The Federal Circuit Rejects Admitted Prior Art as the “Basis” for IPR Proceedings

Posted by Suresh Rav on Mar 9, 2022

Suresh Rav

Under 35 U.S.C. § 311(b), a Petitioner may seek to institute an IPR on grounds that “could be raised under section 102 or 103 and only on the basis of prior art consisting of patents or printed publications.” The Federal Circuit (Nos. 2020-1558, 2020-1559) recently decided that admissions regarding the prior art made in the challenged patent, commonly referred to as Applicant Admitted Prior Art (“AAPA”), cannot be “the basis” of an IPR but may have other uses for patent challengers.

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Topics: "Federal Circuit", PTAB, Applicant Admitted Prior Art, AAPA

Federal Circuit Clarifies Statutory Estoppel in Litigations with Co-Pending IPRs

Posted by Claire Schuster on Feb 22, 2022

Claire Schuster

Section 315(e)(2) states that once a final decision issues in an IPR challenging a claim, the Petitioner “may not assert either in [court or the ITC] that the claim is invalid on any ground that the petitioner raised or reasonably could have raised during that inter partes review.” In California Institute of Technology v. Broadcom Ltd., Nos. 2020-2222, 2021-1527, the Federal Circuit clarified the scope of statutory estoppel, making it harder for some patent challengers to preserve invalidity arguments for litigation.

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Topics: Petitioners, Patent Owners, IPR Estoppel, "Federal Circuit", IPR, PTAB

Misconstrued – The Federal Circuit Vacates the PTAB’s Construction of a Key Claim Term in Intel v. Qualcomm

Posted by Kevin Li on Jan 31, 2022

Kevin Li

The Federal Circuit vacated the PTAB’s construction of a claim term, underscoring the principle that proper claim construction may require a close examination of the specification and other available evidence to understand what was purportedly invented and intended to be claimed.

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Topics: "Federal Circuit", PTAB, Claim Construction

Uniloc “Locking” LG & Facebook Out? Not So Fast. CAFC Upholds Board’s “No Estoppel” Finding in Uniloc 2017 LLC v. Facebook Inc.

Posted by Alexandra Kim on May 12, 2021

Alexandra Kim

Joinder may allow a party to challenge patent claims with an IPR even if the one-year time bar in Section 315(b) would otherwise preclude the party from filing a petition for IPR. In Uniloc 2017 LLC v. Facebook Inc., Nos. 19-1688, -1689 (Fed. Cir. 2021), the Federal Circuit resolved whether the joining party can continue the challenge even if the original petitioner no longer can due to estoppel.

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Topics: Petitioners, Patent Owners, "Federal Circuit", Joinder

The PTAB’s Flexibility In Its Decisions – The Federal Circuit Weighs In

Posted by Susmita Gadre on May 10, 2021

Susmita Gadre

On appeal of a PTAB decision that all claims in a patent on compressing video files were unpatentable, the Federal Circuit clarified two issues. This post considers the second addressed issue – is the PTAB limited to the arguments made by Petitioners? The Federal Circuit found that it is.

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Topics: Petitioners, Prior Art, Obviousness, "Federal Circuit"

Printed Publications and Search Functionality – The Federal Circuit Weighs In

Posted by Susmita Gadre on May 3, 2021

Susmita Gadre

On appeal of a PTAB decision finding all claims in a patent directed to compressing video files unpatentable, the Federal Circuit clarified two issues. This post considers the first clarified issue – what is required for a reference to be considered a printed publication for the purposes of an IPR?

In M&K Holdings v. Samsung Electronics (No. 2020-1160), the patent owner argued that several cited references did not qualify as printed publications, and thus could not be used as the basis for finding unpatentability in an IPR. Although the references were available on an industry group’s website, the patent owner argued the references were not publicly accessible, and thus could not be considered printed publications, because the references were not easily found on the website. Instead of having a single intuitive search page, a user needed to click through various links to get to the references.

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Topics: Patent Owners, Printed Publications, "Federal Circuit", Search Functionality

The One-Year Time Bar Strikes Again

Posted by Stuart Duncan Smith on Apr 8, 2021

Stuart Duncan Smith

The time bar in Section 315(b) says that IPR may not be instituted if the petition was filed more than one year after the petitioner was “served with a complaint alleging infringement of the patent.” A recent PTAB decision illustrates that petitioners should be wary of stepping over that line, even if there is a dispute about the patent owner’s proof of service.

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Topics: Petitioners, Patent Owners, "Federal Circuit", IPR, PTAB

Pitfalls When Seeking Judicial Review of IPR Decisions: Alternatives to Appeal (Part 3 of 3)

Posted by Stuart Duncan Smith on Dec 21, 2020

Stuart Duncan Smith

Although judicial review of decisions during IPR typically occurs through appeal after the PTAB’s Final Written Decision, a growing number of cases are exploring other means of judicial review. Questions remain about whether those other means can provide a way to overcome the statutory limits on the appealability of IPR decisions, which we previously discussed. This post, which is the third in a series about judicial review of IPR, addresses a third trap for the unwary: the availability of alternatives to appeal.

Mandamus: Perhaps the most well-known alternative to appeal from and IPR is petitioning for a writ of mandamus. Ever since the Supreme Court’s first decision on IPRs, Cuozzo v. Lee, 136 S. Ct. 2131 (2016), left open the possibility of judicial review of constitutional and statutory rights related to institution, some have speculated that mandamus may be the best route to present those arguments. Indeed, the Supreme Court’s most recent decision on IPRs, Thryv v. Click-To-Call, 140 S. Ct. 1367 (2020), declined to foreclose the use of mandamus in “extraordinary cases.”

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Topics: "Federal Circuit", IPR, PTAB, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

Pitfalls When Seeking Judicial Review of IPR Decisions: Scope of the Appeal (Part 2 of 3)

Posted by Stuart Duncan Smith on Dec 16, 2020

Stuart Duncan Smith

A series of Supreme Court cases has clarified that not all issues that arise in IPR are appealable. Thus, in addition to considering the issue of standing, which we previously discussed, a party considering appeal must also determine whether the issue it would want review can even be appealed. This post, which is the second in a series about judicial review of IPR, addresses a second trap for the unwary: the limited scope of permitted appeal.

Section 314(d) prohibits appeal of the PTAB’s decision “whether to institute [IPR] under this section.” Some interpreted that as limiting appeal only of the Institution Decision’s determination under Section 314(a) that the petition’s unpatentability arguments are sufficiently strong to deserve institution. The Supreme Court rejected that interpretation in Cuozzo v. Lee, 136 S. Ct. 2131 (2016), applying the appeal bar to the related determination under a different section that the petition was written with sufficient “particularity.”

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Topics: "Federal Circuit", IPR, PTAB, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

Pitfalls When Seeking Judicial Review of IPR Decisions: Standing to Appeal (Part 1 of 3)

Posted by Stuart Duncan Smith on Dec 10, 2020

Stuart Duncan Smith

Seeking judicial review of an IPR decision can be a trap for the unwary. Section 319 permits a “dissatisfied” party to appeal. And while the language may seem simple, it can lead parties astray. This post, which is the first in a series about judicial review of IPR, addresses the first trap for the unwary: the constitutional requirement of standing.

Although Section 319 might be misread to allow any “dissatisfied” party to appeal, the party must still have standing to appeal. Thus, in Droplets v. E*TRADE, 887 F.3d 1309 (Fed. Cir. 2018), the Federal Circuit held that a petitioner that won but was “dissatisfied” with the PTAB’s reasoning still could not appeal. And in SkyHawke v. Deca, 828 F.3d 1373 (Fed. Cir. 2016), a potentially analogous decision concerning reexamination, the court rejected an appeal by a winning patent owner that wanted a different claim construction.

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Topics: "Federal Circuit", IPR, PTAB, Section 319

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This blog is intended to promote thought and debate on developing areas of the law. The opinions, commentary and characterizations of cases provided on this blog are not legal advice and do not represent the opinions of Wolf Greenfield or its clients.