Unrebutted Secondary Indicia Considered in Assessing Becton-Dickinson Factors

The submission of so-called “objective indicia of non-obviousness” at the PTAB is rarely effective, especially in the predictable arts (i.e., mechanical/electrical).  This is because the most common form of such evidence, “commercial success” is often difficult to tie to any particular claim feature (unlike drug formulations, for example).  That said, as a Graham Factor that is assessed in an obviousness determination, the failure to address previously established indicia could prove fatal to your petition.  Continue Reading PTAB Denies Petition Overlooking Objective Indicia of Non-Obviousness

September Webinar to Focus on RPI/Privy Issues

The September edition of the PatentsPostGrant.com webinar series will be held this Wednesday September 18th@ 2-3PM (EST). The September program is entitled Avoiding PTAB Pitfalls: Indemnification & Joint/Common Interest Agreements.

The webinar will explore the increasing complexities of real party in interest (RPI) and privity determinations before the USPTO Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB). In particular, the webinar will focus on multi-defendant disputes, and the risks/considerations in joining joint defense groups (JDG)/Common Defense Agreements, and in navigating indemnity agreements and obligations. The discussion will explore the Board’s renewed interest in these issues based upon recent guidance of the Federal Circuit.

My co-presenter for this webinar will be Matthew Rizzolo, litigation counsel in Ropes & Gray’s intellectual property litigation practice.

The formal portion of the webinar will begin at 2PM Eastern and will last for approximately 50-60 minutes. After the presentation there will be a Q&A period. To attend the free webinar please sign up via the link below. You will receive a registration confirmation email immediately. One hour prior to the webinar you’ll receive another email with a link and instructions for joining the presentation. CLE credit will be provided (CA, NYC, VA).

Free Registration: (here)

Lack of Stakeholder Consensus on 101 Effort

The sponsors of the promised bill to reform 35 U.S.C. § 101 are struggling to regain earlier momentum. It seems that the inclusion of the 112(f) provision (designed to bring Big Tech to the table on an otherwise unwelcome reform effort) has not been effective. Worse, the 112 provision has actually turned off some in Bio/Pharma. As such, the 101 bill promised back in July now appears to be slipping to October.

Given the recent complications, the Stronger Patents Act has been dusted off to remind Big Tech that, at least in theory, there could be much worse legislative consequences than a more patent friendly 101 statute.  Continue Reading Political Theater & The Stronger Patents Act

PTAB Designates Two Older Decisions as Precedential, Updates Hearing Rooms/Notices

The Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) has designated two more decisions precedential. The first addresses the 315(b) fling deadline, while the other pre-institution statutory disclaimer.

In addition to expanding precedent, the Board has also expanded hearing room space and options. Continue Reading PTAB Adds Precedent & Hearing Room Features

Exceptional Cases & The PTAB

As discussed last month, as PTAB proceedings conclude at the Federal Circuit and return to the district courts, courts are finding themselves faced with new questions on estoppel. Another question that has been recently posed for successful PTAB challenges is whether, and to what extent, a prevailing party in an “exceptional” case (35 U.S.C. § 285) can obtain fees for work done at the PTAB?

Once again, the answer may depend on the particular district court. Continue Reading Recoverability of PTAB Fees in Exceptional Cases

Precedential & Informative Decision Update Today

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) will host a Boardside Chat webinar today, from noon to 1pm (EST). Vice Chief Judge Scott Weidenfeller, Judge Kevin Cherry, and Judge Amanda Weiker will discuss PTAB decisions designated over the summer as precedential and informative.

The PTAB held a similar webinar last spring to discuss cases designated as of that time. This webinar will pick up from where the last one left off. (access the webinar here)

The webinar is free and open to all. There will be a Q&A session at the end of the presentation. As always, questions may be emailed in advance or during the webinar to PTABBoardsideChat@uspto.gov.

Bill Delayed for Stakeholder Feedback

With June’s flurry of Senate hearings on the subject of patentable subject matter (i.e., 35 U.S.C. § 101), the previously announced plan was to release a draft reform bill in July. The draft was to be based on the outline of the framework discussed in the earlier hearings. Of course, July came and went without a bill as sponsors struggled with, among other issues, the functional claiming control (112 provision) included in the proposed framework. (Critics argued, incorrectly, that the 112 provision would somehow impact every patent).

Since that time, the leaders of the Senate subcommittee on intellectual property, Senators Coons (D-DE) and Tillis (R-SC) have conducted further stakeholder roundtable meetings to discuss their revised draft, intending to release a draft bill sometime this month.  Given the influx of campaign contributions to Sens Coons and Tillis (Pharma PACs in particular), and both senators being up for reelection in 2020, one can expect the 101 reform effort to remain on the front-burner.

Stay tuned.

RPI/Privy Disputes Become More Complex + PLI PTAB Trials 2019

As we move into the fall season, a host of bar association programs are on the horizon from IPO, AIPLA and others.  But first, a few options for PTAB focused CLE in September. The PatensPostGrant.com webinar series returns from summer hiatus, and the longest running and most widely attended PTAB CLE program, PLI’s full-day PTAB trials program returns to NYC. Continue Reading September PTAB CLE

Precedential Opinion Panel Reverses Decision on 315(b)

Earlier this year the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted trial in Sling TV, L.L.C. et al. v. Realtime Adaptive Streaming, LLC, IPR2018-01331, Paper 9 (PTAB January 31, 2019). In doing so it created a new exception to the 315(b) time bar. The exception explained that the trigger for 315(b) — service of the complaint — was ineffective if the true patent owner was not responsible for the filing.

At the time, I questioned whether this exception made sense given that exclusive licensees commonly assert patents. And, the statutory language and legislative history did not seem to support such a narrow interpretation.  The Precedential Opinion Panel (POP) decided the issue last week in GoPro, Inc. v. 360Heros, Inc., (IPR2018-01754).

The POP agreed. Continue Reading No Exceptions to PTAB Time Bar

“Known or Used” Not a Side-Step to PTAB Estoppel

Keeping with yesterday’s discussion of Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) estoppel in the district courts, a decision from earlier this year on yet another aspect of this estoppel has been recalibrated. Back in January, the Central District of California explained in The California Institute of Technology v. Broadcom Limited, et al., that IPR estoppel (35 U.S.C. § 315(e)(2)) applies where the same IPR reference is later raised in court under the “known or used” prong of pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. § 102(a) instead of as a “patent or printed publication” as done in the IPR.

Upon Motion for reconsideration, the Court has agreed that it’s earlier Order required further clarification. Continue Reading Courts Continue to Explore Reach of PTAB Estoppel & Standards for Assessing Exceptions