Federal Circuit Considers Possible Tribal Immunity from Inter Partes Review

By Daniel S. Ivie and David G. Barker Last week, a Federal Circuit panel considered whether transferring patents to a tribal nation invoked the tribe’s sovereign immunity precluding inter partes review. The panel heard oral argument in Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe et al. v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. et al., which concerns an appeal from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s recent decision that the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe’s sovereign immunity did not shield it from inter partes review. In late 2017, pharmaceutical company Allergan transferred the patents for its dry-eye medication Restasis to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. Allergan paid   Read More »

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Supreme Court Uproots Current PTAB Practice by Quashing Partial Decisions

By Trisha Farmer Lau and David G. Barker On April 24, 2018, in SAS Institute, Inc. v. Iancu, the Supreme Court held that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) must decide the validity of every patent claim challenged when it undertakes inter partes review under the America Invents Act (“AIA”).  In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled in favor of SAS Institute, Inc., a software developer that filed an inter partes review petition and argued that the PTAB’s final decision must address all challenged claims in the petition. Before this decision, a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office regulation, 37   Read More »

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Supreme Court Confirms Inter Partes Review Is Constitutional

By Jacob C. Jones and David G. Barker In Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC, the United States Supreme Court held today, in a 7-2 decision, that the inter partes review process under the America Invents Act (AIA), 35 U.S.C. § 100 et seq. (2011), does not violate Article III or the Seventh Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. As we noted previously, inter partes review is a popular administrative proceeding where the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB; part of the United States Patent and Trademark Office) decides whether challenged patents are valid.  As of March   Read More »

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Supreme Court to Consider Constitutionality of AIA Inter Partes Review Proceedings

By Rachael Peters Pugel and Andrew F. Halaby The Supreme Court has granted a writ of certiorari challenging the constitutionality of inter partes review proceedings conducted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office under the America Invents Act.  The Court’s ruling in this matter, especially if it holds inter partes reviews to be unconstitutional, could massively destabilize the patent law system by casting into doubt an administrative regime that has diverted thousands of patent disputes from the federal court system, as well as the many hundreds of decisions invalidating patent claims so far yielded by that regime. Post-issuance proceedings   Read More »

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