevant is The PTAB Is Not an Article III Court, Part 3: Precedential and Informative Opinions. More recently, I filed an amicus brief in Facebook. In my view, PTAB precedential decisions can be eligible for Chevron deference in only the rarest of circumstances:  the PTAB is the wrong entity in the USPTO to engage in rulemaking, the PTAB doesn’t follow the procedures required by statute and executive order for rulemaking, and the PTAB doesn’t have access to the personnel within the USPTO that are necessary for rulemaking.

Other Barks & Bites, Friday, September 20: CAFC Issues Precedential Decisions on Patent Term Adjustment, DOJ Announces Trade Secret Charges, USPTO Urges CAFC Deference to POP

This week in Other Barks & Bites: the Federal Circuit issued a pair of precedential opinions affirming the USPTO’s determinations on patent term adjustment; Chuck Yeager filed a trademark lawsuit against Airbus; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with Capitol Hill lawmakers and President Trump; the Office of Technology Assessment Improvement and Enhancement Act was introduced into both houses of Congress; the Sixth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a copyright case lodged against musician Steve Winwood; the U.S. Department of Justice announced criminal charges over the theft of pediatric medicine trade secrets; and the NMPA doubled the damages sought against Peloton after finding more unlicensed songs used by the streaming exercise companies.

USPTO Precedential Opinion Panel Delivers Key Ruling for Inventors

Earlier today, the Precedential Opinion Panel (POP) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) overruled the institution decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in GoPro, Inc. v. 360Heros, Inc., IPR2018-01754, which related to U.S. Patent No. 9,152,019. Substantively, with respect to the determination that any federal pleading filed will trigger the running of the time-bar clock of Section 315(b), the POP explained that GoPro’s arguments would require terms not present in the statute to be read into the statute (i.e., “complaint” to be read as “proper complaint”). Further, the POP explained that GoPro failed to demonstrate that a complaint filed without proper Article III standing is considered a legal nullity for the purpose of Section 315(b)’s time bar.

Other Barks & Bites, Friday, August 23: POP Issues Key Ruling, Gilead Challenges PrEP Patents, Qualcomm and LG Enter Licensing Agreement

This week in Other Barks & Bites: the USPTO’s Precedential Opinion Panel delivers a key ruling for inventors; the Second Circuit rules that a series of six film scores weren’t works for hire under U.S. or Italian law; Gilead files for inter partes review of patents owned by the U.S. government covering PrEP treatments; Qualcomm and LG Electronics enter into a five-year patent licensing agreement for wireless technologies; Taiwan begins implementing a patent linkage system for drug approvals; HP appoints a new CEO; Eminem music publishing firm files a copyright infringement suit against Spotify; and the DOJ and the Copyright Office support Led Zeppelin in the “Stairway to Heaven” copyright case.

Other Barks & Bites, Friday, August 16: Iancu to Brief CAFC on Precedential Opinion Panel Deference, China to Regulate Patent Agencies, and FCC Approves T-Mobile/Sprint Merger

This week in Other Barks & Bites: The Federal Circuit has asked USPTO Director Andrei Iancu to brief the appellate court on deference that should be paid to precedential PTAB opinions; China announced that it will create a credit rating mechanism for patent agents; Russ Slifer Op-Ed revives 101 debate; the FCC will approve the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger; amicus briefs filed at the Supreme Court support the abrogation of state sovereign immunity against copyright claims; Nintendo ramps up copyright campaign against YouTube accounts using video game music; Guns N’ Roses settles trademark dispute over craft beer brand; and copyright troll entity Malibu Media faces investor lawsuit.

The Honeymoon is Over: Time for Iancu to Take Action on PTAB Harassment of Patent Owners

Just over 18 months ago, Andrei Iancu assumed control of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). As the Director of the USPTO, Iancu has changed the tone of the conversation over patents in America. During President Obama’s second term the USPTO became aggressively anti-patent and anti-innovator. The speeches, policies and inaction of Director Michelle Lee led innovators and observers to correctly claim that the Obama Administration had come to champion the viewpoints of infringers, not the technology innovators. Director Iancu changed that almost overnight. Where Director Iancu has failed, however, is with respect to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). With great fanfare, Director Iancu created a Precedential Opinion Panel (POP) that we were told would result in more decisions of the PTAB being declared precedential on the entire PTAB. There was hope that the POP would address the most important issues, such as serial challenges to the same patent over and over again, the use of the same prior art over and over again, and once and for all require the PTAB to apply the Federal Circuit view of what it means to be a real party and interest. Unfortunately, real reform of the PTAB has not happened despite tinkering with the Trial Guide. In important ways the PTAB is worse, and the efforts that have been undertaken incorrectly form the appearance of reform.

Examining the USPTO’s First Precedential Opinion Panel Decision

The first decision issued by the new USPTO Precedential Opinion Panel (POP) tackled the difficult issues of statutory interpretation of sections 35 U.S.C. § 315(b) and 35 U.S.C. § 315(c). In sum, the Board determined that both same party and issue joinder is proper in inter partes reviews (IPRs). The Board also determined that otherwise time-barred petitions are proper when accompanied by a joinder request to a pending IPR. The Board interpreted the statute in a manner to maintain broad discretion for the Agency. The POP could have properly interpreted Section 315(c) by first focusing on the statutory language “join as a party” as being limited to any person not already a party. Instead, the decision dismissed this viewpoint and stated that “the statutory phrase ‘any person’ broadly applies to the phrase ‘join as a party’.” Although I disagree with the emphasis on “any person,” I anticipate that the Board’s reasoning on both same party and issue joinder would be upheld as proper statutory interpretations by the Federal Circuit, if appealed.