Attorneys handling an IPR should never be neglectful, of course, but the director of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recognizes that neglect in some circumstances is excusable. In a recent IPR, the USPTO determined that the patent owner’s late filed appeal was “excusable neglect”—i.e., not good, but not so bad that the patent owner should lose the right to appeal. Rather than inviting anyone to disregard deadlines, this case is a reminder for attorneys to avoid problems by communicating clearly with clients and co-counsel.
Topics: Patent Owners
Institution decisions at the Board are rarely changed, and cannot be appealed. Following institution, the timeline for trial is fast and unforgiving. But what happens when the Board leaves its institution decision open to modification in the future? This is the scenario playing out in an ongoing IPR trial.