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Patent Owner Tips for Avoiding IPR Institution

March 1, 2022 | Blog | By William Meunier, Michael Renaud, Brad M Scheller

Inter partes reviews have a very high institution rate. And worse, once instituted IPRs result in invalidated claims at an inordinately high rate. The best defense against an IPR petition is to convince the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to deny institution. In this post, the Mintz IPR team put together out top six tips for avoiding IPR institution.
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A Business Deal Could Kill Your Right to Challenge a Patent’s Validity

February 22, 2022 | Blog | By William Meunier, Peter Cuomo, Marguerite McConihe, Sean Casey

Last week, the Federal Circuit issued a decision holding that parties can contractually bargain away their rights to file petitions for Inter Partes Review (“IPR”) at the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (“the Board”). This precedential case is the first to hold that a forum selection clause can forfeit the right to challenge a patent’s validity by IPR. The takeaway from this case is that when entering into any type of patent related agreement, be careful to ensure that your right to file IPR petitions is not stripped away, particularly by way of a forum selection clause which is “prima facie valid and should be enforced” in the words of the Federal Circuit.
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Fintiv in Decline?

February 17, 2022 | Blog | By William Meunier, Brad M Scheller, Serge Subach

Going forward, parties litigating before the PTAB should consider the Fintiv factors comprehensively rather than zeroing-in on the procedural schedule in their parallel litigation. As the data suggests, an aggressive and fast-moving schedule alone may no longer result in a discretionary institution denial.
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Patent Owner Tips for Surviving an Instituted IPR: From Depositions to Sur-Replies

January 14, 2022 | Blog | By William Meunier, Michael Renaud, Brad M Scheller

As a Patent Owner in an instituted Inter Partes Review (IPR), there are dozens of considerations to bear in mind – from strategically approaching depositions and maximizing expert testimony, to drafting the final say in your sur-reply. We provide a summary of key takeaways from throughout the series and invite you to access all of our tips for more detail on Surviving an Instituted IPR.
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Patent Owner Tip #19 for Surviving an Instituted IPR: Sur-Reply Strategies

October 25, 2021 | Blog | By Brad M Scheller, Courtney Herndon

In this final patent owner tip for surviving an instituted IPR we discuss sur-reply strategies. At this point, the Patent Owner has filed its Response, developed all the facts and evidence, and taken and defended expert depositions.
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Patent Owner Tip #18 for Surviving an Instituted IPR: Defending Depositions

September 23, 2021 | Blog | By Michael Newman, Sean Casey

In our penultimate patent owner tip for surviving an instituted IPR, we turn our discussion to defending the deposition of your expert. At this stage of the proceeding, your Patent Owner Response has been filed, and all the facts and arguments you need have already been developed, including any necessary expert testimony.
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After an inter partes review (“IPR”) is instituted, a patent owner may move to amend challenged claims to overcome the prior art. Here we provide some further information for patent owners considering ways to amend claims that are challenged in IPR by filing a reissue application or requesting reexamination.
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We look to those circumstances when a patent owner should think twice about amending, including when significant past damages exist, the current claims possess strong infringement reads and claim scope, petitioners are highly-motivated to fight and patent owner is cost sensitive.
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Patent Owner Tip #13 for Surviving an Instituted IPR: When to Amend Claims in an IPR

August 6, 2021 | Blog | By Monique Winters Macek, Michael Newman

After an inter partes review (“IPR”) is instituted, a patent owner has an opportunity to file a motion to amend the claims and thereby propose a reasonable number of substitute claims. Here we provide some instances where a motion to amend may be a favorable option for a patent owner to consider. 
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Federal Circuit Reminds the PTAB that the APA Process Still Matters

August 3, 2021 | Blog | By Daniel Weinger, Laura Petrasky

The Federal Circuit recently found that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) violates a patent owner’s procedural rights under the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) when construing a disputed claim term by omitting an uncontested requirement in its construction.
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In inter partes review (IPR) proceedings, the PTAB will often uphold the validity of dependent claims despite finding the independent claim invalid.  Dependent claims recite additional limitations that must be separately accounted for in the prior art references in the Petitioner’s asserted grounds.
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When faced with an instituted IPR, the Patent Owner should include all arguments it wishes to preserve for appeal in its Patent Owner Response (“POR”), including arguments that the Patent Owner believes are unlikely to succeed before the Board but may be attractive to the Federal Circuit.  Otherwise, the argument will be deemed waived and unavailable in any subsequent appeal.
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When confronted with instituted IPRs, Patent Owners should identify and exploit issues that the Petition glossed over and bring those to the attention of the Board.  This will highlight for the Board important issues that the Petition failed to sufficiently address and can lead to victory for the Patent Owner. 
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PTAB Continues Streak of IPR Denials

June 14, 2021 | Blog | By Brad M Scheller

US Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) institution denials for inter partes review (“IPR”) and other post-grant review petitions have steadily risen from 13 percent in 2012 to 44 percent in 2020. In 2020, the institution rate has fallen to 56%, down from 63% a year ago.
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In our previous post we started talking about discovery procedures in inter partes review (“IPR”) proceedings under 37 CFR § 42.51 and, in particular, the scope and timing of seeking limited additional discovery under Rule 42.51(b)(2). We reviewed timing considerations and emphasized the importance of anticipating the need for additional discovery and, to the extent necessary, moving the Board as early as possible following Institution.
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PTAB Admits Mistake, Reverses, and Institutes

June 8, 2021 | Blog | By Brad M Scheller, James Thomson

In a rare turn of events the Patent Trial and Appeal Board recently granted a rehearing request in Maxlite, Inc. v. Jiaxing Super Lighting Elec. Appl. Co., Ltd., No. IPR2020-00208, Paper 14 (P.T.A.B. June 1, 2021), stating that “we abused our discretion in denying institution” based on an improper allocation of the parties’ burdens when a petitioner challenges an alleged priority date.
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Discovery procedures in inter partes review (“IPR”) proceedings, governed by 37 CFR § 42.51, are more limited in scope and timing compared to cases in district court. 
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Expert declarations are an essential component of any patent owner’s effort to survive an instituted inter partes review (“IPR”). The Board relies heavily on expert testimony in order to evaluate and understand the technology at issue from the point of view of a person of ordinary skill in the art (“POSA”).
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As we have previously discussed, expert testimony is a critical aspect of the Patent Owner’s case-in-chief of an inter partes review (“IPR”) proceeding. In addition to retaining the right expert witness and maximizing that expert’s testimony in the expert declaration, it is imperative that expert testimony is supported by objective, contemporaneous documentary evidence.
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Patent Owner Tip #5 for Surviving An Instituted IPR: The Right Expert Can Save Your Patent

May 6, 2021 | Blog | By Daniel Weinger, Monique Winters Macek

The right expert can be the critical piece that saves the validity of your patent. Finding the right expert for a patent owner requires careful selection and due diligence. We previously detailed how your expert’s testimony can make or break your Patent Owner’s Response (“POR”).
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