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IPR's & Other Post Grant Proceedings

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In a move that could drastically change the patent law landscape, the United States Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in Oil States Energy Services LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group LLC, No. 16-712, to answer the question whether the inter partes review (IPR) process violates the U.S. Constitution by “extinguishing private property rights through a non-Article III forum without a jury.”
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) issued Final Written Decisions regarding Cisco’s U.S. Patent Nos. 6,377,577 (the “’577 Patent”) and 7,023,853 (the “’853 Patent”) on May 25, 2017 and U.S. Patent No. 7,224,668 (the “’668 Patent”) on June 1, 2017.
On May 10, 2017 and following a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) reexamination decision upholding certain claims, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in Cisco Systems, Inc. v. Cirrex Systems, LLC that all of the appealed claims of a fiber optic patent held by Cirrex are invalid for lack of a written description support required by 35 U.S.C. § 112.
The Federal Circuit has now reversed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s decision in Synopsys, Inc. v. ATopTech, Inc.  finding claims 1 and 32 of U.S. Patent No. 6,567,967 (the “‘967 patent”)  as being “not supported by substantial evidence.”
Today, the Federal Circuit, vacated-in-part and remanded the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s obviousness determination regarding a Securus Technologies patent directed to systems and methods for reviewing conversation data for certain events and bookmarking portions of the recording when something of interest is said, finding that the Board failed to provide any explanation for its decision with respect to certain challenged claims.
On April 7, 2017, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced it has launched an initiative to develop ways to improve Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) proceedings, particularly inter partes review proceedings. 
For just the third time ever, the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (“PTAB” or the “Board”) recently sided with a Patent Owner in an inter partes review (“IPR”) to find that evidence of secondary considerations of non-obviousness compelled rejection of the Petitioner’s invalidity challenges.

IP Cases to Watch in 2017

January 12, 2017| Blog

The New Year brings excitement and anticipation of changes for the best. Some of the pending patent cases provide us with ample opportunity to expect something new and, if not always very desirable to everybody, at least different.
The Federal Circuit reversed the invalidation of two patents directed to providing security for credit card purchases in an opinion released earlier today.  The patents at issue, U.S. Patent Nos. 7,840,486 and 8,036,988, disclose methods for effecting secure credit-card purchases by minimizing merchant access to credit card numbers.
The USPTO has published its notice of proposed rulemaking for the FY 2017 patent fee schedule in the Federal Register. The USPTO proposes fee increases to recover its estimated costs for patent operations and achieve its strategic goals of optimizing patent quality and timeliness and increasing international efforts to improve IP policy, protection, and enforcement.
On November 15, 2016, a split panel of the Federal Circuit, consisting of Judges Moore and O’Malley, ruled that the antedating standard demanded by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, requiring a “continuous exercise of reasonable diligence,” was too exacting and in conflict with Federal Circuit precedent.
The Federal Circuit has ruled that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board cannot deny Patent Owner an opportunity to address portions of a prior art reference first discussed in Petitioner’s Reply, and then rely on those same portions to hold the claims unpatentable.
Several recent court decisions have shed light on the patent agent privilege, and now the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking to weigh-in on the issue.
Since Kyle Bass founded Coalition for Affordable Drugs X LLC (CFAD) to challenge pharmaceutical patents, CFAD has filed numerous petitions with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (Office) seeking to institute inter partes review (IPR) proceedings to invalidate a number of pharmaceutical patents, including three patents owned by Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., as previously discussed at Global IP Matters.
The Federal Circuit reaffirmed last week that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) decision to discontinue inter partes review (IPR) proceedings is not reviewable on appeal.
The Federal Circuit recently determined that it lacked jurisdiction to review the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s determination that assignor estoppel has no affect in an inter partes review (“IPR”).
On August 3, 2016, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board issued a post-grant review decision that bears one striking similarity to its previous post-grant review decisions, namely invalidation of claims under Alice Corp. Pty. v. CLS Bank Int’l, further bolstering the salience of patent ineligibility challenges in post-grant proceedings.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 20, 2016 in Cuozzo Speed Techs., LLC v. Lee that: (1) the statutory authority of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) in instituting an inter partes review (“IPR”) proceeding is final and non-appealable, thereby not being subject to judicial review, and (2) it is appropriate for the Board to construe claims in an issued patent according to their broadest reasonable interpretation, rather than their plain and ordinary meaning as in district court litigation.
On Tuesday, April 26, 2016, the Federal Circuit issued an order denying a petition filed by Merck & Cie for rehearing en banc of an Inter Partes Review (“IPR”) final written decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board holding several Merck patents invalid as obvious.
Following the filing of a petition with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) seeking to initiate either an Inter Partes Review (IPR) or Covered Business Method (CBM) Review, the patent owner may file a preliminary response addressing the arguments in the petition and also potentially raising arguments regarding statutory bars that may prevent the IPR or CBM proceeding from being initiated.

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