PTAB claim construction

PatentsPostGrant.com February Webinar

The Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) discontinued its Broadest Reasonable claim Interpretation (BRI) rubric for AIA trials in the closing weeks of 2018. With the PTAB and district courts now aligned under the Phillips claim construction standard, patent litigants must now manage parallel proceedings in the face of new estoppel risks,

Boardside Chat & Special PLI Briefing

For those seeking Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) related CLE/programming this month, the PTAB itself is hosting a Boardside Chat webinar this Thursday, Dec. 6th from noon to 1 p.m. ET.

The topic of the webinar is hearsay and authentication before the Board. Lead Judge Michael Zecher along

PTAB Webinars this Wednesday

The October edition of the PatentsPostGrant.com webinar series will be held this Wednesday October 24th @ 1-2PM (EST).  The October program is entitled Adapting to the New Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB).  This month’s program will include special guest Jonathan Bowser, Senior Patent Counsel for Unified Patents and will

Phillips Claim Construction Rule Imminent

Back in May, the USPTO issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to switch from the Broadest Reasonable Interpretation (BRI) standard to a Phillips claim construction for AIA Trial Proceedings (here).  Thereafter the agency collected comments from the public, most of which favored the change, and submitted the issue to the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) for final regulatory approval. On Wednesday October 3rd the regulatory approval was given by OMB’s Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).  Thus, the USPTO may now publish a Final Rule Package to make the proposed switch to Phillips.

The Final Rule Package, which I expect will publish in the Federal Register next week does not take effect immediately. Rather, there will be an effective date 30-60 days after the date of publishing. Assuming publication next week, that would provide an effective date as early as the first full week of November, or as late as December. (There have been discussions that this change would be retroactive, but that is not my expectation. Too much re-work for existing proceedings, and on the heels of SAS, I just don’t see it.)  I expect that any petition filed on or after the effective date will be subject to the Phillips standard.

As I have pointed out previously, while I don’t expect this change will impact trials in a significant regard, it will impact filing strategies. That is, there will be an avalanche of petitions coming into the PTAB before the effective date.
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Change in PTAB Claim Construction May Make Matters Worse for Patent Owners

As I pointed out back in March, the Patent Trial & Appeal Board’s (PTAB) switch from the Broadest Reasonable Interpretation (BRI) standard to a Phillips claim construction for AIA Trial Proceedings was telegraphed in advance. The rule package, released today (here), is limited to AIA trial proceedings (IPR, PGR, CBM). Left untouched are patent interference, reexamination, reissue, supplemental examination and derivation proceedings. Upon final rule issuance (late summer/fall) AIA trial proceedings will apply a district court or “Phillips” claim construction. Given the current proposal it appears that this change will apply to all pending proceedings.

Patent Owners were quick to applaud the proposed claim construction change as a huge win……it’s not.
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