Supreme Court Affirms USPTO’s Broadest Reasonable Construction Standard for IPRs

In Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC v. Lee, the Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO’s”) standard for construing patent claims in an inter partes review (“IPR”), a post-grant proceeding used to challenged patent validity. In a 6-2 decision, the Court also affirmed that the USPTO’s decision whether to institute an IPR is not appealable. In an IPR, the USPTO uses the “broadest reasonable construction” standard, which results in broader claims than the “ordinary meaning” standard used in federal district court litigation. Broader claims result in a greater likelihood that the claims will be held invalid. The Court   Read More »

Posted in IP and Technology Litigation, Patent Litigation, Post Grant Proceedings | Tagged , ,

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Supreme Court to Address IPR Proceedings & Willful Infringement

The Supreme Court will continue to shape patent law in 2016, addressing critical components of the widely-popular Inter Partes Review (IPR) proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and examining the standard for willful patent infringement in district court actions. IPR proceedings provide a streamlined avenue for invalidating issued patents.  In the first two years of their existence, over 4,000 IPR proceedings have been filed, with the majority leading to invalidation of one or more patent claims.  The Supreme Court has now granted a writ of certiorari in its first IPR case, Cuozzo Speed Technologies v. Lee.  The Court   Read More »

Posted in Patent Litigation, Post Grant Proceedings | Tagged , , ,

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Federal Circuit Holds Inter Partes Reviews Are Constitutional

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held today in MCM Portfolio LLC v. Hewlett-Packard Co. that inter partes review proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board are constitutional, rejecting MCM Portfolio’s bid to escape the PTAB’s earlier ruling that invalidated the company’s patent claims.  The Federal Circuit rejected MCM Portfolio’s arguments that IPRs violate Article III and the Seventh Amendment of the Constitution. With respect to Article III, which articulates the powers of the Judicial Branch, the Federal Circuit held that actions to revoke patent rights need not be tried before federal courts.  Instead, relying   Read More »

Posted in IP and Technology Litigation, Patent Litigation, Post Grant Proceedings | Tagged , , ,

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Federal Circuit Remands Because PTAB’s Claim Construction Was “Unreasonably Broad”

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) administers post-grant patent proceedings under the America Invents Act. The PTAB has invalidated many patent claims, and has been referred to as a patent “death squad.” But a recent Federal Circuit decision reversed the PTAB’s holding that claims owned by Proxyconn, Inc., were invalid, delivering encouraging news to patent owners. The Federal Circuit held that the PTAB’s claim construction was “unreasonably broad,” which lead to the PTAB invalidating certain claims of Proxyconn’s patent in an inter partes review (IPR). The Federal Circuit reaffirmed the PTAB’s “broadest reasonable interpretation” standard for construing claims in IPRs, but   Read More »

Posted in Patent Litigation, Post Grant Proceedings | Tagged , ,

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Litigation Implications of the America Invents Act

Today, President Obama signed the America Invents Act, H.R. 1249, into law.  The patent reform legislation took many years to pass, and contains significant changes to the United States patent laws.  This post summarizes those that are most significant from a patent litigation perspective. Post grant review procedure (regulations within a year).  Within nine months after a patent issues, a third party may seek to cancel the patent’s claims.  The patent may be challenged under any of the defenses relating to invalidity in 35 U.S.C. § 282(b)(2), (3) (as amended).  The review petition must show it is “more likely than not”   Read More »

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