Authored by Brian S. Mudge
In three recent opinions, the Board has again ruled on the effect of statutory provisions governing estoppel under 35 U.S.C. §315(e)(1) and 35 U.S.C. §325(e)(1) following a final written decision. As shown by these decisions, the Board may, but is not required to, terminate a later proceeding after a final decision that triggers estoppel. These decisions also demonstrate that estoppel may be applied to bar not only prior art challenges, but also challenges under 35 U.S.C. §101 or §112.