Attack on Lam Research Plasma Processing Patent, Among the Reexamination Requests Filed the Week of Nov. 28, 2011
Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment has requested reexamination of Lam Research’s U.S. Patent No. 5,998,932 related to plasma processing equipment (see ex parte Request No. (6)). Lam has sued AMFE for infringement of the Taiwanese counter-part patent and might soon sue in the United States for infringement of the ‘932 patent.
Reexamination was also requested for a Xerox patent (see inter partes Request No. (5)), but the identity of the requester is not shown in the PTO records.
The following inter partes requests were filed: (more…)
Practical Pendency of IPR to be 18-24 Months
In promulgating the new Inter Partes Review (IPR) proceeding as part of the America Invents Act (AIA) Congress hoped to address a major criticism of inter partes patent reexamination (IPX), namely, the significant length of time necessary to conclude these proceedings.
IPX first includes an examination phase handled by patent examiners of the Central Reexamination Unit. Once the examination phase concludes, an IPX may be appealed to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI). Thereafter, an IPX may be further appealed to the CAFC. This three-phase process cannot be navigated quickly. That is to say, IPXs fully contested through CAFC appeal remain pending some 6-8 years from the time of the initial request.
Pendency is an important factor for challengers considering alternatives for quickly resolving a patent dispute. Likewise courts will often cite to the significant delay of IPX as justification to deny a request to stay ongoing litigation proceedings pending a parallel IPX. (more…)