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  • The opinions, commentary and characterizations provided to this online forum by the authors and moderators are provided for encouraging discussion, thought and debate on important post grant issues. These postings are in no way representative of the opinions of Oblon Spivak et al., or its clients.

Archive for the ‘Inter Partes Review’ Category

PTAB Roundtable Webcast Today

Posted On: Apr. 15, 2014   By: Scott A. McKeown
USPTO_LogoWebcast today, 1-4PM EST

As a reminder, the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) roundtable series kicks off today in Alexandria.

The Chief Judge will kick off today’s program with some performance information, including entirely new statistical categories of data. Thereafter, judges of the PTAB will conduct mock telephone conferences, and I along with three other practitioners will close out the program discussing strategy, practice tips and concurrent proceeding concerns.

Alexandria, VA Webcast – April 15, 2014

PTAB Roadshow Effort Kicks Off in Alexandria on 4/15

Posted On: Apr. 10, 2014   By: Scott A. McKeown

PTAB roundtableRoundtable Discussions to Spur Dialogue on Possible Rule Changes

Roughly eighteen months have passed since the USPTO’s implementation of the new post grant patent challenges of the America Invents Act (AIA). Since the rules for implementing these post grant patent proceedings were developed under an aggressive time schedule, as promised, the USPTO is now revisiting those rules. In the months ahead, the USPTO will be considering whether revisions/refinements to the Patent Trial & Appeal Board’s (PTAB) rules are in order. To kickoff the effort, the PTAB will be conducting informational/roundtable discussions around the country. Once the roadshows are concluded, the USPTO is planning a Federal Register Notice this summer to collect additional stakeholder comments.

The roadshow agenda includes a discussion of AIA trial statistics, lessons learned, and techniques for successful motions practice.  The roundtables are free and open to all with seating available on a first-come, first-served basis. Stops include, Alexandria (webcast available), New York, Chicago, Detroit, Santa Clara, Seattle, Dallas, and Denver.

Schedule and agenda are posted below. Read the rest of this entry »

Patent Reissue as an Alternative to PTAB Amendment Practice

patent reissue ptabStringent PTAB Amendment Process to Drive Patent Reissue Filings

As discussed previously, patent owners continue to struggle with the motion-based amendment requirements of the USPTO’s Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB). In recent months, patentees subject to Inter Partes Review (IPR) and Covered Business Method (CBM) challenges have begun exploring alternative USPTO avenues for presenting amendments. In particular, patentees are following the advice of the PTAB and initiating patent reissue and reexamination proceedings.

Patentees generally find patent reexamination more attractive than patent reissue. This is due to the special dispatch accorded a patent reexamination, the relatively narrow scope of prior art review, and insulation from 112 and 101 issues. However, as made clear recently, patent reissue may be the only escape for patentees struggling at the PTAB.

Read the rest of this entry »

PTAB Announces Public Roundtables

Posted On: Mar. 25, 2014   By: Scott A. McKeown
USPTO_LogoRoundtables Kick Off in Alexandria on 4/15

In the weeks ahead, the USPTO’s Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) will present roundtable programs across the country to share information and collect feedback on the new patentability trials of the America Invents Act (AIA). The first stop will be at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria Virginia on 4/15 (agenda here).

The program will include an update on recent trial statistics, mock teleconferences, and plenary sessions with Administrative Patent Judges (APJs). Additional roundtable locations include, New York City, Chicago, Detroit, Silicon Valley, Seattle, Dallas and Denver.

Is Branded Bio/Pharma Adequately Preparing for the PTAB?

Bio/Pharma Patentee Challenges AheadPTAB-pharma

As discussed last week, the USPTO’s Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) offers significant benefits to generic drug companies seeking to enter the market of a branded competitor. That is, the PTAB offers a short circuit to expensive district court litigation for challenging high value drug patents.

In addition to the proceedings discussed last week, three recent PTAB decisions involving DNA sequencing patents owned by the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, the PTAB cancelled all challenged claims in the three patents, IPR2012-0006 and 00007 and IPR2013-00011. While not technically drug patents, their fate is indicative of what the drug industry faces in PTAB challenges.  Read the rest of this entry »

Generic Pharma Leverages PTAB

pharma patentsIPRs and Drug Litigation

Since Post Grant Review (PGR) is designed to challenge patents on 112 and 101 grounds not available in Inter Partes Review (IPR), it is often assumed that Bio/Pharma is somewhat unconcerned with the growing trend to challenge patents in IPR at the PTAB. Today, my partner Richard Kelly and I explain that ethical drug companies are in fact very concerned with IPR.

The generic drug industry enjoyed a run of almost 20 years of enormous profits from the 180 day exclusivity period granted to the first ANDA file under the Hatch-Waxman Act —  this all changed in 2003. In response to perceived abuses, The Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act became law in 2003. One unintended consequence of the act was that most exclusivity periods became shared. That is more than one generic company received the right to sell during 180 day exclusivity period.

The impact on the generic industry’s profitability has been marked. First, if there is only one generic, it has been estimated that the generic company will receive about 94% of the ethical company’s wholesale price and will capture 80% or more of the ethical drug company’s market volume. In contrast, with a shared exclusivity between two competitors, only 52% of the ethical company’s price is captured, at 9 competitors only 20%, but still collectively capturing about 80% or more of the ethical company’s volume. In the recent Crestor litigation, 9 companies are eligible for the 180 day shared exclusivity. This changes the economics of drug patent litigation tremendously. No longer can generic companies afford to pay $10 million or more in legal fees to challenge a drug patent listed in the FDA Orange Book. Like many patent challengers the generics are looking to cut litigation costs — enter the PTAB. Read the rest of this entry »

Medical Technology Patents at the PTAB

medical-technology-IPRIPR…Not Just For Trolls

With Congress on the verge of passing still more legislation directed at alleviating the dreaded “patent troll” problem, perhaps Congress should pause to consider what has already been accomplished over the last 18+ months. As pointed at by Gene Quinn at IPwatchdog last week, Congress is in a rush to pass further patent reform legislation in the name of “helping Main Street America.” Yet, since September 16, 2012 the America Invents Act (AIA) has been wildly successful in providing a cheaper, faster, low cost alternative to patent litigation. Inter Partes Review (IPR) in particular has become the favorite anti-troll measure.

Typically, an IPR is pursued against the subject patent so that a stay of the costlier litigation can be obtained. Depending upon the jurisdiction/judge involved, the ability to stay a litigation pending USPTO review has increased significantly since the passage of the AIA. While this change in landscape is welcome news for those battling trolls, IPR is equally concerning for those patentees considered to be true technology innovators. Read the rest of this entry »

March 2014 Update to PTAB Trial Statistics

Posted On: Mar. 14, 2014   By: Scott A. McKeown
PTABPTAB Breaks 1000 Threshold for CBM and IPR Filings

Last week, the USPTO issued the official tallies/progress statistics for Inter Partes Review (IPR), Post Grant Review (PGR) and the Covered Business Method (CBM) proceedings. As of March 6, 2014 the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) has received 924 IPR petitions and 127 CBM petitions, 1056 petitions in total. Since the last update in January, the PTAB has seen 150 additional petition filings. These numbers are well beyond the 281 filing limit per year Congress envisioned in the America Invents Act. The PTAB is seeing 281 filings roughly every 2-3 months. (Click to Enlarge)

aia_statistics_03_06_2014

aia_statistics_B

Not surprisingly, the vast majority of IPR petitions remain in the predictable arts, significant concentrations being in consumer electronics and mobile communication technologies. (a favorite haunt of non-practicing entities (NPEs))

aia_statistics_CAlthough difficult to gauge from the numbers due to the lag in filing of preliminary responses across yearly boundaries and larger sample in 2014 filing numbers, it seems that patent owner’s are beginning to appreciate the limited value of preliminary responses. The number of waived responses in 2014 has already surpassed 2013 numbers.

aia_statistics_DBased upon the growing sample, the settlement/adverse judgment rate appears to be leveling out at around 15-20%. As more proceedings mature toward written decision the rate may increase. Of course, it is within the discretion of the PTAB to continue to written decision for late stage settlements, especially those attempted after the patent owner response. (See CBM2012-00007)

PTAB Perceptions Vary Across District Courts

Posted On: Mar. 13, 2014   By: Scott A. McKeown
PTAB-staysNDCA vs. EDTX

Prior to the passage of the America Invents Act (AIA) many district courts were less than impressed with the lenghty pendencies of patent reexamination proceedings at the USPTO. For this reason, motions to stay a litigation pending patent reexamination were often denied based upon the perceived prejudice of a 5-6 year delay (typical of reexaminations through appeal). The patent challenge proceedings of the AIA (IPR, CBM and PGR) were specifically designed, at least in part, to remedy the pendency issue.

The new patent challenge proceedings of the AIA are conducted before the USPTO’s Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) and must conclude, by statute, within 12 months of trial order. (There is a provision allowing for 18 month schedules in exceptional cases but the PTAB has yet to avail themselves of that exception). Many districts across the country have recognized the improved speed of the PTAB. Not surprisingly, the success rate for staying cases pending USPTO review has significantly improved.

That said, there are still significant differences of opinion on the PTAB —across districts, and even across judges of a same district.  Read the rest of this entry »

Is The Eastern District of Texas Thwarting the America Invents Act?

Posted On: Mar. 11, 2014   By: Scott A. McKeown

Time to Adapt - Clock

Refusal to Stay Pending CBM Unusual

Last week I discussed the creation of a “Track B” docket by the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX) and explained how this docket could force some defendants away from the more cost effective alternatives of the USPTO’s Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB). On the heels of the Track B announcement, the Court issued a second denial of a stay of the patent dispute between VirtualAgility Inc., v. Salesforce.com Inc., et al. (here) pending PTAB review. In this case, a Covered Business Method (CBM) challenge was filed against the patent at issue. By way of reminder, CBM is the proceeding created by Congress that does all but mandate a stay pending CBM…..at least outside of Texas. Read the rest of this entry »