Court Finds Issue Joinder Inconsistent with AIA Statute

As I predicted back in August, the Federal Circuit has now effectively reversed the PTAB’s first Precedential Opinion Panel (POP) decision in Proppant Express Investments v. Oren Technologies, Case IPR2018-00914 (PTAB Mar. 13, 2019) (Paper 38)  In this decision, the POP held that 35 U.S.C. § 315(c) provides discretion to allow a petitioner to be “joined” to a proceeding in which it is already a party, and provides discretion to allow joinder of new issues into an existing proceeding (here).

In  Facebook, Inc. v. Windy City Innovations, LLC, the Federal Circuit held that 315(c) was not ambiguous—an existing “party” to a proceeding cannot be joined as a party— and, as such there was no reason to even consider the earlier POP precedent for according any Chevron or Skidmore deference.  However, the Court then went on to explain that even if there were ambiguity, the POP decision would not be accorded deference in accordance with administrative law principles.
Continue Reading CAFC Reverses PTAB POP Precedent

October Boardside Chat to Cover FY2019 PTAB Changes

With today being the last day of FY2019, the October Boardside Chat will look back at all of the 2019 changes to ex parte appeal and AIA trial procedures. The webinar is scheduled for October 10th, from noon to 1 p.m. (EST).

The FY2019 changes include the

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

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

Issue Joinder on the Way Out?

As discussed some months back, the Patent Trial & Appeal Board’s (PTAB) new Precedential Opinion Panel (POP) decided its first case in Proppant Express Investments v. Oren Technologies, Case IPR2018-00914 (PTAB Mar. 13, 2019) (Paper 38)  In this decision, the POP held that 35 U.S.C. § 315(c) provides discretion to allow a petitioner to be “joined” to a proceeding in which it is already a party, and provides discretion to allow joinder of new issues into an existing proceeding (here).

This practice, known as “issue joinder” is now before the Federal Circuit. And, the Court does not appear receptive to the agency’s statutory interpretation.
Continue Reading CAFC Poised to Strike Down PTAB’s First POP Decision

New Decisions Provide Guidance on Discretionary Denials

The Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) has been steadily rolling out new precedent since establishing it Precedential Opinion Panel (POP). Last Friday a few more decisions were added to the growing pile. The newest decisions: two precedential and one informative serve to clarify 325(d) and 314(a) considerations, while the third informative decision warns against excessive and voluminous prior art presentations.
Continue Reading PTAB Continues to Roll Out Precedent

New Chief & Deputy Chief to Speak Thursday

The Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) is hosting a Boardside Chat webinar this Thursday, April 4th from noon to 1pm(EST). The webinar will introduce new Chief Judge Scott Boalick and Deputy Chief Judge Jackie Bonilla. The judges will discuss recent precedential and informative decisions issued by

Issue Joinder Practices Poised to Reset

As previously discussed, the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) is now reconsidering its issue joinder practices. These practices were the subject of significant debate internal to the Board a few years back. The inability of the Board to arrive at a majority consensus on whether issue joinder was permitted by the AIA statutes led to the now infamous “panel stacking” decisions. These expanded panel decisions provided a brute force solution to the conflicting positions on the question of issue joinder, a de facto precedent of sorts.

With the new Precedential Opinion Panel, or “POP,” allowing for a more streamlined process for making precedent, the Board seems poised to drive official PTAB precedent on this question — but in a new direction.
Continue Reading New PTAB Precedent Panel Conducts First Hearing