Failed PTAB Bill Reemerges For a 6th Time

Yesterday, U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.),Thom Tillis(R-N.C.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) introduced the Promoting and Respecting Economically Vital American Innovation Leadership (PREVAIL) Act (here). Also yesterday, some of the very same senators introduced the Patent Eligibility Restoration Act of 2023

The co-introduction of these bills suggests a plan to drive compromise on patent eligibility.Continue Reading New PTAB Bill to Drive 101 Compromise?

Unnecessarily Ambitious

Late last week the USPTO issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) that floated numerous rule proposals and requests for feedback — too numerous. Proposals addressing current 314(a) and 325(d) practices were not only expected, but long overdue. While these expected proposals were included in the sprawling Notice, the rule-making process will undoubtedly be bogged down by the remaining collection of controversial ideas and administrative over-reach.

Keep in mind that 314(a) Fintiv practices could soon be struck down as improper circumvention of APA rule-making. Stalling the issuance of those rules for at least another 12-18 months – if not longer – seems like a bad idea. My guess is political pressure from outside the agency led to the laundry list of additional proposals. Especially as they relate to for-profit entities in the wake of the Open Sky debacle.

Regardless, of how or why the expansive ANPRM came to be, I’ll walk through each proposal/idea in detail below (ANPRM here)Continue Reading PTAB Rule Ideas – The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

Ending Opensky IPR Participation Underwhelming

Back in March, I explained that the Opensky mess needed to be immediately checked by the USPTO. The legitimacy of the PTAB is at stake when when profiteers are actively conspiring to abuse the IPR process by offering to deliberately file papers for an improper purposes. The situation called for swift and decisive correction…..but this is the federal government. So, we waited for a new Director to be appointed, and then, largely unnecessary amicus briefing for such a unique fact pattern.

Six months later (IPR is effectively done except for the Final Written Decision), we finally have a determination out of the Director. But, the outcome is far from satisfying for anyone that is hoping for the PTAB to start policing bad actors akin to an Article III Court.Continue Reading Its Time for the PTAB to Stop Playing Good Cop

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

Court Holds Fact Finders May Compare Document Versions

Over the years, the Federal Circuit has faulted the PTAB for overly rigid printed publication analysis.  A recent Federal Circuit decision has provided further guidance on how the PTAB should determine what constitutes prior art in AIA trial proceedings, especially as it relates to the duties of a fact finder.
Continue Reading PTAB Faulted on Rigid Printed Publication Analysis

CAFC Says “No”…Ninth Circuit Says “Yes”

Under 35 U.S.C. § 285, a prevailing party in a patent infringement dispute may be awarded reasonable attorney fees in “exceptional cases.” I’ve previously discussed the contours of what constitutes an “exceptional” case based upon earlier cases. In 2018, the Central District of California awarded attorney’s fees stemming from a parallel PTAB proceeding, and in 2019 a Michigan court held that conduct at the PTAB may even be permissible as being the sole basis for fees in parallel district court proceedings. Most recently, however, based upon the guidance of the Federal Circuit, 285 has not been extended to attorney fees incurred during a PTAB proceeding.
Continue Reading Circuits Split on PTAB Fees Being Recoverable Under 285

AIPLA Webinar Next Tuesday

For those seeking some PTAB-related CLE, consider next Tuesday’s AIPLA webinar @12:30 (EST) entitled:  Discretionary Denials Revisited: The New Politics of FintivRegister (here)

The program will explore the increasing politicization of the USPTO Director position, and what may be on the horizon relative to the uncodified discretionary

Pursuing Different Constructions Before the PTAB & Court?

Since the PTAB started applying the Philips standard for claim construction, petitioners have put a lot more thought into their proposed claim constructions. This is because it is no longer possible to point to the PTAB’s use of the broadest reasonable interpretation (BRI) as the basis for a different construction.

Now, petitioners are very careful to be consistent with disputed terms.  But, what happens if a petitioner argues for a broader construction at the PTAB, then argues for a more narrowed construction in the district court?
Continue Reading Keeping Your PTAB Story Straight

New PTAB Roadblocks & Strategies

Earlier this week I laid out my Top 5 PTAB cases of 2020 for PTAB Practitioners, focusing on those cases that changed day-to-day practices before the agency. Like the practitioner list, my Top 5 PTAB developments of 2020 for District Court Litigators will focus on those practical PTAB developments that will impact parallel litigation practices outside of the agency.

In 2020, there were a number developments of interest to litigators, from litigation forums where a PTAB challenge is foreclosed or highly unlikely, to stipulations for avoiding PTAB discretionary denials, and new risks of collateral estoppel across a litigated portfolio.
Continue Reading Top 5 PTAB Developments of 2020 for District Court Litigators