CAFC OKs Interim Director Actions

The first Arthrex battle at the SCOTUS was an attempt to pull down the PTAB system based upon a violation of the Appointments Clause. That effort failed, and instead, the Court simply allowed for a principal officer, the Director, to review Final Written Decisions (FWDs). Then, when Director Iancu stepped down, the interim Director took over the Director Review functions. Arthrex II argued that this was substitution was improper as the interim Director was not a political appointee (i.e., Senate confirmed).

Neither of these disputes were of much interest to to me. In my view the first challenge was always going to end in some kind of remedy that would have little impact on PTAB practice, and the second, at best, was just going to end up with a new signature on the same Director Review decision.

So, it was not surprising when Arthrex II fizzled out last week.

Continue Reading Arthrex II Fizzles

New Director to Review Hirshfeld Decisions?

Patent Owners that had the option to avail themselves of the new Director Review process under former interim Director Hirshfeld have been crying foul to the Federal Circuit. Their argument being that the Arthrex holding required a Senate confirmed Director Review, and that an interim Director (promoted from within) did not meet that criteria. Argument was heard a month or so back at the Federal Circuit on this issue.

Since that time, Senate confirmed Director Vidal has finally taken the wheel. Realizing this, the gov’t now hopes to pull the plug on these appeals.

Continue Reading More PTAB Arthrex Remands?

Virtual CLE Program January 24 – 27th

IPWatchdog’s PTAB Masters 2022 (PTAB-palooza if you prefer), is coming next week!

The free, 4-day CLE program is virtual, and will focus on the PTAB from the viewpoint of both the patent owner and petitioners challenging patents.  Topics will explore political and legislative developments impacting the agency in

Abusive Reexam Relief

Late last month, in In re Vivint, Inc., the Federal Circuit tackled the question of whether a post-issuance review proceeding (in this case, ex parte reexamination (“EPR”)) was available to a challenger that repeatedly filed another post-issuance review proceeding (in this case, inter partes review (“IPR”)) to forward the very same argument. The court held that, while the EPR request had shown substantial new questions of patentability, “the Patent Office abused its discretion and acted arbitrarily and capriciously under § 325(d).” As such the court vacated the decision and remanded to the Patent Office (“PTO”) with instructions to dismiss.

But, don’t expect this decision to be much more than a corner case.
Continue Reading Reexam After Failed IPR?

October Webinar to Debrief on Leahy Bill

Senator Patrick Leahy (D) VT and Senator John Cornyn (R) TX have jointly drafted a new bill entitled the “Restoring the America Invents Act.” The Bill proposes to roll-back recent directives and policies of former USPTO Director Iancu, most notably discretionary denials of AIA trial proceedings in view

Bill Released – Iancu Era Rebuked

Well, the wait was not that long after all.  Senator Leahy -VT (D) (with co-sponsor Senator Cornyn – Tx (R)) has today released the draft bill entitled “Restoring the America Invents Act.”  The bill includes most of what I expected, with a handful of additional tweaks.

Below is a brief overview of all of the proposed changes.
Continue Reading Restoring the America Invents Act – What You Need to Know

PTAB Master Class Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, the PTAB Bar Association will kick-off its annual conference. The conference will bring together practitioners, in-house counsel, and members of the bench for a dynamic discussion of Patent Trial Appeal Board (PTAB) best practices, recent developments and trends, policy considerations, and more.  This year, we are in-person only!

The 3-day

Ex Parte Appeal Discussion

The next PTAB Boardside Chat webinar will be held Thursday May 13th, from noon to 1PM (EST), and will present a discussion on preparing an ex parte appeal brief. This program is intended for independent inventors, new practitioners, and those interested in learning more about the PTAB.

During the webinar, Vice

Joinder Estoppel Revisited

A few weeks back, the federal Circuit handed down a decision in Uniloc 2017 LLC v. Facebook Inc, capping off a complicated procedural history.  In its decision, the Court sorted out the estoppel impact of IPRs finishing a few months earlier than others, and what that meant for parties common to these IPRs.

Left unanalyzed, however, was whether or not the PTAB’s initial finding of estoppel was appropriate in the first instance given the peculiar manner by which parties are joined to PTAB proceedings via copy-cat petitions.
Continue Reading Evolution of PTAB Joinder Estoppel

CAFC Side Steps 314(a) Controversy on Procedural Grounds

As detailed back in September, there were separate attacks launched against the PTAB’s practice of denying AIA trial petitions in favor of advancing district court trial dockets. The first was a mandamus petition filed with the Federal Circuit challenging a particular IPR denial, the second an APA action filed by a number of large tech companies challenging the agency’s Fintiv practice as being in excess of its jurisdiction.

Last week, the Federal Circuit denied the mandamus, finding the matter barred from appeal in a straightforward opinion.
Continue Reading Challenge to Fintiv Fails on Mandamus