Under the old inter partes patent reexamination model, patentees were often faced with 10+ grounds of rejection. The numerosity and overlap in these rejections rendered USPTO processing quite tedious and resource intensive. For at least this reason these proceedings would take upward of five years to make their way through the USPTO.
With the inefficiencies of inter partes patent reexamination still fresh on the minds of the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB), it is not surprising that the Board has attempted to simplify such issues for Inter Partes Review (IPR) and Covered Business Method (CBM) patent challenges (and presumably PGR). In the PTAB Trial Orders to date, grounds of unpatentability that are deemed “redundant” are filtered out at the close of the preliminary proceeding and trial is ordered going forward on the strongest grounds (as determined by the panel of PTAB judges). However, in view of the recent CAFC decision in Rexnord Industries LLC. v. Kappos (CAFC 2013), this redundancy determination may only serve as a temporary reprieve for patentees. Read the rest of this entry »