It has been a little more than one year since the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) issued their first final written decision in an inter partes review and accordingly. Since then, by our calculation, the PTAB has issued 91 Final Written Decisions in IPR proceedings.1
Since the USPTO first issued its rules regarding inter partes review proceedings, prospective petitioners have grappled with the choices of which grounds of unpatentability to present to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Given the estoppel provisions of 35 U.S.C. § 315, which may prevent a petitioner from later raising any ground of unpatentability that either was raised or could have been raised in the IPR proceeding, petitioners taking the IPR plunge are loathe to hold back any grounds of unpatentability that might resonate with the Board, or later to the Federal Circuit on appeal.
In a previous post, we discussed the top patent owners in PTAB inter partes and covered business method review proceedings. We now turn our attention to the petitioners, to see which companies have been filing the most petitions for inter partes and covered business method review. In order to get a more recent snapshot of the state of the PTAB, we considered only petitions filed during the USPTO’s Fiscal Year 2014 (i.e., October 1, 2013 to the present). Again, we come across some surprising results. A table of the results is below.