IPWatchdog.com is in the process of transitioning to a newer version of our website. Please be patient with us while we work out all the kinks.

Posts Tagged: "PTAB Trials"

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On Tuesday, November 20th, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a nonprecedential decision in Google LLC v. Conversant Wireless Licensing, which vacated a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to uphold the validity of patent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.

Nasdaq ISE Files Motion to Disqualify Fish & Richardson at PTAB Over Prior Representation

Nasdaq ISE’s motion to disqualify Fish & Richardson was made pursuant to 37 CFR 11.109, which prevents a practitioner from representing a party adverse to a former client in substantially similar proceedings; this duty is imputed to the practitioner’s law firm under 37 CFR 11.110. In its motion, Nasdaq argued that the PTAB should adopt the magistrate judge’s finding that the defense of MIAX, including the CBM reviews challenging the validity of the patents asserted against MIAX, is a collaborative effort and Fish & Richardson should be disqualified because of the conflict of interest. The particular patent-at-issue in this CBM review was filed and prosecuted during the period in which Fish represented Nasdaq. “Because patent-eligibility, this sole issue in this CBMR, is evaluated from the time of invention… the confidential factual information Fish obtained from Nasdaq is material to the issues in this [CBM review],” the motion reads.

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.

After Priority Date Lost, PTAB Invalidates Aircraft Lavatory Design Patent

Despite the April 2011 priority date asserted for the ‘031 design patent, the PTAB found in its institution decision that the ‘031 patent wasn’t entitled to the priority date for the patent application resulting in the ‘838 patent because of a lack of written description support for the design claimed in the ‘031 patent… C&D Zodiac had provided evidence from a slide-show presentation shown at a B/E Aerospace Investor Day event in March 2012 which included slides (see left) depicting the Spacewall technology covered by the ‘031 patent as well as commercial success including an $800 million contract with Boeing signed in 2011.

CAFC finds nexus between minimally invasive surgical patent and commercialized procedure

On Friday, November 9th, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a nonprecedential decision in NuVasive, Inc. v. Iancu, which vacated certain findings of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in an inter partes reexamination proceeding involving a NuVasive patent covering a system and methods for minimally invasive surgical procedures. The Federal Circuit panel of Circuit Judges Pauline Newman, Raymond Chen and Todd Hughes determined that on the issue of secondary considerations the PTAB erred in finding no nexus between NuVasive’s claimed method and the surgical procedure actually commercialized by NuVasive. The panel also held that further fact-finding was required in order to determine whether an asserted prior art publication teaches a certain nerve-monitoring technique necessary to support the Board’s determination of obviousness. Therefore, the decision of the PTAB was vacated and the case remanded for further proceedings consistent with the Court’s opinion.

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.

Serial and Duplicative Petitions at PTAB by Apple, Other Tech Giants Flout Congressional Intent

The Alliance of U.S. Startups and Inventors for Jobs (USIJ) recently released a report detailing the organization’s research into serial attacks on high quality patents at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). The USIJ’s research shows that, far from being a cheaper alternative venue for small businesses to challenge the validity of weak patents being asserted against them as was originally intended, the administrative tribunal has instead become a tool for rich, sophisticated companies who are able to harass owners of valuable patents with duplicative petitions filed either by themselves or by profiteering entities which weren’t envisioned when the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) of 2011 was passed into law.

Supreme Court to Determine if Federal Government Is a ‘Person’ Eligible to Petition the PTAB

The case will ask the highest court in the nation to determine whether the federal government is a person who may petition the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to institute patent validity review proceedings under the terms of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA).

Harmonizing the PTAB: Iancu calls change to Phillips ‘critically important’

“It seems self-evident that the same patent contested in different tribunals should have its meaning – its boundaries – determined using the same standard,” Director Iancu said when discussing the final rules implementing the Phillips standard at the PTAB… Those few who were not pleased by the change have cited a believe that the change to the Phillips standard would usher in a return to lower quality patents. With a bit of a confrontational tone, Director Iancu took issue with that, finding the argument without merit.

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…

Can the Federal Circuit use Rule 36 Affirmances in PTAB Appeals?

Inventor advocacy group US Inventor recently filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the nation’s highest court to grant a petition for writ of certiorari in Capella Photonics v. Cisco Systems. This case, if taken up on appeal, will require the Supreme Court to answer whether the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit operates in violation of 35 U.S.C. § 144, the statute governing how the Federal Circuit must respond to appeals of decisions from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In other words, can the Federal Circuit use Rule 36 to issue an affirmance without opinion of decisions appealed from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

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.