Hoyle v. Michelle Lee, Docket No 21-cv-2512 (W.D. Tenn. 2021) [Hoyle v. Lee Complaint]
This is an unusual new lawsuit filed by Martin Hoyle against several former USPTO officials, including former USPTO Director Michell Lee; former PTAB Chief James D. Smith; and former vice-chief Jay Moore. The complaint argues that the defendants violated Hoyle’s Due Process rights in the way they handled his patents during their IPR proceedings. U.S. Patent No. 6,628,314 and U.S. Patent No. 6,771,290.
The complaint suggests that Lee was compromised as a former Google official and future Amazon official (the targets of his patent lawsuits) and that the PTAB judicial assignments were intentionally stacked with judges likely to rule that his patents were invalid. The result was that the PTAB judges “Medley, Pettigrew, and Deshpande … either conspired with, or were at the very least complicit, in the unconstitutional scheme to deprive Plaintiffs of their valuable property rights in these patents.”
The lawsuit is styled as a Bivins action, which allows a private damages action against federal officials for civil rights violations. Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971).