POP to Decide Further Extension of 314(a)?

A year or so back, I discussed a 314(a) dispute at the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) where the Board considered a co-pending ITC investigation. In that decision, the Board instituted trial, pointing out that “the ITC does not have the authority to invalidate a patent and ITC decisions do not necessarily pertain to the issues raised in an inter partes review petition.”  More recently the applicability of ITC investigations to a Fintiv factor 314(a) analysis was raised in Garmin International, Inc. v. Koninklijke Philips N.V., (IPR2020-00754).

In Garmin, the Board found that a co-pending ITC investigation favored a denial of institution. The case is noteworthy as in assessing the Fintiv factors, the Board effectively made clear that any petition concurrent with an ITC filing should be denied.

Now the dispute is up for consideration by the Precedential Opinion Panel (POP).
Continue Reading 314(a) To Block All ITC Disputes from PTAB?

Commission Awaits PTAB Result – Sometimes

Under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, the International Trade Commission (ITC) is required to conclude its investigations and make determinations “at the earliest practicable time.” 19 U.S.C. § 1337(b)(1). This mandate for speed in ITC proceedings drives the Commission forward despite parallel Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) proceedings. The fact that the ITC, unlike district courts, cannot award monetary relief only contributes further to the Commission’s aversion to stays pending PTAB review.

Increasingly, however, PTAB proceedings concluding prior to enforcement, are catching the eye of the Commission. In such scenarios, an adverse PTAB ruling against a subject patent can result in a suspension of enforcement.


Continue Reading PTAB Speed vs. ITC Speed

General Plastic Factors & Follow-on Petitions

Last September, the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) held that the advanced state of a district court proceeding militated in favor of denying a petition for IPR in accordance with the General Plastic factors (NHK Spring Co. Ltd. v. Intri-Plex Technologies Inc). Given this holding, Patent Owners may now consider speedier forums, such as the International Trade Commission (ITC) as providing incremental protection from a PTAB challenge.

Last week, the Board clarified that consideration of late stage parallel proceedings is done only in the context of assessing discretionary institution of “follow-on” petitions under 35 U.S.C. § 314(a).  In doing so, the Board also highlighted that an advancing ITC action (even in a follow-on petition scenario) may be of a lesser concern than a district court proceeding given its unique nature.
Continue Reading Co-Pending ITC Action Less of an Equitable Concern for PTAB?