Lack of Redundancy May Not Be Enough to Justify Follow-On Petitions for IPR

Posted by Libbie DiMarco on Feb 22, 2019

Libbie DiMarco

In the 2017 precedential decision General Plastic Co. v. Canon Kabushiki Kaisha, the PTAB established a set of seven non-exclusive factors  that it will consider in exercising its discretion under 35 U.S.C. § 314(a) to deny follow-on petitions. Two recent PTAB decisions analyzing General Plastic suggest a lack of redundancy between the petitions may not be enough to justify instituting a follow-on petition.  Instead, a primary consideration guiding the PTAB may be whether the petitioner could have raised the arguments in an earlier-filed petition.

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Topics: IPR, PTAB

Petitioner Beware: Inconsistent Claim Construction Positions Can Doom a Petition

Posted by Nathan Speed on Feb 20, 2019

Nathan Speed

While the Board recognizes that its rules do not require petitioners to take “positions consistent with related cases in different fora,” a recent IPR decision illustrates the risks a petitioner faces when it advances claim construction positions before the Board that are inconsistent with its positions in related district court proceedings.

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Topics: IPR, PTAB

All or Nothing: PTAB Must Institute IPR on All Challenged Claims and Grounds, or None at All

Posted by Kevin Mosier on Jan 29, 2019

Kevin Mosier

This past year, the Supreme Court in SAS Institute v. Iancu held that once the PTAB institutes an IPR trial its subsequent final written decision must address all claims challenged in the petition. The Court explained that its holding was compelled by a plain reading of 35 U.S.C. § 318(a), which states that the PTAB must issue a final written decision on “any patent claim challenged by the petitioner.” SAS Institute did not decide, however, whether the PTAB’s final written decisions must also address all grounds raised in a petition. The Federal Circuit has subsequently provided a clearer answer.

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Topics: Patent Owners, IPR, PTAB

Motions to Amend: The Board Invites Alice to the IPR Party

Posted by Nathan Speed on Jan 25, 2019

Nathan Speed

One strategy that a patent owner can pursue in an IPR trial is to file a motion to amend seeking to replace one or more of the challenged claims with substitute claims that neither enlarge the scope of the claims nor introduce new subject matter. When a patent owner files such a motion, the petitioner is permitted to oppose the motion and argue why the substitute claims are not patentable. In a recent decision, the Board reaffirmed that the grounds available for a petitioner to attack the patentability of substitute claims are not limited to anticipation or obviousness, but rather can include other sections under the Patent Statute, including § 101.

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Topics: Petitioners, IPR, patent

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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.