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News & Events

News

July 1, 2014

USPTO Issues Request for Comments on PTAB Trials

Following from the recent Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) AIA Trial Roundtables, the USPTO has published a notice in the Federal Register seeking written input about the trials.  The questions cover a variety of topics including claim construction, management of concurrent proceedings, and discovery. Click below to view the list of published questions, and to download the Request for Comments document.

May 28, 2014

A Late Terminal Disclaimer Does Not Change the Claim Interpretation Standard

Written by Stuart Nelson

In a recent decision in Amkor Tech., Inc. v. Tessera, Inc., the Patent Trial and Appeal Board declined to change the claim construction standard from the traditional “broadest reasonable construction” standard in response to a terminal disclaimer filed by the patent owner late in the proceeding. IPR2013-00242, Paper 129 at 12. Claim terms in an unexpired patent are analyzed using their broadest reasonable interpretation by the Board. Id. at 3. The patent owner had filed a terminal disclaimer with the goal of causing the disputed patent to be effectively expired such that the broadest reasonable interpretation standard no longer applies. Id. at 2, 5.

May 27, 2014

PTAB Grants the First Motion to Amend

Written by Dorothy P. Whelan and W. Karl Renner.

International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. v. The United States of America, IPR2013-00124, Paper No. 12 (PTAB May 20, 2014)

The International Flavors decision marks the first time that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has granted a patent owner’s motion to amend in an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding. The decision follows suggestions from the PTAB that motions to amend, if done properly, can succeed in limited circumstances.

May 22, 2014

Sur-Replies Can Be Permitted in Post-Grant Proceedings

Written by Stuart Nelson

Recently in Apple Inc. v. Sightsound Tech., LLC, the Board authorized the patent owner to file a sur-reply to address an obviousness ground raised for the first time in petitioner’s reply. CBM2013-00020, Paper 100 at 2. In another case this month, Amneal Pharm., LLC v. Endo Pharm. Inc., the Board authorized both a reply and a sur-reply to address allegations in the preliminary response of a time-barred petition under 35 U.S.C. ¶ 315(b). IPR2014-00360, Paper 9 at 2-3.

May 8, 2014

Claim Interpretation for Expired Patents

Written by Stuart Nelson

Claim construction is a key issue in post-grant proceedings, and the application of the “broadest reasonable construction” standard is receiving increased attention. Recently in Amkor Technology, Inc. v. Tessera, Inc. (IPR2013-00242), the patent owner filed a terminal disclaimer such that the disputed patent would be effectively expired. Order, Apr. 14, 2014, p. 3. The patent owner argued that while the broadest reasonable construction applies to unexpired patents in inter partes review, claims of an expired patent should be interpreted with an analysis similar to that of a district court. Id. at 2. The patent owner now seeks “to file a motion to terminate the proceeding on the basis that the Board applied the broadest reasonable interpretation standard in the decision to institute this inter partes review.” Id. at 2. It should be noted that the patent owner’s position is not that the proceeding should be terminated simply because the patent is now expired, but because the proper claim construction has now changed. The petitioner opposes and the Board has requested detailed briefing on what it considers an issue of first impression. Id. at 3-4.

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