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IPRs & Other Post Grant Proceedings

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Chat with the Chief on SAS Institute

May 4, 2018 | Blog | By Michael Renaud, Sandra Badin, Inna Dahlin

As we noted in our blog post last week, the USPTO held its “Chat with the Chief on SAS” webinar on April 30, 2018, to advise the public on the implications of the Supreme Court’s opinion in SAS Institute for practice before the Board going forward.

Overcoming Obviousness Rejections: Arguing Changes to Fundamental Principle of Operation

January 24, 2018 | Blog | By Christina Sperry, Monique Winters Macek

When trying to overcome an obviousness rejection of a patent claim, an argument that two or more cited references cannot be combined may be used.  For example, it can be argued that the combination is improper because the modification of a reference completely changes its “fundamental principle of operation.”
In its first en banc decision of 2018, the Federal Circuit held that “judicial review is available for a patent owner to challenge the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s determination that the petitioner satisfied the timeliness requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 315(b) governing the filing of petitions for inter partes review.”
On December 19, 2017, an expanded panel of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) ruled that the state of Minnesota waived its Eleventh Amendment immunity to challenges to patent validity by inter partes review (IPR) by filing suit in federal court alleging infringement of the same patent being challenged by IPR. 

Recap of PTAB’s “Chat with the Chief”

December 21, 2017 | Blog | By Christina Sperry

On December 19, 2017 the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) held a “Chat with the Chief” webinar in which Chief Judge David Ruschke presented very recent developments on a variety of topics related to practice before the Board, including Aqua Products guidance for motions to amend, new procedures for handling remands, and the expanded panel process.

PTAB Guidance on Motions to Amend in View of Aqua Products

November 30, 2017 | Blog | By Brad M Scheller, Jinnie Reed

On November 21st, the PTAB issued guidance on motions to amend based on the Federal Circuit’s en banc decision in Aqua Products, Inc. v. Matal, 872 F.3d 1290 (Fed. Cir. 2017).

District Court Denies Motion to Stay Pending Supreme Court Decision in Oil States

November 17, 2017 | Blog | By Andrew DeVoogd, Chris Duerden

In June, we covered the Supreme Court’s grant of certiorari in Oil States Energy Servs., LLC v. Greene's Energy Grp., LLC, 137 S. Ct. 2239 (2017). The Court will decide whether inter partes review – an adversarial process used by the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) since September 16, 2012 to analyze the validity of existing patents – violates the Constitution by extinguishing private property rights through a non-Article III forum without a jury.

USPTO Publishes New Rule Governing Privilege for Patent Attorneys and Agents

November 14, 2017 | Blog | By Matthew Hurley, Matthew Galica, Anthony Faillaci

Earlier this week, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) published a new rule governing when privilege exists for communications between clients and their domestic or foreign patent attorneys and patent agents before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”).

Federal Circuit Clarifies the Requirements for a Teaching Away by the Prior Art

October 23, 2017 | Blog | By Adam Samansky, Peter Cuomo, Joe Rutkowski

In a precedential opinion issued on October 11, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the Patent Trial and Appeals Board’s (“PTAB”) finding of non-obviousness where the prior art taught away from some, but not all, of the embodiments covered by the challenged claims.

General Plastic Industrial Co. v. Canon Kabushiki Kaisha: PTAB Explains Factors for Follow-On Petitions

October 9, 2017 | Blog | By Brad M Scheller, Peter Cuomo, Inna Dahlin

On September 6, 2017, an expanded panel of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board issued an “informative” decision in General Plastic Industrial Co., Ltd, v. Canon Kabushiki Kaisha setting forth the Board’s framework for analyzing follow-on inter partes review (IPR) petitions.

AQUA PRODUCTS: The Federal Circuit Shifts The Burden of Proof On Amending Claims During An IPR From The Patent Owner To The Petitioner

October 5, 2017 | Blog | By Michael Renaud, William Meunier, Michael Newman, Matthew Galica

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s recent decision in Aqua Products Inc., v. Matal materially changes the burden of proof associated with the patentability of amended claims during an inter partes review (“IPR”), shifting the burden from the Patent Owner seeking the amendment to the IPR Petitioner opposing it.
On August 25, 2017, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board issued a precedential opinion in Ex Parte McAward, reaffirming the Patent Office’s use of a lower pre-issuance threshold for indefiniteness distinct from the Supreme Court’s Nautilus standard.

ITC Denies Suspension or Temporary Rescission of Remedial Orders After PTAB Invalidates Patents at Issue

July 28, 2017 | Blog | By Michael Renaud, Aarti Shah, Patrick Driscoll, Tiffany Knapp

In a first of its kind decision with important ramifications for patentees, the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) denied a petition to suspend or temporarily rescind remedial orders issued in Investigation No. 337-TA-945 pending appeal of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (“PTAB”) separate finding that the patent claims at issue are invalid.
In EmeraChem Holdings LLC v. Volkswagen Group of Am. Inc., the Federal Circuit reminded the PTAB that it must abide by the APA’s requirements of adequate notice and an opportunity to respond when conducting a post-grant review.

Supreme Court to Decide the Constitutionality of Inter Partes Review

June 22, 2017 | Blog | By Michael Renaud, Andrew DeVoogd, Chris Duerden

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.”

PTAB Invalidates Two Cisco Patents Found Valid and Infringed at the ITC

June 14, 2017 | Blog | By Aarti Shah, Patrick Driscoll

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.

Federal Circuit Rejects Board’s Understanding of Prior Art

April 28, 2017 | Blog | By Brad M Scheller, Catherine Xu

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.”

Federal Circuit to PTAB: No Short Cuts Allowed

April 25, 2017 | Blog | By Brad M Scheller, Vincent Ferraro

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.

USPTO Launches PTAB Procedural Reform Initiative

April 18, 2017 | Blog | By Christina Sperry, Monique Winters Macek

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. 
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