Conflict at the PTAB: Divided Expanded Panel Overturns Divided Joinder Decision

Authored by Michelle Carniaux and Michael E. Sander

In one of the first PTAB decisions of its kind, a 4 to 3 split expanded panel issued an opinion granting a rehearing request and effectively overturned an earlier panel’s decision to deny a joinder motion. See IPR2014-00508, No. 28 (Feb. 12, 2015).

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Short Activist Strategy? Coalition for Affordable Drugs Targets Drugmakers

Authored by Michelle Carniaux and Michael E. Sander

On Tuesday, the Coalition for Affordable Drugs LLC (“CFAD”) filed its first IPR petition against a patent owned by Acorda Therapeutics. See IPR2015-00720. In its petition, CFAD, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hayman Credes Master Fund, LP, challenges the validity of claims to a method of improving walking in a human multiple sclerosis patients.
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IPR Estoppels in District Court: Motion to Strike Smoked by Real-World Product

Authored by Michael S.Turner

As accused infringers rush to challenge patents in trials before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, they must consider the estoppels of 35 U.S.C. § 315(e). The estoppel statute may prevent petitioners from later raising any ground of unpatentability that was raised, or could have been raised, during the PTAB trial. If claims survive, the accused infringer may be left without prior art patents or printed publications to present in district court, and should consider other types of prior art: prior art use or sale in the United States.

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Federal Circuit Affirms PTAB in First Appeal After Final AIA Decision

Authored by Brian S. Mudge, T. Cy Walker, Robert L. Hails, Jr. and Adeel Haroon

In its first ruling on an appeal of a final IPR decision, the Federal Circuit has affirmed the Board’s decision in all respects. The case, In re Cuozzo Speed Techs., LLC, No. 2014-1301 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 4, 2015), involved two key issues on appeal which have been hotly debated since the PTAB began hearing IPRs and other post-grant proceedings under the AIA, and which sparked a lengthy dissent. A divided Federal circuit panel ruled (a) that the court lacked jurisdiction to review the PTAB’s decision to institute the IPR even in connection with the appeal of a final decision; and (b) that the broadest reasonable interpretation (“BRI”) standard applies to construction of claims in an IPR proceeding. In addition, the court upheld the PTAB’s decision that the tried claims were obvious and that Cuozzo’s motion to amend improperly attempted to broaden the claims.

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Blurring the Lines: Omitting a Related Corporate Entity Could Lead to Loss of Petition Filing Date Where Corporate Lines Are Unclear

Authored by Michelle Carniaux and Michael E. Sander

Failing to identify all real parties of interest in a petition can have disastrous consequences for an IPR petitioner. Just days after we discussed a case where the Board found that a petitioner identified, in substance, all real parties in interest despite omitting an entity who should have been identified, it appears that the petitioner in another, separate proceeding had a less fortunate fate.

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