After considering comments from various stakeholders for nearly a year, on July 24, 2023, the USPTO issued the revised interim Director Review Process. Among other changes, the revised process now permits parties to request the Director Review on institution decisions in America Invents Act (AIA) proceedings. This is a significant expansion of the scope of director review, which allows petitioners who had no appeal options to an IPR denial to now have at least one avenue of review of an institution denial.
Since being appointed to the bench in 2018, Judge Alan Albright in Waco Texas has had one of the busiest patent dockets in the nation, rivaling that of Delaware and the Eastern District of Texas. He quickly gained a reputation as providing a quick trial schedule and moving a case forward. Judge Albright has stated that he aims to get to trial within 24 months of a complaint being filed.…
This decision addresses the PTAB’s secondary considerations analysis in an IPR Final Written Decision.…
In a per curium order issued under seal May 3, 2023 but recently made public, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board awarded sanctions against Patent Owner, Longhorn Vaccines & Diagnostics, canceling all challenged claims of its five asserted patents for its “egregious abuse of the PTAB process.” Particularly, the Board determined that Patent Owner, through its counsel, failed to meet its duty of candor and fair dealing before the Board by “selectively and improperly” withholding information material to the patentability of the claims challenged in the IPR proceeding.…
Note: First published in The Intellectual Property Strategist and Law.com.
This article is Part Two of a Three-Part Article Series
Artificial intelligence is changing industry and society, and metrics at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) reflect its impact. In a recent publication, the USPTO indicated that from 2002 to 2018 the share of all patent applications relating to artificial intelligence grew from 9% to approximately 16%. See “Inventing AI, Tracing the diffusion of artificial intelligence with U.S. patents,” Office of the Chief Economist, IP Data Highlights (October 2020). For the foreseeable future, patent applications involving artificial intelligence technologies, including machine learning, will increase with the continued proliferation of such technologies. However, subject matter eligibility can be a significant challenge in securing patents on artificial intelligence and machine learning.…
Blockchain patent applications may be divided into two types: underlying technologies of blockchain, such as consensus methods, security, etc., and applications of blockchain in, e.g., fintech, legal, and other industries. In patent examination, the first type, because it recites underlying technology improvement, rarely elicits subject matter rejections. The second type, applications of blockchain, are often found to be directed to an abstract idea. This article analyzes a recent Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) decision in a blockchain patent application and explores drafting and prosecution strategies to anticipate subject matter scrutiny.
Continue Reading Blockchain Patentability Through The Lens Of A Recent PTAB Decision
The Supreme Court granted and consolidated three petitions for writs of certiorari to hear two questions regarding the constitutionality of Administrative Patent Judge (APJ) appointments under the Appointments Clause. These questions are: Whether APJs of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) are principal officers who must be appointed by the President under the Appointments Clause of the Constitution; and whether, if APJs are determined to be principal officers, severing the application of 5 U.S.C. 7513(a) to those judges cures any violation of the Appointments Clause. The Court declined to hear a third question of whether the Court of Appeals in the Arthrex case erred by adjudicating the Appointments Clause question despite the failure of Arthrex to present its Appointments Clause challenge during the PTAB proceedings.
Continue Reading Supreme Court to Decide Constitutionality of PTAB Judge Appointments
Reprinted with permission from the October 1, 2020 issue of The Intellectual Property Strategist, ALM Media, LLC.
During patent prosecution before the USPTO, applicant and examiner can become entrenched in conflicting positions on subject matter eligibility. Appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) could clear prosecution impasse. However, Alice related issues taken to the PTAB are not necessarily the Alice related issues decided by the PTAB.
Continue Reading Alice and Incongruity in PTAB Appeals
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced a pilot program for fast-tracking appeals of applications for original utility, design, or plant patents. The so-called “Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program” is intended to provide a vehicle for advancing applications during the ex parte appeals process before the PTAB (Patent Trial and Appeal Board).
Continue Reading USPTO Announces New Pilot Program to Expedite Appeals Process
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (“PTAB”) institution rate for inter partes reviews (“IPRs”) has fallen virtually every year. In its recent decision in Apple, Inc. v. Fintiv, Inc. issued on May 13, 2020, the PTAB denied institution of Apple’s petition for IPR and set forth a new test for determining whether to institute an IPR based on the status of the underlying district court proceedings, which suggests that institution rates may continue to fall.
Continue Reading The PTAB’s Ground-Breaking Decision in Apple v. Fintiv Promises to Make IPR Institutions More Challenging
In two decisions recently designated as “precedential,” the PTAB rejected two theories raised by petitioners for why the service of a complaint should not trigger Section 315(b)’s one-year time bar for filing a petition. In the first case, the Board rejected the petitioner’s argument that a complaint must be served by a plaintiff that has standing to assert the patent. In the second case, the Board rejected the petitioner’s argument that the service of the complaint must effect personal jurisdiction. Both case results stem from the Federal Circuit’s decision in Click-to-Call Technologies, L.P. v. Ingenio, Inc., where the court held that the plain and unambiguous meaning of Section 315(b)’s time bar merely requires the service of a complaint allege patent infringement, and thus leaves little room for finding exceptions to the time bar’s application. …
Continue Reading Perils of Waiting: PTAB’s Precedential Opinion Panel Designates Two More Decisions Rejecting 315(b) Arguments Regarding Time Bars