USPTO Rule Making: Codify SAS, Eliminate Presumption in Favor of Petitioner

By David Hricik, Mercer Law School

The USPTO is seeking comments on amending certain PTAB Rules of Practice. While it proposes many amendments, two seem key: one for instituting on all challenged claims and grounds (to conform with SAS Institute Inc. v. Iancu, 138 S. Ct. 1348 (2018)) and the other to eliminate the presumption at institution favoring the petition as to testimonial evidence.  Comments will be accepted through June 26, and the notice is available here.

As to the first major proposal, as amended the PTAB will institute an IPR, PGR, or CBM proceeding on all claims and all grounds if preponderant evidence in the petition shows at least one claim is unpatentable.  The Office explained in part:

In light of SAS, the Office provided guidance that, if the Board institutes a trial under 35 U.S.C. 314 or 324, the Board will institute on all claims and all grounds included in a petition of an IPR, PGR, or CBM. To implement this practice in the regulation, the first proposed change would amend the rules of practice for instituting an IPR, PGR, or CBM to require institution on all challenged claims (and all of the grounds) presented in a petition or on none. Under the amended rule, in all pending IPR, PGR, and CBM proceedings before the Office, the Board would either institute review on all of the challenged claims and grounds of unpatentability presented in the petition or deny the petition.

As to the second, the USPTO spent a lot more ink explaining it, writing in part:

In April 2016, after receiving comments from the public and carefully reviewing them, the Office promulgated a rule to allow new testimonial evidence to be submitted with a patent owner’s preliminary response. Amendments to Rules of Practice for Trials Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, 81 FR 18750 (April 1, 2016). The Office also amended the rules to provide a presumption in favor of the petitioner for a genuine issue of material fact created by such testimonial evidence solely for purposes of deciding whether to institute an IPR, PGR, or CBM review. Id. at 18755–57.

Stakeholder feedback received in party and amicus briefing as part of the Precedential Opinion Panel (POP) review in Hulu, LLC v. Sound View Innovations, LLC, Case IPR2018–01039, Paper 15 (PTAB Apr. 3, 2019) (granting POP review), indicated that the rule has caused some confusion at the institution stage for AIA proceedings. For example, certain stakeholders have indicated that the presumption in favor of the petitioner for genuine issues of material fact created by patent owner testimonial evidence also creates a presumption in favor of the petitioner for questions relating to whether a document is a printed publication. Additionally, the Office has concerns that the presumption in favor of the petitioner may be viewed as discouraging patent owners from filing testimonial evidence with their preliminary responses, as some patent owners believe that such testimony will not be given any weight at the time of institution.

Section 314(a) of 35 U.S.C. provides that ‘‘[t]he Director may not authorize an inter partes review to be instituted unless the Director determines that the information presented in the petition. . . and any response . . . shows that there is a reasonable likelihood that the petitioner would prevail with respect to at least 1 of the claims challenged in the petition.’’ 35 U.S.C. 314(a). Thus, the statute provides that a petitioner is required to present evidence and arguments sufficient to show that it is reasonably likely that it will prevail in showing the unpatentability of the challenged claims. Hulu, LLC v. Sound View Innovations LLC, Case IPR2018– 01039, Paper 29 at 12–13 (PTAB Dec. 20, 2019) (citing 35 U.S.C. 312(a)(3), 314(a)). For a post-grant review proceeding, the standard for institution is whether it is ‘‘more likely than not’’ that the petitioner would prevail at trial. See 35 U.S.C. 324(a). In determining whether the information presented in the petition meets the standard for institution, the PTAB considers the totality of the evidence currently in the record. See Hulu, Paper 29 at 3, 19.

In this notice of proposed rulemaking, the Office proposes to amend the rules of practice to eliminate the presumption in favor of the petitioner for a genuine issue of material fact created by testimonial evidence submitted with a patent owner’s preliminary response when deciding whether to institute an IPR, PGR, or CBM review. Thus, consistent with the statutory framework, any testimonial evidence submitted with a patent owner’s preliminary response will be taken into account as part of the totality of the evidence.

Interestingly, the Office specifically asked for input as to implementation, stating  “the Office may apply any rule changes, if adopted, to all pending IPR, PGR, and CBM proceedings in which a patent owner’s preliminary response is filed on or after the effective date.”

Shenanigans, Time Bars, and Federal Circuit Oversight

Guest post by Saurabh Vishnubhakat, Associate Professor at the Texas A&M University School of Law and the Texas A&M College of Engineering.  Although Prof. Vishnubhakat was an advisor at the USPTO until June, 2015, his arguments here should not be imputed to the USPTO or to any other organization. Prof. Vishnubhakat was counsel of record for the amicus brief by patent and administrative law professors in this case.

***

In its en banc decision in Wi-Fi One, LLC v. Broadcom Corp, the Federal Circuit held that applications of the one-year time bar for inter partes review are, indeed, subject to judicial review in light of the Supreme Court’s 2016 decision in Cuozzo Speed Techs. v. Lee.  The en banc decision, authored by Judge Reyna and joined by eight others, overrules the panel opinion in Achates Reference Publ’g, Inc. v. Apple Inc.  The panel in Achates had held that decisions about institution are unreviewable even where the time bar may have been applied incorrectly.

In a previous post discussing the oral argument, I noted three important issues that the court appeared to be considering: the balance of power between the PTAB and the district courts, the balance of supervisory power between the USPTO Director and the Federal Circuit, and the agency’s obligations of reasoned decision-making.  The en banc outcome focuses largely on the first of these issues.

The PTAB-District Court Balance of Power

In fact, the issue of court-agency power allocation was central to the whole case.  The one-year time bar of 35 U.S.C. § 315(b) forbids inter partes review if the petition is filed more than one year after the petitioner (or its privy or real party in interest) is served with a district court complaint for infringement.  Thus, the time bar forces a substitutionary choice: leave the court within a year and come to the PTAB, or do not come to the PTAB at all.  This boundary-policing function makes the one-year time bar qualitatively different from other provisions that also bear on the institution phase, such as the pleading requirements at issue in Cuozzo.

The APA Baseline

From looking to Cuozzo, much of the initial debate surrounding this case was over what constituted a “shenanigan.”  The Court in Cuozzo had held that routine determinations that are closely tied to institution are unreviewable under 35 U.S.C. § 314(d), but assured that other determinations may remain reviewable.  These include appeals based on constitutional arguments, on less closely related statutes, on interpretive issues whose scope and impact extend beyond merely the institution statute, or on agency actions that are plainly ultra vires.  These were shenanigans that the Court in Cuozzo did not purport to protect from judicial scrutiny.

Wi-Fi One, however, argued persistently (and sensibly) that the inquiry did not begin with Cuozzo’s exceptions.  As the en banc majority here agreed, the baseline should still be a presumed availability of judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act.  That presumption was overcome in Cuozzo, but Broadcom here would have to overcome it anew and had not done so.

This jurisprudential point is an important reminder that each new argument for unreviewability must start from the same APA baseline.

Relatedness to Institution

In this case, the argument for unreviewability failed first because the one-year time bar are not closely related to institution—certainly less closely related than the requirements for a petition, including the particularity requirement at issue in Cuozzo.  In construing the nonappealability provision of § 314(d), the Court in Cuozzo had emphasized that what is immune from appeal is institution “under this section,” i.e., section 314.  The standard for institution is a reasonable likelihood of success on at least one claim in the patent.  The pleading requirements at issue in Cuozzo came from § 312 but were related to institution “under this section” because those requirements directly shaped how the likelihood of success would be evaluated for § 314 purposes.  The Director has discretion in this regard, as § 314(a) makes reasonable likelihood of success a necessary condition but not a sufficient one:

The Director may not authorize an inter partes review to be instituted unless . . .

The one-year time bar is different.  It is unrelated to institution “under this section” because it has nothing to do with the necessary reasonable likelihood of a petition’s eventual success.  Put another way, even a petition that is otherwise certain to succeed must be denied if it comes after the time bar.  As a result, though requirements such as pleading and particularity may be folded into the Director’s § 314 discretion to evaluate reasonable likelihood of success, the time bar cannot.  The time bar has no analytical connection to evaluating whether a petition is reasonably likely to succeed for § 314(a) purposes.  Therefore, the time bar is not unreviewable for § 314(d) purposes.

Scope and Impact

The argument for unreviewability also failed because the one-year time bar reaches, in terms of the “scope and impact” that Cuozzo described, well beyond merely “this section,” i.e., well beyond § 314’s institution decision.  The key to this inquiry is the substitution of the agency for district courts as a decision-maker on patent validity.  For a boundary-policing statute such as § 315(b), the scope and impact are broad and far-reaching.  The time bar is part of a larger set of structural provisions (also including, for example, court-agency estoppel) that strike an interbranch balance of power.  As a result, proper enforcement and supervision of the time bar is a concern not solely for the agency, but also for the Article III courts that compete with the agency.  As the en banc majority explained:

The timely filing of a petition under § 315(b) is a condition precedent to the Director’s authority to act.  It sets limits on the Director’s statutory authority to institute, balancing various public interests.  And like § 315 as a whole, [the one-year time bar] governs the relation of IPRs to other proceedings or actions, including actions taken in district court.

Judge O’Malley’s Concurrence

Judge O’Malley joined the en banc majority but also wrote separately to advance a simpler line of reasoning.  Her concurring opinion distinguishes between two authorities.  One is “the Director’s authority to exercise discretion when reviewing the adequacy of a petition to institute an inter partes review.”  The other is the Director’s “authority to undertake such a review in the first instance.”  Cuozzo implicates the former and so is unreviewable.  By contrast, the present case and others like it implicate the latter, and so the Federal Circuit “sitting in its proper role as an appellate court, should review those determinations.”  The goal of such an appellate review should be “to give effect to the congressionally imposed statutory limitations on the PTO’s authority to institute IPRs.”

Interestingly, where the en banc majority opinion emphasized the court-agency allocation of power in deciding patent validity, Judge O’Malley pointed to the agency-legislature allocation of power.  It is Congress that delegated to the Patent Office the power of substantive decision-making about patentability and its incidents.  But it is also Congress that crafted a fairly bright-line time bar and instructed the Patent Office simply to apply it.  For the Director to exercise discretion on the latter, with no judicial oversight, would be inappropriate:

Congress is well versed in establishing statutory time bars.  Congressional discretion should control the application of such time bars, not that of the Director of the PTO.  I do not see the need to say more.

The Dissent’s Case for Unreviewability

The case also drew a dissent from Judge Hughes joined by Judges Lourie, Bryson and Dyk.  In the dissent’s view, the language of § 314(d) is expansive: determinations whether to institute are nonappealable.  On this view, the majority’s reading is unjustifiably narrow because it limits the prohibition on judicial review to the § 314 criteria for institution, i.e., the reasonable-likelihood-of-success standard.  The majority reads out of the statute other determinations that occur at the institution phase, including application of the one-year time bar.  The dissent took a strong textualist approach, admonishing that “[o]ur inquiry should start and end with the words of the statute.”

In support of this textualist view, and in reading Cuozzo, the dissent disagreed about the relatedness of the time bar to institution.  The timeliness of a petition is closely related to the institution decision because what is unreviewable is broadly the decision “whether to institute.”  Compare, for example, the nonappealability statute for ex parte reexamination, which provides that “[a] determination by the Director . . . that no substantial new question of patentability has been raised will be final and nonappealable.”  The decision to proceed is nonappealable, but the decision to refrain is not.  For AIA reviews, the unreviewability of the decision does not depend on its outcome.  This suggests that the unreviewability of the decision should also not depend on its origins.  Institutions should be unreviewable where they are based on timeliness or any other input just as if they were based on the petition’s likelihood of success.

In support of its argument about relatedness, the dissent also pointed to the dissent in Cuozzo itself.  Justice Alito, joined by Justice Sotomayor, had criticized the broad reach of the Cuozzo majority’s opinion by arguing that the time bar was closely tied to institution and that their reviewability might rise and fall together.  The Cuozzo majority opinion, meanwhile, did not rebut this criticism.  The en banc dissent in this case took Justice Alito’s argument and the majority opinion’s silence as a sign of consensus that the time bar was, indeed, “closely related” to institution for Cuozzo purposes:

Moreover, although Justice Alito disagreed with the ultimate result in Cuozzo, even he recognized that “the petition’s timeliness, no less than the particularity of its allegations, is “closely tied to the application and interpretation of statutes related to the Patent Office’s decision to initiate . . . review,” and the Court says that such questions are unreviewable.

This issue was also a line of questioning during en banc oral argument—raised by Judge Chen, who ultimately joined the en banc majority.  The answer that I had suggested in my recap of that oral argument was that Justice Alito’s argument about the one-year bar should be seen as hortatory, intended first to build a majority and later, when the case was lost, to cabin the impact of the majority’s reasoning.  In other words, the dissent did not merely read the majority’s logic broadly but read it broadly as a reason to reject that logic.  Indeed, Wi-Fi answered Judge Chen along just these lines by discussing what the Cuozzo dissent was trying to accomplish—limiting nonappealability to a prohibition of interlocutory review—not merely what the dissent said.

Notably the en banc dissent in this case did not address the scope and impact of the one-year time bar, though that was a separate self-imposed limitation on the logic of Cuozzo.  The interbranch balance of power and the substitution between the Patent Office and the Article III courts, which figured prominently in Judge Reyna’s majority opinion, were absent from the dissent.

The Way Forward

Looking ahead, it is possible that Broadcom will seek review in the Supreme Court.  Following Cuozzo itself and the partial institution/reviewability controversy in SAS Institute v. Matal (and assuming the entire PTAB system is not invalidated in Oil States Energy Services v. Greene’s Energy Group), a grant of certiorari in this case would be a third foray by the Court into the specific issue of Federal Circuit review despite § 314.  The en banc dissent has laid out a reasonable roadmap toward a petition for certiorari.  It expressly and repeatedly argues that the en banc majority is inconsistent with Cuozzo.  It characterizes the en banc outcome as an effort “[t]o sidestep this binding precedent.”  And it points to the colloquy between Cuozzo’s own majority and dissent to suggest consensus on the issue now in dispute.  Taken together, these arguments invite further Supreme Court clarification.

However, whereas the facts of Cuozzo made a reasonable case for unreviewability—evaluating the requirements of the petition is, after all, part and parcel of determining the petition’s likelihood of success—the facts of Wi-Fi One v. Broadcom suggest a clearer case for the opposite conclusion, especially in light of the scope and impact of the time bar.  If the Supreme Court found reviewability in SAS Institute and saw it as a closer case than Wi-Fi One, then there would be little need for further clarification and little reason to grant certiorari in Wi-Fi One.  Conversely, if the outcome in SAS Institute were unreviewability, the result would be two Supreme Court decisions denying judicial review and one en banc Federal Circuit decision affording review.  This, too, may be ample guidance in the Court’s view, leaving little reason for certiorari in Wi-Fi One.  A middle-ground may come in the form of a grant-vacate-remand (GVR) order whereby the Court would grant certiorari, vacate the Federal Circuit decision, and remand for reconsideration in light of SAS Institute.  (This was the course that AMP v. Myriad Genetics initially took nearly six years ago in light of the Court’s intervening decision in Mayo v. Prometheus, though the Federal Circuit decision vacated there was that of a panel, not of the en banc Court of Appeals.)

The decision in Wi-Fi One v. Broadcom is the first real test, following Cuozzo, of the broad view that the Patent Office has taken of its immunity from judicial review in PTAB institutions.  Going forward, it will likely be the dialogue between the Federal Circuit and the Supreme Court that defines the full contours of the agency’s discretion.

Final and Nonappealable: construed as “may be reconsidered” and not reviewable in “at least some circumstances.”

BioDelivery Scis. Int’l v. Aquestive Therapeutics, Inc. (Fed. Cir .2019)

The determination by the Director whether to institute an inter partes review under this section shall be final and nonappealable.

35 U.S.C. 314(d).

In 2014, BioDelivery filed three separate IPR petitions against Aquestive’s U.S. Patent 8,765,167.  The USPTO partially-instituted the proceedings (on some, but not all grounds) but then sided with the patentee — finding that the claims had not been proven unpatentable. BioDelivery then appealed to the Federal Circuit who vacated the final written decision on SAS grounds — holding that the USPTO cannot partially institute an IPR.

Back on remand, the PTAB essentially restarted the whole case at institution and eventually decided not to institute the case at all (terminating all three IPR petitions).  BioDelivery then appealed again — arguing that the appeal should have remained instituted and that the PTAB should not have reconsidered that decision.

Back on appeal, the Federal Circuit reconstituted the same panel of Judges Newman, Reyna and Lourie.

Not Final Final: In its decision, the Federal Circuit first held that the “final” aspect of an institution decision does not mean that it cannot be reconsidered.  Rather, “administrative agencies possess inherent authority to reconsider their decisions, subject to certain limitations, regardless of whether they possess explicit statutory authority to do so.” Medtronic, Inc. v. Barry, 891 F.3d 1368 (Fed. Cir. 2018). Without interpreting the statutory meaning of “final,” the Board simply concluded that it does not clearly deprive the Board of its “inherent default authority.” (Note a minor problem with the decision in how it conflates statutory authority given to the Board with statutory authority given to the Director who then administrative delegated that authority to the Board).

NonAppealable: Although the “final” portion of the statute carried no weight, the court here ultimately dismissed the appeal — finding that it fell squarely within the nonappealable provision.

Congress clearly intended to bar review of institution decisions in at least some circumstances by passing the “No Appeal” provision—§ 314(d).

In Cuozzo, the Supreme Court explained that an appeal focused on the likelihood of success element of institution would be barred by the provision.  Here, the majority identifies BioDelivery’s appeal as “merely challenge the Board’s determination not to institute review, something the Board has discretion to do even upon a showing that there is a ‘reasonable likelihood of success with respect to at least 1 claim challenged’ in the petition.”

Judge Reyna wrote this order for the majority panel joined by Judge Lourie. Judge Newman wrote in dissent. Judge Newman argued that the prior appellate decision “ordered further proceedings in conformity to the Court’s ruling in SAS” and that the PTAB’s dismissal avoided that order.

= = = =

The patent here covers a dissolvable thin-film used for drug delivery (Clozabim).

Patently-O Bits & Bytes by Lawrence Higgins

Opening of Franklin Pierce Center for IP

  • UNH Law is proud to announce the official opening on September 30 & October 1 of the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property with an intellectual property works-in-progress conference featuring presentations by scholars from law schools in the Northeast and alumni of UNH Law. Chief Judge Randall Rader will serve as special guest speaker. Other guest include: Jonathan Dudas, Judge Newman, and Judge Gajarsa. [Link]

Biotech in Ottawa is Booming?

  • Ottawa Life Science Cluster currently home to over 90 companies focused on life science and biotechnology research and innovation. Also, there are over 50 other companies that have a secondary focus in life sciences and biotechnology. Leading the charge for commercialization is the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI). With the increased commercialization in Ottawa, comes an increase in patent applications in Canada, the US, and beyond. [Link] [Link]

Great Patents!

  • Great Patents: Advanced Strategies For Innovative Growth Companies, is a book that aims to inform executives on how best to use patents to improve their competitiveness. The book has a total of 12 chapters and each chapter is written by an individual in the patent world. The chapters in the book are broken into two categories: Strategies and Valuation. Companies pursue patents to make money, and this book is very useful to help companies discover what they can do with their patents that they may not have previously considered. While the book is aimed at executives and the like, it is also a useful tool for law students and others. Most law students are not familiar with the business world of patents and this book gives a perspective different than what is taught in law schools.
    • About the Author: David Orange is a patent attorney in Washington, DC. He is active in the start-up space as an investor and advisor.

Patent Jobs

  • Goldberg Cohen is seeking an IP associate with 2-5 years of experience. [Link]
  • Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice is looking for mechanical patent attorneys with at least 3 years of experience. [Link]
  • Verenium is searching for a patent agent with a minimum of 5 years of experience. [Link]
  • Cleveland Golf/ Srixon is seeking a Sr. patent engineer with a BSME and at least 4 years of experience. [Link]
  • The Michaud-Kinney Group is looking for a legal assistant to work at their Middletown, Connecticut location. [Link]
  • Qualcomm is searching for a US patent attorney or a registered India Patent Attorney/Agent with at least 5 years of experience. [Link]
  • Qualcomm is looking for a patent counsel with 3+ years of patent prosecution experience. [Link]
  • Steptoe & Johnson is seeking associates with a minimum of 4 years of experience in patent litigation and with a technical background. [Link]
  • The Office of the Solicitor at the USPTO is searching for an experienced Patent Attorney. [Link]
  • Dynamics Inc. is seeking a patent attorney with an EE degree, to work at their Pittsburgh location. [Link]

Upcoming Events:

  • Boston University School of Law and the Kauffman Foundation will be holding a Workshop on Innovation and Patent Harmonization at Boston University School of Management on September 30-October 1. The workshop will cover the effect of harmonization in both advanced countries, such as the US, and in developing nations, with a particular focus on China. Anyone interested in attending, please RSVP to Elizabeth Aggot at eaa@bu.edu. [Link]
  • American Conference Institute's 12th Annual Maximizing Pharmaceutical Patent Life Cycles will take place in New York on October 4th-5th. The conference is one of the leading sources of information and analysis on the patent life cycle management. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 200 for a discount) [Link]
  • C5 will be holding the 21st annual Forum on Biotech Patenting in London on October 5th-6th. The 2011 London Biotech Patenting Forum will focus on the latest legal developments affecting biotech companies and how to implement successful methods and strategies for drafting and filing patent applications in multiple jurisdictions. (Patently-O readers can save 100 pounds by using discount code PO 100) [Link]
  • Houston Intellectual Property Law Association (HIPLA) will be holding its Annual IP Institute in Galveston, Texas October 6-8. The Institute will feature topics such as: Do's and Don'ts in IP Licensing, Due Diligence and Ethics in Acquisitions, Patent Prosecution Under the New Cases and Inducement of Patent Infringement after Global Tech Appliances v. SEB. The guest speaker will be Lord Justice Robert "Robin" Jacob, Court of Appeal of England and Wales. [Link]
  • The 17th Annual Advanced ALI-ABA Course of Study for the Corporate Counsel and the Private Practitioner: Trial of a Patent Case will be held in Chicago October 13-14. Guest speakers include: Judge James Holderman, Judge Liam O'Grady, Scott Coonan, James Leeds, and many more individuals. (Patently-O readers can get 30% off with discount code CT017POB) [Link]
  • The 4th Annual Inland Empire Intellectual Property Institute (IEPI) will be held in Spokane, Washington on October 14th. The program will cover: developments in patent prosecution, patent litigation, copyright and trademark; ethical considerations for IP attorneys; patent reform and its impact on the practicing attorney, and many more topics. Guest speakers include: David Powers, Nancy Kim, Shirley Anderson and many other individuals. [Link]
  • American Conference Institute will be holding a FDA Boot Camp Device Edition conference on October 25th-October 26th in Chicago. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 200 for a discount) [Link]
  • Licensing Executives Society (LES) will be holding their annual meeting on October 16-19 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. Guest speakers include, Martha Ries, VP of IP Management, The Boeing Company and Barbara Dalton VP, Venture Capital, Pfizer. [Link]
  • The University of Texas at Austin will hold its 16th Annual Advanced Patent Law Institute on October 27-28. The program will cover: recent developments in claims construction and claims drafting, cost savings in litigation, inequitable conduct after Therasense, and many other topics. [Link]
  • IPMI is holding the IP Law & Management Institute on November 6th – 8th at the Rancho Las Palmas in Palm Springs, CA. Hailed as "One of the few programs geared to experienced in-house IP Counsel", the Institute is a CLE-accredited program designed to provide time-starved Heads of IP with the Opportunity to meet and network with their peers, learn from the best practices and validate solutions and services. [Link]

Contact Lawrence.Higgins@patentlyo.com with leads for future Bits and Bytes.

Patently-O Bits & Bytes by Lawrence Higgins

Opening of Franklin Pierce Center for IP

  • UNH Law is proud to announce the official opening on September 30 & October 1 of the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property with an intellectual property works-in-progress conference featuring presentations by scholars from law schools in the Northeast and alumni of UNH Law. Chief Judge Randall Rader will serve as special guest speaker. Other guest include: Jonathan Dudas, Judge Newman, and Judge Gajarsa. [Link]

Biotech in Ottawa is Booming?

  • Ottawa Life Science Cluster currently home to over 90 companies focused on life science and biotechnology research and innovation. Also, there are over 50 other companies that have a secondary focus in life sciences and biotechnology. Leading the charge for commercialization is the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI). With the increased commercialization in Ottawa, comes an increase in patent applications in Canada, the US, and beyond. [Link] [Link]

Great Patents!

  • Great Patents: Advanced Strategies For Innovative Growth Companies, is a book that aims to inform executives on how best to use patents to improve their competitiveness. The book has a total of 12 chapters and each chapter is written by an individual in the patent world. The chapters in the book are broken into two categories: Strategies and Valuation. Companies pursue patents to make money, and this book is very useful to help companies discover what they can do with their patents that they may not have previously considered. While the book is aimed at executives and the like, it is also a useful tool for law students and others. Most law students are not familiar with the business world of patents and this book gives a perspective different than what is taught in law schools.
    • About the Author: David Orange is a patent attorney in Washington, DC. He is active in the start-up space as an investor and advisor.

Patent Jobs

  • Goldberg Cohen is seeking an IP associate with 2-5 years of experience. [Link]
  • Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice is looking for mechanical patent attorneys with at least 3 years of experience. [Link]
  • Verenium is searching for a patent agent with a minimum of 5 years of experience. [Link]
  • Cleveland Golf/ Srixon is seeking a Sr. patent engineer with a BSME and at least 4 years of experience. [Link]
  • The Michaud-Kinney Group is looking for a legal assistant to work at their Middletown, Connecticut location. [Link]
  • Qualcomm is searching for a US patent attorney or a registered India Patent Attorney/Agent with at least 5 years of experience. [Link]
  • Qualcomm is looking for a patent counsel with 3+ years of patent prosecution experience. [Link]
  • Steptoe & Johnson is seeking associates with a minimum of 4 years of experience in patent litigation and with a technical background. [Link]
  • The Office of the Solicitor at the USPTO is searching for an experienced Patent Attorney. [Link]
  • Dynamics Inc. is seeking a patent attorney with an EE degree, to work at their Pittsburgh location. [Link]

Upcoming Events:

  • Boston University School of Law and the Kauffman Foundation will be holding a Workshop on Innovation and Patent Harmonization at Boston University School of Management on September 30-October 1. The workshop will cover the effect of harmonization in both advanced countries, such as the US, and in developing nations, with a particular focus on China. Anyone interested in attending, please RSVP to Elizabeth Aggot at eaa@bu.edu. [Link]
  • American Conference Institute's 12th Annual Maximizing Pharmaceutical Patent Life Cycles will take place in New York on October 4th-5th. The conference is one of the leading sources of information and analysis on the patent life cycle management. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 200 for a discount) [Link]
  • C5 will be holding the 21st annual Forum on Biotech Patenting in London on October 5th-6th. The 2011 London Biotech Patenting Forum will focus on the latest legal developments affecting biotech companies and how to implement successful methods and strategies for drafting and filing patent applications in multiple jurisdictions. (Patently-O readers can save 100 pounds by using discount code PO 100) [Link]
  • Houston Intellectual Property Law Association (HIPLA) will be holding its Annual IP Institute in Galveston, Texas October 6-8. The Institute will feature topics such as: Do's and Don'ts in IP Licensing, Due Diligence and Ethics in Acquisitions, Patent Prosecution Under the New Cases and Inducement of Patent Infringement after Global Tech Appliances v. SEB. The guest speaker will be Lord Justice Robert "Robin" Jacob, Court of Appeal of England and Wales. [Link]
  • The 17th Annual Advanced ALI-ABA Course of Study for the Corporate Counsel and the Private Practitioner: Trial of a Patent Case will be held in Chicago October 13-14. Guest speakers include: Judge James Holderman, Judge Liam O'Grady, Scott Coonan, James Leeds, and many more individuals. (Patently-O readers can get 30% off with discount code CT017POB) [Link]
  • The 4th Annual Inland Empire Intellectual Property Institute (IEPI) will be held in Spokane, Washington on October 14th. The program will cover: developments in patent prosecution, patent litigation, copyright and trademark; ethical considerations for IP attorneys; patent reform and its impact on the practicing attorney, and many more topics. Guest speakers include: David Powers, Nancy Kim, Shirley Anderson and many other individuals. [Link]
  • American Conference Institute will be holding a FDA Boot Camp Device Edition conference on October 25th-October 26th in Chicago. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 200 for a discount) [Link]
  • Licensing Executives Society (LES) will be holding their annual meeting on October 16-19 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. Guest speakers include, Martha Ries, VP of IP Management, The Boeing Company and Barbara Dalton VP, Venture Capital, Pfizer. [Link]
  • The University of Texas at Austin will hold its 16th Annual Advanced Patent Law Institute on October 27-28. The program will cover: recent developments in claims construction and claims drafting, cost savings in litigation, inequitable conduct after Therasense, and many other topics. [Link]
  • IPMI is holding the IP Law & Management Institute on November 6th – 8th at the Rancho Las Palmas in Palm Springs, CA. Hailed as "One of the few programs geared to experienced in-house IP Counsel", the Institute is a CLE-accredited program designed to provide time-starved Heads of IP with the Opportunity to meet and network with their peers, learn from the best practices and validate solutions and services. [Link]

Contact Lawrence.Higgins@patentlyo.com with leads for future Bits and Bytes.

Patently-O Bits & Bytes by Lawrence Higgins

Opening of Franklin Pierce Center for IP

  • UNH Law is proud to announce the official opening on September 30 & October 1 of the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property with an intellectual property works-in-progress conference featuring presentations by scholars from law schools in the Northeast and alumni of UNH Law. Chief Judge Randall Rader will serve as special guest speaker. Other guest include: Jonathan Dudas, Judge Newman, and Judge Gajarsa. [Link]

Biotech in Ottawa is Booming?

  • Ottawa Life Science Cluster currently home to over 90 companies focused on life science and biotechnology research and innovation. Also, there are over 50 other companies that have a secondary focus in life sciences and biotechnology. Leading the charge for commercialization is the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI). With the increased commercialization in Ottawa, comes an increase in patent applications in Canada, the US, and beyond. [Link] [Link]

Great Patents!

  • Great Patents: Advanced Strategies For Innovative Growth Companies, is a book that aims to inform executives on how best to use patents to improve their competitiveness. The book has a total of 12 chapters and each chapter is written by an individual in the patent world. The chapters in the book are broken into two categories: Strategies and Valuation. Companies pursue patents to make money, and this book is very useful to help companies discover what they can do with their patents that they may not have previously considered. While the book is aimed at executives and the like, it is also a useful tool for law students and others. Most law students are not familiar with the business world of patents and this book gives a perspective different than what is taught in law schools.
    • About the Author: David Orange is a patent attorney in Washington, DC. He is active in the start-up space as an investor and advisor.

Patent Jobs

  • Goldberg Cohen is seeking an IP associate with 2-5 years of experience. [Link]
  • Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice is looking for mechanical patent attorneys with at least 3 years of experience. [Link]
  • Verenium is searching for a patent agent with a minimum of 5 years of experience. [Link]
  • Cleveland Golf/ Srixon is seeking a Sr. patent engineer with a BSME and at least 4 years of experience. [Link]
  • The Michaud-Kinney Group is looking for a legal assistant to work at their Middletown, Connecticut location. [Link]
  • Qualcomm is searching for a US patent attorney or a registered India Patent Attorney/Agent with at least 5 years of experience. [Link]
  • Qualcomm is looking for a patent counsel with 3+ years of patent prosecution experience. [Link]
  • Steptoe & Johnson is seeking associates with a minimum of 4 years of experience in patent litigation and with a technical background. [Link]
  • The Office of the Solicitor at the USPTO is searching for an experienced Patent Attorney. [Link]
  • Dynamics Inc. is seeking a patent attorney with an EE degree, to work at their Pittsburgh location. [Link]

Upcoming Events:

  • Boston University School of Law and the Kauffman Foundation will be holding a Workshop on Innovation and Patent Harmonization at Boston University School of Management on September 30-October 1. The workshop will cover the effect of harmonization in both advanced countries, such as the US, and in developing nations, with a particular focus on China. Anyone interested in attending, please RSVP to Elizabeth Aggot at eaa@bu.edu. [Link]
  • American Conference Institute's 12th Annual Maximizing Pharmaceutical Patent Life Cycles will take place in New York on October 4th-5th. The conference is one of the leading sources of information and analysis on the patent life cycle management. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 200 for a discount) [Link]
  • C5 will be holding the 21st annual Forum on Biotech Patenting in London on October 5th-6th. The 2011 London Biotech Patenting Forum will focus on the latest legal developments affecting biotech companies and how to implement successful methods and strategies for drafting and filing patent applications in multiple jurisdictions. (Patently-O readers can save 100 pounds by using discount code PO 100) [Link]
  • Houston Intellectual Property Law Association (HIPLA) will be holding its Annual IP Institute in Galveston, Texas October 6-8. The Institute will feature topics such as: Do's and Don'ts in IP Licensing, Due Diligence and Ethics in Acquisitions, Patent Prosecution Under the New Cases and Inducement of Patent Infringement after Global Tech Appliances v. SEB. The guest speaker will be Lord Justice Robert "Robin" Jacob, Court of Appeal of England and Wales. [Link]
  • The 17th Annual Advanced ALI-ABA Course of Study for the Corporate Counsel and the Private Practitioner: Trial of a Patent Case will be held in Chicago October 13-14. Guest speakers include: Judge James Holderman, Judge Liam O'Grady, Scott Coonan, James Leeds, and many more individuals. (Patently-O readers can get 30% off with discount code CT017POB) [Link]
  • The 4th Annual Inland Empire Intellectual Property Institute (IEPI) will be held in Spokane, Washington on October 14th. The program will cover: developments in patent prosecution, patent litigation, copyright and trademark; ethical considerations for IP attorneys; patent reform and its impact on the practicing attorney, and many more topics. Guest speakers include: David Powers, Nancy Kim, Shirley Anderson and many other individuals. [Link]
  • American Conference Institute will be holding a FDA Boot Camp Device Edition conference on October 25th-October 26th in Chicago. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 200 for a discount) [Link]
  • Licensing Executives Society (LES) will be holding their annual meeting on October 16-19 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. Guest speakers include, Martha Ries, VP of IP Management, The Boeing Company and Barbara Dalton VP, Venture Capital, Pfizer. [Link]
  • The University of Texas at Austin will hold its 16th Annual Advanced Patent Law Institute on October 27-28. The program will cover: recent developments in claims construction and claims drafting, cost savings in litigation, inequitable conduct after Therasense, and many other topics. [Link]
  • IPMI is holding the IP Law & Management Institute on November 6th – 8th at the Rancho Las Palmas in Palm Springs, CA. Hailed as "One of the few programs geared to experienced in-house IP Counsel", the Institute is a CLE-accredited program designed to provide time-starved Heads of IP with the Opportunity to meet and network with their peers, learn from the best practices and validate solutions and services. [Link]

Contact Lawrence.Higgins@patentlyo.com with leads for future Bits and Bytes.

Patently-O Bits & Bytes by Lawrence Higgins

Will the number of Provisional Patent Applications Filed Increase?

  • The US patent system will soon become a first to file jurisdiction, switching over from the first to invent. With the switch, it would seem that the number of Provisional applications will increase significantly. Companies, Universities, and inventors will be fearful that they are not the first to file, and will want some kind of assurance that they are able to secure patent protection. The provisional application could be the assurance that applicants are looking for. Provisional applications serve several important functions, the most important being that the applicant can secure a filing date. The Provisional Application will give an applicant 12 months to further experiment, get finances in order, and decide whether or not to convert to a non-provisional application. Under the first to invent jurisdiction, an inventor could experiment and wait to file a patent application as long as he/she was the first to invent. It should be noted that, provisional applications that are abandoned or not converted are not publically disclosed and will not be considered as prior art. As a result of the change in the patent system, there will probably be a noticeable increase in the number of provisional applications filed. [Link]
    • Applicants should take caution because a Provisional application must disclose enough info that a person having ordinary skill in the art would recognize that the invention claimed in a later-filed non-provisional application is described in the provisional upon which it relies. If the provisional does not adequately describe everything that is claimed in the later-filed non-provisional application, then the material added in the non-provisional application may not rely on the provisional application filing date.

Maybe the End of Times, for False Marking Suits

  • Under the America Invents Act, "Only the United States may sue for statutory damages. However, a person who has suffered a competitive injury as a result of a violation… may file a civil action in a district court of the US for recovery of damages adequate to compensate for the injury. This law applies to all cases, without exception that are pending… the date of the enactment of the America invents Act. Justin Gray, of the blog Gray on Claims, has a chart of pending false marking cases, from the looks of the chart, there are over 200 pending false marking cases. [Link]

Good bye BPAI and hello Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)

  • Elimination of References to Interferences. — (1) Sections 134, 145, 146, 154, and 305 of title 35, United States Code, are each amended by striking "Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences" each place it appears and inserting "Patent Trial and Appeal Board". Interference proceedings are out the window with the first-to-file patent system, being replaced by derivation proceedings. Derivation proceedings are essentially proceeding to determine whether the inventor named in an earlier filed application derived the claimed invention from the inventor of an application filed later. Under the new law, derivation proceeding petitions may be filed only within the 1-year period beginning on the date of the 1st publication of a claim to an invention that is the same or substantially the same…

Patent Jobs:

  • Cantor Colburn is looking for an associate patent attorney (chemistry) with at least 2 years of patent drafting experience. [Link]
  • ON Semiconductor is seeking a patent administration/IP attorney with 5-7 years of experience as a patent attorney. [Link]
  • Baker & Daniels is searching for an IP associate with up to 4 years of experience in prosecuting patents. [Link]
  • Amin Talati is seeking a patent attorney with a science background and 10+ years of experience to work in their Chicago office. [Link]

Upcoming Events:

  • The University of Dayton School of Law is holding a patent symposium entitled "Designing the Design Patent System" on September 15 in Dayton, Ohio. Professor Mark Janis will analyze the history of the U.S. patent system. The program will also include a panel of IP experts such as Tara Rosnell and Christopher V. Carani. [Link]
  • The Chicago-Kent Supreme Court IP Review will be held on September 15th at Chicago-Kent College of Law. The conference is designed to provide intellectual property practitioners, jurists, legal academics and law students with a review of IP cases from the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Term, a preview of cases on the docket for the 2011 Term, and a discussion of cert. petitions to watch. Guest speakers include, Judge O'Malley, Mark Lemley, David Kappos, and a number of other influential individuals in the IP field. [Link]
  • The 2nd European Pharmaceutical Regulatory Law Forum will be held in Brussels, Belgium September 21-22nd. The forum will focus on recent developments affecting the pharma industry in Europe and will discuss the impact of US developments on European companies. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 10 for a 10% discount) [Link]
  • The Fall 2011 Meeting of the Carolina Patent, Trademark & Copyright Law Association is scheduled for September 23-24, 2011 at the Wild Dunes Resort, Isle of Palms, S.C. with 7.25 hours of CLE credit planned. The cost is $250/member and $350/non-member. Guest speakers & presenters include, Tom Irving of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP, Prof. Harold C. (Hal) Wegner of Foley & Lardner, LLP, Maury M. Tepper III of Tepper & Eyster, PLLC and current chair of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, Prof. Timothy R. Holbrook of Emory University, Michael S. Connor of Alston & Bird, LLP, Dean Adrienne Meddock of North Carolina Central University School of Law, & Demian Barbas of Norton Rose, OR, LLP. [Link]
  • American Conference Institute's Life Sciences Business Development & Acquisitions in Emerging Markets conference is scheduled for September 26-27 in New York, NY. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 200 for a discount) [Link]
  • Boston University School of Law and the Kauffman Foundation will be holding a Workshop on Innovation and Patent Harmonization at Boston University School of Management on September 30-October 1. The workshop will cover the effect of harmonization in both advanced countries, such as the US, and in developing nations, with a particular focus on China. Anyone interested in attending, please RSVP to Elizabeth Aggot at eaa@bu.edu. [Link]
  • American Conference Institute's 12th Annual Maximizing Pharmaceutical Patent Life Cycles will take place in New York on October 4th-5th. The conference is one of the leading sources of information and analysis on the patent life cycle management. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 200 for a discount) [Link]
  • C5 will be holding the 21st annual Forum on Biotech Patenting in London on October 5th-6th. The 2011 London Biotech Patenting Forum will focus on the latest legal developments affecting biotech companies and how to implement successful methods and strategies for drafting and filing patent applications in multiple jurisdictions. (Patently-O readers can save 100 pounds by using discount code PO 100) [Link]
  • Houston Intellectual Property Law Association (HIPLA) will be holding its Annual IP Institute in Galveston, Texas October 6-8. The Institute will feature topics such as: Do's and Don'ts in IP Licensing, Due Diligence and Ethics in Acquisitions, Patent Prosecution Under the New Cases and Inducement of Patent Infringement after Global Tech Appliances v. SEB. The guest speaker will be Lord Justice Robert "Robin" Jacob, Court of Appeal of England and Wales. [Link]
  • American Conference Institute will be holding a FDA Boot Camp Device Edition conference on October 25th-October 26th in Chicago. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 200 for a discount) [Link]
  • Licensing Executives Society (LES) will be holding their annual meeting on October 16-19 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. Guest speakers include, Martha Ries, VP of IP Management, The Boeing Company and Barbara Dalton VP, Venture Capital, Pfizer. (Register by 8/31 to receive a $100 discount) [Link]
  • The University of Texas at Austin will hold its 16th Annual Advanced Patent Law Institute on October 27-28. The program will cover: recent developments in claims construction and claims drafting, cost savings in litigation, inequitable conduct after Therasense, and many other topics. [Link]
  • IPMI is holding the IP Law & Management Institute on November 6th – 8th at the Rancho Las Palmas in Palm Springs, CA. Hailed as "One of the few programs geared to experienced in-house IP Counsel", the Institute is a CLE-accredited program designed to provide time-starved Heads of IP with the Opportunity to meet and network with their peers, learn from the best practices and validate solutions and services. [Link]

Contact Lawrence.Higgins@patentlyo.com with leads for future Bits and Bytes.

Patently-O Bits & Bytes by Lawrence Higgins

Will the number of Provisional Patent Applications Filed Increase?

  • The US patent system will soon become a first to file jurisdiction, switching over from the first to invent. With the switch, it would seem that the number of Provisional applications will increase significantly. Companies, Universities, and inventors will be fearful that they are not the first to file, and will want some kind of assurance that they are able to secure patent protection. The provisional application could be the assurance that applicants are looking for. Provisional applications serve several important functions, the most important being that the applicant can secure a filing date. The Provisional Application will give an applicant 12 months to further experiment, get finances in order, and decide whether or not to convert to a non-provisional application. Under the first to invent jurisdiction, an inventor could experiment and wait to file a patent application as long as he/she was the first to invent. It should be noted that, provisional applications that are abandoned or not converted are not publically disclosed and will not be considered as prior art. As a result of the change in the patent system, there will probably be a noticeable increase in the number of provisional applications filed. [Link]
    • Applicants should take caution because a Provisional application must disclose enough info that a person having ordinary skill in the art would recognize that the invention claimed in a later-filed non-provisional application is described in the provisional upon which it relies. If the provisional does not adequately describe everything that is claimed in the later-filed non-provisional application, then the material added in the non-provisional application may not rely on the provisional application filing date.

Maybe the End of Times, for False Marking Suits

  • Under the America Invents Act, "Only the United States may sue for statutory damages. However, a person who has suffered a competitive injury as a result of a violation… may file a civil action in a district court of the US for recovery of damages adequate to compensate for the injury. This law applies to all cases, without exception that are pending… the date of the enactment of the America invents Act. Justin Gray, of the blog Gray on Claims, has a chart of pending false marking cases, from the looks of the chart, there are over 200 pending false marking cases. [Link]

Good bye BPAI and hello Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)

  • Elimination of References to Interferences. — (1) Sections 134, 145, 146, 154, and 305 of title 35, United States Code, are each amended by striking "Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences" each place it appears and inserting "Patent Trial and Appeal Board". Interference proceedings are out the window with the first-to-file patent system, being replaced by derivation proceedings. Derivation proceedings are essentially proceeding to determine whether the inventor named in an earlier filed application derived the claimed invention from the inventor of an application filed later. Under the new law, derivation proceeding petitions may be filed only within the 1-year period beginning on the date of the 1st publication of a claim to an invention that is the same or substantially the same…

Patent Jobs:

  • Cantor Colburn is looking for an associate patent attorney (chemistry) with at least 2 years of patent drafting experience. [Link]
  • ON Semiconductor is seeking a patent administration/IP attorney with 5-7 years of experience as a patent attorney. [Link]
  • Baker & Daniels is searching for an IP associate with up to 4 years of experience in prosecuting patents. [Link]
  • Amin Talati is seeking a patent attorney with a science background and 10+ years of experience to work in their Chicago office. [Link]

Upcoming Events:

  • The University of Dayton School of Law is holding a patent symposium entitled "Designing the Design Patent System" on September 15 in Dayton, Ohio. Professor Mark Janis will analyze the history of the U.S. patent system. The program will also include a panel of IP experts such as Tara Rosnell and Christopher V. Carani. [Link]
  • The Chicago-Kent Supreme Court IP Review will be held on September 15th at Chicago-Kent College of Law. The conference is designed to provide intellectual property practitioners, jurists, legal academics and law students with a review of IP cases from the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Term, a preview of cases on the docket for the 2011 Term, and a discussion of cert. petitions to watch. Guest speakers include, Judge O'Malley, Mark Lemley, David Kappos, and a number of other influential individuals in the IP field. [Link]
  • The 2nd European Pharmaceutical Regulatory Law Forum will be held in Brussels, Belgium September 21-22nd. The forum will focus on recent developments affecting the pharma industry in Europe and will discuss the impact of US developments on European companies. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 10 for a 10% discount) [Link]
  • The Fall 2011 Meeting of the Carolina Patent, Trademark & Copyright Law Association is scheduled for September 23-24, 2011 at the Wild Dunes Resort, Isle of Palms, S.C. with 7.25 hours of CLE credit planned. The cost is $250/member and $350/non-member. Guest speakers & presenters include, Tom Irving of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP, Prof. Harold C. (Hal) Wegner of Foley & Lardner, LLP, Maury M. Tepper III of Tepper & Eyster, PLLC and current chair of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, Prof. Timothy R. Holbrook of Emory University, Michael S. Connor of Alston & Bird, LLP, Dean Adrienne Meddock of North Carolina Central University School of Law, & Demian Barbas of Norton Rose, OR, LLP. [Link]
  • American Conference Institute's Life Sciences Business Development & Acquisitions in Emerging Markets conference is scheduled for September 26-27 in New York, NY. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 200 for a discount) [Link]
  • Boston University School of Law and the Kauffman Foundation will be holding a Workshop on Innovation and Patent Harmonization at Boston University School of Management on September 30-October 1. The workshop will cover the effect of harmonization in both advanced countries, such as the US, and in developing nations, with a particular focus on China. Anyone interested in attending, please RSVP to Elizabeth Aggot at eaa@bu.edu. [Link]
  • American Conference Institute's 12th Annual Maximizing Pharmaceutical Patent Life Cycles will take place in New York on October 4th-5th. The conference is one of the leading sources of information and analysis on the patent life cycle management. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 200 for a discount) [Link]
  • C5 will be holding the 21st annual Forum on Biotech Patenting in London on October 5th-6th. The 2011 London Biotech Patenting Forum will focus on the latest legal developments affecting biotech companies and how to implement successful methods and strategies for drafting and filing patent applications in multiple jurisdictions. (Patently-O readers can save 100 pounds by using discount code PO 100) [Link]
  • Houston Intellectual Property Law Association (HIPLA) will be holding its Annual IP Institute in Galveston, Texas October 6-8. The Institute will feature topics such as: Do's and Don'ts in IP Licensing, Due Diligence and Ethics in Acquisitions, Patent Prosecution Under the New Cases and Inducement of Patent Infringement after Global Tech Appliances v. SEB. The guest speaker will be Lord Justice Robert "Robin" Jacob, Court of Appeal of England and Wales. [Link]
  • American Conference Institute will be holding a FDA Boot Camp Device Edition conference on October 25th-October 26th in Chicago. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 200 for a discount) [Link]
  • Licensing Executives Society (LES) will be holding their annual meeting on October 16-19 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. Guest speakers include, Martha Ries, VP of IP Management, The Boeing Company and Barbara Dalton VP, Venture Capital, Pfizer. (Register by 8/31 to receive a $100 discount) [Link]
  • The University of Texas at Austin will hold its 16th Annual Advanced Patent Law Institute on October 27-28. The program will cover: recent developments in claims construction and claims drafting, cost savings in litigation, inequitable conduct after Therasense, and many other topics. [Link]
  • IPMI is holding the IP Law & Management Institute on November 6th – 8th at the Rancho Las Palmas in Palm Springs, CA. Hailed as "One of the few programs geared to experienced in-house IP Counsel", the Institute is a CLE-accredited program designed to provide time-starved Heads of IP with the Opportunity to meet and network with their peers, learn from the best practices and validate solutions and services. [Link]

Contact Lawrence.Higgins@patentlyo.com with leads for future Bits and Bytes.

Patently-O Bits & Bytes by Lawrence Higgins

Will the number of Provisional Patent Applications Filed Increase?

  • The US patent system will soon become a first to file jurisdiction, switching over from the first to invent. With the switch, it would seem that the number of Provisional applications will increase significantly. Companies, Universities, and inventors will be fearful that they are not the first to file, and will want some kind of assurance that they are able to secure patent protection. The provisional application could be the assurance that applicants are looking for. Provisional applications serve several important functions, the most important being that the applicant can secure a filing date. The Provisional Application will give an applicant 12 months to further experiment, get finances in order, and decide whether or not to convert to a non-provisional application. Under the first to invent jurisdiction, an inventor could experiment and wait to file a patent application as long as he/she was the first to invent. It should be noted that, provisional applications that are abandoned or not converted are not publically disclosed and will not be considered as prior art. As a result of the change in the patent system, there will probably be a noticeable increase in the number of provisional applications filed. [Link]
    • Applicants should take caution because a Provisional application must disclose enough info that a person having ordinary skill in the art would recognize that the invention claimed in a later-filed non-provisional application is described in the provisional upon which it relies. If the provisional does not adequately describe everything that is claimed in the later-filed non-provisional application, then the material added in the non-provisional application may not rely on the provisional application filing date.

Maybe the End of Times, for False Marking Suits

  • Under the America Invents Act, "Only the United States may sue for statutory damages. However, a person who has suffered a competitive injury as a result of a violation… may file a civil action in a district court of the US for recovery of damages adequate to compensate for the injury. This law applies to all cases, without exception that are pending… the date of the enactment of the America invents Act. Justin Gray, of the blog Gray on Claims, has a chart of pending false marking cases, from the looks of the chart, there are over 200 pending false marking cases. [Link]

Good bye BPAI and hello Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)

  • Elimination of References to Interferences. — (1) Sections 134, 145, 146, 154, and 305 of title 35, United States Code, are each amended by striking "Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences" each place it appears and inserting "Patent Trial and Appeal Board". Interference proceedings are out the window with the first-to-file patent system, being replaced by derivation proceedings. Derivation proceedings are essentially proceeding to determine whether the inventor named in an earlier filed application derived the claimed invention from the inventor of an application filed later. Under the new law, derivation proceeding petitions may be filed only within the 1-year period beginning on the date of the 1st publication of a claim to an invention that is the same or substantially the same…

Patent Jobs:

  • Cantor Colburn is looking for an associate patent attorney (chemistry) with at least 2 years of patent drafting experience. [Link]
  • ON Semiconductor is seeking a patent administration/IP attorney with 5-7 years of experience as a patent attorney. [Link]
  • Baker & Daniels is searching for an IP associate with up to 4 years of experience in prosecuting patents. [Link]
  • Amin Talati is seeking a patent attorney with a science background and 10+ years of experience to work in their Chicago office. [Link]

Upcoming Events:

  • The University of Dayton School of Law is holding a patent symposium entitled "Designing the Design Patent System" on September 15 in Dayton, Ohio. Professor Mark Janis will analyze the history of the U.S. patent system. The program will also include a panel of IP experts such as Tara Rosnell and Christopher V. Carani. [Link]
  • The Chicago-Kent Supreme Court IP Review will be held on September 15th at Chicago-Kent College of Law. The conference is designed to provide intellectual property practitioners, jurists, legal academics and law students with a review of IP cases from the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Term, a preview of cases on the docket for the 2011 Term, and a discussion of cert. petitions to watch. Guest speakers include, Judge O'Malley, Mark Lemley, David Kappos, and a number of other influential individuals in the IP field. [Link]
  • The 2nd European Pharmaceutical Regulatory Law Forum will be held in Brussels, Belgium September 21-22nd. The forum will focus on recent developments affecting the pharma industry in Europe and will discuss the impact of US developments on European companies. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 10 for a 10% discount) [Link]
  • The Fall 2011 Meeting of the Carolina Patent, Trademark & Copyright Law Association is scheduled for September 23-24, 2011 at the Wild Dunes Resort, Isle of Palms, S.C. with 7.25 hours of CLE credit planned. The cost is $250/member and $350/non-member. Guest speakers & presenters include, Tom Irving of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP, Prof. Harold C. (Hal) Wegner of Foley & Lardner, LLP, Maury M. Tepper III of Tepper & Eyster, PLLC and current chair of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, Prof. Timothy R. Holbrook of Emory University, Michael S. Connor of Alston & Bird, LLP, Dean Adrienne Meddock of North Carolina Central University School of Law, & Demian Barbas of Norton Rose, OR, LLP. [Link]
  • American Conference Institute's Life Sciences Business Development & Acquisitions in Emerging Markets conference is scheduled for September 26-27 in New York, NY. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 200 for a discount) [Link]
  • Boston University School of Law and the Kauffman Foundation will be holding a Workshop on Innovation and Patent Harmonization at Boston University School of Management on September 30-October 1. The workshop will cover the effect of harmonization in both advanced countries, such as the US, and in developing nations, with a particular focus on China. Anyone interested in attending, please RSVP to Elizabeth Aggot at eaa@bu.edu. [Link]
  • American Conference Institute's 12th Annual Maximizing Pharmaceutical Patent Life Cycles will take place in New York on October 4th-5th. The conference is one of the leading sources of information and analysis on the patent life cycle management. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 200 for a discount) [Link]
  • C5 will be holding the 21st annual Forum on Biotech Patenting in London on October 5th-6th. The 2011 London Biotech Patenting Forum will focus on the latest legal developments affecting biotech companies and how to implement successful methods and strategies for drafting and filing patent applications in multiple jurisdictions. (Patently-O readers can save 100 pounds by using discount code PO 100) [Link]
  • Houston Intellectual Property Law Association (HIPLA) will be holding its Annual IP Institute in Galveston, Texas October 6-8. The Institute will feature topics such as: Do's and Don'ts in IP Licensing, Due Diligence and Ethics in Acquisitions, Patent Prosecution Under the New Cases and Inducement of Patent Infringement after Global Tech Appliances v. SEB. The guest speaker will be Lord Justice Robert "Robin" Jacob, Court of Appeal of England and Wales. [Link]
  • American Conference Institute will be holding a FDA Boot Camp Device Edition conference on October 25th-October 26th in Chicago. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 200 for a discount) [Link]
  • Licensing Executives Society (LES) will be holding their annual meeting on October 16-19 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. Guest speakers include, Martha Ries, VP of IP Management, The Boeing Company and Barbara Dalton VP, Venture Capital, Pfizer. (Register by 8/31 to receive a $100 discount) [Link]
  • The University of Texas at Austin will hold its 16th Annual Advanced Patent Law Institute on October 27-28. The program will cover: recent developments in claims construction and claims drafting, cost savings in litigation, inequitable conduct after Therasense, and many other topics. [Link]
  • IPMI is holding the IP Law & Management Institute on November 6th – 8th at the Rancho Las Palmas in Palm Springs, CA. Hailed as "One of the few programs geared to experienced in-house IP Counsel", the Institute is a CLE-accredited program designed to provide time-starved Heads of IP with the Opportunity to meet and network with their peers, learn from the best practices and validate solutions and services. [Link]

Contact Lawrence.Higgins@patentlyo.com with leads for future Bits and Bytes.

USPTO Guidance for Dealing with SAS Decision

by Dennis Crouch

The US Supreme Court recently decided SAS Institute Inc. v. Iancu (U.S. Apr. 24, 2018), holding that USPTO has been improperly issuing “partial-institution” and holding AIA trials on only a subset of challenged claims. The USPTO has now issued a one-page introductory guidance memorandum for procedure moving forward.  According to the Memo:

  1. The PTAB will institute as to all claims or none. Thus going forward, “if the PTAB institutes a trial, the PTAB will institute on all challenges raised in the petition.”
  2. For pending trials associated with a partial-institution decision, “the panel may issue an order supplementing the institution decision to institute on all challenges raised in the petition. . . . [and] may take further action to manage the trial proceeding” to take into account the shift. “For example, if the panel has instituted a trial and the case is near the end of the time allotted for filing the Patent Owner Response, the panel may extend the due date for the Patent Owner Response to enable the Patent Owner to address any additional challenges added to the proceeding.”
  3. “It is expected that the parties will work cooperatively … to resolve disputes and propose reasonable modifications to the schedule.”
  4. Questions: Trials@uspto.gov or “Chat with the Chief” webinar on Monday, April 30, 2018, from noon to 1 pm ET to discuss the SAS decision.

The guidance here makes sense except to the extent that the guidance does not appear to require ongoing panels to add the additional challenged claims.  The memo states that “the panel may issue [such] an order,” it should instead require each panel to issue such an order.

Second issue. Although I expect it was a collaborative effort with PTO management, the guidance here comes from the PTAB.  That answer matters because the Patent Act particularly divides duties between the Director (institution decisions) and the PTAB (AIA Trials). Although the Director has delegated his institution decision role to the PTAB, I don’t know that the Director has delegated authority to later expand the institution decision.

[Read the Guidance][Link to the upcoming Chat with the Chief]

 

PTAB Must Consider All Claims AND All Grounds

by Dennis Crouch

AC Techs v. Amazon.com, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2019)

This case focuses on AIA-Trial Procedure following SAS Institute, Inc. v. Iancu, 138 S.Ct. 1348 (2018).   In SAS, the Supreme Court held that the USPTO’s institution decision is binary — “either institute review or don’t.”  If the USPTO institutes an IPR then the PTAB must issue a final written decision regarding each claim challenged in the petition.  Prior to SAS, the USPTO commonly issued partial-institution orders — instituting the IPR on only a subset of challenged claims.

Here, Amazon’s petition was granted as to Grounds 1 and 2, but not Ground 3.  At institution stage, the Board found Ground 3 redundant — in part because the claims challenged by Ground 3 were already challenged by Ground 1.  Thus, we don’t have the same situation as SAS, but it is somewhat similar.  An important bit of information for the case is that Ground 3 did not present new prior art, but only an argument based upon an alternative claim construction.

In its final written decision, the Board invalidated a number of claims, but sided with the patentee for claims 2, 4, and 6 — the same claims challenged by not-instituted Ground 3.  On motion, the Board then issued a revised opinion considering Ground 3 and rejecting the remaining claims on that ground.

On appeal, the Federal Circuit confirmed that the Board had followed proper procedure — noting that “if the Board institutes an IPR, it must similarly address all grounds of unpatentability raised by the petitioner.” See BioDelivery Scis. Int’l, Inc. v. Aquestive Therapeutics, Inc., 898 F.3d 1205 (Fed. Cir. 2018) (“Post-SAS cases have held that it is appropriate to remand to the PTAB to consider non-instituted claims as well as non-instituted grounds.”).

The Federal Circuit also found no due process violation in the rehearing since the USPTO provided notice and allowed additional discovery and argument prior to considering Ground 3.

CyberMonday: Patent Law at the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Cyber-Monday 11/27 in two important patent cases:

  • Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC, No. 16-712. Asking whether inter partes review (IPR) operates unconstitutionally “by extinguishing private property rights through a non-Article III forum without a jury.”
  • SAS Institute Inc. v. Matal, No. 16-969. Asking whether, in an IPR, the PTAB must issue a “final written decision as to every claim challenged by the petitioner, or whether it allows that Board to issue a final written decision with respect to the patentability of only some of the patent claims challenged by the petitioner.” See 35 U.S.C. § 318(a).

Since Justice Scalia will not be there, I’ll include a punch-line quote that comes from Oil State’s Reply Brief:

But it is odd to argue that the agency makes so many mistakes in issuing patents that its special expertise is needed to resolve disputes over those errors.

My expectation is that the AIA and PTO’s approach will be upheld in both cases.  At oral arguments look for any signals that conservatives will break away from Justice Thomas notion that patent rights are not “core private property” but instead are properly considered lesser franchise rights.  In addition, look for consideration of whether the justices are thinking outside-of-patent-law at a bigger picture review of public rights doctrine.

publicprivate

For last minute reading, consider the Oil States Reply Brief [OilStatesReply].  The following is an important portion:

This Court has recognized only narrow exceptions to the rule that Congress may not authorize non-Article III tribunals to exercise the Judicial power by adjudicating disputes between individuals. One of those narrow exceptions involves disputes over public rights. But “ ‘even with respect to matters that arguably fall within the scope of the “public rights” doctrine, the presumption is in favor of Art. III courts.’ ” Stern. Respondents cannot overcome the presumption in favor of Article III, and their attempts to wedge IPR into the narrow public-rights exception only confirms that it does not fit.

a. Claims By Or Against The Government. Respondents liberally cite these paradigmatic public rights cases, e.g., Murray’s Lessee v. Hoboken Land & Improvement Co., 18 How. 272, 274-75 (1855), but in every case – like most modern-day agency enforcement adjudications – the government was a party. IPR adjudicates disputes between private parties and does not at all implicate the government’s sovereign immunity – the origin of the exception. Id. at 274-75. Indeed, the AIA does not authorize the PTO to bring an IPR. 35 U.S.C. § 311(a).

b. Claims Historically Resolved Exclusively By Another Branch. The government concedes, as it must, that “challenges to the validity of issued patents were often brought injudicial forums.” Gov’t Br. 46; see also 3 William Blackstone, Commentaries 260-61; Br. of Legal Historians 5-37; Addendum 23-31. That concession is fatal because the exception applies only to claims “historically *** determined exclusively by” another branch. Stern, 564 U.S. at 485 (emphasis added).

The government nonetheless argues (at 46) that the “authority of the Crown and Privy Council to cancel patents” renders them public rights. Not so. First, this Court has repudiated that theory’s most significant implication, instead holding that an Executive patent revocation “would be in fact an invasion of the judicial branch of the government by the executive.” McCormick Harvesting Mach. Co. v. Aultman & Co., 169 U.S. 606, 612 (1898). Second, the Privy Council ceased revoking invention patents in ordinary cases – such as those involving a patent’s novelty – in 1746. . . .

c. Claims Whose Adjudication Is Essential To An Expert Agency’s Resolution Of A Limited Regulatory Objective, Tied To A “Particular Government Action.”… [R]espondents misapprehend this narrow exception at each step. … [A]dministering the patent laws is not [a limited regulatory objective]…. IPR is not “essential” to that objective…

It will be interesting.

In SAS, the court’s response may depend upon how far the Justices have gone down the road of releasing judicial intuition in favor of a strict-grammar approach to statutory interpretation. The statutory question at issue is found within 35 U.S.C. 318, which focuses on the “decision of the board” in cases where the director has already instituted the IPR:

If an inter partes review is instituted … [the PTAB] shall issue a final written decision with respect to the patentability of any patent claim challenged by the petitioner ….

The suggestion by petitioners is that the “any patent claim challenged” requires a written decision even as to claims that were challenged in the petition but not instituted for PTAB review.  Here, though I see a credible grammar argument that the claims challenged claims referred to in Section 318(a) are limited only to those instituted.

The SAS challenge can also be seen as pushing against the Director’s authority under Section 314 to partially-institute an IPR (institute as to only some of the challenged claims or for only some of the reasons challenged).  Of course, that issue is not appealable directly (institution decision is not ordinarily appealable) although the implementing rules could be challenged.  And, SAS did not push this button.

SAS Institute Inc. v. Lee: Challenging Partial Institution

The Supreme court has relisted SAS Institute Inc. v. Lee, 16-969 – an important step in the progress toward grant of certiorari.  The inter partes review case presents the following question:

Whether 35 U.S.C. § 318(a) … requires [the] Board to issue a final written decision as to every claim challenged by the petitioner, or whether it allows that Board to issue a final written decision with respect to the patentability of only some of the patent claims challenged by the petitioner, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held.

The basic setup here is that SAS argues that the PTO cannot partially institute IPR proceedings since the statute requires that PTO “shall issue a final written decision with respect to the patentability of any patent claim challenged by the petitioner.”

Although the Department of Justice has sided with the PTO’s approach here, in a prior filing the DOJ argued that the PTO erred in “picking and choosing some but not all of the challenged claims in its Decision.” See Department of Justice v. Discovery Patents, LLC, Case IPR2016-01041 (Patent Trial & Appeal Bd., Nov. 29, 2016).

The outcome of a rule-change here  is unclear – while the patent challenger (SAS) is petitioner here.  Patentees may prefer the all-or-nothing approach that would hopefully result in final judgments confirming patentability as well as the resulting estoppel.

 

Hispanic National Bar Association IP Institute

In a program sponsored by Microsoft, the Hispanic National Bar Association is setting up an IP Institute for the Summer 2013(July 7-12).

The IP Law Institute will select up to 25 law students from law schools throughout the country to participate in a week- long IP law immersion program. The costs of travel, lodging, meals, and materials will be covered by the IP Law Institute. The IP Law Institute will provide substantive instruction, hands-on practical experience, writing workshops, visits to U.S. government institutions related to IP law (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, U.S. International Trade Commission, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit), briefings from leading IP practitioners and congressional and executive branch authorities, and networking opportunities, that will give participants a broad understanding of IP law practice, as well as provide contacts and avenues for potential employment. The IP Law Institute will be anchored by a briefing on issues in an active patent litigation case followed by attending live oral arguments on the same case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”). Attendees will also receive a rare behind the scenes tour of the court and meet CAFC Judges and law clerks. The Honorable Jimmie V. Reyna from the CAFC will host the group at the court and will speak to the students about IP law and the court’s role in its development.

Candidates must be law students in good standing at an ABA accredited law school and have a demonstrated interest in intellectual property law as a potential practice area. Candidates are required to complete an online application that will include a personal statement, résumé, transcript and, at their option, professional and academic references. Selection criteria will include an evaluation of interest; academic record; dedication and commitment toward accomplishing goals; professional and faculty recommendations; and previous technical/scientific-related educational and employment background (if applicable). No one factor is dispositive and students with no technical or scientific background are encouraged to apply.

http://www.hnba.com/hnba-microsoft-corporation-launch-bold-initiative-hnbamicrosoft-ip-law-institute

Scope of IPR Estoppel Expands, but How Far?

by Dennis Crouch

On Feb 4, the Federal Circuit issued an important decision in California Institute of Technology v. Broadcom Ltd. and Apple Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2022).   Four of the big issues are listed below:

  • IPR Estoppel: The most important legal precedent in the case is a pro-patentee interpretation of the IPR estoppel provision found in 35 U.S.C. § 315(e)(2).  That prevision bars an IPR petitioner involved in patent litigation from asserting any invalidity grounds that the petitioner had “raised or reasonably could have raised during that inter partes review.” Id.  Here, the court makes clear that the scope estoppel is not tied to the grounds raised to in the IPR, but rather truly does extend to any ground “reasonably could have been included in the petition.”  Slip Op.  This decision expressly overrules Federal Circuit precedent to the contrary. Shaw Industries Group, Inc. v. Automated Creel Systems, Inc., 817 F.3d 1293 (Fed. Cir. 2016).
  • Big money: The jury had awarded a $1 billion+ damage award; the Federal Circuit vacated that award and ordered a new new trial on damages.  The court also vacated an infringement finding with regard to one of the patent claims because the district court did not instruct the jury on the construction of a particular term (“variable number of subsets”).
  • Eligibility: The inventive feature here is use of bit repetition to better ensure wireless signal transmission.  On appeal, Broadcom argued that the claim lacked eligibility because it employs a mathematical formula.  The Federal Circuit dismissed that argument out-of-hand with a direct quote from the Supreme Court. Diamond v. Diehr, 450 U.S. 175, 187 (1981) (“[A] claim drawn to subject matter otherwise statutory does not become  nonstatutory simply because it uses a mathematical formula, computer program, or digital computer.”).
  • Extraterritoriality: The infringing chips are made abroad and installed in Apple devices abroad.  U.S. patents only cover infringement within the  territorial bounds of the United States.  The jury found infringing sales in the U.S.  On appeal, the Federal Circuit found the jury instructions appropriate.  Notably, the court refused to require any jury instructions  on the presumption against extraterritorial application of U.S. patent laws.  Rather, the instructions properly walked through factors for determining whether a particular sale occurred in the United States.

= = = =

In this post, I am just going to focus on the estoppel issues: Argument estoppel is a big deal with inter partes review.  By design, patent challengers get one-bite at the Apple; one shot at invalidating the patent claims based upon obviousness or anticipation.  Of course, the devil is in the details with this sort of rule.

Rather than relying upon traditional judge-made principles of res judicata, Congress specified within the statute how estoppel works for IPR proceedings.  The basic rule is that, once a patent claim is subject to a final-written-decision in an IPR, the IPR petitioner is estopped from asserting “that claim is invalid on any ground that the petitioner raised or reasonably could have raised during that inter partes review.” 35 U.S.C. 315(e)(2) (applies also to real-party-in-interest and privies).  Timing here is important, but favors estoppel.  Namely, once the IPR reaches Final Written Decision, the challenger is prohibited from continuing to assert invalidity, even if the litigation was already filed and had been pending prior to IPR institution.

The scope of estoppel provided by 315(e) has been subject to substantial litigation. One key decision is Shaw Industries Group, Inc. v. Automated Creel
Systems, Inc., 817 F.3d 1293 (Fed. Cir. 2016).  In Shaw, the Federal Circuit substantially limited the scope of estoppel. Shaw was a partial institution case — the PTAB had instituted IPR on only some grounds.  The court particularly held that 315(e) did not estopp the petitioner from later raising the non-instituted challenges in district court litigation.  The court reasoned that those could not  have reasonably been raised in the IPR since the petitioner’s attempt had been denied by the PTAB.   But Shaw raised further questions about where to draw the line, and district courts across the country came-up with a variety of conclusions about the scope of estoppel.  The most pro-challenger readings focused on grounds that could have been raised after institution, and thus concluded that estoppel was fairly strictly limited only to the grounds actually instituted.  See, e.g., Koninklijke Philips N.V. v. Wangs All. Corp., 2018 WL 283893, at *4 (D. Mass. Jan. 2, 2018).

Shaw was based upon a procedural posture that the Supreme Court eventually ruled improper.  Notably, Shaw presumed that partial IPR institution was proper. In SAS, the Supreme Court rejected that approach and instead held that IPR institution is an all-or-nothing decision by the USPTO. SAS Institute, Inc. v. Iancu, 138 S. Ct. 1348 (2018) (PTAB does not have partial institution authority; and that the IPR petition defines the scope of the IPR).

Ordinarily, each Federal Circuit panel is bound to follow precedent set-out by prior a Federal Circuit panel.  My colleague Tommy Bennett refers to this as the “Rule of Circuit Precedent.”  However, since Shaw‘s foundation had been undermined, the panel here in CalTech concluded that it was no longer binding precedent.

The panel here has the authority to overrule Shaw in light of SAS, without en banc action.

Although SAS did not expressly overrule Shaw, the court concluded that the Supreme Court had “undercut” Shaw‘s “theory [and] reasoning . . . in such a way that the cases are clearly irreconcilable.”  Quoting Henry J. Dickman, Conflicts of Precedent, 106 Va. L. Rev. 1345 (2020).

With this newfound freedom, the court rewrote the rule of estoppel — this time in a much broader sense:

Accordingly, we take this opportunity to overrule Shaw and clarify that estoppel applies not just to claims and grounds asserted in the petition and instituted for consideration by the Board, but to all claims and grounds not in the IPR but which reasonably could have been included in the petition.

Slip Op. In the litigation, Apple and Broadcom had hoped to rely upon several prior art references during litigation.  However, evidence showed that they were “aware” of those references by the time that they filed the IPR petition.  Even though they were not included within the IPR petition, they “reasonably could have” been used as the basis for an IPR challenge. Thus, the appellate panel affirmed the district court’s ruling barring the subsequent challenge in litigation.

The “aware of” requirement is quite broad, and the Federal Circuit did not delve further into defining the “reasonably could have” threshold. For its part, the district court in this case had gone a step further and expanded estoppel to also include any grounds relying upon prior art “a skilled searcher conducting a diligent search reasonably could have been expected to discover.” California Inst. of Tech. v. Broadcom Ltd., 2018 WL 7456042 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 28, 2018) (subsequent modifications omitted). This test is a based upon a statement made by Senator Kyl as the America Invents Act was being debated. 157 Cong. Rec. S1375 (daily ed. Mar. 8, 2011).  In his testimony, Sen. Kyl expressed that the estoppel provision had been “softened” by adding “reasonably.”  Without that term, the estoppel would have been

amenable to the interpretation that litigants are estopped from raising any issue that it would have been physically possible to raise in the inter partes reexamination, even if only a scorched-earth search around the world would have uncovered the prior art in question. Adding the modifier ‘‘reasonably’’ ensures that could-have-raised estoppel extends only to that prior art which a skilled searcher conducting a diligent search reasonably could have been expected to discover.

Statement of Sen. Kyl.

Although it is unclear how far reasonableness extends, it is clear that IPR estoppel is now based upon a use-it-or-lose-it principle.  Holding arguments back at the IPR petition stage is effectively a waiver of those arguments.

Patently-O Bits & Bytes by Lawrence Higgins

Is it really a First-to-File Patent System?

  • With the passage of the America Invents Act (AIA), the US was going to become a First-to-File, instead of a First-to-Invent patent jurisdiction. However, was this really accomplished with the AIA, or was something else achieved? When most people think of a First-to-File patent system, they would probably think it means exactly what it says (the first person to file the patent application has priority). However, the 1-year grace period exceptions in 35 U.S.C. 102(b) seems to create a quasi or pseudo First-to-File system.

    102(b) (1) reads:

    • DISCLOSURES MADE 1 YEAR OR LESS BEFORE THE EFFECTIVE FILING DATE OF THE CLAIMED INVENTION. – A disclosure made 1 year or less before the effective filing date of a claimed invention shall not be prior art to the claimed invention under subsection (a)(1) if –
  1. The disclosure was made by the inventor or joint inventor or by another who obtained the subject matter disclosed directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor

The language of 102(b)(1) could cause lots of controversy. Essentially if an inventor puts his invention or disclosure on the internet or discloses it any public way, he/she has one year from that date to file a patent application, and the disclosure would not count as prior art against the inventor. However, the disclosure would count as prior art for a later inventor, which seems to suggest a First-to-Invent system. This creates an incentive for inventors to disclose inventions immediately so as to bar other inventors and receive an early priority date. I expect litigation about this topic and the many situations that could arise.

Judge T. John Ward, Sr. Steps Down

  • Judge Ward, who is credited with turning Marshall, Texas into an unlikely hotspot for patent litigation, will return to the practice of law at Ward & Smith. Judge Ward will practice law alongside his son T. John ("Johnny") Ward, Jr. During Ward's tenure, the Eastern District also developed a reputation as being a haven for patent holders, particularly nonpracticing entities, or "patent trolls." Could the departure of Judge Ward potentially lead to a decrease in the amount of cases filed in the Eastern District of Texas? [Link]

WIPO's Statistical Country Profiles Tool

  • Statistical country profiles provide information on patents, utility models, trademarks and industrial designs. They cover different dimensions of IP activity, including incoming and outgoing filings, the share of filings in different technological fields, total patents in force, and the use of international IP systems by applicants. The filings and grants are divided into the following categories: "resident" – domestic filings; "non-resident" – filings coming in from other countries; "abroad" – filings going out to other countries. The statistics also associate IP activity relative to countries' economic performance. For example, users can compare the trend of a country's total IP filings – defined as the sum of resident and abroad filings – with that of the country's GDP. Furthermore, they indicate the country's global rank for each indicator. [Link]

Upcoming Events:

  • Houston Intellectual Property Law Association (HIPLA) will be holding its Annual IP Institute in Galveston, Texas October 6-8. The Institute will feature topics such as: Do's and Don'ts in IP Licensing, Due Diligence and Ethics in Acquisitions, Patent Prosecution Under the New Cases and Inducement of Patent Infringement after Global Tech Appliances v. SEB. The guest speaker will be Lord Justice Robert "Robin" Jacob, Court of Appeal of England and Wales. [Link]
  • The 17th Annual Advanced ALI-ABA Course of Study for the Corporate Counsel and the Private Practitioner: Trial of a Patent Case will be held in Chicago October 13-14. Guest speakers include: Judge James Holderman, Judge Liam O'Grady, Scott Coonan, James Leeds, and many more individuals. (Patently-O readers can get 30% off with discount code CT017POB) [Link]
  • The 4th Annual Inland Empire Intellectual Property Institute (IEPI) will be held in Spokane, Washington on October 14th. The program will cover: developments in patent prosecution, patent litigation, copyright and trademark; ethical considerations for IP attorneys; patent reform and its impact on the practicing attorney, and many more topics. Guest speakers include: David Powers, Nancy Kim, Shirley Anderson and many other individuals. [Link]
  • American Conference Institute will be holding a FDA Boot Camp Device Edition conference on October 25th-October 26th in Chicago. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 200 for a discount) [Link]
  • Licensing Executives Society (LES) will be holding their annual meeting on October 16-19 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. Guest speakers include, Martha Ries, VP of IP Management, The Boeing Company and Barbara Dalton VP, Venture Capital, Pfizer. [Link]
  • The University of Texas at Austin will hold its 16th Annual Advanced Patent Law Institute on October 27-28. The program will cover: recent developments in claims construction and claims drafting, cost savings in litigation, inequitable conduct after Therasense, and many other topics. [Link]
  • IPMI is holding the IP Law & Management Institute on November 6th – 8th at the Rancho Las Palmas in Palm Springs, CA. Hailed as "One of the few programs geared to experienced in-house IP Counsel", the Institute is a CLE-accredited program designed to provide time-starved Heads of IP with the Opportunity to meet and network with their peers, learn from the best practices and validate solutions and services. [Link]
  • IBC will hold a Standards and Patents Conference in London on November 16th & 17th. The conference will analyze the interplay between standards, intellectual property and competition law. There will be 28 speakers representing various organizations, such as, the European Commission, Mr. Justice Floyd, IBM, Qualcomm Europe, Nokia, GE Healthcare and Intel. (Patently-O readers receive a 10% discount) [Link]
  • IBC will hold a US Patent Reform Congress Conference on November 18th in London. The conference will focus in the impact of the Leahy-Smith America Invents for the European practitioner, with expertise from the EPO, AIPLA, USPTO and more. (Patently-O readers receive a 10% discount) [Link]

Contact Lawrence.Higgins@patentlyo.com with leads for future Bits and Bytes.

Patently-O Bits & Bytes by Lawrence Higgins

Is it really a First-to-File Patent System?

  • With the passage of the America Invents Act (AIA), the US was going to become a First-to-File, instead of a First-to-Invent patent jurisdiction. However, was this really accomplished with the AIA, or was something else achieved? When most people think of a First-to-File patent system, they would probably think it means exactly what it says (the first person to file the patent application has priority). However, the 1-year grace period exceptions in 35 U.S.C. 102(b) seems to create a quasi or pseudo First-to-File system.

    102(b) (1) reads:

    • DISCLOSURES MADE 1 YEAR OR LESS BEFORE THE EFFECTIVE FILING DATE OF THE CLAIMED INVENTION. – A disclosure made 1 year or less before the effective filing date of a claimed invention shall not be prior art to the claimed invention under subsection (a)(1) if –
  1. The disclosure was made by the inventor or joint inventor or by another who obtained the subject matter disclosed directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor

The language of 102(b)(1) could cause lots of controversy. Essentially if an inventor puts his invention or disclosure on the internet or discloses it any public way, he/she has one year from that date to file a patent application, and the disclosure would not count as prior art against the inventor. However, the disclosure would count as prior art for a later inventor, which seems to suggest a First-to-Invent system. This creates an incentive for inventors to disclose inventions immediately so as to bar other inventors and receive an early priority date. I expect litigation about this topic and the many situations that could arise.

Judge T. John Ward, Sr. Steps Down

  • Judge Ward, who is credited with turning Marshall, Texas into an unlikely hotspot for patent litigation, will return to the practice of law at Ward & Smith. Judge Ward will practice law alongside his son T. John ("Johnny") Ward, Jr. During Ward's tenure, the Eastern District also developed a reputation as being a haven for patent holders, particularly nonpracticing entities, or "patent trolls." Could the departure of Judge Ward potentially lead to a decrease in the amount of cases filed in the Eastern District of Texas? [Link]

WIPO's Statistical Country Profiles Tool

  • Statistical country profiles provide information on patents, utility models, trademarks and industrial designs. They cover different dimensions of IP activity, including incoming and outgoing filings, the share of filings in different technological fields, total patents in force, and the use of international IP systems by applicants. The filings and grants are divided into the following categories: "resident" – domestic filings; "non-resident" – filings coming in from other countries; "abroad" – filings going out to other countries. The statistics also associate IP activity relative to countries' economic performance. For example, users can compare the trend of a country's total IP filings – defined as the sum of resident and abroad filings – with that of the country's GDP. Furthermore, they indicate the country's global rank for each indicator. [Link]

Upcoming Events:

  • Houston Intellectual Property Law Association (HIPLA) will be holding its Annual IP Institute in Galveston, Texas October 6-8. The Institute will feature topics such as: Do's and Don'ts in IP Licensing, Due Diligence and Ethics in Acquisitions, Patent Prosecution Under the New Cases and Inducement of Patent Infringement after Global Tech Appliances v. SEB. The guest speaker will be Lord Justice Robert "Robin" Jacob, Court of Appeal of England and Wales. [Link]
  • The 17th Annual Advanced ALI-ABA Course of Study for the Corporate Counsel and the Private Practitioner: Trial of a Patent Case will be held in Chicago October 13-14. Guest speakers include: Judge James Holderman, Judge Liam O'Grady, Scott Coonan, James Leeds, and many more individuals. (Patently-O readers can get 30% off with discount code CT017POB) [Link]
  • The 4th Annual Inland Empire Intellectual Property Institute (IEPI) will be held in Spokane, Washington on October 14th. The program will cover: developments in patent prosecution, patent litigation, copyright and trademark; ethical considerations for IP attorneys; patent reform and its impact on the practicing attorney, and many more topics. Guest speakers include: David Powers, Nancy Kim, Shirley Anderson and many other individuals. [Link]
  • American Conference Institute will be holding a FDA Boot Camp Device Edition conference on October 25th-October 26th in Chicago. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 200 for a discount) [Link]
  • Licensing Executives Society (LES) will be holding their annual meeting on October 16-19 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. Guest speakers include, Martha Ries, VP of IP Management, The Boeing Company and Barbara Dalton VP, Venture Capital, Pfizer. [Link]
  • The University of Texas at Austin will hold its 16th Annual Advanced Patent Law Institute on October 27-28. The program will cover: recent developments in claims construction and claims drafting, cost savings in litigation, inequitable conduct after Therasense, and many other topics. [Link]
  • IPMI is holding the IP Law & Management Institute on November 6th – 8th at the Rancho Las Palmas in Palm Springs, CA. Hailed as "One of the few programs geared to experienced in-house IP Counsel", the Institute is a CLE-accredited program designed to provide time-starved Heads of IP with the Opportunity to meet and network with their peers, learn from the best practices and validate solutions and services. [Link]
  • IBC will hold a Standards and Patents Conference in London on November 16th & 17th. The conference will analyze the interplay between standards, intellectual property and competition law. There will be 28 speakers representing various organizations, such as, the European Commission, Mr. Justice Floyd, IBM, Qualcomm Europe, Nokia, GE Healthcare and Intel. (Patently-O readers receive a 10% discount) [Link]
  • IBC will hold a US Patent Reform Congress Conference on November 18th in London. The conference will focus in the impact of the Leahy-Smith America Invents for the European practitioner, with expertise from the EPO, AIPLA, USPTO and more. (Patently-O readers receive a 10% discount) [Link]

Contact Lawrence.Higgins@patentlyo.com with leads for future Bits and Bytes.

Patently-O Bits & Bytes by Lawrence Higgins

Is it really a First-to-File Patent System?

  • With the passage of the America Invents Act (AIA), the US was going to become a First-to-File, instead of a First-to-Invent patent jurisdiction. However, was this really accomplished with the AIA, or was something else achieved? When most people think of a First-to-File patent system, they would probably think it means exactly what it says (the first person to file the patent application has priority). However, the 1-year grace period exceptions in 35 U.S.C. 102(b) seems to create a quasi or pseudo First-to-File system.

    102(b) (1) reads:

    • DISCLOSURES MADE 1 YEAR OR LESS BEFORE THE EFFECTIVE FILING DATE OF THE CLAIMED INVENTION. – A disclosure made 1 year or less before the effective filing date of a claimed invention shall not be prior art to the claimed invention under subsection (a)(1) if –
  1. The disclosure was made by the inventor or joint inventor or by another who obtained the subject matter disclosed directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor

The language of 102(b)(1) could cause lots of controversy. Essentially if an inventor puts his invention or disclosure on the internet or discloses it any public way, he/she has one year from that date to file a patent application, and the disclosure would not count as prior art against the inventor. However, the disclosure would count as prior art for a later inventor, which seems to suggest a First-to-Invent system. This creates an incentive for inventors to disclose inventions immediately so as to bar other inventors and receive an early priority date. I expect litigation about this topic and the many situations that could arise.

Judge T. John Ward, Sr. Steps Down

  • Judge Ward, who is credited with turning Marshall, Texas into an unlikely hotspot for patent litigation, will return to the practice of law at Ward & Smith. Judge Ward will practice law alongside his son T. John ("Johnny") Ward, Jr. During Ward's tenure, the Eastern District also developed a reputation as being a haven for patent holders, particularly nonpracticing entities, or "patent trolls." Could the departure of Judge Ward potentially lead to a decrease in the amount of cases filed in the Eastern District of Texas? [Link]

WIPO's Statistical Country Profiles Tool

  • Statistical country profiles provide information on patents, utility models, trademarks and industrial designs. They cover different dimensions of IP activity, including incoming and outgoing filings, the share of filings in different technological fields, total patents in force, and the use of international IP systems by applicants. The filings and grants are divided into the following categories: "resident" – domestic filings; "non-resident" – filings coming in from other countries; "abroad" – filings going out to other countries. The statistics also associate IP activity relative to countries' economic performance. For example, users can compare the trend of a country's total IP filings – defined as the sum of resident and abroad filings – with that of the country's GDP. Furthermore, they indicate the country's global rank for each indicator. [Link]

Upcoming Events:

  • Houston Intellectual Property Law Association (HIPLA) will be holding its Annual IP Institute in Galveston, Texas October 6-8. The Institute will feature topics such as: Do's and Don'ts in IP Licensing, Due Diligence and Ethics in Acquisitions, Patent Prosecution Under the New Cases and Inducement of Patent Infringement after Global Tech Appliances v. SEB. The guest speaker will be Lord Justice Robert "Robin" Jacob, Court of Appeal of England and Wales. [Link]
  • The 17th Annual Advanced ALI-ABA Course of Study for the Corporate Counsel and the Private Practitioner: Trial of a Patent Case will be held in Chicago October 13-14. Guest speakers include: Judge James Holderman, Judge Liam O'Grady, Scott Coonan, James Leeds, and many more individuals. (Patently-O readers can get 30% off with discount code CT017POB) [Link]
  • The 4th Annual Inland Empire Intellectual Property Institute (IEPI) will be held in Spokane, Washington on October 14th. The program will cover: developments in patent prosecution, patent litigation, copyright and trademark; ethical considerations for IP attorneys; patent reform and its impact on the practicing attorney, and many more topics. Guest speakers include: David Powers, Nancy Kim, Shirley Anderson and many other individuals. [Link]
  • American Conference Institute will be holding a FDA Boot Camp Device Edition conference on October 25th-October 26th in Chicago. (Patently-O readers can register with code PO 200 for a discount) [Link]
  • Licensing Executives Society (LES) will be holding their annual meeting on October 16-19 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. Guest speakers include, Martha Ries, VP of IP Management, The Boeing Company and Barbara Dalton VP, Venture Capital, Pfizer. [Link]
  • The University of Texas at Austin will hold its 16th Annual Advanced Patent Law Institute on October 27-28. The program will cover: recent developments in claims construction and claims drafting, cost savings in litigation, inequitable conduct after Therasense, and many other topics. [Link]
  • IPMI is holding the IP Law & Management Institute on November 6th – 8th at the Rancho Las Palmas in Palm Springs, CA. Hailed as "One of the few programs geared to experienced in-house IP Counsel", the Institute is a CLE-accredited program designed to provide time-starved Heads of IP with the Opportunity to meet and network with their peers, learn from the best practices and validate solutions and services. [Link]
  • IBC will hold a Standards and Patents Conference in London on November 16th & 17th. The conference will analyze the interplay between standards, intellectual property and competition law. There will be 28 speakers representing various organizations, such as, the European Commission, Mr. Justice Floyd, IBM, Qualcomm Europe, Nokia, GE Healthcare and Intel. (Patently-O readers receive a 10% discount) [Link]
  • IBC will hold a US Patent Reform Congress Conference on November 18th in London. The conference will focus in the impact of the Leahy-Smith America Invents for the European practitioner, with expertise from the EPO, AIPLA, USPTO and more. (Patently-O readers receive a 10% discount) [Link]

Contact Lawrence.Higgins@patentlyo.com with leads for future Bits and Bytes.

Oil States and SAS are out

By Jason Rantanen

Oil States Energy Services v. Greene’s Energy Group: Inter partes review does not violate Article III or the 7th Amendment.  Patents are public rights for purposes of this question.  This holding is a self-proclaimed narrow one that “should not be misconstrued as suggesting that patents are not property for the purposes of the Due Process Clause or Takings Clause.” Thomas for the majority; Breyer with a concurring opinion (joined by Ginsburg and Sotomayor), Gorsuch dissenting (joined by Roberts).  Opinion here: Oil States v. Greene’s Energy

SAS Institute v. Iancu: When the USPTO institutes an inter partes review, it must decide the patentability of all of the claims the petitioner challenged, based on the plain text of § 318(a).  Gorsuch for the majority; Ginsburg dissenting (joined by Bryer, Sotomayor, and Kagan); Breyer dissenting (joined by Ginsburg and Sotomayor, and Kagan in part).  Opinion here: SAS v. Iancu

Off to teach Administrative Law, so more to come later.

Update: Prof. Tom Cotter has a longer summary on his Comparative Patent Remedies blog: http://comparativepatentremedies.blogspot.com/2018/04/us-supreme-court-upholds-inter-partes.html

 

 

Oil States and SAS arguments set for November 27

Oral arguments for both Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC, No. 16-712 and SAS Institute Inc. v. Matal, No. 16-969, have been set for November 27, 2017.

Oil States challenges the AIA trial system at its most fundamental level — arguing that the Constitutional principles prohibits an administrative agency such as the USPTO from cancelling established property rights, such as those embodied by issued patents.

In SAS, the focus is on a narrow but important element of IPRs – whether the Board is “required to issue a final written decision as to every claim challenged by the petitioner.”  SAS is the IPR petitioner who challenged the claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,110,936 owned by ComplementSoft.  USPTO is also a respondent in the case (Matal) and is being represented by the US Solicitor General.

Both cases involve two private parties (patentee and challenger) as well as the government (USPTO) who intervened on appeal to support the PTAB’s decision-making.  In SAS, the PTO denied patentee ComplementSoft’s motion for divided arguments and at this point it is unclear to which Respondent will get to argue before the court.

SCOTUS