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

Do Private Arbitration Agreements Undermine Public Policy?

With Congress considering “encouraging” stays of patent litigation pending concurrent PTAB review, licensors may begin to look to contractual  mechanisms to avoid a PTAB filing altogether.  The strategy is not unprecedented, and may provide a way for district courts to enjoin the agency from moving forward with AIA trials.

But, should private agreements thwart mechanisms designed to remove improvidently granted patent monopolies?
Continue Reading Avoiding the PTAB by Private Agreement?

Dodocase May Encourage New NDA Strategies

As discussed a few weeks back, licensors have begun to seek cover from the PTAB via forum selection clauses in their licensing agreements. In a recent district court opinion, this strategy was explored as language of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) between parties pre-litigation.

Left unchecked, the holding in Dodocase could have a chilling effect on pre-suit negotiations as well.
Continue Reading Licensors Attempt to Leverage NDAs to Avert PTAB Review

Rehearing Cites Lack of Countervailing Public Policy Against PTAB Review

Last month the Federal Circuit decided Dodocase VR, Inc. v. Merchsource, LLC (here). In Dodocase the Federal Circuit held that a standard forum selection clause can divest the PTAB of AIA trial jurisdiction.

If maintained, the ability to avoid the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) by private agreement would prove a game changer in periodic licensing agreements between competitors, including SEP licensors.

But, earlier this week, en banc rehearing was sought.
Continue Reading CAFC Urged to Rehear PTAB Forum Selection Dispute

PatentsPostGrant.Com May Webinar

The AIA represents a major shift in U.S. patent policy and its full scope and effect remain a moving target.  Opportunities and challenges are presented post-AIA in patent licensing and related agreements such as joint collaborations. New issues include prior sales under Helsinn v. Teva, forum selection clauses & the PTAB, April Webinar

There is no consensus amongst the courts and commentators as to how SEPs should be valued. This has led to an increasingly complex legal thicket as patented standards become more prevalent across once disparate products and technologies. The difficulties with valuation of SEPs, determining FRAND rates, and complying with FRAND obligations, creates

Seeking More Granularity on Patent Pools?

Patent pools and groupings of standard essential patents (SEPs) facilitate one-stop shopping of patent licensees. When operated fairly, these arrangements can provide meaningful efficiencies to licensors and licensees alike. On the other hand, there is also ample room for abuse given the brute strength of such large portfolios.

While the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) can be an appealing solution to combat improvidently granted patents, it is not a realistic option for an implementer facing a large pool that might include patents of questionable merit.  Thus, when this “big stick” leverage is abused, unreasonable license valuations/demands can go unchecked. When such undesirable economic practices are multiplied across pools, “royalty stacking” becomes especially problematic for implementers, and ultimately, consumers.
Continue Reading Dealing with SEP Demands & Royalty Stacking