Business executives routinely wrestle with whether to defend a patent infringement suit in court, settle the dispute for less than the cost/risk of defending it (especially in the case of patent “troll” suits), or seek the help of the USPTO to address the problem patent via a post grant patent proceeding. Patent litigation is a well-worn path and the variables and risks associated with it are relatively well understood. The same can, to an extent, be said of patent reexamination at the USPTO. But now that inter partes reexamination has been replaced with inter partes review (IPR), an entirely new mechanism of the America Invents act, CEOs and CFOs around the world are asking how this new option alters the existing landscape.
The primary business distinctions between IPR and court proceedings are cost, predictability, effectiveness, and speed. With respect to cost, according to statistics published by AIPLA and others defending a patent lawsuit through trial costs well in into the millions of dollars for cases involving substantial financial exposure. IPR, in the vast majority of cases, will cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. As a business rule of thumb, Read the rest of this entry »