EDTX judge rules that IPR estoppel applies to all grounds included in the petition, except those that are denied for purely procedural reasons

In Biscotti Inc. v. Microsoft Corp., Magistrate Judge Roy S. Payne of the Eastern District of Texas recommended finding that the IPR estoppel statute, 35 U.S.C. § 315(e), applies to all grounds included in an IPR petition except those that are denied institution for purely procedural reasons, such as for redundancy. Case No. 2:13-CV-01015-JRG-RSP (E.D. Tex. May 11, 2017).

After being sued for infringement, the defendant in Biscotti filed several IPR petitions challenging dozens of claims. Some of the grounds were instituted, and the case was stayed pending resolution of the IPR trials, from which several claims survived. … Continue Reading

District Court holds that IPR estoppel does not apply to grounds denied institution on the merits

In Verinata Health, Inc. v. Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc., Judge Susan Illston of the Northern District of California held that the IPR estoppel statute, 35 U.S.C. § 315(e), does not apply to invalidity grounds asserted in an IPR petition but denied institution on the merits. Case No. 12-cv-05501-SI (N.D. Ill. Jan. 19, 2017).

The plaintiff in Verinata alleged infringement of claims that had survived an IPR trial.  The petitioner in the trial, who was also a defendant in the infringement suit, had asserted three obviousness grounds: (1) Shoemaker, Dhallan, and Binladen, (2) Dhallan and Binladen, and (3) Quake and … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit rules that PTAB’s decision on time-bar is still not appealable

A Federal Circuit panel recently confirmed that 35 U.S.C. § 314(d) does not permit appeal of a decision by the PTAB that an IPR petitioner is not time-barred under 35 U.S.C. § 315(b). Wi-Fi One, LLC v. Broadcom Corporation, No. 2015-1944 (Fed. Cir. Sep. 16, 2016).

Patent Owner unsuccessfully argued to the PTAB that Petitioner was time-barred from seeking IPR of its patent because Petitioner was in privity with certain entities involved in parallel district court litigation over the patent who were time-barred under Section 315(b). On appeal, Patent Owner recognized that the Federal Circuit (in Achates Reference Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Rejects PTAB’s Analysis of Motion to Amend

In Veritas Technologies LLC v. Veeam Software Corporation, the Federal Circuit concluded that the PTAB erred in denying Patent Owner’s motion to amend claims in an IPR proceeding and remanded to the PTAB for further consideration of the substitute claims submitted in the motion. No. 2014-00090 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 30, 2016).

In the IPR, the Board applied the broadest reasonable interpretation standard of claim interpretation and invalidated the challenged claims as obvious over prior art. The Board also denied Patent Owner’s motion to amend, concluding only that Patent Owner and its expert declarant had failed to address whether … Continue Reading

PTAB denies Petitioner’s motion to suspend prosecution of co-pending applications

In Telebrands Corp. v. Tinnus Enterprises, LLC, the Board denied Petitioner’s request for authorization to file a motion to suspend prosecution of co-pending patent applications that were continuations of the challenged patent. PGR2015-00018, Paper 62 (Aug. 29, 2016).

In several decisions prior to Telebrands Corp., the Board found that the estoppel provision of 37 C.F.R. § 42.73(d)(3)(i), which states in relevant part, “A patent applicant or owner is precluded from taking action inconsistent with the adverse judgment, including obtaining in any patent: (i) A claim that is not patentably distinct from a finally refused or canceled claim,” … Continue Reading

PTAB grants inaugural award of attorneys’ fees

In RPX Corporation v. Applications in Internet Time, LLC, the PTAB awarded attorneys’ fees for the first time in an AIA post-issuance proceeding. The Board had previously granted the Petitioner’s motion for sanctions in response to the Patent Owner’s improper disclosure of confidential information in violation of the Board’s Standing Default Protective Order. IPR2015-01750, Paper 69 (Jul. 1, 2016), citing to Paper 58 (May 6, 2016).

To arrive at its decision, the Board analyzed three factors: “(i) whether a party has performed conduct that warrants sanctions; (ii) whether the moving party has suffered harm from that conduct; … Continue Reading

PTAB Usually Misses the One-Month Pendency Goal for Requests for Rehearing

No statute or rule establishes a time limit for the Board to decide a request for rehearing. However, the Trial Practice Guide states that the Board “envisions” that decisions will be made within approximately one month unless additional briefing is required. An analysis of recent decisions shows that the Board is not meeting this stated goal in most cases, even when no additional briefing is requested.

For this analysis, the 21 Board decisions on requests for rehearing that issued in the month of August 2016 were considered. Of these, sixteen were requests for rehearing of institution decisions and five were … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Rejects PTAB’s Reliance on “Common Sense” to Supply Missing Claim Limitation

In Arendi S.A.R.I. v. Apple Inc., et al., the Federal Circuit reversed a PTAB decision finding all instituted claims in an IPR invalid as obvious based on the prior art and “common sense.” No. 2015-2073 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 10, 2016).

The challenged patent claimed, in part, a method for accessing a document and searching for information outside the document using a second computer program based on certain types of information contained in the document as identified by a first computer program. The only reference cited as prior art disclosed a computer program that recognizes a telephone number as … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit criticizes PTAB for changing claim construction midstream

In SAS Institute, Inc. v. ComplementSoft, LLC, the Federal Circuit criticized the PTAB for changing its claim construction “midstream” and vacated the Board’s finding that, under the newly adopted construction, one of the claims in the Patent Owner’s software patent was valid. Nos. 2015-1346, 2015-1347 (Fed. Cir. Jun. 10, 2016).

In its institution decision, the Board construed the term “graphical representations of data flows” as “a map of the path of data through the executing source code,” and relied on its construction of that term in denying institution on one of the grounds included in the petition.

In … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit rejects PTAB’s attempt at burden-shifting

In In Re Magnum Oil Tools Int’l, Ltd., the Federal Circuit found that the PTAB had improperly used its IPR institution standard—a reasonable likelihood that the petitioner would prevail as to at least one of the claims challenged in the petition—as justification for shifting the burden of persuasion and burden or production onto the Patent Owner after institution. No. 2015-1300 (Fed Cir. Jul. 25, 2016).

The IPR petition challenged claims as obvious based on two different groups of prior art combinations: Alpha and Lehr. The Board instituted review based on the Lehr combinations but not the Alpha combinations, which … Continue Reading